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Goat Breed Personalities, etc.

15803 Views 21 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  outofmire
Which breed do you have.....and how would you describe the breeds personality in general? Also, how is their overall health and milk production.

I have a nigerian dwarf and mini-mancha and am considering a full sized breed next.

I've heard the following about these breeds....correct me if I'm way off.

Obers....haven't heard much except that they're hardy
Saanens.....lots of milk....gentle disposition
Lamancha....gental disposition, naturally healthy
Nubian....Least naturally healthy, best butterfat
Alpine.....bossy personality, good milk, hardy animals
Toggenburgs.....sorry but the only thing I've heard is that they sometimes can have bad tasting milk...although I'm sure that is probably a management problem

I thought I had my mind made up about Lamanchas because of their willingness to be milked etc. etc. Well, I love my minimancha, but she is a stinker. I don't see a lot of willingness in her. And she calls for me if she even hears my voice...sortof a complaining, bossy "maaaaaa". My nigerian is a lot sweeter by comparison....even her call is so sweet and soft.

I'm looking for hardiness, and sweet disposition.
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Hi, I raise Toggs now. I also kept my old alpine. She looks just like a black togg.
You are right. It is how you handle the milk that makes a difference in the taste.
My girls have milk that tastes just like fresh store bought milk. No one knows the difference but me. :) I think good cold goat milk tastes the best!

My goats all have different personalities. Some are harder than others to get to warm up to you. I don't think that has anything to do with breed either. I had a LaMancha that was a b----! As she got older she got a little easier to handle but never real friendly. They are supposed to be the sweetest. She never read that book! :haha: It took years to get Molly, my oldest doe to let me walk up to here. Now that I milk her everyday she is a sweetheart. The trick is just to handle them a lot.

All my kids are dam raised but run up to me everytime I go into the pasture. I learned how to tame them from the lady that owns Fiasco Farms and it really does work. I don't give them treats much anymore but I do give them lots of hugs and praise. I sell only tame, sweet goats!
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We have 1 ober, 2 nubians, and 1 alpine. We love them all but as far a friendly goes, the nubians win that award. They are like dogs and come running when called and they loved to be brushed and scratched. Our nubian is young and this is her first time to milk but she gives wonderful tasting milk and my family prefers it over the others but ours in not giving "a lot" only a bit over 1/2 gal a day. our standoffish one is the alpine, I have to get onto her sometimes because she is the bossy one and will not let the other goats into the house if it rains but then again, she is a take charge kind of gal too...the other day, one of my nubian babies had her head stuck in the wire hay feeder and my alpine beat the crap out of the wall to help the baby get her head out. This alpine is moody but she is the queen. She gives us a lot of good milk and is worth the work she gives up over a gal a day. Now, the ober that we have is so wonderful. she is spoiled (she was our first goat) she have not been breed so we have not ever milked her but her personallity is so sweet. She is very, very, smart. She is the one that learns to open the gate latches by watching us and the one that can figure out how to work all the gismos that we don't want her to know. I have hear that they have wonderful milk and we cant wait to find out. My mother always calls her "the beautiful one" because she is a very pretty goat,very graceful and deerlike.

As far a hearty goes, the ober and the alpine are pretty hearty. The nubian seems to do "ok" but i watch her more than the others.

Good luck with your goat decisions.

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I have had Nubians before and now we have Alpines. This is just my personal experience of course not on a large scale but the Nubians were much more timid and sweeter, but their health was more frail- they went off feed twice in the winter gave us scares etc. They did not give as much milk according to the seller (we never milked them) as our Alpines but that might be because our Alpines are better goats confirmation wise etc. The lady we bought them from said she was selling them because their Alpines gave much more milk.
The Nubians were much easier to keep off the fence. The Alpines are good girls, they jump up on the milk stand, they milk well and give a lot of milk, and they are sweet, but just not gentle sweet. They are rowdy and confident and curious and not startled easily at all. They are very healthy and just seem more hardy overall. They are frisky compared to the Nubians we had.
Most all goat-ers have strong opinions about the different breeds. I have saanen and alpine, and one token togg. Every time I buy a nubian, I sell it within a couple of months....cannot stand the neurosis and the noise. I find nubians often are 'dingy'. The saanens are as calm as you can ask for. My alpines really range from temperamental and skittish, to as placid and sweet as you can find. For example, I had a first freshening alpine who was 'surprised' everytime I milked her for the whole year. This year, she finally has caught on. I bottle raise mine, and have had several alpine doelings who were resistant to being handled from the minute they hit the ground. Then, I have several alpines who are rocksolid milkers, and quiet and loving, and never ever have a temper tantrum. And, if a goat is too big a 'pita', I'll sell it, who needs the hassle! As I think about it, it is my smaller, darker alpines that are calmest, maybe they're like the Obies, but I really don't know. My togg is great, I just don't like her hair. I don't have any lamanchas, I think the little babies heads remind me of snakes, as wierd as that is, but they have a wonderful reputation.

An awful lot depends on how they are socialized, I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever animal you choose.
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We have Alpines because of the color differences. The saanens are white. Nubians are generally noisy (we had one). DH doesn't like the ears on LaManchas but we had one and she was a sweetheart. Just personal preference. Our Alpines are American and come from old milking lines. We only have 3 does and one buck. He is our watchdog and is about 250 to 300 lbs.
I have an ober wether and I am around obers a lot and I do love them a ton. I am afraid La Manchas are my definant fav but I think it would be a tuffy betweem the obers and the nubians for coming in second as my favs. I like nubians since they are so darned cute! But boy are they big babys and they scream like the dickens! So although I would never breed nubians I will always have one or two on my place and as far as obers go they are one of the most quiet and gentle goats by far that I have met. Plus they are so deer like! So in my opinion its a toss up between an ober and a la mancha. Or do what I did get a ober/lamancha cross doe :) :haha: . I have a ober/lamancha cross doe and she is my baby! I think she got the best of both breeds in her by far.

Oh I forgot to comment on the other breeds. I do like sannens but they are sometimes hard to keep what with the white coat and they get skin cancers and stuff real easy. I am not so fond of the alpines as they are real(please excuse my language) bitches toward each other and other breeds of goats. Toggs are almost the same temperment as an alpine except a little bit less so. Alpines and Togg are sweet as could be toward people but any other goat boy do they give them a danged hard time. My La Mancha/Oberhasli cross doe is the only one who will stand up to the alpine doe that I have. So I recommend not getting an alpine or a togg due to the fact that you have small goats and if housed together the bigger goat could/would seriously harm the smaller ones. I Wouldn't mind alpines if thats all I had but even then you sometimes have to keep them seperate from each other. Heck a gal that I know has one alpine that she can't let near any other goats cause she will try and sometimes almost kill them. That is the most extreme an alpine can get. But I must say that in their defense they have one of the most wonderful dispositions of a lot of goats I have been around. They are tuff, hardy, pretty easy going most of the time, somewhat head strong, and not afraid of practicly anything. All in all a good sound sturdy goat :) :) :) :) :) .

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Really enjoying all the comments. You know, the more I hear about alpines, the more I think I might like them. I know that may sound strange sense I asked about gentle dispositions, but I think I like hardy better.

I think you are right though, about housing miniatures with alpines....I think I'll hold off on alpines till later. Can someone tell me more about obers? And Saanens.....what about this cancer stuff? Is it because they are fair skinned?

If I was you I would go for a ober right now. Saanens get skin problems because of their fair skin. Now mind you not all do and some strains of Saanens don't get it but I just know that some do. Plus a ober is cheaper to feed than a saanen.

ps: I just love the looks of the obers! I recommend them whole heartedly!!!
Guess you could say I'm kinda partial to Saanan's since they have about the sweetest faces of any of the goat breeds. They are also large goats and make good mothers, but can be a bit tempermental as first time milkers. So far I haven't had any health problems with my girls, but then, they're pretty spoiled.

I am also partial to Snubians, which is a Nubian Saanan cross. They are also big girls and good milkers, and when you breed them it's always a suprise to see what the kid looks like. Our little Snubian gave us a the sweetest little doe that is nearly peppermint pink.

Boer's are nice goats too, good disposition, good size, and when crossed with Saanan's make very good milkers, however they can be stubborn and are also the noisest breed around. I have a little Boer buck who is about 6 months old and is louder than any other goat in the pen. The first night I had him home I had to keep reminding myself we had just paid a lot of money for that goat or he'd have been straight to the slaugher pen! He's still the loudest animal on the farm, but he's turned out to have a real sweet disposition and is quiet the comedian.

I don't care for the pygmy breeds. They're cute and good goats for small farms, but they can be a pain to milk.
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I have raised several different breeds since the '70's. I have found that Nubian kids are the cutest (to me) but Nubian voices are horrid. Also Nubians tend to give less milk. Alpines are great milkers and put my Nubians to shame. I now have LaManchas and am astounded at their wonderful temperments and delicate voices and great "milkability". I have one milker who is 1/4 Nubian 1/4 Boer and 1/2 LaMancha and she is a bit more stubborn than purebred LaManchas and gives a bit less milk but is still a surprisingly good milker and is a large doe. She had triplets this spring. I have a doe who is 3/4 Nubian and 1/4 Alpine who will be culled...I just want a few does from her by my LaMancha buck. She was my friend's brush goat and I don't want to try to make a milker out of her. I also have her 1/2 Boer doeling which I will breed to a LaMancha along with the other girls. Then cull, cull, cull!
If you like quiet goats, then you definitely want Obers. The only time I hear my Obers is when they're in raging heat, and even then, it's quiet. I've milked the three first-fresheners I raised, and none of them gave me any trouble at all on the milkstand from the very first day. Obers are quiet and gentle (I keep mine with my Nigerians and minis, no problem), and kind of small. They are very beautiful goats, and so sweet!

I do have one Ober, though, who will produce way too much milk and run herself into skin and bone. I had her triplet bucklings with her 24/7 this year. No alternative at the time, but it won't happen again. Picture a 130 pound animal producing approximately two gallons of milk a day. Picture a really skinny animal. I weaned the boys at 8 weeks exactly, and dried her off so she could put some serious weight on. If I'd needed the milk, I would have just taken her down to once a day milking, and she still would have put on weight, but more slowly. It took me about a month to get her fully dried off. Very persistent milker!
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I like my Obers. An Ober doe that I culled because of age and udder problems would give a gallon and a half of milk a day. And she was 125#! I am hoping her daughter (dry yearling) will be as nice a milker as her mom. I am currently milking a Nubian and a 1/4 Ober 1/4 Alpine 1/2 Boer doe. She gives more milk than the Nubian. And the 1/2 Boer is happy on the milk stand. But she is more rambunctious than the Nubian. I am also experimenting with Kinders. Although she is a year and a half away from milking.... I also endorse Obers. Although my friends have LaManchas and they seem to be fantastic milkers and not too hard to deal with...
We have Nubians and 1 Nubian/Saanens mix. My Nubians are SO sweet and give me no problems. My Nubian/Saanen mix is a pain during milking. They both give me a gallon or a little more per day of milk.
Mine do not really scream. If I am late milking, Sam will tell me about it. She is waiting at the gate calling me. LOL
All in all I just love Nubians and mine are all so very spoiled and sweet, even the buck. The babies are always SO CUTE!
I have a mixed lot, Alpines, Toggs, Nubians, La Manchas, Saneens and even a few that are crossed with Boers and Obies. Maybe I just have an orney line of La Manchas but they are the bigest pains I have they try to pull the other goats ears off on the milking table, pick fights with the other goats even some of my bigger Saneens and Nubians that are half again as big as they are, and they have no patience I milk twenty girls at a time and everyone else will stand nicely after they eat till time to go out, takes about 30 minutes to do them but the La Manchas start stomping there feet and carrying on as soon as they finish eating. My Nubians aren't noisy in fact they are very quiet the only goat on the place that makes a lot of noise is a Togg that I think just likes to hear herself talk. The Alpines are probably the most standoffish but even most of them have to have there pats as they leave the barn and have one that will lick you to death if you will stand still long enough. Found my Saneens to be the most protective during kidding season this year had one that would jump the fence anytime any of the dogs or cats got on the pasture side of the drive chase the offending critter back across the drive then go jump back in the pasture. they were ok with me handling the babies but had a few that actually threaten to charge some relatives that where here and wanted to see the babies they didn't know them and did not want them around their little ones.
All in all I like my Saneens and Toggs best for the dairy they don't get as upset by things but will always have at least a few Nubians just because I like them.

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I have 2 goats..just for pets. They are white and look like a cross between a nubian and the "airplane ear" breed. I can't remember what they are.

Mine are like dogs...and always coming running to to be hugged and petted.

I have had goats before..but will NEVER buy another goat that is not tamed. I chased this mini I bought around the neighborhood for TWO weeks. Beautiful goat..but I couldn't get close enought to him to really see him. I gave him away to a goat farmer...
I have had Saanens for years and have never had any skin problems with them. As for hardy; I live in the northeast where we have very cold, snowy winters and the girls breeze right thru them with no trouble at all. I can't imagine any other breed being sweeter or quieter or easier to handle than the Saanens. Plus they give tons of milk! You don't suppose I'm just a bit biased do you? :haha:
no one has mentioned Sables

those are colored Saanans. They have the personality and milk characteristics of Saanabs but with all the colors of the other breeds. They can be pureblood. They are around. They are trying to get a herd book going with ADGA. AGA recognizes them. It is not a new breed...

If I go into goats again, I am going Sable.
I have to put my 2c in on LaManchas. I have LaManchas, Nubians, and a Sannen (?) I think. It was just given to me...and she hasn't been handled properly. My Nubians are pushy creatures. They will always pick on the younger goats, maybe it is because they were spoiled by their previous owners.

My LaManchas are very loving. I actually have one who will "smile" at me when I come around the pen, when she wants attention. I don't push my milkers, and I don't really have any reliable ways to measure their milk. I do get plenty...and I only milk once a day, so they can raise their babies.

As far as noise goes...I much prefer the maaaa, of the LaMancha to screaming of the Nubians.
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