Why Consider Registration?
Nigerian Dwarf (ND) goats can be purchased from either registered purebred or unregistered lines, so when getting started, another decision concerns registration. Unregistered goats are much less expensive, but registered goats have more potential for producing income. A good quality registered goat might cost around $500.00 (and some lines cost much more) whereas an unregistered goat might cost half of that (see our kidding schedule for examples of registered ND goat kid costs).
Registered goats are worth more than unregistered goats, even if they are of equivalent quality. A registered goat has a pedigree that potential buyers can refer to, can compete in shows, can be linearly appraised, and can participate in milk production performance programs. Registered goats may be sold without registration papers, but unregistered goats can’t be sold with papers. If you are only interested in a couple of wethers as pets, then registration doesn’t make much difference, but if you intend to keep goats for milk or show, registration can be important.
The offspring of registered goats can be marketed to a much larger audience than unregistered goats, and since Nigerian Dwarf goats are quite prolific, it often makes sense to market to the largest group possible. Even if you don’t plan to participate in shows, linear appraisal, or milk production performance programs, those buying goat kids from you may be interested in participating with their goats. And since the cost of a registered kid is typically about twice that of an unregistered kid, the profit margin is much higher.
If you do intend to participate in shows, linear appraisal, or milk production performance programs, it makes sense to buy goats that are registered with a registry that is active and sanctions shows in your area. There are four registries that accept Nigerian Dwarf goats in the United States. They are the International Dairy Goat Registry (IDGR), American Goat Society (AGS), the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association (NDGA), and the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA).
IDGR was the first registry to recognize Nigerian Dwarf goats back in 1981. They accept does that are 21” or under at the withers and bucks that 22” or less at the withers. They offer a milk production performance program.
In 1983, AGS began accepting Nigerian Dwarf purebred goats and they accept does that are a maximum of 22.5” at the withers and bucks that are a maximum of 23.5” at the withers. They sanction shows and offer milk production performance programs.
In 1996, the NDGA was founded and they are a single breed purebred registry that focuses only on Nigerian Dwarf goats. They accept does that stand up to 21” at the withers and bucks that stand up to 23” at the withers. They sanction shows and have a milk production program.
Finally, ADGA began accepting purebred Nigerian Dwarf goats in 2005. ADGA sanctions shows across most of the United States, offers a linear appraisal program, and have milk production performance programs. They accept does that are a maximum of 22.5” at the withers and bucks that are a maximum of 23.5” at the withers.
Initially, most of the registries didn’t allow the Nigerian Dwarf goats to be as tall as they are allowed today, but over time the height limitations have increased. Allowing slightly taller purebred goats has improved their ability to produce significant quantities of their great tasting milk and become the increasingly popular dairy breed they are today.
Comments or questions about registering goats? I’ll try to answer your questions.