Best Breed for family with little children

Discussion in 'Goats' started by MN Mom, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. MN Mom

    MN Mom Well-Known Member

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    We are hoping to get some goats & sheep in the spring, but we have 3 little children(won't say kids, because I don't want it to get too confusing!! ). Our children are ages 5, almost 4 and 1. We don't plan to have our children out with the animals by themselves, but I thought maybe some of ya'll might have some recommendations on a super gentle breed or one that might be the best for our situation. Our other issue is this is our first shot at goats/sheep, so if you also have any recommendations on a good first timer breed. :) Thanks so much. Sara
     
  2. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

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    I am taking it for granted you want "Dairy Breeds?" This is just my opinion of course, but Nubians are bigger and typically more verbal... if that doesn't scare you or the lil children, they are also more gentle and layed back than swiss breeds. While I love the Toggenburgs and Alpines, they are bouncy and FULL of energy. Saanans are also fairly laid back compared to the swiss breeds, but since their colors tend to be white/off white, lil children tend to like "colored breeds" better. La Manchas I have very little experience with... only had one in my life. Oberhaslis are bouncy while young, but mature quite nicley into calm, loving goats... they tend to be a tad smaller than the swiss breeds.

    Kaza
     

  3. sdg

    sdg Active Member

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    I raise pygmys (goats) and they are wonderful with my kids. They aren't to big so younger children are not scared of them and are full of personality. they aren't "milk" goats , if thats what you are looking for. I agree with Kaza, though, my experince has only been with raising pygmys.
     
  4. chma4

    chma4 Wolverton Family Farm Supporter

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    I breed nigerians. My kids loove them and they are very gentle. Pygmies are small to, but I found them to be a bit agressive. NIgerians have the "puppy-dog" mantality. Very gentle and social. They also come in a wide variety of colors and markings. They are ecellent little milk machines as a bonus. Being small they eat less and of coarse, make less mess. Not to mention easier to fence and house. But I may be partial=)
     
  5. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I personally would reccomend Nubians or Lamanchas. Both breeds are very gentle and laid back. Of course that also depends on the individual goat, so buy for those qualities. Children LOVE the long ears on the Nubians.=)
    Alpines are a bit more pushy and are not my favorite breed. Saanens are sweet, but are usually all white and I like more color.
    If you don't care if its a meat breed, you can try Boers. They are very gentle and sweet too. There again, it depends on the individual, so buy for those traits. Good luck!=)

    Emily Dixon
    Ozark Jewels
    Boers, Nubians, Lamanchas and Alpines
     
  6. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    Our Boer goats have proven themselves to be by far the gentlest and most friendly goats that we could ever ask for.
     
  7. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    Well, I have a variety. The two Nigerian dwarf does are not particularly friendly, but they were raised in a herd and not handled much. The Alpine (bottle-raised) doeling is a brat but we love her anyway. The Nubian cross doeling is very sweet and gentle - she was dam-raised but adjusted very quickly to us.. The Saanen that we just got on Monday is also very sweet and gentle - she has shown and is used to being handmilked. None of them are nasty, but the doelings can be a bit rambunctious at times - guess that's the nature of kids, goats and humans!
     
  8. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

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    Between my Alpines and Nubians. I do agree with what was said before...The Alpines have a spunk personality, but Nubians are so very mellow in contrast. Easier to fence, too, for my experiences. My Alpines have always been jumpers and climbers, as in pole-vault technic without the pole. Deb
     
  9. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    First I will say come over to the Yahoo group Minnesota Dairy Goat Association! Also come to the January dairy goat conference at the U of MN- good info. for anyone in goats.

    I am totally biased towards Toggenburgs. Mine are sweet and gentle (with people). My two five month old doelings spent most of the State Fair getting hugged and petted by small children and they loved it.

    Shoot me a PM if you'd like names of breeders near you. I know a gal who will have some very nice milking Toggs for sale this spring, and her goats are handled by children all the time. (Not me)
     
  10. trnubian

    trnubian Twin-Reflection Nubians

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    Nubians are sweet and loving but can be hard to handle when there is something not to their liking.

    Since you have little one I would go with hand raised nigerians. They are small, colorful, cute, friendly (when raised right), and milk well for their size. They are becoming more and more popular.

    Pygmies are cute, but (in my opinion and experiences) hateful little goats who want nothing to do with you. This has just been my experiences with them every year at the county fair shows I help at. I have herd many people here say that they are wonderful. it's up to you to decide for yourself.
     
  11. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    i have never met a pygmy that was raised to be tame be "hateful".
     
  12. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have children (still hoping), but I do have a little Min Pin Dog that thinks that goats are so much fun to play with. So far she has only been around Nigerians. I have two cats and seven rabbits but they aren't as playful as she would like.
     
  13. Farmboy

    Farmboy Well-Known Member

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    I have several breeds and crosses, and by far the calmest and most friendly are my nubians and Nigerian dwarf. The Nigerian is especially "lovey".
    Our others tend to be active and "bratty", ESPECIALLY the Oberhaslis. As far as sheep go, I would recomend St. Croix. They're a gentle and friendly (if handled) hair sheep and don't need to be shorn. They get along very well with our goats. But they are all white. :cowboy:
     
  14. coso

    coso Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have two children a two and a four year old. We have Toggs and LaManchas. The children do fine with both breeds. They get in the pens with them, lead them around, lay on them, whatever never had a problem. However I would have to say the LaManchas are more laid back toward other goats in general and in there temperament. My .02.
     
  15. Trisha-MN

    Trisha-MN www.BilriteFarms.com

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    Sara:

    Where in MN are you? There are several Nigerian Dwarf breeders in the state but I'd like to recommend that you go out and meet some Kinder goats :)
    They are very gentle goats and I think they may be what you're looking for.

    We're in NW MN but I know of two other people with Kinders in MN also, one by Rogers and the other down by Austin.

    Trisha-MN
     
  16. Eunice

    Eunice Well-Known Member

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    I am totally prejudiced. I love our Alpines. We have a four year old doe loaned out right now to a family with little children allergic to cow's milk. She has so taken with the family. They say she is easier to handle than their dog because she doesn't chew everything up. The chidren and Carmel all play happily together in the back yard.

    I think that the main issue with having children around goats is to NOT have horns. There are pleasant goats, brat goats and rascals in every breed. A lot has to do with how they were raised.
     
  17. Blue Oak Ranch

    Blue Oak Ranch Well-Known Member

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    Best of both worlds - Miniature dairy goats!

    I breed Mini Nubians, and love their personalities. Super sweet, not as pushy as the large Nubians, easier to handle because of their smaller size, lots of milk, and those lovely fun ears! :goodjob:

    http://www.miniaturedairygoats.com/

    Cheers!

    Katherine

    Blue Oak Ranch
    www.blueoakranchsb.com
     
  18. HunterTed

    HunterTed Rockin B Farm

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    To be totally unbiased I will say that it depends on the goat not the breed. I raise Boers and all of them are gentle as kittens, but I have raised them that way. I have a lone Alpine that I would not trust around a child at all. But I have seen a bunch of Alpines that are as gentle as my Boers. On the other hand I have seen Boers that weren't good around small children. My twin 3 year old nephews have a pet Boer buck that is so gentle around them that it is almost freaky. He allows them to climb all over them and has never offered to be anything but a gentleman around them. Yes I would agree with some that the smaller children would do better with a small breed such as Pygmies or Nigerians since they stay small, if the child has not had much exposure to goats. I would imagine that a 300 lb Boer goat would be a little intimidating to a small child that has never had much exposure to goats. Now all my nephews and cousins have been raised right along with goats since they were born so they do not seem to be intimidated by their large size.
     
  19. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Another vote for Miniature dairy goats. I have Mini Lamanchas and Mini-Oberhasli and am so very pleased with them that I've sold all my Nigerians, Standard Lamanchas, and all but one Oberhasli (retired herd queen). Gentle, hardy, loving, easy keepers and GREAT milk producers. I've got pics and descriptions on my website, www.glimmercroft.com . Check 'em out!
     
  20. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    As you can see from all the posts, I don't think there is any one breed who can claim gentleness and friendliness over the others. Most often it's how a goat is raised and most bottle feds of any breed are pretty docile. Nubians, however do seem to be a bit more laid back than many of the standard breeds. As a nigie breeder of course I'm prejudiced. The only reason I would favor them over another breed is simply their size. This makes them an ideal choice around small children.