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Goat Rant *long*

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by cyanne, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    Never posted a rant on here before, but I guess there is a first time for everything...topic for today is GOATS! [​IMG]

    We decided to get a few small dairy goats for milk, cheese, and soaps. We didn't want to do anything large scale or for profit, just enough for our own family. Sounds easy, right? [​IMG]

    I started out by reading everything I could find about goats online....read the Fias Co Farm site forwards and backwards, etc. We settled on Nigerian Dwarfs as out breed of choice, and I was lucky enough to find a nice trio of does to start our little herd. Then, we had to figure out how to get them bred.

    All of the experts seemed to agree that owning your own buck is a bad idea unless you have 10 or more does, so first we looked for a buck to lease. I surfed the net like crazy and even ran a personal ad for my girls. The only responses I got were people trying to sell bucks, one creepy guy who said he'd like to come over and watch the goats breed with me (what?), and one place that would lease theirs if I wanted to drive halfway across Texas to pick him up. [​IMG]

    We finally decided to buy a buck from a local dairy farm, thinking we'd breed him and then either have him wethered by our vet or sell him. I was referred to this goat dairy by several people in our area who said they were the ones to talk to if I wanted to learn about dairy goats.

    When I arrived, the guy told me that several of his goats, including the one he wants to sell me, have soremouth. I had not run across this during my research, but the farmer told me it was no big deal and that it was like chicken pox - sooner or later they all get it and once it's gone they can't get it again.

    He also asked if I had a livestock guardian for my goats. I told him I had been looking and comparing types, but had not found one yet. So he offered to give me one of his, a 6 month old Pyr/Anatolian cross for free.

    Then I got home and do my research and found out that Soremouth might be a lot more serious than he told me, so now I have a goat sitting in quarantine in my garage and I'm not sure what to do with him. Everything I read is contradictory. Some things say that only the scabs are contagious so once they are gone I can give him a bath and put him out with my goats and there should be no problem.

    Other say that he is a carrier no matter what and will pass it on even if he has no symptoms. The vet I asked told me that he will keep getting the disease over and over any time he is stressed. I don't know what to believe other than the fact that I don't want this disease contaminating my soil if it is really that bad.

    It's gotten me wondering, how do I know that there weren't goats on my land before? Could the land already be contaminated if this stuff is so common? How do I know that my does haven't already had soremouth? The seller could have just not said anything...and how will I know whether any future goats I buy have it or have had it unless they have symptoms or the seller is honest?

    Oh, and the free livestock guardian dog? He's a cryptorchid. Which means I have to pay big bucks to get him neutered because they have to go in after the un-descended testicle. No wonder they were so generous!

    The buck was also supposed to be able to be registered, and she said she just had to get her paperwork together and send it to me. Since she's not answering my calls or emails, I have a feeling that she doesn't really have those papers and that she won't be willing to take him back. At this point I can't decide what to do with him. [​IMG]

    I've also run into another problem with the goats, which is the overabundance of info and opinions which all seem to contradict each other. It seems like there is no question about goats that has a simple, straightforward answer.

    Disbudding? Well, Fias Co and other sites show the disbudding iron procedure and says the kids get over it quickly, with little trouble. The person I bought my does from says that her vet would disbud kids for $4 each. Sounds great! So I ask the large-animal vet in our area and she tells me that the procedure requires anesthesia so it is much more expensive.

    Wethers - I read a whole lot on this and compared all of the various methods before deciding tentatively to go with the burdizzo. I decided to check with the vet to see if I might be able to get it done there (figured it would be better to let an expert do it and save the babies the pain of me learning).

    She says that unless I am selling the boys as meat goats, I should NEVER, under no circumstances, wether them before they are 6 months old, and then it should be done under anesthesia and will cost $120 each. She says that doing it sooner means the urethra will be too narrow and they will suffer a great deal when they are older. She said it would be irresponsible to sell anyone a goat that had been wethered early if they wanted it as a pet because it would have all sorts of health problems later in life. [​IMG]

    The same vet says you shouldn't worm the goats on a regular schedule but should follow an extensive program of rotating pastures and having them examined and fecal tested. She says they should only be wormed when absolutely necessary and that any that have trouble should be culled and their offspring as well.

    I can't believe how difficult it has been just to get started with 3 goats for backyard production. It would be one thing if it was just a matter of learning the right way of doing things, but it seems like everyone has their own way that they consider to be the ONLY way to do it. How am I, as a newbie, supposed to know what to do with my own goats? I am scared half-to-death that I am going to accidentally kill them somehow, and since the one time I trusted someone who was supposed to be experienced ended so well, I don't know where to turn for help.

    Sorry to unload in such a long post, but man I feel so frustrated right now. It just seems like the chickens were so much easier to learn about and I just haven't had any major bad experiences with them.

    I am hoping that I can just stick with it and get over the learning curve and things will get better. I love all of my goats, even the darn diseased buck...he is actually a sweetheart who loves attention and I feel awful that we can't really give him much right now while he is contagious. His scabs are all gone, but I am leaving him in quarantine in the garage until we decide what to do with him.

    The LGD, which we named Maximus (max for short), is a real sweety, too. I'm actually glad we took him from that place as he wasn't being treated very well. He was WAY under weight and covered in the worst flea infestation I've ever seen. I took him to the vet and had him wormed, rabies shots, flea and heartworm prevention, and I gave him the 7-way puppy shot. I also got him on a good quality large breed puppy food to help him grow into those giant feet of his, and I even found a vet willing to do the neuter for less than half the price that the first one quoted.

    okay, rant over, return to positive thinking...
  2. Wow what an ordeal you've been through! [​IMG]

    Hopefully some other really experienced goat person comes along and disects your post to answer your questions. I too am just starting out with goats (I don't even have my pair yet!) and would be very interested in knowing the answers.

    Hang in there. It will all be okay.
  3. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    Yeah, sorry the post was so long, I just had a lot of built-up frustration to vent.

    Problem is I have to keep it all pent up because it is hard enough convincing the hubby that starting a new animal project is a good idea. The only way to do it is to convince him that it will be easy and low-impact, so I can't really rant to him about all the trouble I've been having with this project. His answer would just be, "Great, so let's not keep goats, then!"

    Plus, if this project fails, then the next time I want to try something new on our little farm he will bring this situation up as an example of why we shouldn't.

    I'm not giving up yet, by any means, just needed to release a little steam before I put my head back down and go back to finding a way to make it work. [​IMG]
  4. key west chick

    key west chick Songster

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    Wow, I think you have way to much to worry about. My nigi's were disbudded, in front of me, by the guy I got them from. All 5 of mine squealed like it was dying, then got over it in a few minutes. No anesthesia. My wethers were done by my vet. About $75 apiece. I had baby doelings with them so they got done when they started becoming interested in them. Probably 4 months old or so. I don't routinly worm. I don't rotate pastures, I don't have them. I think your vets crazy for recommending culling for worm problems. Everything gets worms. I don't know anything about soremouth. Goats aren't made of glass. Find out whats good for you and your goats and do your thing. I got lots of opinions, and found what worked for us. The most important thing is enjoy them!
  5. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Two problems - you were taken advantage of by the goat breeder and your vet isn't goat savvy.

    PM me if you'd like and we can start at the beginning...yup, people all have differing opinions, but I would be happy to give you mine and help any way I can.
  6. [​IMG] Good, from what I've read Kate is very knowlegable about Goats, I would PM her...
  7. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    I know, I love my goats and I think they are pretty fond of me. Though they are still getting to know us...when we first brought the girls home they kinda looked at us like we were evil goat kidnappers. They were NOT happy that we had 'stolen' them from their home and taken them to a strange place.

    At first they spent most time looking for ways to escape so they could go home and the rest of the time they just stood and stared at us all suspiciously. Now they are quite happy to get scratched and petted and they even holler at us when we get home so we'll come give them attention.

    None of the girls have learned to lead yet, though, and I am not looking forward to training them to stand on the stanchion for milking time. [​IMG]
  8. FlightsofFancy

    FlightsofFancy Songster

    Jan 22, 2008
    Canton, GA
    Definatley pm Helmstead!!(Kate) She is the all knowing "Goat Goddess" and I go to her for everything!!!
    I know it all seems overwhelming but you will figure it out and then it's not so bad.
    Good luck!! We are all here for you!! [​IMG]
  9. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
  10. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX

    yeah, isn't that weird? He sounded all normal at first, but he seemed to be under the impression you could just put them together and they would breed right away and then he'd take the buck home. I tried to explain that I wanted to lease the buck for a month or two until the girls went through 1 or 2 heat cycles and I made sure he had bred them all.

    Then at the end of the call, he said that I should wait until they come in heat and then call him and he'd come over so we could 'watch them breed together.' [​IMG]

    It seriously creeped me out and I was SOOO very glad he never called again.

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