Do you own a goat or a pig? Advice needed!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by FoggyMountain, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. FoggyMountain

    FoggyMountain Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 13, 2012
    Stuarts Draft, VA
    So.. as part of our move to the country, I told each child that they could choose one animal to raise themselves....

    15 year old son wants to raise a goat. I know that goats don't do well alone from what I hear. Can you goat people give me some ideas of what I should look for in a goat? What breed? I'd like to find something that he could sell the kids and make some pocket money.

    10 year old step son wants to raise a pig. Same as above.. what should I look for? What breed? Again I'd like to choose one that we could breed and he could make some pocket money.

    Any advice is GREATLY appreciated! I like learning by mistakes but when I can skip a few it's sometimes funner lol
  2. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have had both. Goats are ornery. Very ornery. Did I mention they are ornery?

    They are also escape artists. I don't have any anymore ;)

    If I did, I would look into zip lines to keep them under control. Can't help you with the breed, not enough experience. Considered a milk goat, but..... We had an Alpine Doe and 2 Pygmies. Very sweet and great ground clearers.

    Pigs, I raise heritage Tamworth for meat and to sell. It is difficult to raise and sell one hog for a profit unless you know how to market. But.... it will supply your family with the best pork you have ever eaten.

    Good luck and have fun.

  3. FoggyMountain

    FoggyMountain Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 13, 2012
    Stuarts Draft, VA
    We briefly had a boer goat that had originally been a pet.. That was one crazy experience!! When we moved back to the city we found a great buyer who had friends for her. I hate to say it but I never really missed that goat [​IMG]However, I am willing to assume it was either the breed or the previous owner that caused us such chaos? I'm definitely looking for a milk goat but didn't know if there were smaller more mellow ones out there.
    As for pigs.. I have no clue! We had them as kids but I don't remember much about them.
    Thanks for your reply!
  4. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    I just wanted to put it out there that if you do go with both types of animal, that they will have to be separate. Some people have kept pigs and goats together. I've heard of more horror stories regarding that than good. It is almost inevitable that the pig will hurt the goat.

    I guess what you want to do depends on your boys. They'd make the most money if they raised their respective animals for slaughter. If they join 4H, often after the fair where animals are shown, they are auctioned off for butcher right on the fairgrounds. A lot of 4Hers can make a pretty penny off of the price their animal gets, and that money is used to finance future livestock endeavors. At the Escanaba state fair this year, the two boer wethers auctioned off for meat when for $10 a lb and $7 a lb, liveweight. That is MUCH higher than usual, the average for a 4H auctioned goat here is $4 to $5 a lb. Keep in mind that 4H auctioned animals sell for higher amounts than normal market value, because it is seen as a donation to hardworking youth and funding their 4H pursuits.

    Sounds like you had a bad experience with goats. My goats are very sweet and well behaved. No hair pulling, clothing chewing, biting, or butting humans. They will lick my hands and arms sometimes, but that isn't bad. I wouldn't call mine ornery, and most goats I've met aren't ornery. It all depends on how you socialized them and treated them, and if bad behavior was discouraged while good behavior rewarded. I actually find mine easier to train than my dogs. I love going out to spend time with them, because if I sit on the grass, a goat will often flop in my lap for petting and a cuddle.

    Not all goats are escape artists. A lot are content to stay on their side of the fence. My intact buck and his wether buddy are contained by a 4 foot fence with no hot wire. My girl goats by a five foot fence. Even when a doe is in heat, the buck stays in his pasture, and the girls in theirs. When they are excited they will race up and down the fenceline, but not try to go over.

    Sounds like it was the goat. Boers are often very mellow and easygoing if handled gently and consistently from a young age. My wether is a boer, and all he wants in life is a scratch on the nose and a treat from people, not a mean bone in his body. I am betting that your goat wasn't handled much or very well, so she became hard to handle.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  5. Conchis

    Conchis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2012
    I have no experience with pigs, but I've had a few goats. Actually I've had a lot of goats. There is an old saying about fencing for goats. If it won't hold water, it won't hold a goat. Goats are browsers not grazers a common misconception about them. They will eat grass if nothing else is around, but they prefer small bushes, trees, undergrowth. If you are only going to get one goat (and yest they really really do prefer to have at least one buddy) then dairy goat raising doesn't make much sense as you could never get it lactating. So that leaves meat. Boer goats were bred for meat, but I raised what are called "spanish" goats (ie. mutts) and sold them at a local auction 2 times a year. Again with only one goat, you're going to have difficulty getting kids though. If you decide that you can arrange to breed I think it would be far easier to raise kids for the market than the dairy route to make extra money. Demand for goat milk, at least in my area, is non-existent. I think goat cheese is very popular, but that's a whole different can of worms. I don't have goats at the moment, but that's because I travel all of the time these days and my wife feels uncomfortable feeding them. I like goats. They are smart, curious and if they are handled routinely are a decent companion. Good luck!
  6. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    I don't have experience with raising goats for profit, but I have had some as pets. I've owned pygmies and Boer/Nubian mixes. The pygmies were the easiest to take care of. They were able to be held in with a 4ft welded wire fence. The only problem with them is they can slip under the fence if there is a gap bigger than 4 inches from the ground. They were fairly quiet too. My Boer/Nubians are very social and funny to watch, but they are screamers and escape artists (That is the Nubian in them). If they want out there is no stopping them. We ended up replacing our fencing with 6ft welded wire and it keeps the one in, but the other is jumping off their deck now that is 8ft off the ground. During the spring and summer we open their gate and basically let them go where-ever they want in the back yard. They also will scream from the time the front door opens in the morning until I feed them. They have horns but have never butted us and they love to be petted. They get a little pushy are feeding time, but nothing an adult or teenager could not handle. I'm attached so I won't sell them because around here that breed mix goes straight to the slaughter. If I could start over though, I would have gotten Nigerian dwarfs for pets.
  7. Shutter Up

    Shutter Up Out Of The Brooder

    We have 2 African Pygmy goats (does). Have had them for 6 months now in the pasture and a stall for them in the barn. This spring we are going to be breeding them for both milk and meat primary being for meat.

    As far as the pygmy and dwarfs go - pygmy goats (African pygmy) is more of a meat goat and the Nubian Dwarf is more of a dairy goat. Both are small in stature but the Pygmy's kind of look like a beer keg on legs. Super cute, curious, and fun to watch and everyone visiting the family farm are offered the chance to hand feed them - no one has yet to turn down that offer! They are easy to care for, social - but need friends. One goat wont be happy - goats need friends.

    Our AP goats are about 40 pounds and about the size of a medium sized dog. They are at the middle rail of the split rail fence but never get over that.

  8. lauriemae15

    lauriemae15 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 28, 2012
    South Dakota
    Fainting goats are fun! And they don't try to escape very much because if they climb too high they get scared and faint LOL! I really loved having them as a kid and the newborns were so sweet, tinier than a cat. We would bring them in the house to play with them. You really should have at least 2 goats, they don't do well alone. I would also recommend sticking with female goats because billy goats STINK! Goats are so much fun to watch, you will love them. I've been trying to convince Husband to let me get a milking goat since I can't have cow's milk, I really miss having goats!
  9. LizaBlue

    LizaBlue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2010
    Wee Acres
    I'm thinking about getting goats myself, so I was glad to run across this thread. I was hoping to see more information on how hardy goats were and how much medication/vaccinations they needed, though. I currently raise chickens, and while they don't "raise themselves" they certainly aren't high maintenance, IMO. I'm just wondering how goats compare.

    Read a blog post recently about a farm that rented a billy goat for their doe in heat - well that was an education. Apparently - don't know if it was just that particular breed or not - to attract the female, the male saturates his beard with pee! You don't have to have much imagination to picture what else gets in there when he does this, or the horrific smell it produces. Needless to say, when they realized they had missed the lady's prime time for breeding, they quickly changed plans from keeping him until the next time to return that filthy thang as soon as possible, lol!
  10. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    Hmm, my goats are definitely higher maintenance than chickens. But they are a joy to keep, but that is my opinion. Feed requirements are different, such as a supply of hay. I mean, with my chickens, my morning routine is to give them a scoop of feed, fresh water, and they are good. But with the goats, add in hay to that routine morning and evening, plus a bit of grain in the evening. And their health needs are a bit more than chickens, such hoof trimming every 4-6 weeks (you do not need a farrier, this is easy to do yourself), CDT vaccinations, and supplementing with minerals. A salt lick won't work well, they need a goat specific blend of loose minerals that they can lick up. People have found a salt block type mineral block leads to deficiencies, since they get mostly NaCl from it, and not enough of what they need, such as copper and selenium. Mine have a little mineral feeder in their shelter that I refill every few days. Sometimes they eat through it all very quickly, and other times they hardly touch it.

    And yes, male goats do pee on themselves! The urine doesn't just get in their beards. They can bend themselves so their entire faces get a food spray, plus the back of their legs and belly. They mostly do this during rut, in the fall. The rest of the year they tend not to, but it depends on the buck. I own a buck, and during rut, he can peel paint off the walls. Because it isn't just the urine in his fur that makes him smell rank. They have scent glands behind their horns that kick into full gear which make bucks smell potent. So the bucks are marinating in their own perfume of urine and musk, which is irresistible to the does! Believe me, a doe in heat goes CRAZY for the scent of a buck! Using a 'buck rag' can help people without bucks figure out if their does are truly in heat or not, since the doe will react to the buck scent in the cloth. Because I have a buck, I always know when a doe is in heat, because of how she acts and how HE acts. The boys are kept far away from the girls, but he can still smell her on the wind, and vice versa.

    Thankfully, the intensity of their odor and tenacity of their behavior die down after rut, especially for the breeds who are only seasonable breeders. Year round breeders still act like bucks, but less so. In fact, I've met Nigerian Dwarf bucks in spring and summer who hardly smell at all. You can pat on them and not have the clinging rank of buck sticking to you for the next day and a half (despite scrubbing!). My buck, George, is a very sweet fellow, but I am not keen on snuggling him while he is in the 'sexy man' stage of the year!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by