ADGA Performance Program Information


Last Updated: 8/30/15

New 8/30/15!  You can now see the most current Linear Appraisal Structural Scores at a glance on all animals residing in our herd that have been appraised.  Check it out here:  Linear Appraisal Structural Scores Overview

Linear Appraisal

Brief Overview:

ADGA's Linear Appraisal program is a performance program designed to help breeders evaluate their individual animals based on type traits that affect the structural and functional durability of their animals.

Tha Linear Appraisal system includes 13 primary traits and 1 secondary trait that are used by the appraiser to evaluate functional conformation.  To these linear traits have been added eight structural and functional areas (head, shoulder assembly, front legs, back legs, feet, back, rump, and udder texture) that are evaluated by the appraiser as Excellent, Very Good, Good Plus, Acceptable, Fair, or Poor.  The appraisal system also includes room for the appraiser to notate up to two remarks and/or defects.  The last part of the linear appraisal system is an evaluation of the animal in the four major categories (three for bucks) and the determination of a final score for the animal.  Only the linear trait scores and the animal's final score are part of the computerized linear appraisal data base used to develop sire summaries; the other information is included to provide the herd owner with additional information about the individual animals that are appraised.  An optional young stock program is also available.


When figuring a score, General Appearance (first letter) is 35% of the score, Dairy Strength (second letter) 20%, Body Capacity (third letter) 10%, and Mammary (fourth letter) 35%.  On bucks and young stock, General Appearance is 55% of the score, Dairy Character 30%, and Body Capacity 15%.  Mammary is excluded of course and on young stock the E for Excellent used with the bucks and senior does is replaced with an Ec for Extremely Correct.  Note: Prior to 2014, the second letter was Dairy Character but it is now referred to as Dairy Strength.

For the letters:

E = Excellent (90 and above)

V = Very Good (85 - 89)

+ = Good Plus (80 - 84)

A = Acceptable (70 - 79)

F = Fair (60 - 69)

P = Poor (59 and below)

The ideal goat is a score of 100, but of course there is no such thing as the perfect goat.  The highest score an animal can get is 94, and if they receive that score they have to go before a committee formed by ADGA to prove that the animal really deserves a score of 94.  The highest score a first freshening doe can receive is 89.  The highest I have seen a Nigerian Dwarf doe score is a 92 and in my searches so far, I've only found four that received that high of a score.  Update:  As a testament to the progress being made by Nigerian Dwarf breeders, there are now more does scoring excellent and there is one doe that has appraised with a final score of 93!

2014 Linear Appraisal Notes & Results:

Our farm had its fourth Linear Appraisal on 8/31/14.  I had been hand milking my does and due to the late appraisal date and issues with my arthritic hands, I had dried off many does.  I also had several August kiddings this year so those does were newly fresh.  I have now purchased a milking machine and intend to have my herd appraised again in 2015, providing the date isn't too terribly late, so the rest of my does can be evaluated.  My herd currently (11/19/14) numbers around 48 animals, with 20 of those being senior does and the rest juniors and bucks.  My goal is to reduce those numbers to around 30 total animals so I can put my herd on milk test.  I have tried very hard to use the Linear Appraisal information to improve my herd and I am very pleased with the results but there is still much more work to be done!  In 2013 and 2014 three animals with my herd name scored excellent at their first appraisal.  I think I am on the right track and try to be patient but this process isn't one of instant gratification.  I have very good to excellent rumps in my does and most of my herd has excellent rear legs.  General appearance, dairy strength, and body capacity scores are mostly very good to excellent. The areas I am trying to improve now are even better udders and front legs.  Although teat size doesn't count for a whole lot on the appraisal evaluation, anyone who has raised Nigerian Dwarf goats knows how important it is to have decent sized teats, especially if hand milking.  To me teat size, placement, and nice udder texture is very important.  I am also trying to improve medial ligaments as that seems to be a weak area of this breed.  One of my takeaways from this most recent appraisal is not to get too hung up on scores on bucks.  Scores on bucks aren't taken into account for Superior Genetics designations as their scores will only tell you what they "are" appearance wise, but won't indicate what they "throw" in milk and type.  Bucks don't have a mammary system of their own to score and directly correlate to the mammary systems of their daughters.  You need to use your bucks to see what they produce and if the genetics are there (and they should be if you've chosen wisely), it may not matter what he looks like.  One other thing that became more clear to me this time is that the ideal score for the various traits varies for each trait and isn't necessarily the score in the middle as shown below.

ADGA Linear Traits Ideal Point Ranges

Stature - meet standard for breed at 4 years of age

Strength* - 27 to 33

Dairyness* - 33 to 38

Teat Diameter - 18 to 28

Rear Legs - 25 to 30

Rump Angle - 30 to 35

Rump Width - 30 to 35

Fore Udder Attachment - 35 to 42

Rear Udder Height - 40 to 45

Rear Udder Arch - 32 to 40

Udder Depth - 22 to 27

Medial Suspensory Ligament - 28 to 32

Teat Placement - 25 to 30

*Animals outstanding in Dairy Character are a combination of these ranges in strength and dairyness.


8/31/14 General Appearance Dairy Character Body Mammary Notes Final Score
*B Dill's XM Lonestar *S (4 yrs old) V E E --- buck 90
Shere Country SH Allium (3rd fresh) E E E V E in rump 90
Heidi's Mini Acres Olga (3rd fresh) V E E V newly fresh 88
Shere Country SH Aria (3rd fresh) V E E V   88
Cedarhurst A Patchee (2nd fresh) V E E V E in rump 88
Old Mountain Farm Parti Time (2nd fresh) V E E V   88
*B Wren Farm AB Jose (2 yrs old) V E E --- buck 88
Shere Country LS All That Jazz (yearling FF) V E V +   86
Avian Acres LWS Louise (2nd fresh) + E V V newly fresh 86
Heidi's Mini Acres Reid (4 yrs old) + E V --- buck 84
Zanzabeez ZSR Snap To It (2 yrs old) + E V --- buck 84
Proctor Hill Farm BO Zumba + V V --- buck (yearling) 83
Alethia JD I Dew (yearling FF) + V V A newly fresh 80
*B DesertNanny BR Shendoah (< 2 yrs old) + A A --- buck 78
Dill's RD Conundrum (dry yearling) V Ec Ec ---   V
Shere Country MP Windswept (dry yearling) V Ec V ---   V
Babel Brook Acres Jana Marie (dry yearling) V V + ---   V
Shere Country MP Pebbles (dry yearling) + + V ---   +


2013 Linear Appraisal Results:

I had intended to participate in Linear Appraisal in 2013 but due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to cancel.  I did however get the opportunity to sit in on the appraisal session hosted by my friend Susan Kuha at Able Valley Farm in Wisconsin.  A doe that I formerly owned and had the opportunity to re-purchase in 2014 was appraised at this session so I have posted her results below, as well as a doe that I bred and then sold as a yearling milker to Susan..

6/27/13 General Appearance Dairy Character Body Mammary Notes Final Score
Avian Acres LKR Chorus Line V E E V E in rump (width score of 40!) 88
Shere Country MP Bollywood E E E E 2 yr old 2nd freshener 90


2010 Linear Appraisal Notes & Results:

I had the pleasure of being the host farm for our July 2010 Linear Appraisal.  Debbie Newsam was kind enough to offer to take notes for me and with her permission I have included the key points from our appraiser below:

Key conformational points (highlighted) that are neede to have a correct and dairy animal.  Correctness leads to longevity and productiveness.  The appraiser couldn't stress this enough.

At birth - Literally when the kids head is presenting in the birth canal, look for a broad and deep muzzle with wide nostrils, broad through the jaw in width and depth.  Being able to breath well and eat well makes for a long-lived, productive dairy goat.

As the front legs appear, look at the length of the cannon bone (the lower leg bone).  They should not be short, but with the knee facing forward and of close to equal length with the upper leg bone.

The two conformational points above were the most important to consider in young animals.  He highly stressed that if you do not see correctness of muzzles and cannon bones AT BIRTH, then do NOT consider this kid a "keeper" and cull it from your herd.

Look at the sternum pad.  If it is tipped forward, that will create straight ( IIIIIII example) ribs which are NOT correct.  Ribs should angle toward the rear of the goat.  Note:  The last rib will always angle, even on straight ribbed animals, so feel all the ribs, not just the last one.  Flatness of rib is highly desirable and you should be able to lay your fingers between the ribs.  The sternum should continue to behind the elbow (feel for this).

Topline - shoulder to chine and chine to pins should be three equal in length parts for a BALANCED animal.  Looking at a dairy goat's topline from ABOVE, starting at the last rib, put your thumb on one side and your index finger on the other and as you run your hand toward the rear of the goat, the spine should widen and your fingers stopped by the hip bones.

Do NOT get rid of the does that look too refined, in Nigerians these will be your most "dairy" does.  Seeing prominence at the point of the shoulder can indicate too overly refined, watch for this.  Sharp and clean "dairy" does tend to be shallow in the heel and have more spread toes, don't worry about pretty feet, concentrate on that dairy character.

A long topline with a short underline coupled with downhillness in the topline and rump makes udders tilt.  The underline or barrle should deepen as you look toward the udder area.

Dorsal Process (tail bone between pin bones and hips) should be level NOT prominent (raised high) in kids.  This is an indication of future kidding problems (c-sections).  After does have freshened, the dorsal process does not settle back in until 6 weeks fresh.

Width of Rump - Check kids at 10 - 11 months old.  You want at least 5 inch width, preferably 5-1/2 inches.  It will be difficult to produce correct rumps without correct loin widening.  An excellent length and width of loin will make udders well extended beneath does.

If you can fix the sternums, proportioning of length in topline, and loins , this will FIX a lot of other problems.

Meatiness happens to udders when does are nursing kids but texture will improve with complete filling and emptying of udder by removing kids and hand milking.

Below are the 2010 appraisal results of the animals currently in my herd (10/1/10).  Note:  Cinnamon wasn't feeling well on appraisal day and Red Velvet had a rough kidding and c-section which I believe negatively affected their scores.

7/6/2010 General Appearance Dairy Character Body Mammary Notes Final Score
TX Twincreeks WDF Megapixel E E V --- buck 90
Silveraurora SB Xplicit E E E V E in rump 90
Dancing Angels Little Voice V E E V permanent  score 90
TX Twincreeks Seminole Wind V E V E   89
Dancing Angels Masquerade V E E V   89
MI Sugarcreek XC Yoyo Tunes V E V V first freshener 88
Shere Country EX Suzy Q V V V V first freshener 88
Deb's Whisperwoods PG Violette V V E + permanent score 87
MI Sugarcreek TT Red Velvet + V + +   84
Avian Acres LKR Baby Doll + V V + first freshener 84
Lost Valley BN Cinnamon Girl + V + +   83

I have added current heights of my senior does and bucks to their respective pages based on the measurements taken at my July 2010 Linear Appraisal.  All of the senior animals in my herd are well within the ADGA and AGS height limits and most are also within the NDGA height limits.  See below for how the stature score translates to height in inches.


Linear Score Stature In Inches
5 17"
10 18"
15 19"
20 20"
25 21"
30 22"
35 23"
40 24"
45 25"


2008 Linear Appraisal Notes & Results:

My first ever Linear Appraisal was done in August 2008 and I must say that it was a truly educational experience and one that I intend to continue participating in on a bi-annual basis.  It confirmed some things I thought I knew as well as teaching me a few new things to look for.  It was money very well spent.  My only regret is that I didn't have my bucks and more junior does evaluated this year.  Due to other family obligations, most of my freshened does were dried off early.  The does that I was milking were only being milked once a day and in Xplicit's case, still had a single kid nursing on her, so their mammaries certainly were not all that they could have been.  Anyway, enough excuses.  I feel the girls did very well all things considering and am quite pleased and feel much more comfortable knowing what I need to work on.  One thing the appraiser did make note of was that all my appraised freshened does rated Excellent in their rump score, which she said is far from typical with the Nigerian breed.  Below is a summary of how the girls rated.


8/6/2008 General Appearance Dairy Character Body Mammary Final Score
Deb's Whisperwoods PG Violette V V E + 87
Lost Valley BN Cinnamon Girl V V V A 85
Silveraurora SB Xplicit V E E A 84
Piddlin Acres V Terabithia V V V A 82
TX Twincreeks ADG Aria V E E F 80
TX Twincreeks SEM Fire N Ice V V V --- V
TX Twincreeks Seminole Wind V + V --- V-

ADGA Production/Type Recognition

Superior Genetics Designation (SG):

The Superior Genetics awards identify and recognize individual animals for their genetic superiority through participation in ADGA's performance programs, DHI production testing and Linear Appraisal type evaluation.  It's an award for both bucks and does and is based on the animal being in the top 15% (85th percentile ranking or higher) of their breed according to the Production/Type Index (PTI) ranking, the PTI favoring productions (PTI 2:1) or the PTI favoring type (PTI 1:2) at least once in during the lifetime of the animal.  It is possible for an animal to receive this award in some cases, even though the doe may not have production records of her own, if the daughters of that doe have production records or sons of that doe have daughters with records, a genetic evaluation on the doe is generated on the basis of her progeny, similar to how it works in obtaining buck genetic evaluations.

Earning Dairy Stars

*B   Stars on bucks are earned by virtue of parents with production records meeting ADGA minimums

+B   Pluses on bucks are earned by virtue of offspring meeting ADGA requirements

ST   Star Volume - meeting minimum requirements from one-day tests, or on the basis of pedigree or progeny

AR  Advanced Registry Volume - meeting minimum requirements through Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) programs

2*M Two Star Milker - refers to a second successive generation of a doe line that has earned a star based on minimums set forth by ADGA


ADGA recognizes production on pedigrees through designation of *M for does, and *B and +B for bucks based on meeting minimum criteria either through Advanced Registry (AR) based on DHIR, or the Star program (ST) based on Owner Sampler production testing. One-day competitions, progeny recognition, or acknowledgment of approved non- ADGA DHI programs. The program designation (AR or ST)
is included with the *M on the pedigree.

The number of Stars shall indicate the number of consecutive generations of females in the immediate background that have qualified. For example: 1*M indicates that the doe has qualified by meeting AR or ST requirements and that her dam has no production record; 2*M indicates a qualified tested doe with a 1*M dam; 3*M indicates a qualified doe with a 2*M dam and a 1*M grandam, etc.

The Certificate of Registry for may be revised to show Star and/or Plus designations obtained (either automatically or by application) by sending the certificate to the ADGA office together with the revision fee. Any additions or revisions to registration papers must be accompanied by the correct fee (see Schedule of Rates.)

An ADGA-registered or recorded doe may be issued a Star Milker Certificate upon proper application and payment of fee (see Schedule of Rates) provided she has met minimum production requirements for AR or ST under ADGA rules. Certificates are not issued for does issued *M on the basis or progeny or on bucks.

An automatic *M designation is granted any ADGA registered doe that has qualified for Advanced Registry on the basis of milk, butterfat or protein without application or fee.
An ADGA registered buck shall be entitled to an automatic +B (AR) designation without application or fee if:  He has three Advanced Registry daughters from three different dams. At least two of the dams must be registered or recorded with ADGA or;  He has two Advanced Registry sons that are Advanced Registry Sires.
An ADGA registered buck shall be entitled to an automatic ++B (AR) designation without application fee if:  He has three Advanced Registry daughters from three different dams and two Advanced Registry Sire sons.

A *M designation shall be awarded to those does meeting minimum requirements under ADGA rules, as follows: 

On the basis of meeting minimum DHIR production requirements as defined in Section E, including a minimum DCR of 75, an appropriate VT, and documentation of the qualifying completed lactation record. 

On the basis of earning 18 or more points at a recognized Milking Competition conducted under rules approved by the Board of Directors or On the basis of AGS Advanced Registry or Canadian R.O.P. certificate (original of which to be lent to ADGA office for verification) where production meets ADGA minimum requirements in 305 days or less. (British Goat Society records are also accepted.) 

An ADGA-registered or recorded doe shall be entitled to an automatic *M designation without application or fee (with no Star certificate issued):
On the basis of three qualifying ST Does or Advanced Registry daughters, or
On the basis of two +B sons (ST) or 2 AR sons, or
On the basis of one AR son and one +B son (ST), or
On the basis of one AR son and two AR and/or *M daughters, or
On the basis of one +B son (ST) and two AR and/or *M daughters.

An ADGA-registered buck shall be entitled to an automatic *B designation without application or fee if:
His dam is either an Advanced Registry doe that has qualified on both milk and butterfat requirements, or a 
ST Doe, and his sire is an Advanced Registry Sire, a Star Buck or a +B (ST), or His dam is either an Advanced Registry doe that has qualified on both milk and butterfat requirements, or a ST Doe, and his sire's dam is an Advanced Registry doe that has qualified on both milk and butterfat requirements, or a Star Milker.

An ADGA-registered buck shall be entitled to a +B (ST) designation without application or fee if:
He has three *M daughters from three different dams. At least two of the dams must be registered or recorded with ADGA, or
He has two +B sons (ST), or
He has one AR son and one +B son (ST), or
He has one AR son and two AR and/or *M daughters, or
He has one +B son (ST) and two AR and/or *M daughters.

An ADGA-registered buck shall be entitled to a ++B designation without application or fee by qualifying in any
of the ways listed in the paragraph above except the way in which he earned his first plus. (++ must be earned on the basis of both 
sons and daughters.)




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Thank you for your interest in Shere Country Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats.

Julie Shere
Embarrass, MN 55732
(218) 984-3019
Please call or email for exact street address and directions.