Newbie questions

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Cerulean, May 26, 2005.

  1. Cerulean

    Cerulean Member

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    Greetings goat-keepers. When I finally have my own farm (in a few years I hope..) I want to have two nubian milk goats. Would it be a good idea to breed them to a boer buck and use the resulting kids for meat? I've never had goat meat before, but I've read it's pretty good, and I'd be willing to give it a try.

    What do you all feed your goats? I remember reading that a lot of you give free choice alfalfa pellets (is that right?) do you offer any kind of grain or other pellets? I would want to make this as simple as possible.

    I found an article that said it is ok to milk goats once per day http://fiascofarm.com/goats/milking.htm#onceaday Would you agree with this? Also, how long does it take you to milk your goats?
     
  2. PLPP

    PLPP Boer Lover

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    Well the Boer will bring down your milk production. But if you want a good meat goat that would be a good cross. There is a lot that goes into raising meat goats and you will learn as you go. But yes Mixing with a Boer is good for meat.

    We feed, Free choice Alfalpha and free choice meat goat feed.


    I milk twice a day. The time depends on how the goat acts really. Each goat will be different.
     

  3. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Can you clarify a little PLPP? When you say the boer will bring down the milk production, do you mean the production of any resulting doelings? Or the milk production of the bred mama nubian? I don't get how that would happen.

    I like this idea of crossing with a meat goat to keep the girls in milk, but to make the babies easier to sell. But not if it means the doe won't produce as much milk.

    Thanks.


     
  4. MarkSykes

    MarkSykes Well-Known Member

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    PPLP meant the former. The full-Nubian mama will milk just as much as if she had been bred with another Nubian or other dairy goat; the half-Boer doelings, if kept and later bred, would yield less milk than their mama.
     
  5. Cerulean

    Cerulean Member

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    Ok.. well I'd be using the resulting kids for meat anyway, not planning on raising them for milk.
     
  6. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    I think you are on the right track. Just keep in mind that a buck will taste stronger then a doe or whether, but then again, you would probably not keep it that long.

    I have percentage Boers that are almost pure. sometimes I will get a solid colored buck but a buck that looks like a Boer with less weight will bring more money then the one that is solid colored and bigger. Funny, huhh?
     
  7. MarkSykes

    MarkSykes Well-Known Member

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    Okay, now I'm going to have to change my answer. I've read twice that buck genetics can influence doe milk production.
    From Raising Milk Goats Successfully by Gail Luttmann, page 69:
    "It has also been shown that a superior buck influences the milk production of the does to whom he is mated. This is possible because among the stimuli for milk production are certain hormones produced during gestation by the fetal-placental unit. A fetus with higher genetic potential than its dam can therefore increase its mother's milking abilities and influence her udder development."​
    Luttmann's uncited source has been reprinted as an article by David Funk in the November/December 2004 issue of Dairy Goat Journal titled, "Apparent Effects of Sire Selection on Does." There is a reference to two academic studies as well as the author's own research that indicate that indeed the choice of buck will help determine how much a doe milks.
    Guess you learn something every day.
     
  8. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    If you want your doe to milk her best, You want to breed her to the Milkiest line of buck you can find. Because the bucks does influence to a degree how much milk that doe will give that lactation. If you just need a little milk for your house though, any old buck might do, and then eat the kids...
    If you want to eat the kids anyhow, you can milk the doe once a day, and leave the kids with her saving you a lot of work.
    Now if you want a replacement kid for your doe, you'll want to breed to the best buck you can find.
    To feed: alfalfa hay, or alfalfa pellets, or Both! a little grain depending on what the goat is doing at the time, ie milking, late pregnancy, growing, or just a pasture ornament getting fat. Baking soda free choice, and horse/cow loose minerals also free choice. You need to pick out Healthy animals for starters no lumps, no bumpy, pimply, hard udders, good feet. Maybe take someone from your area when you get ready to go goat shopping. You could also pay to have a vet give any potential doe you want to buy a blood test for CAE & CL that way you can be more sure that you arent bringing disease onto the farm.
    My herd started out (homestead production) then the children started 4 -h and boy were those ribbons pretty! Now we sell goat milk soap, have enough wethers to eat, cheese, milk, and Show our goats. I made some mistakes on people I bought from in the begining, and ended up sending all the goats from that farm off to the auction barn. But now have a healthy herd and am much more picky who I buy from.
     
  9. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    My answer is like Sherrie's. And since this is a homesteading board and it's how I started..........................................

    Goats can be a wonderful addition to the homestead, and can put a nice little profit in your wallet if you go about it right. Purchasing purebred stock, breeding purebred stock, is going to give you the most in sales of your kids period. No way will you get as much for a cross bred meat goat than a Purebred Nubian, unless you simply don't market them. All our stock, and this includes first fresheners kids with no show career start at $350. The same bloodlines in other herds in the area start at $150. It's marketing. You would be hard pressed even in the inflated north Houston area, to sell a boer crossed doeling for $150 period, most older crosses sell for this. So look for a market before you get started and see what others are doing in your area. Meat goats are also pretty dependant on the market in your area, in diary, the whole USA is your oyster with the major publications (United Caprine) and the internet. Milk sales everywhere, start with realmilk.com to see how others in your area are selling for 'pet consumption' soap, cheese, colostrum to body builders, zoo's and the huge growing market of deer raisers ($60 per gallon) 4H for the kids, open shows for the adults, winning those pretty ribbons makes your animals worth even more.

    I do have the article and it's been posted on this list before how the buck you use influences the ability of the doe herself to milk. Probably not enough of a difference if it's just a family milker, but if you sell milk, it's worth a read. With no Boer's around, back when the study was done, the guy was forced to use a Nubian on his swiss breed does :) Love that! Vicki
     
  10. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    it reminds me how i started last year. it sounds so much like me it's unbelievable. i bought two nubians that were bred to a boer because of meat and milk. since goats are addictive i got some more does. most of them all bred, one a hermaphrodite. but that's another story :) got my first milk and everybody loved it. sold the first kids to the barn didn't like this part but had to be done.
    very soon i discovered that i want more and that i have to make a decision how to earn some money with my goats. i learned so much the past month.
    i did meet some really nice people. sold almost all my goats and bought some nice kids to start a herd with.
    if you want to buy some goats go to a reputable breeder and ask tons of questions. it will save you a lot of pain later.
    when you first milk your goats it will take you for ever but with practice it will take you between 5 and 10 minutes. that's what i need right now. my two first fresheners which were bred to boer are giving about #6 a day each. i don't know if it is really noticeable if they are breed to boer or to a nubian buck.
    susanne