Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Bred animal myself,
Posted Jun 04, 2014
My first goats were a pair of Alpine/Nubian doe kids--the "airplane ears" type. I had become friends with a couple who raised them for milk and they convinced me I needed goats to maintain my five-acre pasture. During all of the 20+ years I raised goats, my pasture was beautiful: they loved eating leafy spurge and even gnawed away at the yucca until it was gone, leaving neatly cropped grass behind. They problem, however, was that my goats had a different idea of their territory than I had. One of them, Magpie (she was black with white splotches) could jump fences like a deer. My friends convinced me that the solution for that was to get her pregnant. They were right, but only for a few months out of the year. This process started my on my 16 years of milking goats.
I have had mixed goats, a couple of purebred Nubians, various purebred Alpines, a couple of Cashmeres, several Angoras and a couple of Alpine/Angora "mistakes." I love the perky ears and finely chiseled faces of Alpines, their hardiness and their ability to produce milk. The range of colors they come in is an added bonus. My Alpines tended to be less noisy than the Nubians but also more skittish and aloof. I found that a cross of mostly Alpine with a little Nubian worked well for me. Get the best buck you can afford to build up your heard.
I usually kept a wether or two for packing and found that Alpine crosses were the best for that purpose, as well. They were sturdy, great on rocky trails, carried the weight easily, with minimal complaints. I loved the comments I got from fellow trail walkers, including the occasional "Is that some kind of dog?"