Comparing Dairy Goat Breeds?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Pinky, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Pinky

    Pinky New Member

    How do I make a good decision to narrow down which breed of goat to start looking into? :D The alpines, lamanchas, toggs and nubians all sound appealing! What made you decide on your particular breed?
  2. pokyone42

    pokyone42 New Member

    What are you looking for? What breed appeals to you the most? If you like them all, get a few of each! ;)

  3. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    One or two breeds are ok but getting too many doesn't help you when you try to get improvements to your herd and still keep the numbers reasonable. You have to decide what is your ultimate goal.
  4. Pinky

    Pinky New Member

    I just want to get two at this point because I will be handmilking. I want calm dispositions since we have children. Our sheep are so skiddish and I don't want goats that run from me, but I also don't want a goat like my cow that wants to dominate me either. :) The goats are for table milk and higher butterfat sounds like it makes for tastier milk. We just want good tasting milk which I understand has to do with my handling and what I feed the goats, but I figure the amount of butterfat also makes a difference. I've read nubians can be stubborn and if that's true, they are out. I don't want any battles in my barn. I've read Lamanchas are super friendly and calm and alpines are supposed the best producers?
  5. Caprine Beings

    Caprine Beings New Member

    And it helps to know if you are going in for production or show. We have alpines and nubians. since the arrival of Mercedes our goal for the nubians is show. Our alpines need some work, well except for our buck, but their production is WOW! So we are not to a show level with our alpines...YET!
    And if you ask Camille (wheytogosaanens) she'll tell you Saanens are the way to go for production...I have to agree-hers would beat any of mine any day:).
    Alpines are attitudinal but can be very loving and like to be boss. Nubians are very nice tempered (can be Prima Donnas as well)animals for the most part but can be loud. Dunno about the other breeds. Tammy
  6. pokyone42

    pokyone42 New Member

    I was just joking about getting some of each...:)
    I have some Alpines and Boers. The Alpines are WONDERFUL with people, but pretty nasty to other goats...
    I think Nubians have the highest butterfat...... (I had a few in the past) They were pretty mellow with the other goats, and very friendly, too.
    You are interested in milk goats, so I won't bother to discuss the Boers, except to tell you that they are pretty mellow and sweet. :)
  7. MRFBarbara

    MRFBarbara Guest

    Go to a local goat show, meet some people and ask then why they chose the breed they have..
    This way you also get to sit and watch the goats and see all the breeds... Talk to some of the breeders and they will tell you what they like best about their chosen breeds..
  8. cariboujaguar

    cariboujaguar New Member

    Nubians can be a pain if you don't choose what herds to buy from carefully! I have bought nubians from some lines/herds where they were just a PAIN! Then other herds are sooo sweet! I would buy from a breeder who will let you milk the goat you are considering or at least let you watch her be milked... because I think, although some breeds DO have certain traits, it's mainly about the breeder; strong culling herds only offer exceptional animals who're easy to deal with and nice across the board, they care about the breed and anything not worth selling/breeding is sent to auction...
  9. Of course, I love Nubians, and their milk is delicious and if the breeder selects animals for the breeding herd that are great and culls hard, then you're going to get some pretty nice animals. Yes, they can be loud, but they can also be very affectionate and will stand patiently chewing her cud while she's being milked. They do give milk with the highest butterfat and they are big girls. Having said all of that, I have heard that if you just want to dairy with goats that LaManchas have the best conversion of feed to milk of all the breeds. I have heard that. I don't KNOW it for a fact though.
  10. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    I have both Nubians and LaMancha and of course my mini LaManchas All of them are wonderful and I have good rich milk from my Mini's and the docil laid back attitude. But have to say my Nubians are absolutly wonderful and friendly /great producers I see nothing stubborn abt them only one is a loud mouth and that is usually when someone else is bothering her or dinner time. The LaMancha will out produce them all but not as rich milk tho it tastes wonderful If you only have one choice and you want a docile laid back goat that is usually quiet then go for the LaMancha
  11. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    BUT just like was said in another thread on her abt breeds. Don't get any goat in milk without seeing that she will go in willingly and get up on the stand and also taste her milk before purchasing.
  12. Painted Pony

    Painted Pony New Member

    picked my Nubians because I liked their appearance and the option to breed Kinders if I want to. I had heard they could be stubborn, but that has not been my experience. My Nubians are much easier going than my ND's or Kinder's when it comes to following the rules. The Nubian's follow me around the barn. The ND's run around the barn finding things to get in to. :biggrin Both breeds seem to enjoy human contact (hugs, scratches, etc). All were bottle fed and I think that makes a difference.

    As far as production, while I know other breeds can produce more than my chosen breeds, I haven't found myself in short supply of milk at all. I have several gallons in the freezer and have tried my hand at yogurt, butter, and soon cheese. I also feed some extra milk to my chickens and dogs.

    Noise? My Nubians are not the loudest in the barn but not the quietest either. One doe greets me each time I enter the barn and occasionally when I leave the barn (a bottle baby that prefers humans to goats). Another talks a bit more if it's feeding time or when I leave her (another BB that enjoys human company). My ND's & Kinder's are just as noisy and/or quiet depending on the situation. I will say the Nubian voice is different and it is more of a whine/cry than the other goats I have. None are loud enough or noisy enough to be a bother though.

    I have considered trying out a different breed, but I haven't met one in person that appeals as much as the pretty roman-nosed, floppy eared Nubians, or the petite ND's. Watching those floppy ears as the run always brings a smile to my face.
  13. Rose

    Rose New Member

    We have currently:

    Three LaManchas
    One Mini Mancha
    Two Alpines
    One Nubian

    Various kids

    We have also had three Nigerian Dwarf goats, but they are gone now.

    We have borrowed the following bucks:

    On the does, we find the LaManchas the most calm. The Alpines are bossy. The Nubian is an airhead.

    The Saanen buck was the easiest full size buck to deal with, but with such a small sample, that could simply be the personalities of each individual.

    Just our experience. Yours may vary.
  14. New Member

    Maybe start with and see if there is a local goat club in your area. Visit local dairy goat farms and see all the breeds. See who tests for CAE and who gives local support. Each area does seem to have the person in it that helps new folks. This way you get good registered stock that someone has recommended, and don't buy anything unless the herd tests for CAE and you are welcome to see their paperwork showing this.

    You'll need to change your signature to include your state for the forum, midwest is a little vague to be of help, but there are midwest herds you don't want their names in your pedigree or to purchase from them.

    I always recommend LaMancha's to new people who like them, not only for their disposition but they milk, day in and day out, hot and humid, they milk. They are excellent mothers. I am a huge fan of the mini lamanchas, a little harder to find of course. But being relatively new it's a fun new breed to work on.

    But stick with one breed, buy what you love, milk her before you buy her and taste the milk, even warm you can tell if it's going to be good. Vicki
  15. stoneyheightsfarm

    stoneyheightsfarm New Member

    All excellent advise. I think that you will find when you visit farms that there are different temperments within each breed. So just b/c you love one Nubian or whatever doesn't mean you will love them all. Be selective not just about the breed but the animal. Milking and tasting the milk are great ideas, too.
  16. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    As usual, I'm gonna come from a different angle. If it weren't for the fact that you mentioned children being around the animals, I would tell you to keep the jersey, and forget the goats. It's a long haul for most goats to top jersey milk in my opinion. That said.....some dairy breeds get real close.
    Not that I own any now, ND's have the highest butter fat contents, but you might find too short of teats on many of them to successfully hand milk them. We had a forum member a while back to test his ND's, and one doe came in at 10% butter fat....that's about twice what you will find on any standard breed. I suspect that some of these mini breeds will be high butter fat, because they are crossed out of ND's. I have kept a mini alpine doeling this time, and I hope to check her out once she freshens next Spring. I've recently started with Alpines here, so I've still yet to draw my own conclusions about them.
    That said, day in and day out, a Nubian is a hard dairy goat to beat as a homesteading/family milker type animal. Yep, I said that... :biggrin
    Biggest thing already mentioned here, is know who you're buying from. All Nubians, Alpines, LM's, Toggs, etc...are not created equal. Some people raise healthy, quality animals, and some folks just raise GOATS. Search the field, and be prepared to house/care for goats before you get them. Goats can be rewarding experience, especially when you have kids to help mess around with them.

    Best wishes,

  17. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

    As Tammy says, we are big fans of Saanens. Not only are they heavy producers, they are quite mellow and affectionate. Some folks were here this weekend looking at goats and their 6 year old was leading my girls around and then squatting down next to them and playing with their udders. The FF seemed surprised, but the older girls were
    very patient with her.

    Our milk is very tasty. Not as high in butterfat as some Nubians, but pretty high for Saanens (4.5%). Easy to milk too. :) Taste the milk before you buy from a breeder/line.

    Definitely look around. It is very handy to find a breed that you like from a good breeder who is not too long of a drive for you (stud service etc) but eventually you will graduate to your own buck so still pick a breed that appeals to you, not just one of convenience.

    Have fun!
  18. Qvrfullmidwife

    Qvrfullmidwife New Member

    Nubian has highest butterfat but the lamanchas are very close.

    To me it isnt that nubians are loud, more that they are nuts! We rotated the milk stand 45 degrees and they refused to get on the dangthing! Somewhat strong willed--they dont want to do what they dont want to do.

    Lamanchas--sweet as sugar with us, very friendly and easy to manage. We have some LM, tho, that are real bullies with other goats, esp the nubians with those ears!

    Our alpines are curious, inquisitive, and sweet. No issues of temperament here with them, either with us or other goats except for one doeling who faced down a larger nubian who had been dominating the one other lone alpine kid in the pen. Good amts of milk, less butterfat.
  19. Qz Sioux

    Qz Sioux New Member

    I myself didn't do much "homework" on the dairy goats. I went with Nubians because I just love the way they look.

    I had one a LONG time ago that was sweet as stivia (sweeter than sugar). She had a deep "mawl" for a call, and I just adored her. She was so sweet that I had been given a "Spanish" doe that was wild as a March hare and had horns. She was so wild, that we got her out of the truck, she got loose, and took off down the road. I thought I'd never see her again. Three days later, my neighbor called and said she was down at her place but she couldn't get close to her. I took my Border Collie down there, and he caught up to her, and pinned her down until I could get to her. I put Pistol (the Spanish) with Tracy (the Nubian) and within a few days they were best buddies. Within two weeks, I was able to approach Pistol, and just touch her before she would move off. By a week after being able to touch her, I could finally pet her. Within a month after putting her in with Tracy, I was able to move my hands all over that doe, and she started following me around. She did finally "bond" with me, and turned out to be a wonderful sweet doe, just like Tracy. I lost them both to Toxemia. I was so new to goats that I didn't know what was wrong, and by the time I found a mentor, it was too late. They died within days of each other.

    Tracy was disbudded, and was not well taken care of. Her previous owners refused to give CDT shots, due to their religion. This might have saved her, but after reading GK 101, I don't know.

    I had heard that the Nubian was the "Jersey" of milk goats, and I wanted a higher milk fat content. My son and I had tasted her milk, probably a mistake with her being so down, and we loved the taste.

    After having Tracy, I was sold. I had a Saanen at the same time as Tracy, but I found her to be fairly flighty (could have been from how she was raised), but I didn't care for her milk the way I did Tracy's.

    When I had made the decision to own goats this year, I was looking for a Nubian. I had found some La Manchas for sale, and called on them as my search for Nubians wasn't proving to be fruitful. The La Manchas doelings were all sold, so right then I decided it was going to be a Nubian or nothing. At that time, I was willing to ship in what I wanted. I got lucky, and found a doeling for sale on CL. I emailed about her. I found out she had been "sold". SO, I started looking for something to ship in. Two weeks later, the seller contacted me. He told me that the buyer never showed up,answered his calls, called the seller, or emailed. He asked if I was interested, and if so, he would throw in a buckling with her if I wanted a buckling. BOTH are ADGA registered!

    This is why I chose Nubians. I'm NOT saying that they are the best, mine are noisy, but only when they want, or think they want a bottle. Mine are bottle babies, and therefore are the sweetest little kids on the block. My buckling is probably more "bonded" with me than my doeling, but that may be a good thing when he comes into rut. My doeling is sweet too, more relaxed I suppose than my buckling. He wants to climb in my lap if I'm sitting down and be "close" to me. She just wants to chew on my hair and be petted.

    Do your homework, just as others have said. See the different breeds. Don't buy due to convince, I got VERY lucky, and could have made a horribly bad choice.

    Hope this helps,

  20. DostThouHaveMilk

    DostThouHaveMilk New Member

    Being in Ohio we have a large number of goat clubs. Shows are starting up very soon as well.
    If you could mention what part of Ohio you are in, that will help narrow down who to direct you towards.