We’ve compiled this list of resources & hope it will be of help to you!
- Books & Education
- Goat Health
- Goat Registry
- DHIA milk testing
- Linear Appraisal
- Artificial Insemination
ANDDA is a community of Nigerian Dwarf breeders. They offer a monthly newsletter to members with helpful information for beginners and seasoned goat owners alike, however you must be on Facebook to access the newsletter as they have no print or email option. Visit ANDDA.org.
BDGA’s mission is to promote dairy goats in Montana by educating people about the various uses and benefits of dairy goats through sanctioned shows and other events. They sometimes offer DHIA milk testing classes & host LA sessions.
MontanaGoatProducers.com directory & local resources New website created in 2022! Free farm listings & classified ads.
Weed ‘Em and Reap is an urban farm raising goats for milking and show! They have a Youtube channel that we love to watch. It’s a fun way to learn about goats. BUYING A DAIRY GOAT: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW Youtube video by Weed ‘Em and Reap.
BLUE CACTUS DAIRY GOATS youtube channel has helpful videos, including how to clip your dairy goat for show, hoof trimming, and just about everything.
Hammock Haven Farm Great youtube videos to learn about milk testing, LA scores, Cheese making and I’m sure lots more.
Books and Education
Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats, 5th edition by Jerry Belanger and Sara Thomson Bredesen This book is very thorough and helpful regarding the care and management of dairy goats, but does not offer specific information about dwarfs which makes much of their weights and feeding amounts irrelevant to Nigerian Dwarf raisers; great basic knowledge about dairy goats in general.
Here’s an excellent article explaining goat prices, how to find a quality goat and why they cost more. “Why Expensive Goats?”
Goat Diseases and Problems to be aware of.
https://www.fiascofarm.com/This lady has a wealth of information on her site, obviously a seasoned goat raiser, utilizing unconventional methods of herd health management. She also sells Herbal Wormers if that interests you. Notice: we are not necessarily recommending Molly’s Herbals. Other herbal suppliers are Land of Havilah, and Fir Meadow LLC by Katherine Drovdahl, master herbalist and author of the book The Accessible Pet, Equine and Livestock Herbal: choosing abundant wellness for your creatures.
WADDL(Washing Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory)CAE testing CLtesting Q Fever You can send your goat’s blood samples here to test for common goat diseases. Another lab option is UBRL.
Johne’s Disease fairly uncommon, but still a concern
FAMACHA System Certification Well worth the effort. You must watch a series of video lectures (taking notes is a good idea) then take a simple, basic exam online to verify understanding of parasites, etc. Next you will make a video showing yourself demonstrating the proper technique for FAMACHA scoring on two different goats or sheep. If you have a willingness to learn, you will greatly benefit from this course. After certification, you can then purchase the official FAMACHA card for a small fee.
FAMACHA VIDEOS by University of Rhode Island
Body Condition Scoring Goats Video
American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control
Understanding Internal parasites ~ Wingin’ It Farms
Understanding External Parasites~Wingin’ It Farms
Don’t Bug Me Soap -Homemaidens.com We found this pet soap at the farmers market and snatched some up to manage fleas on goats. It lathers up really nice, makes them shine and smells great too because of the bug repelling essential oils. A great natural alternative to harsh chemical shampoos.
We buy our goat mineral from the SPURLINE in Livingston. We like the Payback brand, it comes in 50 lbs sacks. Contact them to order some in for you if interested, they don’t always keep it in stock. We have had good success in preventing deficiencies using this mineral.
PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR GOATS Helpful tips for taking quality photos of your herd.
Breed Standard for Nigerian Dwarfs –
Nigerian Dwarf does are at least 17 inches tall and may be no taller than 22.5 inches. Bucks are also at least 17 inches tall and no taller than 23.5 inches. While there is no weight requirement, 75 pounds is an average weight.
Many color combinations are common, the ears are of medium length and erect, and the bridge of the nose is either straight or dished. The hair is short and fine.
The Nigerian Dwarf was also developed in the United States and is the only miniature dairy goat breed registered by the American Dairy Goat Association.
Although a small goat, the Nigerian Dwarf doe produces a proportionate quantity of milk with high butterfat.
ADGA Forms (American Dairy Goat Association) AGS (American Goat Society)
The ADGA Knowledgebase has lots of helpful reading.
ADGA Genetics offers helpful tools for planning breedings, viewing progeny and Linear history of potential sires and dams, etc. You can create an account and save your goats pedigrees for easy reference and future planning. If you want to gain more knowledge about all the numbers and evaluations, I recommend watching the 2 part videos by Gene Dershewitz found on youtube ADGA genetics Part 1 – ADGA genetics Part 2.
Find your local feed stores and online goat product retailers here at Montana Goat Producers.
(DHIA)Dairy Herd Improvement Association
We participate in DHIR milk testing with ADGA. Its been a great tool to help us learn about our goats and their individual dairy qualities.
Getting started on DHIA MontanaGoatProducers.com
DHIR Star Milker (*M) requirements Nigerian dwarf doe 2 or younger must produce 600# milk, 31# butterfat, 18# Protein (AGS– 500# milk 25#butterfat) 3 year old ADGA doe 630# milk 32.05 # butterfat 18.90# Protein (AGS– 524# Milk 26.20# Butterfat)
If you have decided to milk test but don’t know where to start, I recommend getting in touch with the Bitterroot Dairy Goat Association if you live in Montana. They offer classes for milk test certification and can help you get started.
A Webinar by ADGA about how to get started on milk test; it’s long but very helpful. Another Webinar to answer more of your DHIA questions. A shorter Youtube video about Milk Testing and a glance at the paperwork with some explanation. DHI for Dummies 305 Day Milk Test by Puddle Haven farm Interpreting Milk Test Data by Puddle Haven farm
CDCB–(Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding)You will need to create an account to login and view records. This is where all your milk test results will show up if you have allowed them to be published. Example pictured below for one of our goats.
A Guide to Goat Body Conformation by Weed ’em and Reap
Introduction booklet by ADGA
AI (Artificial Insemination)
AI Video part 1 by Rebecca Nix AI Video Part 2 by Rebecca Nix
Artificial Insemination in Goats –Learn more and find resources from the Montana Goat Producers Website.
Park County Ag Fair Book FFA & 4-H Learn more about the local Fair in Park County and how to participate with your goats! Find out how to join a 4-H club here.
We haven’t had time to devote to writing much but we do have a few posts so far on our neglected blog here.