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Discussion in 'Goats' started by TroGoatPerson, Nov 20, 2005.
I have one Question, what is the Best Breed of Dairy Goats???
It all depends on what your purpose for them. If you want a goat that has high butterfat I would say Nubian. If you want lots of milk I would say Alpine or Saanen. If you want a goat that gives milk and has a even lactation Toggenburg. If you want a pretty goat that will give you adequate amount of milk I would say Oberhasli. If you want a goat that has all of these qualities plus a great attitude and a great will to milk I say LaMancha. I am terribly bias though...I raise LaManchas!!! Every dairy breed has its qualityies that it was bred for and it's strong points and weaknesses. Deciding what you want out of a dairy goat is the way to decide what breed is best for you.
I do not own any milking breeds, I own pygmy goats. When I get into milkers, I am getting Nubian does. I will breed them to pygmies to get kinders. (pygmy buck covering a nubian doe) Kinders sound the best in my opinion. They are calm and medium sized, are excellent milkers with high butterfat, and are extreme kidders. triplets average, quads normal. plus, they come in all different colors, and can either look like pygmies or nubians, or a little of both. they aren't usually bred and arent to easy to find. I belive the reason is is that they have to be bred from registered parents and have a certain number of generations before they can be registered kinders.... I wouldn't know, i am going to have unregistered anyways..
Where do you live? If there were one "best" breed of dairy goat, it would likely be the only breed! The reason there are different breeds is that they were made for different purposes and different regions. The best breed for you may not be the best breed for me.
I have Alpines and I like them for their intelligence, high productivity, and hardiness. They are strong, resilient animals (and no, not every breed of goat is that way, especially in cold climates). They also have a large gene pool which makes them easy to work with geneitcally- you can very easily get what you want, and there has been a lot of productive work on the part of Alpine breeders. I also like their personality- quiet, smart, quick to learn, and independent, not clingy.
Whatever you do, it would be better by far to get a productive grade doe that is healthy, has a good disposition and a sound udder than to get stuck on the idea of a particular breed and get something with a pedigree that only gives 2 quarts a day out of a saggy udder! You could always breed up in papers, but poor quality is very time consuming and expensive to breed out! Guess what I am saying is to be very exacting about the quality of your goats- do not be seduced by cute ears or flashy colors orf ancy papers or even a sweet face and friendliness at the expense of real quality. And whatever you do, *don't* buy a goat at a sale barn or auction, and be very leery of free or very cheap animals.
I live in central PA. Why do you ask?
You will probably be able to get away with whatever breed you'd like to have, then. Where I live, the climate is pretty cold in the winter, so a breed such a Nubians is a poor choice here. If I lived in Texas or Arkansas, I would have Nubians or more probably, La Manchas, because Alpines are less popular and command a lower price in the south. Alpines are popular and practical here, and their ears don't get frostbite as badly, nor are they as prone towards nose colds in below zero weather as the Nubian would be (that big roman nose is made that way to dissipate heat- good for the south, bad here). If I lived in a very sunny place, I'd avoid Saanens, because their pink skin predisposes them to skin cancer and photosensitivity. My palate is very sensitive, and Toggs have a reputation for strong tasting milk, so I'd probably raise some other breed regardless of where I lived... Oberhasli are nice, but being rare breed, buck service can be hard to find and quality is more of an issue depending on the bloodline. The Oberhasli breed is for someone who is wanting to make a long term commitment to their goats. La Manchas are good dual purpose animals with a quiet and calm disposition, and they can be very productive.
Do you have any ideas about what you would expect from your goats, what you want from them? In your other animals, what do you prefer?
I would suggest going to a goat dairy or a goat show and get to be around the different breeds to see which kind you would like. Then decide what exactly you want the goats for. If you plan to show, I would buy the best animals you can afford from a reputable breeder. Get a copy of the show standards so you have an idea what you are looking for. If you are looking for a goat for milk for the family or simply a pet you can still find a nice animal from a local breeder or dairy. Although I agree for the most part that an auction isn't the place to buy a goat, I do need to share that Blossom, my finished champion grade La Mancha was purchased at one as a week old kid. My friend, who picked her up, knew the seller and that the doeling came from a clean herd. The seller simply had too many goats. Blossom is now 4 years old and remains free of disease.