New to goats

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by abigalerose, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. abigalerose

    abigalerose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I might be getting my first goat on Sunday, a Nigerian dwarf goat, I've done some research on what kind of pen and shelter I need and I'll be putting that up this weekend, but beyond that, I have lots to learn.
    So tell me anything and everything that may come in handy!
    *lll be milking this goat
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Have you visited the Goat Forum on BYC's sister site BackyardHerds?
    http://www.backyardherds.com
    They have a great Goat section! Best of luck!
     
  3. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok...first off you can't keep a single goat. I don't know if you are planning on getting more than 1, but that is rule #1 in goatkeeping 101. Second, good fencing is a must, strong so they can't push out of it and no spaces they can squeeze through. 4 x 4 wire or smaller so they dont get their heads stuck. Make sure there are no gaps. If you have predators you might want a line of electric wire in there too. All they need is a 3 sided structure away from rain and wind. Keep their minerals and baking soda in the run in. The minerals give them all they need so they dont get deficient, and the baking soda keeps their rumen in order. It helps to have a waste saving hay feeder, if they dont have access to green grass. They need forage in the form of grass or hay 24/7. Also supplement with about a lb of grain a day, give individually in buckets.
     
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  4. abigalerose

    abigalerose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will be getting more than 1, I won't be getting 2 on Sunday because the person I'm buying from only has one for sale, but I'll find her a friend. I've got a plan for a secure pen, so no worries there. I'm mostly worried about the feeding and worming schedule, she'll have access to grass and hay, will I need to give her grain year round or just while pregnant and nursing? And what type of minerals?
    Also how will i know when to breed her?
     
  5. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Worming is done twice a year, in fall and spring. Make sure if you are using the safeguard use double dosage. It is administered orally. I use a syringe from the dollar store. They hate the taste so its a bit of a struggle. Make sure you get the syringe really in the back of the mouth aiming down the throat. Grain all year round, but they need different rations and amounts depending if they are in milk or not. Minerals can be loose or block, doesn't matter, TSC sells them. Manna pro are loose Dumor is block. Mine like the block. Personal preference.

    Goats are typically bred in the fall for spring kidding. I would have her bred in November for April kidding if she was my doe.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  6. abigalerose

    abigalerose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! What type of grain is best and how much would a goat that size need when dry vs when in milk?
    It sounds like after I get her I will need to run to the feed store and get a mineral block, grain, and wormer if she hasn't been wormed. And find a bale of hay, which I need to do anyways because of the horses.
    I'll start looking for a buck to breed her to as well and set something up for November. I read somewhere that people breed Nigerians twice a year? Or something like that.. something that has them producing milk so that they have it year round
     
  7. abigalerose

    abigalerose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ohh wait, it was that they could be bred any season! Lol
     
  8. abigalerose

    abigalerose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, so I'm still researching.. I'm trying to get everything planned out.
    If I buy a round bale, it won't matter what kind right? I can flake off a piece every day for her, and then give her.. 2 cups? Of grain (still not sure what kind), have lots of fresh water, and mineral (in reading that loose is better than block) and a salt block at all times?
    And since my pen will be somewhat small can I chain her up (I know this sounds bad, maybe there's a better way to do it?) in the yard every day so I can move her around and give her access to grass all day every day and then give her the grain and hay every evening when I put her back in her pen?
    Please help me tweak that plan, obviously it's not perfect.
    Making progress though! A month ago I just thought brush and hay would do
     
  9. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rather than type it all out here, this is a handy chart you can refer to for grain feeding amounts: https://fiascofarm.com/goats/feeding.htm

    You will need to get some sort of bucket for feeding grain. I like to use individual pails for each goat so I can monitor quantity and make sure they are getting the same amount of feed. I have seen others do it with horses and guess from your avatar you are a horse person so you may have some experience with this. Also the minerals will need to sit in some kind of container so they don't touch the ground.

    FYI, when people talk about breeding twice a year so they can have milk year round they are talking about breeding 2 separate goats. A goats gestation period is about 5 months then they can lactate for 3+ more months so breeding the same doe twice a year is not only in humane it is impossible. I would say breed in November because spring kids are the most healthy and it is nice and warm by April. You don't want to be kidding in the middle of winter....lol! And...yes, they can technically be bred in any season.

    For hay: I use orchard grass hay. It is the best for them IMO. They are picky and they want good quality hay. Nice green hay with little weeds or prickers. Give them free choice hay, don't limit the amount. They need to be eating 24/7 to keep their rumen going. So throw a whole 50 lb bale in a feeder and let them have it. Or if you want just put a round bale in a round feeder. It'll last them forever though. As far as minerals, loose are better than block but goats down like them as much IME. They go crazy for the block. Oh, and about the salt block, the mineral block has salt in it already :).

    Chaining them in a yard is fine. It's called tether grazing. Many people practice it. It's not bad sounding at all. It's a friendly way to give them more forage room. :) I do it too. It's better than let them in a dirt lot all day.
     
  10. abigalerose

    abigalerose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah I corrected myself [​IMG] I realized after I posted it that it didn't sound right.
    Now, new questions:
    I don't know much about hay, so is there any kind that I need to just avoid?
    Can I get a round bale and peel enough off every night and put in their feeder so it lasts 24 hours that way I don't have to make room in the pen for a whole bale?
    What's rumen?
    So loose minerals last longer then?
    What's IME?
    Is there a smaller or lower maintenance type of goat I can get as a buddy?
    What's the best kind of grain?
    Can I just buy one kind of grain that covers all basis or will I need multiple kinds?
    If I have a buck will the milk really taste funny?
    And I'm glad chaining, or tethering if you will, is good! Saves me time on mowing the lawn lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016

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