Caye Mott operates a show dairy goat operation outside of Hogeye, Ark.

Caye Mott, a life member of the American Dairy Goat Association, runs a show dairy goat operation named Loch Arbor outside of Hogeye, Ark., on 17 acres. She raises Toggenburg goats originally from the Toggenburg Valley of Switzerland and the oldest registered goat breed.
Caye’s addiction to the beautiful, brown goats began when she saw a little goat while driving on Mount Hood in Oregon. She stopped and bought one that stayed in a doghouse because she had nowhere else to put it. Eventually she bought a breeding pair from Chicago which was the beginning foundation of her current bloodlines and part of the Sandburg line, however diluted. She has registered her herd name in 1973 to establish pedigree identity and added other bloodlines as she works to improve her dairy goats in much the same way Paula Sandburg did.
With registry beginning in the 1600s, Carl Sandburg’s wife Lillian, whom he called Paula, became interested in the breed and developed it on their farm in Michigan, which eventually moved to Flat Rock, NC. A commemorative Sandburg Museum and Park now reside there and the goats are still bred.
Paula was a geneticist and considered the leading dairy goat expert of her time.
One common sense technique Caye uses is to retain doelings from aging goats that are proven breeders.
When Caye moved to Arkansas, she was determined not to be bothered by urban sprawl and rules and regulations that spread even into the countryside. Consequently, she bought acreage in Hogeye. When she moved to Northwest Arkansas 34 years ago, the area was far from the metropolitan spot it is today so shipping goats by air all over the United States by plane stopped. She now sells by word-of-mouth and by being registered in the American Dairy Goat Association Directory, which includes breeders from all over the country as well as other countries such as Russia. One-quarter of her goats are sold by reservation and three-quarters by word-of-mouth.
Like many producers who raise show animals, Caye believes careful management is as important as excellent genetics and is an evolutionary process that needs constant refinement in order to consistently produce the best animals possible. One part of that process is keeping meticulous pedigree, health and performance records so every buyer knows the exact heritage of the goat.
“I don’t sell what I wouldn’t keep for my own breeding stock. I also try to sell to my customers’ specific preferences so they received exactly what they are seeking,” Caye said.
The records also serve as a basis for breeding decisions. In order to simplify the record keeping as much as possible, all babies from the same doe line have names starting with the same letter such as her permanent champion’s line whose offspring’s names all start with the letter “I.”
Balanced nutrition is an obvious management technique and for her includes both alfalfa and mixed grass hay, along with a special goat ration supplemented by 16 percent pellets.
“Clean water is also important. If the water is not good enough for me to drink, then the water is not good enough for my goats,” Caye said.
Additionally, good management includes exercise and access to browsing since goats are natural browsers. A final aspect of careful management is good vet support. Caye believes pinching pennies in management damages profitability.
Caye readily admits much of what she has learned she has learned from other breeders. One problem is raising only as many show babies as the market will bear. She learned this from another and very successful breeder when she heard him talking about using Boer bucks to manage numbers by breeding them to some of the show quality does in order to keep a larger show quality doe herd for genetic variety and to adapt to changes in consumer demand. The mixed offspring are then sold as meat goats while the does maintain their pedigree and availability for the next year’s show breeding season.
“All breeders have their own way of doing things, and sharing information and supporting each other can help. Each breeder is then able to select and implement tidbits from the shared information into his own management pattern,” Caye said.
The goat industry is growing and includes many newcomers with limited knowledge.
“Everybody has to start somewhere, and good sources of information are the extension agents and the ADGA website which contains useful information on all topics,” Caye explained.
Caye’s latest project is to develop a flexible system fencing using sturdy cattle panels she can move as needed. The process will allow her to create more pastures and therefore rotate the goats more frequently which she believes is always good management.


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