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Hi everyone! It's been quite a few years since I last had goats and I've forgotten quite a bit of details I'm hoping ya'll won't mind helping me with. I'm looking at getting goats rather than a cow because they consume less feed and water. Water is precious stuff here so that is no small consideration. I will change out the water every day and use what's left over on the plants. Much less waste with a goat over a cow. I'm thinking of getting a lamancha or a saneen. Possibly a cross of one of those breeds with a nubian. How much milk should a good milker of one of those breeds give per day....in quarts please...never did well measuring milk in pounds though I know it's more accurate. How much feed should I expect a good milker to consume per day and how much water? Any idea how much a decent milker should cost? I know that is a very subjective question but I need as much info as I can get before I wade into this venture. Thanks!

Edited to add: I also need info about electric fencing. I'm seriously considering just having a lot rather than a pasture. Most of the native plants here probably aren't good for goats. I'm busy tearing out creosote bushes and planting native grasses but that will take a while. Would I be better off to just have a nice size lot for them or do I need a pasture fenced in?
 

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I can answer a few questions. I raise and milk LaManchas and mine give 3-5 quarts of milk. They average about a gallon-plus a day each during the first couple of months lactation and then slowly taper off from there. A good milker will produce milk for 10 months. Some folks have milkers that keep on going after that.

I can't say enough good things about LaManchas :) They are heat tolerant and do well under extreme conditions. Mine do well when it gets cold too.

A milker needs forage in the form of browse and good clean hay and 3 lbs of alfalfa pellets or good alfalfa hay. They need alfalfa for the calcium. It is more important than grain. They only need smaller amounts of a grain mix on the milkstand and during the latter months of pregnancy. My milkers get 2 lbs of grain on the milkstand...that is 2 small metal coffee cans of my mix of mainly oats. No sweet molasses feed is fed here.

Loose goat minerals are a necessity, goats become copper deficient without proper minerals.

How much water? Well, less than a cow for sure. I don't know the amount but they like a good long drink after being milked and they need their water checked a couple times a day....sorry, not more help.

A big pasture is nice but a pen is a must for locking up at night because of predators. A goat is lunch for so many animals. Also, they are herd animals and you really need at least 2 or they will be incredibly lonely and miserable.

Goats are kind of deserty animals, they are all over west Texas. So they should do well for you if they have enough cool water and shade....oh, and remember Sanaans get sunburned. :)
 

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Here is "Sugar" a first freshener. This was taken a couple of months ago, she has gained some weight since then and has lost some of her icky winter coat. All my milkers are full genetics sisters :)




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