Based on temperament and ability to keep in fencing, which breed do you recommend the most? What have been your experiences with each breed and their temperament and milk production? Any reoccurring health issues you’ve had?
You are going to get 1000 opinions on this. Production and general health in large part depend on the genetics of the animals you purchase. Research, and find a herd that tests for disease. You can find wonderful animals within each breed and some real poops. Visit some breeders if they allow and go from there.
I agree. We all have our fav breeds. Mine is lamancha. They are docile, easy keepers, not mouthy, mine never test the fence. But that maybe pure luck lol. Excellent milkers, mothers and pets. And tons of color choices. I love their tiny ears.
Nubians have *ahem* different temperaments, that’s for sure. Add in the noise level, and I don’t like them. They do have the average highest butterfat of these three breeds.
I personally have Alpines, but am entertaining the idea of a Lamancha. One downside of Alpines is they are known to be very aggressive towards each other and fight a lot.
Nubian wouldnt be a first choice if youre concerned about sound. They are opinionated and not afraid to share their opinions.
You can learn a lot about breed traits from pack goat breeders, they often cross breed to create the best pack animal based off personalities.
We find our pure Lamancha has the best tasting milk! Though the Lamancha doe is very stand offish, and all her kids tend to have a similar personality. We had an Alpine doe and she was the most hyper and 'annoying' of the bunch (loved her dearly but she was a handful) We also found the Alpine milk was a lot closer to store bought milk then all the others, but it could just have been her.
If you can, find people with the different breeds. (Hard right now with the virus going around). There are generalities with each breed, but big differences within the breeds, too.
I have all the Swiss breeds plus Lamanchas, no Nubians. I had 11 Nubians at one time. They tend to be very vocal, I dont mind the cacophony at meal times, but my Nubians hollered just to hear their own voices! They were sold. It takes a special (patient) person to have Nubians, I admire anyone that does have them, I am not that person!
I don't have a favorite breed, but I do look for qualities that fit in my barn, well. Good personality, not overly aggressive, good mom, good milker with good production, not an "in my face all the time" goat but will let me approach without running away, isn't an escape artist, isn't a hard keeper ( keeps a good body weight without a lot of extra intervention) etc.
My poor Nubians!!! LOL - that's all I own. Mine are not loud, but can be if I'm late for dinner time. One thing I do appreciate about their voice - I know right away if something is not right. Mine are gentle, very loving and very trainable. I've never had any jumpers and only one real poop in 10 years. Nubians have the highest fat content overall of standard breeds (by test), but the flavor of your milk largely depends on what you feed, and the doe.
I think it's difficult to make a generalization of the character of a breed because each individual is going to be different. It is possible to find your ideal goats in all of those breeds.
They do differ in a few traits though. Nubians generally have higher butterfat than the Lamanchas. Alpines are usually heavy milkers. Lamanchas are said to be very hardy. You will find exceptions within each breed though and different lines with different characteristics. I would look around in your area, see what's available, ask about their lines and histories of milk production and parasite resistance and see what you can find.
My Lamanchas were nothing but trouble when it came to escaping, destroying things, and getting along with other goats, but they were very hardy and healthy, especially while they jumped 6' fences. My Nubians weren't very smart, lol, they mature slow and I think some never grow up, but I never found them vocal. My Nigerians were the screamers. The Nubians just murmured a little, I can't remember hearing them cry unless they were hurt. They mostly made a low murmuring bleat without opening their mouths. I have heard from friends who owned them that Alpines are a bossier breed and that they can be pretty assertive and noisy, but again, I know some people who love them. I think they're pretty cute with those big ears!
My personal choice would be Nubians. Something regal about them, they're so pretty and never really in a hurry. If you want something that will stay in the fence, I know none of mine were fence jumpers and none of the breeders I knew had trouble with them either. They had enough trouble walking through an open gate sometimes! I found them to be big, lovable girls and if you're not going to bottle raise, the slow maturing is helpful because the bucklings aren't really crazy about does for a few months. Again though, the right does for you might be a different breed.