Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hello,

My name is Heidi and I am at the beginning of my Nigerian Dwarf dairy goat herd planning.  I hope to buy two does and maybe a wether within a year or so.  I have visited a few herds and have started researching feed requirements, housing, and showing.  I have a few questions.  If you have the time to answer, thank you.  I appreciate your input.

1.  What are your recommendations so far as paddock and play yard space for three Nigerians?

2. What is your feeding regimen?  I'd like to go as natural as possible and eventually even grow my own alfalfa/grass mix, but for now what do you feed one lactating dairy goat per day?  What do you feed a wether kid?

3. Mineral inputs?  I have read that there is great concern about copper and selenium, but what IS a good rate per dairy goat per month?  Are there specific times to feed certain minerals ie: during pregnancy, before pregnancy, during lactation?

4. Are there any good books for beginners that will help me learn how to gauge my goat herd's feed rations?

5. What about the grain question?  Whole grain or rolled?  I am a crop science student.  I was taught that any kind of germ manipulation ie: flaking or rolling, exposes and separates the vital parts of the grain, diminishing the quality and percentage of total digestible nutrition rapidly, and that this in turn lessens the metabolic kick you get from whole grain.  On this site I have read that some people find that their goats do not even digest whole grain.  Does anyone here know which is true?

6. I want a good quality dairy goat with reliable teets and udders, so I expect it's important to buy from a good quality herd.  Would you recommend that I buy show quality animals?  That would probably make it easier to find homes for their babies after each freshening, but it seems hard to find anything available near me.  Most breeders out here seem to have taken deposits on babies a year in advance of the doe's pregnancy.  

7.  Finally, I would appreciate any advise you have that may aide me in my journey toward starting my herd.

Thank you all for your time.

Heidi

Views: 109

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hello Heidi, You have come to the right place. We all ban together and help figure things out. You will soon have enough advice and information to make up your mind about just what you want to do. First in order for us to understand your needs a little better, can you tell me if we are talking about backyard goaties or do you have acreage. I will start this off for you with a couple of quick points. 

You will get as many different answers as people you talk to. We will give you ideas and you will settle into what works best for you and your herd in the end and you will do just fine!

1) You would be surprised how far you can get with 4 livestock panels as a start. I LOVE them. Check those out if you are not familiar.

2) The most important thing to remember is that fresh water and good hay and/or forage are the mainstay and most important part of the diet. Many goats have done well their whole life without grain.

3) Number one on that list is a good loose mineral available free choice. And personally I feel their baking soda is as important.

4) Many some better than others. And a few not so good. I don't personally have a favorite. But others will give you tips. I have a lot, because I love books. The next most important website you need to use will wind up being fiasco farms. It is a wealth of info. Just remember they have bigger goats so weights and doses will be off.

5) I think about the most common grains used are purinas 1)noble goat and 2)goat chow both are good for different situations.

6) Yes, the best rule of thumb is get the best you can afford and also always "breed up". Breeding to the best buck you can is very important! 1)check out our forum members 2)goatfinders.com 3) the registry organization members list Most important to me is make notes of what you see that you like, the herd names that you see pop up over and over that you like the look of, or see with verification of their quality, after a while you will begin to see that you have learned something about what you should be after and what you like. I personally like websites where I can see all the pictures of the goats without having to click the goats name to go to their page. I stay on those sites a lot longer. Look at all the pictures you can it will help you learn.

7) I love having my herd trained to come to the sound of a bell! They run loose in trees and brush and I can ring a bell if I want and have my entire herd at my side in  a minute or two. It takes about a day or two to train a herd to do that and it is my best helper!

Yea, I am long winded, Sorry!

Welcome to the group! This is a wonderful group of people, who have helped me a ton!!!

Thank you Janel.  I am looking forward to reading all I can digest to help me learn before I bring anybody home.

Hello Margaret and thank you very much for your helpful post.  I live on less than an acre so I will be mostly buying hay etc.  I hope to someday move to more open land so I could plant forage crops for the goats.  I understand that Nigerian dwarf does can live together in a paddock the size of a garage comfortably, so I am planning to construct a 16x32 mini yard for now.

Hello Heidi, You have come to the right place. We all ban together and help figure things out. You will soon have enough advice and information to make up your mind about just what you want to do. First in order for us to understand your needs a little better, can you tell me if we are talking about backyard goaties or do you have acreage. I will start this off for you with a couple of quick points. 

You will get as many different answers as people you talk to. We will give you ideas and you will settle into what works best for you and your herd in the end and you will do just fine!

1) You would be surprised how far you can get with 4 livestock panels as a start. I LOVE them. Check those out if you are not familiar.

2) The most important thing to remember is that fresh water and good hay and/or forage are the mainstay and most important part of the diet. Many goats have done well their whole life without grain.

3) Number one on that list is a good loose mineral available free choice. And personally I feel their baking soda is as important.

4) Many some better than others. And a few not so good. I don't personally have a favorite. But others will give you tips. I have a lot, because I love books. The next most important website you need to use will wind up being fiasco farms. It is a wealth of info. Just remember they have bigger goats so weights and doses will be off.

5) I think about the most common grains used are purinas 1)noble goat and 2)goat chow both are good for different situations.

6) Yes, the best rule of thumb is get the best you can afford and also always "breed up". Breeding to the best buck you can is very important! 1)check out our forum members 2)goatfinders.com 3) the registry organization members list Most important to me is make notes of what you see that you like, the herd names that you see pop up over and over that you like the look of, or see with verification of their quality, after a while you will begin to see that you have learned something about what you should be after and what you like. I personally like websites where I can see all the pictures of the goats without having to click the goats name to go to their page. I stay on those sites a lot longer. Look at all the pictures you can it will help you learn.

7) I love having my herd trained to come to the sound of a bell! They run loose in trees and brush and I can ring a bell if I want and have my entire herd at my side in  a minute or two. It takes about a day or two to train a herd to do that and it is my best helper!

Yea, I am long winded, Sorry!

Welcome to the group!

If you want an excellent milk goat, buy from a herd that milks and preferably is on milk test so they have third-party records. Although people who are big into showing will tell you that a good show goat is a good milk goat, I know of far too many gorgeous does who are terrible milkers. A lot of people who show their goats will dry them off as soon as show season ends, so you would have no idea what type of longevity that goat has. Every now and then you will find one who excels in both the show ring and milk pail, but you are going to pay big for that, and it's really pointless if you're not showing. And no, they are not easier to sell if they have champions in their pedigrees. I've owned three finished champions, and their kids did not sell any faster than any of the other goats. In fact, the vast majority of people buying goats are buying them as home milkers, so the show records don't mean anything to them.

You may have to have your goats shipped in if there is that much of a wait in your area, or you may just have to wait. Popularity of goats definitely varies from one locale to another. I've had goats shipped off to several states this spring. I've attached the pricing sheet for Delta. It's very simple and doesn't matter where they're being shipped as long as you're in the continental US. One kid will usually cost $288, and two in a crate will be $350, so it doesn't cost much more to ship two than one.

Attachments:

Reply to Discussion

RSS

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 Amazon.com.

Need goat equipment?

Yogurt Maker

2-quart milk pail


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

© 2020   Created by Deborah Niemann-Boehle.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service