History Of The Breed
Established 2000 Founder - SUSAN LUDWIG
The Australian Miniature Goat breed was launched in 2000, by the founder of the breed Sue Ludwig of Patona Park Miniature Goat Stud. Sue was an at home mother who had owned and bred goats since 1994.
Sue Ludwig helped to establish the MGBA and still volunteers time today in training and Judging as well as as needed hands on help.
Foundation breeders -
Most early foundation breeders for the first few years really were pioneers of the breed and learnt only through trial and error often having only library books and magazines to try to pick up what they could. The internet was brand new and not everyone owned a computer. Those that had access, websites were a new and expensive option for businesses so any information on there was extremely limited especially when it came down to animal sites.
The MGBA adopted the founder of the breed and the Australian Miniature Goat Registry (AMGR) list of recognised Australian Miniature Goat Foundation breeders pre MGBA. . All contributed to the early development and/or establishment of the breed in Australia.
Adopted AMGR foundation breeders that contributed to the breed PRIOR to the MGBA.
Breed founder- PATONA PARK, Andrew, Sue, Tyla, Jade and Mike Ludwig
SIMMONS STUD -Bob, Ilona and Halley Simmons
FRUITY FARM - Rhonda Druery
KOTTA PARK - Ian and Wendy Coutts
JARINA STUD- Katrina Mackay
MOONLIGHT HOMESTEAD - Natalie Strip
GOAT CREEK FARM - Nichole Harris
YATTARNA STUD - Susan Junee
MEIE TALUND - Toni Ryan
DAKOTA STUD - Simone O'Brien - changed to BOUNCING HOOVES 2003
SERENDIPITY STUD- Stephen Groth and Margaret Collins
MUNCHKINS STUD - Owen and Adeline Wheelaghan
CHRISTALI STUD - Chris Willett and Alison George
HIDEAWAY STUD - Patricia Smith
PLUMBAGO STUD - Christine Falconer
GLEN GANNON STUD - Stewart and Anne Morgan
KAZOO STUD - Mal and Karyn Atkinson
PIKAMINI STUD - Tracy Newman
BRYTHY PARK - Bryan and Cathy Coghlan
RUMINATURE - Peter and Marie Walsh
HARRISON PARK - Les and Lee Harrison
BALLY PARK - Scott and Joanne Ballantyne.
After obtaining a few small animals, Sue had the idea to create a miniature goat breed similar to those found overseas. Many requests were made to various goat societies to allow/accept the recording of small goats to develop a miniature breed, all meeting closed doors. Late 1998, numerous helpful discussions with members of the Queensland Cashmere Goat Society and Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association led to Sue starting her own club and registry. The year that followed involved researching requirements necessary for running a registry and setting up a club.
The Australian Miniature Goat Club ('subsequently AMGR') was officially launched in Feb 2000, and thus the "Australian Miniature Goat" was born. Sue produced a small A5 newsletter using a typewriter, cutting and pasting paper and photos onto sheets that could be photocopied at the local stationary shop. Research was done each month with a trip to the library in Brisbane, international phone calls and air mail. Numerous books were purchased and subscriptions to overseas dwarf goat groups and pygmy goat groups were made. People purchasing “pet goats” were often given a one year membership to the club for free, keeping them up-to-date with local matters and offering health services and demonstrations – hoof trimming, vaccinating, disbudding, photography, sales promotion ideas and breeding tips.
In May 2000, Sue Ludwig converted her records into a small register and opened it to a handful of breeders (some just pet owners). Sue felt the need to provide more structure and develop standards of excellence to assist with the production of animals with outstanding conformation. Records and information were shared to help unite breeders and keepers that wanted to become involved in the hobby and document pedigree in the development of the breed.
Standards were set and modified and a Grade system was introduced to form guidelines for the development of this new little breed and in August 2000, heights were set for Grades. After months of researching breeding systems of other animal/livestock industries, an open grading system was developed to allow animals of unknown or unregistered background, meeting the height requirements to be accepted in Grade D. These animals then selectively bred for height, type and conformation would form the basis of the breed as no miniature goat breed existed in Australia. An open registry promoted a wide gene pool as animals of all breeds and crosses meeting the height requirements were potentially eligible for entry into the Australian miniature goat breeding program.
While setting up the Australian Miniature Goat breed 24 months of age (2 years) was and still is what most breeds consider mature for a goat. The Australian Miniature Goat registry rules were set in accordance with Miniature Goats being height verified at 2 years of age in accordance with other established overseas miniature as well as full sized breeds here in Australia that were being used in the production of our breed. Establishing a brand new breed and being the first time anyone had done Miniatures in Australia there was no previous research to go by other that keeping our breed in line with what others were doing overseas that were established with small adjustments made to suite our individual breed as they were required and we went along.
Selection of Stock
As no "Miniature Goat" existed in Australia the early breeders were required to find their own stock that met age and height requirements to use to set up their starter herds. Bucks were impossible to find that met height requirements and small does were few and far between and had to be sourced from often unknown parentage. The founder and early foundation breeders needed to source out goats that were genetically small and not nutritionally challenged that met height requirements for age. Many trips around the country were made looking for small animals often going through thousands of goats on large farms to small herds on private properties heard about via word of mouth or small adult goats advertised in the paper often met with disappointment of what others interpret as being“small”. This was a drawn out and often disheartening process and many trips were made coming back empty handed with the odd trip being a bonus finding a generation of small goats from grandma, dam and kid at foot from an old time breeder. Some breeders entering the breed were limited with time and felt they did not have the skill required so they would put their names on the list to purchase excess stock once evaluated and picked up by others. About this time some of the original breeders were selling off offspring from their Miniatures. This created out foundation herd in Australia. This was a common way breeders got into the Australian Miniature Goat in the early days and set up their studs right up until 2006. Many breeders still bring in good quality D grade animals today to bring in type and new genetics.
With more goats entering the register as new breeders entered the breed and sourced out their own grade D goats to bring in as well as some of the existing mini bred animals reaching 2 years and above in it gave the registry and foundation breeders availability to watch growth and height for the first time cross many animals and really get an idea of what growth patterns were of this new breed. It was noticed that our Australian Miniatures that had full sized breeds through them reached near full height at 2 years but they would pick up a bit of height between 2 years and 3 years especially the bucks.
In 2002-2003 it was put the registry that the adult upgrade for the Australian Miniature Goat be 3 years to allow for the extra growth we were finding in our own breed here in Australia so a more accurate adult measurement would be recorded. This was not in line with other overseas Miniature breeds were doing but the foundation breeders of the Australian Miniature Goat and the founder of the breed felt although this would add on an extra year for registration purposes to height upgrade, that it would be benificial for our Australian Breed so we were able to record a more acurate height with that extra years growth. The change was adopted by the Australian Miniature Goat Registry for future registrations of the breed.
All animals that were currently registered prior to this adjustment were registered under CURRENT and CORRECT rules at the time/date of registration for grading so were correctly registered in line with age rules set by other Miniature Goat societies overseas therefore no alterations needed to be made to grades nor should of been. All breed/rule changes only begin from day the adjustment/rule change is made as is with all breed societies and all rules and these animals were registered in line with overseas breed rules regarding height verification as well as correct MGBA rules since 2000. Animals that were available had updated heights taken for the records but due to many going as pets or grass eaters as we are a pet breed, meant that the small amount of height picked up between 2 and 3 years was not able to be obtained for some animals.
Noted: Overseas societies often have a disclaimer that their miniature breeds may grow from the age of 2 years when adult status is acheived. The Australian Miniature Goat Registry prevented this from happening with the Australian Miniature Goat.
In 2014 overseas genetics were bought into Australia with Semen being available for the Pygmy Goat and Semen/embryos being available for the Nigerian dwarf which like all other full sized breeds of goats will be used in the production of the Australian Miniature Goat to bring in true height reduction and types.
In January 2015 a vote was sent out to MGBA members to allow the Pygmy and Dwarf to be brought into the Miniature Goat Breeders Association as separate breeds.