We have been raising and milking goats for over 12 years. We mainly raise our babies as pets.
I have had many different dairy goat breeds since I started with my first 2 does. Each breed has distinctive physical and personality traits. Different people prefer different breeds. I prefer dairy goats over meat goats for different reasons. First and foremost I can't raise an animal to be eaten. I'm not against it, I just can't personally sell one of my babies knowing it will be eaten. The other reason I prefer dairy goats is they are not as big or muscular and easier for me to handle. I have been around a few Boer goats and they were very big, strong and aggressive. I only have the miniature dairy goats because their small size makes them easier for me to handle since I mainly work with them by myself.
My Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Rambo is a purebred registered Nigerian Dwarf. He is our main buck and the first purebred we bought. Nigerian Dwarf goats average 17-21 inches tall. The color patterns are quite varied. We have had white with blue eyes, black with white markings, brown and white, etc. They can breed year round, but we only breed November-December so we have spring babies. They are good milk producers even though they are small in size. Most are gentle and can be easily trained but you will come across some that are not. I have had 2 Nigerian Dwarfs that are gentle but not easily trained. But overall they are a great breed to work with. The smallest babies we have had have been Nigerian Dwarfs. Our Nigerian Dwarf does have produced more twin births than any of our other breeds.
My Oberhasli Goats
Oberhasli goats have some of the prettiest markings in my opinion. They are reddish brown with black markings. They can also be pure black. They are very good milk producers and I had read they have mellow temperments. So we bought 3 and found out they are very strong minded. I sold 2 of my girls and only kept Mona. They were the most aggressive of any does I have had. Nanny and Sally were very bad about butting the smaller goats and when one got hurt I had to decide whether to split the goats into 2 herds or sell Nanny and Sally. I decided to sell my girls to 2 people that I know very well. Before I sold them Mona (Nannys daughter and Sallys sister) got very sick and we had to keep her in the house for 2 months. She became very tame after spending so much time with us and even though she is outside again, she remains very sweet. She is still aggressive at times with other goats but not as bad as she was. I am breeding Mona with Rambo and producing Mini Oberhasli. We currently have 4 Mini Oberhasli goats. Flower is the daughter of Rambo and Mona. She is pure black with just a tiny bit of white around her tail. That is how she got the name Flower. She reminded my daughter of the skunk in the Bambi movie. Marceline is Flowers daughter. She is also pure black with a white splash on her head and around her tail. Mystique and Jubilee are Mona and Rambos latest twins. They are the reddish brown Oberhausli color with a white splash on their foreheads. They are identical except for a very slight difference in color.
My Pygmy Goats
I love Pygmy goats. They are adorable. They are the smallest goats I have. I currently have 1 doe Gypsy and her son Prince. He is so tiny and has the sweetest personality. Gypsy is fun to be around. She is so sweet with people but with other goats she can be a little cranky. She always acts like all the other goats are always in her way. She is the smallest girl but she can hold her own in a butting contest. I had one other doe Mama Mia and she was the same as Gypsy. Very entertaining to watch. They are one of the most popular breeds to keep as pets but they are also good milkers. They have shorter legs than my other breeds of goats but they are just as good at jumping and running. The color variety in the Pygmy goat is amazing. They come in all colors. They are very hardy and great to work with
Mini LaMancha Goats
My Mini LaMancha Goats
I purchased 2 Mini LaMancha goats this past summer. I had never been interested in LaMancha goats because they have the very, very small ears and I like the look of larger ears on goats. But I decided to go look at them and it was love at first sight. They were bottle babies so I was bottle feeding them for several months after I bought them. They still think I am momma. I have no experience with the full size LaMancha goat. I never had one. But I love the Mini LaManchas. I prefer small goats and they are a great size. Mini LaMancha goats are produced from breeding a LaMancha doe with a Nigerian Dwarf buck. They are great milk producers like their larger counterpart. I will be breeding mine for the first time in October. I have a buck Tallahassee and a doe Twinkie. They are twins, Tallahassee has the elf ears and Twinkie as the normal LaMancha ears and beautiful blue eyes.
Mini Nubian Goats
My Mini Nubian Goat
I currently have 1 Mini Nubian Goat. She is a half sister to my Mini LaManchas. they all have the same Nigerian Dwarf daddy. She has the wonderful big ears that many people love. She is a little larger the the Mini LaManchas but has a very sweet personality. We owned one older Nubian doe and she also had a very sweet, gentle personality. I prefer the mini because the smaller size works better when breeding goats for pets.
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My Mixed Breed Goats
The rest of my herd are mixed goats, mostly dairy breeds. They are different mixtures of Saanen, Nigerian Dwarf, Pygmy, Boer and Alpine. I have bought several from private owners and auctions and that is how we now have such a variety. I am not as concerned with a goat being purebred as I am with temperment. We sell many of our goats as pets so good tempered goats are a high priority.