Goat Questions!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by HorseFeathers, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    As you might know, we are going to be moving soon to a place with more acreage and Mom (SeaChick) says we can get some dairy goats.
    I am really excited. I have a few Qs:

    1. Which breed of dairy goat in your experience is the most friendly AND gives good milk?

    2. What is the best age to begin socializing with your goat (only females, now)? I want them to be friendly.

    3. I've heard that if you go into your goats' enclosure and pet them in the same order every time they will form a line to be petted. (Um, CUTE!) True or false?

    4. My biggest question- I've read in Gail Damerow's Barnyard in you Backyard that you can train a goat to pull a small wagon and carry packs. Is that true? How well does it work? Most importantly, how do I go about doing this?
    5. Mom says that if I can pay for it all myself, I can get a [​IMG] horse [​IMG] . I've heard and read that goats are great companion animals for horses. True or false?

    I know these questions are a tad early, but I don't want to get all excited over nothing and beg my mom to "hurry up, let's get these goats" all winter, only to find they're not all they're cracked up to be.

    Thank you!
  2. Kittikity

    Kittikity Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2008
    I think it's great that you're asking questions ahead of time.. I don't have goats yet (one more month!!!) but I'll try to answer your questions according to what I've read and been told..

    1. From the goats I've met (nubians, saanens, alpine, and spanish) the saanens and the the nubians were the friendliest.. The saanens give a lot of milk but I think the nubians are supposed to have a high butterfat..

    2. For the friendliest goat, it's usually bottle raised babies.. Some are so friendly they become needy.. But if you dame raise you can always visit the babies in a pen everyday to get them used to you from day one.. It's also important to be present at their birth in case the doe should need help..

    3. I don't see why that couldn't be.. Goats love routine, are very smart, and can be trained.. I've never actually heard of anybody's goats doing this though..

    4. Yes, goats can be trained to do both.. As for carrying a pack, I think it basically just consists of getting an appropriate sized pack and letting them wear it, walking them around, getting them used to things like traffic or crowds where they might get scared and bolt.. As for cart training, I don't know.. Don't know anybody that has done that..

    5. Yes, goats are often used as companions for horses..
  3. Chatychick

    Chatychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I personally feel the La Mancha are the friendliest and I have had alpines are these are the easiest to milk also as they are taller.
    I agree if they were bottle fed they are friendly also almost to being pests like mine are.
    Yes goats love routine but I have tried it that way at petting and all of mine are love hogs and dont want to wait their turn. The larger make great pack animals, the smaller will also but usually to short and the pack will drag. I have Nigerians and LM's Usually the wethers are better for this.
    You can get them to where they will wait in turn for milking but all of mine love being petted as they think there are treats involved.
    Some horses and goats get along but some dont...it just depends on the horse and the goat. I dont run mine together .
    GOats are great and they make wonderful pets and always remember they do better if you have more than 1...I dont have that problem as I have 42 goats and they are all named and some even know their name.
    Good luck with your decision
  4. gila_dog

    gila_dog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2007
    New Mexico
    Yes, goats can be trained to pull carts and carry packs. There are 2 yahoo groups dealing with these topics where you can connect with people who are into this sort of thing.



    Wethers (neutered males) make the best cart goats and packgoats. Does have udders that can interfere with serious long range hiking and hard work. I have 3 packgoats that I use for carrying lunch, water, a book, etc for dayhikes. They also carry up to 40 lb of camping gear on extended wilderness trips.

    My guys are Saanen and Oberhasli. They were surplus buck kids from a goat dairy. Now they are big-time packgoats (and great hiking buddies).

    Here are some pics:



  5. melleo

    melleo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2008
    St. Paris ohio
    Love their backpacks!!!
    Cute little guys!! I want goats!!!
  6. WisconsinChick

    WisconsinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you want a milking goat you know you have to milk it twice a day, everyday, right?
  7. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    WisconsinChick asked:
    If you want a milking goat you know you have to milk it twice a day, everyday, right?

    Yes, you have to milk twice a day (as close to 12 hours apart as possible but it doesn't have to be exactly) - you can't skip milking or you run a high risk of your doe getting mastitus.

    Nubians give the highest butterfat and Alpines give the most milk. (Of course, there are always exceptions in every breed but that's generally the case.) LaManchas are supposed to be right up there with the quantity also and the La Manchas I've met were very friendly. I don't think you can have an unfriendly goat if it's been raised properly.

    If a goat is petted from the time it's a baby it will love people and it won't make any difference which breed it is. My ND's are all over everybody looking for attention. When I got them at 8 weeks old they wouldn't let me touch them for a week. I just waited patiently and let them get used to me. Now, oh my... try to walk outside without them seeing us and they start yelling for attention. Bottle babies can actually be so social they can be a nuisance when they are older. But, mine can be a nuisance and they weren't bottle babies. When I kneel down to do something they jump onto my back! If I sit.. they are in my lap. I love it but not everybody does, I have to 'protect' visitors from their friendly advances! I wouldn't want (or let) full size goats do that by the way.

    My Alpines are very, very friendly and great milkers. I don't have them here yet (a couple more weeks) but I've gone to milk them to learn and bond with them. They are giving a gallon of milk a day each. Nubians generally give a little less than that.

    I agree that sometimes goats and horses get along and sometimes they don't.

    Wethers do make the best pack and cart goats.​
  8. WisconsinChick

    WisconsinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's our three Nubians. The one that is laying down belongs to the white/dark brown goat.

  9. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    Thanks, everyone... We're thinking we're going to get some Alpines and Oberlahsi (Swiss Alpines), since they produce the most milk...

    Now, if anyone has some tips for harness training them, I'm all ears... [​IMG]

    WisconsinChick and gila_dog, thanks for the pics!

    We're thinking we're going to get two does, at least one of them pregnant, then we'll keep the baby(s). If it's a doe, great, more milk (don't Alpines produce like a gallon per day or some crazy figure like that? Thanks Chirpy) if it's a male, wonderful, a wether to pull my cart!

    Training tips next...
  10. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    BTW: My mom thinks Oberlahsis are the goat equivilant of a Siamese cat with that coloring (we love and have Siamese)!

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