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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My initial herd was made up of abandoned kids, many given to me because the ranchers did not want to bottle feed. At the end of 2012 I had 1 dairy goat and 6 Boer and/or Spanish goats. We have since decided that meat goats just do not make since for us and plan on going mostly dairy. We will probably be getting some Nigerian Dwarfs or a mini-dairy breed. I just like the petite dairy goat I have and think more small goats will be nicer then big goats like my Boer queen. I found several breeders with registered Nigerian Dwarf kids for sale right now. Looking on craigslist I am finding non-registered dairy goats of different breeds for sale for a lot less. I plan on eventually selling goat's milk products or at least bartering. So what are the pros and cons of buying registered goats over non-registered?
 

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It is a personal decision, but I always buy registered goats. Dairy goats have to be bred pretty much every year and you will end up with many kids you have to sell. Registered kids will always fetch a better price and be more sellable than grade. It depends on your herd and personal goals, but I want to be able to sell my kids easily and for a good price.
 

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with registered goats you can pick from breeders who do DHI (milk test) so you can have a good indication if your investment will pay off in the milk bucket. Not all registered goats are going to be high milk producers.

Non registered will give you milk but you may put money into a doe, kid her out and find she has very little milk production. But you could also find the opposite to be true as well. Not all unregistered does are going to be bad milkers production wise.

Since production is your main concern I would be selective with either non or registered does/bucks you purchase. Asking lots of questions and being willing to understand not everyone who sells unregistered dairy goats will have been keeping good records of their does milk production so you may have to just bite the bullet and hope that they do produce well. (same for some of us who do breed registered, I havent had the ability the past two + years to do any kind of milking so I really dont know my does potential :( )

Can you see how much of a toss up it can be?
 

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I would look at what sells best in your area. I just moved to a very populated Nigerian Dwarf area and couldn't find buyers for more expensive registered goats. When I reduced the price and offered them as non registered, they sold.
 

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I would look at what sells best in your area. I just moved to a very populated Nigerian Dwarf area and couldn't find buyers for more expensive registered goats. When I reduced the price and offered them as non registered, they sold.
You make an excellent point. It really depends on your area's demand.
 

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I have both registered and recorded grade. I can get more money for the registered which that money goes farther to pay the feed bills. Now my recorded grade get a little better prices because I test my herd. I have had customers drive a couple hours to buy from me because I test. now my recorded grade Bucklings can't be registered because the doe isn't a purebred. I do think it depends on your area but buyers will drive for quality if they feel it is there.
 

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I don't care if the animal is registered or not. If it's packing quality all the way through, and the owner had pics of momma and the udder I'm sold. I do prefer registered however. I feel as if the main difference in general (of course there are cases against in each variation) is the record keeping. With registered you need sire, dam, and all that good info. A great paper trail. With unregistered it's kind of a black hole unless they kept records of their milk and you're able to see some relation. I bought a grade doe last week that the seller kept track on paper everything a registered goat should have. The doe is registerable, but not sure I like an empty pedigree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the input. Your comments were helpful. I am between geographical areas on Craigslist so I checked to see what was for sale in 3 different zones. Which caused me to look at other issues too. In the end, because of my location (45 minutes from interstate, etc.), selling registered kids might be tough. For instance, there are several registered breeders within minutes of the interstate. So I am going to concentrate on finding good dairy does and eventually a buck (buckless at the moment) with which to start our herd.
 

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You know what you're getting if you buy a registered goat. If it's white, it may or may not be a Saanen. If it's colored, it may be a Sable, an Alpine, or a grade, regardless of what the seller tells you. And as others have pointed out, breeders of registered goats are more likely to keep milk records.

OTOH, registeration doesn't automatically make it a great milker or even correct conformation; however, it's an indication that the breeder wasn't just breeding to whatever came along.
 

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You can be the non registered person who keeps good milk records. It is good to really look at your area and see what will sell best. That $800 registered goat doesn't pay the bills sitting in your field. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against registered goats, all mine are registered. But I had to look at things differently because of my new location and had to figure out a new strategy to get goats sold.

There are plenty of non registered farms who actually do have purebreed goats. They just didn't want to bother with the registration. Good and bad breeders in both settings.

Actually unless you have DNA results that prove the breed that they are, you can't be absolutely positive you are getting that purebreed goat. All registrations are on the honor system. No guarantees. Alpacas are one of the few that you know you are getting an alpaca because they DNA every alpaca registered. Even if they send in the wrong blood, it comes out down the line when offspring are registered. That's if you really want to get technical about it all.
 

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I always recommend registered goats. What's nice about a goat with papers is you have a pedigree to look at, you have the birthdate, owner info., etc. And a registered goat can easily become an "unregistered" goat if needed. With papers you can usually get a little more money as well.

It depends on what exactly you want to do with your herd...your goals, but if you do decide to go with registered stock...it's a good idea to start with quality animals. You do get what you pay for and if you start with quality goats...you can build on that and develop a quality herd.
 

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yup with what you had already mentioned about your location before I knew it would be a long shot with registered goats to get the same exposure and sellability.

Not saying you cant, but I probably would go for the most cost effective goat for what you are looking for by way of milk production. If it happens to be a registered goat then go for it, if it happens to not be then go for that one.
 

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yup with what you had already mentioned about your location before I knew it would be a long shot with registered goats to get the same exposure and sellability.

Not saying you cant, but I probably would go for the most cost effective goat for what you are looking for by way of milk production. If it happens to be a registered goat then go for it, if it happens to not be then go for that one.
^^I agree with this.

I live WAYYYY out of the way. I have a mix of grade, registered and mixed goats. I've mostly sold locally, but on more than one occasion had people drive 3+ hours to come pick up a goat. Surpsisingly, those were grade and/or mixed goats. Of course you have to price accordingly. To date I have never had a problem selling a goat that i wanted to sell as long as I was reasonable in my prices for the area and what the goat has to offer. My range for sale prices is $75 to $250. I say "selling a goat I wanted to sell" because I have a doeling right now who I really should sell but don't want to. She is a mixed breed worth about $100 in our local market, and I have her priced at $175... because I should sell her, but don't want to, lol. But if someone pays me $175 it is totally worth it to let her go instead of retain her to get a freshening out of her before selling her.
 

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We started with grades because we needed some brush cutters. Then there was this beautiful registered bottle baby, and it just snowballed from there. We are trying to sell are grades now as we have become a show herd and adga wont noa nigerians so if you know anyone looking for 6 purebred non registered nigerians let me know. We are in new england
 

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I have to agree I have a mixed herd I have had registered and non registered that were great and pore producers. Just talk to the breeder and get a better idea of the parents production.

Or I'm my case I will only buy a grown doe in milk
That way I can milk her first and know exactly what I'm getting.

My best milker is a non registered nubian.

We started with nigerians they are so cute. but for us we feel the nigerians are hyper and hard to handle the Nubians are calmer easier to handle and a lot easier to milk.

We were going to just get 2 Nigerians and do a little bartering milk and products but it's an addiction the milk is so good the cheese is excellent and the soap out of this world.
So the 2 mini goats turned in to 7 full size and counting.

I sold my 2 nigerians to a neighbor that wanted them for pets and the cycle continues now she has 3 Nigerians 2 nigerian nubian cross and 2 Nubians lamancha cross lol. It truly is an addiction
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
All these comments have been really helpful. I appreciate it. I have to agree just because goats are registered does not make it a good buy. We visited a registered breeder of Nigerian Dwarfs on Thursday. Beautiful adorable cute goats that liked me to death, tried eating his jeans, and I finally had to tie my shoe laces in knots as they kept untying my shoes. I know these are well cared for great goats, but not for our purpose. It was clear this woman has goats for a hobby. She does not milk them, clearly her hubby is making huge bucks, and well, she is more interested in showing them and the hobby aspect. We want a milking business and so we were looking at teats, udders, etc., though it was impossible not to ignore the cute factor. We learned a lot from talking to this lady and checking out her Nigerian Dwarfs, but we walked away knowing this is not the breed for us and she clearly is not the breeder I would want to buy from.

so if you know anyone looking for 6 purebred non registered nigerians let me know. We are in new england
Are you by any chance planning any trips to Texas--the Devil's Sinkhole is nearby and a fantastic sight--millions of bats fly out at night.:D

It truly is an addiction
True, I just looked out my kitchen window back in 2011 to see a Boer doe walking by and now I have 6 goats and have sold 3 bucks.
 

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We started out with Unregistered and have since sold most of them off.

Buyers will drive a LONG way to get a GOOD quality registered goat if you have a way to back up the quality... (health tests, milk tests, reputation, etc).

We've had buyers drive for 4-6 hours each way to pick up kids and I've even sent them out of state.

I would think your location would matter the most if you have unregistered. I would feel you would be limiting yourself to local neighbors.
 

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I have always registered my goats. My first herd was American and French Alpine and I showed. I also did DHIA. My sons showed 4H.

As I needed more and more goats for my dairy, I added Nubians, all registered. Then I added grade does, but had them recorded and "bred them up".

I like the idea of knowing their breeding, that way I can see if they have a higher chance of being what I am looking for in a goat. I can check inbreeding % on ADGA when I plan a breeding or look for new bloodlines. With grades, you might be breeding brother to sister, sire to daughter and never know it. You could be breeding some really bad recessive genetics into your herd and not know it until it something bad shows up. If you know the breeding behind a goat, you can find out what might be lurking in its background.

However, I have no problems with grade goats. Usually they are less expensive, and registration papers make no guarantee that the animal is healthy and well cared for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am considering 2 does (twins) I have seen on Craigslist. I like the idea of horns because I have a few Boer's with horns (including my queen) who I am keeping and my only dairy goat has horns. Is horns an issue with registering them? Also, the owner cannot tell me about milk production of the nanny except she is not having any problems nursing triplets. She had quads but 1 just died. He is selling the twins she had last Jan. Except for the fact these kids mother is being bred way to often, any comments about these kids?

http://sanangelo.craigslist.org/grd/3824340061.html

What are the pros and cons of combining breeds, like Nubian/alpine, etc. I hear about Nubians a lot, Nigerian Dwarfs a lot, but around here this is the only ad I have seen for Alpines. I am not seeing any for any other dairy breeds. I am looking in 3 different craigslist zones as I am on the border of them all.
 
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