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Hi all :) I'm thinking of buying 10-20 doe kids from a local goat dairy with the idea that they could supply milk for my orphan and dairy lambs. I got this idea after seeing a goat nursing 2 lambs, but even if they won't nurse the lambs I can milk them and feed it to the lambs. I know that quite a few people keep cows for this purpose but I'm not 100% confident with large animals so it seems like the perfect solution. Will I need an electric fence? One or two hot wires? I'm thinking of getting Nubian x Saanens, but they could be any breed, is there any preference? I'd also likely keep a buck, what breed would be best over the Snubians? I have access to British Alpines, Nubians, Toggenburgs and Saanens. Of coarse feel free to tell me that I'm completely mad, I need to know if it's a good idea or not, so I can start pushing to buy the kids!
Sheepy
 

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You might want to look at the thread on electric fencing. And all the other threads about escaping goats.

The saying is... if the fence won't hold smoke, it won't hold a goat. There is much truth in that.
 

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I have Boers, Fainters, and Pygmy's in a 5 foot field fencing, with our woods fenced in with only 3 strand electric fencing. I have only had one goat ever get out, and that was a fainter. She mistakenly hit the fence, and it put her into a faint. When she locked up, she happened to fall to the outside of the fence. LOL Other than her that one time, I have not had any escape issues.

However, from what I hear, a three strand electric fence would not hold most goats. Not sure why we do ok, but so far no issues. BUT I would not keep a buck in a 3 strand electric fence, them boys are a whole 'nother issue. LOL


Laura
 

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I have heard that electric doesn't hold goats, however my buck is in with two feeder calves in 3 strand electric and i've never had any problems with him ( he steers way clear of it ), my does have spent the day in the same kind of fencing here and there as well ( to clean up after the horses ). Good luck :+)
 

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Electric will hold goats, I just reccomend several lines of electric, at least while first introducing them to the fence. They need to be introduced to the fencing properly.

10-20 dairy does will supply you with quite a bit of milk. Also, that many goats would take up more room than one or two cows, and would probably produce about the same amount of milk as a pair of cows. I'd rather have goats any day, though. :)
 

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You have to remember that the does will have their own kids to feed as well as the lambs. You want does that will make lots of milk, more than their babies require. If I were breeding sheep as well as goats, I'd breed the goats to kid out a couple of months ahead of your lambing season. I'd also buy doelings whose dams are heavy milkers. I'd select my buck out of a dam who is a heavy producer. Saanens are known for their milk production, so I'd probably lean in that direction. I, personally would not allow lambs to nurse from one of my goats. I've heard they can be rough on a goat's udder. I'd milk the does and use a lambar.
 
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