Miniature Dairy Goat Association

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Information About Mini-Dairy Goats

What is a Mini-Dairy goat?

A miniature dairy goat is the product of a standard sized purebred/American goat bred to a Nigerian Dwarf for the first generation of mini dairy goats. Only documented animals with traceable registrations can be used to produce a mini goat. Nigerian Dwarfs must be purebred registered with one of the ND registries.  
Each generation of correct miniature goats will be called an experimental until it reaches the 3rd generation where it may enter the American herdbook IF it meets the Breed Standards and the 70/30 Rule.

Why Miniature Dairy Goats?

Some people with small acreage are looking for a smaller milk producing animal for a family milk supply. Miniature dairy goats are now being allowed in some of the large cities across the country.
Standard dairy goat breeds have been pushing for greater stature for the show ring which has resulted in all of the standard dairy goat breeds getting larger in recent years. Smaller goats are easier for children, seniors and the handicapped to handle.  Their smaller size makes them a lot easier to handle than their larger relatives, so hoof trimming, clipping, showing and milking become much easier. 
Feed costs are rising and a mini dairy goat can often produce 2/3 the amount of a standard dairy goat while often consuming 1/2 as much feed. (This will need to be proven with time.)  Smaller goats are in demand for the pet market. The influence of Nigerian Dwarf blood may serve to expand the breeding season past the fall months and increase the butterfat in the milk.

Breeding Miniature Dairy Goats

Mini-Dairy goats are a group of new dairy breeds that are being created by taking a full size dairy doe and breeding it to a Nigerian Dwarf buck. The goal is to produce a mid-size dairy goat that looks like the standard size breed. One of the things that has been confusing to many people is the percentages listed on the pedigree. This is the amount of standard sized goat and Nigerian blood that is in the Mini-Dairy goat. This article will attempt to explain where those numbers come from. The other thing that is often misunderstood is the generation of a mini-dairy goat.

Understanding Generations: A first generation (F1) is when one of the parents is a Nigerian Dwarf (ND) or a Standard sized doe (one of the recognized dairy breeds). Usually the first cross is a ND buck x Standard doe rather than the other way around. Then if you breed a F1 to another F1 you have a second generation (F2). F2xF2 = F3 and so on. The generation of the kid is always one generation higher than the lowest generation parent with the foundation animals (ND or Standard breed) being considered ‘0 generations’. So, if you breed a F3 to a F1 it is a F2. Even if you bred a F6 to a F1 you would only have a F2. 

How Much do Miniature Dairy Goats Milk?

Miniature dairy goats have been reported to produce anywhere from 2 lbs a day (1 quart) to 10 lbs a day (one and a quarter gallons) with the average around 5-6 lbs (3 quarts) of milk daily. Genetics and management will play an important part in milk production.

What if I want to experiment with percentages in my breeding program?

The purpose of MDGA is to provide you with an inclusive means of recording and supporting the development of miniature breeds. If you feel that it will help you better reach your goals by crossing with percentages other than 50/50, MDGA will still register your goats as Experimentals.  If at any time you breed back to a purebred Nigerian or a standard dairy goat, the offspring will revert back to first generation. If you experiment with percentages other than 50/50, it may take more generations to attain purebred status, but in most cases it may be worth it in your breeding program.

How tall will the Miniature Dairy Breeds be?

The Mini-Dairy goats are between the sizes of the Nigerian Dwarf and the standard breed.  Measured at the withers, the preferred maximum height for does is twenty eight inches (28") and for bucks twenty-nine inches (29") for all breeds. The minimum height is twenty-two inches (22") for does and twenty-four inches (24") for bucks.

Make Your Mini-Dairy Goat Herd Management Better & Easier!

Knowing the animals in your goats pedigree helps you understand what to expect from your animals. Keep track of your pedigrees with MDGA’s Registration Services

Determine the contributions of each doe with Milk Production Testing - are all of your does pulling their weight around your farm?

Exhibit your goats in MDGA’s Shows and Virtual Shows to get your herd out for people to see.

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