Cost of raising goats?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Anna M., Jun 25, 2005.

  1. Anna M.

    Anna M. Well-Known Member

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    Hi all, this is my first post in the goat forum. I've learned a ton over in Poultry and I'm sure it'll be the same here!

    Getting used to working with the chickens, we're very interested in more livestock sooner or later (whenever we can afford it :p ). We go through a ton of milk, but don't really have enough land for a cow (3 acres), so we're thinking about dairy goats.

    How much would you say it costs per year, per goat? I'm not talking the goats themselves, just the maintenance. We already have a shed we could fix up for them (we're thinking two for starters), and about 1/2 acre of grazing land. I think we're mostly interested in either LaManchas or Nubians (but I love the Dwarf Nigerians!), if that is a factor. I know it's variable, but is there a ballpark estimate?

    Hopefully this isn't too dumb/redundant a question. Thanks so much!

    Anna
     
  2. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    I don't know the figures for cost per animal, but I just started out with two Lamancha doelings. I wanted to train them myself and will breed them next year. They don't seem to be very high maintenance animals and are very sociable.
     

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mine run between $20 and $30 a piece per month. But they make at least that much in milk savings a month too, plus babies to sell.
     
  4. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    It's very daunting at first with the list of things you will want and need to keep on hand. First purchasing stock that is healthy from someone who will mentor you in your area, who will let you use a buck to breed them, or purchase a little later in the fall and buy two bred does rather than two dry does. But once you have your barn, your supplies and your goats, you can expect to pay around $1 per day per goat to maintain them. If you don't spend that much put the change away for any vet needs. This number will be lower if you buy kids, and higher for milkers and if you have to provide every drop of food, and with the size pasture you have you will have to provide hay year round.

    Really read, here, dairygoatsplus.com, fiascofarm.com are great starts. Until you know what CAE and CL are and how to test for them don't even think about buying a goat. Please purchase from someone who we know. Be very careful of the site unseen animals for sale, and just because folks are selling stock on boards like this or ours, don't automatically think that we recommend them. Read the posts of problems, buying sickly or weak animals because you feel sorry for them is no way to start a herd. It's very hard to get rid of your very first goats, so purchase them wisely.

    LaMancha's are really the perfect homesteading goat...The crosses of with Nigerian (I have one beautiful little doeling myself) are the best of both worlds. Nubians are of course the money makers of goats...try to visit as many places as you can to see the different breeds and interact with them. Please don't buy something wild thinking that you will tame it down. You won't and you will be very unhappy!

    Run from those who do not test and who will tell you it's all hype, or it's nothing to worry about. Think seriously about going with papered animals, check them out on this list and others, ask us privately for what questions to ask and if the animals are worth the price. A $50 animal usually begetts a $50 animal and you can't make your money back in kid sales with unregistered stock. And that should be your goal, a good kid sale or two will pay for your doe to live for free, plus her kids. Than the work you do with milk, cheese, soap or whatever you want to do with the products is profit. That's what the homesteading ideal is all about.

    Have fun, buy what you like, do your homework, and goats are a wonderful addition to the farm. Learn from all of us who made the biggest mistakes around with our first goat purchases :waa: Vicki
     
  5. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    I pay around 80-85 cents a day for feed for a standard lactating dairy goat. Less for a mini. That's free choice alfalfa pellets, good grass hay, about two pounds of grain, and loose minerals. This does NOT include housing, bedding, worming, vaccinations, vet care and testing, tools and equipment, misc. supplies, etc. Just feed.
     
  6. Anna M.

    Anna M. Well-Known Member

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    Thanks mpillow and Laura Jensen for the figures. After the initial investment goats could save us a lot on milk! And besides, it is really fun to care for animals.

    Vicki - THANK YOU for that great post. I'll have to print it off, and I'll bookmark those sites. I'm sure I'll be needing your expertise often. Thanks for sharing it!

    Anna
     
  7. trappmountain

    trappmountain Well-Known Member

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    I don't have dairy goats but I can tell you that if you have good pasture ( the weedier the better) and trees they can be quite cheap to raise. A little bit of pellets go along way in the growing months. Your cost will be more in the winter when you have to stock hay. Also, the cost of caring for the babies until you can sell them. In my area there is very small need or want of goats so It would not be a good thing for me to do here. Also the cost of a buck to use or one you buy.

    I have 2 pygmy goats for pets only and they take very little money this time of year. I also get fresh hay free from my father in law who no longer needs the hay but likes to bring it in anyway. so my neighbor and I help him and for that we get all the hay we want for nothing.
     
  8. mailman

    mailman Miniature Cattle

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    Hi Vicki, just a quick question. You said "Nubians are of course the money makers of goats" and I was wondering why Nubians? I don't know much about dairy goats but have alot of interest in them (I have meat goats and one saanan bottlefeeding). I think the Nubians are a classy looking animal and was just wondering why they are more profitable than say, Toggs or Saanans. Thank you Vicki (ps: keep the advice coming!)
     
  9. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Not that there aren't other really great dairy breeds, but day in and day out folks want Nubians. There are other breeds they likely should want to have, especially Lamancha's, but they want Nubians. Talk to most new folks and they couldn't even tell you the names of the other breeds. So they are easier to sell, and if you check out most websites, all other things being even, comparing a grade doe to a grade doe or a show animal to another show animal, Nubians sell for more than other breeds. In the swiss breeds and LaMancha's, add being new to it, and all your bucks will go for meat, and sadly until you make a name for yourself alot of the doelings you don't want, unless you sell them at give away prices. Marketing off your breeder this isn't so in Nubians. Even the mini's and crosses of, they can have GCH in their paperwork and don't sell for what an unregistered Nubian milker would sell for here.

    In Nubians you also have the meat aspect, Boer goat breeders want Nubians for milk does, for fostering kids onto, for extra colostrum and milk and to breed to boer for crosses of. You can't give away a LaMancha to them. Vicki