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Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by kellygreen, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. kellygreen

    kellygreen New Member

    9
    Jan 7, 2009
    Maryland
    Hi everyone,

    I have been doing some research and am very serious about getting dairy goats. I'm located in central MD, w/ 27 rolling acres (5 of which are pasture) a couple of horses and chickens. I have an area ready for goats (according to the many suggestions from posts on this site). I was thinking of starting small in case the milking thing doesn't work out for me. I read a post that suggested pygmy goats for milking--do they really work well? That way I could always just keep them as pets if I didn't enjoy milking them. I am really striving for a more self-sufficient lifestyle and want to give this a try. Any suggestions?
     
  2. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Well if your looking for a lot of milk a large breed goat will give more. But I think their milk tastes strong.

    For the miniature goats. I thing Nigerians give more milk than pygmy's. And they are still small. Plus I think their milk tastes awesome. :)
     

  3. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Hello Kelly!!!!

    Welcome from Idaho!!

    I would, personally, go for Nigerians over pygmy or a cross of because Nigerian are dairy goats and will produce a bit more milk for you.

    But really it is going to depend on how much milk you are wanting per day...... wether to have minis or standard size goaties.
     
  4. ProctorHillFarm

    ProctorHillFarm New Member

    I would suggest the Nigerian Dwarfs too (but I may be biased :shades: )
    They produce quite a bit of milk for their small size, and they are PERFECT pets , and they are going to cost considerably less to feed than your full size dairy goat.
    I havent really heard of anyone using pygmies as dairy goats, they are typically considered the dwarf "meat" goats and nigerians are considered the dwarf "dairy" goats.

    Feel free to pm or email us if you are interested in learning more about the nigerians!
    But a word of warning, they are very addicting (as I think all goats are :) )
     
  5. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    It really depends, I guess, on who you think is "cuter." I have milked our Pygmy does before and enjoyed it greatly! Daisy Mae makes delicious milk and gave us about 1 1/2 quarts each day. It is slightly more difficult milking with them being "squatty" but not so terrible. A word of caution though, Pygmy goats are kind of well-known for having difficult kiddings, it's what all this breeding for the short, squatty, fat Pygmy that cannot kid without assistance. Thankfully, we found some easy kidding does. :wink:

    I also have Nigerian Dwarf goats and enjoy milking them too. This spring, I'll have two Nigerian Dwarf and three Pygmy does I will be milking. :greengrin:
     
  6. kellygreen

    kellygreen New Member

    9
    Jan 7, 2009
    Maryland
    Thanks for the welcome! I am not sure how much milk I will want--I know we go through a 1/2 gallon a day of cows milk--but I dont need to get that much from goats (to start).

    So, Nigerians? I have read about how they are surprizingly good milkers. Are they easy to find? Will they do well in this part of the country?
     
  7. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Around here they are VERY easy to find. LOL. Lots of Nigerian breeders around here. They do fine in just about any climate.

    Since you are just starting out, a few hints. Make sure the breeder you purchase from seems to know what they are talking about. Ask for health records and purchase from herds that test for diseases like CL, CAE and Johnes.
     
  8. kellygreen

    kellygreen New Member

    9
    Jan 7, 2009
    Maryland
    Great! I am going to start looking at the Nigerian Dwarfs as a serious possibility. They really seem to fit what I am looking for. Thanks for all the advise.
     
  9. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    764
    Oct 22, 2007
    Hi! Goats are like potato chips, you wont just have a couple...lol trust me I started with one and now I have 10, going to be 11, more then likely....may purchase another one...

    Anywho, if you are looking for one to milk, make sure the goat isn't wild. If someone says "oh don't worry she'll calm down when you get her home." RUN far far away. Don't buy a wild goat. It's not worth it when you can find good milk goats already "broke" to milk.

    No matter if you want to show, or just milk, always find disease free herds to go with. It doesn't matter what breed you go with, always ask if they test for CAE and CL. If they say "I've never heard of those." Again, run. CAE and CL are so common that everyone has heard about them now adays.

    If they do know about CAE and CL but don't test, ask if you could test the doe before purchase at your expense, if they say no, move on.

    When you go looking at does, if you decide to get a milker, go catch her, and put her on the stand. Dont just see the goat already on the stand. You want to see how that doe walks from the pen to the stand. Feel the goat all over. and I do mean ALL over. From head to tail. Mess with her udder and teats to see how she stands. Pick up her feet to see how she handles that.

    If I think of anything else, I'll add it. But that's all that comes to mind right now.

    Oh and Nigerians are the minis that milk. If you want a larger dairy goat, there are Alpines, Nubians, Saanens, Oberhasli (sp?) Toggenburg (SP?) Lamanchas, Sable Saanens (I think that's the breed name?? Correct me if I'm wrong.) Am I missing any? :shrug: lol
     
  10. kellygreen

    kellygreen New Member

    9
    Jan 7, 2009
    Maryland
    Wow--that is all great information--thanks. This is a lot like buying a horse. I have found two breeders close by that I plan on calling over the next couple days to see if I can visit and check out the does they have for sale. Thanks again for the info!
     
  11. BeeLady

    BeeLady New Member

    I love my little Nigerians. They were bottle raised and very friendly. Biggest problem so far is keeping them out of the house when they want to follow me inside.

    Make sure you have 2 goats -- one would be very lonesome. You could by a wether pygmy or a wether Nigerian if you only want one to milk. Just buy a bred Nigerian to get started, which is what I have.

    Or my next big idea -- buying two big wethers (Nubian or whatever) to train as harness goats! Sell the 4-wheeler!
     
  12. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Hi Kelly and Welcome!

    I have Nigerians as well as nigi/pygmy crosses....and I do have to say that I am biasedbecause I do milk my cross does as well as the full pygmy I had b4 she passed. Both breeds are very sweet and they both give a weeter milk due to the butterfat content. Even if you went with a larger dairy breed and you decided that milking wasn't for you they still do well as pets. The same with the mini breeds, if you choose not to milk, you still have very sweet pets. I have 2 does now that have retired from breeding though I am still milking the older one, they are both "hayburners" as my DH lovingly calls them. Now, I just have crosses and just started with registered nigi's in the last 2 years, this spring will be my first registered kids. Since I have pet quality crosses I haven't tested like others have, I can just give my word that my herd is healthy and haven't had an issue on that yet.
     
  13. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    welcome........kellygreen :wave:
     
  14. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    depends on the pygmy, some can be easily milked and milk quite a bit. I love my nigerians though.

    I am in NJ -- what part of MD are you in?
     
  15. Amy Goatress

    Amy Goatress New Member

    728
    Oct 1, 2008
    I agree, I would go with Nigerians over Pygmies, that is one reason we crossed our Nigerians to our Nubians to get Mini-Nubians.
     
  16. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Welcome Kelly, :wave: I can not give you any advice at all as I do not have any dairy goats. Mine are all Cashmere
     
  17. FarmGirl18

    FarmGirl18 New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Oklahoma
    Hi there Kelly! Welcome to The Goat Spot! :)
     
  18. lesserweevil

    lesserweevil New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    I have Saanens and an AN / Saanen cross and I luffs them! :cool:

    Only one is in milk just now but she's easy to milk - a good height so that she doesnt hurt my back, and is milking 1.5 litres every day - in 1 milking - she kidded last May and is a 2nd freshener. If I was milking her twice a day and giving her more grain I expect she'd give more, but this way it's easy on us, and we get enough milk...