New to goats

Discussion in 'Goats' started by dunroven, May 18, 2005.

  1. dunroven

    dunroven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    Iowa
    A couple of days ago, my husband went to purchase some pigmy goats from some people who had to move to a smaller farm, and needed to be rid of the goats. He was going to purchase 3. Well, we ended up with 10, all for the price of the 3. We have one little buck (not nearly an adult yet) and 2 castrated ones, and 7 ewes. (You'll all have to forgive me as I don't know all the terms on goats yet).

    All of these were to be pigmy goats, but I don't think they all are. Some of them seem awfully large to be pigmy goats. Anyway, we know about the feeding of them, and have them housed pretty good at the moment. More cage space is being built, but if anyone can give me any information on these little ones, for instance, where do I find out all about breeding goats, etc. Of what value, i.e., milk, meat, or novelty are these little guys for? Do they need papers, etc. Our value so far is the fact that we have a 6 acre farm and are trying to build up some critters here to let kids from our inner cities come to see. Not quite a petting zoo, as such, but just more of a farm experience.

    I know some about a lot of animals and am learning quickly, but goats are not something I have a great familiarity with, although they are something I want to get very familiar with!

    Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

    Valorie
     
  2. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Location:
    Lexington Texas area
    Sounds like you have quite a little herd going! Wait til next year, you will be amazed! Here is a good basic site for goat care:

    www.fiascofarm.com

    This is the site many of us here refer people to who are "new to goats". It's great reference for oldtimers too. I like to click on "site map" at the top of the home page to get started, but that is just me.

    To get the registration papers, you would have to make sure that the goats are all ready purebred and registered by the previous owners or that they are elgible for registration (the parents were registered and the individual goat you are wanting to register just hasn't had it's paperwork and tattoos done). Other than that, many breeds can be graded up if they are of good caliber and you want to spend the three generations it takes to do it. Some goat clubs allow this. You get a registered buck with his papers and pedigree and tattoos so you know he is for real. You breed him to non-registered stock of the same breed, then breed resulting daughters to another reg. Buck of same breed and so on until you achieve three generations of this sort of breeding. The rules and paperwork may vary with the goat association. I did this with the ADGA, the American Dairy Goat Association, many years ago. I have a goat now whose offspring are worth grading up because they are of superb quality. I only encourage people to grade up if they have good goats. If i were you, i would get to know your animals and figure out really what they are (you mentioned different sizes). If you are just breeding for pets, any buck will do (but why produce mediocre goats?). If you want milk, you need a buck that will throw daughters with nice big udders, if meat, you need a meat buck. It is a good idea to get comfortable with your animals then devise a plan for your farm. Goats multiply like rabbits and you can't keep them all. So start anticipating what direction you want to go with selling the offspring. Is there a market in your area for pets? If not, you may be practically giving away those little goats one day just to get rid of them much like the previous owner did. There was a reason you got 10 for the price of 3. Raise what there is a market for unless you have the finacial ability to simply raise them as a hobby. My goats have to pay for themselves (ideally), they provide all the milk we could ever drink (make pudding out of, cheese, feed the dogs and chickens) and cabrito. It takes a few years after you get started to stay in the black and out of the red. So decide if this is a business or a hobby. Welcome to this forum and good luck!........Diane
     

  3. dunroven

    dunroven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, actually these little guys were only gotten rid of because of the move the previous owners made and the fact that the wife is pregnant and doesn't see having the time to care for them. They are loving little goats for the most part. They all have names, and the lady and her daughter cried when they left. So, I know the reason they sold them was not a matter of not being able to sell them, but with the new coming baby, a brand new business, a lot smaller farm, now down to 1.5 acres, on which a house sets and a small yard barn, they just didn't feel they were able to cope with them there.

    I am looking forward to working with them. I think it is possible that all of them are pigmy except for one nanny and she is larger than the rest, kind of makes me think, by the looks of her that she may have some Boer goat to her, but I don't know. I have one goat that I think is pregnant now, but I'm going to check with the old owners and see if they know for sure when it might have happened so I know when to expect the little ones.

    These goats are for enjoyment for kids to come and see from inner cities, and even though small, we may use them for meat for ourselves. One thing is for sure, at this size, they would probably be pretty tender, right?

    Thanks for the info Countrywoman, I appreciate the help.

    Valorie
     
  4. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    Location:
    Lexington Texas area
    Valorie, here is a site you might enjoy:

    http://www.npga-pygmy.com

    It's the National Pygmy Goat Association. There will be pictures and info there you may find useful. Enjoy!...Diane