Our dairy goats ...
Here, at Wingin' it Farms, our animals are our providers. We keep a small number of goats for the production of milk. We have never had intentions of growing our herd, building a "line" or showing our goats however, after years of saying "never" to the showing of our goats we chose to further our herd's potential. 2016 we participated in our first show. After years of the "never" we are now hooked! As we continue to grow our farm we have focused on continually improving our breeding stock and producing some of the finest dairy goats in North Carolina.
We breed Standard Dairy Goats (Lamanchas & Nubians), Miniature Dairy Goats (Mini Manchas), and Nigerian Dwarf Goats which are registered with AGS, ADGA, or the MDGA with a few of our goats as grade and unregistered. Our goats are kept in full coat throughout the year allowing their beautiful colors to be seen, clipping only in the spring/summer so they can keep cool and look spectacular for the shows. We are very selective of our goats and all must have excellent parasite resistance. Our does must prove to be excellent mothers and milk providers. Our goats are pasture raised with ample tree growth, foliage, and grass for excellent nutrition. We also provide high quality feed, free choice hay, alfalfa hay, and free-choice mineral.
For years our kids (baby goats) have been dam (mother) reared. In 2014 we tried pulling (bottle/trough raising) for the first time because of a request from a client. 2015 & 2016 we started bottle feeding the majority of our kids. We currently dam raise from a few, bottle feed, and "co-nurture". Co-nurturing is dam and bottle feeding.
The availability of kids is based on our need to bring a doe into milk. Goats are mammals, in order for them to come into milk (freshen) they must give birth (kid). We cannot possibly keep all kids born here...although it is tempting. Dam raised kids stay with "mom" to weaning age, then the kids are placed in their new homes. For kids bottle raised we release them according to the new owners experience and preference. Our kids are given a great deal of attention so they will be friendly and fun for their new family.
Many of our animals are retained so we may better evaluate what a particular breeding produced, show or pet quality, and dairy production.
We thoroughly enjoy our girls and find them comical, fun, and relaxing.
2018 was our first year in participating in DHI. Being on milk test has been very informative - much more than just getting a milk star. Stars are nice but the data is extremely useful! We look forward to continuing with the program.
Annually Tested CAE, Johnes, & CL
testing for CAE and Johnes through our state lab (Rollins) and UC Davis for CL
The Different Dairy Breeds We Keep
The Nigerian Dwarf is a small dairy goat breed. Despite their small structure they are wonderful producers of rich creamy milk. We have found this breed to be very hardy and an easy keeper. They are very personable without being overly demanding of your attention. Their small stature makes them a wonderful choice for the family pet. They will happily clear your brush, provide you milk, and amuse you for hours on end. Milk productivity varies greatly within this breed as well as length of lactation. Nigies can give as little as 2 cups to as much as 2 qts per day. As with any goat, they will reach their output level by 3rd freshening. Length of lactation can be as short as 5-6 months up to over a year. Many that start out with Nigies can be very disappointed with the low volume of milk that many produce in their first lactation. There are many factors that need to be understood to get the maximum output on your Nigie. Sadly too many exaggerate the productivity of these goats.
An average good Nigie will produce 1+ qt a day, and lactate for 10 months. Some goats may produce 2qts day but have a short lived lactation period. Some will give 1 qt but have steady consistent lactation. Milking once a day or twice a day, dam raising kids or pulling kids, single births or multiples, and number of freshenings are all factors in the overall productivity of these charming little goats. The Nigerian has the best feed conversion and produces more cheese per pound due to their high butterfat. Mastitis issues are extremely rare. One of the advantages of the Nigerian is the fact that they are year round breeders. Having the ability to stagger breedings means you will never have to go for a period without milk. For those that have seasonal breeders the Nigerian is a great way to fill in for the times when the seasonal goat needs to "dry off". Because they cycle every 3 weeks, breeding the Nigerian to kid when it is most convenient for the family's dairy needs is a huge benefit.
The Lamancha is a standard size dairy goat breed. This wonderful goat is well known as the "earless" goat. The Lamancha is filled with personality and intelligence. They love their human family and are very good at making sure you give them their well-deserved attention. Many Lamancha owners discovered this breed after trying other standard breeds, their personality is what wins everyone over! The Lamancha goats have been a well kept secret in the large dairy goat world, however that secret is starting to get out! Lamanchas are becoming more and more popular, understandably so. Smaller in structure compared to many of the standard size breeds, these goats are hardy, easy natured, generally very quiet, excellent milkers with very good butterfat! Here at Wingin' it Farms the Lamancha is our favorite! The history of the Lamancha is quite amazing and it is that history behind this breed that has made them such an incredible milker. Sweet creamy milk with excellent feed conversion, amazing personality, hardiness, ability to keep condition in most any environment, the no eared goat just simply cannot be any better!
The well known Nubian, with those long bell shaped ears and roman nose, is a favorite among goat enthusiasts! We acquired our first Nubian in 2014 somewhat by accident. Truly an endearing breed, sweet, & beautiful. We have found the Nubian to be somewhat aloof yet in other ways very intelligent. Nubians are a large breed generally about 140-180 pounds for does, however many are larger. Many say Nubians are more talkative then other breeds. We have not found them to be particularly loud. Rich creamy milk with butterfat matching the Lamancha they are excellent producers.
Miniature Lamancha (Mini- Mancha)~
Mini's can be registered, we have both registered and unregistered.
The mini's are a wonderful homestead goat. The combination of the high butterfat from both the Nigie and the Lamancha gives rich, creamy milk. Many with small homesteads find these goats to be the best of both worlds. A smaller goat than a standard, and only a little larger than a dwarf, the mini is an excellent producer. More milk than a Nigie and slightly less than a full size standard, yet all wrapped up in a small package. F-1 generation will have elf ears, diligent selective breeding throughout the generations will produce the true "gopher" ear. Some have reported their mini's breed year round, however, we have experienced them as seasonal breeders. The benefits of a mini are many. Like all smaller goats, they are gentler on the land, eat less, are easy to manage and are great in small family farm/homestead environments. Milking the mini also has the benefits of higher output because of the larger udders.
Well bred Miniatures can produced 8# (1 gallon) per day by their 2nd freshening!
That is a lot of milk in a small package!