I received a real treat in the mail recently….

It’s the official ADGA registration paperwork to my Alpine buck, Stallion.  It also happens to be my first registration for a purebred animal–something that, until now, I’ve never put much value on.  This also symbolizes the paperwork-side start of my pure Alpine herd, which is really exciting! 

Folks have asked why I decided to go purebred.  After all, you don’t milk paper!  I realized pretty quickly, however, that 2 statements I read proved very true….  First, it costs just as much to keep an unregistered crossbred as a top quality purebred, yet, any resulting kids or goat sales bring less than half the price.  Secondly, if everyone kept tabs on just how much they invested in their goats, there would be no $30 goats for sale!  I have really become aware of this fact, as we have budgeted and tracked every penny we have spent on our farm animals.  I realized that I didn’t want to invest that much money, time, and effort, then turn around and get cheapo prices when I sold the babies.  If folks want to buy goats at auction-house or backyard-breeder prices, good for them.  However, with the risk of sounding a bit cocky, my goats are much better than that (crossbred or not).  Their milk and meat is safe to consume, as I have worked diligently to keep them clean, healthy, happy, and free of any chemicals or pesticides.  They are not lame because they get regular hoof trims (yes, even the stinky buck) and well balanced nutrition.  They are trained to have decent manners, and are used to being handled.  They don’t stand around in their poop all day, for months on end, as we clean the pens and freshen the straw regularly.  We try to keep them stimulated as much as possible, by way of toys, things to jump and scratch on, pine saplings to chew on, or browsing around our property.  Over time, we will cull our herd to develop a goat that is extra hardy, an easy keeper, and doesn’t require lots of baby’ing and hovering over to thrive.  After all that, I want to sell to folks who can appreciate that kind of goat, and the effort it takes to develop a goat like that.  Silly as it may seem, I would rather freely give a goat to a family in need, than to sell one at a cheap price to someone who doesn’t appreciate it.  I recently did just that with one of our turkeys, and it felt good!   

Essentially, I need to get a return that will help the goats pay for themselves, in a way other than milk, and I am seeking a clientele to buy those goats that appreciates the way we raise them.  The prices I want and the clientele I seek are generally not looking for cheapo prices.  I’m not looking to overcharge and/or make a fortune on goats, but I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect a price that is fair to us as well as the purchaser.  So, that is the main reason behind the drive to switch to purebreds.   I think it will be fun to see where I am at this time next year, and what else I will learn as I began selling off my 2012 kid crop and does in milk.