Hi, I'm rather new, used to have an account about a year ago though!
Anyways, I currently have a couple horses, 33 chickens, two guinea fowl, a dog, two cats, and a parakeet. My family has always wanted goats. And we have enough animal units (silly zoning!) to get two goats.
So...I haven't done a ton of research yet, but since there are a lot of knowledgeable people here, I thought I'd ask a few questions.
1. We're a busy family. My mom grew up on a dairy farm, and she knows about how you MUST BE HOME BY MILKING TIME. From what I've read, goat milking times are approximately 12 hours apart. I read that as soon as you wean the kid/kids, that's when the most milk is coming and that there should be very little variation. During this peak time, if I aimed for 7am and 7pm, is half an hour variation okay? Once a week or so? If we just *need* to be home at that time for about a month, that's do able though. I just don't want to get goats and then be miserable because I can't do anything, like 4-H. (Actually, I'm home most days, because I'm homeschooled.)
As soon as the goats start producing less, how much variation in times is okay? How much do you vary your milking times?
2. I read (on one website, mind you) that this one lady dam raised her kids (like we plan to do) and didn't wean them fully for a long time, so if she had to miss a milking she'd let the kids in with their mama that night. She fed them mostly hay/pellets, but I guess let them with their mom a part of the day so they'd still be used to it. I know I'd loose more milk this way, but is it a totally crazy idea or a good idea?
3. Fencing...I want to get Nigerian Dwarf/Mini goats and am theoretically planning to use 4' woven wire (holes are 2"x4") and metal t-posts. Would they totally demolish/jump over this or should I add a string of electric wiring to the top? They'd be in the barn when it was raining/night, of course, and would have a shelter in their 'pasture' during the day.
Anyways, thank you so, so so much! My possible future goaties thank you!