You must have probably heard the term “Mini Nubian” flying around in livestock farming, and that isn’t surprising because Mini Nubians are popular goats. You could call them superstars.
The Mini Nubian is a special dairy breed, a cross between a standard Nubian and a Nigerian Dwarf. Mini Nubians are mid-sized, weighing about 100lbs. Compared to Mini Nubians, Standard Nubians can weigh up to 200lbs.
Characteristics and Features
A full-grown Mini Nubian doe stands 22.5-25″ tall, while a Mini Nubian buck stands up to 23.5-27″. However, because Mini Nubian goats are crossbreed, their size and features depend largely on the generation level of the goats. For instance, first-generation kids may have more of the physical characteristics of the Nigerian Dwarf. These first-generation kids are usually 50/50 – 50% Nigerian Dwarf and 50% Standard Nubian.
When this 50/50 generation breeds with other first-generation goats, the resulting kids look more like the Standard Nubian. For example, they develop the floppy ears of the Nubian instead of the airplane ears of the Nigerian Dwarf.
Once you breed these animals up to the sixth generation, they can be registered as purebred Mini Nubians, so long as they meet the necessary requirements.
In general, Mini Nubians are elegant animals with short, glossy hair. Their noses are either straight or strongly convex, a feature that sets them apart from other breeds. They also have long, drooping ears. Other characteristics that make these goats beautiful include soft skin and udders, strong legs, sharp shoulders, and a long graceful neck.
Mini Nubians are lovable and friendly. They enjoy being around humans, and they usually search out or call for their owners. These cute creatures are like pets – they know their names and answer when called. They also tend to follow their owners around.
Why Should You Choose a Mini Nubian?
Although Standard Nubians produce a high volume of milk, and Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats produce high-quality butterfat milk, here are some reasons why you should consider a Mini Nubian:
- Mini Nubians also produce high-quality milk. With this breed, you get the best of both breeds: a high volume of milk and high-quality butterfat milk. A Mini Nubian can produce about 2 gallons of milk per day;
- These dairy goats are sweet and docile and will fit right into your small family farm;
- Due to their small size, a Mini Nubian is easy to handle;
- Smaller goats eat less and require smaller space. This is another reason why a Mini Nubian is good for your farm. You spend less when you rear a Mini Nubian;
- Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats are difficult to milk because of their miniature size. Mini Nubians are slightly larger, and this makes milking easier;
- Of all dairy goats, Nigerian Dwarfs have the highest butterfat content in their milk, while the Nubians have the second highest. Keeping a Mini Nubian means you get to have milk rich with butterfat content, milk that’s creamy and sweet and great for cheesemaking.
Breeding Mini Nubians
As we’ve already established, a Mini Nubian is a cross between a Nubian and a Nigerian Dwarf. Nubians and Nigerians are bred to produce a mid-sized dairy goat that looks like a standard Nubian in terms of ears, nose, etc., but smaller in size. The small size makes a Mini Nubian easy to handle, transport and feed.
To breed Mini Nubians, you might want to start with registered stock. According to experts, you can start with ADGA/AGS Nubians and Nigerians or already established Mini Nubians. You can also breed grade Mini Nubians, but they aren’t easily accepted.
Make sure you start breeding with quality stock. This would mean stock with nice udders, sound conformation, and good production. It’s nice to have goats with spots, nice color, blue eyes, and long ears, but if the goat is one of low quality, you will end up being unhappy with yourself and your goat. This is why you must buy from established lines.
Also, you must learn what to look for in a goat and buy goats from a person who has what you want in their herd.
One way you can make the best choice when buying a baby goat is to look at its parents. Baby goats are cute, but remember that they won’t remain babies forever. They will grow, and one way you can guess what they’ll look like when they’re grown is by looking at their parents.
To begin breeding, use a Nigerian Dwarf buck and a standard Nubian doe. Please do not do it the other way around.
Milk Production in Mini Nubians
When it comes to milk production in a Nubian doe, many factors come into play. Asides from the fact that a Mini Nubian can produce an average of 1-2 gallons of milk per day, some factors determine how well she produces milk:
- Age of Doe: Does usually produce less milk the first time they give birth (freshening) but will produce more in subsequent lactations. They continue to produce more milk each year till they reach a certain age. Then they level out until they finally stop producing milk.
- The number of kids: The number of babies a Mini Nubian also determines how much milk she’ll produce. Does with larger litters produce more milk than does with smaller litters. Having more babies to feed will naturally stimulate the goat to produce more milk.
- Feeding: How well you feed your Nubian doe also plays a major role in her milk production. A doe needs to be properly fed to enable her to produce high-quality milk. Feeding her lots of high-quality hay is the best. Hay contains fiber, which makes milk and butterfat. You can also include high-quality loose minerals to make up for what’s missing in the hay.
- How often you milk them will also impact their milk production. The more you milk a goat, the more milk she produces.
How to Care for Mini Nubian Goats
Caring for Mini Nubian goats isn’t that different from caring for other goats. Here are some ways you can care for your Mini Nubian goats and keep them happy:
- Provide adequate shelter for them: Mini Nubians don’t require shelter, but they need protection. Ensure they have a place to stay and enough bedding. Clean their shelter regularly.
- Provide adequate meals: Feed your goats well. Incorporate high-quality hay, and dairy goat grain concentrates in their meal. Also, ensure they have access to clean, fresh water and a salt lick.
- Treat them regularly: Have your vet look them up regularly and ensure they are vaccinated. It would be best if you also dewormed them often. Then, trim your goat’s hooves frequently.