Deciding on breeds.... (I'm having major difficulties, here)

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Xandras_Zoo, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Ok... so... I have my goat house planned out, and am now deciding on a final breed. I though 3 breeds would be nice- 3 goats to start with, and then more could be added, if I felt like keeping the kids. 3 goat= 3 breeds. So far, I like Alpines and Oberhaslies. Now, I'm looking for a LONG HAIRED GOAT. It's gotta be pretty, and's gotta be good for something besides eating. I don't really like Angoras, their hair is too curly. And Toggs are supposed to be skittish and have off-flavored milk. I can just see myself turning my nose up at it.

    THESE are nice goats. Norwegian Dairy Goats. Sadly, I think they only reside in Norway.
    http://natur.bildene.no/search_resu...arch=fromSearch&btnSearch.x=17&btnSearch.y=11

    Please... is there anything out there?
     
  2. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I hate to throw a spanner in the works, but have you thought about buck service for all these does?? It's much easier to manage one breed at a time, believe me! Unless you can afford to keep a buck for each doe (and then you take a risk of having the wrong buck jump the fence and breed a doe you planned to breed to someone else -- just ask anyone here who keeps more than one breed! That's why my doe Opal is half Boer instead of purebred Oberhasli!), you'll really be better off, at least to start out with, if you concentrate on one breed. And, unless you plan to keep a buck yourself, you should probably look around your area and find a breeder with good animals, and then get the same breed she (or he) has so you don't have to travel all over kingdom come with a doe in heat in the back of your car, LOL!

    If you are looking for good-flavored milk, Nubians have the best flavored milk I've had, except for the milk from my Kinder doe, which is wonderful. I've had off-flavored milk from Alpine, Togg, and Saanan does. Have never had LaManchas or purebred Oberhaslis, so can't comment on them. My BoerXOberhasli doe has really good milk, too. I know a lot of people will tell you that all the breeds have good milk, and to some extent that is true. For one thing, sanitation has a lot to do with milk flavor. But my girls would only drink goat milk *in* something, like chocolate, until I got the Nubians a few years ago. (Don't have them now, as I moved across country -- now I have Kinders and the OberXBoer doe.)

    I've heard, but can't verify, that Oberhasli milk is generally pretty good, too. As far as the long hair is concerned, have you looked into Golden Guernseys? There are a few of these in this country, not purebred, as they are being bred up with AI, but if you can afford one, they should have the long hair you are looking for. I don't know about their milk.

    Hope this helps.

    Kathleen
     

  3. billooo2

    billooo2 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I vote for the Alpines......:) My personal favorite....and that is what I have.

    If you would like a "long haired" goat, for the future you might consider Golden Guernsey goats.
    http://www.goldenguernseygoat.org.uk/

    I say "for the future," because there none here in the states at this point in time. Some breeders are using Golden Gurensey semen (imported from the UK) on alpines (and maybe other swiss breeds) to eventually "breed up" to an animal that could be registered with the British Goat Society as something similar to our "American" Alpines with ADGA.......but they would be a "British Guernsey."

    I love my Alpines!!!!!!....and they are addictive!!!!

    Just curious....why start out with different breeds???? Why not just one breed to start with.....less hassle finding bucks to breed to, etc.
     
  4. HunterTed

    HunterTed Rockin B Farm

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    Gonna have to agree with you. I don't have a need to keep a buck for my goats due to the fact that my uncle who lives a couple of miles away has 2 Boer bucks. And I just use his when I need them. But for a while I tried to keep a couple of different kinds of sheep. Kept the rams in one pasture and the ewes in another pasture. When I wanted to breed a ewe I would put her and the ram in my barn lot till she got bred. Was way too much trouble. Sometimes I have to put all the sheep together for a while and the wrong breed ram would breed a ewe. Crossbred lambs do not fit in my breeding program well so I ended up choosing just one breed (Barbados) and have been pleased with my choice ever since. Was going to buy some Dorper ewes but have since decided against it and just ended up buying more goats and Barbado ewes.

    I would just try and concentrate on having one breed if I were you IMO unless you have a ton of spare time on your hands.
     
  5. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for the fast replies!

    I have been thinking about bucks, actually. A ton of Alpines around here. No Obers. This is just what is registered with the Canadian Goat Association. I'll have to check unregistered animals too. I must have at least the alpines and the obers. Some people see a breed that they like and love it to death. Me, I try, really hard to just concentrate on one breed, but I can't. It's mentally impossible for me. See, the Alpines come in so many different colors, it's really quite specatular. But Oberhaslies look like deer, and I have a strong affection for domestic animals that look like wild animals. If I were to just get the obers, and the are my favorite, then I would get bored with the same old brown and black. If I got just the alpines, I would miss the obers. I hate making desicions so much, I'd rather have the hassle.

    Anyways, the golden guernsey is very beautiful, but if I'm going to have to import something, I'm gonna go with the Norwegians. One reason I like the Norwegians is 'cause they look like they'd make beautiful packers. I'd expect it'd cost thousands to import them though?
     
  6. windyhollowfarm

    windyhollowfarm Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with sticking to one breed. Finally, last year I started with Saanens on the side after concentrating on my Nubians for 3-4 years. However, my Nubians are and always will be my main breed. The Saanens are very few in numbers. One breed would be best especially for a beginner. Unless they are just pets. With bucks and breeding if you dont care about mixed babies you could easily find bucks.
     
  7. allenslabs

    allenslabs Saanen & Boer Breeder

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    I have a Saanen that I milk and her milk is wonderful I think. She is pretty sweet and has been a wonderful beginner goat for me and she was a first time freshener. I'm gonna be getting a nubian at the end of this month and I have 2 alpine does and they do come in so many numbers that it is fun! Hope you find what you like!!
     
  8. billooo2

    billooo2 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    about importing goats.....not only expensive, but it is against the law to import from certain countries. That is why the breeders are trying to breed up the golden guernseys......it is illegal to import any of those goats from England.
     
  9. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Xandras is in Canada, so it might be easier for her to get goats imported than it would be for us here in the States.

    Kathleen
     
  10. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    What I ended up doing on the goats, because I couldn't decide, was to get several of each of the breeds I was interested in. I grew up with Nubians, so have three of those. I was very interested in Alpines, so have two Alpine girls. I will give it a year of milking, and compare the milk from the two breeds, as to how it suits our tastes and purposes (lots of cheese making), and then I'll choose one breed and sell the other.

    I must admit, I much prefer the look of the Nubian to the Alpine. I also prefer the way they feel. Of my bunch, one Alpine is my favorite personality wise, but her sister makes me crazy! The Nubians all range inbetween those two. I won't let myself choose based on personality of the individuals, though...I'm waiting for milk /cheese tests!

    It's amazing how addictive goats are, isn't it?
    Meg
     
  11. greenacres

    greenacres Well-Known Member

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    Lamanchas are my favorite. They are so sweet and docile. And they come in many different colors.
     
  12. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

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    I'm too curly? But, I'm so *cute*!

    [​IMG]

    Seriously, if you like fiber goats, but don't want too many diff. breeds, maybe keep a wether for the fiber. Right now I just have the one colored Angora wether, but he's a real sweet guy!
     
  13. nappy

    nappy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I also love the look of the Oberhasli but I found nearly the same markings and coloring in an Alpine. For Oberhaslis you may need to travel a long distance to find a milking doe let alone the buck to later breed her to. Alpines are easily located and have so many combinations of markings/coloring that it's exciting just to see what the kids will look like when born. I have one French Alpine chamoisee (any shade of brown) doe with black legs, face, ears, belly, and line down the back (very much like the Oberhasli markings) who just kidded with a doeling who has some of those darker markings but with white legs, a black line down the back, and a black underbelly. My theory (and probably not original) is that since these goats came from the same region of Europe (in the Alps) they probably originated from the same family of goats, and the resulting breeds were then fine tuned into the individual breeds we see today. The taste of their milk more often is due to the feed given, cleanliness, and prompt refrigeration of the milk. That said, there are some goats whose milk will never taste great, and I don't think the breed really matters. Some goats give lots of milk (the all white Saanen) and some have a high cream content (multi-colored long-earred Nubians). But as others have said it's best to stick to one breed. Have fun choosing your goats.

    Nappy
     
  14. JoAnne in CA

    JoAnne in CA Well-Known Member

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    OK, if angoras are too curly for you, I vote for pygoras--a cross between an angora and a pygmy. There are 3 fiber types, from curly to a soft cloud-like cashmere. I chose the pygora as my homestead goat for their all-around versatility: they are a small goat (important to me at my age!), their fiber is sought after by hand spinners, they can be milked, wethers taught to pack and pull, can provide meat, and they've got the sweet dispositions of the angora. A breeder near me uses hers as therapy animals in convalescent homes and schools. I am no expert. I just got my two girls in January, but have another doeling and a wether coming next month. I am hooked! (PS-The breeder who I purchased my eight-month-old doeling from had already sold her first fleece for $50)
     
  15. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    As I understand it, when Oberhaslis first came to this country, they were registered as Alpines. It is only fairly recently that they were separated out and given their own registry. So it wouldn't be too surprising to find Alpines that still had Oberhasli coloring.


    As far as milk flavor is concerned, it seems to have a lot to do with milkfat content (in addition to the other things mentioned, such as feed and cleanliness). The higher the milkfat, the better the milk tastes. I had had Toggs, Alpines, and a Saanen up until a few years ago. Then I got Nubians, and was really pleased at the flavor of their milk. Now I have Kinders, which have even richer milk than a Nubian, and their milk is wonderful!

    Kathleen