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Pygmy Goats for milking vs. Nubians

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello I haven't been on for a while due to buying a house on 2.5 acres (very very spur of the moment). I have always wanted goats for milking and I want a high butterfat content. I am most likely going with Nubians but have heard a few people talking about their pygmy milking goats.

Does anyone here use pygmy's for milking and if so what is your overall opinion on them and also do they run into more issues with birthing due to their small size. My goat books haven't touched much on pygmy's.

Thanks!
-Nikki

post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikki28 

Hello I haven't been on for a while due to buying a house on 2.5 acres (very very spur of the moment). I have always wanted goats for milking and I want a high butterfat content. I am most likely going with Nubians but have heard a few people talking about their pygmy milking goats.

Does anyone here use pygmy's for milking and if so what is your overall opinion on them and also do they run into more issues with birthing due to their small size. My goat books haven't touched much on pygmy's.

Thanks!
-Nikki


Hi Nikki!

The biggest thing to consider is probably how much milk exactly you need. I know people do milk pygmies, and they have the highest butterfat of all breeds, but they havent actually been bred for milking purposes and that along with the fact they are a mini breed means your yields will be far less than a nubian. also, their teats are obviously smaller and the udder lower to the ground, which can be challenging when milking. pygmies are known for their breeding troubles - mainly a tendency to produce very large single kids, or even extremely large multiples, which the doe physically cant deliver, leading to c-sections and/or doe and kid deaths. But, the leading breeders of pygmies are doing a lot of work to adress this problem and you can find 'low birthweight' bloodlines. the other thing involving this is that pygmies seem to utilise their food differently to other goats, putting more into growing the kid, so that pygmies really shouldnt get more than a cup of grain a day in their late pregnancy. good quality, free choice hay is all they really need. the birthing troubles with pygmies doesnt come from their small size (since nigerian dwarf goats have very few kidding problems and they are the same size) but from their body shape - pygmies are small, square, compact and either rectangular or square. In contrast, nigis are longer and sleeker with more of a dairy wedge shape (pygmies arent often wedged - more cylindrical or tubular). I have also heard that they are slightly more challenging to fence in.

Hope that all helps!

post #3 of 16

I agree with username as the Pygmy breed is bread as a meat goat and not milk. If you want a shorter type or small milking goat go with the Nigerians. Also check into the milking background for milking genetics. Larger type are easier to milk but some do have small teats and are hard to milk also.

* And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens. * Proverbs 27:26-27
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* And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens. * Proverbs 27:26-27
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post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much. That did help alot. I am most likely going with Nubian, but will look into Nigerians too. We are spending this year preparing for goats and I wanted to have a breed in mind while doing so.

Their is a Nubian breeding place that make artisan cheeses not far from here their is also a pygmy breeder. It is good to hear points of view from people where logic is involved than trying to surmise everything from a couple books.

The milk will just be for Justin and I and I plan on making butter, cheese, ice cream ....  and of course fresh goat milk is the main reason.

Thanks again! I'm sure I'll have more questions as time goes on!

-Nikki  smile

post #5 of 16

If you are hoping to have milk to drink, plus extra to make cheese etc then you are probably better off getting the nubian, or if you are particularly taken by the nigis then you may need to get two.

What you might want to consider are mini nubians - if you had a nubian doe and nigerian buck you could breed your own. that is if you are interested in the mini goats.

the pure nigis wont have as much fat as the nuby, not as high yield (although higher than the pygmy), still have the issues of small teats and low to the ground, but they dont have the kidding issues that pygmies do. one thing to watch is the kids are born tinier than standard kids, and chill much quicker.

post #6 of 16

Go with the Nubians, if milk is your focus.  I have Nigies.  They're nice enough, but it's really hard to get under there and get a handful of teat.  Also, I'm not crazy about their food conversion ratio.  I suspect Nigies were meant to be a dual purpose breed.  Were I interested in slaughtering them, I'd probably like them much better.

I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
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I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)

Robert Anton Wilson
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post #7 of 16

They are hard to milk.  You use two fingers and still have to lean down to the ground even with a stand.  BUT....... the milk is great.  My best pygmy gives 10-12oz at a twice a day.  That is awesome for a tiny goat.  And the milk is better than any other I have ever had.
My daughter has to milk the pygmys because her hands are small, but it is great milk.

Nubians are much easier to milk.  You get almost a gallon a day compared to a few cups. You can mix them with pygmys to get smaller goats if you would like to.  The nubians are sweeter (louder too), and tall enough to make milking very easy.

You choice would depend on how easy you want milking to be, and how much milk you want to get a day.  Pygmys are a meat goat.  Milk is secondary.  But they give as much as boers even with their small size.


Edited by mekasmom - 4/29/09 at 9:00am
mekasmom
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mekasmom
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post #8 of 16

Hi from the eastern side of the state!frow  I purchased my Nubians from Black Mesa Ranch in Snowflake.  I am very happy with the quality of these goats.  Plus, Kathryn and David are really great people.  I am new to goat ownership and have contacted Kathryn any number of times with questions and I have always gotten prompt response to emails and great info.  She certainly has made things a lot easier for this newbie!  I have a doe that is due to kid in June and is doing a great job of working on her udder.  Can't wait for that delicious milk and cheese!droolin

P.S.  I have read that a lot of people have mentioned that Nubians are loud.  I don't think mine make any more noise than my horses.  They greet me when I go outside but, unless there is something wrong, they don't cry just for the sake of crying.  Just my experience so far.idunno

Janine-wife, mother, critter-keeper
Just trying to keep my sanity in a world gone mad!

"Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself." Ronald Reagan
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Janine-wife, mother, critter-keeper
Just trying to keep my sanity in a world gone mad!

"Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself." Ronald Reagan
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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am most definitely going with Nubians. The Black Mesa Ranch is where I was planning on getting mine from, so the positive report is good to hear.
Yes I would like drinking milk and have enough to make extra stuff with too.
Thank you all so much for your help! I can't wait to get everything set up and venture into goat owning.

post #10 of 16

Nikki,

Just a note.  I don't know if you have visited their website, but Kathryn usually gets her kidding schedule up sometime in August and the doeling reservations fill up fast.  I found it best to put blackmesaranch.com in my favorites and check the website regularly.  Good luck and have fun building your herd!bun

Janine-wife, mother, critter-keeper
Just trying to keep my sanity in a world gone mad!

"Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself." Ronald Reagan
Reply
Janine-wife, mother, critter-keeper
Just trying to keep my sanity in a world gone mad!

"Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself." Ronald Reagan
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