When you first step in to the world of goat ownership, you’ll quickly discover that there are two classes of goats: registered and non-registered. And depending on why you are wanting to raise goats, you’ll need to decide if you want your animals to be registered or not. This can be a difficult decision to make, especially if you’re in the same area as some registered goat owners. Depending on who you talk to, unregistered goats are worthless and you’ll never make it anywhere in the industry with them. But others will tell you that you’ll never make back all the money you invested in registered animals, which will cost upwards of $200 (I’ve seen doelings priced at $900) for a single weaned female, depending also on the breed. Whereas for an unregistered female, you usually won’t pay more than $75. At that reasonable price, you can have almost 100% guarantee that you’ll get the money back that you invested. The only way you will be able to sell an animal for $200 is if you already have buyers who are looking for registered stock. But in a pinch, you can’t just take that registered animal down to the local sale barn and expect to get any more than $100. That is when its nice to have those unregistered critters that you can turn around and sell to anyone and get back every cent you put in to them.
Another thing to consider when buying your goats is how much money can you invest right away? After all, you’ll need to buy feed, materials for a barn or shed, and fencing to keep your little escape-artists in.
Personally, I’d take an unregistered goat over a registered goat any day. I have purchased registered goats, and I doubt I’ll ever get my money back that I’ve put in her. Don’t get me wrong, she is a gorgeous goat, but not any more so than my unregistered goats, who are equally beautiful.
My goats are meant to be dairy goats, and a non-registered doe will produce just as much milk as a registered doe. The mother to my registered goat, Clover, out-produced all the other does her age (3 years old) after her second “freshening” (second time she had kids) and was giving about two quarts a day. Then I bought un unregistered buckling (weaned male goat) whose mother produced 2/3 to 3/4 gallon of milk a day. Milk production is what I’m looking for, with the ability to earn extra income by selling goat kids and milk. I’m not selling paperwork.
Registered goats can have valuable traits, but they can also have flaws. I spoke to a rancher recently, and discussed the pros and cons of registered stock. Here’s what the rancher had to say: “Registered breeds have done a lot for the industry. There are traits they have and don’t have, so why not take traits from both [registered and unregistered] and mix them together to have the best?” He went on to talk about how by crossbreeding the stock, you can get the most desirable animals and be able to get ahead in the market.*