Easy Keepers? or Complicated Critters?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Faithful Heart, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    I was doing some reading in an old Goat Rancher magazine that got me thinking. Do you find goats to be easy to keep? Or complicated, and possibly even slightly difficult?

    The article started out with the same line - "We had this land that needed clearing, and we though.... why not get some goats?". (I don't mean offense to anyone that has said this lately. It's just a very common statement.) Well personally, I think hiring a whole crew to bushhog and backhoe would be not only easier, but cheaper! :rolleyes: In my view, goats need a whole lot more than a team of muscled men. You could get away with giving them coffee and sandwiches.... maybe spoil them with cookies..... and that's it! Plus...... the "stink" will go away in a couple weeks, not linger to every inch of clothing (speaking of a BUCK vs. some sweaty MAN :D ).

    Goats need:
    - several dishes (feed/grain, hay, forage, baking soda, minerals, water)
    - a fairly sturdy house (since they so like to JUMP on their house, or rub their heads and butts on it)
    - a good strong fence is nice
    - regular worming
    - regular vaccinations
    - hoof trimming
    - and they LOVE it if they have something to play on (even 2 stacked cinder blocks will do LOL)

    Then there's all the medication you need on hand - "just in case" - and all that'll add up to atleast $200 (one important medicine cost $85 alone). You might need - drenchers, balling gun, IV w/electrolytes, stomach tube, needles & syringes, and more! Oh boy.... the cost of all THAT! :baby04:

    I can't think of any other animal that needs so much! I've never had a horse or a cow, so I can't say if they're complicated. But I never met any horse owners that had even HALF the stuff goat owners keep around.

    So what say ya' all? Am I on the right track with this? This a complicated critter or not? :p They're worth it, that's for sure. But I guess after reading that article last night, I just got to thinking....... new goat owners REALLY need to be prepared as to what they're getting in to. In my opinion. When I was researching and preparing for my goats, I got a bunch of stuff. I thought I was fairly prepared. I know without a doubt WAY more prepared than some. So I thought..... I'm a smart lady :p , I'm set! HA! Not even! LOL

    So..... to those out there that just need some weeds cleared...... hire a crew. And if you want goats...... get goats :angel:, cause they are really wonderful. But if you get goats, I suggest you better get out the checkbook, AND put aside a heafty amount in a savings account too.
     
  2. gryndlgoat

    gryndlgoat Well-Known Member

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    Good points. I would also add- don't get goats if you are expecting them to make you lots of money from sales of baby goats, milk, soap, whatever. They won't. You could, however, count on sales of these things to help pad that savings account the goats will need :)
     

  3. lacesout

    lacesout Well-Known Member

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    <<I can't think of any other animal that needs so much! >>.

    Hi Beth!

    I beg to differ! Horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, cats all need regular worming, routine vaccinations, suitable shelter (and my dogs ATE their dog house which the goats never do), the right diet, in addition I need expensive heatworm meds for our dogs lest we wind up with a big bill or dead dog at the end of summer. The only thing I find more complicated about my goats is the "rumen". We have never had a really sick goat yet (knock on wood) but I think that basic understanding of the rumen is a touch complicated - but certainly not costly in terms of upkeep. My dogs - I raise Australian Shepherds - are five times more expensive to keep than my goats in spite of the fact that our goats are really over-indulged. Goats can do well on hay and/or forrage, pellets, minerals. Not too pricey a diet - plus they give milk and clear acreage. If you are looking for goats ONLY as a piece of machinery - why don't you look into borrowing someone's animals for a few days instead. It would be mutually beneficial.

    I think that people who keep a ton of stuff around (we do) are just very into goats. You can certainly take appropriate care of them without having everything that we goat fanatics do. But you shouldn't consider goats if you don't want to give them the same level of care you would give any other animal. My friend's horses are always getting care (hoof trimming, worming, west nile etc vaccinations). They cost much more to maintain than our goats.
     
  4. Simpler1773

    Simpler1773 Well-Known Member

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    So...

    Are you saying you can't have goats without having hudreds of $'s worth of meds on hand?

    I'm trying to learn as much as I can before we get goats... My grandparents had dairy goats when I was growing up but they never had "goat meds" on hand.

    I don't want to get rich on goats, I just want to be more self sufficient with them. But if it's as complicated as you say it is, I don't think it would help much :confused:

    I had this feeling before we got chickens too, and now chickens seem easy. So, I'm just wondering if goats will be the same way or if I should really be concerned. I mean, my 1st concern is that I don't hurt the goat! My second concern is that they be fairly simple to take care of (I don't mind WORK, I just mean simple as in not having to have an entire fridge full of meds that I'll have to administer every other day).

    So much to learn :eek:
    Ricki
     
  5. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    Well this is why I wanted to bring the discussion up......
    Is it complicated? Can it be easy? Am I a worry-wart, over-protective, goat owner? Or am I desperately unprepared and naive?

    Oh.... and yes, dogs, horses, cats, and other pets do need regular care, some the same as goats. But it still seems (to me) that goats need MORE. And I guess another reason I started this post is because I see SO much going on with everyone through this forum concerning their goats. I think I've seen every problem possible with goats, going on for SOMEONE here on this forum, in just the month I've had goats. I haven't seen anything like this in the chicken forum. The biggest problems people face in the chicken forum are - predetors, and "where are the eggs?". :p

    And why is it that for other animals we all have different home-remedies that we use ...... but no one has them for goats it seems. :shrug: (Yes, I know Fias Co Farm has natural stuff. But that's the only place I've seen it.) Is it maybe because of that "complicated rumen"? Is it the goat stomach (or plural - stumachs :D ) that causes such a "problem"? It just seems that the more I read up and study on goats, the more I see what will KILL them!

    Then there's the issue of the fact that no one out there (companies I mean) really seems to understand a goat..... barely any wormers and such just for them. So people feed them horse sweet feed, give them horse & cow wormers, horse minerals. See where I'm going?
     
  6. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    Oh...... and I'll tell you something I have heard alot from people who I have talked to about goats. More times than not, when I talk with someone that has or used to have goats, they tell me some story about a goat DIEING! They'll say.... "oh, I used to have goats, but they died, probably worms".... or "I've got some goats, as a matter of fact, just had two babies born last week that I'm bottle feeding cause their mother died". :eek:

    You don't hear that concerning other animals like dogs, cats, and horses.
     
  7. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    goats are easy keeper, at least mine are.
    always the same feed, clean, dry and draft free barn with good air circulation, twice a day clean water, always same routine. don't have too many and you don't need lots of meds to keep em healthy.
     
  8. lacesout

    lacesout Well-Known Member

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    My perception from reading the forum would also be that goats need more care. But my reality of having goats does not bear that out. I think you can save a lot of grief if you start out with absolutely healthy, well-cared for animals. I see people taking on goats from auctions, goats they feel sorry for, etc and living a nightmare until they finally (and mercifully) euthanize the animal or lose it. If you take a goat - or any animal - and neglect it for years, you'll create an animal that is hard to reclaim. Then someone buys it and it is complicated to care for and always sick. Worse still, it infects other animals and contaminates its living quarters. The best advice I can give is buy a healthy animal - don't look for the cheapest sorriest thing you can find because you gotta save a couple dollars.

    We've had one vet bill in three years. Wouldn't even have had that bill if I had known more - I am still really new to goats. Because people post in the forum when their animals are sick, it leads to the impression that goats are always sick. While some goats may always be sick, most aren't. The main thing I hope people do get from this forum is that you can't take a goat, tie it to a tree, feed it garbage, and expect it to thrive indefinitely. No animal would. Honestly, my goats have been much less trouble than our dogs. Only our bird is less trouble and she still has tricky dietary needs!

    Lynn in Mesa County, CO
     
  9. Julia

    Julia Well-Known Member

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    Dairy animals of any sort are complicated animals. Goats, cows, ewes... They're like a Ferrari---built for one reason, and darn good at it, but tempermental. If you're used to Ford F-150s, you'll likely do yourself a damage first time you take a Ferrari out...

    It's the same with a dairy animal. Making lots of milk is a very expensive undertaking for the animal involved. They have to process large amounts of feed to keep production up, and that is a strain that does cause breakdowns.

    Add that to the fact that goats are such hardy animals that they don't show symptoms of disease until they are almost dead, and you have a novice's nightmare.
     
  10. cballard

    cballard Well-Known Member

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    I have dairy goats and honestly my horses were so much more work.Vet bills so much more expensive.I love the goats and even with milking I find them easier on my pocketbook than the horses.I vaccinate,worm and keep a modest medicince chest on hand.I set out minerals and feed a good ration.I can keep my 11 goats for what my gelding cost.Horses destroy the pasture and anything they can wrap their hooves around lol.My goats have not stressed out the pasture through the drought,and the getting hurt factor ,for me ,is much lower.I love my horses but never could I compare my girls to them.Mabye its because of that yummy milk.The goats seem really uncomplicated,low maintance too me.I am saying this after my Togg doe ripped her udder,on who knows what,that I had to stitchup this morning.
    Christina