Want to adopt a goat

Discussion in 'Goats' started by shootingstar, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. shootingstar

    shootingstar Active Member

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    Hello everyone.

    I am considering getting a goat. I have had several animals in the past but never a goat. My neice told me that someone told her to start out with an old billy goat. Is this true? I was hoping for a miniature but I don't want one that is so naughty that I get discouraged on my first try. I have a horse, mule, and some chickens. Is it possible to let it have run of the place? We have no neighbors and no garden for it to get into. How naughty are they? Will they pick up hay that falls out of the horse feeder? Like I said, my son and I would like to get one but we want to know more about what to expect before diving in. We have a paper we can run a free ad in so I thought about putting in an ad wanting to adopt an old billy that someone isn't using anymore. If you think it is better to start out with a young one I see "for sale" ads in the paper from time to time. Would you suggest a doe or a billy if I buy one? Do I have to keep them in pairs since I have other barn animals? Thanks for any advice you can give a newbie. Lori
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well first off A male Is A Buck not A billy, second you might want to check the Humane society, they get them once in a while. 3rd Goats like company so you might want 2
     

  3. GoldenWood Farm

    GoldenWood Farm Legally blonde! Supporter

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  4. shootingstar

    shootingstar Active Member

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    Thanks James, I stand corrected, Buck not Billy. I also viewed the site posted by MotherClucker. It was full of useful information. It sounds like 2- LaMancha wethers ( or one wether and one doe) is what I should be considering according to this site. I don't know if there are any of them around here....I have to admit, I like the breeds with longer ears but I want to be happy with what I get...I don't want to breed them, I just want one as a pet.
     
  5. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Personally I would start out with 2 doe kids. That way you can get used to having goats. Then you can breed if and when you want. The wether is a bad idea from my viewpoint if you don't intend to eat him. Also have your goats tested for CAE!
     
  6. GoldenWood Farm

    GoldenWood Farm Legally blonde! Supporter

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    Wethers are a great way to start IMO. I have two my self and love em to death. But my 2 wethers are nubians.

    It is really up to you on if you want to get wethers or not.

    MotherClucker
     
  7. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Whatever you do, please do NOT get a buck(billy), old or young.
    They do NOT make good pets. Whoever told your niece that is pulling her leg. They stink, they pee on themselves, and are otherwise terribly obnoxious, and can even, imo, be dangerous. You'd want to know a lot more about goats and have a reason to have one (several does needing bred) before you should consider a buck.

    Your best bet would be a couple of young, bottle raised does. Or at least if you get a male (much cheaper), get a wether (one that has been banded or otherwise castrated).
     
  8. trappmountain

    trappmountain Well-Known Member

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    I decided to get goats for pets this spring. I did a lot of reading first and decided what I wanted. I have a small barn so I decided to get pygmy goats. Then I went to the auction and waited for what I wanted. I got too very young goats but already on feed. I got one doe and one buck. I got the buck castrated because of the smell thing that would arise and because they were meant for pets. I have had them since the end of April and are very pleased with them. I have unused pasture that they are taking a big bite out of and they love attention. Really sweet animals.

    I don't know if I got a good price on them or not because every area is different. But I knew what I would pay and what I would not. I ended up paying $55 for the doe and $45 for the buck.

    The only basis I had for price was a guy that sells in the flea market area. He sells large breed goats (still babies) for $45. So I think I got a descent price.

    I also chose to get 2 because of all the reading I did and am happy I did. They are always together and are very happy and healthy.
     
  9. tinetine'sgoat

    tinetine'sgoat Luvin' my family in MO

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    Had a Buck, named Bob. Bob would eat anything, rose bushes ect... Bob stunk!!! Bob also couldn't be trusted around children, he would butt at them and did I mention that he stunk? Bob ended up finding an old well that no-one realized was there and falling in. Tragic end to a stinky goat. We now have pygmy's and are preparing to dabble in Nigerian dwarfs. I would suggest a pygmy if you have small kids. We have four children ages 5,4,3,2 and when we go to help milk at our neighbors our littlest is scared to death of the larger breeds. However she is bigger than the pygmy's and loves going to help feed them. I enjoy non stinking, tiny goats myself. We are fortunate to be able to just bring up a buck to breed. :dance:
     
  10. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    LaManchas are wonderful dairy goats. If you want milk, LaManchas are great. If you don't want to milk (twice a day, every day, 10 months of the year, breeding every year), then I would suggest something that is more of a pet breed. A pygmy, Myotonic (fainting goat), or a small mutt-type mix.

    We have some fainters and they're great if you're just looking for a pet. They're smaller than dairy breeds and easy to handle. They tend to not climb fences, because of the fainting thing. They're fairly docile, good moms, and on average, more healthy and worm- and disease-resistant then dairy breeds.

    So, yes, Lamanchas if you want to do the dairy thing, but otherwise, get something smaller that you like the looks of.

     
  11. shootingstar

    shootingstar Active Member

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    Great information to consider. Thanks for helping me decide the best option for us. My son is 9 and loves animals so I am not to concerned about him being afraid of them. Do all pygmys have horns? Horns are something else the website mentioned to avoid... How do I tell if they will grow horns if buying a young goat. Do any of them just have nubs? If they have nubs they will have horns? Sorry for the silly questions but like I said I want the make the best decision for us. Thanks for the advice.
     
  12. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I wholly agree, for a pet you do NOT want a buck. As said they do stink very bad when in rut AND being an intact male animal of any species (horse, cow, goat, etc.) they are unpredictable and even dangerous during breeding).

    Wethers and does are great. If you have no intentions on milking ever and want a goat that isn't so naughty, get a meat breed. Fainter (myotonic) or boer or a cross of either two. Our fainters and boers and boer x's do not jump or climb or get out of the fencing. I have a friend with two diary yearling does and they climb on the cars, on the deck and in general are very naughty. Pygmy's in my opinion (and lots of others) are aggressive, naughty, and climb, jumb and very "active" goats for lack of a more "positive" term. If you want to learn more about fainters or boers, check out our website, we have basic info on both on there. www.hoofweb.com/dbarj
     
  13. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some goats are polled (naturally hornless), most, I expect, are not.
    Assuming the goats you buy are not polled, be sure they have been well disbudded before you buy them if you want hornless (I would).
    mary
     
  14. havenberryfarm

    havenberryfarm Well-Known Member

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    Pygmy or LaMancha goats are the easiest, generally. Babies are almost always naughty, regardless of breed. At a year or so they settle down. I love my Pygancha (pygmy LaMancha cross) buck, but you would do better with a wether. Whatever the breed, if you can get your hands on a goat that was bottle-fed or trained you will do great. Check with the local large animal vet or county extension office or try Petfinder.com.
     
  15. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

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    Where are you??? You can have mine... Really, just come and get them. I swear. I love them but they are making me grey and I want to go another direction with my herd.
     
  16. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    We just got our first goats today!!!! So, I don't suppose we are experts, yet? But, we are already enthralled with them. We got two American Toggenburg whethers from AnnaS (also on the forum). They are 3 months old, bottle raised, and just the neatest little goats. They are very calm, if you want to get them from the far end of the paddock you just walk out and call them, they come running.

    We wanted to try out goats but we are not at a point where we are ready to milk twice a day, so we decided on the whethers instead of a doe. We won't get any milk from the boys, but they are already hard at work clearing thistles and burdock from their paddock and turning the weeds into manure for the garden.

    Whatever you decide, I hope you wind up with goats as nice as the ones we got, and I hope you will enjoy them as much as we are enjoying ours. (Definitely get two, not one). Good luck.
     
  17. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Yes, get at least 2 goats. A single goat will make you it's herd mate and drive you nuts. I have cashmeres (and one nubian) and I just love them - they're sweet, incredibly soft (like petting a cloud), and come in all sorts of colors.

    My goats are horned because I live in an area with lots of predators and want them to have their only real defense. I also do not have children living at home, my nephews and niece are only allowed in the pasture if an adult is present.

    I have does and wethers, they're equally sweet and trainable in my experience. Obviously the wethers can't reproduce, but they do make wonderful pets. They're also trainable. Get them used to hearing treats rattling around in a certain can and they'll do anything to get that food (the way to a goat's heart is straight through the stomach). Mine know to "come", "in the truck", and how to walk on a leash. I use a squirt gun to teach them to "back" (get away from whatever they're crowding), and "NO!" Goats hate getting wet.

    And yes, the babies are into everything. They'll get into the strangest predicaments you've ever seen. I actually found my 3 month doeling stuck in the barn window, 9 feet off the ground. It's been months, and I still have no idea how she got up there.
     
  18. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    Not true. Wethers make wonderful companion/pets and terrific harness or pack goats.

    Ruth
     
  19. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd also reccomend a couple of wethers, dehorned, and tested for disease. (cl is contagious to people and dogs!)

    I would not reccomend giving them run of the place. Goats chew, get into things (they're extremely curious) and find great entertainment in destroying things. They're amazingly strong and very good at finding things they can break, scratch, or damage. They'll also eat the bark off trees and climb on your car. And they bring the worst out in dogs; if allowed to run free without a fence, you may find them quickly killed by dogs.

    That said -- if you can build them a solid enclosure with a minimum 5' fence of heavy wire -- they make great pets. They're smart (smarter than any other animal that I've worked with), social, curious, animals. Mine love going on hikes and big goats can be trained to carry packs and pull carts. They're also less expensive to care for than a dog of comparable weight and don't have many health issues. You'll need to vaccinate (CDT) twice a year, worm regularly, and provide a sufficient amount of feed if there's no browse for them in your enclosure. Note that wethers should NOT have grain, ever.

    You do NOT want an unneutered buck, however. When I first got into goats, I came from a background of working with stud horses and had been around intact male dogs and all sorts of other farm animals. I assumed buck goats would be the same as other intact male animals -- that if you treated them with respect, and asserted yourself, they'd be fine. Well. Let's just say the two bucks I got were neutered within a few days ... *LOL* ... after they molested my cattle dog, gave me a bruise the size of a canteloupe on my thigh, and went over a 5' stall wall like it wasn't there until I reinforced it with electric. They're a class unto themselves. Oh, and they're just gross ... they pee on themselves and drink their own pee and they stink during the rut!

    Leva
     
  20. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    Hi I totally agree with getting Boers, they are just the sweetist goats ever. If you do decide to get Boers you could probly even get a Buck, ours does not smell anywhere near as bad as our mutt goats, and they do not get as nasty as them either, at most he makes his noises and sniffs the girls pee. Also they are the nicest goats of all,imo, because all of them let you come up to them and hang on them, my 2 year old sister goes up to our 300 pound doe and hugs her without a problem!! Our Buck is not as comfortable around humans as the does but he still comes right up to us without a problem. They really are sweet animals and like I said the bucks do not smell that bad just give them a bath once every 2 weeks if the smell is a big concern for you, and then you can have a breeder. THey are kinda on the more expensive side but once they start having babies they will make up for that and more, not to mention giving you lots of enjoyable memories.