Herd & Health
Amethyst Acres is an award winning herd of ADGA registered Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats in Southern Maine. Our flagship does is where the breed boundaries of average and ordinary are broken! Nationally competitive Top 10 Performance Breed Leaders, I expect our does to be extraordinary and test the limits of extreme in dairy goats.
We have developed and still refining a management program that supports each individual in performing to their genetic potential. We are not in this to just keep doing the same old same old, emphasis on total dairy performance with a true genetic ability to produce in the pail.
There has never been a case of CAE, CL, or Johnes on our farm. All foundation animals are tested for CAE. The latest test was done in September 2019. We remain a CAE free herd as all tested negative, documentation provided upon request.
Our dairy goats are raised on a completely alternative and holistic wellness program. We don't vaccinate any animals born on our farm and we incorporate daily a custom formulated herbal formula for whole herd health, immunity, and worm/cocci. prevention. In lieu of BoSe we use Replamin Gel Plus.
The herds primary diet consists of 2nd cut timothy grass hay, they also have free choice access to organic kelp, Sweetlix, Zinpro 40, and sodium bicarbonate. A cornerstone of our management is the herds secondary ration of natural brewers yeast products made from Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation technology. Our milking does receive this natural yeast ration exclusively in the dairy parlor. The group feedings for does, bucks and kids all receive a 50/50 mix of natural yeast (28% protein) and a standard dairy pellet (18% protein) along with our custom herbal formula.
High performance dairy herd on continuous DHIR 305-day milk test, focused on true genetic milk, fat and protein production. Our foundation does are ADGA Top 10 Performance Breed Leaders, top PTA Milk (Predicted Transmitting Ability for Milk), and “ELITE” percentile ranking animals in accordance with USDA genetic evaluations. These important scientific numbers are developed by USDA scientists and in use by thousands of serious cow dairymen. The “Bull Proof” numbers.
There are many award programs, but the only one that measures true genetic value of dairy goats for milk, fat and protein yield via USDA-DHIA Genetic Evaluations is "USDA Top Buck/Doe List called by ADGA Elite Buck/Doe List".
This complex computer algorithm gives every dairy goat a “Percentile” using the lactations of every dairy goat in the country that's ever been on DHI testing, including every relative no matter how distantly related are all connected to the USDA computer.
The computer knows the genes because it knows what all the ancestors on test milked compared to their herdmates and it knows what all the descendents of all those ancestors milked compared to their herdmates. The computer eliminates the “Management Factor” because 80% of the raw number is management, you don't need someone else's management you need genetics and the genetics are going to be what shows up year after year in your herd.
Striving to reproduce excellence not only in the milk pail, but in type with emphasis on udders with superior functionality for hand milking and dairy strength. Selectively breeding for large teats and strong medial suspensory ligaments that produce deep clefts in the udder floor. We are using tight linebreeding on a strong depth of pedigree for these traits so that the traits continually being produced as successive sires are used will tend to accumulate and not be halved with each successive sire.
Maintaining a pedigree barrier between our two doe families and the rest of the breed to eliminate age old tiny teats and flat udder floor genetics that still plague the breed. When working with valuable creations of distinctive and peculiar merit one comes soon to the point at which close breeding is inevitable and to continually breed them out (outcross) is but to dissipate their excellence, so the only practical alternative is linebreeding.
Most folks claim they breed for milk and show, but every season you have to choose your buck and there will be buck who is “Showier” and a buck who is “Milkier”, we go with the buck who is “Milkier”, while the majority of breeders go with a buck who is “Showier”. We can just keep selecting for milk/fat/protein, all wrapped into one number called “Percentile”. The ADGA scorecard has many traits. You can only successively breed for THREE, our three are MILK, MSL, and Teat Size.
We've acquired many of our desired traits from very successful and proven programs, and I'm not only thankful to have them, but are thankful to their breeders’ commitment to excellence. With their help, we have turned this passion into a high performance program both in production and type.
Ultra high milk production can often times include excellent conformation, but Mega-Milk comes first here!