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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am getting ready to start a small herd in Western NC. Thanks for
all of your help already! I think I must trust all the people who
wrote that I really need a gaurdian dog, especially as I am in a
pretty rural and mountainous area.

Does anyone know where I can get a gaurdian dog for not too much $ ?

Anyways, I am trying to figure out how many goats to get... part of
my decision will be based on how much it will cost me to keep them
over the winter. And so, part of this question probably has to do
with reproductive cycles...

Assuming I don't get dwarfs, at what time of the year will my goats
be ready to breed? (I assume this has something to do with climate)
Do the different breeds have different timings? I am thinking La
Mancha, Toggenberg or Alpine, or a grade. I was also interested in
Dwarf crosses... maybe these have more flexible breeding cycles?

Anyone with milkers for sale, please speak up.

So then, how much hay will they eat if they are kept only on hay...
that is, in the time of the year when there is no green out there.
And, if they are pregnant over the Winter, how much grain do they
need to be given, and which types of grain?

I appreciate your help!

Erik
 

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For us it depends on a lot of factors. If the drought is running then the grass is crap. This past winter we hayed steady from late September through March then off and on until late April. Went through about 4.5 tons feeding 10 dairy girls and 1 buck.

So far this year has been a lot wetter but we'll probably up our buy to 6 ton just to be safe. Midwest weather is weird at it's best :waa:

I guess it'll depned on you grass quantity and quality
 

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zharzhay said:
Does anyone know where I can get a gaurdian dog for not too much $ ?
Erik
The only way to get an LGD for little cash is to get an unregistered pup.. I know, I got mine for $50. He's a GP (Pyraneese) and I got him at 6 weeks old.. both his parents were unregestered but nice big dogs and the bonus was they were LGD's to a herd of goats. It's taken a LOT of training (he's only 5 months old now) and I hear that it takes 'em till they're a year and a half before they "get" what they're supposed to be doing.. :waa:
A good LGD would be worth it's weight in gold.

As for the hay/forraging factor, Lt Wombat hits it on the head.. too many factors to calculate for good years and bad.

Reproductive cycles on most of your milkers will be about Aug - Dec. Sometimes a few will come in a little early/late.. nothing's really set in stone. Sorry I don't know anyhing of Dwarf cycles... but so, with stratigic breedings you could stay in milk all year.. :eek:
 
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