And so, I first determined what climate I live in (hot and dry), and then I went from there. Why? Well, even though other considerations such as milk production and the animal's temperament are important factors, I feel that these factors will be affected greatly if a goat is suffering from the adverse effects of being in the wrong climate. After much reading, I'm beginning to see that this is a concern that is all too often overlooked, and it seems to be the easiest issue to decided when starting the journey to raising happy and healthy goats, which I assume will also go a long way in ensuring a better goat raising experience.
Yes, believe it or not, there are in fact cold climate (Alpine) goat breeds, and hot climate (desert/tropical) goat breeds. Knowing this little (yet vital) tidbit of information helped me to narrow down my goat breed choices, in a good way. In my opinion, knowing what I've learned, it would be rather cruel of me to raise alpine goats in my area. Let's be real, Alpines, Oberhaslis, Saanens, and Toggenburg goats are naturally suited for colder and wetter climates, and as a result, they will be much harder for me to raise in my warmer and drier climate. Conversely, the warm climate breeds, like the Nigerian Dwarf, Nubian, and LaMachas would suffer needlessly in a cold and wet climate like Alaska, and not surprisingly, so will the owner and their bank account. That is because when you go against what comes naturally to the breed you chose, then you will have to provide artificial means to keep your chosen breed healthy, and that will put a strain on the resources of time, effort, space, and money. If you're still not sure which breed to choose perhaps asking yourself some of these questions might help....
- Am I prepared to see my warm climate goats shivering from the cold, while I'm all bundled up in warm clothes and still shivering?
- Will I able to handle the sight of my Alpine goats laying on the ground panting heavily from heat stoke while I'm barley able to keep cool in shorts and t-shirt?
- What am I going to do about the adverse climate situation, since my goats can't really do much about it?
- Will my solutions to this climate issue complicate it, or make it better? How much will my solutions cost?
Goats that are not well suited for the climate they are living, will assuredly get their unfair share of illnesses and parasites thanks to their owner's poor climate breed choice. And so it would be best if you have access to a local vet that knows a lot about goats. I assure you that he/she is a rare find. If a good goat vet is not in your area, then you should find someone local who is more experienced then you are, even so, there are things that only a good vet should do, like diagnose and treat serious illnesses. Of course, there is another option available, and that is to move to the appropriate climate suited for the goat you desire to raise, that is if it is financially feasible.