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Breeding MiniNubians from the beginning –
Choosing Nubian Foundation Does

      Unless a new breeder had the good fortune to be able to purchase stock from an established breeder, the start of their MiniNubian breeding project is going to consist of starting with the first cross, breeding a Nigerian Dwarf buck to a Nubian doe..  It is wonderful that many very nice Nigerian bucks are available.  It might even be possible to just take your does to a local breeder and not even need to purchase the buck, but you will need some Nubian does.

      In selecting your does there are lots of things to keep in mind.  You are starting the foundation of your herd and poor or even mediocre does won’t be a good start.  I always select my does on their own appearance, especially in udders in mature does, and then in general appearance.  In udders I want to see a strong mammary systems, and strong legs, feet, and other assets that will make her a worthy foundations doe.

     Next I want to understand the breeding program that produced her.  I want to know that her dam was also a quality animal and that her sire has other daughters that show he is able to pass on good qualities to his offspring.  Pedigrees can assist with information  about  how the animal you are about to purchase was produced.  However, many good quality Nubians have an undistinguished pedigree but may still be used for a breeding program.

     MDGA has allowed breeders who register their experimental animals (these early generations crosses) to use animals of dairy goat breeds that are purebreds with papers, Americans with papers, percentage Americans and even Native on Appearance. (Does that are unregistered but have appearance conforming to the breed standard.)

     Nubians are the number one breed in American, so ADGA statistics say.  Due to their attractive appearance, they are a favorite choice for family milkers, children’s pets and 4-H projects, and beginning breeders as well as experienced breeders. 

     I know that a lot of Nubians have been sold as pets or sent to auction without papers by people who have fallen on hard times. Some of those have been found by breeders who recognized quality when they saw it.  These animals often did not have papers when they were sent to the auction and so their records are lost.  Many American lines have been started by just such a doe.  More about American Nubians later.

    Other Nubians have been used in breeding programs that, no matter what their papers said, were poor quality.  Registration papers alone are not a certificate of quality.  They are a tool to assist breeders to document their breeding successes, and misses as well.  Do not be misled, and do not purchase on the basis of papers only.  A poor purebred is a poor investment.  My advice to all aspiring MiniNubian breeders is to buy the best does you can, not on papers, but on quality of the individual and their parents and siblings.

      Don't turn up your nose at American Nubians.  They can be a real bargain for the MiniNubian breeder.  Mostly, they are not as desirable as purebreds among Nubian breeders.  For that reason, only the good Americans survive in Nubian herds while mediocre purebreds are numerous.  Something to think about.

     Grade Nubians can also be a bargain.  I have one such doe in my herd.  Her dam is a GCH purebred Nubian doe (the dam of 7 Ch daughters!)  Her sire is unknown.  Two Nubian bucks of excellent breeding and quality had access to the doe when she was bred and it cannot be determined which one is her sire.  For that reason she is registered as a 50% American Nubian.  Not all that desirable to the Nubian breeder I purchased her from, but a great find for my herd.

     Start with the best does you can find, use all the good breeding techniques you know or can learn from others. If you breed high quality animals you will go far.  Poor quality animals will not be a credit to the breed or to your own herd, so start out right, and keep learning.  Welcome to the fascinating world of the MiniNubian!


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