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  • Goats?

    Still waiting to hear from the underwriters but with the appraisal coming back so well last week, it really looks like we might get the farm! Last night we drove to someone's place nearby that has goats... La Mancha to be exact. Got a lesson in goats as well as how to milk. She's got some 4 months olds that she's looking to sell and we're contemplating it. Anyone with goats want to weigh in??
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike

  • #2
    We used to have a goat dairy ages ago, used the milk to supplement foals and sold the milk to people in town.
    Ours were mostly the bigger nubians.
    We used to put on registered goat shows and help the 4H kids with theirs.

    Then the new regulations about not selling fresh milk came in and we had to either set up to process the milk or quit.
    We quit, sold them all but two pets, Billy the goat and an ancient alpine lady to a friend that also milked and we had been trading goats with.

    Goats are much fun and not much work, really.
    Why not?


    • #3
      Goats as pets or goats for business? I have goats ( Nubians) that I use to keep the weeds down. They love the thorns, weeds and stickers and keep my fence line pretty nice! They also are good babysitters for some of the horses.
      Come to the dark side, we have cookies


      • #4
        Here is a very amusing but informative thread on the hazards of owning goats. They are certainly interesting critters.....
        "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


        • #5
          As a dairy business you would milk your does twice daily, breed according to when you need them to freshen and bottle feed the kids. You will micro-manage what they eat to make sure the milk taste perfect! You will love it but it is work! We had Saanans and they were loves!!

          As a meat business it is a bit easier but the outcome kinda makes me wince.

          As a companion animal there is not a better one in a barn!


          • #6
            Mmmm, you can make fresh feta cheese!!!! Although it's best with sheep and goats milk, it's still pretty good with just goat's milk.

            But have fun trying to keep them contained!
            You jump in the saddle,
            Hold onto the bridle!
            Jump in the line!


            • #7
              I have been contemplating getting goats.
              I have one area of my pasture that is very wet in the spring, and rocky so I really can't get my tractor in there to mow, and its too large of an area to weed whack.
              Now that its full of mostly weeds, the horses don't like it either.
              I am on a mission to have it cleaned up so it could be a good area for horse pasture.

              I already have one goat, oberhasli, and love him, but he's old and doesn't like to walk that far.

              My question...
              Can goats be easily tied to an area, or I could put up temporary fencing. At night, they'd be brought in. I only want them as pets, not meat.

              What do you think?
              save lives...spay/neuter/geld


              • #8
                I'd hate to think of goats needing to be tied for more than a short while. They're pretty smart but I think they'd still get tangled up if they were on some sort of tether.

                I think I could contain mine with an electric temporary fence, but mine are very much homebodies and like to stick around. And familiar with electric fencing.

                Good luck with your new goaties! I'd love a La Mancha...


                • #9
                  Yay goats!

                  I agree - tying isn't the best.... if you can get some temporary fencing (electric) up that would be best.

                  I don't have temporary fence so I try to get my goats out for walks - something we are working on because everyone wants to go at once and I'm afraid they will gallop towards the road by chance...

                  I have two LaManchas! They are the sweetest, smartest devil wethers that I know. Just love them!

                  I also have a Nigerian Pygmy, a Pygmy cross and a Pygmy/Boer. Wonderful goats!


                  • #10
                    i've had goats with my horses forever. I prefer the larger breeds,, they're sturdier, I think. You need GOOD fencing, and some can clear a 4'height, so think about that. A hot wire AND field fencing works well. They will graze,, but prefer browse, weeds, trees, flowers, so they can keep a fenceline clear, but need something extra in winter. Mine get Rabies shots every year and a C/D&T . Also may need hooves done if they don't have areas to wear themm downn naturally. They can live a long life. I had 2 does that lived to 17 and 19 and a wether that lived to 17, so be prepared for a committment. Hoeggar Supply has information and supplies ,, or contact the state Ag OFFICE OR 4H group. They are lots of fun, do best with more than one , but can't just be tossed in a field and left to fend for themselves. ( I know there are some areas that use them for highway or island weed control,, but they really do need some supervision and care- in my opinion.) And, i think a tied, unsupervised goat is somebody"s lunch!


                    • Original Poster

                      the current field is fenced with 6 strands of electric (about 2 miles of fence on a 10 mile charger). would that work or would we need to reinforce the existing fence more?
                      "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                      "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike


                      • #12
                        As I was working on the weeds that seem to be impossible to control along my fencelines I thought about goats....
                        I don't want to hijack this thread, but have a couple questions. I have 4' high livestock and no-climb fence with electric at the top. Would that work for goats? What do you guys do at your gates?
                        Y'all ain't right!


                        • #13
                          I didn't mean to imply that I would tie them up and leave them. While I do barn chores, tie them to an area to clean it up. Its about 40' from the barn, some about 10'. For sure, they'd be dinner...I am very careful with my chickens, and same for the goats. I would not leave them tied up unless I was there, plus my dogs who would also alert me to any intruders.

                          My problem is I have a oberhasli wether, who really is more of a barn lizard. When he leaves the barn, the heavens sing since he prefers his stall. Door is open, so he can come and go, but he prefers to lounge in a stall. I just don't want more goat barn loungers. One is enough, I want browsers...hungry ones!

                          The area is large enough that I could put up no climb and leave them in that during the day and bring in at night. Tying is for them to eat a specific area for a couple of hours max and then be loose in the area.

                          I really just want to know they really are going to browse and consume the weeds that are just out of control.

                          Are there any poisonous plants for goats?
                          I was told milkweed. Which isn't in that area. I have tons of bittersweet that is going rampant, and I would love it if a goat could eat it.

                          Really just want to hear from folks who have hungry goats vs barn loungers. thanks.
                          save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                          • #14
                            Beastieslave -

                            I have 2x4 nonclimb horse wire with an oak sight board. The gates are pipe gates.

                            Never had a problem with goat escapes - but pygmy's would be able to get out through the pipe gates. I took in two old pygmy goats and to keep them in I just put nonclimb on the gates.

                            I never had any trouble with my goats - ever. They were all great animals to have around. I used them as weed control for my pastures.
                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling


                            • #15
                              Given a choice and with plenty of edible stuff, i think the goats would stay away from toxic plants. Your state county extension would have a list of poisonous plants for your area. I do know rhododendron, and I think azalea can be harmful. I have tons and tons of stinging nettle,, but will they eat it "raw"? NO, But once I weed wack it down and it dries,, they devour it. One of the goats I have now is an escape artist. I have a top hot wire on my 4'fencing. there is one area within my pasture that ,if she stands on a rock , she can jump over ,, but is still IN the pasture, so not a problem. She can clear a 4'stall door, too, which makes for a fun time when the vet comes. i have to really lock all top and bottom. Being herd animals, even if one got out I'd think it would stay close to the rest. They have done a good job "pruning " the lower branches of the apple trees in teh pastures. they also can chomp on horses's tails , so pay attention, epecially in late winter/early spring.


                              • #16
                                PRS, thanks for that stroll down memory lane! That was one of the funniest threads ever! The 2 dog, 1 goat vehicle attack team still makes me chuckle!


                                • #17
                                  Just found out that bittersweet is toxic...no wonder the horses don't eat those beautiful green vines.
                                  Oh well, I still have plenty of other non toxic weeds to be consumed.

                                  Its funny to hear about jumping 4' and escape artists.
                                  My one lone goat has the opportunity to go wherever he wants, and he sticks within 20' of the barn.
                                  He doesn't go out with the horses, and rarely goes even out of the barn. he lives a cush life. But, the other goats...they need to earn their keep(hah, sure).
                                  save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                                    Beastieslave -

                                    I have 2x4 nonclimb horse wire with an oak sight board. The gates are pipe gates.

                                    Never had a problem with goat escapes - but pygmy's would be able to get out through the pipe gates. I took in two old pygmy goats and to keep them in I just put nonclimb on the gates.

                                    I never had any trouble with my goats - ever. They were all great animals to have around. I used them as weed control for my pastures.
                                    I have Pygmys. They are very difficult to contain. You'd be shocked at what they can squeeze through. Practically every morning I open the blinds to the back deck and patio, and there they sit, waiting for the Corgis to blast out of the house and chase them around the back yard. I can never figure out how they escape. However, they refuse to go back the way they came. So, it's goat round up every freakin' morning.

                                    The only way I can stop it is to lock them up at night. They're pretty good about coming into a stall if they think there are Oreos in the feed tub.

                                    If you want less trouble, go for the bigger guys.


                                    • #19
                                      Yearsand years ago we lived on Block Island( off the RI coast). I had a goat that I brought over on the ferry. She live in a stall we built in the garage. During the winter she could roam around andwould visit the Coast Guard station quite often. During the summer we had to keep her kind of close because she'd wander down to the beach in front of the house and steal fishermen's lunches. She'd also get INTO the CG station and chow down on the pool table, not to mention walking up and down over people's cars. Our summer neighbors always invited HER over for cocktails and , oh sure WE could come too. She was a great tourist attraction, especially when she'd be on the beach as the ferry went by! We had lots of fun with her and when we had to leave she went back to the mainland on the ferry and was a 4H GOAT after that.


                                      • #20
                                        "What do you guys do at your gates?" I use a panel of a X pen and clip it on ( ok- fine- baling twine works as well.... ). You could also use a section of the 1 x 2 inch green no climb you can buy at Home Depot cheap and secure it ( w/ baling twine ha ha, no don't use it - the goats can eat right through twine...).
                                        Come to the dark side, we have cookies