701-425-1079, 27851 US HWY 12, Mobridge, SD 57601

Why DNA Test Kiko Goats

DNA test Kiko goats

So, is DNA testing Kiko goats important? Or why does anyone make a point to only buy registered Kikos that have been DNA tested? It’s a good question. Let me tell you why it matters to me.

When I first bought my Kiko goats, I knew I wanted registered Kikos, but I didn’t see the importance of DNA testing. I mean, why pay extra for another piece of paper.

 

I searched for a good price on registered Kikos that were near South Dakota. After realizing that there weren’t very many in this area, I found a pair in Oklahoma. Since we were going down to Texas to compete with our cowdogs, I convinced my husband to pick them up on the way home.

Our Kiko Story Begins!

I brought them home, and then waited for the papers to be sent to me. I was so excited when the papers arrived for my first two Kiko goats, proving they were registered.

I started researching how to register my Kiko offspring.

I was excited to learn that, not only could I register the offspring of my registered pair as Kiko purebreds, but any does that were born to my other goats could be registered as Percentage Kikos (%50). I was glad I had used my registered Kiko buck to breed my whole herd of goats!

However, it is important to note, Kiko cross bucks cannot be registered as percentage Kikos.

Kidding Time

You can bet I was so excited to watch the kid goats be born in the spring, especially whenever a doeling was born! I ended up with three doelings I could register as percentage Kikos. And my registered Kiko doe had two buckling, which could be registered as Purebred Kiko Bucks!

Why I started Thinking About DNA Testing

I decided to buy four more registered does, percentage Kikos this time. But, if I bred them to my registered purebred billy, their offspring would soon be able to be registered a purebred Kikos. (Goats with 93.75% of Kiko blood or more can be registered as Purebred Kikos with the National Kiko Registry.)

These four does were all DNA tested, so I started learning more about DNA testing and decided, since 2/3 of my herd were DNA tested already, that I should work toward DNA testing all my registered Kiko goats. (more about that later)

A New Fence and Why We Tried It

Then came life. We wanted to rotational graze my goat herd on the ranch, offering them fresh foliage all summer, and eliminate some patches of Leafy Spurge and other weeds. And yet, we wanted to graze our milk goats down around our buildings like we normally do, so it was easier to milk them morning and night.

That meant we needed more fences. We have found electric netting to work really good ((Check out Premier 1’s Electric netting!). But, it was kind of expensive for large areas like we were planning on grazing.

So, we decided to try 4-wire pigtail posts. We were able to fence a much larger area per dollar spent that way. And, at first, it seemed to keep the goats in nicely.

Our Leafy Spurge Experiment

However, when we went out to check on them, we found they’d eaten everything but the leafy spurge. (They nibbled it, but liked the buck brush much better.) We left them in a week or two longer, and they did eat almost all of the leaf spurge, but we were worried they were starting to lose condition.

So, we decided we needed to fence them in smaller areas and move them every week if we wanted them to eat all the leafy spurge AND fatten up.

It was working, except for the fact we were finishing our haying season, and starting our AI season.

Why We Switched to Free Range

We simply didn’t have time move them that often and keep up with our other ranch work!

How about if we turned them loose by the creek in the middle of the ranch, we wondered. They would have water, there was abundant grazing, and we would be driving past (on our way to AI our cattle) morning and night and could check on them.

So, we went to load up our goats and roll up the fences.

Trouble Begins

That was when our trouble started. We got out there and found that two young goats were missing.

I don’t know if a coyote came into the 4-wire pen and got them at night. Or if the grass on the other side of the fence was too tempting for those goats, and they crawled through the fence and were eaten by coyotes. But, although we searched for quite a while, we never found any trace of them.

We loaded up the remaining goats and hauled them to the spot we had chosen along the creek.

Then, I think we made our next mistake. We opened the trailer, let them out, and headed home to grab a quick bite to eat before starting our evening AI ritual.

If we had set the fence up around the trailer for the first week, then opened it up, they might have stayed nearby.

But, we assumed they would come back to the trailer every night, since they had slept in it for the last month.

They didn’t.

Our Gets Get Free Reign on the Ranch

For a few days I was sure I’d lost the whole herd.

Then we started seeing them around on the ranch. They enjoyed what was left of our hay fields after we’d stacked it. And they spent their days roaming the wide open prairie.

Eventually they chose a spot along the creek and settled in. From then on we could always find them near there.

But, meanwhile, the two purebred bucklings disappeared. Again we hunted everywhere, but not a trace was found.

Should We Fence Them in Again?

By the time we were done AIing, and had a chance to do anything, they seemed like they were fattening nicely, and were established, so we left them out there.

I went out to check on them often.

During one of my check, I got hair samples from the doelings so I could get them DNA tested. I also sent in the paperwork to get them registered.

Dusty Pearl, the purebred doe I’d bought last fall, was right there by the young doeling. So, I decided to grab a hair sample from her and get her tested at the same time.

Registration Blues

I was so excited when the registration papers came back for my little Kiko does!

But, a day later, I got an email saying that Dusty Pearl’s DNA sample didn’t match either the sire or the dam on her paper. Just like that, she was no longer registered.

I had bought my buck from the same breeder at the same time. So, of course, I started to worry about him. If his DNA test didn’t match his paperwork, he wouldn’t be registered either.

Then the papers for the doelings that I’d just registered wouldn’t be any good. At least, if I understand everything correctly.

I Send in DNA Sample For My Buck

So, I sent in a sample from my buck, and am waiting for his results.

Meanwhile, I had to contact the people who had put deposits down on the doelings and give them the option of getting their deposit back, or waiting to see if the doelings were indeed registered.

Tips To Prevent Registration Mistakes

The National Kiko Registry sent a letter with the doeling’s papers recommending that, in the future, I send a list of ALL the sires I used for the season whenever I get my does DNA tested, that way they can figure out which sire bred them easier.

Then also, this incident is a reminder of how important it is to tag kid goats promptly when they are born, so I know who their mother is.

You might think you won’t forget. But, often there are several weanling kid goats that look similar. And, by the time you are sending in the paperwork to get them registered, it can be tricky to figure out their mothers.

Getting DNA samples when you register them is a good way to make sure everything is correct right away!

A Closing Thought

So, in conclusion, mistakes can happen even among honest breeders.

Although keeping good records are important, buying goats that are DNA tested ensures that the registration papers that come with your goat really belong to that goat.

Otherwise, who knows whether your goat is from the bloodlines stated on it’s paper. Maybe it’s just a cross breed that looks like a Kiko.

I know personally, I won’t buy anymore registered Kiko goats unless they are DNA tested!

-Susanna Dagley

P.S. You can learn more about why I choose to raise Kiko goats here: Dagley Goats – How We Got The Goats We Have

Why DNA Test Kiko Goats

DNA test Kiko goats

So, is DNA testing Kiko goats important? Or why does anyone make a point to only buy registered Kikos that have been DNA tested? It’s a good question. Let me tell you why it matters to me.

When I first bought my Kiko goats, I knew I wanted registered Kikos, but I didn’t see the importance of DNA testing. I mean, why pay extra for another piece of paper.

 

I searched for a good price on registered Kikos that were near South Dakota. After realizing that there weren’t very many in this area, I found a pair in Oklahoma. Since we were going down to Texas to compete with our cowdogs, I convinced my husband to pick them up on the way home.

Our Kiko Story Begins!

I brought them home, and then waited for the papers to be sent to me. I was so excited when the papers arrived for my first two Kiko goats, proving they were registered.

I started researching how to register my Kiko offspring.

I was excited to learn that, not only could I register the offspring of my registered pair as Kiko purebreds, but any does that were born to my other goats could be registered as Percentage Kikos (%50). I was glad I had used my registered Kiko buck to breed my whole herd of goats!

However, it is important to note, Kiko cross bucks cannot be registered as percentage Kikos.

Kidding Time

You can bet I was so excited to watch the kid goats be born in the spring, especially whenever a doeling was born! I ended up with three doelings I could register as percentage Kikos. And my registered Kiko doe had two buckling, which could be registered as Purebred Kiko Bucks!

Why I started Thinking About DNA Testing

I decided to buy four more registered does, percentage Kikos this time. But, if I bred them to my registered purebred billy, their offspring would soon be able to be registered a purebred Kikos. (Goats with 93.75% of Kiko blood or more can be registered as Purebred Kikos with the National Kiko Registry.)

These four does were all DNA tested, so I started learning more about DNA testing and decided, since 2/3 of my herd were DNA tested already, that I should work toward DNA testing all my registered Kiko goats. (more about that later)

A New Fence and Why We Tried It

Then came life. We wanted to rotational graze my goat herd on the ranch, offering them fresh foliage all summer, and eliminate some patches of Leafy Spurge and other weeds. And yet, we wanted to graze our milk goats down around our buildings like we normally do, so it was easier to milk them morning and night.

That meant we needed more fences. We have found electric netting to work really good ((Check out Premier 1’s Electric netting!). But, it was kind of expensive for large areas like we were planning on grazing.

So, we decided to try 4-wire pigtail posts. We were able to fence a much larger area per dollar spent that way. And, at first, it seemed to keep the goats in nicely.

Our Leafy Spurge Experiment

However, when we went out to check on them, we found they’d eaten everything but the leafy spurge. (They nibbled it, but liked the buck brush much better.) We left them in a week or two longer, and they did eat almost all of the leaf spurge, but we were worried they were starting to lose condition.

So, we decided we needed to fence them in smaller areas and move them every week if we wanted them to eat all the leafy spurge AND fatten up.

It was working, except for the fact we were finishing our haying season, and starting our AI season.

Why We Switched to Free Range

We simply didn’t have time move them that often and keep up with our other ranch work!

How about if we turned them loose by the creek in the middle of the ranch, we wondered. They would have water, there was abundant grazing, and we would be driving past (on our way to AI our cattle) morning and night and could check on them.

So, we went to load up our goats and roll up the fences.

Trouble Begins

That was when our trouble started. We got out there and found that two young goats were missing.

I don’t know if a coyote came into the 4-wire pen and got them at night. Or if the grass on the other side of the fence was too tempting for those goats, and they crawled through the fence and were eaten by coyotes. But, although we searched for quite a while, we never found any trace of them.

We loaded up the remaining goats and hauled them to the spot we had chosen along the creek.

Then, I think we made our next mistake. We opened the trailer, let them out, and headed home to grab a quick bite to eat before starting our evening AI ritual.

If we had set the fence up around the trailer for the first week, then opened it up, they might have stayed nearby.

But, we assumed they would come back to the trailer every night, since they had slept in it for the last month.

They didn’t.

Our Gets Get Free Reign on the Ranch

For a few days I was sure I’d lost the whole herd.

Then we started seeing them around on the ranch. They enjoyed what was left of our hay fields after we’d stacked it. And they spent their days roaming the wide open prairie.

Eventually they chose a spot along the creek and settled in. From then on we could always find them near there.

But, meanwhile, the two purebred bucklings disappeared. Again we hunted everywhere, but not a trace was found.

Should We Fence Them in Again?

By the time we were done AIing, and had a chance to do anything, they seemed like they were fattening nicely, and were established, so we left them out there.

I went out to check on them often.

During one of my check, I got hair samples from the doelings so I could get them DNA tested. I also sent in the paperwork to get them registered.

Dusty Pearl, the purebred doe I’d bought last fall, was right there by the young doeling. So, I decided to grab a hair sample from her and get her tested at the same time.

Registration Blues

I was so excited when the registration papers came back for my little Kiko does!

But, a day later, I got an email saying that Dusty Pearl’s DNA sample didn’t match either the sire or the dam on her paper. Just like that, she was no longer registered.

I had bought my buck from the same breeder at the same time. So, of course, I started to worry about him. If his DNA test didn’t match his paperwork, he wouldn’t be registered either.

Then the papers for the doelings that I’d just registered wouldn’t be any good. At least, if I understand everything correctly.

I Send in DNA Sample For My Buck

So, I sent in a sample from my buck, and am waiting for his results.

Meanwhile, I had to contact the people who had put deposits down on the doelings and give them the option of getting their deposit back, or waiting to see if the doelings were indeed registered.

Tips To Prevent Registration Mistakes

The National Kiko Registry sent a letter with the doeling’s papers recommending that, in the future, I send a list of ALL the sires I used for the season whenever I get my does DNA tested, that way they can figure out which sire bred them easier.

Then also, this incident is a reminder of how important it is to tag kid goats promptly when they are born, so I know who their mother is.

You might think you won’t forget. But, often there are several weanling kid goats that look similar. And, by the time you are sending in the paperwork to get them registered, it can be tricky to figure out their mothers.

Getting DNA samples when you register them is a good way to make sure everything is correct right away!

A Closing Thought

So, in conclusion, mistakes can happen even among honest breeders.

Although keeping good records are important, buying goats that are DNA tested ensures that the registration papers that come with your goat really belong to that goat.

Otherwise, who knows whether your goat is from the bloodlines stated on it’s paper. Maybe it’s just a cross breed that looks like a Kiko.

I know personally, I won’t buy anymore registered Kiko goats unless they are DNA tested!

-Susanna Dagley

P.S. You can learn more about why I choose to raise Kiko goats here: Dagley Goats – How We Got The Goats We Have

 

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