Owners of diary goats advice please

LivingFate

In the Brooder
11 Years
May 18, 2008
95
0
39
Long story short my son can not drink cow milk, gets along fine w/goat milk. Except for a quart is $5.00! We go threw a ton of milk in the house I was wondering if cost wise it would be better to just buy a diary goat- maybe a Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat? Pros/cons of owning a goat.

How do you milk a goat- Is it hard? Set up? a round about figure on keeping a goat. What would a person noramlly pay for a goat? Educate me please!
 

geareduplyn

Songster
11 Years
Jun 2, 2008
945
13
151
Salley SC
Pick up a copy of the Dairy Goat Journal at your local TSC. Contact the American Dairy goat Association for breeders in your Area. The amount of info you are asking for would be better supplied on a face to face basis.
 

helmstead

Songster
12 Years
Mar 12, 2007
2,381
6
216
Alfordsville, IN
Heck, yeah - get a couple!

Bear this in mind...you have to breed them every year to get the milk. So if you don't wish to keep a buck, you need to be sure there's a farm who will driveway breed your does for you.

Our last figures were around $15 per goat per month for feed/hay. Of course meds, etc...it goes a little over that. VERY affordable.

Once you learn how...milking is not hard at all. The schedule is strict, you can't take a day off. But it's relaxing and productive. The by-product (baby goats
) is a lot of fun, too!

Nigis are great IF you buy a MILKING BRED Nigi. You have to be picky. Another breed to consider are the experimental minis (like Mini-Nubians, Mini-Manchas, etc) which are a cross between a Nigerian buck and a large breed doe. SUPER milkers...smaller size.
 

mekasmom

Songster
11 Years
Dec 9, 2008
538
0
139
It's always better to get two goats. I am partial to Nubians and Alpines. You could get a good milk goat and a small pygmy doe to keep her company if space is a problem. You will still have to find a way to have her bred annually. A young pygmy would be twenty dollars or less while an adult Nubian in milk would be over a hundred. You just want a goat, not a show animal, so it wouldn't be that expensive. Figure 40lbs of grain every month if you feed a lot of hay. If you feed small amounts of hay with mostly grain then you would double that. I go through about two bales of hay a week per milking doe and under two bags of grain a month.
 
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Chatychick

Songster
12 Years
Jul 9, 2007
1,030
1
171
Blue Mound, Kansas
Where are you located??? Maybe we know someone that will give you a great deal on goats. Nigi's produce about a quart a milking unless their genetics are from great milking lines. I have some that give 1/2 gallon a milking. Larger breeds produes more than some Nigis so check the lines before you by and also try milking to see if you can do it. Some have smaller teats and are hard to milk. Thats why most have larger type goats. Most have larger teats and are easier to milk. I have Nigerians, Aplines, Nubians, and La Manchas. You might also try a Mini Alpine or Mini Nubian or Mini La Mancha. They are on the smaller side and give as much as the bigger types. Just a Thought... Yes and you will need at least 2 for milk year round as you breed them at different times and that way you have milk always.
 

ksacres

At Your Service
12 Years
Nov 16, 2007
4,230
17
254
San Antonio TX
Quote:We have standard size dairy goats, Nubians and La Manchas. In this area, it costs about $35-40 a month per head to feed and care for. We dry lot (pasture here is about worthless anyway), so that does make a difference too.

Also, in this area, does in milk go for between $250 and $400, depending on the breed/age/lines/etc.

FYI: We sell goats' milk for $5 a gallon. That's the going rate in this area.

Best advice-don't pick a goat based on what other people like. Find a breed (or cross) that you like the looks and temperament of. Why is this good advice? Well, you are going to be looking at them and milking them twice a day.

Most people fall in love with the Nubians b/c they love the long ears. My Nubians are snooty. Like queens. My La Manchas are like the jokers, always willing to please and entertain.

If you are paying $5 a quart for goats' milk, you will definitely be coming out ahead owning your own. You will also be in control of how that goat is cared for, how the milk is cared for, etc.

But do keep in mind that goats are "freshened" every year, and they need to be dried off before they kid. If you stagger your breeding by three or four months, you can keep yourself in milk with two does all year long. We usually freshen at least one doe late in the year, then breed her late in the year so we stay in milk.

Both Nubians and La Manchas (and most Nigerians for that matter) are less seasonal than the "Swiss" (upright ear, large sized) goats so it's easier to breed them "out of season". Just another thing to consider.
 

FrizzleFreak

Songster
11 Years
Jan 3, 2009
728
6
141
Oregon, west of Portland
Find Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats. You should be able to find a copy in your library system. If you do end up getting goats, then buy a copy! It has almost everything you need to know.
I personally love my Nubian's, but then again the only other goats in my region are Nigirian Dwarfs and Oberhasli's. Ober's are kinda boring from my point of view, not as much personality and for the most part they're all the same color. Nigirian Dwarfs are adorable and sweet, apparently they milk pretty well, but I like Nubians best! THey come in every color of the goat rainbow, including Appaloosa type spots (my fave). ALso, their milk is really high in butterfat, so you can make cheese or yogurt! Nubians are large, and fairly noisy, so if you have neighbors this can be a problem.They love to get in your face and burp, or lean on you, or just good naturedly annoy you. ALso, you have to have really good fences. If they can get their heads through something, it's not long until the rest follows. Lets see...We bought really good quality Nubian doelings for $75 each. Often it's better to get them when they're young, so you can raise them to your needs. Milking a goat is not hard-most goats will do anything if there's food involved.
 

Zgoatlady

Songster
10 Years
Mar 20, 2009
2,482
7
181
Enumclaw, WA
My Coop
Hi,
We raise and show Nubians and Toggs and we love them very much.
When people come and ask me the same question I tell them Nig. are great but you might want to look at the teats first because they are very small and milking some of them can be hard. They do have very rich milk like the Nubians.
Good luck with what you decide and just think he can do 4-H with them and learn lots.
CJ:D
 

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