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Adaptable.
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Three years ago, I was enthusiastic about our animals. My plan eventually narrowed down to starting with full grown chickens, bringing puppies in a few days later, then bringing in goats a few days after that.

Anyways, our puppies were born last week, and we will be bringing them home in march. So all the animadness is about to begin. I've had goat chores, ie. Milking and feeding, but never owned my own. Chickens are almost like plants in my opinion, so I'm not to worried about them, but now that it's go time, I'm nervous as heck.

What if I wind up with seven gallons of milk each week? What shots do they need? Will a split rail fence hold them in? How much do they need to climb on? Should I try to get a billy with two does and rotate which one is in milk? Can you make frozen goat yogurt Popsicles? What questions am I forgetting?

I hope my wife bought one of the Storey goat books at work today.

So. Anybody have goats? Help!!!
 

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Goat cheese is very tasty, and a good way to store milk.

My problem is that the goat cheese doesn't last long enough to need that much storing. Good luck with the goats.

Regards,

Kevin.
 

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Permanently gone
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No, a split rail fence will NOT keep your goats coralled! Goats are notorious escape artists.
Where-ever you pasture them, spend a few bucks on herb seeds and scatter them around the pasture. The goats love to nibble on them and it enriches the milk. Oregano, marjoram, rosemary, basil, etc....watch out with chives or any other *oniony* type herb, it will be tasted in the milk!

Yes, you can make goat yogurt popsicles! Goat milk ice cream is wonderful, too.

And chickens are NOT "just like plants". LMAO....chickens can drive you more nuts than the goats!
 

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Get this book The Encyclopedia of Country Living 10th edition by Carla Emery. it has everything you need to know about animals and gardens. Country living in general. We got our for $20.00 off of the internet.
 

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Adaptable.
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much guys! Very very helpful. Sorry I was that guy who posted without searching... ;) just nervous and excited.

I have the encyclopedia of country living. I've read quite a bit about goats, but once you pick up the post hole digger to start getting their pens ready, you think of a billion things.

Good call on the selenium. I can get 50# trace mineral with selenium blocks at work for $4.

Oh, and I was planning on 3; two does and a billy, but am rapidly considering the billy
.

Any advice on introducing them to the pups?
 

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Any "Farmer's Markets" in your area? Might be able to sell the milk, or cheese. Might work out a deal with neighbors within reach.

Visited a goater's paradise up on highway 49, near Sonora. They had several goats in their big front yard. It might have been near 3/4 an acre in size. Within the yard were several outcroppings of rock measuring in average size from about 10 feet wide to 3 feet tall. Goats can be seen all over them. The yard was enclosed with chain link to about 5 feet tall. Aside from the rock stands, the area was grassy, with irregular levels.

That's it for me on goats. I hope it works well for you. Don't pick up anything from the ground while Billy is behind you...... :D:
 

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Mean Old Lady
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You are not going to like the Billy. If someone in your neighborhood has one that you would accept for a stud...then do that. There is a good reason why artists and historians for centuries have depicted the devil as a goat! The smell is off-putting to say the least. If you're determined to have one...keep him far from home and children, and get him a friend that doesn't make milk. Like Jericho said...don't bend over in front of him.

Observations: Goats prefer the view from on top of your pickup. They will gallup gleefully over wooden porches just to hear the noise. A fence is just another form of entertainment. A lone goat is a LOUD goat.

Other than that...the females are great animals to have around, particularly if you've kept them tame. They are often interested in helping you with outdoor chores, yet there has always been something about goats that reminds me of cats...

Goats are a great animal for the small homestead. Meat, milk, and entertainment!
 

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Pretty much everything has been covered here, all I`d add (depending on where you live) would be:
Make sure they have some kind of winter stall as they are not as winter-hardy as many think.
Goats make great use of roughage and convert it into meat & milk very well - they are great deforesters and eat vegetation unsuitable for cows/sheep.
Depending on the breed, you can get Cashmere wool from them as well.
Castrate any unwanted male kids with an Elastrator - goat wether (castrated billy) tastes better than normal billy goat.

Best of luck !!!
 

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Good Luck!

I've lived on a ranch my entire life and one of the few animals that we're not allowed to have anymore are goats. Have fun. Although in my opinion, it is so important to take the step of getting animals. There is nothing like knowing you have a source of food that you can keep breeding.
 

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Adaptable.
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Discussion Starter #12
The pups are pure german shepards. Unregistered, hopefully sisters. I originally wanted great pyrs, but given the burrs, ticks and other long haired maladies that afflict our mouser, I don't want anything with long hair. I believe we'll get pick of the litter; they started naming animals after my wife and I at the animal shelter, and they have been telling us about every gs that comes in. We both work at the farm supply, where we have in store adoptions, and work with the feral workers program they have.

Yeah, I think i'm going to avoid the billy. I have a neighbor who has six goats; I'll be stopping by there this evening to talk with them. They were the ones who warned us about gamey milk from alpines eating yerba santa, our most prevalent weed, and turned us onto Nubians. I don't think they keep a billy, but they will have good leads on what to pull in.

I actually started beefing up their pen and putting in fence posts yesterday. Will probably build the milking stansion this weekend. The one we used at the last farm we worked at was pretty simple.

Now, I've read that acorns are bad for goats. We live in mixed coastal redwoods, with alot of tanoak and valley oak. There is tons for them to eat, but is it like dogs an chocolate? Will they avoid other food until they have eaten every acorn? I've also heard that they are prone to repratory infections and to avoid moldy or dusty hay. I can get truckloads of alfalfa chaff for free at work, and given that my buddies at work saved us every spilled grass seed for two months I don't think it would be hard to set an orchard bin aside to fill with spilled hay.

Also, how far can you walk a goat. The ranch I work at is two miles away with a 1000 foot net elevation gain. I just assumed I could walk them to work and stake them down in the old cattle pasture (mixed rye and local grasses) so I can stop weed eating down there. Would it be better to drive them?

Wow, I must sound like a nervous expectant dad. My wife is bringing home the storey book today, and also mentioned that our livestock expert at the farm supply wants to help us pick them out and get their area ready. We are really lucky to work someplace where we all take care of each other.

Also lucky to be part of such a helpful forum community. Thanks again guys!
 

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Adaptable.
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Discussion Starter #14
The goats will be adult. And the pups are one week old as of today. I'm kinda watching this thread as I work at home this morning. I'm repairing a manger feeder somebody threw out at work when they bough a new one. Only thing wrong with it are two popped rivits. Instead of buying a $15 riveter they "gave" me a $150 feed rack.

I know not to tether them around trees. My old boss when I worked at a night club in the city had an 80 acre retreat ranch, and thought goats would be great. One hung itself when left staked out over night, the other starved to death when bossman got "busy" and didn't get up to the ranch for three weeks. Fun guy, but about as responsible as a two year old.

The old cow pasture is about 4 cleared acres of straight grass. Should be nothing for them to get caught on or wrapped around except each other, and I figure I would tether them seperately. I'd not do this for a while, and would hope to be able to eventually set the dogs there to watch the goats. Another great resource is that my wires friend and coworker at the front counter trained dogs for the Seattle pd for fifteen years. She's also the one who got our name on the list for the pups before the entire litter was born. She's going to help us with some of the training.

Good idea about the board. We actually have two, and I watch them frequently (looking for an old 4wd tractor) the goats are coming from a customer I talk to in the warehouse who breeds and said he'd give me two if I picked them up before may. Said to consider it a tip for the thousands of bales of alfalfa I've loaded into his truck. The chickens are about the same situation, except it an older guy who said, "too many chickens!" I plan to bring home six chickens and a rooster, and get or hatch my chicks next spring. With the price of feed skyrocketing, I hear about all kinds of free animals, especially horses. Unfortunately, no way we can do horses for a number of years yet. If anybody has open pasture and experiences with horses, do a search for your local horse rescue, they are seriously overburdened with horses people can't afford to take care of anymore, and they have some amazing horses around here at least.

Okay, back to work. Thanks dilli.
 

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We had our first *goatlet in the middle of the night Sunday. It was a preemie and did not make it. But now we have a mama making milk a month early. We are scrambling to get everything ready and right.

It's amazing how fast things fall into place when you need them to though.

We are in the middle of fencing agonies (more from paying $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to do it right the first time than anything). Knock on wood, we have never had an escapee.


*According to the Jasmine_xoxo dictionary a goatlet is a baby goat of undetermined sex.
 

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Make sure you build them a good fence and make sure it is marked well so they know when they escape trust me they will. Always make sure your neighbor keeps his flowers up good because you dont want your goats starving to death. With goats i have found you have two kinds rogues, or really bad rogues with very few exceptions. Have fun!
 

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Adaptable.
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Discussion Starter #18
Okay, the word on goats from the "livestock expert" at work:

1: if your goats have horns, make sure your fencing mesh is small enough to male sure they cant stuff their heads through it.
2: thebopk I want is not in stock, but somewhere in storage.

And, we found our goats. One of the local (famous) cheese cremaries had a bad year, and dumped 3 dozen on another customer. We get our pick, and they will have does just kidding when we go to get them. Noobs! As in Nubians, just what we wanted.

Confirmation on puppies, we are top of list and we have pick of litter. Get to go see them next week.

Jasmine, you are so right about things falling into place when you need them, it has been the story of my life. Thinking about it today, I think my expectant father jitters areas much based on being fearful tocasting my first tap roots. Something I want and need, but like marriage, something I'm worried about until I realize it's just the same as always, just loving what you love. Thanks for the blog comment, bliss. ;)

Whoop! Whoop!
 
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