Let’s Talk Baby Goat Names!
A goat name generator is just the beginning, if you want to register your herd.
Reading Time: 4 minutes
by Lorena Washburn
How do you pick a herd name and your baby goat’s name?
We waited just before our Nigerian Dwarf babies were born before we began thinking about our baby goat names. Up until kidding, we had not given much thought to our herd name or goat names.
Choosing a registered herd name and choosing baby goat names for registration is a very important decision. Herd names and goat names are recorded and appear in pedigrees for years — they become part of history.
We began the journey by learning what was required for registering our Nigerian Dwarf goat names with the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA).
The ADGA’s requirements for registration are:
- The baby goat’s name must be confined to 30 letters and spaces and must begin with the breeder’s herd name, if any. Once registered, a goat’s name cannot be changed.
- If another goat is already registered with the same name, ADGA will use your second choice. If that name is taken and you checked the “return” box, ADGA will return the application to you for further choices. If the “return” box is not marked, the office will choose a similar name that is available to name the baby goat for you.
- Most ADGA breeders register a herd name. Once registered, the herd name is used as the first part of the animal’s name, when you stand as the breeder. You may apply for a herd name (you must be an ADGA member) online.
- In figuring the total letters and spaces used, keep in mind that if the breeder does not have a registered herd name, the goat’s name will be prefixed by the word “THE.”
Our herd name would become part of every one of our goat’s names — both male goat names and the female goat names. Choosing a herd name was an important part of the equation.
We took out a pad of paper and began jotting down names as they popped into our head. We came up with names like Knotty Pines, Cedar Ridge, and Valley View Farm. The names we were coming up with for our farm did not have any real meaning for us. Like most people, we wanted our herd name to be special.
We asked family and friends for suggestions. We used a goat name generator. We looked at other farm names on Facebook and in goat forums for inspiration. We were looking for an original herd name that was a little whimsical, meaningful and brought an image to mind like Buttin’ Heads, Piddlin’ Acres, Old Mountain Farm, NC Promisedland, and Dragonfly.
We began to take a more focused approach. We made a list about our farm, our location, plants, and trees we had on the property and things that our area and state offered. Meaningful things. Once we became more focused and detailed, the names we came up with had more meaning and names began to click.
We had a little over 10 acres so we thought Mi-Ten Acre Farm would be cute but the hyphen was bothersome for a domain name and website. We removed the hyphen — Miten Acres. The misspelling was unacceptable. We spelled mitten correctly and voila, we had our farm and herd name — Mitten Acres. That name felt right, meant something and we thought it was a little whimsical — exactly what we were looking for!
As a bonus, our farm is in Michigan, known as the Mitten State, so the name has another meaning. The name was easy to remember, consisted of only 13 letters and spaces, was easy to spell, and the name was available as a domain name for our website to boot!
Once we had our herd name, we began to focus on the individual baby goat names. We began by looking at other goat names listed on registration pedigrees online.
Talk about everything but the kitchen sink being listed as a goat’s name! We found goat names that were named after office supplies (Buttin’ Heads GCH Paperclip), candy bars (Udderly Funny Snickers), famous musicians (Stonewall’s Orbison) and even drinks (Old Mountain Farm Hot Tea), to name a few. Goat names are made up of just about anything you can imagine. We just needed to find our special niche for our baby goat names.
While we were looking at individual registered goat names, some goat names we thought were clever, some had hilarious goat names and a few names weren’t very nice. Naming a goat “Nasty” is not a nice name. Given names not only reflect on the goat that is named that name, but that name is also carried on every pedigree that carries that particular goat’s bloodline. Honor, respect, and thoughtfulness should be given to the animal for their registered name.
Like most people, we wanted unique names for each of our darling baby goats. We made a list of things that we thought paired well with our herd name. Since our herd name referenced Michigan, we started by looking at all things Michigan — wildflowers, weeds, trees, lake names, and finally cities and towns in Michigan.
We found that the state of Michigan has 276 cities, 257 villages, and 1,240 townships so we were fairly confident we would not run out of choices for goat names!
Building from our lists helped us to focus and begin with meaningful things to help build a special herd name and develop a special list for baby goat names.
In the spring of 2018, we were blessed with our firstborn — a Nigerian Dwarf buck we named Mitten Acres SL Augusta. Gus is his barn name.
The “SL” in Augusta’s name reflects his sire and grandsire on the sire’s side of his pedigree. Augusta’s sire, Bramblestone SL Gold Dust, and his grandsire, Old Mountain Farm Spring Loaded. While looking at registrations online, we noticed the initials of the sires and grandsire proceeded the goat’s name. The initials help keep track of breeding purposes.
Half the battle of choosing a herd name is finding inspiration and making a list of those things. Once you have a herd name, you can really have a lot of fun with your baby goat’s names whether they’re named after characters in a book, wildflowers, or cartoon characters the sky’s the limit!
When we began our fabulous journey into raising these wonderful, sweet little creatures called Nigerian Dwarf goats, we had no idea what kind of journey we’d take to name a goat!
- Lorena Washburn
- Mitten Acres Nigerian Dwarf Goats
- Milford, Michigan
Originally published in the May/June 2020 issue of Goat Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy.