As promised, I am continuing the posts on the dairy goats, and other breeds as well.
The questions are great!
What is my favorite breed? The nubian dairy goat. There is something special about a nubian kid. It could be the long ears that reach way below the muzzle. It could be the lankiness (dairy characteristics) of the kids. It could also be the sweetness of a nubian bottle kid. But it goes further than that. I love the nubian milk the best, especially for cheese and soap making.
Similar to cows, different goat dairy breeds produce a higher and lower butterfat. In my herd, the saanans produce the most milk, followed up by the alpines, but the nubians have the highest butterfat. Reach for some refrigerated goat milk after a nubian has been in milk for a week or so, and what you find is cream on top. That is some rich milk!
I covered two questions, I prefer the nubian personality and their milk for the soap. But wanted to add, the only downfall to a nubian is that they can be very vocal. I used to say, "But, my nubians are not noisy!" Oh, yes, some of them now are! Carmella, for example, lets out a hoot sort of noise when she is excited. Cammille tends to follow suit, and does not stop until she is satisfied. So does Bosco, the buck. Oh yes, when he sees me coming to feed the HOOT is sounded, loud and clear. The nut!
Do you own any toggs (toggenbergs)? No. They are a nice breed. My girlfriend up the road raises and shows them. She purchases some fine toggs from across the U.S. .
What breeds and genders do you raise? About half of the herd are boers. I keep the boer does right at 30, with 3 breeding age bucks that I switch from time to time. The other half of the herd are nubian, alpine, saanans, and crosses of all three. My favorite cross breed are the snubians (produced from a saanan dam and nubian sire). They have nice udders, volumes of milk, and are fairly easy to handle. They seem to come to the milk stand naturally, in all aspects.
How many does do you milk? I currently have 9 girls in milk. My number is normally at 11. The remainder of the herd is younger. They will be involved in the milking process some day, a rotational type of set up over the years. But not yet. I breed at a later age.
It is said that a dairy doe produces more milk over a lifetime if she is bred at a younger age, but I personally do not want to have to pull another kid. I would rather the doe gain some girth and mature before she is subjected to kidding. My entire focus now is keep the does that are good mothers (boers), keep the does that produce nice kids (without troubled presentations), and keep the does that produce good milk. It makes it difficult to decide who to part with, eventually.
Love the questions, keep 'em flowing...just like that good rich milk!