Now that you’ve decided that Kinders are the right goat for you, you are probably a bit impatient to get started. Below are explanations of how to proceed.
Goals & Expectations
While Kinders are amazing little goats that often thrive on less than their full sized cousins, they still need good shelter, feed and care. Please see our “caring for your Kinder goat” page to prepare for the arrival of your new goats.
In your search for Kinders, set realistic goals: starting with just two or three does and finding a buck nearby for breeding will make the transition to goat owning go more smoothly than tyring to start with a herd of twenty goats. Setting realistic goals for breeding, selling and improving you herd will ensure your success. This is also true when setting your expectations – expecting to get a gallon of milk for each of your does while feeding no grain is not realistic, and will make your search and future breeding results very disappointing. Instead, focus first on the conformation and health of the goats you are buying. If your goats are healthy and conformationally sound, good care and feed will yield excellent results in kid growth and milk production.
Since the Kinder is a dual purpose goat, emphasis should not be focused too heavily on either the milk or meat aspect, but rather on a goat that encompasses both. Whether you decide to purchase Kinders from an established breeder or start your own lines, be sure that the goats you purchase are healthy and free of disease. Some diseases are not outwardly obvious, but can be detrimental to your herd and remain on your property for decades. Remember – education is the best protection!
The Association recommends that your very first animals be tested for Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE). It is also recommended that a regular annual testing program be established to ensure that your herd remains free from CAE. If you wish further information on common goat diseases, please see the Articles section of the KGBA website.
Starting From Scratch
The Kinder breed originated by crossing a Nubian dam with a Pygmy buck. To this day, breeders continue to re-create the cross to bring new genetics to the wider Kinder gene pool, or to start a Kinder herd when established lines are not readily available.
The only criteria in this venture is that the Nubian is registered as purebred or 100% American through American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA), American Goat Society (AGS), or the Canadian Goat Society (CGS), that the Pygmy is registered with the National Pygmy Association (NPGA), American Goat Society (AGS) or the Canadian Goat Society (CGS) and can show proper documentation of ownership, lease, or breeding rights on both parents. The crossing of these two registered breeds result in first generation Kinders. After this initial breeding the Kinder is bred within their own breed. The harder question is, what criteria should be used when selecting the individuals? While the KGBA makes no ruling on the specific type you can use, we do have the following recommendations;
This breed provides the Dairy aspect of the Kinder’s dual purpose nature. They should have the basics of conformation down pat. They should be long bodied, deep and wide. You want a doe who has great capacity for holding multiple kids easily during pregnancy, with lots of room for a full rumen, to fuel high milk production and stay well fleshed. They should have strong, level backs and wide, flat rumps. Rumps should be long and level from hip to pin, and wide and level thurl to thurl. Chests should be wide and deep, with good extension of brisket, and increasing depth of body. Legs should be straight, with tight short pasterns, and tight toes pointing straight forward. Udders should be very high, wide and tightly attached in the rear, with a strong medial, and long smooth foreudder. It should be capacious, and she should produce large amounts of milk with ease. ADGA provides
performance programs that many breeders partake in. If you can, look for high LA (Linear Appraisal) scores and DHIR milk records. As far as type goes, you want a heavier, more robust doe that has adequate muscling. Stay away from delicate, refined, or “twig like” does. You want a hardworking girl that can contribute to the dual purpose nature of their Kinder kids, and not give you excessive dairyness you’ll need to breed out later. Stay away
from selecting an animal based on color.
These little guys will add the meat qualities and medium size our Kinders should be known for. Look for a buck that is long bodied, and as level as possible. Many Pygmies will have great width and depth, but it’s important to include plenty of length in the equation, for appropriate body capacity. You want as long and level a rump as you can find. Pygmies are often short and steep hip to pin, and sloping thurl to thurl. Be picky, and keep in mind that correct toplines and rump structure are crucial in their Kinder offspring. You want the same straight legs and feet as with the Nubians, with short and strong pasterns that won’t deteriorate with age. Chests should be wide and deep with a brisket that extends well past the point of the shoulder, wide and muscular loins, and wide and arched rear assembly.
Udders are not a focus in the Pygmy breed and should be evaluated carefully. Inspect any buck, and as many relatives as you can access, for teat defects (spurs, double teats, extra orifices, etc) and avoid family lines displaying those faults. Udders on female family members should be held up tightly above their hocks, wide and tight rear attachments, noticeable medial, and smooth foreudder blending into her belly. Additionally, Pygmies often have difficulty kidding, so try to find a line that kid easily without medical intervention.
While there is no perfect animal, these tips should assist in your venture to creating the most conformationally correct Kinder kids, with appropriate breed type. As always, selective breeding and culling practices should be maintained for 1st generation kids, and beyond.
As with any breed, take care to select animals from clean, tested herds, that are in good health and condition. If a seller advertises that they test for diseases, they will never be offended if you ask for copies of their results.
The Kinder Goat Breeders Association Breed Standard, Kinder Scorecard, and registration information are all available on this website, and are very useful tools that can be used while choosing new goats and during future breeding and culling decisions.
Harvey Considine’s book “Dairy Goats for Pleasure and Profit” contains a section on Kinders, and it is an excellent reference for all kinds of goat questions. “The Illustrated Standard of the Dairy Goat” by Nancy Lee Owen, and “Dairy Goat Judging Techniques” by Harvey Considine and George W. Trimberger are also excellent resources that will help you learn how to evaluate your goats.
These information sources will give you the essentials to help you make wise breeding decisions as you build your Kinders. Your first Kinders, realistically, will not be perfect. You will find good characteristics in each animal, but not any one of them will have it all. Begin with the very best animals you can afford, and work up from there.