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Mini Oberhasli Goat

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Other common names: Miniature Oberhasli; Oberian

The basics:
The Mini Oberhasli Goat is a dairy goat cross which is created by breeding an Oberhasli Goat with a Nigerian Dwarf Goat.

The Mini Oberhasli is still an experimental breed but is registered with The Miniature Goat Registry (TMGR) and the Miniature Dairy Goat Association (MDGA). Mini Oberhasli Goats are considered purebred after six generations of breeding Mini-Oberhasli to Mini-Oberhasli. Red bay and black are accepted colors at this time, with small amounts of white allowed. The final purebred Mini Oberhasli should still be approximately 50% Nigerian and 50% Oberhasli. The first generation is called F-1, the second is called F-2, and so on until F-6 where the F designation is removed and the offspring are considered purebred.

Appearance / health:
The Mini Oberhasli Goat is most often colored red bay with black markings, although it also may be pure black and only rarely red (not accepted for registration). The Mini-Oberhasli should be a mid-sized version of the Oberhasli dairy goat. At this time, one trait that came exclusively from their Nigerian anscestors is still allowed: blue eyes. The minimum height for does is 21 inches and 23 inches for bucks. Maximum height standards for purebreds are 28 inches for does and 30 inches for bucks (TMGR).

Goats are sensitive animals that can suffer from various infectious and chronic diseases that are sometimes undetected until too late. Vaccinations, as well as de-worming and de-lousing applications must be conducted as needed. Milking goats should be checked regularly using prescribed mastitis tests for udder health. Milking areas should always be clean and the goat’s teats treated with teat dip after milking to prevent mastitis.

Goats must be inspected frequently to detect any signs of poor health, infections, or other ailments. Signs include cloudy or teary eyes, dull or fluffed up coat, droopy tail, hunched back, or poor appetite. A veterinarian should always be on call to address health concerns.

Behavior / temperament:
Goats are inherently curious, active, intelligent, and social. They are known to have the ability to overcome enclosures by unraveling the gate, climbing over the mesh, or pushing and ramming the fence down. Goats have good coordination and balance and can manage to climb low trees, ledges, and overhangs. Their curiosity leads them to constantly investigate items with their mouths; most items get chewed and swallowed. With a little patience, goats can be taught to carry or pull loads, respond to calls, and lead a herd. As social animals, they easily get along with other farm animals.

Mini Oberhasli goats are also popular as pets, farm companions, and 4-H projects because of their very friendly and docile temperament. They are also hardy and excellent for weed and brush control.

Housing / diet:
As herd animals, goats are best kept in pairs or groups. As grazers, they require an outdoor habitat that is securely fenced to prevent escape or foraging in restricted areas. The area should be large enough to allow the goat to roam. The recommended habitat per goat is 200 sq. ft. of yard or pasture plus a sheltered or indoor area of about 15 sq. ft. In the case of Mini-Nubians, the recommended habitat per goat is about 30-50% less. The sheltered area should be adequately built to keep the goats safe from rain and strong winds.

Keeping goats inside the house is not recommended because of the pet’s tendency to gnaw and chew on furniture and furnishings. Goats are also not known to adhere to toilet training.

The ideal food for domesticated goats is alfalfa hay and grass hay. This should be available daily in quantities of at least 3% of the goat’s body weight. Small quantities of feed grain and concentrates (often protein-enriched) like goat show or goat grain can also be given to add nutrition. Supplements are often used to address deficiencies inherent to local habitats.

Clean water is essential to a goat’s daily diet. It should always be available and provided where it cannot be soiled. Dirty and moldy water is hazardous to the goat’s health. Milking goats should be kept away from aromatic or strong-tasting foliage like garlic, onions, mint, and cabbage, which could taint the flavor of the milk.

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