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Discussion Starter #1
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about dairy goats. I would really like to get show quality dairy goats that are registered(two does and a buck). I would want goats that are hardy in New England weather and smaller in size. I was thinking of Nigerian goats. Can Nigerians be shown with larger goat breeds and how much milk a day can I expect from a top quality Nigerian milker?

Although I am asking about Nigerians, I am open to all information on top quality dairy goats.

Thanks
 

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Dwarfs are hard to milk because of their small size. Look into Oberhasli, they are fairly rare and are really cool looking. Mine would give near a gallon per day. I don't know about showing goats other than what I did for 4H every year at the fair. As far as the buck goes I hope you don't have any neighbors near by, when the rut roles around they really smell.
 

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George in NH said:
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about dairy goats. I would really like to get show quality dairy goats that are registered(two does and a buck). I would want goats that are hardy in New England weather and smaller in size. I was thinking of Nigerian goats. Can Nigerians be shown with larger goat breeds and how much milk a day can I expect from a top quality Nigerian milker?

Although I am asking about Nigerians, I am open to all information on top quality dairy goats.

Thanks
Nigerians are a good choice if you don't mind milk with a finger and a thumb, don't mind being in a constant bent over state in the show ring. They are cute little goats, but give me a standard dairy goat over a nigerian anyday, management wise. They big girls are just easier to manage for me. (Personal preference.)

A Standard size alpine or saanen (i've used these 2 breeds as they and toggs will be VERY hardy goats in the winters provided they have adequate shelter) bred for good milk production SHOULD give you over a gallon a day. A gallon and a half is more like it.

All goats need a good dry draft free well lit and ventilated shelter. Goats tolerate cold temps very well. Just not drafts, or wet and cold all at the same time.

I don't really suggest you get a buck for 2 does. You will have to get rid of him in a yars time anyway as he wouldn't be able to breed his own daughters. It is FAR more cost and management efficient if you can find a buck near you that could be used as a stud. At least until you get more like 5-10 does.

Nigerians are shown at a dairy goat show in their breed division just like the other breeds. Then the nigi that wins competes with the other standard dairy goat breeds for best Doe in Show. Hard to compare in my opinion unless the nigi is VERY VERY VERY nice. But that's just my opinion. Sounds like you are headed in the right direction though. Asking questions is always good. :)
 

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I wouldn't want a Nigerian but I also don't like milking tiny teats or bending over all the time while working my animals. I would get just one or two standard goats and no buck; get buck service from a local breeder who is anal about disease control.
 

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George their are excellent quality Nigerian Dwarfs all over. The first thing is to join ADGA. This way you will have the directory in front of you and will be able to call all the ND breeders around your area to get prices, milk amounts, go milk some. What you will find will simply amaze you. We are routienly beated by a gal north of my in Best in Show with this little thing that is half the size if not less than my Nubians, yet when you look down at the udder she is likely milking maybe 2 or 3 pounds less. Now there are dogs around just like there are folks breeding horrid Nubians. Let someone with no axe to grind help you. We have a major breeder of Nigerians on our forum, I would ask there also....he could certainly move you in the right direction...dairygoatinfo.com

Biggy is...if you have a hankering for ND, and we talk you into Alpines, or Nubians or whatever....down the road you will still have a hankering for ND and soon have 2 breeds :) So breed what you love, and always buy with a breeder helping you when you are talking about showing, because bloodline is everything. Vicki
 

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George, we've known each other a while on these boards. I think personality wise you'd do well with a Nubian milker and a wether to keep her company. Everyone knows I'm partial to Alpines, but that's MY personality interaction, lol.

I think maybe your hands would be too big to comfortably milk a Nigerian Dwarf.
 

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I agree on the buck, you don't want one. You may be interested in AI. It would make somebody a fine business up in that area. I tried it 10 or more years ago in northern Vermont, but the demand was just not there. I had to supplement with doing cows and my intrest was goats so I got out of it and sold off all the equipment. The ADGA (american dairy goat association) is a great resource and membership is cheap. If you are serious about showing you will have to join in order to Register your own Kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The good thing (I guess) is that my heart is not set on Nigerians, it is just a thought because of their small size. After I posted I looked at different Nigerian dairy goat sites and saw how small their teats are. I don't believe I could milk one of them even though my hands are small (they looked like two pimples). The thing is whatever I decide on has got to be quality. I happen to like most breeds of goats so just about any breed would fit in with one exception (I won't mention the breed for fear of offending owners of the breed). I have owned bucks before (grade) so I am familiar with their habits and smells.

All goats I have owned in the past have been grade and although nice goats, I found that I realized I was looking for a better quality goat and if I was going to spend the money and time on them then I may as well have a good goat.

Also, I know there are milkers made for goats does anyone use one and can anyone rocommend a good milker?
 

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I have raised all of the dairy breeds either now or in the last few years. Nigerian Dwarfs are one of my favorites. I had them a couple of years ago and sold them due to lack of space and lack of time. I bought more last summer and more this summer. The does that I have milked haven't been too bad. I have had other breeds have smaller teats. The doe that I am milking now is just as easy for me to milk as the does with huge teats, maybe even easier. They can give up to 2 quarts a day or more. The only thing is that it is really high in butterfat. They are small and easy to work with. They can be kept with standards without a problem.

The only major problem with Dwarfs is prices most breeders charge. Finished does (if breeder is even willing to part with them) can start at $500 and up. Most breeders will start milkers at $300, unless they are less than show quality. So be prepared to pay at least $300 each (even for doe kids). Around the same prices for buck kids and bucks. You may get lucky and find some cheaper.

Nigerians are shown with the larger breeds at ADGA shows. It is harder for them to win Best in Show, but it can be done if you have a nice doe.

Carisa
 

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George, how much milk do you actually need? A couple of sweet, little Nigies from champion milking stock can give you all the milk you need. My friend raises Nigies and has more milk than she knows what to do with. Hers are from excellent milking lines.

Westwood, I have to respectfully disagree about the Nubian. Nubians have the hardest time in our New England climate, in my experience. A Nubian cross does okay, though, in most cases.

I have several breeds of dairy, and several crosses. In my limited experience, and from what I have gleaned from others, Nigies are the hardiest for our climate, followed by Alpines and Alpine-type breeds such as Toggies and Saanans.

The teats don't stay like "pimples", milking does enlarge them. It is not that hard to milk them, just annoying to those who are used to the full hand squeeze. Or you could use the Maggiedan or Udderly EZ milkers with them. As far as milk quality, my personal preference is for Nigerian Dwarf milk. The high butterfat content makes it very sweet, and the high protein content makes it ideal for cheesemaking. The milk is delicious! My Alpine's milk is very good, but (looks around furtively for Ruth) ir doesn't hold a candle to the Nigie milk!

If you are interested in excellent, championship lines Nigies, I know someone who has beautiful animals for sale. If you are looking for Alpines, I know two other herds of beautiful animals from championship lines. All are CAE and CL tested herds.

It is good that you are asking advice and thinking this through. I believe no matter what breed you choose, you will be very happy to have gotten goats. They are so unique, and useful, too.

By the way, Westwood, nice to "see" you!

Blessings, Jill!
 

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I forgot to add, that while Nigies are pricey---you also can get the same good prices for the kids your does produce!
 

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Hi George . If you want Nigies go with the woman Jillis is speaking about . Very nice girls , raised correctly.

Now I have Saanens and 1 lonely Alpine. My girls are Cae and Cl free. I do have babies forsale. My average this year is a little over a gallon a piece. But I do have alot of FF milking. I have 1 or 2 young adults forsale also. I am in Upstate Ny. If interested email me . I am going to Ct in 2 weeks and could meet you along the way .


Patty

[email protected]
 

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So the Lynnhaven Nubian national champion lives in a heated barn at Lynn's place in NY! Nope...other than frost bite ear situations which can happen in most breeds except LaMancha can't see one reason why Nubians wouldn't and don't already... thrive up north.

Geroge, since you have had goats before, don't fall into the trap of don't buy a buck. Of course you want a buck even if you only have a small group....you really going to truck the girls around to be bred? Or worse, get stuck having to breed your nice stock to whatever buck is local and hopefully not diseased? Nope!

Alpines George? Westwod still pushign them Alpines ;) My business partner had alpines, I reached into the pen while we were waiting to show and gently lifted her udder to see if she was too full, she bashed her head into my hand! Later in a moment of weakness when I was begged to show the witch, I forgot I was showing her and not one of my nubians and dared to reach over her and move her front leg, she hit me so hard in head with her head I thought I was going to pass out :) Then there was the Alpine Tic Tac in our area who lived in a pen by herself because she would beat up on young does until abortions were common at the farm...or our doe (the 5 minutes I allowed Alpines to be milked here) was being shaved for the Livestock show and bit me under my arm and drew blood! I don't know why anyone would recommend Alpines! ;)

There are milking machines you can put together for right at $700. They will milk one or two does easily and are portable with the heaviest thing about them the milk can rather than the machine itself. Just email me I will give you the info. I don't know many folks who have Nigerians who do not machine milk, or let kids nurse, because even they do not milk young does by hand! Vicki
 

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I know I am not very experienced or knowledgeable...but I do know that my Nubians suffer a lot more in the bitter cold where we are then the other breeds. They shiver a lot, when my other breeds are doing fine. It bothers me to see them so cold! They just don't seem to get as thickly furry as my Alpines and Nigies. Last winter when we had some severe cold snaps I tied a polartec blanket on my yearling Nubian.
The Alpines can be more bratty,for sure! But my beautiful Nubian---who was an outstanding milker---(I sold her)---was the biggest brat in my pen.
However, I do like my Alpines. I have an equal amount of Nubians, Alpines and Nigies.
What I personally am breeding for are minis, so I now have quite a few mini-Alpines growing up. My Nigie buck (bought from the lady Patty and I referred to) has thrown the most gorgeous babies I ever saw! Just beautiful, friendly, great conformation. They are so pretty! This year I plan to breed my Nubians to my Nigie buck.
LaManchas and Saanans are very affectionate and calm.
I hope all this input helps, instead of being confusing!
Jill!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Jill, all the information everyone is giving is great. My problem in the past was buying goats without asking questions and ended up with VERY poor quality goats.

I drink about a gallon of milk each week so really don't need goats that give huge amounts which is one of the reasons I was leaning towards the nigerians. My main goal is showing and that is the reason I am looking for really good quality dairy goats.

I realize everyone is partial to certain breed(s) and I like hearing what everyone has to say about their favorite breed because it helps me dtermine which breed would best suit my needs.

Thanks!!!!
 

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Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians said:
I don't know why anyone would recommend Alpines! ;)
Vicki!! (pout!) :)

I've had Alpines for years and only two of them hurt me, out of hundreds. One was a big horned buck with a bad attitude, the other was a nice gentle doe who bashed her head into my nose (I was standing in her blind spot directly in front of her, pulling her down off the milking stand towards me), 100% my fault.

I feel that in any breed of any animal, you will get problems if you don't cull aggressive, snotty, or otherwise problematic individuals. I've always culled mean or aggressive does regardless of udder quality, production, etc. I don't have time to deal with a mean or problem animal that makes me miserable twice a day every day. I have seen mean Alpines and mean does of other breeds. Their owners make excuses for them and continue breeding 'em. Same thing with dogs and other species.....

That said....if there is one thing I've learned, it's that there isn't a right breed for everyone. Of course we all want to tout the breed we raise as being *the* one to have, because it's turned out to be right for us and we can't imagine being so happy with another breed. George, what I recommend is to go to the fairs and goat shows and see what's high quality in your area. If you want to compete, then you might want to go with a breed that doesn't dominate the shows. Just get something you're happy with. And if it were me, I would order from one of the top herds in the country, especially if you'll only have two does.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My next question is what quality of dairy goat can I get for $500? Can I get show quality for this amount? Basically I have a set amount that I am willing to pay but I want to get what I pay for.
 

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You should be able to get a fairly nice show goat for that price. We have bought nice quality milking show does for $350-$500 that have done very well and have produced nice babies. Show quality Nigerian Dwarfs can be had for that price.

When we go to look at goats make sure that you ask if they are CAE and CL free and if they test.

Good luck!

Carisa
 

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Discussion Starter #19
lyceum said:
When we go to look at goats make sure that you ask if they are CAE and CL free and if they test.

Good luck!

Carisa
That was going to be my next question, I am assuming most goats from show farms would have a health certificate? Also, what would be the ideal age to buy?
 
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