Advice on purchasing

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by S0rcy, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. S0rcy

    S0rcy Songster


    I am in the planning stages for buying a dairy goat and I would like some advice as to what to look for in a kid. I will be using the goat for dairy (goats milk soap and possibly cheese). What sorts of questions should I be asking the owner? Should I be looking at mom and dad? Should she already have vaccinations I should know about, should I ask for a vet check beforehand or should I take her to the vet for her check/vaccinations myself? Any red flags that I should look for?

    Thanks much!

  2. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    For starters - you won't just be looking for 'a' dairy goat, you'll need two.

    Here is a great place to research - they have a lot of info on what you'll want to look for.
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:When buying a doe, you want to ask the owner about the doe's mother. Most people have records of their milk production per day in pounds. A superb milker may give 8 pounds of milk a day (roughly a gallon). If you get a doe from a goat who gives maybe 2 pounds of milk per day, don't expect the doe to magically give 8 pounds per day. [​IMG]

    Verify only two teats. This is very important.

    Also, I would buy a registered animal to get going. Most people doing registered milking goats (we keep Nubians) are extremely experienced and want to help you learn. They'll also probably answer the phone at 2 am when something goes wrong.

    Quote:Absolutely. You can't tell too much from the sire, but you can the dame. Is her back overlay swayed? How large is her bag? How old is she and how does her teeth look?

    Quote:If you are getting a goat from a breeder, they likely know more than your vet would about goats to begin with. Most people selling dairy animals have been doing it a long time and are always very open and willing to share tips and help people get started. My first year, the breeder came to give them their second vaccinations just out of good-heartedness.

    The general vaccination requirements (these may vary by region):

    CD/T at around 2 months of age with a booster 4-6 weeks later. This prevents the two forms of over-eating disease and tetanus. This is then given again annually. Do not vaccinate sooner since you will be negating the protection the clostridium gives them.

    Many people use 7 and 8 way vaccines which do the work of CD/T but provide protection against other diseases as well. We use Ultrabac 8. The next goat breeder over uses Vision 7 (I think that's the name).

    If your clostridial vaccine doesn't include tetanus, you will need to provide a tetanus toxoid at the same time you do the 7 or 8 way vaccine. Prior to dehorning (disbudding) the doe should get a tetaxun anti-toxin shot. Some people give the first CD/T prior to disbudding, but this is simply wrong. There is no time for an immune response and it further negates the clostridial protection they get from their mom.

    Deworm the doe when you get her to your house. I like Safeguard for goats in the first year, then you can switch to Ivermec injectible from then on.

    Finally, if you are in an area where cocidiossis is prevelant, I would prophylactically treat any doe with Albon for 5 days to ensure they don't get coccidiossis. Goats are the only animals I treat phrophylactially for cocci because it can just devestate them and they'll be gone before you notice the first symptoms.

    Quote:You may want to ask about CAPRINE ARTHRITIS ENCEPHALITIS (CAE) and if the herd has been tested. If they are asking top dollar for their does, they probably have the herd tested and will gurantee CAE free stock. This may or may not matter to you.

    I bought all my does from a herd with CAE. One came from a 12 year old goat. If you believe the 'fear mongering' over CAE, all the goats would have been crippled from it and be unable to feed themselves, let alone be bred. Many many goats carry it and never manifest symptoms. I don't lose any sleep over it. But, it did allow me to get the does $100 cheaper than I probably could have otherwise.

    That's all I can think of. I of course must recommend Nubians. But you will find as many opinions on this as people. My general rule of thumb is to raise breeds which your neighbors also breed. This means you get additional help or matings close to home, rather than having to travel several states away because you picked some random rare breed that no one keeps closer to you.

    p.s. I agree you cannot have one dairy goat. You must have two for the welfare of your animal.
  4. S0rcy

    S0rcy Songster

    Thank you for the info! I'll be taking a look through it all.
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    You will have no troubles finding dairy goats in the Willamette.
  6. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    Wow - that was a very nice post Greyfields! Super informative. [​IMG]

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