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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have Nigerian Dwarfs as my main herd but still breed some Pygmy goats since they are soooo cute. I am looking for other mini-breeds, or other standard dairy breeds to downsize to mini.<br><br>
Anyone else have dairy goats on MDC?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Yes yes yes!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I have Nigerian Dwarves too! Four of them (three does and wether). They are so cool. I had big plans to breed a little bit and have milk for our own use...but they've ended up just being pets! I tried to breed one doe a few years ago, but her "date" had other commitments in another state and she didn't settle before he had to move on. Since then I haven't tried again, for one reason or another...two of my does are registered, but not to me, and I haven't had much luck tracking down people and getting all of their paperwork straight, and I didn't want to breed them until I had that organized. And my one doe who is registered to me...all of the bucks close by are too closely related, so I'd have to make arrangements for her to travel or borrow a buck from out of the area....and then just when I think I have myself organized and I'm really ready to have some kids on the ground, something comes up and I have too many doubts that I can handle daily milking....it's always something! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: But I love my goats, they are great fun and so sweet.<br><br>
You might find more goat people on the country living/off the grid forum in mindful home management. I seem to remember there being a few goat posts over there, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Crunchie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7277221"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yes yes yes!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I have Nigerian Dwarves too! Four of them (three does and wether). They are so cool. I had big plans to breed a little bit and have milk for our own use...but they've ended up just being pets! I tried to breed one doe a few years ago, but her "date" had other commitments in another state and she didn't settle before he had to move on. Since then I haven't tried again, for one reason or another...two of my does are registered, but not to me, and I haven't had much luck tracking down people and getting all of their paperwork straight, and I didn't want to breed them until I had that organized. And my one doe who is registered to me...all of the bucks close by are too closely related, so I'd have to make arrangements for her to travel or borrow a buck from out of the area....and then just when I think I have myself organized and I'm really ready to have some kids on the ground, something comes up and I have too many doubts that I can handle daily milking....it's always something! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: But I love my goats, they are great fun and so sweet.<br><br>
You might find more goat people on the country living/off the grid forum in mindful home management. I seem to remember there being a few goat posts over there, too.</div>
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You mentioned the bucks being too closely related. If you go to <a href="http://www.fiascofarm.com" target="_blank">www.fiascofarm.com</a> you can see a detailed explanation for line breeding. In the human world we would call inbreeding, but in the goat world it is called line breeding and widely accepted to get the best of the best breed.<br><br>
For example: I have two ND bucks, two ND does. For coloring and blue eyes, I bred a black & white buck to a black & white doe. They are father/daughter. The other buck & doe are unrelated. They are both currently bred and due to kid in March and one in April. But once the kids have weaned and the does are back up to par at some point the reverse will be done. A black & white doe to a brown & white buck etc.<br><br>
I got into goats just for the milk and this is our first kidding season. The nanny goat will be fine milking, but the other will be a handfull to milk I am afraid.<br><br>
I am currently looking for a Nubian doe & expecting to get an Alpine in March that is already a good milker. I want to breed a Nubian doe to one of my ND bucks to make a 1st Generation Mini-Nubian and so on. I am pregnant myself with #5, but will manage some how. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I wouldn't do a close breeding in dairy goats without knowing what you're doing--and that means really knowing pedigrees. We did some linebreeding and we bought does from some closely bred herds, but it concentrates bad traits as much as it does good ones. Goats is how I learned breeding, and I had some great teachers. My Saanen mentor did a pretty extensive linebreeding on a very valuable buck of hers and she got all SORTS of interesting things (many of them bad). Across the general spectrum of goat-dom, it is only the spectacular bucks that are really linebred on. Close breeding for its own sake doesn't get you anywhere; you have to pick an outstanding ancestor and concentrate the breeding on that individual for specific reasons--and even then you've got to outcross all the time or you end up with a herd that's plague-prone.<br><br>
IF the close buck represents a true improvement in dairy character, udder attachment, and production, it's probably a worthwhile cross. But if he's just a convenient NG buck with no special characteristics, there's no use in using him.<br><br>
Since the NG is a breed that's supposed to be just as dairy as the larger breeds, it's very important to be moving toward better production, better udders, and so on, not just a cute goat that's little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The old saying goes: "If it works it's called Line-breeding and if it doesn't, it's called Inbreeding." This saying puts a very complicated subject very simply, but it has some truth in it. I also like to say: "There is no better way to improve your herd than with Line-breeding, BUT there is also no better way to ruin a herd."<br><br>
Line breeding (breeding closely related animals) can quickly improve a herd because the good qualities of the animals get accentuated. BUT the bad qualities are also accentuated. Because of this, you have to think about what you are doing, look at the animals and use your head. You can't just simply go by some arbitrary "rule" like "it's OK be breed grandfather to granddaughter", but look at the individual goats and decide if their particular good traits out weigh the bad traits.<br><br>
Since we only keep very good bucks, we do not worry that much about "bad" traits, since if our buck had discernable bad traits, we wouldn't use him for breeding purposes. We do do a lot of Line-breeding with our herd.<br><br>
The only hard and fast rule that I know of is do not breed a full brother and full sister. In some circumstances, it is ok to breed father to daughter, but we hardly ever do that. We much prefer to breed grandfather to granddaughter, uncles to niece, etc.<br><br>
I would recommend that unless you are an experienced breeder with good stock, you will probably have healthier animals by starting out incorporating genetic diversity into your herd as opposed to Line-breeding; start out with a buck that is totally unrelated to any of your does, and then work from there. Eventually you can't help but Line-breed because no one that I know can afford to buy a new buck every year. The most important thing is to start with good stock and keep more than one buck so you are not forced to keep breeding the same buck to all your does every year.<br><br><br>
It's really just common sense. Don't use a buck solely because he has a penis. Always try to "breed up". Look for a buck where he, and his family, look better in body and udder than your own does and also look at temperament. Never use a buck that you know nothing about (if you can help it). You should decide what you want to see in your kids, and look for this in the buck you are considering and his family.<br><br>
Look at the buck. Does he have the conformation (body style and shape) you desire in your kids? If a buck has bad conformation (body style and shape), he isn't going to produce kids with good conformation. Is he strong and healthy?<br><br>
Look at the buck's family. Look at the buck's MOTHER. What is her udder like? You want the very best attachments (the udder is held up high to the body and not saggy and hanging low). If the mother has a crappy udder, her son is not going to "throw" (give to his kids) good ones. Look at the buck's father's mother (if possible). Does she have a good udder and body? If the buck has a sister, she would be a good one to look at. How is her udder and body? Of course if the buck has other kids, you can look at them.<br><br>
That about sums it up!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Yep. All that is why I went with the advice of my local breeder friend (who suggested I did not breed to her buck at the time--the grandfather of my doe)--instead of trying to figure it all out myself! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Seriously, I am interested in learning more about bloodlines and breeding but so far just haven't educated myself as well as I could be. Which is why, like I said, I'll rely on the expertise of others to help me pick a good match if/when I do breed. I don't need superstars in the show ring, but I do want to only breed quality, healthy goats. I'm not looking to breed as a business--I only want to do it occasionally--but that will still mean I may have to sell a few along the way, and I only want to breed animals that have the best chance of finding good homes. The only way they're going to find good homes is if they are nice goats and someone wants them in their breeding program! I've been told that the does I have are nice and have great bloodlines (dairy/udders/milk production), so hopefully, if I'm smart (get good help/advice and educate myself) about the right match, I'll end up with nice kids.<br><br>
That's my plan, anyway (or lack of?) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
By the way, how old is too old to breed a doe for the first time? I'm also worried that now that I've put this off for so long, my girls may just be too old. I have one (I believe she is 8, I have her papers, just have to dig them up to verify) who has had kids (I have one of her daughters) but both the daughter of that doe and my other unrelated doe have never been bred. I believe they are 5 or 6 years old now...I'd have to check their paperwork to be sure.
 

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I am not a goat breeder by any means- but we have had some baby goats born at our farm. We have Angoras. I just thought I'd toss out the idea of Pygoras if you hadn't already considered that- seems you want to stay with small goats- but if you didn't want to go dairy- you might like to go hairy!<br><br>
If you go to my blog... and then go back to the Archives from April- you'll see pictures from the babies who were born last spring. In there I have a very touching photo of a very aged doe who had never concieved before despite having lived years with full acess to a buck- but for whatever reason, in her old age she finally took and gave birth to a beautiful healthy pair of twins who she enjoyed very much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Sarah</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7287450"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am not a goat breeder by any means- but we have had some baby goats born at our farm. We have Angoras. I just thought I'd toss out the idea of Pygoras if you hadn't already considered that- seems you want to stay with small goats- but if you didn't want to go dairy- you might like to go hairy!<br><br>
If you go to my blog... and then go back to the Archives from April- you'll see pictures from the babies who were born last spring. In there I have a very touching photo of a very aged doe who had never concieved before despite having lived years with full acess to a buck- but for whatever reason, in her old age she finally took and gave birth to a beautiful healthy pair of twins who she enjoyed very much.</div>
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I have only seen pictures of Pygoras and they are very pretty! I have considered getting a Angora or borrowing a buck just to breed with my Pygmy doe. Wow! I can't believe your doe went years without conceiving then finally did. Weird things to happen to females, in human and animal worlds!
 

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I was going to recommend Pygoras too! I have a couple of colored Angoras (black badgerface) in addition to my sheep - a wether & a bred doe (I have friend who raises them). Here's my wether as a kid: <a href="http://shahbazinanatolianshepherds.com/images/phobro2.jpg" target="_blank">http://shahbazinanatolianshepherds.c...es/phobro2.jpg</a><br>
and here's Griffin as an adult: <a href="http://shahbazinanatolianshepherds.com/images/goat2ewe.jpg" target="_blank">http://shahbazinanatolianshepherds.c...s/goat2ewe.jpg</a><br>
My little doe looks just like him, but smaller.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Crunchie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7285954"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">By the way, how old is too old to breed a doe for the first time? I'm also worried that now that I've put this off for so long, my girls may just be too old. I have one (I believe she is 8, I have her papers, just have to dig them up to verify) who has had kids (I have one of her daughters) but both the daughter of that doe and my other unrelated doe have never been bred. I believe they are 5 or 6 years old now...I'd have to check their paperwork to be sure.</div>
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You can breed them, but be VERY careful. Be ready to call for a c-section if they can't push the babies out.<br><br>
The trouble with waiting to breed is that the pelvis calcifies and is a little tighter than that of a doe who has successfully had a baby. I don't think that means you shouldn't breed them, but you shouldn't just think you can go to bed and wake up and there will be babies. You'll need to keep a close eye on the does.
 
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