Monday, February 21, 2011

Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Yesterday we went to look at a local breeders herd of Nigerian Dwarf milk goats.  They are the same family that first introduced me to the breed at the Evergreen State Fair (our local fair) a year and a half ago. You can see in the picture she has all different color combinations, and every one of the goats are so friendly and curious.  The Boyd's have 4 children that have helped to hold,  feed, and love all of them from babies, so they are totally used to people and will come right up you and jump up to see if you have anything good.  They've had Nigerian Dwarf Goats for 5 years now, and their bloodlines are our of California, where they moved up here from.

Over the last year and a half I have been studying up on the breed, and have been getting Hoegger Supplies Goat Catalog ever since that time.  I've also gotten books from the library, and have been looking at other goat owners blogs, learning from them as they talk about goat nutrition, kidding, milking, medications and diseases to watch out for.  Around here at Applegarth Farm we've also been getting ready for them with a pasture, and even have "Sierra" our Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog.  Great Pyrenees are kind and gentle, they like to live in harmony with their flock and will protect them faithfully.  

You can see just how curious and friendly they are with Kaley.

I was amazed at their beautiful coloring, Kristi said that every year when they kid, it's like easter eggs, you never know what color the kids will be.  The nice thing about Nigerian Dwarfs, is that within the breed registry there are no colors that are disqualified in the show ring, and they can have blue eyes as well.  Currently she has about 10 bred does.  They have about 20 does on their farm, but some are too young to be bred.  She breeds them when they're about one and a half years old.  A doe will typically have twins or triplets, but she had a doe one year that had quadruplets, and a friend with a doe that had six. Wow! that's a lot of babies.

The small goats in this picture are last years doeling kids, they're not ready for breeding until next winter. 

We spent a sunny but cold afternoon yesterday enjoying seeing these cute little goats with personality.  Before we left we discussed price, and I shared with her what I was looking for,  2 does in milk, and one of the does baby girl (or doeling) to come with her mom.  That will give me 2 does to milk this summer and next Fall, and to breed next winter, plus will give us a baby doeling to enjoy this year,  and then she will be ready to breed in a year and a half. 

Next Spring we will have goats kidding.  This year, Kristi is going to send me a message and let me know when her does start kidding, probably around middle of April she said.  The does will be ready to go home with us around the middle to the end of June.  4 months, we still need to get their paddock area fenced and a couple gates installed, along with feeders, milk stands, collars, and lead lines.  I can hardly wait.  Thank you Kristi and your family for sharing with us about your goats, and introducing us to this charming sweet breed.  They even gave us a bar of their own homemade soap, after hearing about my recent adventures in getting ready for soap making.  Farm folks are like that, kind and helpful, I know they will be new friends, and a wealth of information.  They also run the 4 H goat chapter in our area, so that may be fun for Kaley to join with her new doeling, the baby doeling will be her very own to train and care for.   These little goats put a smile in my heart :).
I have more pictures and information to share later this week. 
 This one Kristi said is her favorite, isn't she beautiful?

5 comments:

bluetick said...

Julie,

What great pictures! They all look so adorable. Can't wait to read more about them when they make it to your farm. I had farm pets growing up and they are some of my fondest memories ...what a great memories you are making for your children.

Tracy

Bold E-Zine said...

These are without a doubt the cutest goats I've ever seen. I really enjoyed reading your post and look forward to exploring more.
BOLD - The FREE E-zine for Blogging enthusiasts

Jewel said...

Yes, they are the cutest goats I've ever been around, and their little personalities are so friendly and outgoing. The dwarf size makes them legal within many city limits now too.

Benita said...

Oh my! They are beautiful! I love thei marking and they have the best faces. Your kids will be so lucky having these new animals in their lives. And goat's milk soap is the best!

Jewel said...

I'm really looking forward to the goats milk for drinking, as well as making yogurt, butter, cottage cheese, chevre cheese, feta cheese, and ice cream.

Benita, making goats milk soap is something I've never done, but have always wanted to, I think it's the best too!

We will have milk this summer... Yeah!

Nigerian Dwarf goats milk has a high butterfat content too, so makes good butter and ice cream.