Not My Alpines- How 'Bout Yours?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Tango, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    This month's Countryside has a neat article on goat personalities. The author says there are no hard and fast rules and many exceptions, so this is in no way a criticism of her good article and to be fair I'v heard others say how mean or agrressive Alpines can be as well. I have three purebred Alpines and one 75% Aloine 25% Nubian and only one of them is mean. The others are sweet, quiet, and affectionate. My favorite goat, Grace s the sweetest goat and she has been the impetus for me etting more Alpines. The one I say is mean, Napster, was sold at an auction and I bought her from the buyer after he bred her. Her background before me is a complete mystery. She's hard to catch and I have to wait until she kids to vaccinate her. She's an excellent mother and an extremely easy keeper though so the personality is not an issue. I wouldn't even call her aggressive; she's mean but she doesn't go looking for trouble, which is what I would call aggressive. Do your Alpines fit the description of aggressive? On another note the only puirebred Nubian I've had was the singlemost annoying goat I've ever known. She was so needy , bossy to the other goats and LOUD. That might have been due to being a bottle fed 4H goat prior to me buying her, dunno, but it cured me of Nubians for life.
     
  2. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here is my very limited experience.
    I bought an NOA Alpine doe. 5 years old. She had been slammed by another Alpine about three weeks before I picked her up. Broke the leg. Nothing was done so I have a goat with a broken leg. You would think that would make her more timid. Nope, she is extremely aggressive towards other goats. We were bringing in a downed goat in a tarp and she whooping on the goat as we tried to bring her in. The doe's name? Sweetie... :rolleyes:
    We had a Boer/Alpine/Togg buck (naturally polled) and a Boer/Saanen buck that we purchased at the same time from the same farm at one month of age. Same Boer sire. Both hand raised by us. When it came time to chose one to sell the choice was fairly simple. I sold the aggressive one...the one with Alpine in him. The other one is three years old and still a very well mannered the buck. The other was less than 2 when I sold him and he would challenge me on everything!
    We just brought home three heavy bred Alpine does.One of them is aggressive, the second in command of the three isn't all that pleasant and the youngest is very sweet and timid. Could have more to do with their new environment but Dana and JayJay were aggressive at the farm they came from as well.

    The does I've mentioned are not aggressive to me but they are to other animals (calves included!).

    Eh, I think some breeds are more prone to certain personalities (I know it's seen in cattle), but it isn't a given. :)
     

  3. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    You know I was thinking.... I've never met the calmerbreeds she mentions, like the Saanen or the LaMancha. I'm only fmailiarw with Alpines , Nubians, and Boers. A neighbor has Pigmies and they are similar as well. They all butt each other around. I thought it was a goat thing. So LaManchas, and Saanens don't want to hurt the others in the herd?
     
  4. Starsmom

    Starsmom Well-Known Member

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    I have had several pure bred alpine bucks and they have ALL been just sweethearts. Not a mean bone in their bodies. I also have some Nubian/Saneen cross does and they are sweet. The queen doe can be agressive, but it is an act..she has never actually head butted anything other than another goat. She just acts and then will gently touch the head of the one she is "playing" with. Horses included!

    I have one alpine/nubian/saneen cross buck who is a doll, he will follow you around all day and stand at your side if you let him. Just had a new little buckling born...also alpine/nubian/saneen cross, he seems to have a sweet heart of a personality as well. Have friends that had a full blooded alpine herd..not a mean one in their bunch either. I vote for Alpines are sweet hearts. I guess they are like anything else, there are probably some mean ones and a lot will depend on how they are raised.
     
  5. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

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    I read the article as well... We raise Boers.. Angoras and Alpines. The Alpines are sweet... loving.. personable and just plain fun to have.

    After I read the article I looked a little more closely... the author is only 15 years old... or so it says... This must be one HECK of an intelligent.. articulate 15 year old... How many kids that age use the word " succinctly" or and I quote on page 65 of the article " For example, in my own experience, a LaMancha wether that had always been calm and tractable tried to dominate me by butting and trying to fight"... COME ON FOLKS... what kid uses this vocabulary.

    Most of the information in this article is just plain WRONG! I'm surprised that Countryside would publish something like this.
     
  6. All country

    All country Well-Known Member

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    We have had Alpine for several years. They are very gentle. Their sweet nature and delicious milk is part of why we got them in the first place. Maybe it has something to do with certain bloodlines.
     
  7. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I use those kinds of words all the time. (well, not "succinctly" I have no idea what that means, lol. But the quoted part, I can see me using that exact sentance!) I'm 16. Whats wrong with a smart kid? What's wrong with a kid's opinion, or knowledge for that matter?
    I suppose it could also be a typo, his age that is. But is seems like if it was, the author would notice and complain.
    I don't think any info can be wrong if it is opinion.
     
  8. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    Let's see - I have one Alpine, one Saanen, one 3/4 Nubian/ 1/4 Alpine cross - and three Nigerians. The Saanen is very calm and laid back, but definitely the #1 doe, also the biggest. The Alpine was a bottle baby, so she is pushy with people and used to be rather aggressive with the other goats until I had her horns sawed off - now she's much better. Mind you, given the chance she will climb into your lap and go to sleep. :cute: The NubianX is very sweet but rather needy at times, talks a lot, even hums when she is eating! She's at the bottom of the pecking order. I've seen all three of these goats play at headbutting with the Nigerian babies when they were small, and they were all very, very careful.

    The three Nigerians are two sisters, and the son of one doe. The mother can be a nasty little moo at times, her sister is very submissive. Neither were handled much before I got them. The buckling is pretty good, he tries to be aggressive but backs down when I reprimand him. He's been handled since birth.
     
  9. Westwood

    Westwood Well-Known Member

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    Having had over 65 Alpines at one time in my experience the head doe will be an Alpine. They're the most competitive but also the most fun! Nubians the most "needy" (want to be in your lap) and LaManchas the most friendly and well behaved all around. Had a couple of Saanens but you wouldn't know they were around.
     
  10. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Goats butt each other to keep the order. But these Alpines are constantly harassing the other animals for no real reason.
    We have a mish mash herd and once the order was set, the only time the does were aggressive towards one another was when they were eating grain...or if I had taken a group out and then brought them back in. Then they had to reestablish the pesking order.
    These Alpines have been here for four days now and still appear to seek out other goats to bully. Could just be the ones that are here, but they just seem more aggressive than all the breeds and crossbreeds we have (LaMancha, Saanen, Pygmy, Nubian, Boer, and maybe a smidge of Alpine).
    Heh, I forgot our first buck had Alpine in him. All was fine until he started attacking dad for taking "his" heifers away from him. He had horns and before he left there were no side mirrors on any vehicles. He was a LaMancha/Alpine cross with elf ears.
     
  11. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    You will always have a pecking order. I've had an Alpine doe who seriously was trying to kill her pen-mate (we were in Alaska, it was fifty below zero, and I couldn't let them out of the barn so the submissive doe could get away from the dominant one, so I tied the dominant one up unless I was there). I've also had a Nubian doe who was almost as bad -- I had more room to work with and was able to arrange the pen so the picked-on-ones could get away from her. Right now I have three Kinder does (medium sized) and a BoerXOberhasli doe (large). The big doe is obviously the boss in the doe pen, but she's pretty mellow about it, compared to the two does I mentioned above here.

    I have two bucks right now. Both are fairly young. The Kinder buck is not quite two, and the Oberhasli buck is ten months old. Both have challenged me, but when they do, I grab a couple of legs, turn them on their backs, and more or less sit on them (without really putting any weight on them) until they stop thrashing around and yield. (It's actually harder to turn the smaller Kinder buck over, as he's built like a barrel!) They are good boys for a week or two after I do this. (I do this to trim their hooves, too -- it's a lot easier on my back, and they can't jump around all over the place).

    Kathleen
     
  12. fricknfarm

    fricknfarm Well-Known Member

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    I had an Alpine buck, bottle baby and he stayed sweet all the time I had him, a real doll. I had a pygmy buck that was the meanest thing this side of hell and he smelled worse than that. I currently have a 100% papered Nubian buck (I only emphasize"papered" because I think it makes a difference) that is absolutely a puppygoat. He walks on a leash or will happily follow you around without one. He is such a wonderful guy. I think part of the reason is that he was trained to maybe be a show animal. He talks up a storm as does the Nubian doe I have. And yes, they do hum when they have something they like to eat. I SWEAR THE DOE SMILES!!! I have Alpine XNubian cross bucks that I had wethered just so I could keep them. Big wonderful guys I'm going to train as cart goats. A matched pair that are always side by side anyway. I have a Saanen and she is a strange goat indeed. Lost 3/4 of an ear teasing my dogs who are fenced. She still teases the dogs, she just doesn't stick her head into their side of the fence anymore. I had a Kiko buck and he was the cleanest buck I ever had. We carted him in the back of my Jeep and never even knew he was there. I have a a Nubian Kiko cross doe who can be very charming and loving, but if you trust her and turn your back she will take your whole herd for a stroll. I have a nice little boer doe, was bottle baby just as sweet as can be, but don't be a dog and look at her kid. She is a fierce mom. I think most people that have goats find by trial and error the breed that suits them best. I guess that's one reason why goats are becoming so popular as stock animals, you can have fun with them, they actually have personalities. They listen when you speak to them, and when it appeals to them the obey you. I have various other goats of a mixture of breeds. By far my favorites have been the Nubians and Alpines they seem more people oriented, mine are really easy to handle. that's where I'm headed, a small herd of dairy, but darn if that little Nigerian Dwarf I picked up at the auction a couple of years ago didn't jus kid the cutest little 50% Nubian bucklings you ever did see, looks like they're made of velvet..hmmm she does have an awful nice udder, wonder if her boys would pass that along...hmmm
     
  13. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    Mine aren't. I have a full grown Alpine buck that is trustworthy around toddlers. Alpines are all that I have, and I don't keep anything aggressive or that might be a danger to my small children. I've only had to get rid of two for reasons of aggression, and one of them was fine until two little boys abused her.

    Mine are gentle, quiet, and independent. I like the fact that they aren't clingy and needy.

    Stereotypes abound!!!!
     
  14. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The first year I had does, three of them were young Alpines. When I fed grain, I would distribute it in several bowls. Each Alpine had to have her own bowl and would butt the Nubians, saanen and Boer out of their bowls as well. The other goats were willing to share bowls. The Alpines were friendly to us, but aggressive with other goats. I sold them. I currantly have an Alpine Nubian doe and she gets along with the others for the most part, but picks on the younger does in certain situations like when she tries to run off the Saanen Nubian doe when I am trying to put them back in the pen after milking. My current Nubians aren't bossy.
     
  15. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    my herd queen was a lamancha. The meanest little bugger you ever saw.
    Well....little compared to the alpine and then the toggs.
    I finally sold her and then the alpine took over as herd queen. after all she was the biggest. She is not mean though. Just has a mind of her own.

    Now my Togg buck was a sweetheart for three years. For some reason this spring he has turned agressive. He has had a wether companion all this time but tried to kill him a few weeks ago.
    I let him out of his pen so he could get something green to eat yesterday and he thanked me by charging me!
    He is still DH's pet. He comes running to him bawling for attention but he attacks everything and everyone else now.
    Don't have a clue what brought this on. :confused:
     
  16. mberryrfd

    mberryrfd Well-Known Member

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    We have one Alpine , She WAS the most unruliest thing we had would turn her head at your and lower. She taught all the boer does how to escape the goat pen but then I brang home a boer buck still young at first she wopuld be bossy with him but a few monthes later and another 100 lbs and man that alpine stays in the pen and you can even almost pet her and she is due to kid in 149 days I think he is the one that taught her some manners
     
  17. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Kudos to the author. That is an excellent article for a 15 year -old (and I speak as an ex-English professor)and a good one for any age, in fact I was glad to see this article in Countryside. A wide topic like she chose is hard to treat justly and she did a great job. You are right , these are opinions, and they are well expressed. These problems ocurr due to the nature of generalization, which is unavoidable when one is discussing an entire breed. I;ve a good friend who may or may not lurk on this board anymore, who raises Alpines and the author's assessment of the bred coincides with my friend's who raises and milks Alpines.
     
  18. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    YES! :clap: Angel has this "goofy" grin on her face sometimes. Had to laugh one day, she stuck her muzzle in DH's ear and said "Mmmmm". :bouncy:
     
  19. rich2748

    rich2748 Well-Known Member

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    After reading the above postings I went out to do the evening milking. We have four Alpines, one Sable, one Saanen, and one Nubian. Only three are in milk right now; one Alpine, the Saanen and the Nubian. Seven babies so far. Two sets of triplets and one single, four girls and three boys. Anyway the situation that prompted me to write happened like this:

    I have been milking the girls in the order they gave birth, Alpine (Inky), Saanen (Twoie), and Nubian Zhybil. After milking I came out of the milk room and found Twoie and Zhybil fighting. I am guessing that Zhybil thinks she shoud go ahead of Twoie in order as this fighting has been going on before and during and immediately after milking, plus, Zhybil stands outside the milk room and bawls her head off while Twoie is being milked. As the two were butting heads Inky and her mother Excitement, the herd queen, came on the scene and started walking between the two fighters. It was really comical to see two of the calmer, gentler breeds fighting for position and two of the most aggressive breed acting as peace makers. I had to share this story.

    As a whole I would tend to agree with a great deal of the article you mentioned. Alpines are the most inquisitive and the most active of the breeds we have. The Saanen/Sables are the most laid back and best behaved on the milk stand. They actually tend to be rather boring. Except, for our Saanen buck, Theoden, he is the gentlest most loving of all our goats. Of course you have to get by the smell to love him. But he is a sweetheart. We have had two Alpine bucks one was very affectionate the other was standoffish, but both were very gentle and easy to handle. On the milk stand the Saanen/ Sables are real well mannered and easy to milk and handle. The Alpines tend to train us as to how they will stand and what they expect of us in the way of behavior.

    You may have noticed that I have not mentioned much about the Nubian. She is the most stubborn, misbehaving goat we have ever had. She is not real aggressive but she squats on the milk stand and leans on the one milking her to the point that only a strong person can sit on the stand. She squats so much that no milk pail we have will fit under her. She is loud. She constantly bawls until she has been milked and well fed. Then she is quiet for an hour or so. But, every time any of us come into her view she starts bawling her head off. She is a pest. However, she also gives us healthy babies and a gallon of milk a day for about six months straight. We tolerate her because of the production. However, she has convinced me that I never want another Nubian.

    I really like the personality of the Alpines the best. The Saanen/Sables are my favorite breed because of appearance.
     
  20. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I really have to jump in here because I have begun to cull, not only on performance, but definately on personality and "the annoyance factor".

    I have had goats on and off for several decades. Nubians, Alpines, a Saanen, Spanish, Boers, and LaManchas

    I will never own a Nubian again, ever! I have had more of these than anything and I have found them to be the loudest and most undesireable goat for my purposes. The voices is horrid, the goats are pushy and rank and thy don't milk as well as other dairy breeds. Maybe not every single one, but the breed in general. They seem to be most uncooperative and stubborn. They holler even with food in front of them.

    The Saanens I do not have enough expereince with which to judge. The one I had was fine.

    Alpines were okay, a goat I can take or leave, remember, this is just my opinion.

    Spanish Meat Goats, a bit flighty compared to dairy breeds, jumpers and escape artists.

    Boers are beautiful and meaty and delicious. FAST growing, can't beat that. They have a bit of a voice too and and can be pushy, they have such appetites because of their quick-growingness. I think that they harbor some Nubian bllod too, the American blooded ones. They were brought over here in the 80s and bred to Texas Nubians. You can tell it. I love Boers but some are loud. The bucks get big and rough. they can hurt you.

    Now for my favorites, the breed that has made the others all look bad in my eyes. My favorite is the LAMANCHA! They are gentle, intelligent and quiet. They purr instead of beller. They wait their turn, They stand patiently to be milked. I will stay with this breed as i grow older and can't wrestle with goats who want to bully me. I am cross-breeding Lamanchas with Boers and culling for softness of voice and for gentle personality. No pushy loud goats allowed on this farm. Even LaMancha bucks are gentlemen, even during rut. I can give medication, injections, without assistance to fullgrown bucks and i am a granny. No hollering, soft voices.

    You may think I am prejudiced, you may think I have not seen enough goats to judge or you may say that I have not seen YOUR goats..well, you are correct. I have probably owned a total of just under 80 goats in my lifetime. But, I know what I like!