I put the picture in the wrong place; misunderstood Rachel W.'s critique requests information.
Anyway, if I can get the picture to load... I am hoping you experienced people can tell me what you think of my buck. (Not the best picture, hoping to get a better one soon. Need my husband for help, cause when I try to do it alone, all I get are pictures of little goat nostrils. "Feed me! Feed me!" LOL)
I am trying to translate my horse judging experience over to goats. I like studying conformation.
I like how masculine Brownie is (has since he was tiny; personal breed character preference, has nothing to do with milk I know), but his hind legs look kinda posty to me. That is bad in a horse; how bad is it in goats? Cocoa, his daughter, 5 months old, has normal looking legs. But, then, I didn't notice it in Brownie til he was a little older. I looked back at pictures of his parents, and his sire looks a bit posty too.
(Note: I attached the photo before I figured out how to include it in the actual text. Hope it doesn't show up twice... Sorry everybody!!)
Hey! I just found a link to the Southwest Nigerian Dwarf Goat Club!! COOL!
Ooooh! Thanks! I will go peruse those links.
Yeah...actually we live in Southwest Texas, so even getting to NM would be quite a drive, but it's as close as anything. But we got our first goats from a breeder in Tularosa, so maybe there is more Nigi stuff in the southwest than I thought.
Wow, you do live kind of out there. I'm from So. Cal and all over AZ and I love the SW. Although, NC can be pretty nice as well.
Anyway, if you go on the ADGA website and scroll down the homepage, on the right you'll see a box that says ADGA Upcoming Events and you can click on the full calendar to find shows in your area, although the closest might be Ft. Worth. You could also check local dairy goat clubs, the American Goat Society, or the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association for shows.
The ADGA website is very informative and you can browse around it even if you're not a member. You can take a look at the Show Scorecard to get an idea of what the judges look for in a dairy goat.
I have been wanting to attend a show to see how they do it. Unfortunately we kind of live in a Nigi show dead zone. I don't know where the closest one would be. Unless... Hmm. Maybe we could find one in southern NM. Gotta check on that.
How come they leave the tip of the tail?
I must confess, I see the pictures of show clipped goats on different websites, and I think... "poodles..." LOL. I have a very redneck taste when it comes to goats. I like them fuzzy and clownish looking. If I ever show I'll have to change...
Can you tell me about basic goat conformation? What I should want to see in a good doe or buck, just as general conformation goes?
One area bucks are judged on is their masculinity. The beard just makes them look more masculine. It's more so for cosmetics than it is for conformation. On a doe, you clip everything except the tip of the tail. Same thing for the bucks, except for the beard, in addition to the tip of the tail. In the spring/summer, there will be buck shows in addition to the regular Senior and Junior doe shows. If you can make it so any of these, you'll see that all the adult bucks will have long, full beards (some people leave all the facial hair) when the rest of their bodies are clipped short.
Being in rut doesn't necessarily chance their conformation; it's just that the back of there front legs are covered in pee, in addition to their face, so it's a nasty job to clip them and set them up. Plus, with the weather cooling down, you want to leave their coats.
Yes, Nigerian does will cycle year-round, and bucks can fulfill their duties year-round; however, breeding season is still in the fall and that's when their hormones are at an all-time high. It's a lot easier to catch does in heat during breeding season and bucks are a lot more excited about being with the girls in the fall. To get a doe bred in the spring, you pretty much have to pen breed, though not always.
Don't hesitate to ask any more questions if I didn't explain something well enough!
I'm curious, how come not to clip their beards? I'm not going to anyway, but I just wondered.
How does being in rut change how they can be judged? (I thought Nigies would cycle and breed all year round. Not sure if I understood what you meant. Am just curious. :) )
By the way, this little guy was 6 months old and pretty gangly, so Brownie is going to look a lot more masculine. Don't worry. :D
Some other people might mention a few good/bad things, but it really is better to wait until spring when they are not in rut and when you get a good clip job on them. Then, you can really see what their conformation is like. Horses don't get super fuzzy like our Nigerians do, so it's not too hard to see their conformation even when they have their winter coat, but these guys can be a lot more accurately judged when they've been clipped short and are set up. I've attached this picture so you can get a good idea of what to do with Brownie. However, you want a contrasting background. Obviously, I didn't do that and he blends with the barn wall, but not too badly. And you may know this already, but in case you don't, make sure you do NOT clip his beard! Hope this helps!