Breeding with a Focus on Sustainability
The herd at Bees Knees Farm is a mix of Alpine and grade Saanen does. Having started rather recently, we still have grade Saanen foundation stock as they meet our objectives, but we breed for Alpine and Alpine crosses.
Our herd objectives are to breed for a doe that is hardy, productive over a long lactation, parasite-resistant and metabolically stable without intensive management or extreme inputs. Because our first objective is hardiness, we naturally want our does to last, and so selection for conformation and well-attached udders are included in that goal.
We understand that this may mean that we don't follow the latest fashions in the show ring, and prefer hardiness over extreme dairy character, but we do participate in local and regional shows, primarily for fellowship with other breeders and input from the judges on our does' strengths and weaknesses.
We participate in ADGA performance programs including linear appraisal and DHI milk testing. We find these programs to be invaluable in making our keep/cull decisions and breeding plans.