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One more quick mini question... Most people I know who raise mini goats for milk choose Nigis, and I typically think of African Pygmies as more of a meat goat (though I know that Nigis can be used for meat, too). However, my Storey's guide says that African Pygmies can give up to a half gallon of milk a day.

How do Nigis compare to Pygmies for milking? Do people often raise Pygmies for their milk, or are Nigis the more common choice?
 

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Pygmy are a meat breed - so typically they do not produce the quantity of milk as Nigerian dairy goats do who were bred specifically for milk production. Now there are some pygmy out there who are decent milkers - but that is not their main purpose for the breed.
 

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I raise pygmy/nigi crosses as well as have PB nigies, my cross does do very well in the milk pail and are just as easy to milk...I had one PB pygmy that I lost 3 years ago and she was a very good milker, just about 5 1/2 cups a day with very sweet milk. Now,. as Allison said, pygmies are not bred for udders, but for confirmation of breed...nigies are bred for both and do have much better mammary confirmation than pygmies. I do have one pygmy/nigi doe that has the right udder for raising kids, but not one that allows me to milk her easily or for very long after her kids leave.
 

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There are a lot of pygmies around here (central NM) and not many of their people milk them. It seems like they are pets mostly. People show them, but I haven't heard of anyone using them for meat. They make great milk, though. So do NDs.
 

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I don't know of anyone that really milks a Pygmmy. Most people have Pygmy goat just for pets.

Really any and all goats can be used as a meat goat.
 

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liz said:
Any goat can be milked too...regardless of breed, the flavor of the milk and length of lactation are usually affected by not being considered a dairy breed.
That is true Liz, I did not mean that at all. I think of a Pygmy milking in the same catagory as a Cashmere goat. (I would not do it).

I think mainly because of the size of them and how little the teats are.
 

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:greengrin: I think it's a challenge for sure to milk a pygmy, depends on their size(height) I was fortunate to have had a larger pygmy doe...most that are bred now are smaller than what they originally were, nice sized teats too :wink:

Some of the udders I've seen pics of on Cashmere's are decent enough to be milkable, though being a Fiber goat I guess would be the same "thought" as a Boer being a meat goat :whatgoat: They each have a purpose but if a body was willing and needed milk but didn't/couldn't get a "dairy' breed goat, meat, fiber or pet could still be milked. :ponder:
 

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liz said:
:greengrin: I think it's a challenge for sure to milk a pygmy, depends on their size(height) I was fortunate to have had a larger pygmy doe...most that are bred now are smaller than what they originally were, nice sized teats too :wink:

Some of the udders I've seen pics of on Cashmere's are decent enough to be milkable, though being a Fiber goat I guess would be the same "thought" as a Boer being a meat goat :whatgoat: They each have a purpose but if a body was willing and needed milk but didn't/couldn't get a "dairy' breed goat, meat, fiber or pet could still be milked. :ponder:
Some of my does have really nice udders, and I am sure they could be milked pretty easy, I am just sure the milk would not be NEAR the quality as a MILK goats that is for sure.

I have taken my coffee cup out and milked right in my coffee. (Not very creamy that is for sure ) :slapfloor:
 

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A pygmy and a nigerian are quite different. It's like comparing a sanaan to a boer. One is bred for meat, one is bred for milk. The nigerian is bred for milk (though some people aren't breeding this way)...some are more concerned about colors or size than a good milker with oustanding conformation, both body and udder. And with the pymies...I rarely see a pygmy that is up to breed standards...just because people aren't following the breed standards...which is fine when you're breeding for pets, but I just don't see a good looking pygmy that often.

I started out with pygmies and never had one producing the same amount as my nigerians that I have now. I also don't think they would be able to keep up in the milk production vs. a well bred nigerian. Take the best of the best nigerian dwarf doe vs. the best of the best pygmy doe...I don't think, milk production wise, the pygmy would even compare to the nigerian.
 

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KW Farms said:
A pygmy and a nigerian are quite different..... And with the pymies...I rarely see a pygmy that is up to breed standards...just because people aren't following the breed standards...which is fine when you're breeding for pets, but I just don't see a good looking pygmy that often.
I went to the fair, and there was a nigi there that was half the size of my little girl (who i thought might have some pygmy in her b/c of her size and color, but people here said she looks full nigi, she is just petite) This goat had stubby legs, and looked like she had ALOT of pygmy to me, I don't know how she did ribbon-wise, but considering there were hardly any nigis being shown, she probably got some, but I couldn't believe she was even entered.

I know at dog shows, some judges will give a ribbon to just about any dog, if it is the only one in its class, others will not award any ribbons if they feel the dog is a poor representative of its breed (which is how it should be) Is is the same with showing goats?
 

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There are registered nigies that I myself could mistake for a pygmy due to their size....a good many of the older breeders have what can be classed as "Old Style".....still Nigerians but are closer to the original goats brought to the US. With breeding and keeping with the dairy character, the "New Style" came about...not neccasarily taller but more refined in bone and build.
 

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fairs are a whole different story when it comes to what can be shown under what name.

The registry sanctioned shows are the shows that mean the most.


I had a very pygmy doe - no papers but she was all pygmy- with a huge udder, well attached and all. She gave me a couple quarts of milk! That goat was a MILKER. This is the total exception to the rule though.
 

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StaceyRoop said:
I had a very pygmy doe - no papers but she was all pygmy- with a huge udder, well attached and all. She gave me a couple quarts of milk! That goat was a MILKER. This is the total exception to the rule though.
The pygmy I had, Dolly, was exactly like that...she's in center of my Sig pic, great udder and awesome milk. When she passed, I knew I lost my best milker til I got Binkey :wink:
 

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"A pygmy and a nigerian are quite different. It's like comparing a sanaan to a boer. One is bred for meat, one is bred for milk. The nigerian is bred for milk (though some people aren't breeding this way)...some are more concerned about colors or size than a good milker with oustanding conformation, both body and udder. And with the pymies...I rarely see a pygmy that is up to breed standards...just because people aren't following the breed standards...which is fine when you're breeding for pets, but I just don't see a good looking pygmy that often."

Kylee -- there a lot of goats out there that b/c they are small are called pygmies. But there are, IMHO, some very good looking pygmies around. I raise and show pygmies; and a lot of us are going back to the original style -- balanced and structurally correct instead of those dumpy little pumpkins that were around 10 years ago. My does have few, if any, problems kidding, b/c I breed for that.

This is my 9YO doe -- she's standing a little stretched out, but you can see she's pretty level and has a long body -- great for having babies! And she's holding up great for her age!


and one of my bucks -- another long body!



and finally -- my fat wether -- but you can see where I'm trying to go with my breeding program!



Anyway, it just seems like pygmies are get a bad rap -- you know, one bad apple -- so I had to put in my two cents! :whatgoat:
 

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Denise, I totally LOVE your pygmies, your doe looks very similar in build to the doe I lost a few years ago...wide and longer as opposed to the "dumpy, chunky" little goats that seemed to be so sought after, You have done wonderful with bringing them back to what they should be. My Dolly was a joy to milk, a bit lower to the ground than my cross doe Bootsie but my goodness, her teats and udder were wonderful...for a pygmy. :wink:
 

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I know I am passionate about my pygmies -- and I have one more thing to say: Recently, it seems as though people have forgotten that pygmies are NOT miniature goats. They are true dwarves -- achondroplastic (sp) dwarves with nearly full sized bodies with undersized limbs. For too long breeders bred smaller and smaller without realizing the repercussions. Nigis, on the other hand, are miniature -- balanced and in proportion.
 
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