Why Consider Registered Goats?
Nigerian Dwarf (ND) goats can be purchased from either registered purebred or unregistered lines, so when getting started with goats, another decision concerns registration.
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, show, or breeding, then registration is important.
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 bloodlines 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 study, can compete in shows, may be linearly appraised, and can participate in milk production performance programs.
All of these activities help owners demonstrate and buyers judge the quality of a particular goat. Registered goats may be sold without registration papers, but unregistered goats can’t be sold with papers and neither can their offspring.
The offspring of registered goats can be marketed to a larger audience than unregistered goats. Since Nigerian Dwarf goats are quite prolific, it 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. Since the cost of a registered goat is typically about twice that of an unregistered goat, the profit margin is much higher.
If you do intend to participate in shows, linear appraisal, or milk production performance programs, then you should buy goats that are included in a registry that is active in your area of interest and in your part of the country.
There are four registries that accept purebred 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). The table below compares the differences in the registries with respect to Nigerian Dwarf goats.
Initially, most of the registries didn’t allow Nigerian Dwarf goats to be as tall as they are today, but over time the height limitations have increased. The height of Nigerian Dwarf goats is measured at the withers and varies between registries. Allowing slightly taller purebred goats has increased their ability to produce significant quantities of their great-tasting milk and become a viable dairy breed.
Knowing the height limitations for each registry is important because they generally do not allow (without penalty) overheight goats. This is particularly troublesome for Nigerian Dwarf bucks which tend to exceed the height limitations when they are fully grown. When choosing your first registered goats, be sure to understand the height limitations of the registries in which you intend to participate and select goats that come from bloodlines not known for exceeding the height limits.
Comments or questions about registering goats? I’ll try to answer your questions.