by Peggy Boone
The International Dairy Goat Registry has been a vital resource to goat and sheep producers for over 30 years. Now the IDGR is under new ownership and transitioning through exciting changes.
Began in 1980 by Bruce Hair in Texas, it addressed problems he saw arising with other organizations: more concentration on showing and less on the true value and quality of goats. Prices rose while owners and breeders were unable to record the values of animals that could withstand the tests of time and harsh lives. So Bruce began the Registry to more fully and accurately meet the needs of goat owners and to lower prices.
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Through the years, it has changed ownership several times, from Bruce to Robert Johnson and several other owners. It moved from Texas to Georgia and it underwent several name changes.
Now it resides in Utah, owned by Peggy Boone, under the name International Goat, Sheep, and Camelid Registry and more fully encompasses the species of animals the organization registers and serves.
The registry’s unique focus was what originally attracted Peggy, many years ago. She recognized that it truly promoted the Nigerian Dwarf goat, a breed she raised at the time, as they were when they came to the Americas vs. what humans changed them into after they arrived in the United States. Peggy also saw that the Registry truly looks at usability, conformation, and characteristics that show how specific animals are considered superior by their owners for their specific uses.
A dairy owner, Peggy put her goats “through their paces” with her current employment schedules and she watched her stock stand by the rigid and harsh trials caused by poor schedules. The milk program created by a former Registry owner proved which animals are true dairy breeds and don’t have awards just to receive awards. When Peggy saw the Registry’s Extended Lactation award options, she perked up, since many goat owners live in towns where they need animals that will stay in milk for a long time without being rebred.
A Bit of Registry Goat Breed History:
Nigerian Dwarf: The International Dairy Goat Association was the first to register the dairy body style of the West African Dwarf (WAD) in the Americas. Much research was done at the time. The Registry still holds many of those original records and keeps the standards of what the Nigerian Dwarf is supposed to be, rather than increasing heights and changing them into something they are not.
Miniature Breeds: They are the first organization to register many miniature dairy breeds, such as Miniature Nubian. Their records reach far back into the history of the breeds.
San Clemente Island goat: The IGSCR is currently the sole registry for feral goats that were rescued from San Clemente Island. San Clemente goats have some special genetic characteristics, which breeders strive to keep pure. These little goats are proving to be great in dairy, with good butterfat as well.
Species Registered and Philosophy:
It is our goal to provide a place for people to register and develop their goats, sheep, and camelids. We provide registration for Purebreds, Experimentals, Grades, and crosses between dairy and meat. We also allow for the creation of new breeds. One of which is the Diko, created by one of our members with dairy and Kiko goats. Our herd books remain open, as we believe that there is new blood and rather old blood coming back into light.
Yes we do register and allow the breeding up of grade animals. However, if an animal is bred up to Prebred status, then they will never have a 100 percent on their percentage of that breed. They would be 99.9 percent, clearly showing that they are bred up.
We are super careful to ensure accuracy in our pedigrees for registration, so that we know exactly what we have in the ancestry of that animal. Specific questions will be asked of the members to ensure all possibilities of the ancestry. Clear photos are asked for to see if the animal meets breed standards. We also ask for height of mature animals of Nigerian Dwarf, Pygmy, and Miniature goat breeds, such as Miniature Nubian, etc. This ensures that we will preserve what the breed truly is. That being said, we will allow over-height animals, but they will have an “H” after the registration number, showing that they are over height for the standard. With the miniature breeds, such as Miniature Nubian, they remain Experimental, until the third generation after meeting breed standards.
When I began registering my animals, a former owner had done a lot of research into the milk programs available around the country at that time. I immediately saw the hard work that she put into researching and creating the milk test program that we still use today. This program is one of a kind, in that it has several levels of test results for each age category. The quantities truly show excellence in milk production, rather than just every animal being able to receive an award. Animals must get down and seriously milk. We have generational milk awards, too. Our amounts are for 305 days in milk on twice-a-day milking, but now also for once-a-day milking. We have butterfat testing, 305-day testing, Lifetime, and also Extended Lactation.
When our does have a milk award, one can be sure that they are true dairy goats as well as does that will stand with us through thick and thin, no matter what we throw at them. We can also be sure that does who have received Extended Lactation will milk a goodly amount far and beyond the normal milk span of a specific lactation, without pouring special feeds into them. Truly a unique program, thanks to the owner who researched and created it.
Registry of Merit:
A few years ago, our previous owner created this program for does and ewes. So what is the value of this program? It shows superiority of animals that birth easily and can raise the young themselves. It also shows bucks that produce babies that are easily born.
This is a valuable program when choosing breeding stock. These days, many of us are forced to run our farms while also keeping full-time employment. We need animals that will give birth and take care of young easily. Giving birth easily is a result of several factors:
- Feed and nutrition
- Good conformation for giving birth
- Birth weight, size of shoulders and head
Where are We at International Goat, Sheep, and Camelid Registry Headed?
Our motto is:
“Supporting Breeders World Wide with an Open Door Policy, Creation of New Breeds, and Supporting Profitable and Proficient Production of Livestock.”
While we see great value in conformation evaluation provided by various organizations, we also see great need to change the program to more fully meet the needs of breeders and owners. We are working to develop this program to be cost-effective and show the specific vital components of the animal for usability and standing by their owners.
Our first online show, held a few years ago, was very successful. We are currently developing a new version of online show which will be unique and provide the owner with show placement as where the animal places in relation to the breed score card.
We believe that 4-H is valuable for our children in learning skills. As such, if a child’s animal wins in 4-H and they share documentation with us as a registry, we give 4-H titles for winning animal and work toward their 4-H Championship title.
Our registry used to hold live shows but found that it was not as important for our members. We hope to create a live show program to bring this back.
We are set up for valuable Parentage DNA testing. In some cases of questionable parentage, we will require the testing prior to registration.
We hope that DNA testing will become available to determine if an animal is truly of a specific breed. Currently there is such a test being developed for the San Clemente Island goats.
We look forward to serving you and your animals. Thank you so much for taking time to learn a little more about our registry!