Monday, March 14, 2011

Pickin' Out a Dairy Goat..........

This week I'm going to do a couple of posts on goats and how we do things and what we like here at Goodwife Farm.  Remember this is just what the Goodwife likes, not for sure and certain what ever'body likes! 
Now, on to Day Un....

'Round here we celebrate the Kinder goat.  What the heck is a Kinder goat?  Well I'm so glad you asked!  This is a Kinder goat......

Ain't she purty?  This is Carmen and she was one of Tulip's triplets from last year.  Carmen is now living with Julia and will be bred next year.  Julia also bought Naomi.  Lookie those ears!!  Carmen had wattles, which I'm told the ADGA frowns on, but don't bother me a whit.

Kinder goats are sort of a rebel breed, like me (ok, so they are a rebel with a cause and I'm a rebel without a clue but lets not split hairs here).  The ADGA (dairy goat folks) don't like them because they have Pygmy blood and the Pygmy folks don't like 'em because they have dairy blood, so they are sort of outcasts.  That said, I could give a moose's patoot about any of that stuff, I love them! 

I won't go into the history of the Kinder breed, but if you'd like to know more about it, you can go here.  There is a Kinder goat registry, but mine aren't registered.  Suffice it to say, Kinders are great smallish goats, bigger than a Nigerian Dwarf, but smaller than a Nubian.  They don't eat much and they still give lots of milk, usually comparable to a big goat just in a smaller package.  They are great mommas, and are so friendly and loving.  Mine aren't very noisy except when they are in heat and then Star is much more vocal than Tulip.

This is Tulip........

I bought Tulip in October of 2007 and in March of '08 she freshened for the first time with twins, a buckling and a doeling.  Remember in this post I told you that Tulip was line bred to her dad to produce these little darlin's.......

I'm holding the buckling and that is our sweet Star in front......

This is Star as a young doeling on the stand.  I like to start getting my doelings comfortable with the milk stand at a very early age.  I coax them up on the stand and let them eat a bit of grain while I rub their bellies and udders.  I feel this helps accustom them to having their udders handled and makes breaking them to the pail much easier.  Star was much easier to break to the pail than Tulip.  Of course that could just be the huge difference in their personalities.......Star is sweet and docile, calm, quiet, and shy like a deer.  Tulip is loud and obnoxious, bossy and nosy, like a.....young Boxer dog!

In selecting replacement doelings there are a few things I look for right off.  Now, I'm going to use some very technical terms here, so hopefully I won't lose you.......hehe. 
Also, you obviously want to choose nice healthy animals.  That goes without saying and should pertain to every animal you purchase for your homestead.

 Warning, you are about to see some gratuitous booby shots of goats, don't worry they were totally necessary to the plot of this blog post.....

First and foremost you want to examine hooters.  You want two, similarly proportioned, with no extras anywhere.  You don't want split teats, or extra teats, or mis-shapen teats.  I had a Kinder with a "J" shaped teat and she was very hard to milk.  Not impossible, but hard to get the teat pointed where it needed to go!  You need to check this on bucklings as well as doelings. Bucklings have teats on either side of their "package".  After you've thoroughly checked out the boobies you can move on to the next step.

You want a lot of width, meaning a nice wide stance from the rear.  You also want very little space between her "hoo haw" and where her udder starts.  This is Star as a young doeling again.... 

Star freshened last year for the first time with twins.  A doeling and a buckling.  This is her first freshening udder.....lovely isn't it?  You will notice that Star doesn't have huge teats, I don't care for really big teats.  I like "just enough" meaning enough that I don't have to hire a Capuchin monkey to milk for me, but not so much that I feel like I'm milking a fire hose.  This is a matter of total personal preference.......

Below is her doeling you can see Isis had gorgeous width and very little space from her hoo hoo to where her udder began.  I sold this doeling in the midst of The Crisis and therefore will not be able to see how she freshens, although I do know where she is.  (To be honest with you, I sold her because I totally botched her disbudding and she had a glorious set of horns just without tips, all my kids did). 

In selecting replacement bucklings, you look for the same things, in addition to looking at the udder of the buckling's female relatives. 

This is Cocoa Carl and he was Naomi's  buckling from last year.  Carl had really nice width and not much space in the hoo haw area, which I like, but as a more "correct" Kinder he was of a much shorter and stockier type than I like in my goats.  I prefer leggier, more "dairy-type" in my Kinders.

We must remember that things can also change as kids grow, and judging udder quality is a crap shoot.  You just don't know until the doeling matures and freshens herself or until the buckling becomes a father and his doelings mature and freshen.  However, doing your homework and finding out all you can about the parents and relatives of your potential goat will give you a much better shot at getting a nice milking doe!

Tune in later this week when I'll talk about Kinder goat kidding, milk production, quality and taste of the milk, and the way we raise kids here..........

God Bless.................


  1. They are so cute. Love the picture of you holdin the baby goat. Lots of great information!

  2. I love your Kinders. Maybe one day I'll have a few of my own if things pan out like I hope they do. I'm like you - I like a leggier, more dairy goat (could just be in my nature), but I like Carl's shape too. I like a stockier shape for bucklings (for meat ya know), if only there were a way to get dairy character doelings out of meatier bucks. . .
    I think Star is just gorgeous, she looks like a little deer.
    (oh, and p.s. ADGA doesn't really care either way on wattles - a friend who shows Saanens has them on almost all her goats. I personally don't care for them, but then again you don't milk the wattles so it's not big deal.)

  3. Sounds like your criteria makes sense ,not just looking at the animal itself but also the genetics

  4. One thing about it... goats are a lot friendlier than sheep!

  5. Thanks for the info.! Love it and we're looking at Toggenburgs, sometime this week. Mike still isn't totally on board so I'm not pushig him at this point. He's willing to go take a look with Cortney and I though*wink*

    I just want milk for cheese, yogurt, icecream and possible drinking( I'm NOT a big milk drinker, unless I have warm choc. chip cookies*wink*)

    Thanks again and I look forward to future info. :o)

  6. *snort* you said boobies. hee hee hee

  7. Its goat week its goat week Yaaaay!!!


    uhm...hoohaw? is that the belly button then? ;)

  8. i have a sneaky feeling i'm going to have to milk one in the next coming months...

    i love the ears!!!!

  9. Looking forward to your post next week!

  10. Loving these post!!! I've got two goats and I'm learning so much!

  11. Thank you so much everybody for commenting! The Man is on vacation this week, so I've been spending all my time with him, but please know I'm so thankful for your comments!


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