Thanks that really helps with finding a good breed of goat, but....

Discussion in 'Goats' started by americanbulldog, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

    Messages:
    369
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Location:
    Quiet Corner of CT
    what do you guys think of angora goats? I don't know much about this as you can tell by now, but I am serious about doing something with the good information that I am getting. I was not planning on doing anything with the fur myself but Erica thinks she might want to.

    First and foremost is that we want good milkers, nice/quiet/friendly/healthy goats that I can use for meat if I have extreme need to. I really need goats that can handle the harsh New England weather. I also would like goats that produce very rich milk (It can't be to rich for me).

    I want to thank Beth and Sherrie for the great information and so far it sounds like the Lamancha goats would be nice for me. How are they in the cold and snow? I want the arrangement to be good for the goats as well as for my family. I would hate to see sad goats that are just to cold for comfort. Better all creatures have a happy life if it can be done.

    Is there a good book on the care of goats, their milk, and receipes for use of their milk (yogurt, all types of cheeses, etc.). If there were I would like an all around book about goats.

    Thanks again for all your help! :D
     
  2. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    I don't know much about angora goats, but they are fiber goats, not milk goats, and while people have milked them (about any mammal you can name has been milked at one time or another), they have tiny teats and don't give much milk. If you are primarily looking for milk production, you definitely want a dairy breed, although I have a half-Boer doe who is a decent milker, surprisingly. Any goat can be used for meat. Your best bets for dual purpose goats would be Kinder goats, Boer crosses, and Nubians, in about that order.

    Goats can take quite a bit of cold -- I've kept them in Alaska, where it got down to seventy below zero in the winter and the wind was howling. I lost my buck because he was in rut and peeing all over himself, and wet just doesn't do it in that kind of weather. But the does came through just fine. I've also kept goats in central New Hampshire, which doesn't get quite as cold as the interior of Alaska, but does get pretty chilly at times. Give them a roof over their heads, at least three walls to keep the prevailing winds off, and good deep, clean bedding, and plenty of good feed and warm water, and they can take just about any winter weather without suffering at all. I would try not to have kids born in the coldest weather, if possible, though.

    If you are looking for rich milk, check out Kinder goats. Their milk is the best tasting of any I've ever had, and it's so rich it's almost like drinking half-and-half. They are healthy, hardy, sweet-natured, small enough that even the bucks aren't too hard to handle but big enough to get the milk pail underneath, give plenty of milk for a family, breed out of season . . . . they really have a lot of advantages. I don't know who is breeding them in your area, but if you check the Kinder Assoc. website at http://members.aol.com/KGBAssn/ and also visit the Yahoogroups list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KinderGoats/?yguid=109437082 you should be able to find someone not too far away. You will also get tons of good information.

    Kathleen (who has five Kinder goats -- and loves them!)
     

  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    I almost forgot -- there are several good books on keeping goats and making cheese and so on -- check out the websites of Caprine Supply and Hoeggers. I'm pretty sure they both sell all the goat books that are currently in print.

    Kathleen
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,832
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Location:
    Washington
    Really the only reason to have fiber goats on a small farm is if you personally spin and knit or weave. Unless you can process the fiber and sell it yourself directly to other people who spin, knit, or weave you'll actually lose money on them.

    I did milk my cashmere doe, and will again. Kathleen is right about the small teats. I got enough milk for my husband and I to put in our coffee and have with cereal - not enough to make much yogurt or cheese.

    Have you thought about just running an angora goat with a regular milking herd? Their general care and upkeep is the same as any other goat. You'd have to separate the angora out at breeding time, so you'd probably want to keep a wether around for company for her. The other thing you will become very picky about when you have fiber animals is plants with burrs of any kind on them - cleaning and processing the fleece of an animal after it's gotten into the burdock is at best a headache, at worst you throw the fleece out in frustration.

    Also remember angora goats have to be sheared once a year

    A book you might look for: "The Angora Goat" (It's History, Management, and Diseases) by Stephanie and Allison Mitcham.

    - I do love my cashmere goats. They make pretty, soft, nifty pets and gorgeous scarves. :)
     
  5. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ar
    sounds liek you got some info on angoras now, :D
    cashmere is so nice i have thought about trying them , buti dont know how to spin or knit, so its more of a whim type thought

    for more info , go to some of these sites
    http://www.goatconnection.com/
    www.northwestpackgoats.com/
    www.adga.org/
    www.dairygoatjournal.com/
    www.unitedcaprinenews.com
    muextension.missouri.edu/ explore/agguides/dairy/g03990.htm
    www.angelfire.com/ct/echolakedairygoats/
    www.canr.uconn.edu/fourh/documents/GoatDayFlyer_000.doc
    www.adga.org/clubs.htm

    as for books, jerry belanger, the former editior of countryside magazine wrote a wonderfull book on dairy goats called appropriately enough guide to raising dairy goats, its published by the best homesteading publisher out there Storey books, and available from ther website
    theres also raising milk goats sucessfully by gail demerow, and of course the goat section in carla emorys enc. of country living, which i think is a required homestead book.

    theres great sources for knowledge out there, any google search on dairy goats or a specific breed will help you make your choice
    but be forewarned, goats are highly addictive pets, you cant keep one, since they are herd animals , and its n ot really a herd unless you have a dozen or more :D
    although the goats might think one or two is ok , its interesting to get different breeds and seethem together, find a local 4h or ffa group and go to a goat show, theres bound to be some in your area soon , its spring and i know of 2 coming up in my area alone,
    we are very rural , and only one of about 5-6 dairy goatherd in the county, that i know of, so i plan on going, im sure ill meet people and learn a little and maybe do some caprine trading :D

    Beth
     
  6. Milking Mom

    Milking Mom COTTON EYED DOES

    Messages:
    425
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    You can find some nice dairy goat books on eBay too. With the LaMancha breed you wouldn't have to worry AS MUCH about the ears freezing in the winter as you would, say a Nubian.
     
  7. pinemead

    pinemead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Location:
    Eastern Shore, Maryland
    Sorry, Jen, but Angoras are sheared twice a year - early spring and mid to late fall. The hair needs to be at least 3" long. If fiber is all you want, why not get an Angora wether to run with your dairy goats? Mine are wethers and are pretty easy to manage.
     
  8. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,832
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Location:
    Washington
    Thanks, pinemead, for the info. I didn't know the shearing was done twice each year. I'm used to shearing sheep, the cashmeres I comb.

    Does the shearing frequency change according to what part of the country you live in? Or is it pretty standard?
     
  9. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    395
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    I think the twice a year shearing for Angoras is pretty standard - leave the fleece on too long, & it'll start to felt. A wether run with the flock as a fiber animal is a good idea, or you could get a doe & breed her to a Boer - Boer X Angora are supposed to be real good meat animals. Angoras aren't much for milking, though. I have a natural colored Angora wether in with my sheep - beautiful fiber on him, I blend it with my wool.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    I have percentage Nubians and one Full Nubian here in Maine.

    I have no power in my barn(3yo and well built) and the eaves are open for ventilation....I only clean my barn once a year so I have a nice deep manure/hay build up which gives off heat when they lay on it. My barn does not smell either because it is well ventilated and dirt floor.

    Sometimes if you breed too early you will have issues with keeping kids warm enough which is why I breed mid November to have kids mid April when its a little closer to 40 degrees. I do help dry off kids when they are born...my girls seem to wait for me to be near to help.

    The other part of my breeding is with a Toggy/alpine that has a shaggier coat that seems to be dominate when crossing. This gives the thin skinned Nubians just a bit more coat and size and hardiness.

    I think that I may try a meat buck to add weight to my homestead herd. My concern is that I will have a Boer/Nubian doe with lower milk or kids that are big and result in difficult deliveries....maybe I should breed my older does with a Boer and not the first timers....just a few thoughts...

    I have had no trouble with ears freezing either....but my Toggy/Alpine(herd mean Queen) is a biter and those long ears are often her prime target.
     
  11. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    I think that if you select your Boer buck carefully, and breed him to really good does, your half-Boers should be very good animals. The half-Boer doe I have is. I did provide some assistance when she kidded -- she could probably have done it herself, but the kids were pretty good sized, so I helped by pulling a little bit. So you'd want to include easy kidding in your selection criteria for the starter herd.

    Kathleen