I’ve been trying to decode Bit ‘O’ Honey and Tinker Bell’s pedigrees for several weeks now; it turns out a goat pedigree can be complex. I think I’ve finally succeeded so here’s the link to Bit ‘O’ Honey and Tinker Bell‘s pedigrees. Actually explaining them is hard; but here goes.
In their pedigrees, the sires are listed on the top and the dams on the bottom; and the goats name is in normal case black lettering. The goat’s name is actually composed of the farm that bred the goat, may include the initials of the goat’s sire, and finally the goat’s actual name. So, for Wild Wind Farm R Bit ‘O’ Honey, the breeding farm was Wild Wind Farm, the sire was Romeo (R), and her actual name is Bit ‘O’ Honey.
They’re registered with both the American Goat Society (AGS) and the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) which use different terminology to identify milking and show performance. So, I’ve used red lettering for the AGS performance designations and bold black lettering for the ADGA performance designations. There are more red performance designations because AGS has recognized Nigerian Dwarves for years whereas ADGA has only recently begun recognizing them.
For example purposes I’ll use an ancestor(dam) appearing in both Honey and Tinkers pedigree:
ARMCH Rosasharn TL Arwen 8*D ‘E’
2*M 05-02 90 VEEE
Milk Production Awards (the pluses and stars)
Since Nigerian Dwarves are dairy goats, perhaps the best place to start understanding the pedigree is with the *M (ADGA) or *D (AGS) designations. This indicates that a doe has been tested for milking ability, and has successfully passed the required levels. There are many details associated with earning the star milking designations; however, stars in the pedigree are a good indicator that the goat has potential for good milk production. The star and plus designations are always listed after the goat’s name.
Goats can also earn stars based on their progeny; and this is obviously the only way a buck earns production awards. For AGS, the rules are as follows:
For a *D (star doe), the doe has met the minimum standards for milk production or she has three *D daughters, or two +S sons, or two *D daughters and one +S son.
A 2*D (two star doe) is the daughter of a star doe, and has also met the minimum standards for milk production. The number preceding the star indicates the number of consecutive generations of qualifying does. In the example, 8*D identifies that Arwen and seven dams before her all qualified for milk performance awards.
A *S (star sire) has a *D dam and has a +S sire or sire with a *D dam.
A +S (plus sire) has at least three *D daughters (from three different does), or has two +S sons, or has two *D daughters and one +S son.
A ++S (two plus sire) has at least three *D daughters (from three different does), and at least two +S sons.
A ++*S (two plus star sire) has at least three *D daughters and two +S, and a *D dam
In the ADGA registry, the D’s change to M’s, the S’s change to B’s; and there are small differences in the requirements. In the example, the 2*M means that both Arwen and her dam qualified for milk production awards in the ADGA registry.
Titles (CH, MCH, GCH, ARMCH)
Goats are awarded titles for show wins, and MCH is the title for a Master Champion in AGS while CH is a Champion in ADGA. To reach Champion status a goat must win three shows as champion under at least two different judges. If a goat has achieved Champion status and also has production awards (the pluses and stars), then the goat becomes a Permanent Grand Champion which is denoted by ARMCH for AGS and GCH for ADGA. These designations are placed in front of the goat’s name. If animals have multiple titles (MCH/CH), then they have completed wins at shows for both registries.
SG indicates that a doe or buck is in the top 15% of the production index for that breed, and if they also have Permanent Grand Champion status, the title becomes SGCH.
Classification/Appraisal Scores (The E’s and V’s)
AGS uses a classification system to rate goat conformation which compares the goat to an ideal 100% and assigns a percentage for that goat. The scores are Excellent (90-100), Very Good (85-89.9), Good Plus (80-84.9), Good (70-79.9), Fair (60-69.9), and Poor (under 60). This classification is displayed after the goats name and any production awards. So again using the example, ‘E’ means that Arwen scored excellent in the AGS classification system.
ADGA uses Linear Appraisal to classify goats with the goat being assigned scores for general appearance, dairy character, body capacity, and mammary. The classifications are Excellent (E), Very Good (V), Good Plus (+), Acceptable (A), and Poor (P). So in the example, 05-02 90 VEEE means that at 5 years and 2 months; Arwen was given an overall score of 90 and was considered very good in general appearance but excellent in dairy character, body capacity, and mammary.
Miscellaneous Additional Points of Confusion
Occasionally, an “H” or “h” turns up in a pedigree, and this means the goat was naturally hornless (polled). Also, an “AI” somewhere in the goat’s name means that artificial insemination was used to produce the animal.
There are additional things that can appear on a goat’s pedigree, but I think this covers the most common items. It’s at least a start on getting Bit ‘O’ Honey’s and Tinker Bell’s pedigrees down; I’m missing some of the production and title data from ADGA because I didn’t know to order five generation performance pedigrees, but that information can be added later.