Miniature dairy goats are not just miniaturized versions of standard dairy goat breeds.
They are hybrids of standard breeds with the addition of nigerian dwarf characteristics and genetics.
Some of these characteristics can include aseasonal breeding, higher percentage of butterfat in the milk, and better feed conversion, in addition to the smaller stature associated with miniature dairy goats.
Within the height limitations of the Breed Standards, breeders are free to choose the size of animal they prefer and which works best in their own herd and the percentage of each parent breed they wish to work with.
Breed Standards are designed by breeders as guidelines to help standardize each breed's identifying characteristics. They include positive structural and some cosmetic characteristics as well as characteristics which must be avoided in order to conform to that standard. Some of these are disqualifications.
Serious breeders will familiarize themselves with the Standard for their breed in order to produce the best quality animal they can. Goat shows use these standards to evaluate breeding stock and select superior animals to award with championship status.
Parts of the Dairy Goat - Why is that important?
Learning the correct names for the various parts of a dairy goat allows you to communicate with other dairy goat enthusiasts in a way they will understand. It signifies that you are a knowledgeable 'dairy goat person' who has in interest in learning about these wonderful animals. Learning why certain characteristics or parts of the animal are important and what 'correct' conformation looks like will help you to identify and breed better animals. It will improve your success in the show ring and the milk pail, helping you create animals that will live a long, productive life.
Form Follows Function
You can learn the most about conformation by attending dairy goat shows. Much information is also available on the internet and in books(!) We will provide some of that information here.
Entering your own goats in both live shows and the online versions will help you learn in which parts your own animals excel and which parts may need improvement. It will help you develop an 'eye' for good dairy goat conformation, which will in turn help you to develop better dairy goats. The better dairy goats are the ones that will win in the show ring. They are the ones that will milk well for many years and live a long, productive life.
Milk Production (and cuteness) is why you raise miniature dairy goats, right? The better dairy goat is one who can produce copious quantities of milk reliably for a period of at least 305 days before drying off, or for longer periods of up to several years if her genetics are good. She should do this on good quality feed but without requiring extraordinary care to keep her safely in production.TMGR offers two programs useful for tracking milk production and providing permanent records of your animal's production, along with an awards program for identifying the top producing animals of each breed every year.
How to go on DHIA Milk Test
Attending Dairy Goat shows is a great learning experience whether you are there as an observer or as a participant. You will see dairy goats at their very best, learn about conformation, meet breeders, and if showing yourself, perhaps have the rewarding experience of seeing one of your animals win Best of Breed. Competing in shows allows you to show off your breeding program and compare your animals with those of other breeders. It may enable you to receive awards leading to your animal achieving the designation of Permanent Champion.
TMGR offers conformation clinics to help members learn to evaluate their own dairy goats and develop an eye for a quality animal. Evaluators evaluate animals submitted by owners and identify each animal's strong and weak conformation. The Conformation Clinic is open to anyone as long as animals submitted are registered miniature dairy goats.
This program is for educational purposes only and is not a competition. More information is available on the Conformation Clinic page.
G6S is a wasting disease that is genetic and passed from parent to offspring. Testing is available and while it is most prevalent in Nubians, LaManchas of nubian decent are possible carriers as well. Jill Hoenmans has set up a website addressing this important issue. ------> http://g6sdata-mn.com/
Dairy Goat Udder Health Manual - Download this Manual Here
Goat Care links on the Internet