Wednesday, June 27, 2012

To Register or Not To Register?

I have never registered my goats. They are all dairy goats (no Boer, Pygmy, or Angora crosses here) and they could qualify for registration, but I have never bothered to do it. I haven't registered them for a variety of reasons: 1) Expense - it costs money to register a goat and stay a member of the ADGA. 2) Showing - I don't show my goats and don't sell to people who do. 3) Market - I can't get more money for a goat just because it is registered.

I am currently thinking about registering my goats. If my daughter were to get interested in showing goats, she would need registered animals to do that. I wouldn't want to have to buy a new registered animal specifically just for showing since I already have a lot of nice animals to choose from. The two newest does are very nice and would probably win a few ribbons in the show rings. So I may get my butt in gear and get the papers filled out.

I can register my oldest Alpine doe as a purebred American Alpine. I still have her original registration papers from when I bought her as a kid. She might even have a tattoo already. Her daughter, Lucy, could be a grade since her sire was never registered. Her other daughter, Prim, would be an experimental since her sire was a registered Oberhasli. My new goat, Daisy, is another grade doe since her dam is a registered Saanen and her sire is an unknown fence-jumper. He is a dairy goat but the lady I got her from doesn't know which of her many purebred Oberhasli, Saanen, or Toggenburg bucks did the deed.

Being a grade or an experimental isn't necessarily a bad thing. It just means that you can't qualify as a purebred and you can't be shown in a purebred show. You can compete in grade shows with any grade or experimental goats. The offspring of a grade can become registered purebreds after 3 generations of being bred to the same breed. If I bred my Saanen grade doe to a Saanen purebred buck, then bred those kids to a purebred Saanen, and then bred those kids to a purebred Saanen, the result of that third cross would be considered purebred Saanen. Recorded grades and registered experimentals hold about the same monetary value as most registered purebred goats in the eyes of most small-time breeders. The only breeders who get worked up about pedigrees and purebred-ness are the big timers who are doing it for showing or dairying.

If I were to register my goats I could also get into the world of milk testing. The DHIA (Dairy Herd Improvement Test) is set up by the ADGA to accurately track and record production levels of individual goats. You apply to be a tested herd and then set up test days with someone from the ADGA to verify the milk levels. If you goat produces a certain amount of milk per year they will get a * added to their names in the registry. The *s help to notify someone looking at a goat's pedigree of large milk production levels. The DHIA also looks at butterfat percentages and other things to assess a goat's production levels. This seems like a lot of work so I will probably forgo the milk test for now.

I am working on improving my goat herd through CAE prevention and breeding the best genetics, so I might as well improve the herd through official registration.

1 comment:

The Goulet Family Copyright © 2012 MarĂ­a L.A. Goulet Please request my permission for use. said...

Rose, you have thoughtfully presented very interesting information owning goats. Thank you for this great post.

Our family also enjoys the goat milk and home made cheese. They are wonderful, loveable animals and we are so grateful to have our 2 La Manchas.