Why Mini LaManchas?
I guess the first part of that question is “Why Minis?” Which could also be “Why not standard dairy breeds?” and “Why not Nigerians?” Indeed, why go to the trouble of keeping a fairly uncommon, developing breed that does not command a premium price in today’s market when there are so many other choices?
Mini LaManchas are not large goats, which provides several advantages. You can have two Mini LaManchas, rotate breedings, and have about the right amount of milk for the average American family. Many Mini LaManchas are also aseasonal breeders, which makes it easier to even out the milk flow. Since goats are herd animals, you need to have at least two, and with two standard dairy goats of decent breeding, you’ll have far, far more milk than you can use. You’ll also be paying to feed those large goats so they can produce that overabundance of milk. You’ll need more housing. You’ll also need more strength for those times when you and the goat disagree, such as when you’re trying to medicate her. If you want to transport a Mini LaMancha, you can put her into a large dog crate that will still fit in your car. If you want to transport a standard dairy goat, you’ll need a truck, a trailer, or a tolerance for goat poop in your vehicle.
Mini LaMancha wethers sell well as pets. They don’t get to be 250 pounds, and they don’t eat like 250 pound goats. If you want to take one packing, again, it can be transported in a dog crate in your car. At just over 100 pounds, he’ll still be big enough to carry a 25-lb pack. If you have a wether that does not have a pet personality, he will still make decent meat animal, being stockier than a standard dairy wether.
Mini LaManchas have drawn their many fine traits from the combination of standard dairy goat and Nigerian Dwarf blood of the foundation stock. From the standard dairy goats, they take their long, level lactions with strong persistence. This means you can get away with milking once a day and your doe won’t dry up. They have a good letdown response, and they have good teat size and udder capacity, along with the will to fill that udder. They tend to have calm manners on the milkstand. The Lamancha breed in particular contributes excellent udder conformation and milk production, good butterfat percentages, and a quiet, friendly temperament.
From the Nigerians, Mini LaManchas have acquired the advantages of smaller size and hardiness. Mini LaManchas are easy keepers. Their milk is richer than that of standard dairy goats. They can be aseasonal breeders. And the Nigerians, being tiny dairy goats, have contributed all of this without the significant reduction in overall dairy character typically found in crosses with Pygmies and other meat breeds.
In short, Mini LaManchas are simply the best choice for household milk production.