What is a miniature dairy goat?
A first generation miniature dairy goat is the product of a standard-sized purebred/American goat bred to a Nigerian Dwarf. Only documented animals with traceable registrations may be used to produce a mini dairy goat registerable in the Experimental, American or Purebred herdbooks. Also, Nigerian Dwarves must be purebred and registered with one of the ND registries.
Further generations of miniature dairy goats are created by crossing minis with other minis. First and second generations of correct miniature goats are registered as “Experimental.” Third through fifth generations that meet the breed standards and the 70/30 rule are registered as “American.” Sixth generation, and beyond, are considered “Purebred” if they meet the breed standard.
Why miniature dairy goats?
Breeders of standard dairy goats have been pushing for greater stature in these breeds for the show ring, resulting in many of the standard dairy goat breeds getting larger in recent years.
Additionally, some people with small acreage are looking for a smaller milk-producing animal to provide a family milk supply. Some larger and smaller cities across the country now allow miniature dairy goats within city limits.
A mini dairy goat can often produce two-thirds the amount of milk that a standard dairy goat produces while consuming half as much feed, which could be helpful as the cost of feed rises. The influence of Nigerian Dwarf genetics may expand the breeding season past the fall months and also may increase the butterfat in the milk.
Children, seniors, and people with disabilities may find the mini breeds easier to handle. Hoof trimming, clipping, showing, and milking become much less of a challenge because of the minis’ smaller size. Also, smaller goats are in demand for the pet market.
Information in this section courtesy of MDGA.
The Miniature Dairy Goat Association was established in 1996 to recognize and provide registry services. It is dedicated to the development and promotion of miniature dairy goat breeds.