FGCH Irm's Girl Miss Daisy
FGCH Irm's Girl Orphan Annie
FGCH Irm's Girl Mountain Laurel AR*D
What is a Mini Nubian?
Miniature Nubians are the product of a breeding between a standard Registered Nubian
dairy goat and a Registered Nigerian Dwarf buck. This initial breeding from
your "foundation" (F) stock is the F1 generation ( 1 generation removed
from the foundation). But to get the correct breed character (the look
of the Nubian in a smaller package), it takes a lot more than one
generation (more about generations at the bottom).
Miniature Nubians cannot be registered with ADGA, but they can be registered! At Slate Creek Farm we choose to register with The Miniature Dairy Goat Registry. However, any and all of our animals are eligible to be registered with MDGA, also.
Why Mini Nubians??
For lots of different reasons but for me it is all for the milk. (I do it all for UDDERS...sorry couldn't help the pun). Full size Nubians are beautiful, powerful animals that produce a good volume of milk. Nigerians make milk with a high butterfat content (& therefor it makes wonderful cheese); but they can be difficult to milk unless you have a milking machine. With Minis you get the best of both, higher butterfat than Nubians & higher volume and easier to milk than Nigies.
I consider Mini Nubians the Goldilocks goats. I tried to milk this one and it was too big. I tried to milk this one and it was too small. I tried to milk this one and it is just right!!
But there are other reasons, too. Full size nubians can weigh over 200 pounds. The average Mini is just about 100 pounds or less. This makes them much easier to handle when feeding, medicating, trimming hooves, milking, clipping or showing. Lots of kids in this area are choosing Minis for their 4H dairy goats. They are a great size for this, plus cute as can be :)
Also very important to consider, a mini Nubian buck is very easy to handle. A full size Nubian buck in rut....not so much.
Minis are much easier on fences, feeders, milk stands, etc. and they just plain do not require as much barn space.
When you are ready to bring them home, Mini
Nubians are not only easy to handle, they are also easy to transport.
Even our adult Minis can fit in a large dog crate in the back of our
Subaru wagon. No trucks or trailers involved. Try doing that with a
full size Nubian :)
Because they are so much smaller, they only consume about half the amount of feed.
With mini Nubians, given the same dollar/food/space budget, you can have more of them. For the same amount you would need for 2 Nubian does you can have a whole herd of minis!!!! More personalities, more fun, more kisses, more goat therapy, more whatever it is you love about your goats.....
When ya look at the whole picture, they are a terrific choice
for anyone who wants to know where their food comes from by having a
“back yard herd” or hobby farm.
But about the milk. I have read many times that "on average Minis give about 2/3 the volume of milk that a full size nubian does", but that has not been my experience so far.
how much milk do mini nubians produce?? First time milkers of any breed will
always give less than experienced does. I have found my first
fresheners give about 3-5 lbs of milk a day. Senior does average
around 5-6 lbs of milk per day. Not bad when you compare that to what
ADGA says is average for Nubians.
Despite the outrageous claims some “for sale” ads will make, the
average Nubian in 2009 was 5.8 lbs. My experience has shown that my
minis make almost as much milk as the "average" Nubian!! at
about half the cost of feed. I love a good bargain :)
How do I get started with Mini Nubians?
First, you need to decide what you want in a goat....are you looking for a DAIRY animal? Do you want to show your goats? Do you want to be able to contribute to the development of this relatively young breed? or do you just love the darling floppy ears and endearing personalities....none of these choices are wrong or right.
If you plan to show or breed, you want to have Registered mini Nubians. BUT Just because an animal is 'registered' doesn't make it a good one!! And it cost just as much to feed a crappy goat as it does to feed a Finished Champion. If you are at all interested in a mini dairy goat, It is best to first learn what a 'good'
dairy goat looks like. There are many websites and educational materials
available which can help you learn this. 4H materials are especially
helpful to beginners.
Mini or standard, the basics that make a good goat are the same.
If you are seeking a mini to be a diary goat, proof of milk production is important. You will want to find animals that have milk production records of some kind, either official or unofficial, so you can pick animals with the genetics to be good milkers.
You will want to find animals that are conformationally correct, having well attached udders and good feet and legs. If you are interested in showing you will want them to be competitive in the show ring, so you will probably want to get them from a herd that already shows. To train your eye to recognize a good animal when you see it, nothing beats attending dairy goat shows. You will learn a ton from watching them and also find people with the type of animals you like.
Remember that actual records (of milk production, show wins, etc.) are generally more reliable than hearsay, though bearing in mind that not all breeders can or want to participate in the programs that award these.