Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

As my herd is growing and before I let any of my goats breed, I hope I can get some clarification on bloodlines and safe breeding.


I know that there are definite "No's" when breeding.. No mother-son, brother-sister breeding, but exactly how far removed relation-wise can a goat be to safely breed?


My situation is this.. I got a call from the woman that I bought my two new bucklings from.. She had bred two of her does with the same buck.. We bought two bucklings from the first kidding.. brothers.. and the woman is expecting her other girl to deliver in the next couple of weeks.. Should I even consider purchasing a doe from this kidding? We get great deals on the goats because they are not registered, but we're already looking at quite a bit of bloodline juggling having brother bucklings on site.


I am raising my goats for dairy production only. I would prefer to be self-sustaining and not have to use a buck service and am not interested in breeding as a source of income. I plan on purchasing a few more bucks to broaden my gene pool, but would like to hear some banter/thoughts on this subject.. THANKS!!



Views: 563

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

OK... makes more sense to me NOW... lol I don't know why I wasn't 'getting' your question when you messaged me... lol So you'd have 1/2 siblings if you purchased this doeling? Her mother is not the same as the bucklings... but they share the same father, right?

I'm in a similar juggling situation myself... I have three does. Two of them are 1/2 siblings, sharing the same sire. I have access to two bucks that are in no way related to ANY of my does. I THINK my plan is to breed the three does I have to the youngest buck I have access to. (He comes from milking lines I would NEVER be able to afford to buy directly from the original breeder)

I should say I'm still building my herd, and my intentions are to get the best milking goats I can with what I have available from one farm, and like you, I don't intend to sell offspring. We'll be butchering.


I'll keep the doelings from two of my does for my herd, and THEN purchase a buckling from my goat dealer that has been sired by the other (non related) buck. Just have to figure out which doe from my dealer's herd would be best. I'm THINKING... since all of my breeding will not be for sale, that I don't have to be AS cautious about which female...

Anyone with thoughts on breeding what would be the equivalent of a 1/2 sibling to the SIRE of two of my does? (so that would make the buck I would have at MY house unrelated to three of my does, and the 1/2 UNCLE of two of them.) That's an OK spread, right? lol

Fias Co farms has good information about Line Breeding, and I think I got my Q answered there... I'd like to hear Deb's thoughts too when she has a chance to read this. (she's at the Mother Earth News Fair, so it may be a while)

Linebreeding and inbreeding concentrate genetics, so you better be sure that you've got some great genetics with no nasties that can pop up, such as teat defects. Although there are definitions of linebreeding and inbreeding, I personally don't think there is a one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how close is too close. It totally depends upon the genetics you are dealing with. I have some goats that I would not breed to each other because they share a common ancestor three or four generations back, but there are others that I have linebred on. Linebreeding should not be done to save money. It should be done because you want to get a better goat -- unless you are just planning to eat the offspring.

I understand the desire to save money, but unless these are just pets, there is no such thing as a good deal on a cheap goat. It costs just as much to feed and care for a great doe as a mediocre or poor producer.

If your goal is to save money on building your herd, I don't understand why you bought two brothers as bucks. Are you planning to wether one and use it as meat?

Thanks for the response Deborah.. No, my goal is not to save money building my herd, it was just an added perk. The bucklings I bought came from a great dairy line and since the price was right, it was worth the gamble to see how they throw.. If I end up with "duds", then the loss wasn't so bad.. I'll probably werther the goats and keep them as pets. I'm not interested in goat meat at all.. My meat animals are Guinea Fowl and chickens..


From what I found for definitions on linebreeding and inbreeding, I found a cute quote that said "If it works out well, it's considered linebreeding, if it doesn't work, it's considered inbreeding".. LOL.. It didn't help me out at all.


I bought a book and have researched as much as I can and have come to the realization that I am NOT going to try generational skipping or relative breeding until I'm WAY more comfortable being a dairy farmer. I plan on bringing in another buck and two more does (which would give me a total of four does and two completely different blood lines from my bucks).. I've even considered trying to find someone local that would want to do a buckling swap.. Either way, I feel confident that I can handle initial breedings just fine.. Especially when I have pros like you setting me straight!!

I,too, am looking for dairy production only but I have quickly upgraded my herd and sold the poor producers or ornery ones and now am extremely happy with my goats. The new one is giving me 1 quart in the morning at two weeks fresh and raising her two (I separate at night).  She is a dream to milk and a people goat. Her kids will be kept... a doe and a buck. The buck will add good genetics to my already good genetics with my other milkers off spring. The other milker is giving me a bit more than a quart a day at 6 1/2 months out. I shooting for great disposition, quantity and quality of milk and ease of milking as well as good mothers(I dam raise).  I have a mother and her two for sale as she won't let me easily milk her and one to deliver in two weeks that will probably also be sold as well as her kids.  It takes will power and determination not to hang on to goats that seem like a good deal.  I want to head into winter with a buck and a buckling and two does, a bred FF and a doeling.  Milk for us is the goal of my operation.
I think of it this way (and I don't consider myself able to properly line-breed as yet); when breeding there are always 2 sets of genetics from each parent. Each has strengths and weaknesses. In crossing unrelated goats you have a stronger chance of getting mixes of the strengths, but your results are unreliable, thus when someone buys your goats or you keep some you are taking higher chances on potential. In line-breeding you will quickly find out where your animals weaknesses are. Not just strengths become apparent, and you can easily end up with disasters. The pro side is that if you hit on a good pairing of lines and common ancestors you can develop  reliable potential in offspring. This saves you money and develops a good reputation as a breeder since the goats you sell will more likely meet buyers and your expectations. If you plan to eat the offspring or keep/sell as pets I don't really think it matters.  It costs a small fortune to raise up a milk goat from birth to good production age, and is a huge expenditure in time as well, which makes an already successful line-breeding herd very valuable. You can find lines others are already using this way with success and try to duplicate them, and if you buy from a breeder that is line-breeding successfully they can help you choose the right animals to continue to get the good results if you ask. You will definately pay more for your first animals this way, but will have reliable replacement stock in the future as well.

Reply to Discussion


Books written by Deborah Niemann

Order this book on Kindle!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Need goat equipment?

Yogurt Maker

2-quart milk pail

Mineral feeder (put minerals in one side and baking soda in the other!)

© 2021   Created by Deborah Niemann-Boehle.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service