Helpful hints for purchasing healthy, happy, and productive goats.
Deciding on which goat or kid to buy, whether it's your first one or your 50th, should be fun and interesting. But it can also be confusing. So we'd like to explain a bit about why some of our goats are priced higher than others in our herd, priced differently than goats from other herds, and why buyers might be interested in different breeds. Hopefully, this will make it easier to make a decision about which goats might work out better for you.
There are many different reasons to own goats and many different types of goats to fill those needs. And while here at BMR we have dairy goats there are still many differences to consider.
Milk Quantity vs. Quality:
Nubian goats like to crank out the cream. Their milk is rich and creamy and just perfect for making cheese and ice cream. It is also great for drinking, on cereal, or in coffee. While the Swiss breeds are great at producing lots of milk, Nubians are great at producing rich milk.
So how do we know about quality vs. quantity? Our goats are on Dairy Herd Improvement Registry testing (DHIR). Every month an inspector comes to the ranch. She gets samples of milk from all the girls and sends them in for testing as well as verifying the amount of milk that each girl gives. We get a report back that shows the quality and quantity of the milk from each of our milkers. The American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) also gets a copy of the reports and awards goats that meet specific criteria of quality or quantity with a Certificate of Production, more commonly called a Milking Star. Milking Stars are cumulative along the doe's maternal line. So if a milker's dam and maternal granddam have both earned their Stars, when the milker earns her star she would be a 3*M (three star milker). Some of our does are 10 Star Milkers or more, which shows that making milk is what these girls were born to do.
Milking stars can't be awarded to does until they have at least completed their first full lactation (or the first 305 days of a lactation), so don't be surprised to see young milkers without a Certificate of Production. Our girls usually earn it their first year as milkers but it does take time to get the paperwork done and the award to be given.
Our goats are on Linear Appraisal. That is a program sponsored by ADGA where a trained goat appraiser assesses each goat for quality of conformation. It's similar to a show but instead of the goat being judged against the other goats in the ring, during appraisal they are judged against the mythical perfect goat. This information is quite helpful as it allows us to breed better goats and avoid many conformational problems that might crop up if we didn't have a professional "on our team". Scores of 80 to 84 are considered Good, 85 to 89 are Very Good, and 90 or above are Excellent. Most of our mature herd scores 88 or higher, with quite a few scoring 90 or above.
By the way, the mythical perfect goat is a "mature" goat. That is why you will see our younger does with a slightly lower score than the mature girls. We like the youngsters to score in the low to mid 80's and improve each year. So don't be scared of scores lower than 85. It takes time to become perfect!
Our goats are all registered with The American Dairy Goat Association. Goats that are registered often cost more to purchase than unregistered goats even though there is no guarantee that a registered animal will outperform an unregistered one. So what good are registration papers? The registration organization tracks the performance of each animal, it's ancestors, and it's offspring. The organization also sponsors performance programs like DHIR, Linear Appraisal, and shows. This information can help you, as a buyer, determine if a goat has the genetic capability to perform. The information will also help you, as a seller, to justify the prices you set for selling your goats. So while there may be nothing wrong with an unregistered goat, there is no way to know what you will be getting yourself into. Getting registered goats is an investment that will pay you back in a very short time.
It doesn't matter how many awards a goat has if it is sick. Let's face it, who wants to drink milk that is made by a sick animal? Scary, isn't it? At BMR we work hard to keep our girls healthy and productive. We quarantine and test any new goats that we buy and don't allow outside goats to come on the property for any reason. Our herd is CL abscess free, CAE negative, negative for Tuberculosis and Brucellosis, negative for mycoplasma, and either tested and found to be G6S Normal, or are proven to be G6S Normal by pedigree.
Like the price of most everything, the price of a goat is based on quality and demand. Yet you'll still find a wide variation in prices. Here at BMR we pay a lot more for our breeding stock than we sell our kids for. Why? We pay a high price for our breeding stock because they are worth it. We want the best animals we can afford. We sell at a lower price because we are a cheese dairy. We don't need to make our whole year's income off of the kids we sell. In fact, because we refuse to raise our kids on milk replacer and feed them pure fresh goats' milk instead, we would end up losing money on the kids if we didn't place them in new homes right away. So we keep our prices low but ask that the kids be picked up by their "new people" as soon as possible.
Kids from does that are first time mommas (first fresheners) are priced low simply because "mom" doesn't have a track record of milk production or linear appraisal. We expect them to do just fine, but can't prove it.
Don't be fooled by our low prices - BMR goats are healthy, productive, beautiful animals.
Putting It All Together:
So, which goat or kid is right for you? Don't fall into the trap of thinking that a higher priced animal is the best in all situations. Our higher priced goats are, in general, better both in confirmation and milking ability, but along with high production comes higher needs. Consider a Kentucky Derby winner vs. a pasture pal pony. Their needs are quite different. The same is true of a fine, productive dairy goat vs. a pet goat. Just as you wouldn't care for your race horse as if it were a lawn ornament then expect it to win the Triple Crown, your high production dairy goat won't perform optimally if not cared for optimally. It could be in your interest to get a goat that produces less and doesn't require as much management.
Good confirmation is always a plus, but if you aren't looking for a show quality animal you can overlook certain traits that don't show well but won't affect production.
So think about your needs and your animal husbandry experience before deciding. If you have questions about which animals might work best for you, please ask us, we'd be glad to discuss it with you.
As of the fall of 2018 we have dispersed our herd and do not have any goats available. Please use the information above to help you select your goats from reliable breeders. Thank you all for your support.
Prices and Policies
We offer fine Nubian Kids and Goats for sale from time to time. All of our Nubians are purebred and can be sold registered.
Goat Sales Prices
- Registered Does and Bucks $400 and up
- Doe Kids and Buck Kids with Registration Application $300 and up
(10% Discount on purchases of 5 or more kids from this category)
- Unregistered Bucks $200 and up
- Wethers $100 and up
Goat Sales Policies
We require a $100 deposit per reserved kid with the balance due within 7 days of the birth of the kid. If payment is not received within that time the buyer will forfeit their deposit money. Prices for reserved kids are for kids picked up by 3 weeks of age. After 3 weeks of age reserved kids will incur an additional $7.00 per day boarding charge. This is due to the cost of feeding the kids our pure fresh goat milk (instead of us being able to make cheese from the milk). While all reasonable care is taken to ensure the health and safety of the kids, Black Mesa Ranch will not be responsible for sickness or death of a reserved kid after it is three weeks old.
Deposits are refunded if your choice of kid is not born or if the kid is not up to our standards of quality. Deposits will not be refunded on cancelled orders. Refunds on deposits paid by credit card may incur a transaction fee. We will honor all reservations for kids to the best of our ability, however we do reserve the right to retain any kid as a replacement in our breeding program.
All goats are guaranteed free of CAE and CL. They are also all G6S Normal and carry the double high casein protein gene for better cheese making. All of our kids are sold disbudded. Any kids purchased as wethers will be castrated (banded) before leaving the property unless other arrangements are made and a refundable deposit given. There is a $20 fee for any replacement registration paperwork.
We prefer all kids and goats to be picked up at the ranch though other arrangements can be made.
Airport runs by BMR for shipping kids by air are $200 due to the 10 hour round trip from the ranch to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Buyers wanting to fly their kids are also responsible for having an appropriate shipping crate delivered to the ranch at least one week prior to ship date, and for reserving the flight (Flight Schedule must be approved by BMR first). Buyer is responsible for the cost of the flight, the crate, the health certificate, and the airport run. Due to airline heat restrictions for flying, we may not be able to fly kids after May 1st (earlier if a heat wave comes in).
If you are interested in buying a goat, please contact us for availability (or to be put on our waiting list) by emailing Kathryn or calling (928) 536-7759.
Sale prices, terms and conditions subject to change prior to sale confirmation.