Info please

Discussion in 'Goats' started by bill not in oh, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2004
    I can spell goat (see?) but I'm afraid that's about the extent of my experience with them. My daughter wants to get [a] dairy goat to milk. Now I'm going to list my questions.... OK OK, I admit that we actually have two goats toy (pygmy) ones.

    I think she has settled on a Saanen. Is there any reason not to house/pasture a single Saanen with the pair of pygmies? And/or does the Saanen need a couple of Saanen buddies to be herd-happy? Will they try to beat up the pygmies? (Our Great Pyrenees wouldn't like that at all - he adores the goats even though their favorite sport was roll-the-puppy when he was 3 mos old).

    What type of routine health maintenence should we expect (the pygmies have been pretty malady-free)?

    I've been getting hay for the pygmies from a farmer that bales a nice alfalfa mix hay and they seem to like it better than the Timothy hay that is prevelent here.The pastures available to them will have quite a bit of clover which th pygmies like. What additional feed and/or grain and/or mineral supplement is necessary for their daily diet? And in what amounts?

    oops - forgot the important one. Does anyone in NE Ohio / NW PA have any does for sale?

  2. billooo2

    billooo2 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 23, 2004
    I am in Ohio also. I have never kept pygmies and I have always had Alpines. Goats usually have a pecking order, so I would anticipate that a larger goat would, at least, initially "put them in their place." Also, when you feed them hay or grain, I would anticipate that they would need a separate feeders, if not area.

    The biggest difference would be the milking routine....and you will need a milk stand, stainless steel bucket for milking, a strainer, filters for the strainer, additional grain while they are milking, a pasteurizer (unless you are planning to drink raw milk), a mineral/vitamin supplement, routine worming, and vaccinations.

    You need a plan for getting her bred.....a buck nearby.....and a buck "jar" is, in my opinion, the most practical approach for 1 or 2 does.

    And you will probably need a separate pen for the babies that she will have when she freshens.....and bottles, nipples, etc. to btlle feed the babies....and a plan to disbud the babies (for 1 or 2 does, the vet or a goat breeder who may be willing to do it for you is probably the most practical approach).

    Pick up a book on goats at Tractor Supply......I think they carry the Storey book.

    Goats are addictive.....I bet you can't have just one milker. :)

    Good Luck!!! :)

  3. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Hi Bill,
    We got started in goat through our daughter too. she was 10 at the time and insisted that she could and would take care of a milk goat...We did lots of reading and required her to do lots of reading too before we decided. She picked the breed that she wanted (which is the oberhasli) she liked their, size, quality and the fact that they are not really common like the nubians. We started with one doe and of course, couldnt have just the we got her a nubian buddie (that was bred when we got her and we didnt know about it) and anyhow, the nubian had her kid and things went really well. I expected some "power plays" but there really were none. The original ober was fine with the nubians babies... the only thing that i would suggest is to take it slow, because it will take some time for a new goat to "get used to" some little buddies. I would suggest having a way for the pygmies to "get away" from the larger goat if need be. I would also suggest quarinteening the new goat away from the pygmies for at least several weeks, you dont want to give your little ones any Kooties that you might not know about with a new goat.
    I think everyone does a bit of different things when it comes to health maintenance, so i will second the suggestion of getting more books to read. (my library has several good ones that we read before we decided on what books to buy). Well, good luck with you goat adventures.