Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nubian v. Nigerian Dwarf

My father and I came to the conclusion that it would be better to get the dairy goat(s) before the brutal temperatures of the summer here in the Southern California desert. However, that means I only have a few months to 1) figure out which breed I'm going to get, 2) build her (their) pen on my parents' ranch and 3) find the goat(s).

Presently I'm torn between two different breeds of dairy goats. Nubians v. Nigerian Dwarfs. Nubians are regular sized with charastically adorable floppy ears. Nigerian Dwarfs are hardy, pocket-sized healthy milkers who have a reputation for being incredibly loving and sweet with humans. Some of the issues I'm mulling over are:
  • milk production
  • butterfat content
  • tolerance for extreme heat
  • gentleness to humans and children
  • fencing requirements

Apparently both breeds similarly satisfy the conditions above, but in different ways.

Another consideration is the availability of bucks for breeding purposes. Nigerian Dwarfs are not as popular and are actually considered an endangered breed in some areas of the United States. They are also not as revered by the dairy community are are frequently ignored in essays and articles regarding dairy goat breeds.  (This actually makes me want them more.) However, although Nubians are much more well-known there aren't that many that actually live in close promixity to me.  I don't mind driving a long distance, to pick up my doe kid or junior doe, but it may be problematic during breeding time.

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