Lyon is our striking Miniature Lamancha buck we brought to the ranch to add to our breeding program in October 2021. He is a very quiet, mild-mannered and docile buck who gets along well with the other goats and his human caretakers.
While in the past we have only ever bred full-sized Lamanchas, we decided to bring Lyon into the herd to add his miniature genetics to his future offspring. Although it may initially seem odd for us to intentionally breed for smaller goats, we chose to bring these mini genetics into the herd to help with the overall wellness of the does by increasing the ease of their deliveries.
This is especially helpful for our first-time moms. While our veteran milkers are proven mothers and milkers who have delivered offspring before, our first-time moms have not yet experienced kidding and tend to be a bit smaller than our older does. Therefore, we paired our veteran does up with our full-sized bucks, but paired our first-time does up with Lyon in order to provide them an easier delivery process with much smaller kids than we are used to seeing on the ranch!
(Lyon charms the ladies during breeding season - he weighs about 130 pounds, so is a similar size to our does, which makes him much smaller than our 230 pound full-sized bucks)
The only caveat to Lyon’s addition to our breeding program is that we will not be able to keep any of his offspring to add to the milking herd. This is due in part to the fact that they are smaller than their full-sized counterparts, so will not produce as much milk as our other full-sized Lamanchas. They also cannot be registered when they have these miniature genetics, and we register our entire herd with the American Dairy Goat association in order to keep track of our herd genetics. So instead we will be finding Lyon’s offspring loving homes as pets or homestead milking goats, where their compact size will be appreciated!
Luckily for us, we still have many older, experienced does who were bred to our full-sized bucks and we will be selecting our future additions to our milking herd from this bunch. This was actually done by design, as we generally do not keep the kids from our first-time moms anyway since they typically deliver later in the year and have smaller kids that overall tend to not be the best milkers. Because all the babies born at Stepladder tend to be larger than the average home dairy goat would deliver, we decided to try an unconventional (in the dairy world) approach this year by purposefully breeding for smaller kids in our first-time moms to make their first experience with delivery and motherhood easier.
(Wilma with her 13.1 lb. son - the largest baby born last year. Wilma is a veteran mom, so this was no problem for her, but the 1st time moms will appreciate smaller newborns.)
We are so excited to see what 2022 has in store and can’t wait to keep you all updated on the progress of the upcoming birthing season as Spring brings a whole new influx of kids. We plan on rehoming these darling little kids once they are old enough, so make sure to keep an eye out if you are looking to add some adorable and extremely friendly goats to your family!
If you would like to learn more about our goats and stay updated on the herd as the year progresses, join our goat sponsorship program on our website and sign up to sponsor a doe of your choosing. If you choose to sponsor Sorrel, you will get updates on her delivery as she is set to deliver Lyon’s future offspring on March 5, 2022!