Purpose of Standards
Without breed standards, there can be no cohesiveness within a breed. When someone purchases a specific breed of miniature dairy goat, he or she needs to have an idea what to expect from the animal being purchased.
Even though each breeder has a unique picture of the ideal animal, we need structure and boundaries to guide the development of our herds so that consistency, quality, and design are evidenced by each specific breed. The proposed breed standards below have come from years of hard work and input from long-time miniature dairy goat breeders. Please remember that the fundamental goal of the miniature dairy goat breeds is to develop a multi-purpose, mid-sized goat that blends the best traits of the Nigerian and standard breeds and would function with style, grace, and good temperament on the farm, on the homestead, in the milk parlor, and in the show ring.
However, without standards, there will be no consistency within the breed or accountability for the breeder. Our goal is not to simply create a slightly smaller animal but to create an animal with a true blending of characteristics, as the smaller size means that the animals will be easier to milk and that goat enthusiasts will gain the ability to diversify their herds. While breeders are encouraged to work to meet breed standards in their animals, these characteristics will not always be achieved; it is up to the breeder’s discretion to decide what height, size, or breed characteristics their animals ought to possess. Consequently, an animal with a parentage of standard and Nigerian can be registered as “Experimental,” but it will not be advanced to the “American” or “Purebred” books unless it meets the standards for those breeds. Only animals with the correct percentages of standard and Nigerian blood (no more than 70% of either), height, and breed character will be advanced to the “American” and “Purebred” books in order to ensure quality, consistency, and endurance of the breeds.
Please note: While it may not possess the traits desired for specific breeds, an animal that does not meet breed character can still be registered as “Experimental” and may still be useful within a breeding program.
In a show, this lack of meeting breed standards may cost the animal points; however, this cost may not be significant, and, depending on the animal’s other characteristics, the animal’s show standing may not be affected.
However, when considering traits in breeding, it is wise to evaluate the desired height of the offspring, as in an “American” being shown that does not meet the breed standard for height will lose points for not making breed standard. A “Purebred” being shown that does not meet the breed standard for height will be disqualified.
As a result, all Champion animals, Reserve Champion animals, and any animals that the judge questions for sanctioning purposes will be measured before contestants leave the show ring.