Want goats - need reality check

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by jdgbirds31, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. jdgbirds31

    jdgbirds31 In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2014
    Hi! I'm seriously considering getting a couple Nigerian dwarf goats (I want smaller goats). I was thinking of eventually using them as dairy goats but decided that probably wasn't realistic for me... I have 3 children, 5 and under and husband isn't exactly on board w the whole hobby farm thing. But we have lots of undergrowth in our woods and it would be great to have them for that and as a learning experience for the boys... Plus I love animals. I just need someone who has pet goats to give me a realistic idea of what it would be like. Will they terrorize our yard, trees, children? They will be penned but I'd love to have them out in the yard w us when we are out - is that realistic? Any insights would be great - thanks!!!
  2. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I think this is a terrible place to ask for help on talking you out of getting an animal! :p

    We had two wether Nubians quite a few years back and they were awesome pets. My brother and I were young when we first got them and they were great with us. We even walked them on leashes. They were definitely gentle giants! I wanted to do the dairy goat thing while I was in 4H, but I am glad I didn't get into that because I just didn't have the time to commit. Though it wouldn't be so horrible to breed and try the milking thing. If it doesn't work out, you can just ease up on the milking little by little and let her dry off. At least the milking part isn't a life-long commitment if it doesn't work out for you!
    1 person likes this.
  3. H Diamond

    H Diamond Songster

    Jan 26, 2014
    They will eat anything that looks good to them.. trees, flowers, shrubs etc. If they are raised with the kids, shouldn't be a problem. Kids and goats go really well together. I would recommend you get them disbudded though. Small children and horns don't get along. If you just want pets, get a couple Nigerian wethers. (castrated males) They are sweet, small, and don't require as much nutrition as a lactating dairy doe. If you want the option to milk or not, just leave the babies on momma. You can lock them off overnight, milk, then turn them back together. That way you only have to milk when you want/need to.
  4. BuffBeck

    BuffBeck Chirping

    Hi and welcome to BYC! I have been raising and showing competitive miniature dairy goats (specifically nigies) for over 9 years, and we treat all our goats like pets. Nigerian dwarves are my all-time favorite breed of dairy or any other goat, so I must encourage you to try them out.

    It sounds like you want to keep them as pets and brush-eaters. They make exceptional pets, are comparatively gentle on fences, and are very gentle with humans unless they've been trained from a young age to "play butt". However, I can tell you that you would need a herd of over 20 Nigerians to do significant damage as far as clearing brush. Nigies do enjoy fresh spring & summer foliage, but will eat nothing but the tallest of canary grass and any trees/shrubs that they can reach. That is why I always try to get the word around that goats aren't replacement lawn-mowers. One of the biggest differences between goats and sheep: sheep "graze", goats "browse".

    If you do end up milking your nigies, I think it would be a rewarding experience for you. Nigerian Dwarves have the highest milk fat percentage of all dairy breeds and the milk is said to be the least "goaty" in flavor.

    Just one more thing; you should try out nigies if you Really want to and have the time and knowledge, but maybe wait a few years so that your kids will get more out of it. Also, they will be able to help you with the goat chores better. Goats won't just shove you out of the way... unless you are between them and tasties. So I would say the kids would be happier and more confident around the goats if they were a bit older.

    Hope I didn't discourage you & blessings to you & your family,
  5. We started with goats last spring, when my kids were aged 5, 7, and 13 years. We raised 3 Boer wethers for 4-H, and then purchased 2 pregnant "first fresheners" in October that just kidded on February 12th and February 21st.

    My 2 youngest were able to handle most of the goat "chores", while my oldest was responsible for training and walking the goats, and trimming their feet.

    All 3 human kids participated in the birth of the goat kids in the last few weeks, and are responsible for their care. I do supervise, but they do the grunt work.

    I agree with the other poster that goats and kids are a GREAT combination. Goats are the perfect size, temperament, and personality to teach kids responsibility and still be LOADS of fun.
  6. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    I have owned almost every dairy breed available in the United States and of all, Nigerians are the stand out favorite! Fantastic personalities, great with kids, incredibly fun to interact with and the milk is awesome!

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