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LaMancha Goats

August 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Goat Breeds

American Dairy Goat Breed Description

The LaMancha goat originated in the U.S.A. It has excellent dairy temperament and is an all-around sturdy animal that can withstand a great deal of hardship and still produce. Through official testing this breed has established itself in milk production with high butterfat.

The LaMancha face is straight with the ears being the distinctive breed characteristic. There are two types of LaMancha ears. In does one type of ear has no advantage over the other.

1. The “gopher ear” is described as follows: an approximate maximum length of one inch (2.54 cm) but preferably nonexistent and with very little or no cartilage. The end of the ear must be turned up or down. This is the only type of ear which will make bucks eligible for registration.

2. The “elf ear” is described as follows: an approximate maximum length of two inches (5.08 cm) is allowed, the end of the ear must be turned up or turned down and cartilage shaping the small ear is allowed.

Any color or combination of colors is acceptable with no preferences. The hair is short, fine and glossy.

Breed Description

The LaMancha may carry a little more flesh than the Swiss breeds do, but not as much as the Nubian. LaMancha ears are the most obvious breed difference. They almost do not exist. Gopher ears, which are a must on bucks, contain no cartilage. They appear as wrinkled folds of skin that lie close to the head. Elf ears, which may be found on does, come in many shapes and sizes, contain cartilage and skin, and they must look very small in comparison with the size of the doe’s head. The head and muzzle should be wide, as in the other breeds, and the nose will probably be concave. Any coat color is acceptable, and the hair is short and fine.

ORIGIN: American by mutation; originals from Spain.

LaMancha Does
Conformation and General Appearance: Angular, compact, wide
Height: 28″ or more at withers
Weight: 130 pounds or more
Head: Long, wide, tapering to wide muzzle, with dished nose preferred over straight nose.
Ears: Very tiny; gopher-type contains no cartilage; cut only a ring of shin around the auditory canal. elf-type contains a small amount of cartilage and small amount of skin that may turn either up or down from the cartilage.
Neck: Long, slender, feminine, no dewlap
Body: Wide, deep, angular; well-sprung ribs; deep wide barrel; straight back; wide, long rump only slightly sloping; full chest, wide chest.
Legs & Feet: Strong, straight, wide-apart, square. Small clean, square, true feet with strong pasterns.
Coat: Loose, pliable skin; thick, fine, smooth hair.
Colors: Any color or combination.
Udder: Capacious, well-attached, even, pliable, soft, with well-formed, conical, well-deliniated teats.
LaMancha Bucks
Conformation and General Appearance: Angular, compact, muscular, wide.
Height: 30″ or more at withers
Weight: 165 pounds or more
Head: Wide, long, tapering to wide, deep muzzle with dished or straight nose; full beard.
Ears: Must have gopher-type ears.
Neck: Long, well-muscled, clean, no dewlap.
Body: Wide, deep, angular; well-sprung ribs that point to rear; deep, wide, barrel; straight back, wide long rump and loin with little slope to rump; deep, wide chest.
Legs & Feet: Strong, straight, wide apart, square. Small clean, square, true feet, strong pasterns.
Coat: Loose, pliable skin; thick, fine, short coat.
Colors: Any color or combination.
Reproductive Organs: Well developed, well attached; two even, rudimentary teats.

National Breed Club

American LaMancha Club

Judith Hoy, Sec-Treas.
1924 Mt. Pleasant Road
Port Angeles, WA 98362-9364
360-452-5903
star@olypen.com
Dues: $15

 

Our goal is to promote the LaMancha dairy goat & assist all LaMancha dairy goat owners & breeders including commercial dairymen, cheese producers, exhibitors, & hobby enthusiasts. The ALC provides annual awards for production, the All-American program, & seeks to recognize the efforts of those who contribute to the breed. Our bimonthly newsletter (also provided on audio tape for the visually impaired) includes a special membership issue & annual buck catalog.


 

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Alpine Goats

August 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Goat Breeds

American Dairy Goat Breed Description

The Alpine dairy goat is also referred to as the French Alpine and registration papers for this dairy goat use both designations and they are synonymous. The Alpine dairy goat is a medium to large size animal, alertly graceful, and the only breed with upright ears that offers all colors and combinations of colors giving them distinction and individuality. They are hardy, adaptable animals that thrive in any climate while maintaining good health and excellent production. The hair is medium to short. The face is straight. A Roman nose, Toggenburg color and markings, or all white is discriminated against. Alpine colors are described by using the following terms:

Items in ( ) indicate correct pronunciation
Cou Blanc
(coo blanc)
Literally “white neck” – white front quarters and black hindquarters with black or gray markings on the head.
Cou Clair
(coo clair)
Literally “clear neck” – front quarters are tan, saffron, off-white, or shading to gray with black hindquarters.
Cou Noir
(coo nwah)
Literally “black neck” – black front quarters and white hindquarters.
Sundgau
(sundgow)
Black with white markings such as underbody, facial stripes, etc.
Pied Spotted or mottled.
Chamoisee
(shamwahzay)
Brown or bay – characteristic markings are black face, dorsal stripe, feet and legs, ans sometimes a martingale running over the withers and down to the chest. Spelling for a male is chamoise.
Two-tone Chamoisee Light front quarters with brown or gray hindquarters. This is not a Cou Blanc or Coo Clair as these terms are reserved for animals with black hindquarters.
Broken Chamoisee A solid chamoisee broken with another color by being banded or splashed, etc.
Any variation in the above patterns broken with white should be described as a broken pattern such as broken cou blanc.

Breed Description

The sleek, short-haired, multicolored French Alpine tends to look larger, “rangier,” and fine boned with more space between the ground and the underline than other large dairy goats. Although the angularity and width should still be present, they may not be as obvious. The head may be as wide between the very alert eyes, but because it it longer, the width may not be as apparent. The “dish” in the bridge of the nose will be less severe, sometimes being almost straight. The muzzle may not appear to be as wide as deep, and the ears may be longer, although just as alert. Origin: France.
Alpine Does
Conformation and General Appearance: Large, rangy, fine-boned, angular, alert, graceful.
Height: 30″ or more at withers
Weight: 135 pounds or more
Head: Long, lean, clean-cut, dished angular, broad forehead; strong, tapered muzzle
Ears: Alert, erect, narrow, fine
Neck: Long, slender, feminine, no dewlap
Body: Long, angular, well-sprung ribs; deep and wide barrel; straight back, broad, long rump only slightly sloping; full and deep chest
Legs & Feet: Neat, clean, refined, long, slender, strong. Small, clean, true hooves (not splayed or turned inward or outward). Upright, strong, medium-length pasterns. Wide in hocks
Coat: Preferably short hair, close, glossy. Thin, pliable skin
Colors: Any color or combination. See above for variations.
Udder: Capacious, well-attached, even, pliable, soft, with well-formed, conical, well-deliniated teats.
Alpine Bucks
Conformation and General Appearance: Large, rangy, masculine but refined, vigorous
Height: 32″ or more at withers
Weight: 170 pounds or more
Head: Long, lean, angular, broad forehead; strong, tapered, firm muzzle; medium beard
Ears: Alert, erect, narrow, fine
Neck: Long, well-muscled and powerful, no dewlap
Body: Long, deep, well-sprung ribs; straight back; broad, long rump only slightly sloping; deep, broad chest
Legs & Feet: Long, straight, strong. Small, clean, true hooves (not splayed or turned inward or outward). Pasterns strong; Wide in hocks
Coat: Preferably short hair, close, glossy. Thin, pliable skin; longer spinal hair
Colors: Any color or combination. See above for variations.
Reproductive Organs: Well-developed, well-supported; two teats well-balanced and evenly spaced.

National Breed Club

Alpines International

Dave Battjes, Sec- Tres.
4217 12th Street
Wayland, MI 49348
battjesd@aol.com
Dues $10

 

The Alpines International club is active in promoting the accomplishments of the Alpine breed in both the milking parlor & the show ring. We offer members an informative brochure, bimonthly newsletter, advertising & doe photos on the Alpine page in the Dairy Goat Journal, participation in the All-American Program & Alpine Specialty shows, & publication of performance scores in the club newsletter.

 

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Pygmy Goats

August 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Goat Breeds

National Pygmy Goat Association (NPGA) Breed Standard

The Pygmy Goat is genetically small, cobby and compact. It is full-barreled and well-muscled, the body circumference in relation to height and weight is proportionately greater than that of other breeds. Mature animals measure between 16 and 23 inches at the withers (shoulder blades to ground). Head and legs are short relative to body length. Genetic hornlessness is considered a disqualifying fault. However, disbudded (dehorned) or horned goats are acceptable.

Preferred colors range from white through black with gray agouti being predominant. Muzzle, forehead, eyes and ears are accented in lighter tones. Front and rear hoofs and cannons (socks) are black, as are the crown and dorsal stripe. Random markings are acceptable in limited amounts and characteristics locations. Coat length and density vary with climates, making the Pygmy Goat equally at home in the desert or in the northern
tundra.

Pygmy goats should reflect the following breed characteristics:

Coat – The full coat of straight, medium-long hair which varies in density with seasons and climates. On females, beards may be non-existent., sparse, or trimmed. On adult males, abundant hair growth is desirable; the beard to be full, long and flowing, the copious mane draping cape-like across the shoulders.

Color – All body colors are acceptable, the predominant coloration is a grizzled (agouti) pattern produced by the intermingling of light and dark hairs, of any color. See recognized color choices below.

CARAMEL PATTERNS
All have light vertical stripes on front side of darker stockings. Muzzle, forehead, eyes and ears accepted in tone lighter than the darker portion of the body.

LIGHT CARAMEL
White or caramel hairs, intermingled with white in the undercoat making the top coat color appear to be a shade of pure white to cream.
MEDIUM CARAMEL
Caramel and white hairs intermingled in the undercoat making the top coat a shade of apricot.
DARK CARAMEL.
White hairs intermingled with darker caramel/buff or brown hairs in the undercoat making the top coat a shade close to a medium tan.
BROWN CARAMEL
Brown mainly with only occasional intermingled white hairs in the undercoat making the topcoat a pronounced darker brown.

AGOUTI PATTERNS

All agoutis have solid stockings darker than main body color. Muzzle, forehead, eyes, and ears accented in tones lighter than the dark portion of the body.

LIGHT GRAY AGOUTI 
Black and white hairs intermingled with slightly more white hairs to give a light Greg color, making the topcoat silver in shade.
MEDIUM GRAY AGOUTI
Black and white hairs intermingled in equal amounts giving the topcoat a blacker appearance close to an equal amount of salt and pepper.
DARK GRAY AGOUTI
Darker Greg appearance with fewer white hairs, but still a salt and pepper appearance that is pronounced.
BLACK AGOUTI
Black mainly with only occasional intermingled white hairs.
LIGHT BROWN AGOUTI. 
Light / silver Greg hairs intermingled with white and with brownish tips to main body hairs, making the topcoat appear a burnt silver shade.
MEDIUM BROWN AGOUTI
Brown and white hairs intermingled in equal amounts giving the topcoat a browner salt and pepper appearance.
DARK BROWN AGOUTI
Brown hairs intermingled with fewer white hairs, but still a salt and pepper appearance that is a pronounced darker brown.
BROWN AGOUTI
Brown mainly with only occasional intermingled white hairs.

BLACK PATTERNS.
All blacks have solid black stockings.

BLACK
Solid black except for muzzle, forehead, eyes, and ears accented in tones lighter than the darker portion of the body.
SOLID BLACK
All black with no lighter accented areas.

Markings
A. Breed-specific markings are required: muzzle, forehead, eyes, and ears are accented in tones lighter than the dark portion of the body in goats of all colors, except goats that are solid black. Front and rear hoofs and cannons (socks) are darker than main body coat, as are the crown, dorsal stripe, and martingale; except in goats that are solid black. On all caramel goats, light vertical stripes on front sides of darker socks are required.

B. Optional markings: light areas (on darker backgrounds) that appear as complete or partial girth belts are acceptable.

Source: NPGA’s PYGMY GOAT BASIC OWNERS MANUAL

American Goat Society (AGS) Breed Description

The AGS Pygmy is a milk goat about the size of the Nigerian, but with the dwarf-like proportions of short legs (especially in the cannon bones), short but large head, and lots of width, especially in the barrel – to the point where does look perpetually pregnant. The Pygmy head is wide between bright, prominent eyes and in the chest between the legs. It is shorter and cobbier than the Toggenburg and carries more muscling than any other breed. The width and depth of body compared with height are greater than the other breeds, giving it a very angular appearance. Light colored Pygmies often have darker legs, dorsal stripe, and martingale; and dark colored Pygmies often have light etching on the ears, crown, muzzle and eye rims. The coat is full, heavy and medium length. All colors are acceptable..

ORIGIN: West Africa

Pygmy Does
Conformation and General Appearance: Small, cobby, compact, muscular, hardy, alert, very wide and deep throughout, standing 16 – 22.3 inches at the withers with 3.7 – 4.5 inch cannon bones.
Head: Large, short and wide, especially between eyes and in rounded muzzle; face dished; full, broad, strong, jaw; alert and wide apart, prominent eyes; horns or dehorned acceptable.
Ears: Medium, firm, erect, alertly mobile.
Neck: Short, rounded but slender, muscular, full throated but feminine; no dewlap.
Body: Very wide, deep and angular, symmetrical with well-sprung ribs; straight topline and medium short, slightly sloping rump with tail carried high.
Legs & Feet: Short (especially cannons and pasterns), sturdy, wide/square set, straight, strong, well-muscled, resilient, deep heeled.
Coat: Short, full, thick, straight, medium-long, sparse beard.
Colors: Any color or markings acceptable; black with white ears, eyes, crown and muzzle, and agouti (grizzled gray) with black facial stripes, dorsal stripe, martingale, and cannons are common colors.
Udder: High, wide, rounded, firm, well-attached, with short and cylindrical teats.
Pygmy Bucks
Conformation and General Appearance: Small, cobby compact, muscular, hardy, alert, very wide and deep throughout, standing 16-23.6 inches at the withers with 3.7-4.6″ cannon bones.
Head: Large, short and wide, especially between the eyes and in rounded muzzle, face dished, full, broad, strong jaw; alert, wide apart, prominent eyes; horns or dehorned acceptable.
Ears: Medium length, firm, erect, alertly mobile.
Neck: Short, rounded, well-muscled, masculine, full throat.
Body: Very wide, deep and angular, symmetrical with well-sprung ribs, straight topline and medium, short, slightly sloping rump with tail carried high.
Legs & Feet: Short (especially cannons and pasterns), sturdy, wide/squarely et, straight, strong, well-muscled, resilient, deep-heeled.
Coat: Full, straight, thick, medium-long, heavy, copious beard and mane.
Colors: Any color or pattern acceptable with black and agouti predominant as in does.
Reproductive Organs: Well developed and supported with evenly spaced, rudimentary teats.

 

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Nigerian Dwarf Goats

August 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Goat Breeds

Colorful, Miniature Dairy Goats

Little Goats with a Big Future

One of the biggest dairy goats in terms of popularity is the smallest in stature. These knee-high ambassadors for dairy goats are enjoying rising popularity due to their miniature size and colorful markings. They have carved out a unique niche as a multi-purpose miniature goat: a wholesome source of caprine dairy products for family or homestead farm consumption with universal appeal as loveable, gentle pets, “living lawn ornaments” and weed control.

History and General Information

The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a miniature dairy breed of West African origin. Their small stature means that they do not require as as much space as their larger dairy goat counterparts and their gentle, friendly personalities make them good companion pets and easy to handle – even small children can be at ease with these little goats. Nigerian Dwarfs are still considered “rare” by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, with their numbers totaling about 7,000 in the national registries.

A healthy Nigerian Dwarf doe can produce a surprising amount of sweet milk for her small size – up to two quarts per day. In addition, Nigerian Dwarf milk is higher in butterfat (6-10%) and higher in protein content than most dairy breeds. However, many Nigerian Dwarf owners do not raise their goats for milk but for the pleasure and companionship that these little caprines bring to their lives.

Nigerian Dwarfs vs. Pygmies

Although they have similar origins, Nigerian Dwarfs and African Pygmies are separate and distinct breeds. Pygmies are bred to be “cobby” and heavy boned. Dwarfs are bred to have the length of body and structure in proportion to their larger dairy goat counterparts. Pygmies are also primarily “agouti,” with black, silver and caramel being the most common colors. There is no color discrimination among Nigerian Dwarfs under AGS (American Goat Society) registry. Under NDGA (Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association) registry policy, pygmy coloration and pattern is a minor fault.

Nigerian Dwarf Coloring

Color is one of the factors that makes breeding Dwarfs so popular. You can never be sure what color the babies will be until they are born; even then you can’t be sure because many times their color will change. Main color families are black, chocolate and gold with virtually every color combination imaginable being produced. Dwarfs can be Dalmatian spotted, pinto-patterned, tri-colored or just classy shades of solid jet black, white, chocolate or gold. Buckskin patterns are also popular, described by contrasting facial stripes, a “cape” around the shoulders with coordinating leg markings. Brown eyes are most common; however, dwarfs with china blue eyes are becoming increasingly available.

Nigerian Dwarf Breed Standards

A Nigerian Dwarf goat’s conformation is similar to that of the larger dairy goat breeds. The parts of the body are in balanced proportion. The nose is straight, although there may be a small break or stop at the level of the eyes. The ears are upright. The coat is soft with short to medium hair. Any color or combination of colors is acceptable. The AGS breed standard sets the maximum height for does at 22.4″ with bucks up to 23.6″. NDGA maximum heights for does and bucks is 21″ and 23″, respectively. There is no minimum height; although NDGA specifies an “ideal” height between 17″ and 19″ for does and 18″ to 20″ for bucks. Animals are disqualified from the show ring for being oversized for the breed standard and/or having a curly coat, roman nose, pendulous ears or evidence of myatonia (this is associated with fainting goats.)

Nigerian Dwarf Temperament

Dwarf goats are gentle and loveable. Their calm, even temperament and engaging personalities make them suitable companions for all, including children, the disabled and the elderly. Even breeding bucks are handled easily. Because of their gentle temperaments, Nigerian Dwarfs make wonderful pets and great animal projects for children and young adults in FFA and 4H. Breeders of other types of goats find that their Dwarfs blend in with the rest of their herd and do not need special quarters; just adequate fencing to contain them because of their small size. Many Nigerian Dwarf goats share pastures peacefully with other livestock such as cattle, horses, llamas, and donkeys.

Nigerian Dwarf Housing

For one to just a few goats, many owners find that an oversized dog house or two does the job. For a few to several goats, a small barn or loafing shed can be used depending on the climate. Good ventilation and dry quarters is important for healthful Nigerian Dwarf care. Many owners find that providing a few “toys” for their goats provides them with hours of caprine entertainment. Tree stumps, rocks or empty cable spools are great for “king of the mountain” games and jumping.

Nigerian Dwarf Breeding

Dwarf goats breed year round. Many breeders breed their does three times in two years, giving the doe at least a six month break. Of course, this is a personal choice for each breeder. For the most part, Nigerian Dwarfs are a hardy breed with few kidding problems. New babies average about 2 lbs. at birth but grow quickly. Does can be bred at 7- 8 months of age if they have reached a good size. Some breeders prefer to wait until they are at least 1 year or older. Dwarf does can have several kids at a time, 3 and 4 being common and sometimes even 5! Dwarfs are generally good mothers able to take care of their babies should you leave them to do the raising of the kids. They can also provide a surprising amount of milk for their size if you decide you want your own delicious goat milk.


Bucks are able to be used for service as young as 3 months of age and easily by the time they are 7 or 8 months old. Because they can be fertile at such a young age, breeders are advised to wean does and bucks separately. Dwarf bucks are vigorous breeders but are gentle enough to be used for hand breeding or pasture breeding. Both methods are used successfully.

Cost

Average cost for registered breeding stock is $200 to $500, with champion pedigrees, milk production record animals and unusual coloring receiving premium prices. Pet quality stock often costs much less, and wethers (neutered males) can be purchased for around $50 to $100.

 

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