Why Choose a Mini-Nubian Goat & Understanding Generations

Why choose a Mini Nubian? It’s the fabulous milk, the vast array of colors, those adorable long ears, Roman noses, inquisitive personalities, and (I’ll say it again) the FABULOUS milk!!! Lots and lots of sweet, creamy and delicious milk from a medium sized goat that requires less room to house, consumes less feed than a full sized goat, is easier to handle, is easy to milk, and are absolutely adorable! Who wouldn’t want that, right? In most cases, I find them to be easier to hand milk than my lovely little Nigerian Dwarf goats, and I get almost as much milk from my Mini Nubians as I do from my full sized goats. Although many official websites tout you’ll get two thirds (2/3) the milk of a full size goat on half (1/2) the feed cost, I’ve got some petite little gals that produce every bit as much as our full sized goats, and have sweet personalities, too!

There are a lot of wonderful breeds out there, and to be honest I own several breeds – all with the end result purpose of breeding the best mini’s around. There’s a reason I own so many, you’ll understand that more when you understand how new lines of minis are developed.

So, how do you choose what’s right for you? Is a Mini Nubian in your future?

Here’s a quick rundown of why I love Mini Nubians, how to understand the generations, and what to look for depending upon your personal wants and needs.

6 week old F6 Purebred Mini Nubian Buckling

F5 Dulce de Leche’s unshaven udder prior to her morning milking. She typically gives us 1/2 gallon every morning before feeding her kids. We’ll get double that once her kids are weaned. Dulce is one of our smallest, sweetest and most productive goats.
F1 Diamond’s Gem’s unshaven udder, also on a 12 hour fill, also producing about a half gallon each morning and will double once her kids are weaned and she’s milked twice per day. Does tend to hold back their milk when they hear the kids calling for breakfast, and most of our kids are dam raised. Gem has a higher percentage of Nubian, so is quite a bit larger than some of our other minis, and is also the most vocal.

What IS a Mini Nubian, and What’s the Difference Between an Experimental, American, or Purebred, Anyway?

A Mini Nubian is dairy goat breed that’s recognized by The Miniature Goat Registry (TMGR) and Miniature Dairy Goat Association (MDGA), both of which we’re members of and highly recommend you get to know them if you embark on the journey of miniature breed goat ownership. Registration assures you of a recorded, verified lineage, and often provides a track record of their ancestral performance in terms of milk production. Not everyone wants or cares about registration, it’s a personal choice we all make, but I’ve found that the careful evaluation of my goat’s lineage shows up in the quality of kids they produce, the amount of milk they produce, and a healthy, strong, productive herd. So for our farm, we’re willing to do the research and invest up front to get the best breeding stock we can.

Mini Nubians begin as a cross between a Nigerian Dwarf buck, and a Nubian doe (not the other way around, as the size of the kids could pose a serious health threat to the doe) which produces the first in a line of generations that ultimately lead to “purebred” minis. We only use registered dairy goats with top quality genetics, proven milk production histories, and excellent breed standard conformation as our farm’s foundation breeders. The offspring of this first pairing are referred to as F1. To achieve an F2 mini, you breed two Mini Nubians, F1 to another F1 (or higher). To achieve an F3, you breed an F2 to an F2 (or higher), and so on up through the generational levels. In any given breeding, the kid will be one generation higher than the lowest of the two parents.

Example: F2 Sire + F6 Dam = F3 Kid or F6 Sire + F4 Dam = F5 Kid etc…

When registered with either TMGR or MDGA, photographs are submitted along with a series of questions that are answered by the registrant, confirming the traits of the doe or buck, and how closely they conform to the breed standard.

Registered F1 and F2’s are placed in the “Experimental Herdbook”. When registered, F3’s, F4’s, and F5’s that meet the breed standard as defined by the registries are listed in the “American Herdbook”. Once the F6 generation is achieved the photos are carefully reviewed upon application for the “Purebred Herdbook” and if the goat conforms to the breed standard, it will be registered as a Purebred pedigree.

Here are a few things we recommend you consider when evaluating this breed as a possible new addition to your farm or family.

  • What generation (F1 through F6+) is right for you? A lower generation doesn’t mean lower quality per se, they can produce just as much milk as the higher generations do and can be just as adorable. They often won’t have the full breed standard conformation (having airplane ears instead of pendulous ears, or a straight nose instead of a Roman nose are great examples and commonly found in lower generations). If comparing apples-to-apples genetically, you’ll often spend less on a lower generation Experimental or American and get a fabulous goat that can even be show quality, so don’t let the generation labels fool you.
  • Is your priority milk production? Breed conformation? Superior genetics? Do you want the temperament of a pet or one that’s feisty and wild? Is the size and feed efficiency important to you? How about ease of handling? Does your goat need to be sized well for small children? Are you looking for a little “goat bling” with fun colors, moonspots, polled or wattles? Budget consciousness? Just looking for a great pet or brush eater and don’t care about milk? Mini Nubians can fit the bill for any of these areas if you ask the questions to select the right fit. If I could go back to my first purchase, the biggest thing I would do differently would be to prioritize these items and choose accordingly.
  • Horns or no horns? Mini Nubians can naturally be polled (without horns) or will grow horns if not disbudded. We were really on the fence about this one initially. We were concerned about defending themselves against wildlife, temperature management, and of course, the pain of disbudding – or much worse, dehorning later in life. We choose to disbud our goats that are not polled within 2 weeks of birth because horns on dairy goats (in our opinion) are far more hazardous than the momentary pain they endure having the horns removed early in life. We strive to do this as humanely as possible, giving them pain meds ahead of the procedure and taking care to minimize any discomfort. Our Vet agrees that it’s in their best interest health-wise, and we know that in the long term goats that have horns are too often hard to rehome so may have a higher incidence of ending up in less than ideal homes or circumstances. Too many goats die from getting their horns stuck in fences, accidentally gouge caretakers, other animals, or small children – most often without malice, but a quick motion of a friendly goat rearing up their head can be the difference between keeping your eye and losing it. Please know, we respect your opinion if you feel differently, but having worked with as many goats as we do, I can assure you that accidents can happen and we love our goats too much to put them, or ourselves, at risk.

So, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right breed of goat. We have a variety of dairy goat breeds, including Nubian, LaMancha, Mini Nubian, (Mini LaManchas coming soon!), and Nigerian Dwarf. We love each breed for different reasons, just like we love each goat for it’s own uniqueness, and have this variety so we can produce our beloved Minis and Dwarfs, and keep our state licensed Creamery going producing artisan cheeses for our customers throughout Idaho! Whatever breed you choose, we’re happy you stopped by our page and hope this information helped you understand just a little more about these wonderful animals!

Summer Fresh Farmstead Quiche

Everyone who knows us, knows we’re foodies. We love to find quick and easy ways to eat fresh foods from the garden, and often our creativity is born out of a necessity to use up something that we suddenly have an abundance of!

Today’ it’s eggs, summer squash, and goat cheese that’s taking up too much space in the fridge! Oh, and we’re forever hungry this time of year, as our workload on our little farmstead increases as the days grow warmer and longer, so finding something fresh and nutritious to have on hand and ready to eat when we take a break is a huge plus.

We have chickens…. lots and LOTS of chickens. And goats. Lots and LOTS of goats. And then there’s the garden… well, you get it. Here’s a quick and easy quiche recipe that doesn’t require you to make a crust, which is a huge time saver and in case you’re counting, it’s also a calorie saver!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Uncooked flour tortillas (can be homemade, or found packaged in the refrigerator or freezer isle of your local grocery store) This becomes your crust.
  • 1 dozen eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup fresh goat milk (cow milk will be just fine too!)
  • 4 ounces fresh Chèvre goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 medium-small squash (we used Cozelle), quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 4 large mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 Small Sweet Peppers, we used red and yellow
  • 2 green onions (scallions), chopped
  • 1 small handful (3-5 large leaves) of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Organic olive oil, or other cooking spray/oil of your choice

Steps:

  1. Lightly spray pie pan with organic olive oil, then line with 4 uncooked flour tortillas.

2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk together with salt and pepper, set aside.

3. Layer on top of the uncooked tortillas the green onion, mushrooms, peppers, squash, basil, and goat cheese. I like to salt and pepper a little as I go within the layers, and periodically will throw in some seasonings like Italian mix, Herbs de Provence, or whatever the mood that strikes. You can literally use any combination of ingredients and seasonings you’d like, including adding ham or other cooked meats, so have some fun!

4. Pour over the layered raw ingredients the egg mixture and bake on the center rack at 350 degrees for about an hour. You’ll know it’s done when the top rises and is very lightly browned.

Light, fresh, and oh so satisfying!

Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, slice into 8 servings and serve warm, or can also be eaten chilled depending on your preference. Enjoy your quick and easy taste of summer!

Oh Henry! I don’t think we’re in Arizona anymore!

We took the plunge, packed up the house, the dogs (Henry & Toby) & the fish (Lucky), and made the move from the rugged red rocks of Sedona’s Oak Creek Canyon, AZ to the lush, beautiful and sometimes extreme climate of the Panhandle of North Idaho

(Mountain) Lions and Wolves and Bears, oh my! …lol

— Yes, we followed our own little Yellow Brick Road.

This post is a long time coming… we moved here during the dead of winter, driving a rented 26′ moving truck 1300 miles through snow, rain, fog, and a lot of road construction, THREE times during the winter of 2018. We caravanned on one trip with the Jeep pulling the RPod following the moving truck. (Who does that, right?!? THREE trucks, and a total of six times back and forth across the mountainous stretch between our old life and our new. We certainly won’t win any awards for efficiency on this move.)

Sara took the first trip solo while Steve finished out the season as a chef at Orchard Canyon on Oak Creek

How did all this happen?

Steve and I had been dreaming for years of finding our own little plot of land where we could build a homestead of our own, growing our own food, becoming self sufficient, and living out our dream! We literally scoured the Real Estate websites searching for a few acres with good access to water, mountains, growing space, and a house we could live in without having to obtain a mortgage, so our budget was severely limited. We found a lot of “almost-maybe’s” and made several trips to Colorado, the White Mountains of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and searched online throughout Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. We printed out listings and chased down leads all over the western states, but for one reason or another we didn’t find a property that we could “take action” on and put down our cash.

Trip #2 in early December 2018, Sara drove the Jeep pulling the R-Pod while Steve drove the truck

We kept moving our search North, and finally started homestead-hunting in the Northern Panhandle of Idaho, along with parts of Montana that ran along that border. We loved the fresh air, the abundance of lakes and streams for fishing, kayaking, and boating, the beautiful snowcapped peaks on the mountains covered with dense forests and filled to the brim with wildlife. THIS was where we wanted to be, but trying to find a home while on a budget from 1300 miles away was quite the challenge.

Arriving at night, our new AZ neighbor and former owner of this home left the lights on and decked the posts with a little tinsel to welcome us home

But, in a twist of fate that would change our lives almost overnight, our prayers for God’s guidance in our journey were answered through a simple conversation with a man who had recently purchased a home in our neighborhood in Oak Creek Canyon. I knew he had been living in Eastern Washington, so asked him what he knew about the Idaho Panhandle. I had lots and lots of questions, and he patiently answered them and enthusiastically embraced our dream, giving us a lot of insight into the two counties we were looking closely at and offering his thoughts on each. He asked us what we were looking for, and I told him what we wanted “in a perfect world”, recognizing that we would be incredibly lucky if we EVER found even close to what we wanted in the price range we were set on. He asked me various questions, particularly the “why’s” of what we wanted, but we didn’t discuss the price range we were looking in. We ended our conversation with a whole new bond as new neighbors.

A couple of weeks later, I received a call from my newest neighbor, with a proposition. What I didn’t know in our earlier conversations was that he owned a home on 5 acres alongside a lake in the Idaho Panhandle! He was in the middle of remodeling it when his life changed and lost interest in finishing it. In it’s current condition, it was not sellable through conventional methods, however, he shared that rather than finishing it, he would love to sell it to us for what he said he had into it, and be done. My heart sank as it sounded like it could be almost exactly what we were looking for, but I feared he would want much more than we could afford.

After a lot of discussion, I asked him outright what he was asking. I almost cried, it was EXACTLY our number! We were shocked, excited, and in a complete whirlwind we hopped on a plane to go see the property and meet with him a short two weeks later. It was honestly a little overwhelming… okay, VERY overwhelming, as it truly DID need a LOT of work, but the opportunity was there and we were prayed-up, ready and willing! Our dream of a mortgage-free homesteader life was about to come true!

Northern Arizona dogs getting acquainted with a little more snow than they’re used to

Fast forward to today. We had a VERY hard winter of extreme weather in Northern Arizona along with all the way up to Idaho on each of our trips, in November, December, and March. We spent our first winter in Idaho enjoying the incredible beauty of the snow and cold nights by the fire. We had a lot of obstacles to overcome, including getting the kitchen appliances hooked up so we could cook, getting the well pressure tank and hot water heater replaced so we could have hot and cold running water (the first 4 days we were without!), fixing the truck and snowplow we purchased along with the house so we could move the five feet of snow that was rapidly piling up, and chopping firewood to enjoy the natural warmth of the fireplace (yes we do have a furnace, two actually, one wood and one propane, but we really fell in love with the fireplace by the big windows that overlook the meadow). It was a wonderful first winter, and we look forward to sharing many, many more.

We look forward to filling this blog with tidbits from our life as we strive, struggle, and laugh our way through this crazy journey we’re on. We’ll do our best to share what we learn as we go. There are a LOT of homesteader websites out there, Bloggers, Vloggers, Tubers, etc. We hope you’ll find it enjoyable as you get to know us better virtually, and hope you’ll find what we put out there of value. We’ll share our triumphs and failures, as well as tips, tricks, recipes, bonuses, and blunders as we stumble our way forward in our new life. Whether you’re headed down a similar path, or just intrigued by a topic or two, we promise to keep it honest, raw, and real. Let’s grow a little more each day and enjoy this journey together!

~ Sara & Steve Eagle’s Dell Farm

Our neighborhood lake starting to ice up for the winter

Our third trip was a little more challenging… our truck broke down (it happens!) just outside of Kanab, UT and the good folks at Penske put it on the back of a semi and hauled it all the way to Salt Lake City, where they transferred the contents and got us back on our merry way, still dodging snowstorms all the way home!
Our little fishy “Lucky” who was a feeder fish Steve bought for the ducks we had in AZ, and Sara “rescued”! lol This little guy made every trip back and forth between AZ and ID with us, has stayed in hotels, almost froze to death during the move so had to be revived by Steve, and is named Lucky because he’s so lucky to be alive! He’s now got a 20 gallon mansion in our living room and a couple of companions to keep him company!

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.