Off to the goat and sheep auction.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Wolf-Kim, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ETA: I've decided not to settle for a dairy goat, rather simply wait until I can get what I really want(jersey cow [​IMG] ). Thank you all for your help. I'll leave this open for others interested in goat/sheep auctions.

    I've been dying to own a Jersey milk cow, but I just can't swing that initial buying cost right now. So, I've settled on a dairy goat or two for now. I think Nubians are beautiful, so I will probably be keeping an eye out for one of those. I've really no interest in showing goats, so I don't need anything pedigreed or show quality. Just something pretty that provides us with milk.

    I recently found that there is actually a weekly goat and sheep auction just an hour away, usually around 100 goats. A gentleman that attends said that you can get some pretty good deals at those auctions. It is a "graded" sale, not quite so sure what that means. Anyone care to enlighten me?

    Pros and cons of getting a nubian milk goat from the auction?
    What is a 'graded' auction?
    What should I look for?(other than healthy weight, coat, clear eyes, clear nose, etc)

    I know they may very well not be trained to hand milk, I'm patient and willing to work with them.

    Things that should be done when they're brought home. As with any animal, a routine quarantine is in order.(deworming? etc)

    I appreciate any input.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  2. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

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    Possible you may find a cow for real cheap at the livestock auction. jerseys are a wonderful breed. Kept a coupleof pet bull calves when I was a kid.
     
  3. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

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    I think it means any type of animal. You got to watch what you buy at auctions too. Make sure you check them over thoroughly before buying.
     
  4. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's understood with any auction. Attended horse auctions and they'd haul in some horses you'd look at and just shake your head because they just needed to be shot. Horses with ankles the size of a basketball(sadly, no exaggeration).

    I was just wondering, what specifically need I look for in regards to goats? I know with cows, you usually test for specific diseases if you're going to use them for milk, just wondered if it was the same for goats. [​IMG]
     
  5. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    I wouldn't buy a sale barn goat -- especially one that comes from a monthly sale with 100+ head on the premises. You might find a handful that come in healthy, but leaving healthy is a whole 'nuther ballgame. There are too many good goats out there to be had, private-treaty, to be buying one from a sale barn IMO.

    Also, be prepared to be the one the experienced goat people shake their heads at, just as you shake your head at the people who pay good money for bad horses because they don't know any better.. AT THE VERY LEAST, find someone who owns goats who will go with you........if you can get them in the truck, that is. I wouldn't go, personally, because I've already had to throw out one pair of boots this year.

    What you have to understand is that most of those goats...does, bucks, wethers, kids, whatever...they're all destined for a date with the butcher. Nobody that I know of buys replacement does or herdsires at auction because everyone knows that's where you send your problem goats, and everybody knows what's going to happen to them. They go to the salebarn to DIE, one way or another.

    Now....if you're going to do it anyway, there are lots of problems to watch for.. Caseous lymphadenitis (CL), caprine arthritis & encephalitis (CAE), Johne's disease, and q-fever come to mind right off the bat. Trouble is, a goat with any of those may very well be visually asymptomatic.. Then there are goats with heavy, anthelmintic-resistant parasite loads... And goats with mineral deficiencies.. And malnutrition..

    And that's all just health stuff...has nothing to do with what you need to be looking for when it comes to finding a goat that's suitable to milk. For that, you're judging udder attachment, evidence of previous mastitis, etc...which are hard to determine unless the goat's in milk at the salebarn. Oh...some goats have extra teats, too. You don't want that, either, and they can be hard to spot if the doe's dry and has a shaggy coat.

    Basically, the best you can do is avoid buying something with big knees, suspicious lumps, or a rough dry coat, and has an udder with teats that look even and relatively equal. If you can find something with prick ears, chances are there's some dairy influence in it. Then, delouse it, check it for smaller lumps and bumps you couldn't see at the barn, check the udders for hard spots, worm the crap out of it, vaccinate it with C/D-T, probably hit it with antibiotics just to be safe, and have your vet run a battery of blood tests (CL, CAE, and Johne's at least) once you get it home. If it's positive for anything -- and many salebarn animals are positive for something -- send it back to the salebarn and try again.

    If by some miracle it's negative for everything....quarantine it away from everything else you own and test it again in a few months.

    Or..

    You could just find a responsible dairy goat breeder with nice goats and buy a doeling to raise, or even an older doe that's either bred or currently in milk. Yeah, she'll be more expensive...but so are a bunch of blood tests, antibiotics, dewormers, etc., especially on a goat which may ultimately not work out.

    Just my $.02.
     
  6. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The ONLY reason I even considered going was because a local goatkeeper offered to go in my place and keep an eye out. He offered to get me a goat that he would have gotten himself. So I figured if the sale was good enough for him, I thought maybe that these NCDA governed auctions were different. I would go myself, because I'm not going to pay someone to bring me back a goat I've never seen before. But if they are just the same as private auctions I know better.

    If they aren't I'll just keep my eye out for something else.

    All I want is a decent milk goat. Not some registered high dollar animal. The lady down the street breeds and shows her Nigerian Dwarf goats. In casual conversation she mentioned she sales the newly weaned kids for $200 and up. While I know her animals are worth it to her and I won't criticize her for it, I don't need some special line goat with blue eyes etc etc. All I want is a simple decent milk goat.
     
  7. cmjust0

    cmjust0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Central KY
    Quote:It may very well be a better quality sale than your average goat auction, and there may be replacement classes and so forth.. Thing is, most sales like that are "meat oriented," for lack of a better phrase. In my personal opinion and experience -- and I'll probably get HAMMERED for saying this, but -- what I've found is that the outlook on disease and biosecurity is much, much different between dairy and meat goat breeders. Meat goat breeders don't tend to worry so much about diseases unless they affect the carcass price.

    For instance...let's say an abscess starts forming behind a doe's ear and it's pretty clear that it's a big honkin' CL knot... The meat goat breeder's response may be "Oh, her? Yeah, I'm probably gonna put her on a trailer soon," whereas the dairy goat breeder's response is very likely to be a complete and utter MELTDOWN with crying, gnashing of teeth, slinging of snot, and so forth, followed by lockdown and quarantine of the animal, and having to decide whether you admit to having owned a CL animal or just selling out and going out of business. I can't stress enough that diseases like CL are huge deals in dairy herds, whereas in meat herds they're like....meh.

    Point being...even if you get a goat that's relatively healthy by a meat goat producer's standards, it still may not be up to par when it comes to the standards of health for dairy goats.

    As for your goatkeeping friend...I'd bet diamonds to doughnuts they're a meat goat breeder. To them, these are probably really nice goats...and for meat breeding purposes, that could be absolutely true.

    To about 99.99% of dairy goat folks I know, however...well, just the fact that these animals are most likely coming out of meat herds -- no matter how slick they look at the time of sale -- is enough to put us off. Not to mention, the whole idea of watching a whole herd of meat goats go through the auction with just a handful of dairy breeds being auctioned is suspicious at best...downright scary at worst. To the meat goat breeder, though, they may be thinking "Hey, there's a Nubian! I'll have to remember to tell ol' such and such who was looking for a cheap dairy goat about this......."

    Quote:My opinion....a decent milk goat should be $200+. While I'm sure you can find someone out there willing to sell one cheaper, the reality is that they don't have to because people are willing to pay it to avoid the risks involved in acquiring sale barn animals. Is it because people read posts like mine all over the internet and get too scared to try a sale barn animal? I'm sure that's all part of it....but that doesn't make the post any less true.
     
  8. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gotcha. I was thinking about it today and realized if I was going to throw $200+ at a goat, as a settlement for a dairy cow. I might as well just save up my money and get that Jersey cow that's out there waiting for me(somewhere/someday [​IMG] ). Sometimes you just get so excited and want to jump the gun and 'settle' instead of playing it smart and waiting and getting what you really want.

    I appreciate it and I do understand the difference between meat goat owners and dairy. Thanks for all the input.
     
  9. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

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    Check teeth. It wasn't until I had my goat for two days before I finally noticed that she has an underbite. I hope she doesn't pass it on to her baby.
     
  10. DonnaBelle

    DonnaBelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recommend a good book such as Storey's Raising Milk Goats. I did a lot of research online, etc. before purchasing 2 Nubian milk goats. Goats are herd animals, don't buy just one.

    Having said that, Nubians are good to have, but there are other milk breeds. I got my two girls, Annie and Felicia in August, they were born in Feb, April of 09, I will have them bred next fall, for spring births.

    There is a lot to owning a goat, much like other things that are alive, they need medicines, vet care, food, proper food, not banana peels and corn cobs. Please do some research before you buy.

    DonnaBelle
     

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