Rescued Goats

Discussion in 'Goats' started by NewEnglandBeth, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    We are looking into getting milking goats.

    One question.....if you were just starting out, would you begin with rescued, mature goats or two kids, male and female.

    What do you see as the pros and cons of rescued goats?

    Would it be better, as being new to this, that our family raise two kids first, getting used to them and them to us?
     
  2. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    Hi Beth, Hmmmm..... I am fairly new to being a goat-mom; I ended up getting mine extremely young because one needed to be bottle fed and the other was a little 3-month old cousin who came along to be a companion for the first. As bonded and adoring as they are to me (they come running when I aaaahh-aaahh at them & nap in my lap on the porch) I would be tempted to say "start with kids!"....

    However, when I was in Vet Tech school, we had a section on "Caprine Care & Handling" and worked with donated goats from the surrounding rural area. (goats that would go back to their farms after our semester of learning how to hold them/ trim feet/ take temperatures/ etc was over). Even though these goats were full-grown, all different breeds, and from several different environments, they were absolutely endearing and a pleasure to work with.

    I know that doesn't really answer your question; how "damaged" were these goats that were rescued? Just bad feet & wormy, or much more horrible?? I certainly wouldn't want to tangle with a full-grown goatie who's mad at the world.....

    Anyone else? -Jill
     

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Rescue goats likely carry disease and will not be very productive....

    You might look around for a nanny that has kids....thats how we got started...she was older with twin doelings....for $100 and 100% Nubian from a friend whose milking homestead herd had become too large. I expect we would have paid alot more had we not been friends. I think $200 would have been a fair price looking back. We bottle fed the kids and were very pleased with the results...

    Check in the Uncle Henry swap and sell guide. My girls wont kid until late April but I do have a friend in Whitefield Maine that may be wanting to sell if you cant find anything. Depending on how my kiddings go I may be willing to sell a mom and her kids provided I get enough doelings....its a wait and see thing!

    You might also consider getting an unrelated buckling (fairly cheap) to have for breeding in the fall.
     
  4. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    My husband and my son are lactose intolerant....and my son is also casein intolerant. We bought some goat milk recently, and my son seems to tolerate that very well!!

    We live on a small lot...a tiny bit over three acres....and just got into chickens....eleven chicks are now in a brooder in our kitchen! I figured if we were to make this decision to also expand to goats, we should decide soon. When my husband builds the permanent chicken coop in the Spring, he can also add a good, insulated shed to house the goats. (I love to keep him busy, lol!!)

    I like the idea of a doe with her baby/ies and also purchasing an unrelated male.....I am really getting more excited about this every day!!! I have a friend up in Wilton, New Hampshire, who milks goats for a neighbor...they don't have any available...but my friend told me anytime I can go with her and get some practice milking!!!

    Now here is probably a silly question....but here goes....does the taste of milk vary with the breed of goat? I bought some goat milk yesterday, and it was absolutely delicious!!! The yogurt was also lovely!!! My husband tasted it and was quite surprised that it wasn't very "strong"....he had some goat milk when he lived in Vermont, and he said the taste was quite strong.....so does the taste vary with the breed of milking goat?
     
  5. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    I also suggest going with a doe that has already had kids & is used to being milked. If this is the first time you will be milking, you will not want to be trying to learn to milk while trying to train a goat.
    If you are planning on getting only 1 or 2 goats, I would not bother with getting a buck. If all you are interested in is milk for your family, you can breed your does to any buck this fall. Of course they become addicting & 2 goats will multiply really fast. :) If you have plans on raising them to make some extra money, then go with registered stock from a reputable breeder.
    Yes, milk taste varies according to breed & also depends a lot on what they are eating.
     
  6. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Milk handling (cleanliness and how fast it is chilled) as well as age of the milk as well as breed and diet can all be factors....

    3 acres is plenty for your chickens and goats(2-4)...you may even raise a calf or pig on surplus milk sometime...

    The biggest thing with any animal is the time committment as well as monthly feed bill. Its hard to get away once you get them, but I find time spent with them just as rewarding.

    I'd love to think I could hike the Appalachian trail with a couple of goats along for the walk. It would be crowded in the tent at night and goats have bad BAD breath! :haha:
     
  7. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Milk handling (cleanliness and how fast it is chilled) as well as age of the milk as well as breed and diet can all be factors....

    3 acres is plenty for your chickens and goats(2-4)...you may even raise a calf or pig on surplus milk sometime...

    The biggest thing with any animal is the time committment as well as monthly feed bill. Its hard to get away once you get them, but I find time spent with them just as rewarding.

    I'd love to think I could hike the Appalachian trail with a couple of goats along for the walk. It would be crowded in the tent at night and goats have bad BAD breath! :haha:
     
  8. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you get a goat FROM a rescue, make sure they test the goat for all the nasties goats can carry and you can catch before you take the goat -- i.e., tuberculosis, brucellosis, CL, etc.

    If you rescue a goat yourself, be prepared to test the goat yourself and dispatch it if need be.

    My .02 -- buy from a breeder who does disease monitoring. You may (or may not) pay more money, but you'll likely get a better quality animal that'll make you happer.

    I DO the occasional dog or cat rescue, have worked with equine rescues, etc. But goats are a whole 'nother story.

    Leva
     
  9. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    I think if I were to take in a rescue goat it would be a pet/hiking partner only. I really wouldn't trust the milk or meat from it, not knowing how it was fed and what it was exposed to previously.

    Goats, BTW, are NOT allowed in the tent! They make a mess of the sleeping bag and try to eat the tent itself. Besides, have you seen how small those backpacking tents are? Me, a 60 lb dog, and 2 goats in one tent?!!!!!!!!
     
  10. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't get a rescued goat at all- this is the voice of experience! I bought a good doe who'd been sold to a bad home & was in poor shape for slaughter price. By the time she was wormed, vaccinated, fed back up to weight, cured of pneumonia & foot rot, and had her ear sutured (she had a scrapie tag in her ear and pulled it out) she was the most expensive goat on the place.

    I could've went to her breeder and bought a healthy doe with identical genetics for less than I put into this "rescue". :no: Still love her tho.

    If the rescue is coming from a humane society/rescue, they might have a no breeding clause that allows them to take back the animal if it is ever bred- kinda prevents milk.

    If you are trying to save money, you might want to talk to your county ext. agent and find out what 4-hers have dairy goats. You can get some good kids and/or adult does especially when the 4-H kids are going to college.

    If I was just starting again, I'd buy bred does. That would give me enough time to get to know them, but not have to put a years' worth of feed into them before I got anything back.
     
  11. backwoods

    backwoods Well-Known Member

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    Best to go get some GOOD books on keeping and caring for goats, first. You can also do quite a bit of research on the web. It is a big committment, though a rewarding one. It is NOT for everybody. They must be fed and milked at the same time every day, 7 days a week, no days off for vacations, Sunday, etc. The milk MUST be handled in a sanitary way, and the goat must be milked in a clean environment to have good tasting milk, and it must be cooled down quickly, to maintain good taste. You need to go into it with your eyes wide open, and even think about what you'll do with those adorable kids after you've collected several and NOBODY wants to get rid of ANY of them! Bucks need to be kept in a seperate area away from milking does, or else your milk will not smell or taste as it should. In other words, go do your homework first, then go get goats from a reputable breeder and save yourself a lot of heartache and problems. You'll be glad you did! Good luck!
     
  12. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    :) My first Toggenburg was virtually a rescue, I already had Saanens. I say virtually cos seeing the conditions that the goat lived in I would have bought her regardless, just to save her. The big but is.....this is a goat bred by the same people I am getting my next 2 does from...only Penny was sold as a kid, and at the time it was very hard to find a doe in milk for sale. So I knew the pedigree and knew there was milk behind her. She had lice, her feet were disgusting, she only milked a couple of litres a day. She was not used to getting well fed, so I had to slowly increase and introduce different foods. This is her first kidding since I have had her and she milked 5 litres a day for the first 4 mths and now down to 3 1/2 a day...I will milk her through.
    I would get a rescue as long as it is a purebred, but a cross bred is likely to have had the milk bred out of it. But if you have the money and the time to set up properly then I would go the registered pure bred goats from a reputable breeder. There is no point feeding a rescue and getting a litre, when the same could be feeding a good milker and getting a large amount of milk....to make cheese, butter and yoghurt. :)
     
  13. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Definitely get the goats tested for CAE before buying them. Our first 4 were from different breeders; 2 had CAE and 2 did not.
     
  14. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    We are going to bypass on getting rescue goats. Soon we will be driving up north to talk to another forum member who has Saanen goats...and possibly some kids available for Spring.

    The last acre of our property begins with an old stone wall....there is a small rectangular clearing first, then the land extends into a forested area. Both the clearing and the forested area are very cool in the Summertime....lots of good shade back there. The clearing has full sunlight in the Winter, after the leaves fall. We would build the chicken coop and the goat shed back there....it really would be ideally suited for both.

    I have already started looking in my neighborhood for other goat owners, to talk to them about their experiences. I stopped off at one neighbor way down the street...about a mile down. The wife wasn't it, but talked to the husband, who told me to come back this weekend. The wife raises cashmere goats.....not what I am interested in, but figure I can query her for where she gets her feed, hay, etc.

    Around the corner from us is a non profit educational farm. They also have goats there....I can go there to learn how to milk, and again ask some questions of them.

    Altogether, we are very excited about this!!
     
  15. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    Check out www.petfinder.com
    and enter your zip code and it will give you the names of any
    goat rescue groups in your area.

    The one near me is awesome and the goats in their care and very clean
    and they give all shots. I would imagine they would allow you to test before
    you adopt.

    One drawback with my local group,
    You need to keep having kids to keep the milk coming year after year.
    My local group has an adoption contract saying you won't breed the goat.
    If special permission is given then wethers cannot be used for meat.
    Now to me having a nice life till butcher time is a kinder life than being
    the back yard shrub mower who gets no attention now that it is grown
    and no longer cute nor keeping the kids interest.
    But thats just my opinion.

    Give a rescue goat a chance, just make sure you understand all the rules to adoption, they vary.
    Hope this helps