Another newbie with questions

Discussion in 'Goats' started by jendada, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. jendada

    jendada Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Location:
    SE Minnesota
    Good Morning all!
    I've been "lurking" here for a while but now have some questions I hope you can help me with.
    Last fall we moved out to 8 acres. Our grove is very overgrown with brush and weeds and we're wanting to clear it out. I figured goats would be a good solution for this. Well a friend called a week or so ago and one of their Pygmy does has had 2 bucklings. They are ours for the taking if we want them. Here come the questions....
    My first thought is to not have them banded so we can later get some does and breed. My husband is concerned about behavior issues with bucks tho. Any advice there?
    Also we have a shed right by the grove that we'll use for their shelter and run a fenced area off of that. How much area should we fence?
    Will it be best to put them in the shed at night?
    I've read a little about worming. What other health maintenance issues will there be?
    How much hay will we need for the winter (we're in southern MN)?
    I'm assuming we can feed them kitchen scraps too. Anything they shouldn't have?
    I'm sure I'll think of more questions later. It's been a big help just to read past postings.
    One more....any other recommended websites out there I should visit?
    Thanks bunches
    Jen
     
  2. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Lynnwood, Washington
    First, right off the bat, you DO NOT want intact males on your place for pets! They stink like crazy for four months a year, they pee on their faces and front legs, they fight, they masturbate with their mouths, they are just all around stinky and gross. If you touch them, you get stinky and it doesn't wash off easily. I use coffee grounds, and the oil seems to loosen up the stink, then wash with soap. I mean, it's REALLY hard to get the stink off. No, if you want something you can touch, you do not want intact males. If you want to get does and breed, then get does and take them to someone who has a buck.

    Second, if they're just a week old, have they been disbudded, meaning horns have been removed? If not, now is definitely the time. Find a goat breeder and ask if they will do it. It usually costs $3 to $5 or so per goat. They're safer to handle, and if you ever do decide to sell them, you'll have many more potential buyers. People buying small goats are often buying for small children and they do not want eye-level horns on the goats.

    I'd like to write more but have to go. Just, dog houses work fine for summer shelter. Maybe winter too, but it's a lot warmer here, so I don't know how that would work in MN. You definitely want them fenced, for protection and to keep them from wandering off. Stock panels are sturdy, hard to escape from, and can be moved when one area is sufficiently cleared.

    Bye now!
     

  3. GoatsRus

    GoatsRus TMESIS

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 6 - Middle TN
    My first thought is to not have them banded so we can later get some does and breed. My husband is concerned about behavior issues with bucks tho. Any advice there?
    Also we have a shed right by the grove that we'll use for their shelter and run a fenced area off of that. How much area should we fence?
    Will it be best to put them in the shed at night?
    I've read a little about worming. What other health maintenance issues will there be?
    How much hay will we need for the winter (we're in southern MN)?
    I'm assuming we can feed them kitchen scraps too. Anything they shouldn't have?
    I'm sure I'll think of more questions later. It's been a big help just to read past postings.
    One more....any other recommended websites out there I should visit?


    Well, here's a few things to think about: Some people have no problem keeping bucks and others would rather take their girls to be serviced. I personally keep a buck and his wether son, fenced and housed together. That way when it's breeding time, I take him (and his son) to the girls and they stay there for the winter (it's a much nicer barn, so they're vacationing :haha: ) They are stinky and nasty, but you get use to it. Forget about it being only 4 months out of the year that they're nasty, my big buck stays that way all year and he's not even near the girls for half of it.
    Health Issues: Worming (I use Cydectin for everything except tapes then I use safeguard). Feet need to be trimmed - I do mine every few months that way it's less work. CDT shots once a year. You need to go to www.fiascofarms.com to get plenty of information on other shots, vitamins etc....
    Goats are not garbage cans...you need to check out the goat websites and this website for things that SHOULD NOT be given to goats. Not all goats will eat table scraps either. Mine won't touch lettuce, celery or broccoli. however, they love bread, horse treats, dog biscuits, apples, raisins and bradford pear leaves.
    Your winter hay needs will depend on herd size, length of winter and nutritional value of the hay. We buy the large rolled hay and put one out in the pasture close to the barn for the winter, we feed them grain everyday because by that time the girls are pregnant, fresh clean water daily. If it's rainy or nasty during the winter, we keep square bales of hay on hand and feed them in the barn. That should get you started, but please check out the wealth of information on the goat websites.
     
  4. Antoinette

    Antoinette Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    I agree with not getting intact bucks. First of all, you will have not one but two smelly bucks running around....and if brush clearing is what you want them for....during their breeding season, they will actually eat less. Also, it is always hard to sell your first goats, so if in time you do decide to breed Pygmies, you might find you would want a better sire than the ones you have, but you would be attached to them. I would have these two boys wethered, keep them, learn about the care of goats, and then if you fall in love with them, like all of us have, then go find you some breeding goats. Like it was mentioned above, to breed, you really only need a couple of does, you can usually always find someone who will let you use their buck for a small fee. Good Luck!
     
  5. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A few other things to consider: If you will be getting these kids right away, you'll have to bottle them for at least a couple of months. Add in the expense of the milk.
    Goats require a good fence.
    They'll eat anything they can reach, and will stand on their hind legs for branches. Is your grove mature enough to withstand the damage they will do?
    I will also weigh in on banding those bucks. Bucks are decidedly not good pets, and could even be dangerous if you have children.
    Since you are thinking about getting does later, you might do well to hold out for does first.
    mary
     
  6. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    Location:
    MI
    well, the bucks are a bad idea. someone said they only stinck 4 monthes a year, that isnt tru. they stink all year because thier breed, pygmies, go into heat all year long. tho the only thing with bucks is that they are not pets. don't try to hold them when they are young, they will think that when they are older they get to boss u around, and you can get seriously hurt.
     
  7. trappmountain

    trappmountain Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I agree. If your gonna get them get them banded. I have a young pygmy buck that is getting taken care of immediatly before all of this stuff starts. I picked up a buck and a doe as pets at an auction for a decent price already didsbudded. No need to spend alot of money for a pet. I'm using the money for neutering. I would have banded but didn't really know how and was afraid I would do it wrong. I had a vet check them out to make sure they were healthy and give them their shots. As a newbie I though it was only smart, he has much more knowledge than me. Also, if they ever have a serious problem the vet is already familiar with them. He showed me how to trim their hooves also. It wasn't too difficult and I now do it myself. I check them weekly and they seem to be growing rather quickley. Maybe age, maybe weather, I don't know. In any case start that young. then they get used to it. The way i do it is have my son hold them their back againt him while sitting on a small slope. He rubbs their necks, which seems to calm them and then all hooves are right there for me to trim.

    Also, I purchased a great book on pygmy goats it is "Pygmy Goats Management and Veterinary care" By Lorrie Boldrick and Lydia Hale. It is very informative and explains alot. I would highly reccomend it before purchasing.

    Hope it will be as helpful to you as it was to me.
     
  8. jendada

    jendada Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Location:
    SE Minnesota
    Thanks everyone for all the advice. I did go to fiasco.com this morning and did some reading there and also more on this forum and have decided that bucks are not the way to go at first!!! These little guys will actually be about 2 months old by the time we would get them. We have a vacation planned and want to wait until after that. I emailed the person who has them and asked for them to be banded before we get them....if it's not too late anyway. If that's not an option then we'll probably wait for a couple of does next spring.
    Yep ...our grove is very mature. Most things on this farm place are "mature" The house is 120 years old...the woman who we bought the place from had lived here 63 years and she and her husband had planted a lot of the trees around the place early in their marriage. He died about 10 years ago and I think they used to keep the grove pretty clean before that but since that it's been left to grow. Brush and weeds are taller than me now and very thick. So I figure that should keep some goats busy for a little while!!
    Thanks for sharing about that Pygmy book. I've looked at our local library and all they have is a couple of books for dairy goats. Are there other good websites besides the fiaso one?
    What would you all recommend for the minimum area to fence?
    Keep the info coming please.....need all the help I can get!

    Jen