Farm Animals

Tips for Cross Breeding Alpine and Nubian Goats

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"Tips for Cross Breeding Alpine and Nubian Goats"
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What do you get when you cross an Alpine goat with a Nubian goat? First one needs to look into what makes up the individual goat breeds before crossing them. We'll start with the French-Alpine breed. Their name is derives from the alps, where they originated, though they were imported to the US from France. Now there is no standard of color for the Alpine they do have some markings that are discriminated against such as; Roman nose, Toggenburg color and markings, or all white coloring.

Ok, so we have colors covered, what about production? Well, Alpines average on their butterfat content but they are a close contender with Saanen and Toggenburg as far as quantity. Quantity they say is an average of 3-4 quarts a day at the peak of lactation. I've heard of Saanen's giving a gallon a day so you can imagine the importance of quantity.

Any color or markings are acceptable for the Anglo-Nubian goat, but the coat has to be short, long hair is unacceptable. The main characteristics of a Nubian is it's Roman nose and pendulous ears. As far as quantity of production in milk they are lacking, the ADGA charts them at the bottom on production. But, Nubians rank high as far as butterfat content goes, the next one under them are the LaMancha and there is a lot of room for them to grow.

So here we have a goat that takes to any climate(Alpine) and one that does better in warmer climates(Nubian) and we've decided to combine the two and see what comes out.

One hard fact about crossing these two is that the offspring will have ears that point out at the sides, they won't stand up like the Alpines and they won't come down like the Nubians. There is nothing wrong with this, it is rather cute. There are a few cases where the Nubian blood was strong enough to retain the ears but only in first generation crossing.

In the following examples I will run through three different Nubian does, each one with a different pattern and color and will use the same Alpine buck. The buck that was used is tan with black markings along his back, backend and face.

Doe number one is black with a red/tan underbelly, a large belt on both sides of stomach, and has frosted ears and nose. She is registered as 7/8% Nubian. Bred with the Alpine buck she produced twins, one was a buckling that looked just like her. The other a doeling that came out a dark tan with black markings. The main markings on the doe was a black saddle, her legs had black socks like the buck and her face was black with tan stripes. She did get her mother's frosting.

Doe number two is completely black save for a slash of white on her right front leg. She is registered as 100% Nubian and has beautiful ears. She produced one offspring, very similar to Doe One's except that there was no frosting of the ears or mouth and her coloring is darker.

Doe number two is spotted with white, brown, and black. She is unregistered but her quality is better than any of the Nubian's I currently have, her ears hang down low and long. She produced twins with the buckling being a light tan, a black stripe down his spine, black ears and socks with two white spots on his right side. The doeling is a white/light tan base with a saddle that is black with white spots, she has black socks and ears. Both of these kids have Nubian ears, unlike the other offspring the buck produced.

So, if your going into color keep an eye on what you have and think ahead as to what you will get. With Nubians the frosted ears and nose are dominated over anything else, as is the Belting. The odds are, from what I experienced, frosting will always happen and Belting will get you 50-50. If your not going for show standards then whether or not they get a Roman nose isn't important but that'll come out like the Belting at 50-50 or better. Tan seems to be a pretty dominate color in Alpines but they seem more recessive to pattern types. Spotting in Nubians is also dominate.

Unless you have a well rounded Nubian that has good ears you'll get the airplane' ears every time. Now, as far as milk production goes you should get a higher butterfat content and increased milk production. You can tell if the butterfat content is high, it makes the milk smoother and thicker when you drink it plus it doesn't go through strainers as easy as other milks do. You will also get a goat that should be hardy under any weather conditions.

Now all I have is a first year observation so hold nothing that I say in stone, but rather gather your own information and your breeding stock and experiment. With goats the sky's the limit' and there are few limitations to bettering your family's stock.

In the pictures listed below I don't have a picture of Doe One but I do have a picture of the doeling that she produced, it will give some idea of what I'm talking about.

References that I use: ADGA website About Alpines About Nubians My Buck Doe One(doeling) Doe Two Doe Three

More about this author: Kristina Duncan

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