Questions for goat owners

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by CityGirlintheCountry, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    So do you raise goats for meat, for milk, for weed clearing or just for fun?

    If for milk, do you hand milk or have a machine? Is it once a day or twice a day? How do you feed the kids if you are milking the mothers?

    If for meat, do you slaughter your own?

    Thanks for the info!

  2. agnes_day

    agnes_day Songster

    Aug 29, 2008
    i have them because they are so fun and adorable!
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    My girls are dairy goats. I raise them because I love them.
  4. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    I have mine for milk and I have no problem using wethers for meat if we are unable to sell them to new homes. I milk twice a day by hand (but I am only milking two does). My first doe had triplets. I milked her and she nursed them until two of them went to new homes at 8wks old. She is still nursing the third though that doeling mainly eats hay now. My other doe had one single buckling that she is nursing as well as I am milking her. That buckling will go to his new home in early May. If we ever do have one to slaughter, I will take it to a processing plant as I do not have the skills to do it and at this point, I don't really wish to do it myself. I don't mind processing my own chickens, but I'm not yet up to a goat.
  5. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Do you milk them by hand or with a machine? Is that a once a day thing or a twice a day thing? Can you "train" them to be milked at certain times of day? What do you do with all the milk?

    I ask because I have contemplated adding sheep and goats to my mini farm. The problems is I work a day job with weird hours. I am always home in the mornings so a morning milking is not that big a deal. The evening milking would be tricky.

    Do you get too attached to your meat goats? I know how attached I am to the chickens. I imagine goats would be worse.

    Dunno. I may have to save goats for retirement (in about 25 years!). They sure are sweet looking though. My neighbor sometimes runs goats in his pasture and I love how fiesty and inquisitive they are. [​IMG]

    edited to add- Oops! Sorry, Potterwatch! I was typing while you answered. Thanks!
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  6. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I am hand milking 5 does right now and when the babies are weaned then will go to machine milking as there will be lots more milk and my hands wont be able to handle it. You can milk once a day if the baby is still on them. I have done it that way before also.
    Most are easy to train to milk as they like routine and the first few days can be tricky but it dont take to long.
    Yes they make great pets and do provide you with meat, milk and even leather if that is what you want to do. We have large type dairy does and Nigerians that can be milked. Only took me 1 day to get a FF to be on the stand and be milked with no problems, but she is such a pest and I bottle raised her. Some are easier than others...Good luck
  7. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    I want to add that even if a doe is skittish, it doesn't mean she will be difficult to milk. My younger doe was so skittish when we got her, that we couldn't get anywhere near her and even after several months, she would only get near enough to take food from us, but not let us pet her. She still is fairly nervous around people. She will let me get close enough to pet her most of the time but not other people, she still runs from anyone she doesn't know. Up on the milk stand though, she is great! Stands quietly and allows me to milk her with no problems. Even the very first time I milked her (and she was a FF), she didn't react badly at all.

  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I milk four does by hand. You need to milk them as close to 12 hours apart as possible. That can be 5:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. - you just want to stay close to that 12 hours. It's hard on them to go longer as their udders get so big and tight and uncomfortable.

    I am leaving my kids on their mommas and after two weeks I will separate them at night so I can milk momma first thing in the morning. Then, the kids are with her through the day and I don't milk her at night. My doe who has two week old kids right now has soo much milk that I'm actually milking her in the middle of each day just to relieve some of the pressure for her.

    I share the milk with my neighbor (she actually owns a couple of the goats but keeps them here) and I am going to start selling Shares soon to help cover costs. We love the raw milk and love not buying milk anymore from the store. You can make cheese, butter, ice cream, etc. Pets can drink the milk (chickens love it). The colostrum sells for $20 for 8 oz. here. You do want to make sure the kids get colostrum before you milk it out to save or sell it.

    I have no problem with using them for meat but right now.... I can't do it - I'm too attached.

    I love them and wouldn't want to not have them anymore.
  9. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Songster

    Jan 22, 2009
    have you read the fiascofarms site? its excellent. i'm new to dairy goats - but as proof of how great it is - i got two milkers in the last 6 weeks and i love it.

    here is what i've learned and apologies to everyone who as a lot more experience:

    1. hand milk -is it easy? yep but depends on the goat. goat #1 takes about 15 mins b/c she has small orifices and it just takes longer for the milk to come out. goat #2 milks the same amount but in about 2 mins

    2. easy to train - YES but be the boss of them. and watch out for them training YOU. goat #1 tried to pull the wool over my eyes and convince me that i had to feed her corn while on the milking stand. sheesh!

    3. get or make (in one afternoon with scrap wood) a milking stand

    4. start up costs are more than what i expected but worth it. ex: you must use a stainless bucket, cost = $30 - $50 and yes get the strainer, the big one

    5. we originally got two smaller variety goats for eating all the poison ivy and they did a great job. however due to a series of errors i did not get them bred last fall so we bought the 2 does already in milk

    6. will they be used for meat? depends on the day...grrr.... i have one really obnoxious one that i've had enough of. she may end up on the BBQ. we butchered our own pigs and its not that bad so, sure i could do goats. but the milkers are so valuable for milk, cheese, and to feed the hens that there is no way they are 'one season' animals. i'm looking into getting a few wethers tho - we'll see about that.

    7. when to milk? there are two firm views:
    first - whenever is fine - i've heard this from many real life breeders including 2 folks who have LOTS of goats and weird schedules. they just make it work for them

    second - you HAVE to milk twice a day at the same time or else!

    i tend to split the difference knowing that what you trade for ease of schedule you make up for in lower production. exactly 12 hrs apart provides the highest milk production, if you dont keep that schedule it may be lower.

    8. if you milk for your use (drink milk, make cheese) than you need to have exceptional hay - like green soft alfalfa hay. you can use 'worse' hay but the milk production drops off.

    and i might just get burned at the stake for this heresy... but (gasp) i dont love the goats. i like them sure, but i dont love them like some folks do. i think they can be fun and funny but for me they are livestock. i was shocked at this b/c all i've heard is how everyone love love loves their goats and how developed their personalities are... but try as i might.. i just dont see it. i know i know.. send the hate mail....sorry

    not trying to be antagonistic with this statement, i just kinda wish that someone woulda told me that it might not be a love match. for me its coming down to i wont keep them as pets so they need to produce or its curtains (or the livestock auction) for them.

    i'm thinking i might be a cow person deep down.... so i dunno.

    anyway thats my $0.02. good luck and go and get your goats!
  10. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Songster

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    I have saanan milk goats and boer goats, and boer/saanan mix.
    I do love my goats, they are pets as well as livestock. they all have names and come running for treats when I go outside, and meet me at the front gate when I come home from work, they come running! usually because they think I have food. they live to eat.
    I milk twice a day, 6am, and 6pm. I am going to try separating them at night after a few weeks and milking at 6am and let the baby have her the rest of the day, but she is a champion milker, her udder is twice the size of her daughter who also is a purebred saanan.. so I may still have to milk at night.
    I pasturize the milk, and save the cream and freeze it until I get enough to make butter.
    I am going to try to make cheese this year, I would love to make yogurt and soap.
    I do love that my goats are bigger too, I guess I am partial to the larger goats.

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