I'm wondering what you dairy guys think of this ...

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by keren, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Australia
    So you guys know I've been wanting to breed up a small but high quality dairy herd, focusing on British Alpines. I've been getting increasingly frustrated with the quality (or lack thereof) of BAs within a 10 hr radius of me.

    There is a stud within 5 hrs of me, who has the best dairy does of any breed, in both body and udder conformation, and milking ability. From their website, they expect their FF does to peak at 13.2 lbs (1 gallon and 4.6 pints) and their second and subsequent lactation does to peak at 17.6 lbs (2 gallon and 0.9 pints). Bear with me on those conversions, I wasnt sure whether you wanted gallons, quarts or pints. They have been breeding for over thirty years. They have bred thirteen Australian champions, eleven supreme exhibit awards at major shows and fourteen most successful exhibitor awards, seven dairy doe of the year awards at a state level.

    Pictures inside their barn:

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    Pictures of their does in milk:

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    First freshener
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    First freshener
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    This one and the next one showing the udder is the same doe
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    This doe and the next are twins
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    This doe was 7 yrs old when the photo was taken
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    This doe is the one on the right in the next photo. They are on their first lactation in both pics, at 2 yrs old
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    I've reached a point where I am frustrated with the quality available to me,within my breed (BA). The flagship of my herd (Maddie) just died and she was supposed to be the foundation of my BA doe her, since she was one of the highest quality does I'd seen in the breed. At this point, I am just not happy with the quality of the four does I have left - three saanens and 1 british alpine. I am am honestly wondering if I might, at the end of the year, sell these four in milk with kids at foot, and use the money to buy one or two does from this herd. Now, I'm not sure yet whether I should just go into the Saanen breed - there are just so many higher numbers of animals in the breed and thus they have been able to develop the quality so much more. In contrast there are only a handful of BA breeders left across the whole country, and because of that the quality is suffering. Or the other thing I thought I might do perhaps is use these brilliant Saanens to form a base for an upgrading program with the British Alpines, by putting the best BA buck I can find over them.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Those does are GORGEOUS! If what you currenly have does not please you, then yes I would sell to get what I really want.
     

  3. rebelshope

    rebelshope New Member

    908
    Sep 20, 2008
    Wisconsin
    I agree, those does looks beautiful! And if you are not happy with what you got, sell them to someone who wants them and get what you want.
     
  4. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    keren.. the real question i would have is: can you improve the does you already have with a buck from them? if so i would say buy a buck from them and a saanen doe.. and try to breed up your stock..

    if you think that they're too far gone... then i would sell them and get into the saanens.. if you like them
     
  5. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Yep...If you don't feel that the does you have are worth trying to improve upon, then it is best to move them on down the road.

    Those are some nice does in the photos...if you are really serious about breeding for milk production and show, you should totally go for it. It sounds like you can't better goats in the entire country...what an opportunity it would be to own one!
     
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    ok here is an idea.

    BReed Saanens for a little while. get your name out there - enjoy the show ring etc. Then when you can afford a real nice BA or two go for it. Start your program of breeding up via your saanen's or get a real nice herd of BA and work with them.

    I know you are limited right now so best to go with what will give you the most bang for you buck as was stated. It will give you a nice fullfilled feeling and you can learn about the strengths and weeknesses of the dairy breed and use that to improve the Bristish Alpine breed once you can get some. Seems like they are hard to get and not going ot be as fullfilling for a couple years. I like instant results and if you want a dairy one day the BA may not be the breed until you can help promot it and get it to a higher level.

    dont know if any of that made sense :scratch:
     
  7. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Australia
    Ugh. I just spent 35min typing up a length reply to this and the computer just ate it :angry: :(

    I'll get back to you guys later
     
  8. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    oh that smarts :angry: