Can you stand another new to goats thread? Help, please.

Discussion in 'Goats' started by livinthedream, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. livinthedream

    livinthedream Member

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    So, my husband and I recently moved from FL to middle TN to live our dream. We moved on to 7 acres. We would like to get some goats for pets. We are total city folk learning to be country so bare with my insane questions. At the very least you will get a good laugh.

    Anyway, we are sort of still trying to figure out what kind of goats to get. He likes Tennessee fainting goats and pygmys. I like all goats. We want them purely as pets. Any breed recommendations? If we get diary goats must they be milked or will they dry up without use?

    Also, we have read to only get does and wethers because bucks stink "so much." Is this true? We sort of wanted to breed a doe one day.

    We have no fencing right now but we plan on fencing in all 7 acres. Is it better to contain them to maybe a couple of acres? What is the ratio of # of goats per acre?

    Any good book recommendations? We do not plan on getting any until spring but we have a lot to learn in the meantime.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I have pygmies, and they are the best pets anywhere!! my website has some goat info on it, probably enough for you to start with : www.freewebs.com/mygoats
    and i may also have some pygmy kids for sale next year, but I am not too sure, it depends on color and sex of the babies.

    other goat links :
    www.goatweb.com
    www.goatworld.com
    www.hoegger goat supply.com Goat supplies
    www.caprinesupply.com Goat supplies
    www.jefferslivestock.com Livestock supplies, also has division for horse and pet supplies

    and i also reccomend staying on this forum, you learn a ton here!!
     

  3. tinetine'sgoat

    tinetine'sgoat Luvin' my family in MO

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    I prefer pygmy's for pets, they are a little less daunting than the larger dairy breeds if you are wanting pet goats. The nubians, lamancha's and such get much bigger and in my oppinion aren't quite as people friendly. Dont get me wrong they can all be little lovers, but pygmy's take on almost a "doggish" nature if they are fiddled with. YES BUCKS STINK!!! :eek: The dairy goats will dry up if left long enough, however you are ahead to buy one that isn't freshened if you dont want milk. Then you dont risk them getting mastitis and such while you are waiting for them to dry up. A wether would be good, then you dont have to worry about pregnancy or stinkiness. :1pig: You are in the right spot to learn alot. PLEASE do not assume if you read something and it seems harsh that you are being attacked, everyone has your best interest in mind and I have seen alot of people become very defensive when I'm sure there was no offense meant. :cowboy: ENJOY YOUR DREAM!!! God Bless. :baby04:
     
  4. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    We have several fainter does - sold a couple of the wethers as pets just a week ago. They are quite docile and a good size. Much smaller than our LaManchas. They do a pretty good job of eating down the brush. As a bonus, they are extremely hardy, have a good resistance to worms and are very easy kidders. Can't go wrong with them.
     
  5. livinthedream

    livinthedream Member

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    Thanks for all the great info so far!

    And tinetine'sgoat thanks for the heads up on not getting upset if something seems harsh. I laugh at myself at least 10 times a day lately so really, I am sure I will be great entertainment for some. And I am okay with that. :D And I will not take offense for sure. hahahahaa

    Anyway, on to the next stupid question...can I keep pygmys and fainting goats together? Will they all get along?

    Also, I have heard that I should get a guardian for the goats. Are the Great Pyrenees the best at this? (I am totally 100% a-okay with *any* excuse to add another pet LOL)
     
  6. GoatsRus

    GoatsRus TMESIS

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    We, like you, moved from Florida (Tampa) to Middle Tennessee. The first thing I got was my goats that I had been wanting for years. We raise boer, and they can become great pets (ours think they are lap dogs), but they are one of the larger breeds. We keep our original girls and sell off the babies each year to cover cost of feed/meds and give us a little play money. I'm not sure where you are in Middle Tennessee, but there is a guy in Maury country that has a huge fainting goat farm. I believe his goats are from the original stock that came to tennessee. I'm sure you can find information about him on the fainting goat website, as I don't remember his name. We keep a buck, so that we can breed the girls without having to worry about trailering them or finding someone who will bring their buck to us. Yes, they are very, very smelly when they are in rut. There are pros and cons to keeping a buck, but you will have to decide what best suits your needs. Check out the websites that mygoat posted and always come here with questions as everyone is usually quite helpful. As far as fencing goes, remember if you fence in all 7 acres and don't cross fence, you will have goats on your front porch, in your flowers (keeping in mind goats will eat them and certain plants are poisionous), ON you cars etc.... They are very curious animals and will put everything in their mouths - not unlike young children :D Anyway, I'm sure you'll find a lot of useful information here and good luck and welcome to Tennessee.
     
  7. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to put in a plug for cashmere goats for soft fluffy pets. :) My experience has been that pretty much any goat that gets alot of attention becomes a very tame pet - I have several lap goats. Did I mention Cashmeres are really soft and fluffy?

    Bucks are stinky and get downright mean when they're in rut. The hormones take over and they just stop thinking. You can usually "rent" a buck from someone nearby for a really modest amount of money (or even free if you agree to feed him for a couple of weeks) - stud fees around here go from $20 to $50 depending on the buck and the farmer.

    Yes, goats of different sizes will get along. You'll see some fighting as they get the pecking order figured out, and you might want to put a dog house or something similar in the pen so the pygmies have a safe place to go if the bigger goats are getting too rough. It's really rare for any member of the herd to actually get hurt, but it can happen.
     
  8. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    I like Boers because they are big enough and niv=ce enough to let you hang around their necks and hug them ALL DAY, the Bucks do not smell that bad when they are inrut, their babies sell for quite a bit, and they will actually eat grass. Oh yeah they are also REALLY COOL! You would need to get baking soda, a mineral lick, CD/T vaccinations, make sure the boys do not have a lot of grain(in case you plan on getting boys), have good fencing put up, (and if you plan on breeding) Birthing stalls. Plus be sure to get more than one, they will drive you CRAZY if not.
     
  9. Caren

    Caren Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A really nice book I have is from Caprine supply.

    Goatkeeping 101

    It has a lot of great info. Something I thought was really nice is it has a chart of different medications and wormers.

    I have learned so much from this forum and have recently branched out in to the other parts of this forum and have found it facinating. But I have to say if you want the true country experience you gotta have a milk goat!

    Caren
     
  10. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    first off, try to avoid the sale barns-sometimes there are good animals that go thru there just b/c the owner needs to move stock NOW, sometimes you wind up with a problem animal.
    as far as breed goes, they are all cute and adorable. if you just want pets, the nigerian dwarfs are cute and friendly. i'm not overly fond of pygmy's, but that is personal preference.
    i would NOT get any goats with horns, they are just a nuisance, and they HATE being grabbed by those wonderful handles which do NOT offer much protection against attacking dogs.
    dogs-yes, a guardian is a very good idea. i like the pyrenees b/c they are pretty, they are big, they do their job, but they still like people. i do NOT hold to the idea that you do not pet an lgd. mine have always been made friendly, and they still do their job, quite well. they are far easier to give shots, treat for wounds, etc if they are friendly and trust you. spay or neuter your lgd. the anatolians are wonders for guarding, but have a rep for aggressiveness. akbash are kind of like short haired pyrs.
    fencing is very important. i would, if i were starting from scratch, fence 7 1 acre pastures and rotate my goats thru them on a weekly basis. this will lower your worm/parasite load by helping break up the life cycle. many wormers no longer work on goats, so we are having to find alternatives. i would also build my fence with field fence and run a strand of hot wire around it about knee high to the goats. this will keep goats off the fence, b/c they love to scratch on fences and such things. once they learn it will "bite" them, they will rarely test it again.
     
  11. livinthedream

    livinthedream Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the help. Great idea about fencing off 1 acre sections!

    We plan to also get some chickens and let them free range perhaps so that would be a great idea.

    My husband said that we should get some bucks but keep them separate from the does until we are ready to breed them. Can I keep the bucks together or will they get very aggressive with each other?

    We cannot make up our mind on the kind of goats. :eek:

    I have some books on their way to me so hopefully I will be able to learn enough before spring. :happy:
     
  12. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    you can always get more than one breed. bucks raised togeather can be put togeather, or an older and a younger buck, but i dont think that two mature bucks will do anything but try to kill each other. single acres fenced off are a good idea but you have to connect all the pastures to a housing type.
     
  13. T Lynn

    T Lynn Well-Known Member

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    Texas
    We have nubians, alpines and some lamancha/nubian crosses. They are all very friendly. Before that we had nigarian but l like the dairy goats better. (Nubians are my favorite with their long ears but they are very vocal. ;) ) The more you mess with them the friendlier they are and from my experience bottle babies are more friendly then dame raised. The male stink when they are in rut. The nigarian bucks that we had smelled so bad you did not want to get close to the fence, and if you come in contact with them that smell is on you! This is the first year for me to have a nubian buck. I will let you know how bad her smells. Might not be to bad this year as he is only 7 months old.

    And I agree about not having horns. All they do is cause trouble, especially if it is a buck with horns. We had 2 does with horns and they were always getting them stuck in the fence. Many times we had to cut the fence to get them out. And one even got her ears chewed by a dog because she was stuck in the fence. (That one was not very smart since she did it more then once!!)

    And we have free range chickens. They come and go through the goat pens. Great for bug patrol.

    My advise, if you are not sure on a breed, go visit all the goat farms in your area. See lots of breeds and go with the one you like best.
     
  14. livinthedream

    livinthedream Member

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    My husband does not want horns at all. I think it might be better without them but the thought of having to burn them off makes me sick. Does a vet normally do this? Is it fairly common or is it considered cruel? One farm I looked out flat out said that they will not do this so it made me wonder.

    Thanks!
     
  15. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    i always disbud at a few days of age, and it is far less cruel than dehorning at an older age or risking a goat getting stuck in fence and eaten by dogs or coyotes, or injured by a bully goat.
    it hurts the baby for the 15 seconds per side it takes to burn, put some cooling/antiseptic like furall on it, and give back to mama or bottle feed, and that baby forgets all about it. horns just flat aren't worth the bother of them.