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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'll trying to move up to Maine in a year or so and it can get down below zero in the winter there. Aside from making good shelters, I was wondering what kind of goats would be best for cold regions (especially those with a lot of snowfall)? I'm sure there are a few of you on here that have an opinion about which breeds you think are best :), so please feel free to share your opinions!

Now, I realize there are a bunch of goats that can survive in winter weather, so I'd like to narrow my specifications down a little finer. What I'm really looking for in a breed in terms of importance:
  1. Absolutely NO GMO goats! I realize goats are not native to New England, but I'd like some kind of breed that was not grown in a science lab that is fairly "natural", raised by pasture and fed organic food. I don't want some kind of goat that has been filled with anti-biotics or hormones. I just want a nice "green" healthy goat. :)
  2. Provides decent milk
  3. Has a coat (perhaps cashmere) that can be sheered and used for yarn
  4. Provides decent meat

I realize having sort of an all-in-one super goat fit for everything, but that's why I put priorities.

This kind of brings up a follow up question: Do different breeds mix well together?

Thanks in advance,
-FH
 

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Hey all,

I'll trying to move up to Maine in a year or so and it can get down below zero in the winter there. Aside from making good shelters, I was wondering what kind of goats would be best for cold regions (especially those with a lot of snowfall)? I'm sure there are a few of you on here that have an opinion about which breeds you think are best :), so please feel free to share your opinions!

Now, I realize there are a bunch of goats that can survive in winter weather, so I'd like to narrow my specifications down a little finer. What I'm really looking for in a breed in terms of importance:

[*]Absolutely NO GMO goats! I realize goats are not native to New England, but I'd like some kind of breed that was not grown in a science lab that is fairly "natural", raised by pasture and fed organic food. I don't want some kind of goat that has been filled with anti-biotics or hormones. I just want a nice "green" healthy goat. :)
[*]Provides decent milk
[*]Has a coat (perhaps cashmere) that can be sheered and used for yarn
[*]Provides decent meat

I realize having sort of an all-in-one super goat fit for everything, but that's why I put priorities.

This kind of brings up a follow up question: Do different breeds mix well together?

Thanks in advance,
-FH
The Nigerian dwarf is a real hardy breed of goat, they grow more fur than other breeds. Nigrians are also known for their nice meet and sweet milk.My family has four and they are the best out of the herd.Any breed can grow casmeir and any breed can learn how to adapt to the cold weather. I live in NH which is a state over for maine so if you need any help locating breeders feel free to ask. The Nigerian dwarf has everything you decribed and more! My family is expecting nigerian kids in the spring if you are intrested I can give you my email and we can talk more.
 

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The Nigerian dwarf is a real hardy breed of goat, they grow more fur than other breeds. Nigrians are also known for their nice meet and sweet milk.My family has four and they are the best out of the herd.Any breed can grow casmeir and any breed can learn how to adapt to the cold weather. I live in NH which is a state over for maine so if you need any help locating breeders feel free to ask. The Nigerian dwarf has everything you decribed and more! My family is expecting nigerian kids in the spring if you are intrested I can give you my email and we can talk more.
All the goats on our farm are ADGA registered so you can be sure you are getting a healthy animal. I show my does in 4-H and ADGA shows and they all got grand champion or reserve champion senior and junior doe .
Nigerians are refured to as a multy purpose breed that are used for milk and meat. They are the smallest of the dairy breeds but produce more milk and meat than pygmies.
 

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I think for you I would choose one or dairy does and a couple angora does. I would breed all said does to a fainting goat to increase the meat growth on the kids. The kids would not really be as good for milk or fiber but, they would fill the freezer nicely.
 

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I agree that Nigerians would probably fit your needs. I live on the shore in Connecticut. We had some terrible wether with hurricanes and blizzards the last few years and I get a constant wind. (windchill) their fur really thickens up in the winter especially if I go from end of July without clipping them. They are usually easy keepers and good milkers, the smaller size is an extra bonus. Mine require very little care as far as meds are concerned. If you buy from a reputable breeder they are generally a healthy breed. Good luck In Maine... I love New England and the winters !!!!!
 

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I think for you I would choose one or dairy does and a couple angora does. I would breed all said does to a fainting goat to increase the meat growth on the kids. The kids would not really be as good for milk or fiber but, they would fill the freezer nicely.
I agree with this.. sounds like a good idea to fit your needs.

For the dairy does, I'd look at some websites of goats in Maine, find some reputable breeders that have good producing goats, find what's popular, check craigslist and see what sells.

And *cough* Alpines *cough* Lol, I'm not biased at all.. :rolleyes:
 

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Nigerian fiber not worth trying to spin though.
If you breed a nigerian x Angora it produces a casmier I'm not sure about milk but the fur.
Maybe two diffrent breeds would be better. One angora and one Nigerian.
 

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I have found my Nigerians and Pygmies to be incredibly hardy in winter and cold. The Pygmy's I have found do the best. They will run around in 110 degree heat and be fine, and when it gets towards 0 they just huddle up and stay warm. So for what you want, I would do Pygora goats (Fiber and meat) and Nigerian Dwarfs for milk. :)
 

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FH, have you any milking experience? We didnt and happened upon a standard sized doe in milk, and Boy we will never go back.. I know people do it, but espec if you have regular or larger sized hands, the normal (vs Mini) sized teats are sooooo much easier...
 

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FH, have you any milking experience? We didnt and happened upon a standard sized doe in milk, and Boy we will never go back.. I know people do it, but espec if you have regular or larger sized hands, the normal (vs Mini) sized teats are sooooo much easier...
I have to disagree. If you buy a nice goat (which you should even just for milking) the teats should be a nice milk able size. Yes full size goats' teats will be bigger but there is no reason a mini or dwarf goat should have teats that are too small to milk!
 

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Scottyhorse,
well we will certainly be finding this out-- we have 2 three quarter Nigerian/ toggs ready to be freshened and will be getting our registered Nigerian Buckling in 2 weeks....
Not to discriminate, but we sure do love our Oberhaslis....
Just, those teats sure do look teeny. The Buckling is from dairy lines....
 

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The teats on the doe I linked look tiny? I think those are the perfect milking size IMO. One of my does has teats those size and they're perfect, to me, anyways.
 

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Hey all, I'll trying to move up to Maine in a year or so and it can get down below zero in the winter there. Aside from making good shelters, I was wondering what kind of goats would be best for cold regions (especially those with a lot of snowfall)? I'm sure there are a few of you on here that have an opinion about which breeds you think are best :), so please feel free to share your opinions! Now, I realize there are a bunch of goats that can survive in winter weather, so I'd like to narrow my specifications down a little finer. What I'm really looking for in a breed in terms of importance: [*]Absolutely NO GMO goats! I realize goats are not native to New England, but I'd like some kind of breed that was not grown in a science lab that is fairly "natural", raised by pasture and fed organic food. I don't want some kind of goat that has been filled with anti-biotics or hormones. I just want a nice "green" healthy goat. :) [*]Provides decent milk [*]Has a coat (perhaps cashmere) that can be sheered and used for yarn [*]Provides decent meat I realize having sort of an all-in-one super goat fit for everything, but that's why I put priorities. This kind of brings up a follow up question: Do different breeds mix well together? Thanks in advance, -FH
My cashmere goats do excellent in the winter. My does give me great tasting milk and quite a bit. We also butcher unwanted males and the meat tastes really good. There is a very reputable cashmere goat breeder in Maine. Springtide Farm is in Bremen. Wendy Pieh and Peter Goth are wonderful people and often put on clinics and farm tours. They would teach you so so much.

You can shear cashmeres or comb their fiber. I find combing gives a cleaner product. An you can spin it to make yarn.
 

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How much milk do the does produce?
 

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I'll trying to move up to Maine in a year or so and it can get down below zero in the winter there.
It can get down to way below zero a lot of places and the goats do just fine. I wouldn't worry about the temps and I don't know of any goats that are "grown" in a laboratory. Whether they are "green" or not depends entirely on their owner and what they choose to feed them. If I were you I would quit worrying about GMO grown goats and get down to looking. Do your research on breeds and find some people that are already raising goats in the area you want to move to. Here is a site that can help you.

http://www.goatfinder.com/main_goat_directory.htm
 

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I live in Maine. Our winters haven't been all that bad lately but you never know when we'll get heavy winters again.

IMO
If you want dairy get a dairy goat. If you want fiber, get a fiber goat. Any goat can be eaten or breed your dairy and fiber goats to a meat goat for a meatier kid.

You can get a goat that is a dairy fiber cross but you will compromise on both dairy and quality of fiber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow, thank you all for the recommendations! I wasn't expecting 2 pages to fill up so quickly lol. There is a lot of great information here and I appreciate it. I have seen the Nigerian Dwarfs before and to be honest, if I was going to buy a goat tomorrow I would probably be going with one of those because they seem like the toyota corolla/honda civic of goats in the sense that they are reliable and good for every day use.

Good points on the breeding dairy goats to meat and also about picking the best goat for the task.

I'll definitely check out the farms mentioned.

I don't have any experience milking. I have heard it recommended to invest in a milking machine because I know a lot of people complain about having sore fingers. I guess it's just going to be one of those things I'll have to figure out for myself. I remember my grandmother telling me that you have to milk cows daily or they will stop lactating. I assume it is the same thing with goats right? Oh, that also brings up a sub-question about Nigerians. What content of milk fat is in your milk? Is there enough to make things like butter/cheese with it? If so how much butter/cheese could I get a week from a Nigerian?

Even I (as a complete newbie) have seen Pygmys, Nigerians, and Alpines mentioned before in the literature before for cold weather regions, and that's great that you all confirm they do well :). However, what do you all think about some of the more exotic breeds like the Russian White or the Finnish Landrace? Is it just that these goats are crazy expensive or something? Does anyone know how more uncommon breeds to America would compare?
 
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