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Goats arriving earlier than expected, need advice!!! (kinda long)

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by cyanne, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    I've been dreaming of having goats for years now, and since we finally moved into our new 'House with Land (tm)' I was planning on making them my next project.

    I raised 4H lambs as a kid but have never owned goats so I have been doing research and whatnot to get an idea on housing, breeds, food, etc...

    I'm not interested in showing or eating them, really, my main interests (besides the incredible cuteness factor) are to use them to clear the brush from my land and eventually for milking so I can make goat cheese and soap. I LOVE goat cheese, but it is expensive!

    Anyway, I wasn't planning on getting them just yet, but I was browsing craigslist in the farm section and found a bunch of full-blooded boer girls that were born this past May. They were supposed to be show goats, but the de-horning didn't take so the lady was selling them for $50 each.

    I've seen mixed boers going for $100 each, let alone the full, so this was an awesome deal. Plus, 3 seems like a perfect number for a little starter herd. If we get these, they would be delivered this weekend and they would have to temporarily share the new 20ft by 30 ft run with my chickens until I build them their own pen.

    I have a million questions for the goat people on here! I know that Boers are primarily meat goats, but can they also be used as milkers? It's okay if not, because I won't be doing that for a while anyway, but it would be a bonus if they were multipurpose.

    What are good things to look for as far as health when I go take a look at them?

    What would be the best way to feed them in the short term/transition period? The current owners say they are eating mostly pasture grass with a tiny bit of feed each evening just to get them to go in the barn. The grass at my new place is mostly brown so I'm not sure how nutritious that would be, though I have a ton of brush and weeds (I have 5 acres, but only 2 acres have been cleared) for them to forage on. I planned to supplement that with hay and feed, but I don't want to give them too much, too quickly if they are used to just eating grass, right?

    I've read that worms can be a problem, should I just go ahead and worm them as a preventative measure as soon as they arrive?

    And finally, I need them to clear the brush away, so I'd like to be able to confine them in temporary pens around the property during the day. That way I can let them clear a little section and then move the pen to a new one and so on. I'd love to hear from experienced goat people what the best way to confine them is. I've considered plain livestock fencing with metal posts but worry about them climbing, then there is electric fencing I guess, or I could tether them (but how do you keep them from getting tangled up?). What has worked best for you?

    Anything else that I haven't thought of?
  2. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    I tried using a tie out for our goats, they about broke there neck. that lasted all of 15 min, 20 min top and I was done. That was not for me. I am a worrier, plus dogs could get them. I have heard some horrilbe stories of dogs attacking goats on tie outs. I was sitting outside with my goats watching them the whole time they were tied out.

    Goats gums and area around there eyes should be ting of "pink". If it is white they more than likely have worms.

    We keep hay free choice, they were getting sweet feed (3 parts) mixed with 1 part BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds). But I know one is pregnant for sure and possibly the other one. So they get feed everyday now along with alfalfa pellets (no alfalfa hay here).

    we use a dog kennel to move around to let them eat too. I have a hay rack in there too. I block it on 2 sides with tarps so they get a break from the cold wind. oh and of course water with ACV.
  3. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    The first thing you want to do is make sure they dont have CL...not good as it causes absesses and some have been internal. Most Boer breeders dont worry but if you intend to train to milk then you want to make sure they are CL and CAE free. The vet can test them for you. Also if they are housed with chickens they shouldnt get to the chicken feed as it can be toxic and also they can founder.
    I raise goats and mine follow me everywhere. I take mine each day to browse. If I'm not home they stay in their pens. Mine get Oats, Goat chow and alfalfa pellets. I milk mine also and love the milk. I raise dairy goats but have heard of people milking Boers. They dont produce as much milk as the dairy but it can be done. Goats learn from routine and they love it when its the same everyday. Sometimes its to cold to take the girls out and they take themselves with the LGD's and go browse around the yard. All I have to do it say Come on girls and they will come running. I have Nigerians, Alpines, La Manchas and Nubians.
    Goats are great and the price sounds right but I would have them tested...Congrats
  4. dutchhollow

    dutchhollow Songster

    May 13, 2008
    SW IA
    Well, boers are shown with horns (except some market wether classes), so that is a little strange.
    But, if they are wethers, they are worth about a dollar a pound, some areas a little more.
    Have her test them for cl before you buy them and bring them home, especially if you are going to add dairy goats later.
    And, yes, go ahead and deworm them when you bring them home.
    Hog, or stock panels make good quick fencing, if you go elelctric go with the netting (premier1).
  5. sdshoars

    sdshoars Songster

    May 12, 2008
    boers dont really produce much milk, if you wanted them for dairy purposes i would breed them to a good dairy buck, and then milk the kids. the kids would be pretty fair dual purpose. and yeah, boers are usually shown with horns, so i dunno what she is talking about....?

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