I'm Thinking of a Goat!?!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Gracefulspice, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Gracefulspice

    Gracefulspice Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    I have never owned a goat, nor ever cared for one in the many farms I've been on. I hear there excellent for protection against hawks. I'm thinking of getting one, but I have quite a few questions if anyone can help.

    Considering 1 goat. Is it better to get 2?

    I'd like to go as small as possible..but still want the protection for my small flock. Which breed is best?

    We have 1.33 acres, is that enough room?

    Does breed matter for preditor (hawk) protection?

    Are all goats gentle to people? I have a 4 yr. old daughter.

    Are temps a concern as for which breed to get?
    We live in Pennsylvania, winters get to be 0 to 40 on average
    summer 75 to 95 on average wioth lots of humitity. Fall and Spring... just wonderful!!

    Does it matter on the sex of the goat from the protection point of veiw..or any other bad behaivors that sexes bring?

    What do you feed them?

    Do they take the same vet care as a horse?

    Do you need to have their teeth floated, and hooves trimed?

    Will they stay in my yard without being fenced in? I'd like it to free range along with my chickens.

    Any special care for grooming? I heard someone in BYC gives theirs a bath, any one else?

    Any other personal expierences would be great. I'm going to do a online search for more information too. But thought I'd start here with friends to get a better idea on what to look for.

    Thanks in advance for the information. [​IMG]
  2. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    I can help ya! I LOVE my goat kids! [​IMG]

    1) You should never get just one goat. They are herd animals, and don't do well in singles. Always get at least a pair (two...not neccesarily a male and female!)

    2) There are many nice breeds. Mine are mixes that were bred for 'meat' but stayed very small, thus the farm had no use for them and I got them at a steal at only $20 each! [​IMG] At 7 and 8 months old respectively, they are still quite small, but they do seem to keep the owls and hawks away.

    3) I have only about 3/4 of an acre that is fenced, and I have the 2 kids, and everything else thats in my siggy line below that share that space! So, YES! You have enough room!

    4) Breed doesn't seem to matter as far as predator protection goes. The hawks stay away because goats look like dogs and they are afraid of dogs. Putting a bright flashy or shiney collar on your goats is great protection too!

    5) Goats are like puppies. Get them young, play with them, feed them treats, teach them tricks, and they will love you. I have two children (8 and 7) and the goats ADORE them and everyone else they know. They are warry of strangers unless I am there (they see me as Mom) but they are gentle to everyone. Also, with children and goats I never recommend a buck (male). Always go with either wethers (banded/altered males) or does (females) as they are far sweeter and do not become aggressive.

    6) Research breeds. I dont think temp has too much play in things. We live in Wisconsin which gets winters as cold, or colder, than yours. Or, you could go with an angora type breed and let them keep their winter hair for insulation and sheer them in the spring so they are cooler.

    7) Already answered the sex question in my #5. But will add that unaltered bucks will become nasty (head butting, charging, even biting) when they reach sexual maturity, and they also have the nasty habit of spraying their strong smelling urine EVERYWHERE including on YOU!

    8) Mine are out to free range the yard all day for grass and clover. They also have free-choice (out all the time) hay. In the a.m. I feed each of them 3 cups of DuMors Goat Formula pellets mixed with 1/2 cup 16% sweet feed. I repeat this in the evening when I pen them back up. Do not get your new kids and put them right on grass, as it will upset their tummy and lead to Scoures, which is a nasty runny poop that burns and irritates the skin, leading to open sometimes oozing sores, attracts flies that bite and sting, and CAN be fatal if untreated. When you find the goats you want, ask the farmer to explain what they feed them and how you should gradually change to what you want to feed them, or stick with feeding them what the farmer feeds them.

    9) Vet care is similar to a horse, yes. But, YOU can trim their hooves easily with a good pair of sharp snips, so you can save that vet cost.

    10) Teeth? Dont think so, but check with your vets. Hooves, already mentioned that.

    11) Nope. They will most likely NOT stay contained. They will roam, and will forget where home is. [​IMG] Goats do require good strong fencing to keep them where you want them. Be careful though, as some smaller breeds are great climbers and jumpers and can easily scale a fence, or they also bend them, or even knock them down. [​IMG]

    12) I just gave mine a bath today. They HATED it, but they needed it. I use a gentle natural puppy shampoo, and an oatmeal bath for puppies because they have dry skin right now.

    They are great fun, little clowns that delight in making you laugh at their antics! The more you laugh, they more silly they will become! They are great as "pick me uppers". [​IMG] They CAN be quite naughty though too, which must be why they are so darn cute, because otherwise we'd kill them! lol Mine LOVE to follow me everywhere, have to be nosey and into everything I'm doing, they get in the way sometimes, and get into everything. [​IMG] BUT, they are so sweet and love cuddles and love to nuzzle and play and my kids and I adore them. Can't imagine NOT having them in our yard. Ours are both does by the way.
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I know very little about goats. What I do know is 3 -4 is really better as they are herd animals. I was told that 1/2 acre is good for four goats with eletric fencing and shelter.

    We are in the process of getting 4-6. They are gorgeous and 2 are already experienced milkers. [​IMG]

    I suggest getting a copy of Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats.


    or the meat goat guide


    We tend to jump in feet first and learn on the fly. So far so good.
  4. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    Always get at least 2 goats.

    I personally like Nigerian dwarfs. They are not like Llamas and Donkeys where they will charge predators, but their presence for some reason seems to keep hawks and skunks and such away.

    That is plenty of room. They don't eat much and of course you'll have to feed hay, and minerals are always good. Copper is essential, I find it makes their skin soft and coat shinier and just overall healthier.

    I don't believe that it matters what breed.

    No they aren't. Some can be quite aggressive, especially unwethered males. Your best bet is to buy them as babies and raise them. I have 2 year old daughter and both my babies are very good with her. Mine have also been dehorned and it something I recommend. It has to be done when they are very young, I prefer and most breeders prefer the burn method, as there is little to no blood loss and they heal very well.

    As long they have a place to go that is free from drafts and is dry, they will do well. Goats winter very well.

    I don't believe that sex matters to keep away hawks etc. If you get boys, get them fixed, though, nothing stinkier then a buck. I have a wethered male and a female.

    You feed them hay and supplement minerals. Mine are also receiving grain right now because they are still growing. An adult goat does not need grain and it can be down right dangerous to feed a wethered male goat grain, they'll get UTIs and such.

    Actually I'd say a bit less care then a horse. You still need to trim their feet, give vaccines and worm them. No teeth floating (they don't even have their front top teeth), no shoes [​IMG]

    They probably would not stay in they yard if not fenced and they might not even stay in a fence for that matter. [​IMG] They are little Houdini's and most fences won't keep them in.

    As far as grooming, goats HATE water, so they really wouldn't appreciate a bath. You can brush them does with a curry comb every now and then, but for the most part they stay clean especially since they avoid mud like the plague.

    I would definitely go with something small. I've heard that pygmies are also nice but I really adore my Nigerians. If you go with Nigerians it is best to buy from a show person, they most always test for CAE, TB and vaccinate against CC. My girl loves to sit in my lap and be scratched and they both were easily trained to walk on a lead. They love pine needles and maples leaves and really prefer to eat bushes. Mine get along very well with the chickens. They love to climb, so make sure you give them some toys. And never pet them on the head, they see it as a challenge and will begin to butt you, not good with little children around.

    Hope this helps. They are great little pets and very entertaining.
  5. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    4-H mom, you must type faster them me, lol!!
  6. skatcatla

    skatcatla Songster

    Jun 26, 2007
    I have absolutely nothing to add except that I am seething with envy that you all can have goats! I love goats and would be thrilled to have a couple. But that is most definitely frowned upon here in urban Los Angeles.
  7. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    iwant two my husband does not [​IMG]
    he has cared for them before and thinks they will be a problem.
  8. Chelly

    Chelly Cooped Up

    May 11, 2007
    I too am just dying to get a goat! I would reallyreally love a Lamancha (if thats how its spelled) goat - they're just so dang cute!

    One of these days..... although I wouldnt' know WHERE to find one, I guess an internet search would come up with something....

    Good Luck!
  9. Gracefulspice

    Gracefulspice Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Thanks All for the Great Information. Unfortunatly we will pass on the goat idea. [​IMG] Main reason is fencing. I had to fight my husband on getting chickens and putting up a fence for that. [​IMG] He absolutley hates fences. He likes a large open yard. [​IMG] So I got lucky when I wanted the chickens and he put up a fence. Mabey if he goes before I do I'll get a goat then...lol. [​IMG]

    Now I have to look into something else to help keep preditors at bay. [​IMG] Something that will stay in the yard with no fences. [​IMG]
  10. Chelly

    Chelly Cooped Up

    May 11, 2007
    Ummmmmmmm well the only thing I can think of that will stay in the yard without a fence, AND keep away predators, is perhaps your DH......


    But you'd have to feed him three times a day, bath or shower at least once a day! There is some special Grooming requirements, depending on your taste, you might have to shave or trim his face once a day as well - can be tedious and requires some skill. (knowing how to HOG tie comes in handy!)
    You might have to build a special shelter - although at times like this, a dog house will suffice!

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