What breed and other info request...

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by new2goats, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. new2goats

    new2goats Guest

    36
    0
    0
    As most know from my intro post I don't have goats of my own yet but am helping my mother care for some Nigerian Dwarf/Pygmy crosses that were a last minute drop off.

    After meeting the Nigerian Dwarfs I love their cute faces and their small size is very appealing to me as I have toddlers who are very outdoorsy and want to help me with anything I do (meaning they'll be on my tail when I feed ect. ect ;))

    I'm wanting goats (though no more than 4-6 total) to help keep things grazed down and to use for milk (just for my family..no large scale production plans in our future ever, lol).....and of course my kids will think they've just got lucky and talked mommy into MORE pets..lol.

    What (in each of your own opinions) is the best dairy goat to start out with?? What breed of goats do you have and what made you choose them? I'm honestly not familar with all the breeds....Of course I've seen Nubians, Alpines and Nigerian Dwarfs but never have I seen (or heard of honestly) a Lamancha until I joined this group :)

    Also...I honestly do NOT want a buck on the property...I would prefer to have does only. However I know I'd have to have my does bred in order to be able to milk them so do many goat breeders offer stud service out to people like me?

    I have no plans to show or breed just to produce kids so is it nessary that I purchase registered goats?

    Sorry if it seems like a ton of questions.....I'm a dog fanactic and do my best to spread the word about puppymills, BYBers and help people choose reputable breeders (or rescues) for their dogs. I recently lost my beloved Great Dane and even before he was gone I researched breeders for over 2 years before I finally settled on the one my next pup will be coming from and I wasn't sure if I had to be just as careful and cautious about my goat shopping as well. When I was looking for my Dane I attended shows, talked to breeders, looked at pedigrees (obviously) the breeders "track record" at shows and asked for proof on all health test such as OFA, CERF, Thyroid ect. ect Are there any health test that should be done on goats and if so what are they and what sort of proof would I ask for?

    Thanks for your input! :) This board is such a wealth of knowledge!
     
  2. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

    983
    0
    0
    Good for you for asking before you got goats! First, go read all the info you can on CL and CAE. You want to make sure that you don't get this in your herd so you will want to buy from someone who test for these and has a clean herd.
    Beyond that, it really is your preference to what goats most appeal to you. They each have their pros and cons. I have nubians and to some they are loud. But I love the way they look. And they are easy to handle as long as they are use to people. And my children help with the goats. They climb in and out of the pens all the time. In fact, my daughter (who is almost 7 but very small) can lead them to and from the milk stand. So, size might not matter as much as you think.

    If you have registed stock you will get more for the offspring. So you might want to consider that.

    The one thing that I would recommend is do NOT get goats with horns. It is just an accident waiting to happen. The first goats we had (well, they were not really ours but at our house) had horns and were pygmy or nigerian cross so small goats. My daughter was 2 at the time and loved to feed the animals. What I realized as I watched her stand over the bowl pouring the feed was if that goat raised her head she would hit DD right in the eye with her horn! Mind you they were tamed, but accidents do happen. (Not to mention all the times that goat got her head stuck in the fence.) Needless to say those goats went back home and I got new goats.

    As for a buck, you could always raise a buckling, use him and then sell him. If I did not have room to keep a buck that is what I would do. But I would not be without one because then you have to rely on someone else for getting your girls bred.

    Hope all this helps.
    Theresa
     

  3. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    9,442
    1
    0
    I have Nubian, Nigerian Dwarf, LaMancha and Mini LaMancha Love each and everyone of them but do believe if you want a very lovable goat with nice sized teats , easy to milk and easy peazy to handle then you want a couple Mini LaMancha's They are an ideal small homestead goat. But yes you want CAE and CL free goats you do not want horns. Also before you purchase any goats from anyone then when you find what you want contact Vicki via email or pm and ask her opinion of the breeder and the goats.
     
  4. ecftoggs

    ecftoggs New Member

    224
    0
    0
    Crystal,
    Since you have had registered dogs you know the value of a pedigree and a breeder that will stand behind it. Use the same techiques you learned in picking a dog breeder when interviewing a goat breeder. You will learn a lot with one on one discussion, and you will know who you feel comfortable with.
    I will put in a good word for the Toggenburg breed. They are intelligent, quiet, and produce well.
    Tim
     
  5. Secondairy

    Secondairy Member

    157
    0
    16
    In addition to what the others said, you will want to see those current negative test results in person. Ask for the results of fecal exams, and what the breeder uses for parasite control. We test for CAE, CL, Jones, Brucellosis and TB yearly in late summer or early fall prior to breeding. If you are buying a kid, ASK to taste her dam's milk and see if it appeals to you. Milk flavor can vary from doe to doe, and from family to family, and tends to be hereditary. Ask to milk the already fresh doe BEFORE you get her home, to see how she handles milking and handling by her current owner ans a stranger (you). Some goats don't mind at all, while others don't like change and wont let down their milk. Look at the herd as a whole - check for animals with loose, mucousy, or discolored stools, coughing, sneezing, eye, or nose discharge. Look for goats that have trouble walking or are down on their knees in front. Check hooves for the stink of foot rot. The goat you are getting is part of that herd - what you see in the other pens, even if your new purchase looks fine - is what you are potentially bringing home! Horned goats are also a problem, as they can not only hurt each other, but they can also seriously injure their handler on accident. Horned goats can also get their heads stuck in the darnedest places, and getting them out can also pose a problem. Dehorning adult goats can also be problematic, as their horns are part of their skull.

    Registered goats are a personal choice. There are many great goats that are not registered, but the registration will show the family's milk production history and Linear Appraisal scores of the breeders on the pedigree were show, LA and DHIR (dairy herd improvement record) homes. Without the registration and milk records, there is no proof that a doe averaged 12 lbs. of milk on last year's lactation. And registered goats do not always have great production records either if their owners do not show, so really again, it is personal choice. Having an outlet for extra milk is always something to have planned ahead as well. We will be raising a beef calf, and maybe a pig next year on our surplus milk, in addition to cheese and soap making (if I can get the hang of it).

    We have Toggenburgs, which are slightly smaller than Nubians and Saanens, and a little more close to the ground than some Alpine herds. They have longer hair in general, and some are down right shaggy. They do better in colder climates, but they tend to be a little sharper minded in my opinion (not that ANY breed is not smart, but our Toggs are darn near rocket scientists), and if you change up routine, or are planning something like catching one in the field, they ALWAYS know whats up before the others! Toggs are also very high producers as a rule, but some say that their milk is stronger flavored and better suited for cheese making. Purebred Toggs, I noticed tend to have this stronger milk, but our American Toggs are milder flavored. It is not uncommon to get 10+ lbs. of milk per day out of a 2nd or 3rd freshening doe, so that is another consideration. If you have 6 high production does that are giving you near 10 lbs. a day, that is around 60 lbs. of milk each and every day - roughly 7 gallons of milk! Toggs are pretty much monochromatic. Some shade of brown, tan, or fawn with white swiss markings. Black does occur, but only does can be registered that are black. In bucks, it is a serious defect.

    Nigerians can also give a lot of milk, but 3-4 lbs. is much more common. They come in a vast array of colors, have that great small size, but I have noticed they tend to have 'little dog syndrome'. They think they are huge, and will challenge animals triple their size.

    Our late Nubian cross doe was fairly quiet, but a lot of them are very noisy. ALL of her Togg crossed kids have had the "Nubian voice", even though they were erect eared, and straight or dished headed. Nubians work great in warmer climates - they have in general, shorter slicker coats, and those big ears loose heat better. They also come in many colors, including the colorfulness of Moon spots. They also have higher butterfat, and tend to have the mildest tasting milk because of that.

    LaManchas have the love factor going for them! Almost every LaMancha that I have met has been very sweet and loving. I think they must have traded in their ears for a little extra dose of personality. Tattoos are given to them in their tail webbing, as they don't have enough ear for ID. They have two ear types, one is gopher, the other elf. Does can have either, but only bucks with gopher ears can be registered. Gopher ears sort of look like little swiss rolls.

    There are also a number of mini breeds that combine the best of the standard sized goat with the small size of a miniature. Mini Manchas, and Mini Nubinans are the most common, but I have seen a few Mini Toggs as well. unfortunately, most of the mini Toggs that I have seen were not that nice, and most of the Togg attributes that i love about that breed were apparently bred out. Not to say that is always the case though!

    Each breed has it's pros and cons. Really, you need to find a breed that appeals to you. They all require about the same as far as feed (slight differences in quantity),minerals, housing and shelters are concerned. They all require a place for daily exercise. Unlike dogs, as far as I know - and please don't quote me - but the breeds are all about the same as far as temperament. Aggressive dairy goats usually weren't kept around as breeding stock, so the chance to reproduce it was reduced. Nervousness also tended to be something that goes with little tolerance, and major genetic defects were also bred away from. I am sure if you looked, you could find animals that fit that description, but a reputable breeder will not retain them for breeding. They are a liability.

    Hope that helped!

    Kelly :)
     
  6. mill-valley

    mill-valley New Member

    1,045
    0
    0
    As far as the buck situation...I think you will find that most buck owners will be happy to let you breed to their boys as long as you have a clean herd...around here any buck is fair game for the right price :D.

    I'll vote for Alpines. I have both Saanens and Alpines...but I really like the individuality of the Alpines. All different colors, very different attitudes and personalities. The Saanens are very calm and sweet...but not as much personality IMO...really depends on the goat though. Some people don't like how aggressive Alpines are, they have a very definate pecking order. Both breeds milk very well. For home milk consumption you may want to consider mini's because 4-6 standard size does worth their keep will have milk coming out of your ears! Unless you are wanting to get calves/pigs or make cheese or soap...you will be dumping milk.
     
  7. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

    1,918
    1
    0
    Hi there,
    I have Alpines and just love them, but honestly, if you have littles that will be with you in the pens you might just want to stick with the Nigerian Dwarfs or mini LaManchas. Especially if you are not going to be into high milk production. Grown Alpines, Saanens and Nubians alike can be well into the 180-190 or 200+ pound range and that's a lot of weight when stepping on littles' toes or bumping into them. There are people around that lease out a buck for breeding. You just have to ask on here or some of the other lists to see who is near you.
    We usually test for CAE and CL in our herd and that is important as with your dogs. And just like with dogs there are those breeders out there that are... "unscrupulous". Ask around before purchasing.
     
  8. laughter777

    laughter777 New Member

    465
    0
    0
    I second Mini Manchas! Having 1 mini, 1 LM, and 1 LM/Nubian. I have to say the LM and the Mini are the sweetest of the 3, but the LM will get bigger (right now she and the mini are the same size)...so with kiddos I recommend the mini, but I have had goats for all of 3 months!
     
  9. Agape Oaks

    Agape Oaks Guest

    343
    0
    0
    I have Nigerian Dwarfs, a few La Manchas & 1 Mini Mancha....obviously those are my favorites :). If you're wanting just milk for your family a few Nigerians would be enough. They also have the advantage of being year around breeders so you can breed some for spring & some for fall & never have a decrease in milk. For milk production in a small size, nothing beats my mini mancha- she very consistantly milks about 8 pounds ( 1 gallon) per day & is one that I'm planning to just keep milking & not re-breed. Mini Manchas would be less expensive to buy, but also less money for their offspring. Like others have said make sure to check health before buying any goats. It's good that you're doing the research 1st!
     
  10. Goater

    Goater Guest

    36
    0
    0
    We've had Mini-LaManchas for over six years. We chose them for three reasons: size, temperment and milk quality. I can't speak to any of the other mini breeds but the combo of Nigerian and LaMancha is a winner. If you decide to go with mini breeds aim for 3rd generation or higher. The size will be more stable.

    As you are in Texas, I just happen to know of several Mini-LaMancha Breeders who can help you out... ;)
     
  11. LynninTX

    LynninTX New Member

    1,326
    0
    0
    I have LM & Mini LM and a houseful of dc... that is why we chose the LM breed and branched out into the Mini Manchas.

    They are incredibly sweet and gentle...

    This was 2005 we had had goats less than 1 yr... Caleb was 3 then...

    [​IMG]

    My dc assist at births, help hand raise babies, and milk the goats. Caleb now 6 can bring the goats to & from the milk rm and milk with supervision.

    My goat baby yard is my small back yard where my 2 & 4yo play...

    [​IMG]

    As far as breeding... being TX you have access to a few of us depending on where you are, BUT noting heats especially as a newbie and especially with LM or MM is hard... I would not chose to be without a buck. I currently have 4 (2LM & 2MM) and that is how I like it. My bucks though are all hand raised and very gentle and well behaved. My dc handle them easily.

    This is my herdsire with my baby his first yr

    [​IMG]

    Now NO I do not put my baby in my buck yard.... nor let a toddler in without us, but I do not hesitate to do buck chores with a toddler in tow. And my slightly older dc do easily do buck chores alone.
     
  12. hamilton40

    hamilton40 New Member

    90
    0
    0
    I have had several breeds, Nigerian Dwarfs, Pygmies, La Mancha's, Boar's, Nubian's, Mini Nubians, And several mixed breeds over the years. All though they have most all been good friendly goats I am parcial to Nubian's and that is pretty much all I deal with anymore. I do think that Nubian's are the most vacal of all the goats I have owned and are not for some people for that reason. They like to talk to you and can be quit loud at times so make sure your neighbors are far enough away or they don't mind hearing them.

    As for a buck I would not be without at leist one, It makes breeding a lot easeir on you and a lot less stressfull for your does. Not to mention the one main problem you could encounter is that some does will only stand for a buck for a few hours (Does will go into a standing heat for a couple of hours to a couple of days) This could make breeding next to imposible for you.

    Good luck with your new goats when you get them.

    Clay
     
  13. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

    16,497
    4
    0
    Now just cause their small does make them any nicer or easier for children to deal with than the big gals and guys either :) Jace (3 year old) helps me do buck chores with two big ole boys everyday.

    I also recommend mini manchas also. Right now they are less money but if I have anything to do with this and especially with our new breed club, they won't be the step sisters in price for much longer :)

    A doe who milks as much as he larger counterpart on half the alfalfa pellets and 1/4 the grain? Why should she be less money when she makes you more? Vicki
     
  14. Agape Oaks

    Agape Oaks Guest

    343
    0
    0
    I agree Vicki, but reality is that my Mini Mancha freshened in the spring & had some beautiful doelings who were harder to sell for 1/2 the money then the Nigerians. On the most recent DHI test, she milked more then a full sized La Mancha! I'm milking her thru though....why breed & be unable to sell kids for a decent price?
     
  15. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    I don't believe it. Whose full size LaMancha? I can't imagine a MM out milking one of my full size LaManchas or Nubians.

    It really depends on what you want. I think we all end up with breeds that closely match our personalities. I have Nubians and LaManchas and wouldn't breed anything else. You'll never catch me on the mini bandwagon. I love my big (and quiet!) goats. :)

    Sara
     
  16. LynninTX

    LynninTX New Member

    1,326
    0
    0
    OH I agree every one of those pics is a LM not a MM!!

    Well one of my MM milks 8+lbs a day... and passed 9lbs during her peak. She ranks as my 2nd to 3rd highest milker each day.
     
  17. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    That's what I thought. My FF milk more than 9# when they are first fresh.

    Still, a good amount for a smaller doe. Can anyone tell me what the butterfat runs on MM? I am guessing that few are enrolled in DHIR. Does anyone on here have their MM on test? Agape, what does the butterfat run on your doe?

    Sara
     
  18. Yes, our yearling Alpines this year all milked between 12.5 and 14.5 at peak.

    I'll put another vote for Alpines and I've had every breed but Obers.
    Alpines are smart, affectionate, loyal, beautiful, quiet, and excellent producers.
     
  19. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms Guest

    171
    0
    0
    Ahem Sara - don't write off those minis too fast. I remember a time when all you wanted were Nubians.

    I am going to suggest that you visit several breeders and meet their goats. Eventually you will find a breed/size that will match what you are looking for. We tried Nubians and a couple other breeds and they weren't for us. We have Alpines and Nigerians now and they match what we need for our farm. Our Alpines all have decent temperaments. We won't allow mean goats on our place and therefore they are gentle and easy going and honestly, I'd think they're be better for smaller humans than a spunky, determined ND (we still have a couple of in our herd).
    LOL - maybe just figure out which breed you look the most like (personality counts too of course) and go with them... that is my theory on people's breed choice.
     
  20. Agape Oaks

    Agape Oaks Guest

    343
    0
    0
    It was my mini mancha & my La Mancha....both second fresheners. This minimancha is one incredible milker. On milk test the 2 were close, but the mini did outmilk the full sized doe.