Goat Questions...

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Loriann1971, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Loriann1971

    Loriann1971 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have no experience with goats at all, but Dh and I were talking about getting a goat or two. We are really interested in making yogurt with goats milk and I would love to try making cheese as well. I did raise lambs in highschool, but I realize that is not the same as goats, as they were raised for meat and sold at the county fair and there was no milking involved.

    What kind of structure would I need for the goats, especially in the winter? When I raised lambs they just stayed outside in a pen with a shade cover, but this was on the central coast of California and they were taken to the fair long before winter. Now I am in western PA and I am not sure about the shelter I would need.

    I would love to hear about everyone's goats and how you shelter and keep them!
     
  2. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    Hey! Where are you in PA?
    Ruth
     

  3. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    Oh, nevermind. I checked your profile. You're in the Pittsburgh area. I'm way north of you, just outside of Erie. But I have a great group for you to contact locally for any help. Butler Area Dairy Goat Association.
    http://www.badga.org/
    I'm sure someone can give you some hands on help.
    I've only had goats for 1 1/2 years, but local goat owners have helped me so much, I've been known to give advice to newbies. My suggestion? Go for it. Jump in with both feet and don't look back! Goats are addictive.
    Ruth
     
  4. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    I'm in Southern Ontario, so I imagine our climates are similar. I just got my first two goats in May (now up to 4 - don't know how that happened :angel: ). I fenced in an area about 25'x75' for them to run in (my pasture is rather damp and they don't like grass much anyway) and put up some partitions in a 12'x24' run-in shed that our horses used last winter. I will be putting a door on it before it gets much colder - more for my comfort than theirs! I also built a separate milking room so I can store feed and supplies without little goat hooves getting into everything. The partitions are just old skids connected together so that I can rearrange things as my needs change. So far, so good - right now I shut them in at night and let them run free during the day. They seemed to cope very well with heat of the summer which was my main concern.
     
  5. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    Being about 150 miles north of Pittsburgh, not to mention on the snow belt, not to mention being "inland", not to mention being the brunt of "lake effect" snow fall, I have a small goat barn and only close the doors at night and during really, really bad, cold weather. During the day, the goats are allowed free access to the pasture. I have Alpines and they're pretty cold hardy.

    Ruth
     
  6. trnubian

    trnubian Twin-Reflection Nubians

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    Welcome to the goat world.

    Here is some advice to get you started. My personal opinons anyway.

    Find a breeder in your area that you trust, that will answer any an all questions you have, and who has a very healthy herd of goat out of which they personally use the milk out of on a frequent basis.

    Get your barn and fencing ready BEFORE bringing a goat home. By the way you need 2 goats not 1 goats don't do well at all by themselves.

    Your barn should probably have 4 sides. It should be very well ventalated but have NO drafts. Well lit is a bonus. Preferably have acess to an outdoor pasture or loafing area outside at all times unless in bad or cold weather.

    Buy animals who are in good health. Free of CL and preferably free of CAE. It would be a good idea to have the doe tested for TB and Brucellosis before buying her just in case.

    Goats are not sheep and they do not graze the grass (dairy goats anyway). they browse on leaves and wood plants like raspberry bushes or young small trees of pine trees.

    Goats need a feed that is not classified for sheep because it does not contain enough copper for goats.

    They need access to quality hay (or alfalfa pellets) at all times. (Grass/ alfala hay or pure alfalfa hay preferably).

    They LOVE and need attention on a regular basis.

    Fencing for them needs to be sturdy, preferably rigid like cattle pannels or very tightly stretched woven wire at least 4 feet high.

    Buy a dairy goat if you are wanting to milk them. They are bred to give a larger amount of milk and are ussually more docile to handle than meat goats. They give you more back in the bucket than a meat or fiber goat would for what you put into them.

    An animal under 1 year who is not pregnant or milking does not need grain unless they are skinny. An animal that is milking or is in the last 50 days of preganacy needs grain.

    I have found that my does milk better on a grain (and it is cheaper for me)that I have mixed myself, not one that is prepackaged and sold at farm stores.

    Good luck and do as much Homework now before you get the goats that you can. :goodjob:
     
  7. titansrunfarm

    titansrunfarm The Awesome PT & Friends

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  8. Loriann1971

    Loriann1971 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you! Lots to think about!