Question about my Goats. (Long post- forgive me)

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by TammyM, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. TammyM

    TammyM Hatching

    Aug 18, 2010
    Before anyone reads this, Please note it's a HUGELT long essay. So if you don't like long stories don't read. ~thanks.

    I thought I should start at the beginning. I became familiar with goats back about 18 yrs ago.
    I always wanted a pygmy goat because I loved the long hair. Plus they were small and made great pets. I was infatuated with the long haired bucks I saw at a lady's home who raised them. They looked like little yaks. Like they walked off a Zodiac chart or something. They looked nothing like the common, ugly, barnyard, boney-butted, old goats you'd see chewing on tin cans. Ya know? lol These were adorable. I loved the horns curled back into a big circle around the head and that wooley sheepdog coat the bucks had. None of this ladie's does had long hair. So the does never appealed to me because they looked like regular barnyard goats. So I was all over getting a buck pygmy goat. I really didn't care if it was wethered or not. Didn't matter. I wasn't breeding them. Just for a pet. So the lady didn't have any available at that time and wouldn't til next spring, and so I started looking for local breeders. I found one and was so excited to be getting a young baby goat (I was told was a couple of months old) I had the guy reserve him for me site unseen. (I know, big naive mistake)
    I got to his home with my parents. (I was about 21 or 22 at the time) at about ten o clock at night, and I saw this group of baby goats the size of small toy poodles playing tag with each other in a pen and said "Oh! they're adorable!" he said, "Oh not those. They're only 8 weeks old. They're not being sold yet. THIS... is yours" And he dragged out this big full sized 6 month old intact buck screaming and squalling to the top of his lungs, bucking and fighting, picked him up and hauled him to our car and boom. There I am sitting their just so disappointed at this wild old thing. I didn't say anything to him because I'd begged him to hold the last buck he had for me.....which was this thing. I named him Michael. His horns were around 5 inches long and he was skiddish, untamed, stubborn, half wild. I'd have to chase him down just to get my hands on him. He'd allow me to feed him and that was it. But the biggest thing that got to me was the fact that when i talked to the guy on the phone, I made sure that I went over the coat factor. I asked if this buck would have the long wooley coat that the others I'd seen at this woman's house would, because it was imparitive I had long hair. I wanted a long hair goat. He told me it would get the long hair. He said they all do. I had no idea when was all. We didn't have the internet back then so researching things on a whim just wasn't as easy. And even now it's a pain.

    This goat had hair as short as a doberman pinchser. Just slicked down like a deer. And I made special mention of the beard as well. I asked the guy (made a spcific point to ask) if he'd have that full beard like Yosimmity Sam, not just the little goatee beard under the edge of the chin. But a full throaty beard. He said of course. Yeah, well he had a goatee. I had to get him wethered at 6 months thinking it would help his attitude, it didn't. So that following spring I went back to the lady's home and she had a three month old baby goat that was already wethered, and was out of her own bucks with the long hair. So I already still had Michael, who was practically useless as a pet. Just an obligation to keep rather than a pleasure. I worked with him endlessly and nothing in the way of progress at all.
    Here is a picture of Michael right around the time I got him. (This is the three month old baby goat with long hair and a full beard)

    So anyway, I wound up bring the second male pygmy home. He was far smaller and you could tell was a baby. He was the same color (agoudi) as Michael only he was a tad darker. He had short hair at the time as well, but I knew it would take some time for it to come in. He was tame also which was the bonus. So I kept the two of them, after a year, they both looked exactly a like. Short hair, little goatee beards. I was so dissappointed. I went back to the woman's home and she had another male buck baby, only this one was about 9 weeks or so. He was little and he was fluffier. She had no idea why the other one didn't get long hair. She said it's strange, but sometimes they don't get their father's coats, but THIS little one will because he's already fluffy. I thought maybe getting the second one (Amilyn) wethered caused a stop in his hormones that he needed to get a thick long male coat. I'm just reaching for excuses at this point. And because I didn't care if he was wethered or not. They said the intact bucks smell. I didn't care, so I left this new one intact thinking he may get a long coat because of it. I named him Tupac and brought him into the small herd. He quickly within the year got long full hair. He was alittle over a year old and had long hair, a full thick beard that shagged all the way down his throat. He was gorgeous, and the tamest and my absolute favorite. He was never even any trouble being left intact. The two wethered were rougher on him and more of a bully to him than he was. He was gentler than the other two of them combined. And in November a bit over a year after I got him he became sick suddenly and died of Pneumonia. I gave up. I was like, This is impossible. The lady was getting out of raising them by then and didn't have her herd sires anymore.
    Two years later Michael and Amilyn started getting out of the pen constantly. I had a wooden corral type pen and not a chain link fence (as I do now) so I finally just gave them both to a man who had 13 acres of land and wanted some goats to clean it off. Just to turn out and let graze and be alone. Perfect for these two since Michael never could stand human contact ever, and Amilyn wasn't happy unless he was joined at the hip to Michael, so I gave up on goats for years.

    I just bought a house next door to where I was living with my parents. I have my own big backyard now and missed having goats so much. So I decided I'm gonna do this again. I did a lot of researching the breeds online for months first and discovered that I'd have a better chance of getting a long haired buck with the Nigerian breed than the pygmy. I knew my dream goat for decades though was a solid white Cashemere, but knew I'd NEVER get one of those in a million years. That's really why I settled for Pygmy and Nigerian, because they have that long haired cashmere type look. Cashmere's are known for long hair so it's kind of the default in getting one, but you're talking expensive and hard to find.

    Anyway, I found a breeder who had two baby nigerian bucks. He told me they were ready now, but they were only 2 weeks old. I didn't want to have them screaming for a bottle every hour on the hour, and trying to deal with this. I wanted them to be with their mother til they were ready. I just don't like taking a baby off it's mother so soon. No matter what species. It just seems cold and cruel. So I paid for the goats, and paid the guy extra to keep them til they were at least 8 weeks old. I wanted him to work with them and tame them a little. He acted like he loved his animals so much. Gave them all biblical names and had bible scripted quotes all over his website. Anyway, on July 4th last year I went to meet him at the Alavista fleamarket to pick up the babies. Now, mind you I hadn't had baby goats or any goats in YEARS, so I was a little green again. But when I picked them up, all the goats he had there had snotty slimey noses. I figured maybe it's the heat. Maybe they're just hot because my God, it was nearly 99 degrees already that morning when I went there to get them, so i just figured it was the heat making them watery in the nose and funny. I took the babies home and in the car they just sat there next to me. Just calm and quiet. They were still very small. But it had been so long since I'd handled baby goats I figured maybe It's just me But they didn't seem right. They seemed almost listless. Plus they had yellow snotty mucus coming from their noses also. The guy told me that you have to watch out for worms, make sure they get wormed regularly. He said that he had already dewormed them and I wouldn't have to for about three months again. So we were good to go. I brought them home and put them in their pen and they didn't play or romp or do anything just eat and stand there. Three days later one of them died. I emailed the guy devistated. He basically blamed me. He really laied on this guilt trip and told me , "Wow, you know we really spent a lot of time working with those two for you. We were really attached to them also" . I felt so humiliated I had to tell him his beloved little goat he entrusted me with had died on my watch like that. I told him about the runny nose and that the other one didn't seem well either. He told me to just give the other one 1 CC of penicillin from TractorSupply once a day for five days straight. So I did, and after three days of that, I noticed when the little guy passes stool, he was passing a lot of tape worms. Just full of worms. I'd only had this little guy for around two weeks, and I KNOW he didn't get worms from my empty pen I put them in. So I had to deworm him also. I tried and tried and finally we went to the vet. They said he had pnuemonia, and the next day he died. They said that all of that guy's goats more than likely were sick when he sold them if they had the runny yellow mucus coming from their noses. He told me they were both sick when I got them and that was probably why the guy was pushing me to pick them up towards the end. I paid this guy $60 each plus an additional $30 to hold them the full 8 weeks. Then the vet bills on top of that. And I lost both the goats. I didn't have them a month. I couldn't bare to email him and let him know the other one had died also. So i never told him.
    So later on, I found out from another lady who sells chickens at the flea market, that that guy isn't a breeder at all. He's a broker. He runs all over the state picking up goats at auctions and secondary markets. He buys like 15 baby goats at a time at two weeks of age for $20 bucks for the whole lot and sells them for $60 to $80 bucks a pop..... To morons like me. Even the picture of the male Nigerian goat he sent me from his website he said was my baby goat's sire wasn't even a goat he owned. And he sells sick goats and wormy diseased animals all the time. He doesn't care. He's worse than these puppy millers you see.

    So later in the year, I found another breeder from Craigslist. Nice lady. Wonderful woman. Has a big family and really takes great care of her animals. She had some Nigerian goats and I picked out a buck and got her to (against her desires to sell it as a bottle baby also) hold him til he was naturally weaned. He was the only buck she had and despite how sweet he was, was rather unfortunate looking. lol He looked like a deer with a moose' head. lol He was cute though but oh well, he'll have long blonde butterscotch hair like his dad whom I saw the real pictures of. I really wanted a creamy white goat but this was fine. Then about a week before I was supposed to pick him up, she had her last doe give birth and she had two bucks, and one was the most adorable creamy/white buck with the little turned up nose. Angelic little face. Little pixie nose. ADORABLE. But he was just born. She wanted to sell him asap. I talked it over and asked her if I could switch bucks. Have her sell mine and take this new one. She really didn't wanna hold another one so long til it was weaned like the first one I had her hold, so I just decided, OK, a bottle baby it is then. So as long as I took him at 2 weeks, (which was against everything I stood for, taking a baby away from it's mom like that..) I'd get this cream one because he was just so adorable I didn't wanna lose him. So I did. He was all wormed and all set. He followed us around like a puppy. I named him Jareth. I've never had so much fun in my life. I knew I'd have to get him a companion, so i found another breeder who had a half pygmy half nigerian buck with BLUE EYES! The second of my fantasy impossible goat traits to obtain. I'd NEVER find one with BLUE EYES. Well, I did. All the way in NC. So I arranged to have a friend drive me from VA to NC. and we got him. He was already weaned and sweet. He was a little older than this bottle baby, so i got him. I named him Michael. I had the two of them. The Nigerian, and the half Nig. half Pyg. I went through the milk that the breeder gave us for the baby, and slowly got him on the powdered milk replacer she recommended if we didn't have real goat's milk which we didnt. And within a month of being on the milk replacer, he started getting diarrea. It wouldn't stop. We had him checked for coccidea, worms, everything.. Nothing. He just kept getting skinnier and the more he drank, the skinnier and malnurished he became. Til he finally just died. About a month and a half after I got him. So now the half pgy.half nig. was our only baby goat and was constantly crying and lonely. I was told by other breeders and various goat sources, that the powdered milk replacer was what killed little Jareth. That sometimes they just don't thrive on that stuff like real milk. So now, I'm heading into winter of last year and only have the one goat which is about four months old or so now. I never could find him a playmate yet and so he was adjusting to being alone. He had an insulated shelter and so we weren't concerned. I'd never had to be concerned before during the winters. Well, December 2nd, the temperature dropped very low, and the next morning I went outside to feed him and check and he was dead. Apparently he froze to death because he wasn't sick or anything. His name was Michael. So again. goatless. I've lost four baby goats in less than 8 months. My family told me to just give up. Here is a picture of the little cream Nigerian named Jareth and Michael, the little half Pygmy half Nigerian. I was so attached to the both of them. More so with Michael because he went through such a hard time when Jareth died and was all alone. I spent a world of time with him. I should've brought him into the house, but you just don't think of them in the house for the whole winter. Had I known he wouldn't have made it through the winter I would have let him live indoors til spring anyway.


    So around Easter, I found another breeder of purebred Pygmy goats, again, in NC. I made arrangements to buy a gorgeous white and silver fluffy little male and his little half brother who was creamy caramel colored. He wasn't as wooley as the white one but I knew I needed a pair to be happy and not lonely, and he was marked beautifully, PLUS I saw a photo of the caramel one's dad and he seemed sorta fluffy. To be only a year old anyway I was more in love with the white one though. Here is a picture of them.


    And here is the caramel one's dad.

    So I got them home, and for a while everything seemed ok. They were pasture raised and mostly kept on hay. I got them some hay but they didn't like the type i had, but they loved sweet feed and the noble goat pellets I started them on. No diarrea, and no problems. After a couple of weeks I noticed some mites on them. Those icky little blueish grey sucker ones. I got some dust and took care of that. Then I noticed they started laying down. They weren't acting right. I noticed they ate like pigs, but were getting boney. I was like, Oh GOD not again! What now! I started trying to find out what in the world it could be. Two people told me they foundered from eating too much grain. Which didn't sound right cause they are babies. babies don't normally founder. So at the advise of some breeders I took them off the grain and just let them grass graze and eat hay. The one caramel one was fine. A little weak but not that bad at all. He was ok. But the white one went down. He couldn't stand on his feet. I'd have to lift him back up and he'd graze and walk along and eat vigorously, then just drop down and couldn't get back to his feet. I had to follow around and lift him up every few minutes. I had had enough, I went to the vet with him and she had him on the counter. The vet walks in. Doesn't take a fecal sample or a blood sample or ANYTHING. All anyone did was take his temperature, and then the vet listened to his heart. That's it. She ran her hand over him and said, "He's starving, and he's got coccidia." All that from her stethiscope and her hand-scan. So I was like, Ok, but I just got him a few weeks ago. I've barely had him a month. He's not eating off the ground. I have their food bowls up in a rack. They're hay is up also. They have clean water. She said he needed to be dewormed also. I said the breeder said he was already. She said you will have to deworm your goats every month if you live in the city. I was like, are you kidding me? She said, no, and you need to rotate your wormers and alternate them also. One month, a liquid, another month the pellet form, another month the injectable. Fool the worms. I was remembering Michael and Amilyn from over a decade or more earlier. You couldn't kill those two with the black plague. We never ever dewormed them in all the years we had those two. Hell, back then I didn't know you had to with goats. Dogs and cats yeah, but not goats. They never had a sick day in their lives. Lived to be way up in age at that man's farm. The vet told me basically they don't make um like they used to. Goats are very fragile animals nowadays.

    Ok, so she gave me enough albon to treat the one goat that she said had coccidea without doing any tests at all. Nothing for the other goat who was at home. She gave me a laundry list of suppliments and crap to give him and every hour on the hour for a week i went out there and propped him up and put his head in a food dish so he could eat, in the water dish so he could drink. Because he couldn't stand anymore. Pumped him full of all the meds and crap we got from the vet, and slowly but steadily he got so weak, he couldn't raise his head. He'd just lay there like he were comotose til he died. I'd never gone so far with a goat in my life. And all the while the beautiful white one (Merlin), my favorite was sick and dying, the caramel one, Jareth II thrived. He never got any coccidea treatment even though if one goat had it that severely he'd have to have had it also, nope. He was perfectly healthy. Just the pretty one got sick and died.

    So in the meantime while I'm struggling with this goat dying of coccidea, I had located the Holy Grail. I always knew I'd planned to have three maybe four pet goats tops, and they'd all be bucks, all intact, and I WAS GOING TO HAVE LONG HAIR. So I found the one. The holy Grail of goats. I got my solid white Cashmere Buck baby goat. I had a breeder holding one for $100.00 and he's even the grandson of the herd sire from a breeder within my state that I found that was now deceased. So i know exactly what he's gonna look like. I was so afraid to bring this cashmere home and expose him to whatever the hell was in my yard that killed Merlin. JarethII was healthy and doing wonderful. I had them on the once a month rotating wormer schedule. I was feeding them the Noble Goat along with Sweet feed and grass and hay. They've got a Billy Block mineral block in Mixed berry flavor. I even every once in a while add a little Corrid to their water at the advise of a breeder just to make sure they don't get coccidia. As a preventative. She said it couldn't hurt. So I'm totally on the safe side now.

    I got Chivo, my Cashemere home and both he and Jareth II are fat as pigs, and thriving. Doing so well. I'm almost afraid to get so attached to Chivo. I'm going back to the breeder in the spring next year and getting a solid black cashmere to go with him. So now, if I want a long hair goat, I'll stick with the best. The cashemere breed. But I still have Jareth II. He's supposed to be a pygmy. A purebred pygmy. You can see his picture as a baby up above. He doesn't look a thing like that now. He's got slick short doberman hair. He's a little on the dominant side with Chivo which i don't like. I was so much more attached to Merlin that died than Jareth II. I didn't want to get attached to Jareth. So for the most part, I'm not. He's here. He's keeping Chivo company, but I know i'm going to get Cashemere bucks so I don't know if i want to keep him. I will keep him til spring because I don't want to place him until I have a companion for Chivo. But My question is this. Based on my experience with these bucks, I don't see Jareth having the long fully wooley coat at all. Because Tupac got it by the time he was 8 months. This goat looks like a nanny with male appendage. No full beard. No long coat. Jareth was born in January of this year. Chivo was born March 24th (my late mother's birthday) I just think if he was gonna wind up looking like THIS goat.
    Here are some pygmy goat kids and even though this one is disbudded, he's not that old. Mine should look like this shouldn't he?

    Here is a recent picture of Jareth II and Chivo.

    Chivo, Chivo's father and Grandfather

    So based on everything I've written, this little Pygmy goat buck isn't going to look like the one's I posted above is it? He's gonna look like a fawn version of the first picture of the agouti male named Michael isn't he? I just don't see how, if he's this slick coated he's gonna wind up looking like those caramel male pygmies I posted above.
  2. dutchhollow

    dutchhollow Songster

    May 13, 2008
    SW IA
    Wow, that was long.
    Where to start
    The small goats with long hair that you have been wanting, google silky's, silky goats, they should come up, basically pygmy's with floor length hair, I am sure have been mixed into some herds, but the does have long hair also. Cashmere's don't have very long hair, but it is thick, you have to comb the fiber out as they shed if it is to be used. The goats with the long curly hair are angora's and they have to shaved twice a year.

    You have run across some bad 'breeders' for sure. But, you will find out with three intact bucks in your yard, you will not be able to use it for anything, and you will have to change clothes every time you interact with them (after they are adults and have gone thru a rut), and the smell doesn't wash off easily. You really have no idea of the behavior of intact male animals. As far as not wanting the kids taken from their moms, most breeders of dairy goats (nigerians) separate them to milk the mothers. Pygmy breeders do so they are tame as most people want them as pets (not meat as was their orignal pupose). Selling an 8 week old as weaned was pretty much a death sentance (not that they can't be, but 4 months is the earliest I have had a doe wean, and when bottle feeding contuinue for at least 12) they only get fed about every 4 hours, not every hour on the hour. Whole milk is best if you don't have cows, but if you use a replacer get one with no soy, I haven't had a problem.
    Goats in small pens need to be dewormed often, you aren't feeding them on the ground, but they are browsers. and put everything in their mouth, if they don't have a lot of weeds to eat they are going to be mouthing their poop and everything else they can get in their mouth.

    I would skip the grain and give more hay, in winter when it is cold some grain if they loose weight is ok. But I have seen lots of foundered goats all from eating grain that they don't need. They are browsers and left on their own eat very little grain. If and when you get them wethered I think it also makes the odds of urinary blockage greater.

    Go out asap and find a vet that knows something about goats, they are few and far between, they don't teach it in school. You will learn more on the net about dewormers and the other common problems in goats.
    I am sorry about your heartbreak and problems you have had, and sorry for the goats.
  3. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Songster

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I agree with dutchhollow----hay is the major food for goats if they aren't grazing. You should only give your goats 1/4 cup-1/2 cup of grain 2x a day (some people only give the 1/2 cup once a day. As for the bottle-feeding, it is better not to go that route. I have 3 goats that I got at about 3 weeks old, and believe me, I will never do that again!! I had mine on Uni-Milk mixed 50-50 with 2% milk and 1 1/2 TBS. corn syrup per gal. I can't remember exactly how old they were when I got them completely weaned, but I think they were 4 months-----it is a LONG process, and my babies were in our bedroom in a huge dog crate for quite some time-----my DH was so loving to put up with that!! I also agree with dutchhollow that you really need to find a vet who knows a lot about goats, and possibly a reputable breeder who will allow you to come and see their setup, and maybe be a kind of mentor for you. If you lived closer to me, I would gladly take in your little pygmy! Well, good luck with everything, and I hope you don't experience any more tragedy. By the way, my 3 pygmy does all have pretty short hair, but I love them dearly.

    Here are my 3 does:[​IMG] The little white one is one of the bottle-babies.
    Here are my 2 wethers with the little doe:[​IMG]

    Here they are as babies:[​IMG]The little doe is one the left, and she is actually 1 1/2 wks. older than the boys, who are twins!
  4. TammyM

    TammyM Hatching

    Aug 18, 2010

    Thanks for the reply. I've seen those silky goats before. They're kind of related to the fainters I think. They're cute, but they look like Yorkies, or Lasa Apsa dogs. Almost like those Peruvian guinea pigs in the face with the bangs hanging down over their eyes. lol They're not what I was looking for exactly.

    This is the length of hair for a cashmere I wanted and hope Chivo looks like this one. This was my dream goat. I never thought I'd ever have one that looked like that.
    Since I'm never planning on shaving his hair off and just brushing him and grooming him, I hope to keep him looking like this. If his coat gets that full at least.

    But because I couldn't ever find the Cashmere goats back years ago, I fell in love with the Pygmy goats because they looked so adorable with the long hair. This is what I was always looking for in a pygmy goat.

    That is what I was hoping mine would all look like, but they didn't. Well, Tupac did, but we lost him. But I have never had one to have that coat of hair ever. What I'm wondering is, Jareth II, the little caramel one I have now, isn't going to look like those bucks in that Youtube video is he? I know he's not the same color as they are. They are agoudi. But I mean he's never gonna look like them in body type. I just don't see it happening. Not with his hair as short as it is now. I just don't see it. I think he's gonna be built more like that first one I posted a picture of in my first post. The one named Michael.
  5. jodief100

    jodief100 Songster

    Apr 21, 2010
    N Kentucky/Cincinnati
    First, check out the Backyard herds site. Lots more goat people. CMJust and Rollfarms know TONS about goats and goat health and are always willing to help out.

    Your vet gave you some bad advise about rotating wormers and worming regularly. That is going to increase wormer resistance. That is what works with horses, not goats. The white wormers (Safeguard) and pellets they sell for goats are usless in most places. You will need to learn how to determine when your goats need worming and learn to use some "off label" wormers, things for cattle and sheep. Try to find a "goat" vet that can run fecals so you can determine what kind of worms you have and worm as needed, not on schedules. They need immunzations if they haven't already had them, CD&T at a minimum. There is also a good cocidosis preventative treatment.

    I know you say you don't mind if the bucks stink but I don't think you realize how much they stink, and it gets worse with age. They pee on themselves, sticky, yellow strong stinky pee all over thier legs, face, belly etc. They will also get aggresive no matter how tame they are. You do not want your beloved goat running at you full blast with his horns determined to knock you over. They will do it. They will jump on you, head butt you and hook you with thier horns. If they do not have ladies around they get worse. Please consider getting them wethered.

    Goats prefer browse, grass, weeds, trees and such. Good hay, dark green alfalpha hay is best. Bucks and wethers should have no grain, the stuff with loose, different types like sweet feed. Pelleted stuff like Nobel Goat is better, but still should be fed lightly, more in the winter.

    Get a good book on raising goats, the Storey's guides are decent.

    Goast are susectable to all kinds of things and since they have little body fat they don't have any reserves and go down fast if they get sick.

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