Though we are still breeding a few Oberhasli, Saanens, and LaManchas, our breeding focus has moved over to the Miniature breeds. The miniature dairy goat industry is growing, and being in such a remote location from most of the Mini breeders, we are working to help meet the demand on the east coast. Our focus is on production and quality udders, followed by body type and breed character. This is part of why many of our Minis are not 50/50 standard/Nigerian. We are trying to work in all of our best standard and Nigerian lines; it took us 6 years to get our first kid of American registration status and there will be many more first-generation kids. Looking at the breeding plan over the next 5 years, we may never have a "purebred" Mini-Mancha, but the genetics behind our Experimentals and Americans will be worth it!
Kidding season starts late in the spring and continues through mid summer; check out the breeding chart for specific dates. After everyone kids and before school starts again, I make the decisions about what adults are available for sale. I keep the sales page as up-to-date as I can with my schedule and location; the most common error is goats remaining there post-sale, as opposed to not being listed at all.
Updates & Highlights
2005: Our first Mini-Manchas, General Lee and General Jackson, were born in May, from Lorne and Daphnie. Marianne was Best Junior Doe in Show at our county fair, at just two months old; the next youngest doe there was three months older than her. We took her and Dolly to NAILE, where Dolly placed 6th, despite her only "freshening" being a false pregnancy.
2006: This was our first year going to many sanctioned shows. Velma was Reserve Champion over about 40 does at her first show as a 2nd freshening 3-year-old in May. Marianne did well in the local shows too, going reserve a few times. We were able to take a few goats to ADGA Nationals in Indiana, and most of our does placed. We also acquired our first Nigerian Dwarf buck, Butterscotch, so we will now be able to breed Nigerians in addition to Minis. General Lee and General Jackson were sold after breeding season to cut down on feed costs and make room.
2007: After winning at several shows with not enough goats to make a sanction, Velma was finally able to win a championship leg. Her 2007 buck kid from Butterscotch, Candy Man, went nearly undefeated in his class, placing first 4 of the 5 times shown, and coming extremely close to being Grand Champion Nigerian Buck on one occasion. We were also able to attend the AGS National Show in Harrisonburg, where Knight was Reserve Champion AOP buck, and in the AGS National Youth Show, Snickerdoodle (Candy Man's twin) placed first in her class. Sabrina received Best Udder in Show and Reserve Best in Show at our county fair (not sanctioned); at our county Expo in May, Cookie Dough was Best In Show. We have also started a CAE (Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis) prevention program beginning with our 2007 kids, and will be testing annually.
2008: We didn't show as much this year, due to increasing fuel costs and the loss of some of our best animals. Ebony, who has been in the top 3 of her class since freshening, died the week before Nationals, so we canceled our trip. Once again our doe kids were pulled from their dams and placed on a bottle. At our fair, Cookie Dough was Best in Show, and her 2008 kid Fluffernutter was Best Junior Doe In Show.
2009: Sold a few of the LaMancha and experimental does to enable us to focus more on the Mini-Manchas. We entered the Minis in MDGA's V-shows with good results. In the summer show, Hope was Best in Show in one ring and reserve champion MiniMancha in the other. Eliza was Mini-Mancha junior champion in one ring and reserve in the other in the summer V-show. In the fall V-show, Eliza was again junior champion and the other does entered were all first or second in their classes with Faith taking reserve junior champion. Grandyosa earned her dry leg with a few other does earning reserve or grand with not enough to sanction the show. Several does took first in their class at the State Fair. At the county fair, Elise was Best in Show, Mocha was Reserve, and Isabelle was best junior doe in show.
2010: Since most of the 2009 doe kids were kept through breeding season, most of these were sold in 2010. We attended the ADGA National Show in Louisville where Elise placed 13th in her class and I was 8th in Senior Showmanship with Hope. The herd was appraised with scores ranging from 83 to 87, Elise and Mocha earning the highest scores; only the full-size goats were done. Very few goats went to other shows or even the fair, but Tatiana earned her dry leg.
2011: Progress in the herd is slowing down thanks to school 8 hours away and the resulting inability to have every goat kid, but the herd as a whole improves each year. Lots of ADGA youth events coming up. No goats were shown in breed classes this year, between late freshenings and a hectic summer schedule.
2012: I was fortunate to be named the alternate youth representative for ADGA at the 2011 Convention. After my first full year in college, we've gotten a glimpse of what the next seven will be like, to some extent. We're trying our best to get the herd to a manageable size for Mom through that time period without losing too many of the genetics I've been working towards for the past decade. As a result, priorities have been set and we're down to only one of each of our full-size breeds and a couple Mini-Obers. The Nigerians and Mini-LaManchas have taken over as we've had the most success with them. FFA, 4-H, school, horses, and dairy goats continue to compete for my time even through "breaks," but there are at least two sanctioned shows on the calendar (Memorial weekend & WV State Fair); I'll be at the ADGA National Show, but likely without my own goats because of the distance.
2013: Several shows this year. ADGA legs on 4 different goats- Mocha, Andrea, Tala, and Joy. The girls excelled at State Fair- all dry stock won their classes, and the milkers held their own with all Top 3 placings. Most impressively, Joy was Champion, then seemed to be a close second in Champion Challenge against stiff competition- and won Best Udder. We attended the first multi-sanction Miniature Dairy Goat Show in the eastern US- I judged the morning show while Hope, Hailey, and Bradley each earned an MDGA leg in the afternoon show; Erin was also Best Udder in Show. To wrap up the year, I received my apprentice judging license at Convention, something I'd been working towards since we got serious showing, with 2013 in mind since this was my last year as an ADGA youth.
2014: Planning to branch out to more shows, especially fairs. Attending Nationals in Louisville. Bringing in a new Dwarf buck, as well. An exciting couple of years approaching.
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