Basic questions

Discussion in 'Goats' started by mammabooh, May 15, 2006.

  1. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    I've wanted to get a couple of goats for years and hubby is finally coming around! I have a few questions...

    Can the goats be left out in the pasture during the summer if they have a 3-sided shelter out there?

    Can a goat be bred late in the season (like, maybe late spring) so she won't need to be milked during the summer (we go camping quite a bit...asking the neighbor to feed the goats and tend to the chickens is a lot easier than asking her to feed and MILK the goats and tend to the chickens). That's been the big issue for hubby...he wants to have the freedom to go camping (we only camp over the weekend...never for the whole week).

    What can I expect to pay for a basic (maybe pygmy nigerian?) goat? I'm not concerned with them being registered. They don't have to come from a great line of milkers or anything like that...I'd just like them to eat the grass, entertain us, and possibly provide some milk and babies.

    Thanks for any guidance you can give. I've been reading here for quite a while and want to join in on the fun!
     
  2. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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  3. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, goats can do well with a three sided shelter.

    Pygmies and Nigerians are the two BEST breeds for breeding 'out of season'. You should have no problem with that :) You might not get much milk though... You could look a Pygmy or Nigerian crossed with a full sized dairy breed if you want more milk.

    I think you might expect to pay $100-$125 for something to fit your needs.

    Good luck and welcome to the world of goats!

    Christy
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    A bit more clarification for the grass-eating thing. Goats are natural foragers, not grazers. They WILL graze, but it is not their preferred method of eating, so you may end up with some unhappy goats. If you only have a basic grass pasture, you will probably need to supplement with hay as well. They'll need a goat mineral (not a sheep mineral) and baking soda and lots of fresh, clean water.

    I've heard good things about Kinders. They're smaller but produce milk well - a pygmy cross with a Nubian? Someone correct me if I'm wrong here.

    And don't forget that every goat needs a companion - you can't just get one. :)

    Oh, breeding on the off-season. You can TRY it. They have regular seasons - usually in the fall and early winter. It's based on the amount of light they get. Artificial lights can help bring them into heat, as can artificial hormones. If they don't cycle naturally (I had one Saanen doe cycle just last week!), you can try the "un-natural" way to bring them in for a late breeding. But also keep in mind that BUCKS have their own cycles too, and may not be as fertile in the spring as they are in the fall. I have seen people have good luck with spring breedings and fall kiddings before, though. Come back and ask questions again if something doesn't work out or if it didn't make sense, blahblahblah. :)

    Sarah
     
  5. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    I should have made myself clearer too...I don't mean I want to leave them out there to fend for themselves. I was just wondering if I could leave them out there while we are camping (so the neighbor wouldn't have the stress of moving them to the barn). I plan to give them hay, and water. Probably pellets too?

    Oh yeah...and OF COURSE I'll need aty least two!

    Thanks so much for the advice! Is there a good book out there that has all of the basic information?
     
  6. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Hi, there are a couple of good books with basic information -- take a look at the book section in the Hoegger's goat supply catalog.

    Kinders might be a good choice for you -- they are derived from a Pygmy/Nubian cross. For more information go to http://members.aol.com/KGBAssn/ and read up on them. Also the article I wrote about them is at http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/sanderson95.html

    Pygmys aren't dairy goats (they were originally used for meat in Africa) so if you are hoping to get milk you might be disappointed in them. Nigerians are a small --- very small -- dairy goat, and can give up to a couple of quarts of milk a day, but often have tiny teats and are so low to the ground that you might have trouble getting a milking pail under them.

    If you want to be able to go away without having to worry about milking, probably the best thing to do would be to breed for May or June kids, and leave them on their mothers rather than bottle feeding. When you want milk, you can take the babies away from their moms at night and milk in the morning, and when you want to be away just leave the babies with their mothers. Kinders, Pygmys, Nigerians, and Nubians are all supposedly able to breed out of season, but I haven't had any luck yet trying it with my Kinders. You could let the babies nurse until the camping season was over, then wean them.

    Kathleen
     
  7. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    Thanks...I hadn't thought of that!