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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to get two goats this fall with the hopes of having a small herd of dairy goats eventually. I don't see myself getting into showing but I would like to have quality goats who produce quality milk. We only have a few acres so all of our animals are part of the family and it would be the same with the goats. If I am not interested in showing is there a disadvantage in getting a goat with a spur teat? A local breeder who has been very helpful to me so far has a young doe she's going to sell due to a spur teat. Her offspring do not have it I believe. It seems to me that I would be the type of home this gal would do well at since I'm not going to be showing her but am looking for good milk bloodlines. She also has another young doe but said that she has a full set of extra teats. I am a little more hesitant on her, only because if I was interested in getting into breeding down the line I'd prefer not to fill up initially with goats with traits that would disqualify their offspring (if passed on) in shows. But, I also don't want to overthink it since I am truly looking for a solid backyard milk operation and some good pets/brush eaters. Advice from knowledgeable goat owners is very welcome! Thanks!
 

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I would not introduce extra teats into a dairy herd. Only 1x1 is allowed, which would butt out future doeling purchases for 4H youth, and future sire bucklings as well.

For a small dairy, purchase tested does for CAE, Johne's, and CL. It's something that's highly overlooked. I would also check out the breeds an see what you like for colors, attitudes, milk quality/quantity/taste. Also check into herds that are on DHIR/DHIA records to keep track of production. You want a nicely balanced animal with good hardy solid conformation (great legs and feet, as well as topline especially important) that pumps her weight in milk.


Good luck!
 

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Goatless goat momma
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is the spur teat functional? like does milk come out of it? have you tried milking the goat and see? i would personally pass on the goat will extra teats. that may make it hard to milk...

here are my personal experience and thoughts on that - I live in the Caribbean, so no great goats available here. I got 2 for my bday last year, and this year our one doe gave birth. i wanted them to be home milkers. well, her capacity isn't great, and teats wing out so it's not the easiest to milk her, but I've been doing well. i have decided to move back to Canada, so i will have to say goodbye to these girls i have.

in having these girls, I've learned how important it is to start with great genetics, even if you're not going to show. to have girls who may not produce for you (i get 1 quart of milk a day IF i'm lucky...and that's from lots of feed too!) or who may not have the best udders (my girl's is saggy, wingy teats, etc) or are prone to getting sick, is just not great... i would have loved to get a doe from high producing line, with great conformation.

i have decided that my next herd will I will start with high quality goats from healthy, high producing milking lines so i won't be disappointed when milking time comes. make sure they're disease free and well taken care of. you will likely spend more money on good genetics (i plan to), but it will definitely pay off in the milk bucket.

i hope that helps.....
 

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i'm sure there are plenty of goats available without these problems. i personaally dont feel that a non functioning spur teat is a huge deal, however the one with an extra set is probably something you should pass on. it sounds like you want to have registered animals. i would start with the best that i could afford. there are plenty of quality animals out there without extras. have you decided on a breed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
These goats are Nigerian Dwarfs. I'm not sold on any one breed yet. The draw to the Nigerians is their high butterfat content. I'm interested in starting slow with just a pair of goats initially but I think I'd definitely like to experiment with different breeds once I get more experience. My girlfriend took a shine to the Toggenburgs when we were at the state fair. But, I don't feel I know enough yet to have a clear direction.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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You do not want a spur teat. You will not get much milk outta Nigerians. You will never get a ND or Mini that will produce anywhere near a full sized dairy goat. The rumor about Toggenbergs is their milk is not as tasty as say an Alpines milk. So you may need to do some taste testing to find a couple of animals. If you want higher butter fat you can go with a Nubian, who are beloved by their owners but can tend to be a bit stubborn and or dumb. They dont tend to milk quite as much as the other dairy breeds so this can be a blessing for people new to milking as you can get a surplus of milk pretty quick. Not to mention they also tend to be noisy. Or next a Lamancha, which their biggest draw back is the no ears thing and it kinda freaks people out :). Seeing how you dont need to register them, Id suggest a Lamancha / Alpine cross. Good volume and a bit more butter fat.

BUT if you do the right research you can locate lines of just about any breed to fill your needs. www.adga.org has a TON of information on many animals. You can also gain access to their members directory by becoming a member and that will show you all the different breeders in your area and what kind of services they offer. Id also suggest you look into your local laws regarding raw milk sales. Some states dont mind it but others have a very hard stand against it.
 

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I agree that you won't get a ton of milk from a Nigerian, but if you have a small family and don't drink a to a milk, then they could work for you. It really depends on your situation.
 

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stonebrokefarm
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Oh, now don't make me fighting mad.....lol!!!

Of course you won't get the same amount of milk from a Nigerian as a standard goat, but you also have a smaller goat so less feed, less housing requirements and they are smaller animals to deal with (which I like when handling the bucks) and perfect for young children to work with.

Just an FYI, milk production on a Nigerian has a lot to do with the animal itself. I have a 5 year old second freshener who at four weeks fresh milked 4 cups twice a day. I have quite a few that do that.....and then I have those that don't. Of course it doesn't compare with a standard but nothing beats Nigerian milk for taste and cheese making....
 

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I agree with you, kbluebkeman! Don't be mad at me! I just think it is a lot of work to milk like, six Nigerians (if they produce that well; not all do) for enough milk for a big family. We have a big family, and I don't think we would come out doing that.:)
as it is, we milk just 3 Alpines, once a day and are getting 2 and 1/2 gallons, so for us that's a lot easier! :)
 

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Goat Girl
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I would definitely look for quality goats when starting your herd, even if you just want backyard milkers at this time you will have a much easier time selling kids if the dams/sires are quality animals.

One thing to think about if you are wanting Nigerians is how able you are to bend over lol. Me I can't stand on my head very long, so I prefer the bigger goats because you can do things like trim hooves, clip, catch etc without having to put them on a stand or bend over very far to do it. If you want a smaller goat that will cost less to feed, and doesn't give way too much milk then Nigerians would be great for your herd. Nigerians also seem to have a better "pet" market than the full sized breeds because of their smaller stature and the multitude of colors they come in. They can be kept in smaller areas and have tons of personality. The best thing when picking a breed would be to look into what sells the best in your area so that when you have kids you won't be trying to sell a breed/type of goat that people aren't interested in your area.
 

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stonebrokefarm
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Ya'll know I was just kidding (no pun intended..lol) about the "fighting mad" bit......lol.

I totally agree with goat girl that one of your considerations should be what sells in your area as well as characteristics/traits.

Karen
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Oh, now don't make me fighting mad.....lol!!!

Of course you won't get the same amount of milk from a Nigerian as a standard goat, but you also have a smaller goat so less feed, less housing requirements and they are smaller animals to deal with (which I like when handling the bucks) and perfect for young children to work with.

Just an FYI, milk production on a Nigerian has a lot to do with the animal itself. I have a 5 year old second freshener who at four weeks fresh milked 4 cups twice a day. I have quite a few that do that.....and then I have those that don't. Of course it doesn't compare with a standard but nothing beats Nigerian milk for taste and cheese making....
LOL that was exactly what I was going for! :p But really, I was just taking the title (small dairy herd) into account when I posted. And ya blue, we knew you was playing :)

You can milk NDs (a locale lady makes some great soaps) they are more pet then working goat. Which does open up a difference sales market to ND owners. And like blue said, 4 cups twice a day, which sounds like a good amount but I have no idea what the average ND milks per day.
The average production here, from our full sized dairy goats is anywhere from 1/2 of a gallon twice a day from first fresheners, all the way up to over a gallon twice a day from the mature does. Averages out at about 12-14 lbs a day. If you dont have an outlet already waiting, you can see how a person can be swimming in milk in no time with full sized goats.

So depending upon the how and why, you should pick accordingly.
 

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stonebrokefarm
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Hey guys check out what a Nigerian Dairy herd can do....lol! What's really interesting is that my Christmas list last year had cheese making cookbooks and so my daughter who is currently residing in California bought me the most beautiful cheese making book (wonderful pictures and great educational material on making cheese) written by the owner/breeder/cheesemaker at Pholio Farm....they are famous for their artisanal cheeses.

What was even cooler is that one of my does here is sired by a buck that was imported by Pholio Farm from Dawnland Farm........it's a small world after all. There are also other Nigerian Dairy herds out there making their mark in the cheese world....

But yes, a commercial dairy would never work with Nigerians because they do produce far less milk.

Just an FYI TDG-Farms......8 cups a day is a lot for a Nigerian......​

http://www.pholiafarm.com/

Karen
 

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~Crazy Goat Lady~
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I have a doe that milks a half gallon a day!(Nigerian) and that was a FF!
I have also heard of other does that milk like crazy!

We are a family of six, and with two Nigerians milking are freezing a lot and selling a bit too. We have over 20 gallons of frozen milk right now! (I had four milking does until their kids were weaned at 8weeks then two were sold so I have had two milking does for most of the year)

We are going to be swimming in milk come 2015 when I have 3-4 Nigerians and 2-3 LaMancha milkers!! LOL!
 

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stonebrokefarm
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You mentioned freezing your milk......how long does it last and stay "good"......I heard that after 6 months it separates.......is that your experience? I am asking because I am freezing milk and wondering what I will be getting down the road...

Congrats on that doe of yours....that is great! Can I ask about her pedigree?

Karen
 

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~Crazy Goat Lady~
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You mentioned freezing your milk......how long does it last and stay "good"......I heard that after 6 months it separates.......is that your experience? I am asking because I am freezing milk and wondering what I will be getting down the road...

Congrats on that doe of yours....that is great! Can I ask about her pedigree?

Karen
I have heard it stays good a year.. We normally run out of milk mid winter... I am going to milk till November this year.. (Well I'm going to once a day milking now, but will keep that up until November..) I have kept colostrum for a year and I didn't really notice it any different... Not that I really paid much attention to it though... Do you mean like the milk and cream separating? I have heard that if you freeze it anyway it separates better... We like to skim some cream anyway so we can make butter.

Thank you :) if only she had a nicer udder! I'm hoping her daughter will milk like her with future freshenings!
She has quite a bit of Rosasharn, a bit of Fairlea, and some Ponders End. Her full pedigree is on my website on her page, she is Goldenbrook Farm OT Gingersnap..
 

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stonebrokefarm
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Oh she is an Oliver Twist daughter......I got some does from Brenda way back.

I will look at her pedigree.......usually you can figure out where the milk comes from (what lines) and I would be interested in knowing that.

Karen
 

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~Crazy Goat Lady~
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Yes she is :) her full, littermate sister was milking just about the same, she was a little smaller and produced about a 1/2# less.
I think I saw that on your site.. You got Bittersweet and Cinco de mayo right? I loved the looks of cinco on her site when we first started in goats and we almost bought her and a yearling, but Cinco was bred and we wanted to work into things slowly...

Yes, I think it comes more from her Rosasharn lines..
I am starting to work my heard to be mostly Rosasharn and TX TwinCreeks lines :)
Gingersnap's daughter that freshened this year had a single and she is milking pretty well for a ff with a single, I am excited to see how she milks & shows next year! :D her sure is Rosasharn FS Merlin :)
 

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stonebrokefarm
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Yes, I bought Cinco and Bittersweet.......I lost Bittersweet this year do to a singleton that was too large to birth and I was gone to work when she went into labor. By the time I got home there was not time to get her to a vet.......

My website is sooo out of date.......I haven't had any time for it between keeping a herd of 24 Nigerians and my English mastiff litters........have to get working on it.

I have a lot of Rosasharn as well.

Karen
 

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~Crazy Goat Lady~
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Aww I'm so sorry to hear that... :(

I really like the Rosasharn lines :) I just bought an Uproar son and I have an Uproar grandson and I am excited to get some use out of them!
 
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