Q- Is there a market for Miniature Goats?
Miniature goats are the perfect breeds for many markets if crossbred correctly. Bred for pets, milk, fiber, organically and farm grown meat sales, commercial meat market, and as NMGA show animals.
Q- What is the average cost of a Miniature goat?
A- Producers and breeders will find the purchase price of a foundation Miniature goat to be much more reasonable than the smaller Pygmy and Nigerian Dwarf breeds. Many will find that a Miniature herd can be created from the stock in his back yard.
Q- Isn’t the Miniature breed just a fancy name for crossbreeds or unregistered Pygmy and Nigerian Dwarfs?
A- The definition of a breed is "a group of animals from a common background that breed true within an acceptable range of standards". Height is the main factor that designates a true Miniature goat. All Miniatures often will share a common ancestry of the original Pygmy or Nigerian Dwarf breed.
Q- How can I breed Miniatures to meet a specific market?
A- An example for the meat market - A buck with Nigerian Dwarf or Pygmy influence when crossed to a doe with Spanish, Kiko, Boer or meat influence often will produce a Foundation Miniature meat goat.
B- Another example for the meat market - A buck with Pygmy influence when crossed to a dairy doe will often produce a Foundation Miniature Meat goat.
C- An example for the dairy market - A buck with Nigerian Dwarf influence when crossed to a doe dairy of Alpine, Saanen or LaMancha influence often will produce a Foundation Miniature goat with improved dairy production.
D- An example for the fiber production – A buck with Nigerian Dwarf or Pygmy influence when crossed with an Angora will often produce a Foundation Miniature fiber goat.
The common background is the original buck selection and the foundational breed crosses that are used. Each offspring ends up with 50% percent of its genetics being from the original buck. Genes are maintained through each level of the breeding program. You are using “selective” from the original buck, which reflects his influence in your herd.
Q- Can you use this concept to improve an existing breed?
A- Yes, Selective breeding started years ago. Focusing on buck selection at every level to maintain and improve the genetics of the characteristics you desire in your herd, whether for dairy, fiber, meat or pet.
-History of the Miniature Goat-
The ancestors of the Miniature Goat originated in West Africa and were called the Cameroon Dwarf Goat. In the 1950’s the Cameroon Dwarf was imported from Sweden to the U.S. as an exotic animal. In the 70’s two totally separate associations and breed registries were formed to define traits and characteristics for the African Pygmy and the Nigerian Dwarf Goat. In the 1980’s due to lack of breed specific and heritable traits, many Miniature goats were labeled as non-registered or considered only pet quality according to these organizational standards.
During the past years these goats were easily accessible, had gained popularity and become a fascination to many. Many Miniature goat owners were reluctant to promote their animals or pursue recognition due to the limitations set by these organizations.
A small group of goat enthusiasts recognized the potential of the Miniature breed* and the National Miniature Goat Association was formed.
In its own right or crossed with other breeds the Miniature goat appeals to a variety of markets and offers vast opportunities associated with raising these versatile animals. Considered by many the perfect goat breed, Miniatures can be bred to possess qualities that increase their value as a pet, fiber, milk and/or meat goat.