Goat Book?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by JackieA, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. JackieA

    JackieA Well-Known Member

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    So before I check out a goat book(s) from the library - what do you all suggest would be the best reading - ie for milking, feeding, etc?
    I have recently purchased a rabbit (this one is a pet but later may raise for meat) to learn about them hand-on (after reading Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits) and maybe will with a goat (though I don't think I can put a goat in my backyard at this time - no privacy fence just chain link.
    Thanks for any input....JackieA
     
  2. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    You sound to me to be preparing yourself, or at least leaning towards, living life beyond the sidewalks, so to speak. Life off the grid. If i were you, I would read every book in the library i could get my hands on about goatkeeping. Back in the day, when i was living in Houston, i kept rabbits and showed at the Houston Livestock show. Later I raised meat rabbits here but it's just so hot for them so I quit. (Not that it wasn't hot in Houston!) I dreamed of one day living on my Grandparents farm and "living off the land'. I now own that ranch and all my years of reading and preparing were not wasted effort. I did have many chilhood experiences to fall back on, both sets of my grandparents lived in this area and were farmer/ranchers who milked/gardened/truckfarmed/etc. But I have always love that library too. I think you are doing great, you need hands on and you need good reading material. Go to rabbit shows and goat shows just to immerse yourself with the kind of livestock you are interested in. You may never be interested in that lifestyle, you may just want an animal or two or ten. But you will see what nice animals look like as opposed to trash animals. Visit breeders and farms with different set-ups and operations. Goat people LOVE to talk. More education! Make your mistakes small scale first. I know of too many people who go into things whole hog not knowing diddly about what they are doing. The animals are the ones who suffer. Good luck and read on!

    PS: Everyone has learned by their own mistakes.
     

  3. JackieA

    JackieA Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for replying! You are right, I am heading towards a simplier/homesteading life and learning/getting prepared over these next few short years. Went to author Carla Emery's seminar last month - and it was great and got her book Encyclopedia for Country Living. Have an Excalibur 9 drawer dehydrator on layaway and of course my pet rabbit (which I maybe raise them for meat when I move to country and have land). I try to repair/remodel my house on my own/minimalist at home and getting ready to order a portabella mushroom kit and seeds to plant in spring (which will be my first attempt at growing veggies).
    Next year will be chickens to read about/attempting to do some canning/sewing machine to make some of my own clothes and a bicycle - earth friendly shopping!. No cows, pigs or horses - staying away from large animals and has there is just me to support (besides son in college) my meat supply can be very small. JackieA
     
  4. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    You can pretty much live off of a flock of chickens, a couple of milk goats and a good garden. There are times when all we have to eat is what comes out of the garden and goat milk. Which is not me complaining. It is comforting in these times of trouble. I must live very frugaly as I have lost my career due to illness and my husband makes only enough to pay the bills on our somewhat modest lifestyle. We get the internet hook-up free because of me husband's work, otherwise i would not be online. I had four kids going to college. One graduated. Now there are three in college. The one who graduated is on her second child. The kids still fall short on their money and I will always give my last dime. We raise enough cattle to keep our taxes down on the land. You have to or you can't afford to live in the country here. I am the owner of part of the ranch which i bought and paid for when I was still an RN, and the rest of the ranch belongs to my parents. They have helped me and my kids so much. My husband is their step-dad, and wonderful. The kid's dad was a total deadbeat and now is dead. This ranch has been in the family since 1920 and I will never let it go. I would literally live in a brush hut in the woulds and eat bugs first. Oh yes I would. A really good book is "Back to the Basics" by Readers Digest. Also, do you take "Countryside and Small Stock Journal" magazine? It is pretty darn good for folks like us.
     
  5. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    A really good book is "Back to the Basics" by Readers Digest.
    .....................

    This was our bible! It gives you just enough information to get you either totally hooked on a subject, me on Nubians, or lets you know really quickly it's not what you want to do, me and bees :) Our copy is worn and tattered, we used it to help us find our land (really it was more of helping us to not purchase land that was wet) and to set up our homestead. I used it when I lived in the brubs in Houston (Stinkadena;) to keep rabbits and garden/compost.

    I am a real book kind of person and own diary goat books from the 40's., but bar none simply start a 3 ring binder, glean info from lists like this, from saanendoah.com and from fiasco farms, print out the info you want to remember. Most books are nice reads that you likely will not use in real life with your goats, they can't give extra label use of drugs, wormers etc., so it makes them worthless. Once you get your feet wet in goats and want to either do it larger scale, than get Goat Medicine. Between then and now read everything at the library, borrow copies from your goat friends, get a subscription to United Caprine News.

    Have fun! Vicki
     
  6. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    back in the early 80's i bought two books from john seymour "the complete book of self-sufficiency" and "the self-sufficient gardener. since then i always dreamed of a lifestyle like this. since we had to travel a lot due to my husbands work, it was not possible to have some animals besides cats. although i always managed to grow my own vegetable. there were times i had grown my potatos in old tires. last year we bought our ten acre farm and a dream came true. i now have my own chicken, geese and three very cute goats.
    last week we went to a guy who raised a pig for us and he had the same book on the table for the slaughtering (was our first pig expirience, not so sure yet if we do that again)
    i wish much more people would give it some thoughts where our food is coming from. how the meat is produced that they buy in the supermarket.
    and they sure would not feed their goats old roy dog food. yaks
    susanne
     
  7. JackieA

    JackieA Well-Known Member

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    Wow - that's a story and hope you can always have your ranch! Do have a subscription to Countryside (also Mother Earth News). Have a binder w/info been putting in for about a year+ now with interests from both these magazines plus other info from the internet and notes from this forum which I think are useful for me. Have checked out "Back to the Basics" from the library and guess I need to go ahead and buy this one also. As for eating bugs (this was funny! - but let's hope it doesn't come down to this for you!!!) - John the Baptist ate locust & honey and I particularly like escargot!
     
  8. AndreaNZ

    AndreaNZ Well-Known Member

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    As for specific goat books, a couple of my favourites are David Mackenzie's Goat Husbandry (older, but a very comprehensive read, particularly the section on nutrition), and Lois Hetherington's All About Goats (also an older book, but great, concise info). I've got 2 copies of each, so I can always have one to refer to and still be able to loan it out. They're relatively easy to find second-hand, and I'd read both at our local town public library (which is VERY tiny) before I decided to purchase them.

    Cheers
    Andrea
    NZ
     
  9. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I subscribe to "Countryside and Small Stock Journal", some Hereford mag (can't remember the name),but have let a number of others lapse: Mother Earth News, Grass Farmer, Horse Illustrated, Caprine News, Dairy Goat Journal, and a few others. I gave my "Back to the Basics" to a friend in need. I had checked it out so many times as a kid I decided to order one myself. I guess i'll order me another. I, too, am a book nut. They are falling about all over my place. Need more shelves. I have a hard time parting with books unless I know someone will love them. I have all my old college books and will keep them forever, no matter how outdated. I was an Animal Science major at Texas A&M before i became a pregnant college drop-out and then later went to Nursing school in "Stinkadina" (San Jac). I have all my books from both schools. My Agriculture books are really outdated! But I love them just the same! There is nothing like an old dog, an old horse, or an old book.
     
  10. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    JackieA...You mentioned that John the Baptist ate locusts and honey. Well, I live in the land of milk and honey. Not only do I have milk goats and a milk cow, but we have a bee man who puts 100 hives on our ranch each year during the time the wildflowers and Youpon bloom. He then gives us lots of honey in return. This "deal" made with a handshake by my grandfather, has been going on as long as i can remember. This old fella has almost 3,000 hives that he moves up and down the state of Texas following the flowers. He said he likes our place because we are chemical free and his bees don't die here and he gets good honey. We get great pollination!
     
  11. JackieA

    JackieA Well-Known Member

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    You have the coolest things going on in your life! Saw something on tv years ago about the bee thing but it scares me personally (been stung by bee when young - that's all it took)...How does one move hives around like that? And have so many hives? This is so odd to me. The only thing I have every used honey on is toast - city girl here obviously - do you use it in place of sugar? Guess I need put another book on my list to read.... JackieA
     
  12. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    We don't deal at all with the hives, the "bee man" does. The bees and he get along fine. The hives are about a half mile away from the house, maybe farther, way off in the pasture. As long as they are not the "Africanized Hybrids" that are here in Texas now, regular bees are not so bad. Tame bees are not so hard to transport and work with. When i see an escaped colony form near the house, i am always very wary until I know it is regular bees, not African. As far as all those gallons of honey, we give gifts of it to family and neighbors and did use it in place of sugar. Then my hubby and i went on the Atkins diet last January 5th and NO MORE HONEY FOR US! We stuck to the diet and are still on that lifestyle. We each quickly lost 70 pounds and are at our ideal weights. So now the honey is for our extended family and we keep a gallon each year for emergency food. (I always think "disaster may befall the country"). We kind of modified the diet to include all veggies from the garden and raw goat milk. The rest is the standard atkins. We were very strick until we lost the weight we wanted, now we have maintained our goal for months. I have my old, or should I say "young" body back! Makes chores easier, that's for sure. And my arthritic knee don't hurt so much!