But within the breeds of goats, there are some that do not fit the farm protocol, which is have the ability to forage, to do things intelligently on their own and to survive harsh winters without being babied. Angora goats do not fit for many reasons. They are very high maintenance, both low on the intelligence scale and bossy, having been bred for fibre, leaving the basic instincts out. But, so far, without a doubt, the worst breed I have yet to experience are the Nubians. Goodness gracious, talk about frail and high maintenance, in them one has the princesses of all breeds. They need to be led to their food and shown daily where to find water. They need extra shelter against the elements and as all goats do not like snow or rain, or even puddles. And they are frail. Within hours they can die if things are not right. But they are very cute.
I recently talked to an owner of milk goats and she said she would never own a purebred Nubian, only crosses which have some hybrid blood for some brain power and strength. I see why.
Now, I have been severely criticized for voicing my opinion on the internet for fear that I would discourage some one from owning goats or certain goat breeds. Good. I am discouraging you from owning Nubians, unless you have an automatic waterer, live where the climate is temperate in the winter, do not get copious amounts of rain, love to clean the barn, have a heated barn for cold nights, like to babysit bottle kids for a longer period than normal, and are prepared to nurse the goats through many health struggles. But, if you have all those things in place, Nubians, with their docile natures and long ears, may be right for you. Not for this farmer and this farm though, they are not.
My preference are the Pygmy goats followed by Nigerian Dwarfs or crosses of the two. They are smart, good foragers, a little less fussy about their food and better converters (meaning they do not have to have grain and the very best hay all the time to just survive) and are excellent mothers. The Angoras are the worst mothers I have seen, abandoning babies at birth or totally disregarding them most of the time. The mothering instincts seem to have been bred out in favour of fibre. I always though Nubian goats were an old breed, but upon researching more, they were bred in England with Middle Eastern goats, hence their ability to do well in hot climates and fare poorly in cold climates. Well, guess what, we live in north eastern Alberta and minus 40 is common in the winter for days on end.
Many people find Nubians beautiful, intelligent and personable. They are beautiful, and can be personable as they age, but they are too needy for the Fat Ewe Farm. I will keep two older does and see how they fare this winter with the rest of the crew. They now have a goat barn with a door that can be closed, but I do not enjoy cleaning barns….all for two goats. The Pygmy goats fare well cuddled two together in a dog house in a shelter with good straw and protection from the wind.
Anyhow, I think you get my drift. I am not enamoured with the breed. Goats are difficult enough without all the extras the Nubians need, especially around winter and feeding. I know others disagree and that is why they have Nubians and I won't, but to each his own preference. Right?