Goats...tell me about them

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Corey NC, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    I am looking into getting goats. I don't know much about them but i am learning. I believe I want two (maybe three) young pygmy weathers. How much space does each goat need?

    I was planning on haveing one main building about 6' x 10' and 8' tall. How big of run would they need. If I do get the goats I will probably build bunches of stuff for them to play on and climb on in the run. How tall of a fence do they need?

    how much food do they need? Do they need a lot of grain or do they only need alfalfa and hay and a mineral block?

    In your personal opinion do they take a whole lot of work? I am out of the house aroud 6 hours a day, are they ok with me not being around for that amount of time?

    Anything else should I consider before getting goats?

    Here is my idea for a shelter and run. Right now I am unsure what else needs to be in it.

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2007
  2. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    as long as you have more than one, being away six hours is fine. i do think they take a lot of work, but most people are away from home more than that each day so don't worry.

    i think having things at different levels for them to play on is a good idea. they will love that for climbing and playing king of the mountain.

    getting wethers is a good idea.

    mine eat what you mentioned plus browse, branches from tree trimmings (their favorite), and scrap veggies especially. oh, and they will mug you for anything made of corn from corn husk to tortilla to canned corn to tortilla chip.

    pigmys aren't any bigger than dogs, right? tiny? the only thing i would consider is how close your climbing things are to the fence in case they know how to jump over.

    if you have any bushes or plants nearby, be aware they will um, trim, them for you. lol.
  3. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    There is a popular saying about fencing for goats; "if it can't hold water, it can't hold goats". Goats are escape artists so you will need some sturdy, tall fencing. I suggest making a smaller yard for them with sturdy fencing (5 ft hog panels work well if they have sturdy posts or you can use a large dog kennel) and then have a larger pasture area that you can let them into when you are home. Electric netting is a great choice for pasture fencing and you can move it once they have consumed the vegetation, kind of like a goat tractor. I really suggest the smaller sturdy yard to keep them in at night or when you are away because it will give you piece of mind when you are at work knowing your goats are safe. Your shelter plans look great, but you should add additional space for hay storage. Hay should make up the majority of their diet with the addition of small amounts of grain. Alfalfa is good for growing goats, but is a little rich for nonproducing adults. Pygmies are a good choice and there is an even smaller breed called the Nigerian dwarf.
  4. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Mini Nigis are acutally a bit taller than pygmies.

    Your building is great - goat Hilton just like ours LOL. Be sure to build a hay manger (lots of people use those hog panels) because goats hate to eat off the ground and are very wasteful. Many people just give their mini goats large dog houses!

    Our mini nigis are in a 5' fence made of woven dog fence. They do get out from time to time, but for the most part it works. I'd say your run should be a minimum of 20'x20' for three goats. 40'x40 would be nicer.

    A mini goat on average should get 2 cups of a goat feed a day. Pickles - you need to get yours on goat feed ASAP. Scraps are treats, not diet, nor is forage. They also need a quality grass hay always available as the main part of the diet and free access to loose goat minerals (NOT a block). They're pretty darn cheap to feed. Our 18 goats cost the equivalent of one full sized horse weekly if not less!

    Bear in mind they require vaccinations yearly along with dewormer and hoof trimming.

    Three goats will keep each other entertained just fine with you gone.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  5. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    I have pygmy and nigi, they stay in a 5ft fence. They did have a large converted type of dog house but I recently bought an 8x8 shed. I cut in in half, made half for hay storage, half for them.

    I work 8 hours a day and have two babies/children at home. I dont spend to much time with them this time of year due to cold and where they are on my property. But once summer comes, I get to play with them more. as long as you have more than one, they wont mind.

    I personally would recommend three. That way, if something happen to one, you still have tow that are bonded.

    Lots of fun to have. I recommend it!
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  6. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    how do they do in winter? Do they need "free-range" time? Do they need a floor in the shelter or are they fine with just dirt? Or will they get it muddy and messy?
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  7. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    They are very heat and cold tolerant as long as they don't get wet and stay wet - but with your barn you shouldn't have a problem.

    You shouldn't free range them. Predation is a big problem and there are many toxic plants you don't want them ingesting.

    Our barn has dirt floors and stays dry. We have to muck it maybe once every 2 mos and replace the kild dried pine shavings.
  8. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    Do they enjoy playing in waters like horses? Should the water be inside or out.
  9. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    No, they really hate to be wet - so they just drink. We keep our water outside just for ease of filling, dumping & scrubbing, etc. (we use a muck bucket for horses as our water trough for them)
  10. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    no goats hate water,
    goats need a atlest a 3 sided shelter to hold off rain, snow
    goats can get ammonia and sick really easy from the cold.

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