Udder Size

Farmerdad

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Ok, after a few searches and not finding any recent questions... I decided to post my question here in Showing because it seems to be related to people who show their goats.

When I browse websites where people are show pictures of their champion goats they have pictures of udders that are HUGE. They seem to drop below the knees and are so wide the "poor girl" is bow-legged.

Is that how the doe looks every time she gets up on the milking stand or does the owner do something special for a one time picture and on normal days the udders look more like something I find on my goats?
 

misfitmorgan

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Ok, after a few searches and not finding any recent questions... I decided to post my question here in Showing because it seems to be related to people who show their goats.

When I browse websites where people are show pictures of their champion goats they have pictures of udders that are HUGE. They seem to drop below the knees and are so wide the "poor girl" is bow-legged.

Is that how the doe looks every time she gets up on the milking stand or does the owner do something special for a one time picture and on normal days the udders look more like something I find on my goats?
The simple answer is some of it is the hair cut but most of it is breeding. Dairy show goats are bred for their udder size and the way they look including teat size etc. On top of that a lot of people showing take newly freshened goats aka peak production to the shows. They also shave the goats hair very short which shows the entire udder more or less.

The everyday breeder is not breeding for udder looks, they are breeding for either basic milk needs or ability to feed and care for kids. Sadly that is how you end up with goats with bad udders, like so bad after a kid or two they are culled. The same thing happens in sheep and can happen in cows but cows have been bred so much for diary it happens less often.

Generally speaking breeds that are solely dairy breeds will have a better udder then meat or dual purpose breeds. So say a toggenburg is going to beat a boer in the udder department most any day of the week. Many boers are crossed with nubians then crossed back to boers to try to get better udders into boers.
 

Finnie

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The everyday breeder is not breeding for udder looks, they are breeding for either basic milk needs or ability to feed and care for kids. Sadly that is how you end up with goats with bad udders, like so bad after a kid or two they are culled
I don’t understand what you mean by this. Often things that are bred for show, are bred for extreme features, and function suffers. Are you saying that everyday breeders are only breeding for function, not looks, and failing? Or did you mean that everyday breeders aren’t breeding to improve anything at all, just letting it go downhill?
 

misfitmorgan

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I don’t understand what you mean by this. Often things that are bred for show, are bred for extreme features, and function suffers. Are you saying that everyday breeders are only breeding for function, not looks, and failing? Or did you mean that everyday breeders aren’t breeding to improve anything at all, just letting it go downhill?
I ment that most everyday people breeding a few goats in their backyard who dont give a fig about shows do not pay much attention to udders. So you get what you get not that they are purposely breeding for bad udders or udder problems.

People who do show goats(not me!) breed for both function and looks as that is what scores best so im told. A lot of people showing dairy breeds are doing the looks goat shows but also doing milk tests so they definitely have to be functional as well as look good.
 

Finnie

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I ment that most everyday people breeding a few goats in their backyard who dont give a fig about shows do not pay much attention to udders. So you get what you get not that they are purposely breeding for bad udders or udder problems.

People who do show goats(not me!) breed for both function and looks as that is what scores best so im told. A lot of people showing dairy breeds are doing the looks goat shows but also doing milk tests so they definitely have to be functional as well as look good.
Oh, thanks, I get what you mean now.

I used to read Southern By Choice and Goat Whisperer’s journals, and I did get the impression that THEIR show goats’ udders were bred for excellent function. And they tested, too.
 

misfitmorgan

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Oh, thanks, I get what you mean now.

I used to read Southern By Choice and Goat Whisperer’s journals, and I did get the impression that THEIR show goats’ udders were bred for excellent function. And they tested, too.
Yes a few others on here do/did the same thing. Shows and milk tests so there was a balance of look good and work well.

We dont show so our goats udders need to simply function well for milking for feeding kids but that is not the main goal since bred for meat. We do keep it in mind and are breeding dairy goats with good udders into our meat goats but we would not specifically choose say a buck based on its dam's udder. When we did breed for dairy goats we paid much more attention to the udder then the muscle.
 

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Is that how the doe looks every time she gets up on the milking stand or does the owner do something special for a one time picture and on normal days the udders look more like something I find on my goats?
You could look up threads by Southern By Choice and @Goat Whisperer . They posted a lot about showing their goats and prepping them for shows. It might say whether their goats’ udders were big on a daily basis. I can’t quite remember but I think they almost were, and then maybe milked less on the day of a show?
 

Alaskan

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My Saanan had a huge udder... but it was only so big right before being milked.

After being milked she could look like a deflated balloon... or a bit like a raisin.

So, yes... it has to be a high production animal, right before she is milked.

I do wish that breeders would breed more for LENGTH of lactation.
 

misfitmorgan

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My Saanan had a huge udder... but it was only so big right before being milked.

After being milked she could look like a deflated balloon... or a bit like a raisin.

So, yes... it has to be a high production animal, right before she is milked.

I do wish that breeders would breed more for LENGTH of lactation.
Some breeders do but it is hard on the animals.

Our toggenburg never dries off, even with zero grain she will keep making milk. Her longest so far is 2 yrs. Amount does go down of course, at her peak she will give 1.25 or 1.5 gallons and when she is suppose to be drying off she drops down to around 1.5 quarts.
 
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