Getting a goat??

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by groleau6, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. groleau6

    groleau6 Out Of The Brooder

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    My boys are really wanting a goat. I don't think I mind, but I am clueless about them, other than they take only a little work and need to be wormed twice a year. Can anyone suggest a good goat bread that is child friendly? We are thinking of a milking goat over a meat goat, so who has the sweeter milk? I think that has to do with the butter milk content right? Any and all suggestions will be great!
     
  2. luvmypets

    luvmypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Rhandi74

    Rhandi74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We raise Lamancha and Nigerian Dwarfs. Both are friendly and have delicious milk. :D
     
  4. WeBeCluckin

    WeBeCluckin Out Of The Brooder

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    I second Nigerian Dwarfs. They're small and easy for kids to handle plus they're good for milk. Pygmies are small also but are more for meat than milk. If you simply want pet quality, weathers would be a good choice. Whatever breed you choose, keep in mind that you'll want at least two since they are very social and need another goat friend. Be warned though, goats are very addicting!!
     
  5. groleau6

    groleau6 Out Of The Brooder

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    I haven't heard of that site, I will try over there. I did try backyardranch.com but I couldn't really find more than a basic information recap.
     
  6. luvmypets

    luvmypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Byh is great they were a great help for our first lambing earlier this yr.
     
  7. H Diamond

    H Diamond Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Goats need good hay/forage, fresh water, free choice mineral, and grain depending on what you get). Saanens/Sables and LaManchas seem to be the quietest/calmest breeds and both give great milk. Nubians can be pretty loud (however, all goats can if their needs aren't being met). I don't have a lot of experience with Alpines, Oberhasli's, and Toggenburgs. That being said, some Togg lines give weird tasting milk, so I would suggest tasting the milk of a Togg doe before purchasing her. Nigerians are of course the mini dairy goat. If you plan to hand milk the doe, get one with longer teats. Life is too short to milk goats with itty bitty teats. Just starting out (unless you have prior milking experience), I would try to find a doe that is seasoned already... one who knows how to behave on the stand. It will take you long enough to milk just starting out, you don't need a doe who is new to the whole thing dancing around. You will need no less than 2 goats. Goats are herd animals, if you just get one, it will stand there and beller for you all day. You can keep two does together, a doe and a wether together, but not a doe and a buck. You do not want to run a buck with your milk goat 24/7. You only want her bred once a year, and a buck in rut has the chance to give your milk an off flavor. You will need good fence, a decent shelter, and a place to milk out of the weather. (a stanchion is a beautiful thing) Just because it's raining or snowing, you don't get to skip a milking. A doe in milk needs good quality alfalfa, or something else to make up the need for calcium. She will also need a grain ration during milking (there are some exceptions to this rule, for instance, Nigerians are pretty easy to keep weight on), preferably a 14% protein ration. You'll need to figure out how you plan to breed her in the fall, as a doe must kid to be brought into milk. Some does can be milked through (skip a year of breeding). You need to decide what you will do with the kids after they are born. Will you sell them or retain them? Will you pull them and bottle feed them, or let them nurse on momma? Goats also sometimes require supplements. Copper and Selenium are the most common... talk to your extension agent and see if you are in a deficient area. Make sure the mineral you get them is not for sheep... cattle or goat mineral is preferred as sheep mineral won't have enough copper for the goat's needs. You'll need to keep a few basic meds on hand (antibiotic, supplements, wound care, etc) or have a good working relationship with a vet. It's still good to keep some on hand though because a goat always gets sick on a Saturday night, lol.
    If you aren't wanting a milk goat, I would suggest two wethers (castrated males) that were bottle fed. They will be the sweetest pets ever.
    Umm, those are some basics, if you have more questions, let me know!
     
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  8. groleau6

    groleau6 Out Of The Brooder

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    H Diamond, is it better to do AI breeding for safety or is it usually safe to let nature take it's toll? What is a normal weaning time? I don't mind hand milking, that's what I am used to on cows--never did it on a goat before, but it can't be too different...I mean a teat is a teat. I was actually hoping that I could teach my boys how to do it on the goats before me moved up to larger livestock. No one in our family is taller than 5'5'' so small hands is all we have around here. I was leaning towards the pygmy, do you know if they can be used in 4h? that's the big goal...
     
  9. H Diamond

    H Diamond Chillin' With My Peeps

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    AI breeding is great if you have the equipment and know how... it's an awesome way to breed to a better quality buck than you could afford to purchase. I've never met a "dangerous" dairy buck, so as far as I'm concerned keeping a buck isn't dangerous. Weaning time... 12 weeks is great. Some folks do 8 weeks and that is pretty early.
    Milking a goat is actually very different than a cow! You squeeze off the top of the teat with your thumb and first finger, then in sucession squeeze down with the rest of your fingers. Unlike a cow where it's more of a pull down kind of thing.
    If you really want a goat for milk, the Pygmy is one of the last ones I would choose, lol. And I don't know about 4h... you would need to contact the extension office to figure out what type of goat classes they have. Here, we only have Boer classes. We had a couple girls do dairy last year, but there weren't any this year. I was bummed.
     
  10. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Pygmies were originally used in Africa as meat goats. Before the Boers came on the scene some people used a pygmy buck on their dairy goats to produce a meat goat with a blocky carcass. People who want a small dairy goat go with the Nigerians. Personally I prefer a full sized goat. As for breeding you can keep your own buck but for just a few does it really isn't worth it. Dairy bucks aren't dangerous but they are smelly and rambuctious. You can usually find breeders around that offer stud service. AI is great but it is a skill. The equipment is not cheap and it is a lot harder to AI a goat than it is to AI a cow.
     

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