Getting our first Goat... Help?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Chick_a_dee, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    I was browsing the internet and paper the other day and we'd been considering getting a goat or two for a little while, mostly because we love them, and secondly to make a dent in the hillside of mixed grasses, weeds, etc. that we can't mow since we're not sure what's under it (most likely just ground under... but there could be some loose rubber irrigation piping). We found a farm close to us who has several kid nanny's for sale, mostly offspring from their milking goats, all are vaccinated and dewormed. They are all Nubian/Boer crosses, Boer being the dad, Nubian is mum.

    I have a few questions for you goat people! ... We have a 50x30 barn, that has a few stalls in it right now.. but clearly need work. We were thinking of tethering her, or putting up some temporary fencing (step in plastic posts) with four lines of electric, would this be good enough if we decide not to tether her? ... If she is tethered she'd be on the type of tether base that can spin, so she doesn't get tangled up.

    Water... we have a 100 gallon stock tank doing nothing right now, is this too much for her and if you know what the big rubbermaid stock tanks look like, is it too tall for her? Should I just fill up a regular stable bucket?

    The goat would have about an acre of mixed scrub and grass to chomp through... should I feed anything extra? She would likely come in at night starting in or around the end of August beginning of September (she'd have a run-in shelter until then) because we need to get the barn cleaned, and a the stalls started on before she can come in.... it's disgusting, TRUST ME, and there is some weird brown/clear liquid dripping into one of the stalls and we've yet to identify what it is.

    Also, There is a goat farm by our old house, and their goats had what I can only assume are dog collars on! ... lol, I was wondering... can you get a small halter for a goat? She'd have distinctive ears, longish floppy ones, and the facial structure seems okay for a halter. I know at the co-op I can get calf halters, and foal halters...but can you get GOAT halters?

    Anything else I should know? We're going to see the goats tomorrow but we're likely not going to buy one until we have the new car (the old one ... well died) and we're now getting a small truck, Ranger .
  2. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I want to go from zero to a few goats, too, so I'm jumping in to hear the answers you get!

  3. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    Goats are herd animals and you really need at least two, otherwise the goat will be miserable and can get destructive.
    Tethering goats is never a good idea. You would be better off getting a stall in good shape for when they are in the barn.
    Goats like fresh water. You won't need a 100 gallon tank. A bucket is fine because you need to keep the water fresh and clean. You might want to hang it so it doesn't get tipped over.
    Goats are better off without collars on, they can get them caught in the brush and fencing. If you use a collar use a break away or the plastic chain ones. That way if they do get huing up they can break away.
    Yes, they do make goat halters. I think those are mainly used for showing. Again, they can get those hung up on things and hurt themselves when unattended.
    Feeding depends on what age the goats are and what browse they have available, and if they are pregnant or wethers...things like that. Young goats will need more nutrition because they are growing. A pelleted goat feed is good. Find out from the people with goats near you what minerals might be lacking in your area.
    Hay is their main diet. Goats waste a lot of hay. So, make a hay rack to keep them from pooping on it. They will eat less hay when they have a lot of browse to eat. I always keep hay out for the goats.
    How much to feed depends on your area. So, the people near you with goats would be the best ones to ask about that.
    Nubian, Boer cross should be good, hardy goats. Good Luck!
  4. kingdean

    kingdean In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2008
    Quote:[​IMG] Not much anyone could add after that. I can add one thing though, thethering is hateful! Don't do it! And never get just one goat.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  5. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    I recently got my two and they are wonderful. Daddy is a boer. I built a small pasture for them and purchased a calf hutch to house them. You could also easily build a temporary shelter for now. Mine have access to a 1 acre pasture when I am home, but when not, they stay in thier yard. They have hay available all the time and are getting about 1.5 cups of Goat feed twice a day. I also had a custom floor built like a pallet that is in their hutch to keep their house dry.

    Go here for my post about them.

    Or to view my BYC page on the goats, go to:
  6. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    I agree with all the above. Also inspect the area to make sure there are no poisonous bushes, weeds. There are alot of things that are poisonous to goats. For example we have alot of mountain laurel in our woods which will kill a goat. So when I fence off an area I have to inspect it thoroughly. But other than that all the above is good, make sure you have at least 2 goats, use a bucket instead of the stock tank since it will surely get stagnant, and I never collar or tether. Collars only go on when I am moving a goat or have one in the show ring. And then it is never a choker style collar. I've heard of many a goat strangling itself over collars and tethers.
    The easiest goat proof enclosure is to use the stock (hog) panels connected by cable clamps, this can then be easily moved to the next location that needs clearing.
    I would also see if your area is selenium deficient. Most places are. So here we give a Bo-Se shot 2 or 3 times a year. Along with all their other vaccinations. Plan to worm several times a year rotating at least 3 classes of wormers and time your hoof trims at around the same time as worming.
    Oh and one last thing, if your brush has alot of thorny briars, a nubian cross with floppy ears might not be the best choice. Their ears will get tore up by the briars. But if it's not briars then she should be able to tackle anything else.
    Most likely though they will eat off all the leaf material and you will still need to clear out any stalk left afterwards. If they DO eat all the stalky stuff then likely they are not getting supplemented enough with hay and grain.
    Hope this helps!
  7. FarmerMack

    FarmerMack Songster

    Oct 28, 2007
    Stanford, KY
    Quote:just a quick question about goats and poisonous bushes, weeds. Wouldn't an animal that is so picky about what it will wat, sense what is or isnt poisonous? [​IMG] . I was actually looking for photos of goat houses designs

    Farmer MacK [​IMG] [​IMG] 11 hens, 1 puppy, 2 cats, 3 goats, 2 kids (1 buck 1 doe) and still a wife last check
  8. dfchaser

    dfchaser Songster

    Apr 25, 2008
    -We have the goat halters now, and i DO NOT like them, I have some breakable dog collars on some goats and like them much much better.
    -goats need to eat some hay before going out into the field. If they do not they have a higher chance of suffering from bloat since their stomach bacteria did not have a chance to wake up.
    -feeding a pelleted feed is also good. I mix my own feed once a month, this is what I use and like the best:
    50 lbs goat food
    25 lbs alfalfa pellets
    25 lbs hay stretcher
    25 lbs oats
    3 lbs black oil sun flower seeds
    -goats sometimes seem to know what is good and bad for them, mine stay away from flowers and flowering plants since most of them are bad for them, and seem to only weed my garden for me (oddly enough)
    -tieing goats out, did not work the one day we tried it, it was a mess and very stressful for us and them
    -fencing - we use only electric for our girls spaced at 6" apart and about 5' high, we watched them jump over a 3.5'-4' fence and watched them sneak thru anything spaced more than 6"
    -smaller waterers are better, they need to be cleaned a lot, goats HATE dirty water
  9. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    just a quick question about goats and poisonous bushes, weeds. Wouldn't an animal that is so picky about what it will wat, sense what is or isnt poisonous? [​IMG] . I was actually looking for photos of goat houses designs

    Yes & No. It depends on the goat and also how well fed they are besides, a hungry goat living on just pasture will eat the bad after all the good is gone. I've treated several goats belonging to others that brought them to me for care. Usually the culprit around here is Mtn Laurel. They will eat it anyway usually. And they also will eat fallen cherry branches, and the wilted leaves produce cyanide.​
  10. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    Hey guys, we decided the wait a bit longer... the place we're getting our goats from will have some babes in the spring as well so we're going with that option. We're just now cleaning out the barn, and have discovered the perfect stall for them, with a window big enough to have a look-out/window with shutters for them.

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