Now it is time to decide which breed of goat to add to your family! They can easily become part of the family since they are so responsive and loving. Many people say they are just like a dog and sometimes better! It is best to keep them in the barn though. They don’t seem to house train well.
Goats seem to respond to their environment so it is important to choose a breed that fits you. They are all very cute and tempting, but if you do not get the right breed neither you or the goats will be happy. Of course what I am going to say is a generalization because there are always exceptions.
Sannens And Alpines are generally steady, even tempered goats. They will quietly love you and generally will follow you peacefully wherever you go and want them to go. They are patient and do not seem to stress out too easily.
Toggenburgs and Lamanchas seem to be creative. I think the Toggs may be a bit more this way than the Lamanchas though. They both have an air of confidence about them more so than the other breeds. The Lamanchas that I have met carry themselves with elegance while the Toggs are a bit more carefree. They both JUMP well! (In my experience anyway)
Nubians have those adorable ears! Who can’t love a baby Nubian! They are wonderful, delightful goats! They are NOT the thinkers like the Toggs and Lamanchas, and they are NOT patient like the Saanens and Alpines. They do have amazing “brakes” though! They will want to be with you and will follow you anywhere (almost) but they will be nervous about it unless they know the environment. They generally do not like new or strange places. Getting a baby is best. It can grow up with you and that will eliminate the adjustment.
There are also Nigerian Dwarfs. They are adorable and little, about the size of a Pygmy goat but not as wide. Those that I have met have a great temperament but I do not know too much about them other than what I have seen at shows. They seem to be an easy-going goat though. Milk stands need to be adapted for them but there are lots of ideas for that in the Internet.
As for milk production, Saanens, Toggenburgs and Alpines are said to be high producing breeds while Lamanchas and Nubians have a higher butterfat content which gives the milk a richer flavor. Of course again, there are always exceptions to this generalization.
There are a couple of breeds that I am not familiar with and those are Guernsey and Oberhasli. I am sure that both are worth looking into though.
I believe the most important thing to pay attention to when choosing a goat is the disposition and production of the “family” line. Temperament is passed on through breeding. I have seen it many times and my babies are not raised by their mothers in order for them to learn it. If you are buying a baby please meet the parents if possible. This will tell you much about what you are getting. Compare this to your family and see if the personality fit is good!
One more important note!! Goats do NOT like to be alone! Getting 2 is very important for them and you! They complain loudly or they may pout and not eat. Goats have been known to starve to death because of loosing a friend or being alone.
Goats are great but do your homework before purchasing one!