Welcome to our blog. Check back often for official news and announcements from the KGBA and articles on various topics of Kinder goat care, raising, breeding, showing and more!
The KGBA is looking for a few volunteers for upcoming projects. If you are interested, please email us at email@example.com with your availability. If you have certain strengths and would like to be considered for specific tasks, please let us know!
Here are the results of the NEO Kinder Show of 2021. Thank you so much to everyone that came out, participated, watched, or helped make this show a success. See you next year!
Jr. Grand Champion Doe: Kinder Korner Clover – Owned by Lisa LaRose & Kelsee Gibbs
Jr. Reserve Champion Doe: T&R Ranch Blue Star Holly – Owned by Treba Stevens
Grand Champion Doe: Brookside Acres Faith – Owned by Jennifer Sisco
Reserve Champion Doe: Brookside Acres Shade – Owned by Jennifer Sisco
Jr. Grand Champion Buck: Rustic Acres Kaiden – Owned by Duane & Kimberly Moff
Jr. Reserve Champion Buck: Rustic Acres Stormtrooper – Owned by Weingart Family
Grand Champion Buck: Black Mountain Kinders Lone Ranger – Owned by Duane & Kimberly Moff
Reserve Champion Buck: Kinder Korner Sawyer – Owned by Lisa LaRose & Kelsee Gibbs
Grand Champion Chevon : CJM Farm Groot – Owned by Weingart Family
Reserve Champion Chevon: Kinder Korner Remington – Owned by Lisa LaRose & Kelsee Gibbs
Jr. Grand Champion Doe: Black Shire Anethema – Owned by Jennifer Sisco
Jr. Reserve Champion Doe: Dyer Family Farms June – Owned by Treba Stevens
Grand Champion Doe: Kinder Korner Amaryllis – Owned by Lisa LaRose & Kelsee Gibbs
Reserve Champion Doe: Brookside Acres Faith – Owned by Jennifer Sisco
Jr. Grand Champion Buck: T&R Ranch Diesel – Owned by Treba Stevens
Jr. Reserve Champion Buck: Kinder Korner Buzz Lightyear – Owned by Lisa LaRose & Kelsee Gibbs
Grand Champion Buck: Black Mountain Kinders Lone Ranger – Owned by Duane & Kimberly Moff
Reserve Champion Buck: Derek’s Kinders SH Handy – Owned by Jennifer Sisco
Grand Champion Chevon: Kinder Korner Remington – Owned by Lisa LaRose & Kelsee Gibbs
Reserve Champion Chevon : Rustic Acres Whitey – Owned by Duane & Kimberly Moff
We’ve all heard it a million times – your buck is the most important animal in your herd. The buck contributes 50% of the genes of every kid he sires and determines the overall pregnancy rate of the herd. Good breeding stock is fundamental to a quality goat breeding operation. By choosing the right buck, you can improve conformation and increase milk production, growth rates, and meat qualities in the kid crop. Improving these qualities will not only make the kids more valuable, but will equate to a healthier herd that saves you money on feed, vet bills, and replacement costs.
It is also important to choose the bucks you believe will improve the breed in general! In recent years, we’ve seen an enormous upsurge in the Kinder breeder’s desire to produce quality animals that excel on the homestead, in the milk room, and in the show ring. Many Kinders now have improved milk production and conformation over some of the original animals admitted into the registry. Yet, there are still large discrepancies in the quality between various lines and herds and their offspring – so where do you begin?
Choosing a breeding buck can be very challenging. Every spring brings a surplus of bucklings, many of which will be sold as potential herdsires. They are all darling little boys, but how do you decide which ones will help you meet your breeding goals?
First, make specific herd and breeding program goals. Write them down! When I sell a goat, I ask the buyer what they want in their herd and, more often than not, they don’t really know. They might know they want a hearty, medium-sized, dual-purpose goat but haven’t given more thought to what else is most important on their farm or homestead. Considering YOUR priorities prior to purchasing a herdsire is critical when it comes to your overall success as a breeder.
To determine what you want, ask yourself some questions –
Do you want your does to raise their own kids without requiring additional bottle feeding? If so, you may not want a buck from lines that produce quads and quints.
Do you live in an area where parasites are a serious issue? Goats and herds that are resistant and resilient to parasites should be high priority, as should be breeders who keep deworming records.
Do you expect your goats to travel and climb over large, rough areas to browse? Then potential breeding stock cannot afford to have poor quality feet and legs.
Will you be hand-milking? Teat and orifice size might be very important to you.
It is easy to want it all, but be realistic and choose two or three things that are most the most important starting points, to you. Once you decide what your primary goals are, take a long, hard look at your does. What do you love about them? What would you like to change? You want your buck and his parents to excel in the areas that you want to improve. Once again, try to pick just two or three important things you want to improve on now; you can always work on other things later.
Now that you have decided which qualities are most important in your new buck, you can begin your search. Begin by finding breeders whose priorities and management style closely resemble your own. A breeder that is successfully managing their herd in the way you do or plan to should have offspring that will thrive in a comparable environment and should easily transition into their new home with you.
Ask lots of questions. Good breeders will keep good records on milk quantities, growth rates, ease of kidding in various lines, results for disease testing, show records, deworming records etc. and will be happy to share them with you. Never hesitate to ask for documentation to back up a breeder’s claims.
After finding a breeder or two that you would like to work with, it is time to pick your buck! Here’s where things get difficult – ignore their colors! It is always fun to get a goat that is super-flashy or your favorite color, but try not to let those things “color” your decision – haha! Assess the bucks by conformation first, paying special attention to avoid weaknesses already in your herd or doe. If the buck has been evaluated, make sure that an area where your herd is weak is one of the buck’s strong points. For example, if it is a priority to improve legs, look for a buck with an Excellent or Very Good in the General Appearance category and high scores in the legs and feet sections.
By now, you should have your choices narrowed down to just a few boys. At this point, research the relatives of potential herdsires. Relatives should be goats that you would love to have in your own herd. Never buy a buck from poor quality parents in hopes that he will be an improvement over them! Your potential buck’s relatives should be well-balanced with good conformation and adhere closely to the breed standard. Do they have the qualities that you listed as top priorities? Are they strong in areas where your herd is weak?
Additionally, remember that the most expensive buck is not always the best buck, and the most well-known herds may not be the best fit for you. Know the direction you are going with your herd and wait for the right buck. As with your entire breeding program, planning, time, and patience pay off in the end when choosing a herdsire.
By Sue Beck
In the world of livestock and perhaps especially goats, numerous mineral programs exist. Most folks offer a pre-mixed mineral and supplement lack as needed in the form of additives like kelp or through injections, boluses, gels etc. Some goat owners offer individual minerals free choice. The individual, free-choice programs are based on the idea that goats are nutritionally wise and can select what they need and when they need it. But is that true? How DO ruminants learn what to eat? Here’s what we’ve learned so far.
Taste is the most important factor in deciding, followed by texture and odor. Both formal studies and simple observations have shown that ruminants learn what to eat through social learning (observing and copying dams and herdmates) as well as from biological feedback after consuming those foods. That means that the animal learns primarily through trial and error. If it eats this particular shrub and experiences negative consequences (rumen upset for example) the animal will then, in theory, associate the taste of that shrub with the rumen upset and not eat it again, or at least not eat large amounts of it.
In my research, Dr. Fred Provenza and Dr. Richard Holliday are among the most avid champions of free-choice, individual mineral feeding and nutritional wisdom. Even their observations and studies on the topic illustrated that the animals did not seek out certain minerals until they were deficient, sometimes severely deficient, or imbalanced. This suggests that animals eat to correct, not prevent deficiencies. In a goat-specific study, Provenza concluded “that the relative amounts of different foods ingested within a meal, and the salience of the flavors of those foods, are both important variables that cause goats to distinguish between novel foods that differ in postingestive consequences” (8). In this study, goats were ate a shrub called blackbrush, both old season growth and current season growth. The current season growth has much lower levels of condensed tannins than old season growth. The animals did not differentiate between the two until they ate more current season growth than old in a meal, enough to acquire an aversion. Yet, taste and odor were still important factors to that acquired aversion. Read the full summary of the study here https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24242115/.
Animals do not “instinctively” recognize nutrients, but sodium is dissolved and absorbed so quickly it does appear instinctual. In early studies on nutritional wisdom, sodium was mixed in every mineral that was offered cafeteria-style. Proponents of nutritional wisdom and cafeteria-style mineral programs note this as a flaw and argue that it made it impossible for the animal to “associate feedback from the mineral with its flavor.” – “On Pasture: Can Animals Figure Out What Minerals They Need”.
To date, there are no studies proving ruminants can recognize minerals other than calcium, sodium, and phosphorus. Phosphorus deficiency often results in pica, or a depraved appetite that results in eating odd things like wood, bones, rocks, and even feces. There’s several interesting studies on mineral deficient animals in the sources, including a study in which phosphorus-deficient steers were eating rabbits and one in which calcium-deficient sheep would lick up the urine and feces of the animals in the adjacent pen that were in the non-deficient control group.
In an interesting case I found online, a goat owner fed her animals a popular mineral mix that was very low in zinc and very high in copper (a zinc antagonist) for several years. Animals began dying and were necropsied. Copper toxicity was ruled as the cause of death. What was interesting was that her goats were attempting to eat raw meat that was being fed to her livestock guardian dogs. It was hypothesized the animals were doing so because they were starved for zinc and raw beef is an excellent source of that mineral. To date, I have found no formal study on animals being able to select to correct for zinc deficiency, but that fascinating anecdotal evidence certainly points that direction and is worthy of further study.
Many goat owners believe that perhaps too often in the case of goats, palpability and curiosity trump need – I’ve personally experienced goats developing a taste for toxic plants, including hemlock – goats that were healthy and well-fed with an abundance of other forage and hay available but simply liked the taste of the dangerous plant. The aforementioned research suggests that might be the case sometimes, perhaps especially in the case of concentrates or tasty treats. Dr. Holliday notes – “I realize mainstream nutritionists tend to downplay or totally reject the idea that animals can self-regulate their nutritional needs. I admit that this ability may not apply to all situations and to every type of feed. Some feed items (grains and concentrates) may be so tasty that most animals would overeat if fed free choice.”
Nutritional wisdom is a fascinating, complex subject worth studying more, but at the moment the evidence points out that the nutritional wisdom of ruminants is limited.
By Kenda Shatswell
- Provenza FD, Lynch JJ, Burritt EA, Scott CB. How goats learn to distinguish between novel foods that differ in postingestive consequences. J Chem Ecol. 1994 Mar;20(3):609-24.
My husband and I have a little hobby farm so that I can raise goats. At least that may be how he thinks of it. He doesn’t raise goats, although he has done a marvelous job of building things for the goats.
But I raise goats. It used to be that goats were the ugly step-children of farming but no more. Now the number of cute baby goat videos rivals cat videos.
But you can’t have cute baby goat videos without the romance of their parents. If you like baby goat videos, you need to know about goats in love.
In our goat herd, we usually keep our buck separated from the does so we can control when the babies come.
One bright fall morning, one of our girls had put on her high heels, lipstick, and Chanel perfume before sashaying along the fence line she shared with Rocket the buck.
Rocket got the message: she was in the mood. Rocket was always in the mood, so with great excitement, he pushed his manly head through the fence to sniff her fragrance.
Hearts were drifting above their heads like hot air balloons. Once I caught sight of a little cupid figure floating overhead, I collected Miss Elinore and brought her into Rocket’s pen. She wiggled her hips and lightly danced from the gate to the fence line so that she could lean against Rocket.
He raised his eyebrows in glee and snorted words of love in her ear. He’d have brought roses and chocolate if he’d known. This was just what he had hoped for. Love was in the air.
Except for one problem: Rocket’s massive head was stuck through the fence.
He pulled and twisted while Elinore was doing a pole dance beside him. She whispered in his ear, gave him little smoochies, leaned against his rippling muscles. More and more hearts floated past his eyes.
Rocket began straining against the fence. His front legs were like pile drivers pushing into the ground. His cheeks would have turned red from the exertion if not hidden by that masculine buck fur. The fence bowed with his manly strength.
No go. He was stuck.
The love of his life was slow-dancing at his side, and Rocket couldn’t get his head out of the wire.
I’m not without compassion. I only watched this display for fifteen minutes or so before I went in search of some wire cutters.
I think Rocket’s first lesson of love was to avoid putting your head through places where it doesn’t fit.
But I learned something that day, too: it is unbelievably challenging to cut wire when you’re laughing that hard.
By Kathy Brasby
Kinder Breeder Spotlight
First, what’s your farm name, and where is your farm?
Our farm name is Barker Kinder Gardens. We are located in Western Washington State.
How did you learn about Kinders?
We researched goats online, joining several goating groups on Facebook. One of which was called “Successful Goating with Rosie.” We put our feelers out on what would be a good dual-purpose goat for milk and meat and easy to handle. Kinders were the hands-down suggestion. From there, we continued to join Facebook groups specifically related to the Kinder Breed. After much research, we chose a local farm to buy our first Kinders from.
Can you tell me about your current herd and goals for the herd? Do you raise them for milk, meat, both etc.?
Our current herd consists of 11 does, 2 bucks, and 20 kids on the ground as of yesterday!
Our goal is to provide ourselves and our local community with a source of milk and meat during these uncertain times. Of course, we will are always willing to sell them as pets, too.
Tell me about your goat mentors! What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I must mention Kirsten Simons of River Birch Farms. We purchased our first two does from her farm, and she is more than willing to offer help and advice for any concerns or questions that we may have. She came out to teach us about the basics of goat care, volunteered to be accessible during our first birth on the farm last year and has even disbudded kids for us.
Others that have been helpful include Violetta Laboranti from Autumn Rhapsody Farm and Jasmin Feist, DVM, of Feisty Acres Kinders.
I think the best advice, for us, has been to spend a little time each day with your herd, just observing. It makes it easy to spot changes in behavior that point out a problem. This way, we can address any issues that come up right away, before they get out of control.
What’s one of the biggest challenges you have faced raising your Kinders so far?
I think our biggest challenges have been shelter, fencing and the cost of grain/hay. We are still working on the fence repairs to our 8 acres of woods. Once that is finished, we can let the goats forage. They will be happier, and I think our wallet will certainly be happier. We have spent quite a bit of money on fencing and a new barn, but we are hoping to break even in a few years.
Which is your favorite doe to milk and why?
This is our second year milking. I milked my favorite doe last year, and I am milking her and another doe this year – River Birch Farms B&S’s Cleo and East Valley Kinders Blu Belle. We are hand-milking for now, but do hope to purchase a Simple Pulse very soon. Both the does I am milking this year are well-behaved on the stand. They have calm dispositions, and their teats are large, with large orifices that make milking much easier. We only milk for personal use here on the farm as Washington State has pretty restrictive laws regarding the sale of raw dairy. We may move towards soap and lotion making as the year progresses. I am really looking forward to trying my hand at cheesemaking. Our daughter has a milk allergy, but goat milk is no problem for her. We are hoping to milk enough to feed her AND the bottle babies. It’s exciting to think of all the possibilities farm fresh goat milk has to offer us.
Disclaimer: The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by newsletter and blog contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the Kinder® Goat Breeders Association. Goat husbandry advice found in the newsletter and blog is not meant to substitute a valid veterinary relationship. Please request permission to share or reprint newsletter and blog posts.