New Website

We have started a new website and will be adding content to that page henceforth including listing our goats which are for sale.

Please feel free to visit!

Our new address: http://firstfleetdairygoats.com.au

In the next month or two, we will redirect directly to our new site.

Thank you for visiting.

Advertisements

Chloe with F.F. Matilda and F.F. Pan

Chloe kidded on August 4th.
First Fleet Pan is coloured like his dam and First Fleet Matilda is essentially a buckskin pattern with overlays.

By necessity, the sire was Chloe’s full brother, F.F. Hermes. Fortunately, at least at this point, that mating seems to have been a success. (We suppose that means it was a case of “line-breeding” as opposed to “in-breeding”.)

Chloe is very patient and a very good mother. This is a link to Chloe and the two kids in the kidding stall at age 2 1/2 weeks:

Almost 12 Weeks Old

We have been very busy with our first five Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat babies: bottle feeding, disbudding, immunising, DNA profiling, registering with ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association) and generally fussing over them. They are almost 12 weeks old, very healthy, weighing about 10 kilos and stand about 42cm at the withers. It is time to separate the boys from our only girl. To keep her company, we wethered two of our boys. We have decided to sell the two nicest boys to help offset our considerable financial outlay spent importing this breed into Australia, even though we would prefer to keep them. We plan and hope to have other Nigerian dwarf kids for sale, perhaps late next year. Here are our five kids in detail: FIRST FLEET APOLLO   (Iris x Appolossa) Apollo is polled and very colourful. He has a nice, straight back, (though you don’t see it as he pushes on our son’s hand)  good chest and wide escutcheon. First Fleet Apollo, 3 days old First Fleet Apollo, 2 months


FIRST FLEET FREDERIK   (Iris x Arnoth) Frederik has the long, straight body of his father. FrederichFrederik (at ten weeks)


FIRST FLEET CHLOE    (Iris x Arnoth) Our one and only doe so far…. She copes with the weight of all the expectations very well. She is very well build, extremely graceful and small in height. She has a very straight and long back and has already nicely sized teats. Cloe 6 weeks

AT 14 WEEKS
AT 14 WEEKS

_MG_7462   Chloe at 11 weeks


FIRST FLEET NED    (Roselyn x Arnoth) Ned was our smallest buck and we chose to wether him as a companion for Chloe. Ned 11 weeks


FIRST FLEET HATFIELD   (Roselyn x Arnoth) Hatfield was wethered as well. He has the sweetest personality and is happiest when sitting on someone’s lap (which will have to stop before he gets larger!). Hatfield 2 weeks Hatfield


Some family shots…. Frederik, Hatfield, Cloe, Apollo apollo & Cloe am Kamin, 1 Woche alt OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    Chloe’s admirers

A lap full
A lap full

First Fleet Frederik (at nearly eleven weeks)

After vacillating on spelling his name, we have settled on Frederik. (The issue was whether to use a German spelling, Frederik, or English spelling, Frederick.) At nearly eleven weeks he is coming along well. He has a very long body with a straight back, shallow rump, and overall nice structure. We will be offering him for sale because, in our breedings for the next few years, we plan to use our semen straws which we imported. His registration will be with American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA). At eight weeks of age, we had to have scurs “touched up” with the iron, but all seems fine now. Like the other four kids, he is still on the bottle (supplemented with oaten hay, grain mix, and browse) and will be weaned at about 5 months.

Frederick at nearly 11 weeks, horn buds "touched up" at week 8 to address scurs.
Frederik at nearly 11 weeks, horn buds “touched up” at week 8 to address scurs.

First Fleet Apollo

Apollo has come along nicely. He is clearly the “alpha” in our tiny herd, and we joke that we should have named him “Whelan” (as in, “the wrecker” – the old Melbourne demolition firm) because he is the first to jump up on (or in) anything and he delights in pushing things over (brooms, food dishes, stacks of wood, flower pots, you name it…,). He is the first to say, “I’m out of here! This place is too slow for me.” Then he goes to find new worlds to conquer and push over. Very droll…. Like Frederick, we will be selling him, and like Frederick, he will be registered with ADGA.

Apollo at 11 weeks.
Apollo at 11 weeks.

The Results

On April 10 sixteen embryos were implanted in sixteen surrogate does. We knew that the freezing of the embryos would decrease the percentage of successful implants; the implanting veterinarian said we should keep our expectations low, fifty percent or less.
At ten weeks we saw six foetuses by ultrasound.
Calculating the gestation, (including adding in the ages of the embryos at implanting) we expected a due date August 27th to 30th.
The first kid was born Saturday, August 30th.
Two more were born on the 31st.
Another was born September on Tuesday 2nd.
Another on Wednesday 3rd.
On Friday 5th, we pulled a dead one from the surrogate; the waters broke but there were no contractions. We estimate that to have been at day 154 or 155.

The first four born were buck kids and consequently, we were very apprehensive about the arrival of the fifth. Fortunately it was a doe kid. The dead foetus would have been a doe kid too.

Kid 1: Iris x Appolossa (polled)
Kid 2: Roselyn x Arnoth
Kid 3: Roselyn x Arnoth
Kid 4: Iris x Arnoth
Kid 5: Iris x Arnoth
The dead foetus was Roselyn x Arnoth.

More photos soon…. These are iphone photos quickly taken.

Our precious girl
Our precious girl
The five kids warming in the morning sun after their bottles. The two reds are full siblings. The spotted boy is Appolossa's son, and the other two are full sibllings.
The five kids warming in the morning sun after their bottles.
The two reddish tan ones are full siblings. The spotted boy is Appolossa’s son and is polled, and the other two are full siblings.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats

About Nigerian Dwarf Goats

History:

The origin of the Nigerian dwarf goat can be traced back to the African continent where their ancestors (West African Dwarf, or WAD, goats) provided local populations with milk and meat.

It is generally believed that in the early 20th century, the Nigerian dwarf goats were used to provide meals for lions and other large carnivores, destined for zoos, during transoceanic shipment from Africa to the United States. The first report of imports of WAD goats into the U.S. was in 1918, though there may have been unreported earlier shipments. Imports continued until the 1960’s. Over time, the lucky goats which had not been consumed en route also found their ways into the the zoos. It is a fact that the first miniature goats in the U.S.A. were part of zoo exhibits, and it was from zoos that excess animals were acquired by private owners who began breeding them

At the beginning of the 1980’s two breeders petitioned the International Dairy Goat Registry to open a herd book for Nigerian dwarf goats and in 1981 (July 24) the first Nigerian dwarf goat was registered.

In 1984 the American Goat Society (AGS) opened a Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat herd book. This herd book was closed on 31 December, 1997. Since that time, only offspring of the animals in the AGS herd book have been registrable as purebred Nigerian Dwarf goats. It is from the AGS herd book that all animals registered with the American Dairy Goat Association and the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association are derived.

The development of the Nigerian dwarf goat into significant dairy goat breed, has principally been the result of breeders in the United States, and it is through the interest and dedication of these breeders that the Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat today shows such strong and refined dairy characteristics combined with a petite size.

Appearance and Temperament:

Unlike their Pygmy Goat relatives which are also derived from the WAD goats, and which are principally a meat goat, Nigerian Dwarf goats are less stout and stocky, being instead well proportioned miniature versions of some of the larger standard dairy breeds, (such as Alpine dairy goats.) Does up to 57cm (22.5in.) are accepted by ADGA. For bucks, the ADGA accepts bucks to 60cm (23.5in.) The NDGA standards are 2.5cm (1in.) lower for both sexes.  Animals are disqualified from showing if over height standard. The standard is for adult goats to have been de-horned though some Nigerian Dwarf goats are naturally polled.

Nigerian Dwarf goats come in an astonishing variety of colours and patterns.

Colour patterns include buckskin, chamoisee, Swiss marked, sundgau, cou clair and cou blank, and solid colour.

Colours include (in various intensities) gold, black, cream,chocolate, solid white,

Additional colouring variations are moon spotting, roaming, frosting, white overlay, scattered white, colour and white

Coupled with this array is the possibility of having either brown, gold or blue eyes.

Kidding time is therefore always a surprise, resulting often in very beautiful goats.

Nigerian Dwarf goats are gentle, and loveable. Their calm even temperament and engaging personalities, as well as their “manageable” size, make them suitable companions for all, including children.

Milk Production:

A healthy Nigerian Dwarf doe can give a surprising amount of milk for her size, up to 1.8 litres per day.

The breed produces the most full bodied milk of all recognised dairy goat breeds, meaning it has the highest butterfat content. The fresh milk has almost no “goaty” taste and can be used to make excellent iced cream, deserts, yogurt, and especially, cheeses.

Cheese maker Gianaclis Caldwell of Pholia Farm Creamery in Rogue River, Oregon, U.S.A., refers to Nigerian Dwarf milk as the cheese maker’s “secret weapon” because of the 6 to 10 percent butterfat content (with some does producing a much higher content), making it ideal for cheese. Nigerian Dwarf milk also has more of the alpha S1 protein, commonly referred to as the “cheese” protein. A high percentage of alphaS1 protein leads to higher yield, as well as producing cheeses with exceptionally rich characteristics.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats to Australia, 100% Pure Blood (purely imported bloodlines)