Kinders® are a goat breed featured in the Storey Illustrated Breed Guide to Sheep, Goats, Cattle and Pigs. But many people have never heard of them.
The Kinder® breed appealed to us because they produce high butterfat milk (8%!) for wonderful cheese yield, in ideal quantities for Homesteaders (1-1.5 gallons a day), are dual purpose as a meat animal, a manageable size and very feed efficient, and have great personalities.
Finding a Kinder in New England a few years ago was another story … since they started in Washington State, they hadn’t quite made their way this far east. The Kinder® organization (KGBA) offers “directions” for a Kinder starter kit — what to look for in a Nubian doe to be bred with a Pygmy buck. Both parents have to be registered to create true 1st generation Kinders, and so our education began.
The Kinder “Kit directions” didn’t go into specifics about the challenges of breeding a very short buck to a very tall doe, but that is clearly part of what makes them so special. After two years we had our first pair born on the farm. Then in 2014 we brought breeding stock in from Wisconsin with a couple other farms to really launch our herd.
Here, Lizzie, a Nubian and our home bred 1st Generation kids enjoy their first day on grass.
Dirigo Farm is home to four Kinder breeding animals, all originating from Sue Beck’s Pricker Patch Farm, though their lines have been refined over several states. Some of our animals have common lines, but thanks to having a couple Kinder breeding farms in New England, we are able to cross with other lines to produce unrelated kids and refer buyers wishing to assemble starter herds themselves.
Pricker Patch Farm Bennett x Pricker Patch Farm Edie
Maris and Willa’s dams are sisters, though their coloring, personalities and builds differ. Maris is the most shy of our girls, though she will settle in for a long scratch after she gets to know you. She is bred to Perry for spring kids.
Serena Kinders Charlie Browner x Pricker Patch Farm Emily
Willa has lovely coloring similar to our Nubian, Moxie. She is very friendly and has a thick soft coat with a Cashmere undercoat and the stocky build sought after in dual purpose animals. Willa is bred to Perry for April kids.
Pricker Patch Farm Carmel x Pricker Patch Farm Perry
Koka is a yearling doe, showing the stronger characteristics of her dam and sire. We plan to breed her in the fall of 2017.
Serena Kinders Trude’s Fantin x Serena Kinders Prudie
Perry is our only buck, though he shares a double pen with a young Nubian buck. He’s very long and full bodied, with a level back and solid brisket. We’re very pleased with how he’s developing and it will be useful to see his influence on our three does when they kid this spring.