THE MINIATURE DAIRY GOAT ASSOCIATION
 


 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE MINIATURE DAIRY GOAT...

What breeds will be registered?

Mini-Alpines
Mini-LaMancha (MiniMancha)
Mini-Nubian (Dwarf Nubian)
Mini-Oberhasli
Mini-Saanen
Mini-Toggenburg

 

Breed standards will be the same as the standard dairy goat breed standards, with the exception of the miniature "preferred height".

 

Patchwook Acres Blitzen - 1st Gen Mini-Nubian

  

    Why Miniature Dairy Goats?

  Some people with small acreage are
   looking for a smaller milk producing
   animal for a family milk supply. Purebred
   dairy goat breeds have been pushing for
   greater stature for the show ring which has
   resulted in all of the standard dairy goat
   breeds getting larger in recent years. Smaller goats are easier for children and seniors to handle.  Feed costs are rising and a smaller goat can often produce 2/3 the amount of a standard dairy goat while often consuming 1/2 as much feed. (This will need to be proven with time.)  Smaller goats are in demand for the pet market. The influence of Nigerian Dwarf blood may serve to expand the breeding season past the fall months and increase the butterfat in the milk.

How much will they milk?

This is a question that will be answered by the breeders as the breeds continue to be developed. MDGA is aware of several Dwarf Nubians that as 2-year-olds are producing 6 pounds per day and are very easy to milk. Production will probably change according to the goals of the individual breeder.

  

    How tall will these breeds be?

   The preferred height will be 21 to 25 inches for does, and
    23-27 inches for bucks, measured at the withers. Smaller
    would difficult to milk and larger would be too close to the
    minimum heights for the standard dairy goat breeds.  The
    preferred height is a recommendation for breeders to strive
    for, but will not be considered a fault in the show ring.

    How do I breed for a Miniature Dairy Goat?

Most miniature dairy goat breeders use a Nigerian Dwarf buck on a standard dairy doe to produce the first generation miniatures. MDGA prefers that both parents be purebred and registered with a dairy goat registry. The main reason for this is that to produce good miniatures, one should use the best stock possible. Registered goats give you the advantage of pedigree information, so that you can tell the qualities of the goats that you are starting with. However, if you feel that you have quality unregistered goats that you wish to incorporate into your breeding program, MDGA will consider them under certain circumstances and with certain required criteria. Contact MDGA for more information.

For the second generation, breed a first generation to another first generation. All first and second generation goats will be registered as "Experimentals". This will continue each generation until the third generation when the goat may be considered for registration as a Purebred Miniature.

Pygmy goats will not be allowed as parents in the MDGA Herdbook. MDGA feels that pygmy conformation is too different from dairy goat conformation to be a good gene pool - although MDGA acknowledges that some pygmy goats are good milk producers.

What if I want to experiment with percentages in my breeding program?

The purpose of MDGA is to provide you with an inclusive means of recording and supporting the development of miniature breeds. If you feel that it will help you better reach your goals by crossing with percentages other than 50/50, MDGA will still register your goats as Experimentals. You may still apply for the purebred Herdbook by the third generation provided your goat meets the standard. If at any time you breed back to a purebred Nigerian or a standard dairy goat, the offspring will revert back to first generation. If you experiment with percentages other than 50/50, it may take more generations to attain purebred status, but in some cases it may be worth it in your breeding program.

MDGA wants to encourage you to develop your miniature breed the way you want. These are new breeds and there are no proven methods. MDGA would like to encourage all breeders to share their experiences - successes and failures - with other breeders.


    How will MDGA admit Miniatures to the
            Purebred Herdbook?


  
Guidelines and Procedures for American
   Purebreds and Purebreds are underway and
   will be available January 1, 2005 for all
   breeder with 3rd generation or greater and
   wish to enter their animals in purebred books....
   As you can see, this may not be an easy process. But
   for those who enjoy being a goat pioneer it can be
   very rewarding. Several breeders are already achieving
   multiple generations of their chosen miniature dairy goat breed and each year it gets more exciting! Some of you may be ready to start, while others may wait for others to lay the groundwork. Either way, MDGA welcomes your interest and hopes that it can assist you as well as help you assist each other. Please share your experiences, ideas and dreams with MDGA and we will help you share them with others.

 


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