We are often asked about the many competing Kiko registries (NKR, AKGA, IKGA). Which one is best? Here's how we answered that question for our farm:
NKR - our choice
Size: The National Kiko Registry by far the largest Kiko registry in the US. Since most major US breeders now use NKR, we no longer see the other registries as viable options.
Professionalism: NKR is professionally managed, and is not plagued by the politics and infighting seen in some member-run organizations.
Cost: With its $12 registration fee, NKR is affordable.
Choice: While NKR provides DNA testing services, it does not require it. We are not believers in routine DNA testing except when needed to resolve questionable parentage. We're not alone in this view. Cattle are much more valuable than goats, yet highly respected registries such as American Angus Association do not require DNA testing. Testing can lead to a false sense of knowledge and security. The only thing it determines is whether or not the immediate parents of the goats are those listed on the pedigree. Kikos were first imported to the USA in the early 1990s, and since most were never tested, we cannot know that today's "100% NZ" goats really are descended solely from original imports.
Ethics: The NKR has promised never to withhold our DNA test information in the future. UC Davis' VGL numbers are printed right on every NKR certificate. NKR allows future owners to DNA test progeny on their own, if they so choose.
We are former AKGA members. Here's why:
Size: The AKGA has shrunk dramatically, as most major breeders switched to NKR. We have not had a request for an AKGA registration in years.
Cost: We could no longer afford AKGA's high fees, once they began forcing us to DNA test every animal.
Ethics: In 2011, the AKGA Board blocked members' access to their own DNA test information. The President's stated reason for doing this (recorded in the annual meeting minutes) was to discourage members from using other DNA testing services, so that AKGA could increase revenues. In our view, they took our information hostage, with the conscious intent of forcing us to use their services again in the future.
Our only options at that point were to continue to register through AKGA, or re-test our animals at our expense. We filed an ethics complaint, which was summarily rejected without any explanation. We then posted a warning for our customers about the DNA test problem, hoping to spare others the financial losses we incurred. When the AKGA board found out, they suspended our membership.
Below are excerpts from emails we got from other breeders, who wrote to us after we went public with our concerns:
- "This is exactly the reason we decided to not give AKGA another penny."
- "I have spent to much money blood and sweat on my Kikos to end up with no DNA information if I need to register my goats for customers that do not want AKGA goat reg papers."
- "I fully stand by your decision. I too have wondered if it was legal for them to withhold information that the breeder paid for."
- "I am disgusted by the AKGA and am no longer interested in anything pertaining to them."
- "I totally agree with you that AKGA does not have the right to withhold the VGL information that we paid for."
- "Everybody should boycott the AKGA- they are the worst enemy of the Kiko breed. Why would anybody want to deal with such an unorganized, unprofessional group? Sooner AKGA goes away the better for the Kiko breed, everyone needs to consolidate into NKR or switch breeds. AKGA is driving me away from Kikos."
- "This action was taken by a majority vote of the existing BOD as revenge to the new registry and those AKGA members that chose to register animals with the NKR."
- "They don't care about us breeders and now I don't care about them."
- "I have absolutely no confidence in AKGA. We are encouraging anyone that we deal with to go with NKR...most that we talked to are doing the same. We are all angry and frustrated. They have actually destroyed the AKGA and any credibility that they ever had."
- "...do not be surprised when your ethics compliant goes no-ware...I presently use the NKR."
- "I am in total agreement with you on this issue. It seems that the only
- "Numerous other breeder members are having the same problem as you are with the VGL #'s."
- "Like you I have many animals DNA'ed through UC Davis and now have no accesss to that data."
- "I am in the same situation, I have 8 goats I cannot get the VGL numbers on. I am going to resubmit DNA through NKR. Rather than everyone hiring their own lawyer, why doesn't someone initiate a class action suit?"
- "For the AKGA to deny us VGL #s is a violation of that statute, for them to alter the VGL report by removing the VGL #s is a violation of several statutes."
- "You have our support...We are basically a commercial operation and not very happy with politics and in fighting just to raise goats."
- "This will be one more nail in the akga coffin. maybe the last."
- "Even though the AKGA sent in the DNA request, you paid for it...there are other angry individuals out there that are also switching to the NKR."
We have never done business with the IKGA, due to their use of the potentially misleading term "fullblood." See our Fullblood Kikos? page for more information. They are also very small, without a single member on the west coast, as of 2015.