Monday, January 26, 2009

The Holstein's Of The Dairy Goats

Many people have asked me, "What breed are the best dairy goat milkers?" Hands down, my vote is a snubian. What is a snubian? A cross between a saanan and a nubian.

For those of you not familiar with goats, you really can catch a lot of flack for choosing one breed over the other. But I live in my own little goat world out here, preferring to not show, and also preferring to see who becomes the best milkers on my farm. I mix and match, and I'll admit, I have some "different looking" dairy goats from time to time.

The doe in the photograph is Chameaqua. Her dam is an American Saanan, her sire is a pure bred Nubian. The genes for white are fairly strong in this breeding. The ears are not pendulous, as in a nubian, but they are not erect as in a saanan.

My saanans come from a very thin line. I wish they would put on weight, they tend to look more on the emaciated side. Someone once asked me, after they connected to my dam's lines, "Do they put their food into their hips, or into their milk?" Without a single thought, they put their energy sources into their milk. They eat like horses, and milk like crazy.

The snubians have the best of both worlds. They are blessed with the wonderful richness of nubian milk (very high fat content in nubian goat milk), and they carry through with the very high volume of a saanan.

I have two snubians up and coming behind Chameaqua. I cannot wait to see if they also naturally take to the milk stand!

One more excellent point for snubians, they grow like weeds! I have never, ever, had a kid on my farm that grew like these youngsters do.

One particular snubian (thank you to the list that I copied from) belongs to Yvonne Roberts, a friend that I chat with from time to time. The doe is amongst the top 5 experimental breed milkers in the United States (GCH R R RESOURCES PEPPERMINT STICK 2*M). Way to go Ms. Peppermint and Yvonne!

Well, that is my goat talk for today. I'll come back next week and showcase another.

Happy Monday! Stay dry...and hopefully we will all be able to post while the latest winter storm pushes its way through.


Bethany said...

I enjoyed your post. I think sometimes just a cross bred will grow better. I have a Nubian/Oberhasli mix that is HUGE! Way bigger then father or mother. I've crossed Nubians and Oberhaslis for the same reasons. Sadly, it's a little to spendy to get Saanens around here, so I can't really get the quanity milking aspect. However, some of my Nubians are wonderful. My Oberhasli/Nubian Experimental will give 4 gallons a day at peak.

I've purchased two goats from Yvonne. Pepperment Stick is amazing! :)

rhymeswithplague said...

Fascinating! I didn't even know there *were* different breeds of goats.

Peggy said...

Now I know what to call Bridie! She came to us from TN and her owner said her dam was Saanen and sire was Nubian. She has been an excellent milker. She was the one that kidded little Snowy Grace that I found in the snow. We bred Bridie to a Nubian. Snowy is growing like crazy and doing really well. Can't wait to tell my husband there is a name for our mix breeding LOL thank you

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Bethany, have you seen the picture of Peppermint Stick sitting down on her heinie? Yvonne is a fun lady to talk with. She does not leave me with dry eyes. :) I visited your beautiful blog today. Penny is gorgeous! I love a great traditional roman nose on a nubian! An oberhasli is the only other dairy goat I would love to get my hands on, but I no longer buy goats. I look forward to reading more about your animals.

Robert-Billy, my comments are on your blog today.

Peggy, LOL...yes, there are snubians! I would love to see a pic of your Bridie. They (snubians) are some of my favorites. I love the graceful look to a saanan, yet, nubians are wonderful gals.

Alix said...

Mary! What a great post! It's the first "technical" goat post I've read since I've been following your blog. I love the lesson on breeds. Only problem is, I keep dreaming about goats! I even asked my husband if we could have one and diguise it as a dog. He tilted his head and looked at me as if he couldn't quite tell whether or not I was kidding. What do YOU think? I swear, I gotta figure out a way!

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Alix...first, you need to Google, "how to teach goat to bark." If that does not work, we will work on plan B. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm like Mary, we don't show our goats, we went from Nigerians and Nubians to Mini-Nubians, LOL, Nigerians were too small for us and Nubians too big for us and the Mini-Nubians are the perfect sized goat for us and wonderful milkers too! We also had Shetland sheep but wouldn't recommend that breed of sheep to anyone though, our neighbor's got rid of their Shetlands at the same time as us:-P

Shiloh Prairie Farm said...

Beautiful goat! I imagine they are the best of both worlds.

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Thank you for your comments.

Jennifer, she does well.

I could not afford saanans either. I bought both of my original saanans at fairs, at a discount. One had an extra teat. They had prepared her for show and found the teat. She was a young beauty. She has not passed the disqualification on to her offspring. The other was being shown as well, but had problem feet. A lot of work. She has not passed that problem on either.

Little Shadow Creations said...

~We got a new buck last September, and we will be having our first "snubian" kids this spring!! I am every excited......:)

Tracy Shiflett said...

This is fantastic! I enjoyed your great description of the Snubians, and your Chameaqua is a beauty.

I have a Snubian, Heidi, who will be freshening for the first time this winter. I am really looking forward to her kids by our Nubian billy.