Here is where we hope to address the most commonly asked questions about our herd to help you make a more informed decision!
1) Do You Register your Goats?
YES! We register all of our BREEDABLE animals through a few registries. For our Miniature La Manchas, you will find registered animals through MDGA (Miniature Dairy Goat Association) and TMGR (The Miniature Goat Registry). Our La Manchas are registered or dual registered through ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association) and AGS (American Goat Society). We work hard to provide the best quality animals we can produce, and only offer registered breeding stock for sale.
Check out our Sales Page to see what we are currently offering for sale!
**WE DO NOT SELL GOATS FOR 'WEED CONTROL' or as COMPANIONS FOR HORSES/ LIVESTOCK OTHER THAN GOATS**
2) Do you show your goats?
I have had a lot of people ask, and the short sweet answer is NO. We do not show our goats, Most show venues are too far out of our way to drive/attend, Occur on Saturdays (Shabbat), and also, the risk of exposure/ introduction of disease to our herd FAR out weighs the current benefits. But more importantly, we simply don't have the time! Our homestead is a lifestyle not a "Hobby".
However, we firmly believe that maintaining a quality herd of Dairy goats is essential. And we plan on utilizing the tools that our registries provide (for all registered goat owners) that were designed to aid in maintaining the desired qualities of dairy goats around the country. Starting in 2017, our long awaited goal will be put into action, as we will be participating in milk testing, linear appraisal testing, and other programs. These tools do not involve the risk of exposure to sick animals, or carriers of contagious disease that could potentially be brought home and spread.
Instead, these safer programs will provide us with valuable data that will help positively influence our future breeding plans. However, if you purchase a goat from us and DO show, we would LOVE to hear your results!
3) How about stud service?
As of 2010 we have decided that we would start off on the right foot, and be operating as a closed herd. This means, we DO NOT offer stud service to outside does; even if you have purchased a goat from us. Sorry, but once a goat is off the property its health is no longer in our control, and we do not want to inadvertently introduce any diseases or parasites to the herd. For us no amount of money is worth the risk. If you purchase a mature doe and wish to have her bred before bringing her home, we can arrange to have her exposed to the buck of your choice for a small stud service fee.
*More information on our Sales Terms and Conditions HERE
4) What is a 'Breed-able' animal?
A 'Breed-able' animal is any animal raised/produced by our homestead breeding program that we deem beneficial to the breed(s) they represent. These are animals that have traits that would benefit either our own herd (or yours), and are not only visibly sound/healthy but also do not have negative traits KNOWN to lead to the eventual decline of health of the animal. Or They may have produced offspring in breeding trials that do express/ and best represent our own breeding goals.
A 'non-breed-able' animal on our farm would be exemplified as being/ or having:
+Prolapsed Uterus (or history of prolapse)
+1 Retained/ Cryptorchid testicles
+Or any other trait expressed that would make them un-registerable, and therefore NOT a good representative of the breed.
Hermaphrodites/ Wethers-- Any animals that in general do not best represent our breeding goals, or who may have a condition/traits that do not effect their current health (or future health) that would also not require medical attention -or- intervention to keep them alive, may be sold as meat, fiber, or 'pet' animals.
**We are NOT of the belief that just because some of our animals are good milkers, and from good lines that EVERY buck is valuable for breeding. We do not believe that every four-horned ram has good fleece and should be used for breeding, We do not believe every rooster (while his plumage appears to be correct) is a good animal for breeding. If I wouldn't spend full price on what I produced-- it gets castrated. Just because an animal has a penis and testicles doesn't mean I am going to sell it.
I am not flattered by money--go ahead and try to flash a $50 or a $100 bill and say "I'll buy it from you", "you'll get at least more money than selling it as a wether" or "at least you wont have to put it in the freezer.." I am not going to sell it just because you don't have the same concern for the breed that I do.
5) How do you calculate what to sell your animals for?
Pricing is set based on what it costs to feed/provide health care for the animals EVERY YEAR. In addition to their performance on the milk stand/& having good sound conformation etc. Milking performance and soundness are by far the hardest features to achieve in a dairy herd--and are PRICELESS. Achieving the perfect fleeces, horn balance, and coloration on a Jacobs Sheep-- or a closed comb, white ear lobes, and willow green legs on a Buttercup is even more difficult! If I had to guess, I would say 90% of the animals produced have some features that are 'amiss', and only 10% are actually 'PERFECT' according to breed standards.
The top 10% is what we aim for, but don't always achieve. And once achieved--we KEEP and use those animals for breeding to improve our chances of producing that top 10% next time around with the next generation. The other 90% is then categorized into A) animals to cull/eat/wether (a non-breeding animal) or B) animals that if combined with the right breeding partner may yield the top 10% (a breeding animal).
Breeding animals account for 40%- 60% of what is produced. And while what we sell them for when totals are combined don't completely cover our feed expenses (because prices vary depending on our evaluation of their ability to improve/ be improved on), the little bit we earn through selling them helps to keep the herd/flock going. The remaining 30-50% are culled (equaling a loss of money/feed)--or sold as 'pets'/meat/fiber which don't even put a drop in the bucket for what it cost to feed those animals and keep them alive, but they may help buy feed that week for the flock/herd.
Currently our animals cost about $3-$2400 A YEAR in alfalfa alone. This doesn't include what we spend on health care, building materials for living/enclosure improvements/repairs, grain, water, DHIR, or registration. Raising DAIRY goats is not something you get into to get rich--its a labor of love, and a hole in the ground to bury your money in. If I priced the goats according to what it actually cost to raise a goat (of any quality--or any gender)--it would be a flat $700 (if I had 7 babies that year) -$1630 (if I had only 3 babies that year)/ per baby goat.
Then, as the farmer, I would have to calculate the hours it took me personally (every day) to milk, feed, clean up after, research, market, and otherwise WORK for my goats. I spend a minimum 4-6hours a day with my animals, and if minimum wage is $10/hr-- doing 'overtime' with no time-off, no sick days-- The cost of purchasing a family dairy goat would literally be 'unobtainable' for the average family (I will let someone else calculate that number..)
Charging $150-$800 IS NOT unreasonable from our farm, especially not when I should actually be charging more to account for my personal time invested. Dirt cheap animals from 'great milk/dairy' lines are all over Craigslist for $0-$200 all the time--and half of them aren't worth the salt I would use to season them. If money is your concern, please don't waste our (or your time)--buy an animal that is 'affordable,' and don't try to lecture me on my prices.
I am a strong advocate of "You get what you pay for" after my experience starting out, and I am personally dedicated to making sure that I am producing animals that I would buy if I had to start over. And offer them priced affordably, based on their performance. If our animals seem 'Over-Priced" and you have never purchased from us, we know some breeders out-of-state that we would be happy to refer you to. After all, It would be nice to see other dedicated breeders/people outside of our circle of friends forking out $4-5K a year to offer 'dirt cheap' goats and paying to have different bloodlines imported, so we don't have to keep driving 48+ hours putting wear and tear on our vehicles, and/or pay $500+ JUST for shipping (not including the cost of the animals themselves) to bring new bloodlines into the state every couple of years :)
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