I can not believe how much poor information there is about breeding goats. And especially the notion that a dairy goat is some how even remotely on par with dog breeds.. I can NOT stand wives tales, and assumptions. And after hearing this non-sense for two months in a row I just can't take it any more! Hearing people (with zero experience) day in and day out flapping their gums about how a registered goat is some how automatically 'in-bred' Or 'diseased'.
FIRST-- What does 'Breeding' Goats really mean? Breeding is a term, not an opinion! According to the Webster's' Dictionary:
n.1.The act or process of generating or bearing.
2.The raising or improving of any kind of domestic animals; as, farmers should pay attention to breeding.
How this applies in real life:
If you are putting a intact male goat with a sound female goat and they copulate resulting in offspring this is called "BREEDING." Breeding is the process that makes babies and milk possible.
Breeding is not automatically a responsible, well thought out, or PLANNED event. If your 'pet goats' breed--and produce a baby-- YOU the goat owner, have intentionally or unintentionally, BRED your goats. Unless you only own pet wethers YOU ARE A BREEDER. And are therefore contributing to the gene pool in your local area.
Now, you may not be a reputable breeder--who is someone that carefully plans their breedings, purchases specific animals with complimentary bloodlines/traits to their own goats, and seeks to maintain or IMPROVE on the quality goats they raise for dairy production.
But you are STILL a breeder of goats.
Breeding takes responsibility....
A REPUTABLE breeder is a person (or family), who raises goats for their homestead THAT maintains a herd of registered animals. They are accountable for their breeding practices, and strive for the betterment of their breed of choice.
Selecting healthy animals that fit closely to the breed standards, and breeding animals toward maintaining milk productivity. They achieve their breeding goals by using the animal's pedigree (provided with registration) to trace their bloodlines and select animals that are not too closely related for breeding. All reputable breeders carefully select their animals for complementary traits to help improve the next generation of dairy goats raised on their farm. Animals selected may sometimes have common ancestors that are or may be cousins, distant cousins, or grandchild to grandparent (called line breeding).
Line breeding is used to get a desired genetic trait more quickly. Line-breeding also exposes bad traits, and allows the breeder to select different unrelated animals (called out-crossing) to breed their animals away from the bad genetic traits that may be hiding in the current generation.
Most breeders use line-breeding to some extent for short periods of time, but DO NOT USE IT STRICTLY. Line bred animals are usually the top dairy producers in a herd, and pass dominant dairy traits to their offspring. However most people do not use this method very often since eventually all of their animals will be so closely related that IN-BREEDING will result rather quickly.
In-Breeding is termed to describe a situation when an animal is bred too close WITHIN a lineage i.e. Father to Daughter. Son to Mother. Brother to Sister. In breeding results in high kid mortality, loss of milk production, and genetic 'abnormalities' are not uncommon.
Dairy goats are even sometimes CROSS-BRED to create 'Grade Does.' Grade does resemble the dominant breed but have been cross-bred to a different dairy breed. Cross-bred animals are often created to strengthen genetic variability or to improve on things like teat placement, attachment, and increased butterfat.
Pedigrees are not just for Dogs!
By using your goat's pedigrees you can GROW the genetic diversity of the goat breed you are working with by using unrelated animals in your breeding program. Thus providing more genetic combinations/options to other people. BUT you can also shrink the gene pool by breeding animals that are too closely related. Limiting genetic combinations and options to other people in your area who may already have a goat somewhat related to the ones you are selling.
By NOT registering and keeping track of your pedigrees you are purchasing goats from your local area who are all related. You have no way to tell how close, or how far apart they are. And if you do happen to know, what about the next person who buys from you? How do you know they didn't buy your goats brother? Not registering, while it is 'cheaper' will cost you in the long run. Since you will no doubt continue to buy and sell your goats locally. As time passes, the results of inbreeding will become apparent within a local population-- goats of a specific breed with parrot jaw, moonspots, polled genes, ect. flooding the local market are usually a strong indicator of goats of similar breeding being used extensively.
Ever notice how everyone seems to have really cheap unregistered Nubians with moon spots? Ever wonder if your unregistered moon spotted Nubian/or mix doe is related to that gorgeous moon spotted buck? Odds are if you purchased him/her locally you can bet its probably related. Too bad you didn't have a pedigree on hand to sort out the mess, and help you pick a confirmable unrelated animal..... guess you'd better hope that buck isn't your does dad or son....
Registration is a Road Map--NOT one of Willie Wonka's 'Golden Tickets.'
Growing your herd, and maintaining generations of dairy animals takes TIME, PATIENCE, AND MORE time and patience!
Purchasing Registered goats is STEP 1
Selecting Goats to breed together based on complimentary DAIRY TRAITS is STEP2
Castrating, Culling, and Removing offspring that will not be beneficial to breed, and/OR continue to produce good DAIRY GOATS for your herd is STEP3
There is no MAGIC spell, trick, voodoo whatever to getting a goat that will consistently give you a gallon a day. Producing offspring that will continue in their parents footsteps takes breeding responsibility. By first selecting a buck from a high production doe (called 'Breeding-Up'), this will help to increase your chances of maintaining good milking quality, or improving on it.
Keeping track of pedigrees will let you know which breeding combos were a success (producing a good doe) or failure (producing a below average doe). It will enable OTHER people to evaluate and select a good complimentary animal to breed to when they purchase your animals. Thus continuing to increase the gene pool of GOOD dairy bred goats. Understand that having a good dairy goat is a BY-PRODUCT or much desired result-- it is not a guarantee.
Purchasing a bunch of registered goats and breeding them at random is no different than throwing quarters at a slot machine. You will not get anything out of it, and all your quarters fall in the dirt!
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