Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Jan 20, 2015
Luna and her twin sister, Cookie, were among the first goats I purchased. Not knowing exactly what I was looking for beyond milk, I bought this pair of Alpine x Nubian crosses on an impulse. They were 9 months old and full of beans. Cookie was quite friendly but Luna was somewhat reserved and didn’t like to be handled.
Many people breed their goats in their first season but I made the choice to wait until they were over a year old. Since both Alpines and Nubians are seasonal breeders - typically from September through January - I had a long wait before getting kids or milk from these girls. In the meantime, they got to live the high life! Not a care in the world besides eating, they grew sleek and sassy while my other goats worked hard to produce kids and milk.
Luna and Cookie were both happy and able to jump my 4 foot tall electric fencing and graze wherever they pleased. Fortunately they never liked to wander far from the herd, and my Saanens obediently stayed within their enclosure. Luna in particular has deer-like qualities to her jumping, and is beautiful to watch if not frustrating!
In time Luna became friendlier and easier to handle. I finally bred both girls last year. Cookie had twins and Luna produced a single, very large buckling. Luna proved to have the better udder and be an easier milker and so has remained in my herd despite only having a single baby. If she wasn’t so strikingly beautiful and have such a nice and easy to milk udder, I likely would have sold her this fall.
These goats are full of personality. Cookie in particular is outgoing and personable. She’s whip smart and knows her name, and is the first to notice me appear in the field with treats. Or with the goal of catching them! Their response to my intentions sets the tone for the herd, and the whole gang of them either comes racing towards me or stampeding away.
Luna and Cookie are definitely are more challenging to manage than my Saanens, although so far in my experience pretty much any other breed is. Their milk has more butter fat, however, and is quite plentiful. They are hardy and parasite resistant, and don’t require any grain to stay in good condition through winter.
I’m not sure if I would intentionally purchase this cross again, based on these two goats. They are a lot of fun, and definitely hardier than my purebreds, but they are also pushy and bossy with the rest of the herd. I’ve heard that Alpines can be quite aggressive goats, so perhaps this is where their bossiness comes from. Or perhaps its simply their unique personalities. I do enjoy them and find them a welcome addition to the farm.