Saturday, June 15, 2013

...and then there were five


One of the objectives on our ranch is to start a little dairy.  Our Nigerian Dwarf goats will produce delicious, sweet, high butterfat milk. But, because they are small, they produce small amounts.  We knew that from the start, and decided to stick with them.
one...because they take up less space and eat less than a full size goat
two...because they will be a manageable size when full grown
three...because they have a great disposition
and four...they are adorable

There are many varieties of dairy goat, bred for volume and butterfat.  Many dairies have a mixture of breeds in their herd.  Some stick to a specific kind based on what type of product they want to make in the end.  There are many schools of thought, and one thing to keep in mind is that milk enjoyable to drink, may not make the best cheese, and vice-versa.

We have decided to diversify our herd, but stay with smaller breeds of goat.  We found the perfect hybrid in the Mini-Nubian.  Full size Nubians can weigh up to 200lbs...but the minis won't grow nearly that large.  Mini Nubians are a cross between a Nubian doe and a Nigerian Dwarf buck. The first off-spring are called first generation.  Mini-Nubians are then bred with other Minis and as the generations continue they begin to look like a full size Nubian, except with smaller stature.  In theory (and mostly in practice), they will produce large amounts of milk, with the butterfat of a Nigerian.  They take up less space and eat less than a full size goat.

We were soon on the hunt for a few Mini-Nubian does.  Luckily,  one of our neighbors (if you call 20 minutes away a neighbor) had a couple of 5th generation doelings for sale.   It didn't take long for us to fall in love with them...and bring them home.

These little girls are slowly warming to us. They were a bit skittish on the first day, but they seem to be settling in just fine.  They get along with the other goats, and they seem to tolerate the dogs without a problem as well.

We have named them America (the larger doeling) and Donkey (the smaller brown doeling)


Welcome to the family girls!

2 comments:

  1. They sound great. I'll have to show your post to our Master Cheesemaker...in goat cheese. You'll have to meet her on your next visit to WI.
    Thanks for the updates!

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