Diamond as a 6 year old. She was awarded, GRAND-CHAMPION NUBIAN,
and BEST OF BREED in an ADGA show where this picture was taken..
It has been many years since we have shown in AMERICAN DAIRY GOAT ASSOCIATION shows, however we still have a nice herd of does.
Diamond was killed in the fall after this picture was taken by the neighbors dogs. I had a pen of over 20 does to choose from and they picked her. Sad day at our house. We used her buck kid for many years as our herd Sire until he died of old age.
When purchasing a goat there are several factors that you should consider.
1. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE GOAT.
Are you going to show? Kids's 4-H PROJECT? Milk only? Registered or not? Evaluate the role the goat will have.
2. WHAT BREED OF GOAT DO I PURCHASE?
Visit several breeders and find out why they have chosen that particulat breed. Study the pros and cons of every breed. There is not a breed better than another, they all have specific traits, personalities and functions, find which breeds best fits your needs.
3. DO I HAVE PROPER HOUSING, FENCING AND LAND
Goats need a shelter to keep them out of the weather and heat. Room to jump and play. Fences that are tall, strong, and sturdy. Goats are intelligent, can open gates and find a way to escape if at all possible.
4. MAKE SURE THE GOATS ARE CAE FREE, TB FREE AND IN GOOD HEALTH
CAE is a debilitating arthritic disease and will spread throughout your herd. It will eventually kill the animal. I even question drinking the milk from an infected animal. These test can be preformed by a local vet.
If the purpose of buying a goat is for milk several considerations need to be made. How does the udder look, will it hold up to years of milking, it it attached well, are the teats milkable, have there been any infections, what is the amount of milk produced? Milk the goat before buying. Different breeds give different amounts of milk and variable butterfat content. If you are making cheese the Nubians are highest in butterfat content. Our girls tested between 6 and 7% in DHIA testing. The milk is a little sweeter also. If you are after volume the Saneen give a high volume of milk, but with very lower butter fat. However my Nubian girls give well over a gallon a day and some even over 2 gallons a day. The alpine is a dual purpose breed, a good volume of milk, medium range butterfat, they are also the breed most prefered for packing. The Lamanchas are a little smaller, gentle and moderate milk producers. We had our little miss piggy for many years. We have had all the breeds in our past 27 years. We have had more than 25 milkers on the milk string, which we milked by hand. We prefer the Nubians. If you are buying a goat to milk, pay the price for a good milker. Your investment will be returned within a short time.
This is PLUM as a 2 year old. Notice the udder attachment in the fore- udder. It should blend smoothly into the under-belly. The rear udder should be well rounded and connected to the thighs. The teats should be well placed and uniform. Plum died last year. She had triplets. She produced 30+ kids over the years. Her udder looked the same as the above picture after kidding 14 times and 14 years of milking. We miss you PLUM. May your pastures always be green!
SUGAR, on the left, is PLUMS dam. Sugar always showed against Diamond, giving her a challenge in every ring. Sugar died year before last at 14 years old also. I miss her the most. The life expecancy of a goat is about 9 years unless you spoil them like we do. Absoutly the best alfalfa hay I can buy, free fed, grain of superior quality and lots of attention.
6. BREED TO THE BEST BUCK YOU CAN
Always pay the price for a good breeding. Many people who have goats do not do any outside breeding to keep disease out of their herds. Myself included. There-fore it makes it difficult for those who have goats, but cannot keep a buck. A.I. is an option. Check with your local vet and see if it would be available. You can have a good selection of bucks to choose from. Please always breed to the best available option. If we are adding goats to the population lets take our responsibility seriously.