If you were just starting out....

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Simpler1773, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Simpler1773

    Simpler1773 Well-Known Member

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    If you were to make a list of the things you would have for (3) milk goats starting from scratch (meaning you've never had goats before) ~ what would they be? Everything from food dishes to :shrug: ...

    I don't want to go out and buy a bunch of things I'll never need, ya know?

    Thanks bunches!
    Ricki
     
  2. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    The things I have bought and used so far in my first month of having my two bottle baby goats:

    - regular baby bottles, 4oz. & 8oz.
    - food dishes that can not be tipped, or grabbed by the mouth and tossed
    - 5 gallon water buckets
    - dishes for loose mineral
    - dishes for baking soda
    - plus I use milk crates that I had laying around for hay
    - Sulmet
    - Ivermectin Paste
    - SafeGuard wormer
    - hoof trimmers
    - collars
    - 24' horse lunge lines
    - C & D Tetnus Toxoid vaccine
    - needles & syringes
    - electrolyte solution
    - metal comb
    - small plastic tote container (with handle) for storage of most small items
    - 4 plastic containers for storing various feeds
    - small scale for weighing feed
    - pruning shears to cut browse (weeds and branches)

    Plus.... feed, grains, loose mineral, baking soda, and ammonium "something" (forgot the full name, it's for my buck).

    I know I'll need more stuff eventually (who knows when, maybe soon), but this is what I've used so far. The only things I haven't used that I bought before having goats is the powdered milk replacer, some black nipples that go on a soda bottle, and one of the other wormers.
     

  3. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    You Left out the most important thing a 6ft high fence to keep them in. And a good guard dog to keep them from getting eaten
     
  4. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If your milking you need a good quality stainless steel bucket. An antiseptic spray of some kind that you can spray on small cuts and abrasions...specially if they have head banging play fights and their horn sites bleed. Use the same secatares (for the browsing plants) for their feet trimming. I use the black teats that go straight on the soda bottles....:shrug:
     
  5. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    I'll add a few things to the list-
    Milking stuff:
    Stainless steel pail or stainless steel canister/stock pot. I used a 2 qt SS pasta canister from Target for 1st year- cost under $10.
    Stock pot/quart jars for storing milk
    canning funnel & milk filters for straining milk. Coffee filters are much slower and not much cheaper than milk filters. Just fold up the milk filter to make an upside down cone in the funnel. Filters 100 for $3
    foaming teat dip cup $10
    iodine teat dip/udder wash concentrate. You can also use as a navel dip in concentrate and a wound cleaner in dilution. 1 gallon $8, 1 oz for 3 gal. of solution.
    quart jar nylon brush for cleaning milk utensils $6
    acid wash aka pipeline cleaner for cleaning milk utensils. You can use dish soap 6 days and acid wash the 7th. 1 gallon is $6

    A clean udder and clean milking utensils are critical to milk quality & safety.

    Health items-
    bloat drench
    a good wide-spectrum antibiotic. Goats get so sick so fast, you can have a dead animal if you wait to "pick some up after work" $12
    ketosis test strips
    ketosis drench $4
    CMPK drench $4
    Mastitis test cards (come in a yellow box, can't remember who makes them)$4
    Blood stop powder
    Pine tar, blue kote, or other antibiotic & fly repellant wound treatment $5
    Sticky String Deluxe- great fly control
    Contact info for dairy vet/experienced goat person

    One of the things I bought starting out was a pasteurizer- for the goat kids, I have my milk raw. I ended up doing my pasteurization with a big stainless steel stock pot and a cooking thermometer. So much easier to clean up!

    I wish I had subscribed to a goat magazine earlier- Dairy Goat Journal or United Caprine News.

    Milking stand is a plywood pallet on legs with a rail in front to hold feed dishes & tie chains instead of a stanchion. It's wide enough to milk 2 at a time. Not fancy, but it works.
     
  6. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    milk stand from fiasco farm's website is easy to build. I don't know how I got along without it!!
     
  7. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I bought a milk pail when I bought my goats, and never got used to using it. I milk into a gallon glass jar. For udder wash, I use a dilute bleach solution in a spray bottle (1/4 cup bleach in a gallon of water.)

    Like mygoat, I would not be without my milkstand, although ours was home made.

    As soon as you get kids, you'll want a good disbudder, and maybe a kidholding box.

    We pasteurize by sitting the pan of milk in a pan of water, and use a probe thermometer, so we've never needed a pasteurizer. You will, of course, want milk filters and something to use them in.

    CDTs, wormers, antibiotics, syringes.

    For feeding, we simply use $1 plastic dishpans from Walmart. Better buckets for waters (a big muck bucket works well). Hayracks.

    For sure good fences.
     
  8. Simpler1773

    Simpler1773 Well-Known Member

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    *Gulp* I think I'm gonna be sick!

    I KNEW I was not prepared, but I didn't know I was SO not prepared. :Bawling:

    Ok, next question, where did you get most of this stuff? We have a feed store, but I haven't seen alot of this stuff there. And we don't have a Fleet Farm or anything like that close. :shrug:

    Sigh.

    Fencing...off to make a new post about that.

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to make these lists for me!
    Ricki
     
  9. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    I bought alot of my stuff online, at various places. I can't remember all the places right off, cause I bought most of it a year ago. The meds and lunge lines I got at the local feed store, and the dishes & collars I got at walmart.
     
  10. AllWolf

    AllWolf We love all our animals

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  11. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Good gosh..

    Obviously we want our goats to be kept in good condition. But at the same time, this list is so prohibitively long I can't imagine why anyone would even START having goats.

    Don't get me wrong. I have goats, and I love them. I believe in feeding them well, worming them when necessary, and keeping the milking stuff clean. I believe in trimming their hooves when they need trimming. I believe in the necessary injections and testing for brucellosis and TB - especially if you are drinking the milk.

    This list is so expensive, I don't see how anyone could break even on the costs for years. With that kind of investment, I could buy years and years worth of dried milk in storage cans, and eliminate the work involved in keeping the goats!
     
  12. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    lol You're right; we probably did get carried away. :help:
    Honestly, most the expensive things I bought because I'd "need" them for the goats, just starting out, I NEVER used. So I think it is best to start out inexpensively and see what you really need/want as you go.
    The fences, though, are a must. You'll regret it if the fencing doesn't keep your goats out of your or your neighbor's garden, rose bushes, fruit trees, etc.
    mary
     
  13. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I haven't looked at any of the other posts -- I'm just putting down what I have and actually use on a regular basis, what I need for a small number of does.

    Three calf bottles with lamb nipples on them for feeding bottle babies.

    A Pritchard valve nipple for weak newborns (haven't had any with my Kinders and Boer crosses, but I used to need this when I had purebred Nubians). This goes on a GLASS pop bottle (plastic bottles have grooves in the threads which make them leak).

    Iodine for dipping navels at birth.

    Old towels and newspapers for drying babies off.

    Milk pail -- you can get this from Hoegger's. I know a lot of people use a stainless steel bowl, but I've been using my milk pail for over twenty years, and expect it to last the rest of my life as long as it doesn't get left in the driveway and run over (highly unlikely, LOL!). It has a partial top on it which helps keep dirt and hair out of the milk, and a wide, flat bottom for better stability. I don't carry by the handle, though in theory you could -- I'm afraid it might tip too much. But it does have a handle.

    Milk strainer. Mine was purchased at the same time as the milk pail, and is good for a lifetime (or several lifetimes). It uses the standard 6 1/2 inch milk filters, which are readily available at the feed stores. And it is stable sitting on top of a quart jar.

    Quart jars to put the milk in: I much prefer wide-mouth jars as it's easier to clean them, and also easier to skim cream off the top. Get a couple dozen. You can find them at second hand stores and yard sales if you keep looking.

    Hoof trimmers -- get the best ones Hoegger's sells, you won't be sorry. Again, these should last for many, many years, and they are one of the absolute essentials to have. Goats with untrimmed hooves are in bad shape.

    Some syringes and needles -- I use 22ga. needles. Some people say these are too small, but I haven't had any problems, and the larger ga. needles are hard to insert into the skin.

    I keep liquid B vitamins on hand and give by injection if needed. If you do need them, you don't want to have to wait for an order, or for the feed store to open.

    As needed I purchase CD & T vaccine and wormer, usually Ivermectin.

    I have an elastrator, but if you have a friend with goats who has one, you wouldn't need to purchase one right away.

    I also have a disbudding iron, but again, you might be able to pay someone to disbud your babies for you -- that's what we did for the first few years we had goats.

    I have a tattoo outfit, but that is only needed if you are raising registered stock. We actually got ours for our rabbits, but it works for goats, too.

    Mineral feeders -- you can make or purchase these, but the goats will need free access to a good-quality goat mineral. I made the PVC pipe feeders, which are easy and cheap, but the goats can knock them apart and spill expensive mineral on the ground, so I'm thinking about purchasing some one of these days.

    Shelter, including a manger for feeding the goats up off the ground. The shelter, unless you live where it gets down to fifty below in the winters, only needs to have three sides and a sound roof. I like to be able to fill the mangers from outside the pens -- that way you don't get trampled by eager goats as you are bringing their food to them. But at the same time, the feed in the mangers needs to stay dry, and the goats must not be able to get inside the mangers and walk (and poop and pee) on their feed.

    Water buckets need to be positioned outside the pens, in such a way that the goats can reach through the pen to get the water, but can't get the water dirty. (If you have ducks and geese running loose, you'll also have to find some way to keep them from fouling the goat water -- they will foul all water they have access to. There's a reason they are called 'waterfowl'.) I have a scrub brush especially for cleaning out the water buckets, which get algae growing in them in the summer if they aren't cleaned regularly.

    You'll need someplace dry to store hay, bedding, and other feed and supplies. I'd love to have a hay shed, but must resort to covering the hay with a tarp during the wet months. This is not ideal, as condensation forms on the underside of the tarp, and the hay gets almost as wet as if it wasn't covered. The solution is to create a space between the tarp and the hay (chunks of log, or tires, are recommended). You will also have to tie the tarp down VERY securely or it will blow off.

    You'll want a separate pen for kids, preferably two of them, so you can separate the boys and girls, or separate newborns from older babies.

    Oh, yes, and a milking stand. I built mine with a shelf on top so I'd have a place to set the jars and the milk pail. It doesn't have a stanchion (I've had three previous ones that did have stanchions, including one double for two goats at a time when my girls were still living at home and could help with chores). Instead I tie the does, and have a small bucket tied there also to hold their grain.

    While doing chores, I tie everybody up. I have lead ropes spaced all around the pens, far enough apart that no goat can reach it's neighbor's food -- as long as I'm careful about where I place the food, LOL! I have enough buckets to give the adult goats their grain in those, but the kids each have a square of plastic tarp (cut from the ruined tarps that used to cover one of my Costco carport shelters), and I pour their grain onto those. It's easier than carrying a whole bunch of buckets around, and they take up less space.

    I'm trying to think what else we actually use on a regular basis. I don't use teat dip -- have had no problems. I don't wash udders anymore, because the udders and my hands were getting cracked and dry from that. I just dust the goats off, and only wash if someone is really dirty, which seldom happens because goats like to stay dry. I keep antibiotic cream and Furall on hand. Have fly traps in the goat shelters, and sometimes a yellow-jacket trap, as well. I don't tube goats -- have never saved a goat that way, so figured it was better to let them die in peace without pouring stuff down into their lungs (which is where it will end up if you don't know what you are doing).

    I think my list is enough to get started on. You'll figure out as you go along if there are other things you really want or need to have on hand. It doesn't need to be a lot of money all at once, but you do need the shelter and fencing before you bring the goats home. Also, have feed on hand, and bedding.

    Kathleen
     
  14. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    Ricki,
    There's probably a dairy supply store near you. They don't always advertise- took me almost 3 years to find there was one in my town! Ask at the feed store, county extension office or auction barn. Dairy supply store will have most if not all of what you need for a lot less than you can buy it through a catalog.