Looking to get into Goats

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Squawkbox, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Squawkbox

    Squawkbox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2011
    I have been interested in getting goats now for quite a while now but have procrastinated as I really don't know how to get into it or what I am even looking for. I browse the classifieds and am so overwhelmed, I don't even know where to start!
    So, if someone can help me narrow it down that would be great.

    I have 27 acres (obviously not fenced) can goats be tethered?
    What would be the best breed for milk (for 2 people)?
    How much do they eat? Can they get by mostly by grazing?
    How many would be best to get, and would it be better to get adults or kids?

    By browsing the classifieds, I see many purebreds and many mutts, does it matter? The general price seems to be about $200-300 per regardless of breed, is that reasonable?
  2. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2010
    GSO, NC
    No, they cannot be tethered. It's like serving them on a platter for coyotes. I suppose if you don't have large predators, it might be ok, but they can still get tangled up. I kept mine closed in a pen for a while. 5ft fence with a line of electric around the top and bottom to discourage climbing and digging. Goats are BAD! now I just let them out and they stay very close to home. They go back to the barn in the evening around the same time the chickens head for the coop and I just close the gate back up and let them out again in the morning. They eat a lot of grass (plus all of my bushes and several of my garden seedlings I left in their reach in pots!), but I still give them hay and grain daily b/c they are very pregnant, and I am planning on milking. If you want them for milk, you will have to give them grain and hay daily, they won't be able to meet their calorie needs for milk making on grass alone. Mine are barely touching their hay and grain the past few weeks since the grass greened up, but I still offer it just in case. I know in the summer and winter when the grass is scorched or dormant, there is absolutely no way they can get by on grass like they are basically doing now.

    I got mine for $125 each, but that probably can vary quite a bit depending on where in the country you live. They are both yearling does and were bred before I brought them home. One is 1/2 Saanen (great milk breed) half Boer, the other is 1/2 Kiko, 1/4 Boer, and 1/4 Nubian. All goats will make good milk, but to be sure you are getting milkers that can be milked through (milked for over a year without having another baby) you need to look for good milking lines from a dairy breed. I was planning on alternating breeding years with my 2 does so I wouldn't have to worry about that. Only 1 of mine was supposed to be bred, but the other snuck into the buck pen, so I knew there was a chance. Oh well. We'll be fine. If I were getting purebreds, I personally would get Nubians b/c I love how they look so so much. But a lot of people prefer Alpines or Saanens for milking. I love my 1/2 Kiko, though. I am thinking if we decide to get into goats, I might just breed Nubian/Kiko mixes b/c they would make me happy. :) lol. Both of mine were bred to a Kiko buck, so their babies should be nice. The buck was the dad of my half Kiko. Bad bad girl! But shouldn't be a problem and hopefully I will get some very nice 3/4 Kiko babies from her this year! She's carrying at least twins, maybe trips!
  3. Squawkbox

    Squawkbox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2011
    Well, I have 5 adult GSD's, so I don't have to worry about coyotes close to home, I wouldn't shove the goats at the outer edges of the land or anything like that.
    Thank you for the information. So a mutt would produce just as much milk as a purebred then as long as the mix consists of dairy breeds?
  4. shadowpaints

    shadowpaints Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2009
    Rigby, Idaho
    we like nubians and lamanchas for milk. alpines give well too. our nubians give a gallon a day, and they are not the best milkers. so depending on how much milk you are wanting, will depend on how much you pay for a goat.

    the milkers that give 10pounds of milk a day around here are about500$
    we like the nigerians, who give us 3 cups two times a day they are pretty good milkers for their size!
  5. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    As long as the goats have been bred for their milking ability, it doesn't matter whether you go with a purebred or a mixed breed. There are individuals of dairy breeds that are poor milkers, while a lot are fantastic milkers! Most GOOD breeders should be able to provide pictures at least of the dam's udder, and the dam of the sire's udder. Hopefully you can see them firsthand. I did, when I picked up a pair of Nigerian dwarf doelings from a breeder. The Mom of one milked out two quarts of milk with me standing right there, which was pretty cool.

    If you go with a small dairy breed, like any mini or a Nigerian, be sure that they don't have teeny teats. You want them to still have nice, plump, easy to handle teats with large orifices. Milking tiny teats isn't fun at all. If the goats have been bred for milk production, then likely they'll have good teats. Though until a goat freshens for the first time, you don't know what the teats will turn out to be like, you just have to judge it from their parentage.
  6. KFaye

    KFaye Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2011
    Have you gone to site www.Backyardherds.com? I am also looking into goats and just like before I got my chickens and spent many hours BYC I have been on BYH for hours.

    Have fun! I still haven't gotten mine but will in the next few weeks.
  7. Squawkbox

    Squawkbox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2011
    Thanks for the advice guys[​IMG].

    I am definitely going to check out backyardherds!

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