I AM GETTING A GOAT !!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Kidhenduckohmy, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Kidhenduckohmy

    Kidhenduckohmy Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    5
    83
    Jun 18, 2012
    Upper Michigan
    Yeah! I am getting a goat! It is going to be an Oberhasali goat. The person I am getting it from, is keeping her for a couple cycles to make sure she will be bred. So she will be coming to my house sometime in December.
    So I will be having a few questions as I have never owned a goat. First off...how much hay per week for one goat. I need to buy hay! Do I need to look for a certain kind of hay? Are they picky like horses or do they have stronger bellies like cows? Please do not talk in pounds, that confuses me. How many bales per week if they are small squares or large squares. I know bales vary, but I just need a general guidline. I will make sure to get extra.
    And what about grain? How many coffee cans per day per goat. What kind of grain? Our local farmer sells oats. Or do I need a special blend? I know I need minerals and will offer those free choice.
    I will have one goat, as a friend is offering me one of her does. But I am borrowing a friends goat until she kids so she will not be alone. Next summer we plan on adding one more doe of our own.
    I will have more questions, but food first. :)
    ....oh, does the goat house have to be insulated? Or is dry and draft free all they need?
     
  2. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Ask the person you are buying from what composition of hay they are feeding and what amount if any kind of grains or all feed they are feedings....

    Contrary to urban myth they are very picky eaters, they 'taste' everything they can touch or get too, but then choose to eat the 'good' stuff...

    As for bellies, changes in diets can have deadly effects they don't have iron clad stomachs, thus the reason I suggest you contact the previous owners and do everything you can to keep their diet consistent to what they are used to... Their diet can be changed but it should be a gradual change over time... And in most cases grains should only be a small part of their diet...

    One bale a week should be a generous estimate for a single goat, IMO...

    I have 5 goats and two llamas and during the winter combined they only consume about 1/2 - 3/4 of a bale a day or about 5 bales a week, tight packed premium horse grade (grass/clover/alfalfa mix) small bales...

    Limited amounts of grain, a coffee can a day is too much... During the summer they likely don't need any grains unless they are pregnant or nursing... During the colder winter days you can give them a small handful a day... I would just get a bag of commercial sweet feed for this purpose...

    They are herd animals and should always be kept with other herd animals not alone...

    A three sided wind break from the prevailing winds and rain is all that is really necessary, but better shelters like sheds or small dog house like structures and what not are not harmful as long as they are left open and provide sufficient ventilation...

    FYI others might vary in their opinions as there is no one way anyone cares for goats... Goat diets can be heated debates sometimes as they can sustain on different diets, some insist on hay only, others insist on they need hay and grain, while others will insist on some other diet... In the end I'm not going to argue the specific diet, on;y that you heed my warning to not switch up the diet rapidly as that can be deadly or harmful, any diet change should be done slowly over time... And that includes the first few days out in the pasture after winter, after a long winter if they are released into a lush green area they will gorge themselves and this can be detrimental... I keep mine locked in the barn for the first month or so of spring to allow the pastures to grow out, then for the first few days I only let them out for a few hours at a time so they don't gorge themselves and cause issues...
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. Kidhenduckohmy

    Kidhenduckohmy Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    5
    83
    Jun 18, 2012
    Upper Michigan

    Thanks for the information! I did not even think to ask my friend what she has been feeding them... just got excited! I will ask her tomorrow. Maybe she will let me buy a couple bales from her to transition the goat over.

    And do not worry, she will not be alone, that's why I am borrowing my other friends goat. I will personally only own one goat, but have two on my property. At least until next summer when I get another of my own. Will her kids be enough company for her until I purchase my other doe?
     
  4. Kidhenduckohmy

    Kidhenduckohmy Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    5
    83
    Jun 18, 2012
    Upper Michigan
    Oh! The building I am putting them in has a door on the south side. So do I leave that open at all times or do you lock them up every night like chickens?
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    That is fully dependent on your security measures and predator dangers... My barn remains open all the time so they can come and go as they please (they always retire to the barn at night) but I also have the two llamas posting guard 24/7 so my predator risk is minimal... If I did not have the llamas I would be locking them up every night to keep them safe from coyote attacks...
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  6. Kidhenduckohmy

    Kidhenduckohmy Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    5
    83
    Jun 18, 2012
    Upper Michigan
    So... I do not see me getting llamas. :) But we do have coyotes. So I will be locking them up.

    How do you transport your goats?
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,984
    3,581
    436
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    MeepBeep has given you lots of good advice, I am from camp of don't feed your goats too richly, as far as alfalfa and grains, and never change feeds quickly or give too much or you will have dead goats, get minerals made for goats because they require copper, I personally offer baking soda free choice to help with digestion, and I don't feed any ration except during winter a bit, and of course if a doe is pregnant or milking. Start slowly, and increase slowly, a good grass clover mixed hay is best, a single goat will eat 1-3 slabs a day with a bale lasting 3-4 days, at a 50 pound bale. I give mine a lot of tree trimmings, willow is their favorite.

    My goats go in at night, we have a canvas flap over their door, I would lock them in if you have a coyote problem, but remember coyotes can get your goats during daylight as well so good fencing is a must.

    We transport goats in the back of our pickup in a large dog crate.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  8. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    I have only transported the goats/llamas local (about 30 minutes) and it was during the fall and a cool day, so I just rented a Ryder moving truck for the short drive...

    For a single goat or what not you could just rent a van, and although Home Depot is not in the business of vehicle rental for personal use outside taking stuff home from the store they have decent van rental rates ;) Although you might have to play the game during rental and pretend you are buying something, I personally have never had an issue or even been asked when renting trucks from them but I have heard others have...

    Others will transport them in dog crates (or livestock crates) in the back of a pickup or on a regular trailer...

    And depending on your schedule, another trick for Home Depot rentals (not only trucks) is to rent the item or truck about 20 minutes before the store closes, then it's not due until about 50 minutes after the store opens the next day, so you have it all night for the one hour rental rate ;) It can save you a lot of money if you are a night owl...

    If you are transporting greater distances, a horse trailer rental might be a better choice, although beware even though I live in a horse friendly area and there is no shortage of horse trailers collecting dust, actually finding one for rent can be a major pain... I ran an add for 8 months on Craigslist looking to find someone willing to rent a horse trailer to me on an 'as needed basis' not a single offer, finally found one local rental place that has one for rent...
     
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Very true a good fence is a must for predator protection, but also some goats love to escape... Personally mine show no interest in escape, but I know others that have goats that spend all day testing the fence for weakness...

    To the OP only you can assess your predator risk, for me I know there are local coyotes that patrol the area, I have seen them during the day snooping around the barn so I know they are there day and night, combine that with the fact all my goats have the 'fainting gene' so chances are they won't be able to make a decent run for their life when threatened, meant I needed more then just fence for my own piece of mind, thus the addition of the llamas working for me and I can't say enough good things about them and their protection awareness...
     
  10. Tumbling K

    Tumbling K Overrun With Chickens

    10,573
    1,558
    346
    Oct 5, 2015
    Texas
    when they are small, the back of a pickup bed with a cage is plenty good for transport.

    what and how much to feed, would depend on the goats current diet, and the amount of forage available.

    one thing I didn't see you mention was preventative medicine, for parasites.

    talk with your friend about that also.

    also, depending on the terrain where the goat lives, be prepared for hoof trimming.

    also, if you are planning on milking her, get her used to eating from a milking stand, and having you handle her.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by