first goats

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Caitedid, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. Caitedid

    Caitedid The Prairie Plate Supporter

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    Finally moving back to the country this fall, and I talked the family in to letting me have goats. I would like enough milk to make cheese, and some to drink, but I don't want a lot going to waste. Any suggestions/ things I need to know? I worked at a farm milking and raising babies this summer, so I have experience with that kinda stuff, but I'm not sure where to start. I'm in central Iowa, and obviously am looking for someone with some critters for sale this fall or early winter. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Caite
     
  2. chma4

    chma4 Wolverton Family Farm Supporter

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    I have found nigerians to be an excellent dairy breed. My kids are due any day, so I dont know about having any left come fall. They give up to half a gallon a day and are small enough to keep without crazy fencing like the larger breeds. Just a thought, I love mine! I may have Nigerian/Alpines in fall pretty cheap, but i am in NJ, so lil too far.
    If I hear of anyone near you Ill give a shout.
     

  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Caite, do some research on Kinder goats. They might be perfect for you. They have a website at: http://members.aol.com/KGBAssn/ and a Yahoogroups list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KinderGoats/?yguid=109437082

    Kathleen

    Editted to add: I love mine! The milk is the best quality milk (and the richest -- almost half-and-half) that I've ever had. They are healthy, hardy, easy to milk, provide just the right amount for a family, breed out of season which makes it easier to have milk year-round, make good meat animals as well as dairy, and have nice personalities. The milk is so rich that it has double or more the cheese yield as an equal volume of milk from one of the large breeds of goats.
     
  4. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    Hi Caite-

    We're practically neighbors! I only live about 20 minutes south and east of Ames. My DH works there in town, so I come up there all the time. I see by your profile that you're a An Sci student! I did An Sci for 3 years there, then got into vet school and graduated about 3 years ago. Nice to hear from a fellow Iowan. Are you planning on staying here when you graduate?

    If you are looking for someone with goats, talk the people at Brekke's (it's a livestock and pet food store just outside of Ames). Take Hwy 30 about 1 mile east of I35 and turn north at the big Crow's plant. There's also a small vet clinic on that corner (BTW I used to work at that clinic-don't take your pet there!!!). Anybody there could probably get you in touch with local goat raisers (I myself don't have any b/c my fences are not tight enough for them yet!). You could also stop by the Story County Fair in late July in Nevada. It's just a 4-H fair but there are some dairy goats there, maybe someone would have some for sale. Good luck!
     
  5. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    I want to get some really good goats.
    I want goats that I can milk to make cheese and to have milk to drink.
    I need them to be really hardy goats that can live in cold climates and stay healthy.
    What goats should I stay away from that are always sick and unhealthy. What goats are violent that I should stay away from. Who are the trouble makers of the goat world?
    I want to start breeding goats to meet the needs of milk, cheese and sometimes (maybe) meat (If we REALLY NEED it).
    I do not want to get goats that are prone to problems since I am just starting out I would like to get the best breed I can. One that I can milk, feed, and do basic care for that does not need me to babysit it every minute. I have a lot of other things I am required to do on my land and I would like healthy goats that can look after themselves when I am not with them.
    Thanks for the advice in advance as I would like to only have to have one breed of goat in this lifetime.
    Thanks
     
  6. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    To americanbulldog,
    I would strongly suggest the Lamancha if you can get past the short ear 'ed look, they are a medium sized dairy goat come in any color, very sweet & quiet, they milk up a storm, and they are meaty little devils, I however raise Saanens large breed, they only come in white, are the sweetest goat out there, also quiet, and milk about a gallon a day, aren't very meaty. And I also raise Nubians, large breed,they have those lovely ears.... don't milk enough to feed the tripletts, and quads they throw, are the loudest, heavy little fatties, can be obnoxious, but can also be so sweet. But they are the most popular breed of goat, and you can sell their babies, while the lamanca's and saanens are way more difficult to sell.
     
  7. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    there are so many different breeds of goat, and each person has a personal fave, and a type they dont like, however none are ever violent, a bit bumpy or exhuberant , but not violent
    if youre only looking for occasional meat then any of the dairy breeds would be fine, at best you get 50 50 doe and buck kids, so you can always raise one for meat if you so choose,i usually keep one wether a year for meat, and during the year he is companion for the buck so my buck doesnt feel all alone

    lamanchas are wonderfull goats, though hard to find buyers for if youre not in a dairy goat area, and if youre in a DG area then you wont have enough kids to sell for the demand ...
    Saanens are perhaps the largest of all the dairy breeds they are beautiful white goats, give tons of milk , but its not as rich as others, less fat means it takes more milk for cheese and ice cream , which is fine since they tend to give more, they do better in colder climates than further south , they dont produce in the high hat of summer the way other breeds do

    nubians are the floppy eared goats most people think of, they have a tendancy to be more noisy than other goats, but , i have found thats not always true, my alpines are noisy !!! every time they hear the door to the house they set up callign to us .... nubians give rich milk very high in butterfat, but not as much as other breeds ( though some nubian lines are more milky than others)
    alpines are a smaller sized ( though still fullsized) dairy breed they come in a wide variety of colors, tend to give a good rich milk with decent volume
    oberhaslis are perhaps the smallest of the full sized dairy breed they come in a variety of brown coat colors with black points give rich milk are a little more easy to keep cause of thier size
    toggenburgs have a standard coat pattern of brown with white points are a smaller breed with good milk flow, some people have said they have a tendency to have a more goaty flavor to thier milk , personally i wouldnt know they are the only dairy breed which i readily admit i have never owned

    then there are nigerian dwarves and kinders, kinders are a pygmy nubian cross, used for milking and nigerians are a dwarf breed also used for milking, they are smaller but like pygmys tend to give a very rich milk , which is great if you plan on havingit more for cheese

    as far as how mich milk you get from a goat, well thats hard to answer, depends on the goat and the feed, its environment and age, period in its lactation ,etc .

    in general the larger the goat them ore milk it gives, makes sense, the best milkers are in thier second lactation
    but again , YMMV

    as for easy keepers, well all goats are actually fairly easy to keep , but you have to select for health from what you need for your area,
    for example my arkansas goats who i select to handle the heat well with still strong lactations, might not fare quite as well in say north dakota where you need goats who can handle the wind and cold

    buy your goats locally, learn as much as you can always ask questions, and thankfully remember for the most part , feed them well , worm them when needed trim hooves quarterly , and you will have healthy goats, they are amazingly hardy, and thankfully that hasnt been bred out of them yet.
     
  8. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    Thank you very much for all your help Beth and Sherrie!
     
  9. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

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    I've been searching high and low for Saanen does!! I finally have a deposit down on a pair of doelings. And take a wild guess what my "next" goat will be... :D

    Yeah, I've always been a nonconformist! :p

    I spend about a year reading and internet surfing trying to decide what breed I wanted to start out with, and my needs were similar - 1) SD climate hardy, 2) gentle, quiet temperment, 3) lot's 'o milk! I finally settled on Saanens, but Lamancha's have always come in a close second...the Saanen milking records kinda tipped the scales in their favor, although those elf-eared 'manchas are pretty darn cute!

    With all the Boers in the area, I was hoping I could breed to one to get a better meat goat during the years when I was not planning on expanding the herd. Although now, I've got Kinder on the brain....thanks a lot, Kathleen! ;)
     
  10. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    :)

    You're welcome!!

    I've had almost every breed of dairy goat (I think LaMancha's are the only standard sized breed I haven't had -- I know some people like the tiny ears, but I'm not one of them), and I like the Kinders better than any of them. The only reason I got my OberXBoer doe was for less rich milk for my grandmother, who is used to drinking 2% -- but I like her, too. When I first heard about Kinders, several years ago, I asked about them here on this forum, and got some scornful replies, but I have to say that they weren't justified. Yes, Kinders are half Pygmy in their background, but the cross is really a very useful and pleasant medium-sized goat.

    Kathleen
     
  11. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to add LaMancha's to my place sooner or later, I'll fallen for the milkablity and Sweet temper, and their body type,while My Nubians give Plenty of milk, I had to buy expensive Goldthwaite stock to get it, all of the other nearby nubians I bought never had enough milk. I actually sold every one of my first nubians and gave up trying to breed milkiness into them.

    It just seems like you can luck into lamanchas, & saanens that milk easier then you can a milky nubian. Or if you want a grade I love Snubians, or Naanens! The best thing is to milk the goat before you buy it.