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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for posting something which I’m sure has previously posted - I simply don’t have the patience for my snail speed connection to search for a previous thread.

We’d like to get started with goats this spring. Nubians I think - my wife just loves the floppy ears. I’m trying to determine if registered goats are worth the investment. Locally I’ve seen registered does go for about $200 to $400 and bucks for around $500, but at the flea market and stock yard auction I see goats run about $50 to $100.

Our primary use will be for milking (family of three with one more on the way), but I would like to get some return on investment by selling off the kids each year.

One man selling goats at the flea market told me that the registered goats just won’t sell in our area and that I’ll end up selling the kids off at yard goat prices.

I was hoping that you all could describe to me the relative advantages/disadvantages of the initial investment for registered animals as I am certain that there are issues which I am failing to consider.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Katie
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Ist off, Myself I would never buy a goat from a livestock auction unless it was going in my freezer. I'm always afraid I'll bring home some kinds of diseases & I don't want any kinds of illness at my place. Some things once in your soil you just can't get rid of.
You'll find mixed views here too on Registered or not registered goats. I think it depends on what you want them for, the market in your area and what folks there are willing to pay for goats, is there a demand in that area for goats, are you going to show them?
I don't have registered goats & I love them just the same but I'm not in this for the money, we just love our goats. I do sell the kids in the spring and though we don't get lots of money, It pays for our feed & hay, etc. from what we sell the kids for. Where I live I would never be able to sell a goat for $300., $400., or $500. people here just aren't going to pay that for a goat.
 

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Few sell to locals. If you expect only locals to purchase your stock than of course, breed cheap goats that they will buy to eat or pet etc.

Originally this was a homesteading forum, it isn't that really now. So advice from me, which comes in the vien that dogs are pets and although I love my goats they have to make money, I wouldn't have unregistered goats. All this work, and I don't care if they are pets or not, they are alot of work, and not make $300+ on kids, I wouldn't do it...in the end it would be cheaper to purchase milk from somebody else or milking a cow.

Unregistered or not, don't buy anything until you know what CAE and CL are. Having unregsiterd stock still doesn't mean selling diseased stock. So be it from an auction guy or a back yard hobbiest, or a registered show home, if they don't come tested for CAE and with assurances and you going through the herd for CL, don't buy. If you can, first join several sites. Find out what breed you really like. Say you want Nubians....Nubians have a site at NubianTalk yahoogroups.com dairygoatinfo.com Then start visiting places that sell the breed you want. Want milk, buy a dairy goat. Want meat buy a meat goat. Want both, get Nubians :)

Your best bet is to find someone to mentor you, someone who has no vested interest in what you buy but helps you find the perfect herd to purchase from.

Read read read read, and then arm yourself and make a wise business decision for your farm. Build you pens now, fence, get ready. Wait until April to purchase, when there are alot more goats around to be had for cheaper. If you are buying a milker, milk her first, taste the milk warm, it only gets better being cold...but nasty warm milk is nasty cold milk also. Vicki
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys.

I've been reading some - just what I can get my hands on in our three book library : )

Did I read somewhere that oak leafs are poisonous to goats? That may be a hurdle as the field I was fixing to put them in is surrounded by oad trees.
 

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No, we live in the woods, pines, oaks, hickories. Goats do poorly on change, so it's the oak tree falling down into their pasture, they then eat all the leaves off of it, the tannic acid builds up and they can bloat or die from rumen acidosis. So if you do buy goats who are not used to oaks than you will want to limit their time out in your property the first week or so. Vicki
 

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Our goats are used to oak leaves, and they eat some every day. But... to reinforce the comments above, if they aren't in your goats' personal diet, make any changes slowly.

Also, when buying a goat, the udder is MOST important. We bought a goat with a bad udder this winter because we had to have goat milk for health reasons. I regret her purchase every time I go in the goat yard. She won't stay in the herd long after we have a steady milk supply again.
 

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I lost a buck during the holidays... I just moved him to a new pen where there was lots of dead oak leaves on the ground. I noticed he gobbled a lot of them up just before he got sick, even though he was still getting his regular hay and was with his other buck pal.

He did get VERY upset that he was parted from the "girls"... it may have been a combination, not sure. All I know is that his system just shut down and he was bloated and packed up on the inside. With all of the intervention and good help, he was gone in 3 days. :(

I'm no expert, but I would say if the goats are not free-ranging and used to the occasional oak leaf... don't let them near the stuff. My animals are perfectly fine free-ranging and did so well this spring/summer. It may possibly have been the sudden change of localized ingested material without herbal variety to counteract it.
 

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gracie88
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Registered stock doesn't cost any more to feed, vaccinate, deworm, etc. than unregistered stock (says the lady with not a registered goat on her place :) ) Papers give you an idea of what you can expect out of your goats and more options for the future (breeding, selling, etc.). It also costs the same to breed my goats, but the kids I get are worth less money.
 

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If I might make a suggestion, start with "yard" goats, as you call them, but make sure they are tested and clean for CAE and CL. Learn about goats and proper care from the books and practice on the inexpensive goats before committing the money to buy high-quality registered stock. It hurts emotionally to lose a goat whether it has papers or not, but it hurts less financially to lose a $50 animal than a $500 one.

If you go with Nubians, remember that the cute floppy ears come attached to a stubborn, strongwilled, very vocal goat! If that doesn't bother you and you don't have close neighbors that could be bothered with the noise, great. If you decide that Nubians aren't for you, I would suggest you consider LaManchas or Mancha crosses...you can sell the offspring as meat kids (as you can Nubians - neither is as meaty as a Boer, but they are both a good dual purpose type), without papers, and LaManchas tend to milk very well, with good butterfat and great tasting milk. Your wife might not like the lack of ears, but you don't milk the ears, as they say! Besides, those cute earless wonder heads tend to grow on you until you can't imagine life without them. :)

When you have had scrub (not recorded or registered) goats for a while and have gained experience, then you'll have a better idea of whether or not registered goats will be a better fit for you. For me, they most certainly are. I can sell my registered kids for much more than unregistered kids, I can plan my breedings based on bloodlines and breed standards, and the pedigrees with the *, B, and other symbols are great indicators of how a goat can improve what I currently have in my herd. I can find out how a buck has improved other herds by tracing the pedigrees and talking to the owners of other offspring. These are a few of the ways that registrations help me. They can also help others interested in buying MY stock. :)
 

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The term "registered" is no guarantee of what you will end up with. But it can be an indicator. People who register their goats usually are more conscious of other things as well.

As has been mentioned, what have they been tested for?

How much does the mother and grandmother milk? How much did the sire's mother milk?

Do they have linear appraisal scored on any of the parents, grandparents?

I agree with the advice about not buying from a flea market or auction. that is where all the "problem" animals end up.
 

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Buying goats at a livestock auction is like buying your groceries at a landfill. By going with registered stock, you can take the time, BEFORE you buy, to know what you're getting, what the production history of its family is, and how it's likely to perform for you.

Madfarmer
 

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Register vs Non Registered.
Usually folks who register have a vested interest in their animals above & beyond back yard scrubs. They strive to impove their herd. They may have some nonregistered stock to sell.
True, papers CAN mean little as far as performance is concerned. But papers indicate that the animal is at least worthy of having them.
But Madfarmer said it so well!!
 

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Either way, get goats that have the genetics to kid easily. You DON"T want to start with goats that are problem kidders. THis is a trait that is passed on. I breed for goats that will kid without assistance. There still may be the times where they may need you, but they should not. I have read too many stories about people having problems with goats having repeated difficult kiddings, and "oh, her mother had that problem." Something I really avoid.
Know about CAE and CL, and get goats that won't have problems.
Welcome to goats! :)
 

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I think you can do well with unregistered goats if you are looking for a good family milker and you do your homework. If you are hoping to sell goat kids to make money or even break even then perhaps registered is a better fit.

It is true that it costs the same to feed a poor quality goat as a high quality goat. I think you can get a high quality unregistered goat if you try.
 
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