Today continues the blog posts featuring the Nigerian Dwarf goats at Bramblestone Farm, and it’s all about Old Mountain Farm Field Mouse today (aka Mighty). He’s our first herdsire, so he’s a bit special, and we’re excited to have him here.
Choosing an outstanding herdsire is important because he essentially makes up half the herd (see Goat Herdsires – Choose Carefully), and is going to dramatically impact future generations. Keeping bucks is also more “work” than just keeping does because they don’t directly contribute milk or kids, are usually very smelly during mating season, and can be harder to handle. Because of those disadvantages, and that we’ve been able to use the services of great herdsires owned by our friends at Wild Wind Farm, I hadn’t pursued owning a buck.
But, I really like the conformation and dairy qualities of the goats at Old Mountain Farm, and learned that Mighty was available (and that he was polled too!). Polled goats are naturally hornless (see What Are Polled Goats), and I’ve been wanting to breed polled Nigerian Dwarves (you don’t have to disbud the kids if they’re polled), so we drove 14 hours to Maine and picked him up. The fastest way to start working with polled genetics is to use a polled buck – but, it’s difficult to find great polled bucks, so I couldn’t pass him up.
One of the things that I really like about Mighty is his length of body, and when we took him to our first and only goat show so far (his too), he won Grand Champion Junior buck, and Reserve Grand Champion buck. The judges admired his straight topline, uphill stature, legs, and smoothness of blending, but said that it was his length of body and dairy character that got him the championship wins.
In addition to great dairy conformation and pedigree (you can see that here), his dam and grand dams have beautiful udders and have been very good milk producers too (you can find links to those does pages on Mighty’s page here). We expect that he’s going to have a big impact on the herd, and he’ll be the featured buck in our Kidding Schedule for a while. It’s going to be very exciting at kidding time – we’ll be hoping for lots of polled kids.
Goat kids get one gene that controls being horned from each parent, and if one of those genes is polled, then the goat kid will be polled (the polled gene is dominant). So, if Mighty passes his polled gene to a kid, it will be polled whereas if he passes his horned gene, it will be horned (we know Mighty has one of each because his dam is polled while his sire is horned). All of our does are currently horned, so we know they can’t pass the polled gene. It’ll be interesting to see how the numbers turn out.
Mighty is a little over five months old now, so we’re watching with interest as he matures. So far, he’s looking quite handsome, and is also very well-mannered. I’m happy we added him to the farm!
Jenn at Sundog says
Handsome and talented lad indeed!