I am getting milk goats!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bock, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    *Update pg.3!*

    I am so excited! This is my first year doing FFA, and at first my parents were only going to let me get a meat chicken. Then, my dad, out of the blue, just told me I could get a dairy goat ! I really don't know when I will be getting the baby, or even who the leader is though. My ag advisor doesn't tell us anything, but I will get it figured out. : )

    We have started researching about feed and such, and we are trying to get an idea about expenses. Many years ago, I had two pygmy goats, but we sold them after a few years of showing to someone who wanted pets. They were really picky, and only ate the leaves out of the alfalfa, I think I was only in 4th grade, so I don't remember that much. It sounds like dairy goats are a lot different though, and I just think it will be a great project. I found this awesome website: http://fiascofarm.com/goats/feeding.htm#kid . It has tons of good info.

    Does anyone have advice about feeding, care, milking, breeds, etc.? I have heard nubians are a good breed, and I was thinking about getting a doe and a whether, they are herd animals after all. I have also been dying for raw goats milk, it is so good for you! I can finally start making homemade kefir! Also, my neighbor is a vet who has a large herd of meat goats that she milks too. I will be talking to her soon, I helped her bottle feed some babies last summer already. Thanks for any advice, I am super excited and have a lot to learn! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  2. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll love them! I used to have goats, but we moved :(.

    Be ready to wake up in the morning to feed and milk them! Mine was loud! If we waited to long to get out there and feed her, she would go MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, as loud as possible! Ours also had goat twins, a girl and a boy, named Bunny and Kitty :). They were the sweetest things! Oh, and never eat anything out there with them. They WILL try to steal it! We would tak ours on a leash to go find the yummiest leaves :).
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  3. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I can hardly wait! I just have SO much to learn though, and I am going to have to ask my ag teacher who the leader is and when I get them. I don't know if I will be bottle feeding or what! We have 5 acres fenced off, and we usually have lots of grass in spring, so they should be happy! When they are little, I think we will keep them in our unused shed and take them out during the day. I remember our pygmy goats used to follow us down the road , along with our cat, and our lab. That must have been a funny sight. [​IMG]
     
  4. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    You'll need to get two goats, fyi. A single goat will be an incredibly unhappy, loud, and stressed goat. They are herd animals, they need to be kept with at least one other buddy. And a pair of does makes it easier to stagger freshenings, so someone is always in milk.

    Fias Co Farms is a wonderful resource. A lot of good information, more than a person can handle in one sitting. But having a powwow with a local breeder is good too, so you can learn first hand, you know?
     
  5. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am very partial to Nubians, I personally think they are the cutest! Especially the spotted ones. Alpines are also very cute and are supposed to be excellent milkers. I have mixed breeds, though, since my goal is dual purpose animals for both meat and milk. I have a Saanen/Boer cross who was bred to a Kiko last fall, and a 1/4 Nubian / 1/4 Boer / 1/2 Kiko who is just the cutest little thing ever! Good thing, too, b/c she is BAD!!! lol. I had to put hot wire around the top of my fencing b/c even though we got 5ft fencing, our Saanen was climbing over and out. The little Nubian/Kiko (she has a Nubian face, so that's what we call her) squeezes through impossibly small cracks, both between gates and under fences. She squeezes through openings my chickens can't get through! I posted yesterday wondering if she is pregnant, but most people think she's just bloated and fat from too much grain. No big surprise since she gets into something new about every week, and we keep catching her in the feed bins and can't figure out how she's getting through the fence or door!

    They are VERY cheap to feed! I have been pleasantly surprised by that. Up until the past month, the 2 of them were only going through about 1 bale of hay a month, and a lot of that was spilled and wasted. I have to buy it more often than that now, but mainly b/c I got rabbits who also eat it, and my pregnant Saanen seems to eat hay nonstop all day these days. She's due next month, and I'm pretty sure she's carrying at least 2. They much prefer grassy hay to the seedy kind. They have only gone through 3/4 of a bag of feed in the last 2 months. I don't feed them goat feed, I get more general livestock feeds (am looking into mixing my own out of whole or rolled grains) and give them separate goat minerals. We also throw in downed branches from our many many oak trees. They LOVE oak leaves! We had a lot of windstorms last fall, and all of the branches that fell before they lost their leaves still have the leaves attached. My goats were dam raised in a very large herd, so they aren't tame at all, but I was hoping we could halter or collar train them so we could take them walking in our yard to eat acorns and to browse in the forest bordering our pasture. Not sure how that's going to work out, since they still freak out when the see the halter, let alone have it put on. But I haven't spent enough time working with them. I'm a busy woman. ;) I'm planning on seeing how they do just being free and calling them with a scoop of grain to get them in and out of their yard. We have 40 acres, so I think we'll be ok as long as they don't decide the grass is greener at the neighbors or across the road. Someone will have to stay with them to keep track. We also give them alfalfa pellets. I would like to only give them to my pregnant doe, but unless I want to sit with her for an hour while I hand feed her, I really have no choice. She's a very slow eater compared to my chubby Nubian! Right now, I'm just putting a scoop of the alfalfa and a half scoop of feed in their trough. She butts the Nubian away while she's eating, so she gets as much as she wants before the Nubian is allowed in.

    I'm planning on milking after kidding, by the way.
     
  6. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice! I was planning to get at least two, I know they are miserable alone. It sounds like we might need to check the fence line, I hope they are happy here! Also, I don't know if we will be getting ours from the leader or if we just find our own breeder. There are a few nubian breeders on cl. I am going to talk with my neighbor, who is a vet and breeds meat goats, about it too. I am sure she will help out a lot. Thanks again!
     
  7. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we have La Manchas, really excellent milkers, very quiet as goats go, calm and easy to handle. very friendly, rather in-your-business goats.
    milk goats are great fun, enjoy!
     
  8. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    How fun! I'm going down next week to look at Nigerian dwarf dairy goats, trying to talk myself out of getting goats...not having much luck though [​IMG]
     
  9. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so glad to hear that they don't cost too much to feed...they sound cheaper than chickens! I am really falling in love with nigerian dwarf goats. They are so cute, I love their small size, good milk production, and nice personality.

    Here are two breeders that aren't too far away from us:

    http://www.deersprings.net/index.html

    http://tinyhoovesranch.webs.com/2011babies.htm

    I will talk to my advisor tomorrow and see what I should do, the suspense is building! I was just wondering, from a good breeder, who breeds for conformation, milk production, and personality, what would be an average price for a doe? My parents said our pygmies were only $100 each, but that was from the 4-h leader after all. Nigerians seem expensive! I will continue looking at other breeds though. Thanks again!
     
  10. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I paid $125 each for my mixed breed yearling does, so I imagine well bred ones go for quite a bit more, papered ones not from good lines probably not much more. $125 seems to be about the going rate here for non-papered goats. I think I saw some Nigerians for sale for $150, but I think that's all I've seen on CL. I know there were goats listed in the state Ag review, but I don't remember at all what the prices were. I was more interested in the hay prices.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012

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