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Discussion Starter #1
So, little background since I'm new to the forum.
We had meat goats when I was a kid, now I have my own mixed bag herd of dairy/dual purpose girls. Nubians, nubian crosses, sables, and a lamancha. All of course in medium to large size. I was completely and totally fine with that, and then I went to go pick up a nubian bottle doeling for a friend, and what do I find when I get there? The most ADORABLE little ND doe I have ever seen. So I get home, and keep hearing the siren song of tiny goats, and keep trying to resist. Fail epicly at that, and start doing some reading and research on the breed and see the average butterfat content of the milk for the breed a d now find myself seriously considering adding a small group of little midgets. If you have stuck with me this long then YAY! XD
Now for my questions. How common are dystocias with these little girls? Is it always a c-section situation, or no? What absolutely for sure warrants a cesarean? Any other bad and ugly things I should know?
Many thanks in advance for all information and advice. ^-^
 

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Dystocia is statistically no more common than with standard size does. Caesarians are equally uncommon and usually not indicated unless the doe is trying to birth a too-large kid (generally a single), is bred before she reaches about 70% of her adult weight, or is accidentally bred to a standard-breed buckling. (The latter is very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs, including abortion if an accident occurs.)
 

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Dystocia is statistically no more common than with standard size does. Caesarians are equally uncommon and usually not indicated unless the doe is trying to birth a too-large kid (generally a single), is bred before she reaches about 70% of her adult weight, or is accidentally bred to a standard-breed buckling. (The latter is very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs, including abortion if an accident occurs.)
You also have to be careful not to overfeed... it can be tough, since as you probably already know most goats are little piggies. :haha:
But it's important as excess calories will just make bigger than average kid(s). It can also make kidding harder on the doe, because if she's chubby, the excess fat can make the birth canal narrower- whether it's deposited around there, or just gets pushed into the way when she lies down. It can also increase the risk of vaginal, and uterine prolapse.

Anything you can do to increase her chances to kid naturally, or with limited intervention, the better you'll be. Goats tend to react poorly to anesthesia. Even the best vet in the world can't make up for a doe who is ultra sensitive.

Above all- if you even *suspect* things are starting to go poorly... call the vet sooner than later. Do NOT wait & see. If kids need to be repositioned, it's best done before they are wedged in.
 

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I would ask around in your area and see how miniature sales are going just to make sure before you decide. In some areas the market is completely saturated with miniature pet wethers. Another thing is to find a breeder focused on milk production and milkability/teat size.
 

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Teat size is a real deal breaker! I had a ND breeder friend that had a family emergency and I had to care for her 25 ND's, milked about 8-10 of them. (7 yrs. ago). Those miniscule teats just about killed me. I can milk 60 full size does in little over an hour or hour and a half. Those tiny teated girls took me 2 hrs. twice a day. But, the judges loved them- all were well bred etc. with tiny, well shaped teats. grrrrrr (I ended up bringing a my spare milker over)

If you get any, make sure you can milk them! If that is your goal.....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your responses! Great info! And I apologize for taking so long to get back, I squished my phone and getting it replaced was an ordeal.
Extra wethers wont be an issue for us, we eat our extra boys, and they all get wethered unless someone contacts me wanting a boy before they start hitting the ground. Bottle babies are sometimes an exception. I usually sell those, and leave it up to the buyer whether they want them intact or not.
A milking machine is definitely going to be used. My wrists are not the greatest, so even milking my big girls has started to become more of an UGH chore than an enjoyable one. I trim all my own feet on my goats AND my ponies too, so as far as saving my wrists for more expensive work the milking machine will pay for itself on the first set of teats. Lol
I am glad to know that they aren't extra prone to birthing problems, and that it wouldn't neccesarily always be beyond the scope of my own capabilities to correct anything minor. I do have smaller hands, but I wanted a general consensus on that. And definitely they will not EVER run with my bigger guys.
By what age do they typically reach that 70% mark? My big girls have all been seasonal cyclers who come in in the fall, so I typically expose my younger girls on their second fall season, just shy of 2, and not until towards the end of the season. Exceptions for slower growers even there of course.
Do ND breeders track birthweights/size on their kids and select for smaller birthweight genetics like they do for cattle? I always do my best to select for multiples in the breeding history of both my does and my bucks on my big guys to avoid giant single kids and better milk production, so that will definitely be on my list of requirements for ND breeding stock as well.
Thank you all so much for the responses!
 

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I'll just add that to my list of questions per breeder per goat. ^-^ I know for me personally, I keep something of an unofficial record of average birth size in my head having bred ponies and miniature horses for so long.
 

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my herd. i remember who had what on how many kids, but every year seems to be different. for example. i purchased a doe bred. her second kidding she had twins, when she kidded for the first time for me she had a single, next year she had triplets and this year she had triplets. going by her lines she did gain capacity a bit slower then other lines. i also have a doe who kidded for the first time last year as a two year old with quads. two were very small though, this year she also had quads but they were all the same size, her daughter who kidded this year had triplets, two small doeling and one larger buckling.
 

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I think when I get my herd started I will be looking for does who have consistently birthed multiples themselves and are not first fresheners, that have dams that have consistently birthed multiples. In my buck I will look for a good history of multiples and small kids at birth. I know my mytonic guy will definitely NOT be getting any maidens in his pen no matter what size they are. His kids are built like bricks no matter what doe I cross him on. Lol
 
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