Monday, May 2, 2011


I went to a friends, the same one that taught us to de-horn last weekend, and she had Chicory's previous owner's daughter (I know that's kind of confusing), over to teach a hoof trimming seminar.  Chicory's owner shows nationally and hence, this well taught daughter knows a whole heaping lot more than I do. In fact, I know nothing about Nubians (think Jersey cow) except they have a tendency to beller a lot and they produce more cream than a Saanen (think Holstein cow). 

So since I decided to become serious about the breeding of my animals, including Chicory, I'm taking a crash course on Nubians and goats in general. What are the breed characteristics of a Nubian, what am I looking for in conformation etc.? The first question I never knew and the last I can't remember any more so I really do need some help. 

After the seminar, this wonderful daughter of my goat's previous owner, Erin, was kind and came over to my pens excited to see Chicory once more and pleased that she was doing well. 

I begged her to rescue me. You see, I left the seminar completely bewildered. Anne, the de-horner, has stocky goats and mine are lanky and very dairy looking. One style is not better than the other, just different. So here I was staring at goat after goat of Anne's and trying to compare her kids to mine, wondering if those beautiful little kids of mine weren't so beautiful after all.  When Erin was kind enough to point out the fact that the two styles were like comparing apples to oranges I felt much better. Then she asked me which do you like better? For that is what it essentially boils down to - preference. "This look", I replied pointing to my kids. "I do too." she said. Which didn't surprise me since Chicory was her mother's before she was mine.
My other big question was whether or not to band the buck kid making him a wether (an it in other words). After looking at his smooth shoulders, good legs, and awesome top line, I decided he deserved to remain in-tack to hopefully pass that on. Erin wanted to know if I was going to keep him.

Who would I breed him to, his mom, his sisters?, was my first thought. Then I figured she maybe thought I was going to buy a bunch more goats because though this IS livestock, the idea seemed just too perverted. "He's for sale.", I said. Of course thinking, you want him? No, I don't know about selling breeding stock either.

Just in case someone is interested, I'll get his pedigree up in a couple weeks along with some photos. First, I got to figure out who is on Chicory's registration papers since the names mean nothing to me. And, what does the asterisks and pluses mean below the names? I do know what the AI means below Chicory's. Yes, she must have been the offspring of an artificially inseminated dam.

Erin said they had high, high hopes for her but her feet stayed tipped and didn't improve with trimming. Alas, she was sold to me. Yeah, for me as she doesn't pass on the ugly to her kids!!! As for this little buck we call Dock as in Chicory Dickory Dock.  I saw pictures of his and his sister's - papa's mama. I know, there I go again. Just stay focused and read that line again.  Her udder made my jaw drop. I admit I almost drooled and longingly thought, "I want a doe with one of those." 

I won't know until at least another year if my girls inherited that gorgeous mamary gland. For now, I'm trying to figure out body comformation. Funny, but it wasn't until Erin pointed out the faults and strong points on the doelings that I recognized them also. Now why is that? Cheyenne here has  a nice top line though not as nice as her brother and no, it isn't downhill from the rump to the front. It's just the ground she is standing on. Sorry, with the sun shining today it was hard to catch them holding still for even a second before they dashed off bucking. We've had snow and hard frost, snow and hard frost, snow and hard frost, so a day of sunshine  is a luxery.

And now that I've said something nice about Cheyenne, I can say I noticed, after it was pointed out, that her shoulders were a little thick and  didn't have as nice of an A angle from the top down as her brother and sister do. (Sh... I know, I know, the saying, " If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all.",  but it does not apply to livestock.) Erin said Cheyene might just become a larger doe and to wait and see what those shoulders do.

Besides, have you noticed that babies no matter whether they are human or animal, grow out and up and out and up and not always in proportion either. So it is a wait and see thing. After all, she is only three weeks old.  Her younger sister, Florence has pretty shoulders BUT might be a hair bit cow hocked. Hard to tell as active as she is and an udder will solve that slight problem in a hurry pushing those hocks outward.
What I wanted a picture of but the doelings were too modest to show was the space between the number 1 hole and where there escutcheon would begin. Confused? Well, when I was in grade school  we had to raise one finger or two so the teacher knew approximately how long we would be gone to the bathroom. In goats that means dingleberries or water fall. We are talking about the distance between the head of the waterfall and the escutcheon line. It needs to be short so the udder will be held up tight. 

I got to see a kid - not mine-  with pasterns too long which makes them weak when the kid grows up. So I checked that out too but my kid's are good. 

You want with Nubians, long pendulous ears, an inch past the nose if possible, and an ugly Roman nose, oh, I said that out loud didn't I? Okay, a huhum... (oh dear I can't lie so what can I say that is nice about their nose? ) a eye catching nose, (how can you miss it?). I know, I know some of you love that nose but I'm use to Saanens so give me time, maybe the thing will grow on me. It definitely grows large on them. 

Does should have a nice girlish, slim neck, and a downward placement of teats. You think I'm joking don't you? Have you ever  squeezed a teat like you were playing the scales on a piano and had to work like crazy to get the stream shooting into the bucket and not spraying the wall? Then don't laugh, sometimes milking is a real challenge even if the goat is standing perfectly still. 

And please for my sake, let the doe be born with good sized orifices. Not to big to allow in infection and not too small so that I have to play hee-man trying to extract the milk. And two not three or more teats is a must. Yes, goats can have more than two teats. Sometimes they are just small decoration, in poor taste I might add, and sometimes more than two teats work making you think they are doing a cow impersonation. 

Basically, I've learned you look for a good looking kid and hope it stays that way when it grows up. It's why I've never wanted to gamble in Los Vegas. I'm gambling already with all I can afford on how well the combination of genetics I've chosen will pan out. I've heard with Nubians it's trickier than Saanens. And this isn't a small chunk of change when you consider, breeding fees if you have any, keeping a buck or two, and the cost of hay and grain along with the gas to haul it. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, about the sheds, and fencing. Well, you get the drift, so just call me the big time gambler - on our budget you wouldn't be too far off.

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