I am so excited to welcome our newest addition, Arabella (aka “Bell”), an 8 month old, 6th generation, purebred Kinder doe. 

So, since no one I talk to seems to know anything about them, let me tell you a little about Kinders, and why we decided to try out the breed….

The Kinder breed was an accidental development back in the ’80’s, when a farm that raised Pygmys and Nubians lost their Nubian buck.  They had several Nubian does that needed to be bred that year, and out of desperation for the milk, they decided to breed them to the Pygmy buck.  That cross produced the first Kinders, a doeling named Liberty that remained at the farm, and the other kids that were sold to neighboring farms.  A buyer of one of the kids fell in love with the cross bred kid she bought, and saw the potential of this mid-sized goat.  She began working with the other kid owners, and after they saw that the doelings would go on to be great milkers and butcher goats had good feed conversion, they formed the Kinder Goat Breeders Association to develop the standards for the breed. 

Today, Kinders are still becoming known and growing in popularity.  Known as a dual purpose goat, output for their size is incredible.  They average about 60% efficiency in dressing percentage, and good does can produce about 1/2 gallon of milk per day.  Several breeders have gone on to get * milker ratings, meaning their little goats can produce just as much as a full-sized dairy goat, on half the feed.  As if that wasn’t good enough, thanks to the Pygmy genetics, Kinders can be bred year round, and can easily have up to 6 kids in one litter!  2-4 kids is more common, and some farms cull producers of singletons because it is not considered ideal or desirable of the breed. 

Because of all the above factors, the Kinder is touted to be the perfect goat for a homestead.  A single prolific Kinder doe, properly managed for meat, can potentially produce 250 lbs. of meat each year, and a single doe managed for milk can easily produce plenty of milk for an average sized family to drink and even make some cheese and yogurt, in addition to producing a little meat each year.  They are known to be friendly, people-loving, easily trainable goats, and due to their small size, they are also known to be much easier on fencing than large goats (unlike a certain Alpine buck I know!).

I have come across several “Kinders” being sold around the country, and there seems to be some confusion in what a “purebred” is.  When a Pygmy and Nubian are first crossed, their offspring are considered an F1 generation cross.  If you bred 2 F1’s, you would get an F2, 2 F2’s and the result is an F3, and so forth.  F1-F4 crosses can be registered as “certified” Kinders, primarily because recessive and unexpected genes are more likely to pop up.  Their standard is not as reliable.  F5 generation and beyond are registerable as “purebred,” assuming they meet breed standards.  By the time you get an F5 generation, the genetics are considered more standardized and predictable.  Speaking of genetics, don’t you just love those trademark “airplane” ears?

So, our new little doe is an F6 generation, and comes from excellent dual-purpose lines.  Her dam produced about 1/2 gallon of milk a day, which we have established as our preferred minimum.  She has been bred to a great buck, who also has proven genetics.  Like all Kinders, she displays an incredibly affectionate and gentle disposition, follows me around like a little puppy when I let her, and even wags her tail in greeting every time I come out to the pen.  I am so excited for her to freshen this spring, to see how she milks, and be able to further evaluate this “perfect homestead breed” of goat.