AN OVERVIEW ON “GOLDTHWAITE NUBIANS” WINTER
I saw my first Nubian back in the fall of 1973. I was
riding past my neighbors trailer house in the wooded hills of Oregon, and there she was! She lay posed elegantly upon the
roof of his car, legs crossed down over the windshield, her black coat gleaming, her super long blond ears framing a wide
roman nose outlined with wide blond stripes on each side. I was entranced and I was hooked from that moment on. I stopped
to ask about her and learned that her mother - an Apple Valley PIPPEN daughter, had wandered into his herd a few years earlier
from further up the hill, as she was in heat and had caught the scent of his Nubian buck from far away. Eventually returned
to her owners, they had passed this resulting baby back to him upon her birth. We discussed her future, and I galloped home
to ask my husband Gary what he would think about my getting a dairy goat. His offhanded comment was “it may just be
the smartest thing you ever did”.
Well, what can I say? I was hooked! When I took this
doe to get bred, I did not want to wait another 5 months for the milk, so I bought a heavy producing grade Nubian with airplane
ears and a huge udder that was capable of giving up to a gallon each milking, twice a day. When I went looking for a foundation
purebred for my growing herd, I selected a doe that was long, tall, with a long level rump you could set a picnic lunch on.
The clincher, along with her long, long ears and gorgeous breed character, was the fact that she had been a 12# a day milker.
She also had an amazing loving temperament and in all actuality, she picked me out, and followed me all the way thru the tour
of the herd saying “take me, take me”. She was a good choice, within a month or so she had given me 3 more beautiful
does out of a well bred Hurricane Acres buck, who had lots of milk behind him.
I know this is a lot of history - or “nostalgia”
- but I start with it here to explain what I first saw in Nubians, and what I have continued to breed for over these nearly
40 years. I like big, tall, strong animals with a level topline including a long level rump. I demand the long elegant neck,
the pronounced roman nose, and the lovely wide, long Nubian ears. But I have them for the milk, and have always bred for and
demanded that of them as well. When I went to find a good buck to breed these three milky does to, (the beginning doe had
meanwhile freshened for the lst time at well over a gallon a day as well), and hit a solid wall, as there was nothing in my
area that came from that kind of a background (or at least that I could find).
I did find a herd in Washington State with top ten does
who milked upwards of 3000# their lst lactation. I eventually bought 3 bucks from them, as well as a doe that I kept a linebred
buck out of. Every doe in my herd today goes back to that first doe to carry the “Goldthwaite“ name(out of one
of the Triplets) and my first buck - GOLDTHWAITE BONNY BABE. She not only set in the production coming down thru both lines,
but the heads, the sweet temperament, the ease of milking, the proud elegant type I wanted to continue with, but lovely udders.
More on the exact genetics behind these animals can be found on my “GOLDTHWAITE GENETICS” page.
The herd has well survived my various moves from Oregon
(after 11 yrs) to Colorado where I had been a child (over 25 yrs) and now up into the lovely North Platt river valley of eastern
Wyoming upon my retirement. They have been on continuous DHIR testing throughout all this, as well as nearly every Classification,
Herd Evaluation, and Linear Appraisal session that we could. I have always shown, mostly for fun, but began in earnest in
the late 90’s when I started taking them to major State Fairs and the judges were so excited to see big powerful, strong
yet flat boned animals, with lots of dairy character as well as the excellent breed characteristics to identify them as Nubians.
I have lost track of all the CGH and BOB wins, along with numerous BIS at several major state fairs, and Nubian Speciality
shows. We are still winning most of the coveted Premier Breeder and Exhibior awards at these shows, but have occasionally
opted out to younger breeders who’s animals come down from our lines as well. We have always made a worthy showing at
the National shows, sometimes much better than other years depending on the nature of the judging. But for me it is like going
to “summer camp“, at least a once yearly week to reconnect with dairy goat friends from all over the country..
My aim isn‘t to win a National Show, any more than it is to have several of my does in the TOP TEN lists, although they
have thru the years. When they have, they have also accomplished that while traveling from 3000 to 6000 miles during that
lactation, sometimes for weeks at a time. These are not hot-house/pampered goats.
In short, I like to have fun with my goats. I have always
loved to walk them in the woods, the mountain sides, the fields and the river bottoms, just as much as I have enjoyed loading
up the trailer and taking off for the shows with them. I believe that the goats in my herd, each and every one, must be an
animal who pleases me and makes me say “wow!“, along with “hello friend“, every time I venture out
my door and into the barnyard.
Along these same lines, I only breed these goats for
my own pleasure, and the challenge of producing a better and better animal. I do not breed them in order to sell them as soon
as I can. Reality is I can‘t keep them all, and I enjoy working with the people who are determined to add Goldthwaite
Nubians to their own herd. Almost always they get one or two, then start selling down their other animals in order to get
more. I don‘t usually take specific orders on a kid, but if there is a breeding that particularly interests someone,
I can put them on a list. I try to photograph and get the newborns onto my “New Arrivals“ page within a few days
of kidding. That is just to share with everyone who is waiting or just interested without having to send out individual photos.
The fact that I put them up on the page does not mean that they will be for sale, just that they have arrived. I often note
if one is for sale as others arrive, so it doesn‘t hurt to let me know and to watch the pages.
Since my retirement, and working on a very limited income
as well as slowing down (or wising up) as to the workload I can still enjoy, I have been working with a few other fellow breeders
in Colo, Texas, and Florida who also have some of my animals from whom offspring may be available. That particularly comes
in handy when working with local people in those areas. We also manage at least once a year to move animals around and across
the country, particularly at shows. With the ADGA National Show being here at “home“ in Northern Colorado, there
will be opportunities to send animals just about anywhere in the country come July.. as well as to visit with my many goat
friends from across the country, both ole'time and brand new.
Beverly "Becky" Goldthwaite Dec.2011