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  #1  
Old 07/08/05, 07:11 AM
TxCloverAngel's Avatar
Happiness is Homemade
 
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Question Multi purpose goat?

Hi everyone. I have been reading threads here like crazy but would like some input from y’all. I want to get a goat. For several reasons…

  • To tether (during some days watched closely) to help clear my fence line
  • To play w/ milking, butter, cheese. And see if it’s something I would really like to get into.
  • To be a playmate and pet/friend for my 5 kids. So the tamer the better

I think the pigmy goats are adorable of course, but what kind of goat would you suggest as our starter multi purpose goat?

I have read its better to get two than one. Whatcha think?

Any books you would recommend before I get started?
Anybody know of any good breeders in the Dayton, Houston etc.. area of Texas?

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 07/08/05, 07:31 AM
 
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For the kind of pet you want, look for bottle raised babies. A couple of little does would be a really good start. I raise Nubians, so I think they're great. I'm sure, though, that everyone will recommend their own breed.
I don't think Pygmies would be good for milking, but maybe some do.
I believe there are a lot of breeders in the extended Houston area; I expect you'll hear from some.
mary

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  #3  
Old 07/08/05, 07:58 AM
 
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You will need to get 2 goats because they are herd animals. I also like nubians and I have actually stopped tethering because my 4yo is able to keep 4 nannies and 3 babies right with her on the lawn near the sandpile and swingset. :baby04:

If the wander to far she goes and grabs the herd "Queen" by the collar and brings her back and everyone else follows....she is also bottlefeeding one of the babies who likes to play soccer with her.

If you get the goats, be sure to keep raisins in your pocket and reward them for cooperating....clap youre hands to get them to come to you and then give a treat....they will follow you anywhere and answer you when you speak. You'll have to be the MAH-MAH

Goats are wonderful companions and lesson teachers for children.

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  #4  
Old 07/08/05, 09:45 AM
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I recently started in my venture with goats about a year ago now. I now have 2 pygmy does, 2 LaMancha does, and one Nubian doe as well as 2 pygmy bucks for breeding. Pygmy goats are great little goats and I have had no problems with keeping them fenced unlike others who have posted they are difficult to keep in the fence. My oldest pygmy doe was the first goat I ever milked and before I milked her, she had never been milked either! Her teats are very managable for me(probably not for someone with large hands though) and my DH prefers her milk because of the butterfat content. The creamier the better in his opinion..LOL! Right now I only have a LaMancha and the Nubian in milk. The LaManchas are more cooprative in the most part and my Nubian reminds us of a dog....she will follow you everywhere! If I go down to the garden and she is in the goat pen, she will cry(VERY loudly I might add) the whole time we are down there. Also, the LaManchas are very quiet as well, unless they are in heat. I have six kids and my youngest that is 2, loves to play with the goats and has to "help" milk them too! None of my does are aggressive....neither are my bucks for that matter but they aren't as cautious around anyone and they stink! So we don't go in and play with them but we do talk to them and pet them through the fence. I don't reccomend getting a buck if you don't have to. They are quite smelly and can be a little more difficult. The only reason you need a buck, is for breeding and if you have anyone near you with a buck, they usually don't have much of a problem letting you "borrow" one for a breeding! Read, as much as possible so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Finding a good vet for goats can be difficult as well.

Books I have are: Raising Milk Goats Successfully by Gail Luttmann
The Goatkeepers Guide by Jill Salmon
Goat Husbandry by David Mackenzie
Storeys Guide to Raising Dairy Goats by Jerry Belanger

I have a couple of others but can't seem to find them....must have lent them out! If you do a general search on Barns and Noble or Amazon, they can give you even more choices and receiws of what others think of them as well.

Good luck and have fun!

Tracy
Southwestern, Ny

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  #5  
Old 07/08/05, 11:10 AM
 
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My nubian wether is an absolute sweetheart. All of my goats are very tame, but there's a real difference between the cashmeres and this nubian - the cashmeres are more standoffish. He follows my nephews all over the place like a dog would and is very easy for them to handle.

Definitely get two goats. A single goat will make you it's herd and will make your life miserable trying to keep it out of the house and out from underfoot. A couple years ago, when my old doe died leaving our wether alone he broke down the barn door and almost broke down the house door just trying to be with us for company. Their herd drive is that strong.

A book I'd recommend is "Diseases of the Goat" by John Matthews.

They really are great critters and lots of fun.

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  #6  
Old 07/08/05, 11:21 AM
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Nobody has said this yet so I am going to say it.

Tethering goats no matter how close you watch is asking for trouble. If anything use some hotwire strands to help keep them in. If you tether a goat up and some dog comes along they can't get away. Also they can choke them selves, cut off blood supply if they get it wrapped around their leg, choke on the tether. The list can go on and on. I STRONGLY suggest that you don't tether unless you watch them 24/7 while they are tethered.


Ok now that I said that I would go with either Oberhaslis or La Manchas both are tend to be very even tempered, fairly good milkers, great tasting milk, sweet and affectionate(sp).

I would stay away from larger breeds like nubians or alpines as you have younger kids. Nubians are very sweet but I have found don't know their own strength and so can be hard to handle as they can get so big. And Alpines because they can be hot headed toward each other and also are big(but most of those gals DO know their own size and use it!).

So I recommend the Oberhaslis or La Manchas. Both which are like I said sweet, gentle, good milkers, good tasting milk, and easy to milk. Both from what I have found are also quiet and pretty bomb proof.

MotherClucker
ps: I hope you don't hate me now for what I posted about tethering. I just don't want you to have any bad experiances...... .

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  #7  
Old 07/08/05, 05:22 PM
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hate you for it? nah! I also have read about the horror stories w/ goats & tethering... I do plan to be there while I tether... I want them to clean the fence line around my garden... I am planning on us working the garden together altho I'm sure they would rather be "Inside" the garden w/ me.

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  #8  
Old 07/08/05, 06:29 PM
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I am near you, in the 'near' kind of way Texans talk I am in Cleveland, come for a visit with the kids. I am all Nubian and although I wouldn't have anything for you in the pet,milk catagory, I have a mini LaMancha, we could talk goats, much more fun than buying a book and you could milk and learn anything you want to. There is a really nice herd of mini-LaMancha's in the area also. I am a huge fan of Lamancha's, the mini's disbudded and raised on bottles, are probably the perfect start for you. Plus with breeders of them in the area, you would have someone to go for to get them bred, or to lease a buck. The farm I am thinking of allows this if you purchase only from them, similarily how I do it with folks who only purchase Nubians from me. Give me a call 281---592---6914 or email me vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com Vicki

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Round 2 of kidding starts May 15th, a few doelings and bucklings will be for sale.

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  #9  
Old 07/08/05, 07:01 PM
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I'm curious why the word 'saanen' hasn't been used in this discussion... Anyone care to comment?

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  #10  
Old 07/08/05, 07:56 PM
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Well, Bill, don't keep us in suspense! What makes a Saanen a good, multi-purpose household goat? Do you have any personal experience you'd like to share? I don't, but from what I've heard, they have a quiet temperament and give tons of not-that-rich milk. Not a bad idea for a family with 5 children!

I keep minis myself (Mini Obers and Mini Manchas), for a number of reasons, but I don't have 5 children to provide for.

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  #11  
Old 07/08/05, 08:15 PM
 
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I have Nubians as well they are generaly considered the best multipurpose since their reasonably good for meat and good milk producers. They dont give as much milk but has higher solids so if your going on actualy nutrition or solids they are right up there with the best producers. They are usualy pets especialy if bottle fed but if not can be tamed easily.
Keep in mind that goats dont like to be alone and will be very lonely if they dont have a partner and relay do best with at least three.
Pygmy goats arent good milkers their are some african miniatures that are good mikers and I know their is a group breeding up miniatures of all breeds useing them. But I realy dont know a lot about them.
Thier is variation within the breeds by sise I have one that isnt far from being a miniature for instance and its at least 15/16ths Nubian its on the bottom range for Nubian qualifications and she milks quite well.

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  #12  
Old 07/09/05, 12:27 PM
 
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we have the Nigerian Dwarfs and 5 children who are 10yrs-21mos. The ND's are a dairy breed, give great tasting milk, and are small enough for even the youngest child to play with. Bottle raised babies are friendliest. they also require less land to live off of than the larger breeds. We have 3 does and get about a gal a day. I recommend a cross breed or unpapered to save on the cost of buying one. Mini-Nubians I hear are great and I hope to breed for one in the future.

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  #13  
Old 07/09/05, 09:55 PM
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I have something new to add....I had my goats out wandering in the yard. Nothing unusual here. My 2 year old was out and about doing her own thing when out of the blue my Nubian came out of nowhere and head butted her! She wasn't anywhere near her nor was she before. I have no clue what made her do this but I must admit it is making me question some of my decisions. 1. Maybe Nubians aren't great to have around young children.

2. Don't think I will keep horns on me goats!

Thank goodness she was dehorned. I have one pygmy doe with horns. We've had her since she was 6 weeks old and she has never even thought of head butting any of us. But I sure don't think I will have any others that have horns!

Live and learn!

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  #14  
Old 07/09/05, 10:20 PM
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April rain..nigies are great but as they are so small they wouldn't make much of a dent in the brambles as they can only eat so much.

I still recommend a La Mancha or Oberhasli.

Bill the reason why I know that I didn't add Saanens is because though from what I have seen and been around they are very docile and easy to milk they are quite large and I don't think would be great around children. Also as they are so large it also would probably be better for a person new to goats to start out with a smaller sized goat intill they get the hang of things.

MotherClucker

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  #15  
Old 07/10/05, 05:59 AM
 
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All animals have a pecking order its not a good idea to have very small children around any animals larger than them since they will be seen as being lower in the pecking order and will often be pushed around by them.

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  #16  
Old 07/10/05, 08:28 AM
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I have Myotonics - and they are fantastic browsers - I have some before and after pics of the brambles - one of my wethers can clean up a rosa in an hour!

They are a great size to have around - and they don't scale the fences, etc...and of course if they get too excited, they faint lol.

I have gotten to milk my new doe once since she kidded - I probably could get enough daily for my daughter by milking her once a day. Teats are small in the goatie world, but do-able.

My boys are on straight browse, and honestly, there is a market for any bucklings I may produce (higher meat/bone ratio due to the myotonic condition) - and of course the multiple babies, high parasite resistance, yadda yadda are bonuses. Two of my more primitive goats had great cashmere - Probably the easiest thing I have around here. I have a waiting list for babies...

My son walks one of my wethers around like a dog...

I researched Nigerians, and am very impressed with them too, but I didn't want to go the extra mile and a half with the 'goat jail' fencing, and I don't need THAT much milk. I heard Pygmys are also great milkers.

Not to mention they are our only landrace breed!!! and on the ABLC breed list!

And I totally agree on keeping animals with kids on two legs - SUPERVISION is the key. I have a 20 month old little girl and a 4.5 month son, and both are very good with the goats, but I'd never leave them unsupervised.

Pic of hubby walking Andy (more 'modern' style Fainter) - beltie is Amos - he'
s naturally polled and more of the primitive type - heavy muscling
http://a3.cpimg.com/image/C3/0E/4814...-028001E0-.jpg

Lady, my doe with her early morning sneak surprise baby - I *think* her name will be Latte, and probably will be retained to breed to my blue buck. She is blue eyed and strawberry.
http://a2.cpimg.com/image/60/B0/4976...-028001E0-.jpg

My herd boss - still in TN, but will have him up here in August - a blue, the one on the right.

http://a1.cpimg.com/image/47/F1/4985...-028001E0-.jpg

So anyways, I think my point is - you have to look at a bunch of different goats (preferably in person) and figure out what is best for you. Someone may prefer a bottle fed dairy goat following you around hollering at you everywhere, others would like their goats out in the brambles, some prefer not to have to deal with long coats, whereas others like the look better... For me it was - enough milk for two children, small enough to handle easily, low maintenance, market for the bucklings (pet and/or meat) and I prefer conservation breeds!

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Old 07/10/05, 09:51 AM
 
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I have 2 pygmy's that make great pets. I don't plan on breeding them so I can't say anything about milking them. I do hear they do not produce alot of milk. But that is only hearsay for I have no experience with it. They will stay close if you are out with them. I do agree never to leave them tehtered if you aren't there to watch them. I started mine out by keeping a leash on them dragging it around so if they wandered I could always grab the leash. I also taught them to walk on a leash so i could walk them in the woods and let them get some special treats. They enjoy that alot also. My young nephews come up a lot and the goats are very sweet to them. They do enjoy untieing shoelaces. The more the better. The faster you retie them the faster they can untie them again. Its a great game. But they are really fun to watch and interact with. I agree with getting at least 2. They love to be together and are still sweet to you. It also gives them someone to be with when you are not there to be with them. Such as, when they are tucked in for the night.

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  #18  
Old 07/11/05, 10:46 AM
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I like LaManchas. I have raised several different breeds over many years including Nubians, Alpines, one Saanen, Spanish, and Boer. The Lamanchas have had the best disposition, best milking temperment and sweetest voices for me. Nubians are cute but irritating. Saanens can't take the heat down here unless you go to alot of trouble and I need hardy tough, non prissy goats (sorry Saanen lovers, I apreciate your breed, but i can't run power to my goat shed for fans). My goats can bake in the heat all darn day and still pump out the milk and still produce big fat kids. (Don't worry, they have shade, but it is still hot).

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  #19  
Old 07/11/05, 04:31 PM
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Nubians are great starter goats, you can also use them for packing when you go camping!

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  #20  
Old 07/11/05, 08:00 PM
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PLPP why do you say that Nubians are such great starting goats? I am curious on your opinion of why they would be great for a newbie.

I as you know am not TERRIBLY fond of them for beginners but I am curious on what your experiance with them has been?

MotherClucker

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  #21  
Old 07/11/05, 09:02 PM
 
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Well, I'm going to have to throw my 2 cents in for Alpines of course!

My girls are pretty darn sweet and lovable -- they do battle amongst themselves, but the worst offenders were the Lamanchas I owned! They were earless devils!

My girls MILK. If you want to get into making any kind of cheese, it's sooo much nicer when one milking gives you the gallon you need for the recipe I have one doe that has tested at 16 to 16.9 lbs for the last 5 months in a row, with butterfat from 4.97 to 3.5%.

They come in all different colors! <g> I like the surprise of not knowing what I'm going to get in each litter.

The unwanted boys gain fast and sell great for meat kids OR there is a great market for them for pack wethers.

My meat buyers won't take Lamanchas -- in fact, I had about 5 wethers I ran to the sale at 10-11 weeks old. The Alpines brought over $80 each, the one Lamancha cross brought $40

I grew up with Nubians and I'm not doing that one again <g> I can't take the noise, lol.

Now, if Sable Saanens ever get more popular, I might have to have me one of those!

Tracy

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  #22  
Old 07/11/05, 11:42 PM
 
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tether

Never but never tether your goat. Always get 2 as they keep each other company.

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  #23  
Old 07/12/05, 07:10 AM
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I keep pygmys and love them, but they don't give much milk. Nigerian Dwarfs seem like a good choice for milk and to play with children, but it is true that they can't eat as much as some larger breeds. Depends on your priorities.

I'd just like to insert my two cents about bottle babies, because I think my experience has been atypical. ALL of my kids have been super-friendly, and they've all been dam-raised until this year, when I had to bottle-raise one. He's very friendly, but no more so than everyone else. I think it's largely a function of how much time you spend with them, especially early in life. We handle our kids a lot, right from birth.

May I suggest moveable electric net fencing as an alternative to tethering? Kencove makes some good stuff that takes seconds to put up if you have a helper.

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  #24  
Old 07/12/05, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trixiwick
May I suggest moveable electric net fencing as an alternative to tethering? Kencove makes some good stuff that takes seconds to put up if you have a helper.
I will look into this... have never heard of it before. This might sound silly.. but doesnt it ground out if it touches things? tree/brush,etc? sounds like a great idea if it works thanks!!
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Old 07/12/05, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
I will look into this... have never heard of it before. This might sound silly.. but doesnt it ground out if it touches things? tree/brush,etc? sounds like a great idea if it works thanks!!
It might ground out if it's touching a lot of brush - we tend to use it in more open areas. But I still think it might work regardless, since it is a physical barrier as well. We de-electrified the net fencing we put around our turkey pasture and it still keeps them in (except when they fly out ). It should certainly work fine if you're around for some supervision, and they'll need less supervision this way than with tethering. Good luck on your goat search - they are SO much fun!
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  #26  
Old 07/12/05, 08:14 PM
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Nubians are gentle, easily tamed and even the bucks are sweethearts. This is my expierence with them. They tame down easy and keep a good head. They are very loveable.

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  #27  
Old 07/14/05, 03:01 PM
www.BilriteFarms.com
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxCloverAngel
  • To tether (during some days watched closely) to help clear my fence line
  • To play w/ milking, butter, cheese. And see if it’s something I would really like to get into.
  • To be a playmate and pet/friend for my 5 kids. So the tamer the better

I think the pigmy goats are adorable of course, but what kind of goat would you suggest as our starter multi purpose goat?
Kinder Goats. I'm sure the other goat folks were expecting that response from me sooner or later

Since you know you like Pygmies, Kinders would be a nice transition for you.
They are a dual purpose breed (milk/meat), have calm, wonderful temperaments, high butterfat and protein milk and have decent production without overwhelming you with milk. Their mid size makes them easy to fence from both directions, not fitting out of every small hole they can find yet not needing a super tall fence either.

The only drawback is the Kinder breeder that was in TX no longer is in Kinders and I'm not aware of any new breeders in your area (but there could be new ones that I don't know about). Of course, if you cannot find a current breeder you could make your own Kinders by crossing a Pygmy buck to a Nubian doe, both of which are found in Texas.

Good luck,

Trisha-MN
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  #28  
Old 07/14/05, 03:15 PM
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So how much electricity...

Does this mesh electric fence take? My obnly experience with electirc fence wa sback when I was a kid on our farm, fencing catlle in shelter belts and ditches during the dry season. I never would have thought of it for goats.

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