How many times do I have to tell you?
You need to stay on your side of the fence!
What do you mean "your pen isn't fun"? You have an A-frame to climb and play on in your pen. You have hay. You have water. What does this pen have that your pen doesn't have?
You are too old to stay in the doe's pen.
I'm only doing what's best for you.
Boys, boys, boys........
How many times do I have to tell you?
Now I just gotta say
I love polled. I like blue eyes, moon spots, frosted ears, and lots of coloring too. Not too crazy about wattles, though. I try to breed my goats for conformation, not color. Colors won't help in the show ring. Although I don't breed specifically for polled, blue eyes, colors etc. Those things just seem to come with the package!
Now I periodically have to check these charts. So I figured: Why not make your own? Ready? Let's start!
Is when a goat is born hornless. Polled is a dominant trait, thankfully, and thus, it is easy to add a few polled goats to your herd. All goats (and pretty much everything else) gets one gene from each parent. If an animal gets two recessive genes, the recessive trait show up. If two horned animals breed, (horned is recessive) then there is no chance of polled babies.
Polled = P (dominant) Horned = H (recessive)
Homozygous is when both genes are the same. Heterozygous is when the genes are different from each other. Here are the situations:
HH x HH = 100% horned kids. (HH homozygous horned. Only able to produce polled offspring if bred to a polled mate.)
PH x HH = 50% polled kids. (PH heterozygous polled. Can still produce horned offspring if bred to a horned mate.)
%50 horned kids. (HH homozygously horned. Only able to produce polled offspring if bred to a polled mate.)
PH x PH = 75% polled kids. (PP homozygous polled 25% or PH heterozygous polled 50% cannot tell which until bred. PP animals cannot produce horned offspring, regardless of mate. PH can still produce horned offspring if bred to a horned mate.)
25% horned kids. (HH cannot produce polled kids unless bred to a polled mate.)
PP x PH = 100% polled kids. (PP homozygous polled 50% or PH heterozygous polled 50% cannot tell which until bred. PP animals cannot produce horned offspring, regardless of mate. PH can still produce horned offspring if bred to a horned mate.)
PP x PP = 100% polled kids. (PP homozygous polled PP animals cannot produce horned offspring, regardless of mate.)
From left to right: Blue, light brown (gold) brown
(Just like polled, blue eyes are a dominant gene. For all you who love those blue eyes, nows the time to celebrate! It is very easy to add blue eyes to your herd.
Blue eyed = Bl (dominant) Brown eyed = Br (recessive)
Here are the situations:
BrBr x BrBr = 100% brown eyed kids (HH homozygous brown eyed. Only able to produce blue eyed offspring if bred to a blue eyed mate.)
BlBr x BrBr = 50% blue eyed kids. (BlBr heterozygous blue eyed. Can still produce brown eyed offspring if bred to a brown eyed mate.)
50% brown eyed kids. (BrBr homozygously brown eyed. Only able to produce blue eyed offspring if bred to a blue eyed mate.)
BlBr x BlBr = 75% blue eyed kids. (BlBl homozygous blue eyd 25% or BlBr heterozygous blue eyed 50% cannot tell which until bred. BlBl animals cannot produce brown eyed offspring, regardless of mate. BlBr can still produce brown eyed offspring if bred to a brown eyed mate.)
25% brown eyed kids. (BrBr cannot produce blue eyed kids unless bred to a blue eyed mate.)
BlBl x BlBr = 100% blue eyed kids (PP homozygous blue eyed 50% or PH heterozygous blue eyed 50% cannot tell which until bred. BlBl animals cannot produce brown eyes, regardless of mate. BlBr can still produce brown eyes if bred to a brown eyed mate.)
BlBl x BlBl = 100% blue eyed kids. (BlBl homozygous blue eyed animals cannot produce brown eyed offspring, regardless of mate.)
It seems that all the 'extras' are dominant genes! In my research I found that polled, blue eyes, and wattles are all dominant genes!
Some people like their goats with "jewelry" and some don't. I personally don't really care for it, but I would take a quality goat with or without wattles.
W = wattles (dominant) N = Un wattled (recessive)
NN x NN = 100% brown eyed kids (NN homozygous non wattled. Only able to produce wattled offspring if bred to a wattled mate.)
WN x NN = 50% wattled kids. (WW heterozygous wattled. Can still produce un-wattled offspring if bred to an non wattled mate.)
50% non-wattled kids. (NN homozygously un-wattled. Only able to produce wattles offspring if bred to a wattled mate.)
WN x WN = 75% wattled kids. (WW homozygous Wattled 25% or WN heterozygous wattled 50% cannot tell which until bred. WW animals cannot produce Non wattled offspring, regardless of mate. WN can still produce non wattled offspring if bred to a un-wattled mate.)
25% Non wattled kids. (NN cannot produce wattled kids unless bred to a wattled mate.)
WW x WN = 100% wattled kids (WW homozygous wattled 50% or WN heterozygous wattled 50% cannot tell which until bred. WW animals cannot produce un-wattled, regardless of mate. WN can still produce no wattled if bred to a non wattled mate.)
WW x WW = 100% wattled kids. (WW homozygous wattled animals cannot produce un-wattled offspring, regardless of mate.)
These are just the possibilities of what you could get. Since the genes that kids get are random, like the flip of a coin, you could end up with more or less. River Edge had one set of quadruplets, the mother was BrBr/PH and the father was BlBr/HH and out of the 4 kids, 3 polled, and 2 were blue eyed. One woman we know who owns a blue eyed buck has had mostly blue eyes, even though her buck is actually heterozygous blue eyed! On the other hand, I've heard of polled bucks who almost always "throw" horns.
Now as I mentioned, I would not breed just for these outward characteristics. Especially if you are breeding with the intention to show, appraise, or do production testing.
In this post I have to mention that there is a rumor that breeding polled to polled will result in animals that are hermaphrodites, that is, are not exclusively male or female, but have intersex features, and are sterile. I must tell you, that this is not true. The gene for hermaphroditism is closely related to the gene for polled, but that doesn't mean that every kid will be a hermaphrodite. Just because those two genes are close relatives, that does not mean to be polled the goat must carry the "hermie" gene. The "hermie" gene is recessive, and the kid needs two sets of the gene to be a hermaphrodite. There have also been horned hermaphrodites. It all depends whether the parents carry the gene.
Have fun breeding! TTYL - Tessa
I love, love, love kidding season
You get to see bouncing balls of baby fuzz, everyone's udder at full production, and hopefully, you get to see how wondrously your mother goats raise up the next generation with such love and patience. One of my favorite parts, is watching the kids being born. Last year, Blossom and Ella were in with the buck for 2 months, and what do they do, but get pregnant at the last possible moment. We were out there staring at their backsides, and feeling their ligaments for a whole month before the kids arrived. When they finally arrived, Ella was simple. 3 minutes, no complications, and one blue-eyed little beauty. Blossom had a little more trouble, 2 LARGE bucklings, and one had a bit of trouble breathing, but after that it was smooth sailing. Months before we had assembled our kidding kit, lovingly dubbed the 'Goat Tote'. I'm very glad that there weren't any emergencies, and I hope never to run into one, but as Mom says:
"Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."
Basic supplies list:
%7 Iodine for dipping umbilical cords. Last year one of Glenda's kids contracted Navel ill, and didn't make it. Dipping the cords in Iodine is a simple way to make sure that the tragedy of losing a kid to Navel ill, doesn't happen to you.
The Nose-sucker-thing also known as the 'Snucker' is life-saver, and only $0.99-2.99! I mentioned that one of Blossie's boys had problems breathing, and we just sucked out his nose and mouth, and he was fine.
Pritchard nipples with bottles are an easy back-up in case of rejection or death. Be sure to check that the nipples fit correctly on the bottles.
Lubricant in case of kidding problems. We keep a bottle handy in case.
Towel or puppy-pads are great for helping to dry kids if the weather is cold or if Mom has multiples and can't lick them all at the same time.
Disposable/OB Gloves for keeping the inside of the doe clean in case of an emergency.
Warm Molasses water is greatly appreciated by your new Momma after delivery, for Iron and energy.
Flashlight just in case your doe decides to follow Murphey's Law and has her kid at 1:30 AM.
Phone with Emergency numbers are a must when dealing with births. Goats don't tend to have many problems, but if they do, you do not want to be scrambling through the house looking for the vet's number. Everything seems to take twice as long in a panicked state, and when a doe is in trouble, every minute counts.
Here is the Nice-to-have list:
Stomach tube in case the kid is too weak to take a bottle.
Preparation H is nice to have to help with swelling.
Baby Monitors are really nice to check if your doe is in labor without tromping up to the barn at 3.00 AM. There is a very good chance that if they are in Labor you will be able hear them with the baby monitor. (Ones with a camera are especially nice.)
Scissors and Alcohol are great if the Umbilical cords are too long and need a little trim.
Selenium-E paste for preventing White Muscle Disease. It's not absolutely necessary, but it can't hurt to be cautious, just be sure not to over-dose.
Frozen or fresh Colostrum is wonderful to have on hand in the case of rejection or if a kid is orphaned. Please be sure to use real Colostrum. Some replacers have accidentally harmed or killed kids, and they just can't stand up to the mother's milk with all it's antibodies and protective goodness.
A Camera is something that I love to have on hand. Many times while I'm in the Goat Pen, I wish I had a camera with me. The times I have, I get photos like this:
and this, and this, and this:
Happy Kidding Season!
Yay! My doe's having babies! Now what? One aspect of owning a pregnant doe, is feed. There are many, many, many different feeds, and ways to feed. I am in no ways an expert, but here's my 2 ¢'s. For the first 3 months of pregnancy, the expectant mother needs only good grass hay. By the end of the first 12 weeks, the unborn kids are about the size of newborn kittens. A newborn Nigerian Dwarf goat weighs about 10 times the weight of a newborn kitten, and the unborn kids must gain this weight and size in only 8 weeks. Needless to say, the 2 months before kidding is when the kids pull the most nutrition from the doe to fuel their growth. If the doe is underfed, she may lose weight, she may not produce enough milk to feed her offspring, or she may develop life-threatening conditions like Hypocalcemia (also known as 'Milk-fever'), Ketosis, or Pregnancy toxemia. At the start of the 13th week, gradually start giving your doe a handful of grain, and a little alfalfa. Very slowly, boost the grain and alfalfa, so by the 2nd-to last week, she is getting about 1-2 cups of grain, and 1-2 lbs. of alfalfa. If your doe is HUGE feel free to give her a little more as you feel necessary. She is your goat, and that means you can feed her however you want. But remember, if you let her free-choice her grain, her kids could (and probably will) grow so big that she will have a hard time delivering. If you choose to have your mother-to-be ultrasounded, lucky you! You now have an accurate idea of how many Mom is eating for, and can adjust accordingly. It doesn't really matter if the alfalfa is pelleted or in hay-form, because the doe is still consuming lots of grass-hay for roughage. I must say, that loose alfalfa is better for her, and is a little cheaper, ($15.95 per 100 lb bale vs $11.49 per 40 lb bag) but pellets are much less messy, and less likely to be wasted.
That's about it! Re-cap: grass-hay free-choice, grain and alfalfa the last 2 months. Easy!
The GCH, CH, MCH, ARMCH, or PGCH titles
for awarded for becoming a Permanent Grand Champion. To become a Permanent Champion a doe must win a minimum of 3 Grand Champion titles in a sanctioned show.
A doe may win one champion 'leg' dry, either as an adult, or a kid.
Bucks can also win CH, MCH, and PGCH.
CH, GCH, SG and SGCH are awarded from the American Dairy Goat Association.
MCH and ARMCH are awarded from the American Goat Society.
PGCH is awarded from the Nigerian Dairy Goat Association.
All those letters can make your head spin! (Just wait till I start explaining the *'s and +'s! Go get the Aspirin now.)
It's really quite simple, listen closely:
CH means that they have won Grand Champion at a sanctioned show 3 times.
GCH means that along with the Grand Champion title, the doe has earned a Milk Star (see below)
MCH means pretty much the same as CH. MCH stands for 'Master Champion.'
ARMCH means the same as GCH. Except to get AR (Advanced Registry) the doe needs to earn her milk star BEFORE the 305 deadline. If the doe has earned her AR without earning her championship, the AR is still placed in front of the name.
PGCH means is the same as CH and MCH. Bucks however need four Grand Champion show-ring wins to earn this title.
SG means 'superior genetics'. This means that this goat is in the top %15 of production for his/her breed.
SGCH means that the doe/buck in question has his/her SG AND his/her CH title.
Take the Aspirin, we are starting *'s and +'s.
* is a Milk production award, it is called 'star'. It is earned by a doe producing either enough pounds of milk, butterfat or protein in either a one-day test, or a 305-day test. Any animal can earn these through their progeny or parentage.
+ is an award for bucks, they can earn these from their parent's and progeny's awards. In ADGA and AGS the + is only for the bucks, but in NDGA a doe can also earn her + award.
"But I have seen so many *'s and +'s! Sometimes there are multiple symbols, and letters and numbers mixed in! Isn't it complicated? How do you keep track?"
Well my confused friend, as with the champion titles, each registry has their own set of symbols and letters.
American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA)
M = Doe B = Buck
American Goat Society (AGS)
D, AR = Doe S = Buck
Nigerian Dairy Goat Association (NDGA)
DLT, DAR, DS, DD, DP = Doe DS, DAR, DG =B Buck
The numbers mean generations of does who have earned their awards. Lets say that Ella earns her 1*M. Her daughter Charisma also earns her *M. Charisma's title would be
Fun Size Farm Charisma 2*M.
If Charisma has a daughter who earns her *M, she would have a 3*M etc.
See? Very simple.
*DLT can be earned by making the requirements in either milk or butterfat, while milking the whole 305 days.
*DLT+ can be earned by making the poundage in both milk AND butterfat, if milked the entire 305 days.
*M/*D can be earned by making the poundage and/or butterfat. In ADGA this can be earned by protien too.
AR *D/*DAR can be earned by making the required pounds before the deadline.
*DD can be earned on a one-day test.
*DAR+ can be earned if the amounts are made before the deadline in BOTH milk and butterfat.
Parent/Progeny Awards (To be eligible for awards, the goat needs to be registered/recorded with that certain registry. If a buck/doe is registered with NDGA they cannot earn their *S without being registered with AGS. All progeny and mates should be registered with the SAME registry that you are getting the award from.)
*DP/*M can be earned by a doe for having:
3 daughters by at least 2 different sires, who have a *, OR
2 sons by 2 different sires, who have their progeny Awards, OR
2 daughters by at least 2 different sires, who each have a *, and 1 son who has their +DS Award.
+DS/+B/+S can be earned by a buck for having:
3 daughters out of 3 different dams, who have earned their * (In AGS they must earn AR.) OR
2 sons out of 2 different dams, who have earned their progeny Award, (+S in AGS.) OR
2 daughters out of 2 different dams, who have earned their * and a son who has earned his progeny award. (In AGS the awards must be AR * and +S.)
The +DS can be awarded more than once for the same buck, but no offspring can be used more than once. Example: 6 does out of 6 different dams, = 2+DS
+DAR can be earned by a buck for having 3 daughters out of 3 different dams, who have earned their *DLT or their *DLT+
*DS/*B/*S Can be earned by a buck for having:
A dam who has her *DAR+ or *DD/*D/*M or and his sire has his +DS or +DAR/+S or *S/+B OR
A dam who has her *DAR+ or *DD/*D/*M and his sire's dam has her star also.
*DG Can be earned by having a mother who has her *DP. This award shows that this buck has the potential for being a great herdsire.
++S/++B Can be earned by a buck for having 3 (in AGS AR) * daughters, and 2 +S/+B sons.
++*S/++*B Can be earned by a buck for having 3 (in AGS AR) * daughters, 2 +S/+B sons, a sire who has earned his +S or *S/+B and a dam who has earned her *.
Explaination of how Champion "leg" is earned
In the ring the goats are separated into different categories, so that animals are only judged with animals of their own breed and approximate age. After all the ages groups are judged, all the 1st place blue-ribbon winners, are judged for either Senior or Junior Champion.
If the JR. and SR. show-rings are sanctioned separately, then the Champions of each ring earn one of their Legs. If the senior and junior rings are NOT separately sanctioned, but are a Combined Show, then the Senior and Junior Champions do NOT win a Leg. If this is the case, the Senior Champion and Junior Champions compete for Grand Champion. Only the winner earns a Leg.
In ADGA, if the Grand Champion is already a Permanant Grand Champion, the Reserve Grand Champion earns his/her leg.
ADGA Milk Requirements for Nigerian Dwarf goats:
AGS and NDGA Milk requirements for Nigerian Dwarf goats:
If I have forgotten anything or if you have any new information, please, comment. Hope this really helps! <3 Tessa
Back in October
We were looking for a buck to breed our does, and were trying to find one who would improve MSL, attachment, and just keep the quality and good traits comin'. We looked at Castle Rock, Kickipoo Creek, CABrandywine, Harley Hillside, Mini Prints, and Stitch In Thyme. Then we found Castle Rock Kentucky, at Split Rail Family Farms. His dam is Castle Rock Alum Root is double-finished permanent grand champion, with milk-stars, superior genetics award, and to top that off, a LA score of VEEE 92. His sire Rosasharn's Sitka Spruce, who has sired champions, and can be found in the pedigrees of farms such as Algedi farms, Castle Rock, and Grass valley. So of course we had to use him, and Mr. Kentucky came for a 1-month visit to our farm. He sure knows his job, because with the ultrasound, 5 out of 5 does were pregnant. It was super cool! We saw spines, skulls, heartbeats, placenta, and even the umbilical cords! Unfortunately, our does were too far along in their pregnancies to count the kids accurately. As the kids grow, and take up more and more room, they tend to twist around, and hide behind each other. Kidding season this year will be from mid-March to mid-April, and I'll try to post a video of one of the births. Thanks for reading! :)
When we started out with goats, we bought 2 doeling who were registered with NDGA. After deciding that we wanted to get into big-time breeding, we decided that we wanted to re-register them with one of the largest dairy goat registries in the US, the American Dairy Goat Association. We had a stumbling block, however, because ADGA does not accept NDGA paperwork for registration. Thankfully the American Goat Society will check NDGA paperwork to see if it is possible to register with them, and after your goat is registered with AGS, you can re-register with ADGA. So long story short, we got our does registered with AGS, and sent the paperwork into ADGA to be re-registered. Our paperwork came back, but turns out we were supposed to send in a Transfer Record Request form from AGS. We also had to tattoo our doe's tails with the letter "Q".
Transfering can be a bit confusing, and somewhat expensive if you have more than a few goats to register. Since couldn't register Ella and Blossom with AGS without registering 1 grandma, and both parents, it cost us $59, plus a membership. I'm SUPER glad now that we have the AGS membership, since I plan to register my babies with them, so I'm not complaining. From what I can tell, registering babies born on your farm is easier. Thanks for reading!