We MAY get a goat......have questions.

Discussion in 'Goats' started by New Mexican, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. New Mexican

    New Mexican Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    454
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Well, DH just mentioned that he would like a goat to, at least, help clean up the back yard.

    We live on an acre but this newcomer would have the back 1/3 acre. We have hens which go back there too. Would that be a problem? We also have kitties who run back there as well.

    As a never-before goat owner, what would we need to know? Feed? Care? Precautions? Can you train them like a dog? Are they ok alone or do they need a mate? Are they destructive? Will we regret this or love this?

    We are animal lovers.......no kids, but doggies, kitties and hens.

    Help!!! Even website links would be appreciated but to me, down home straight-from-the-owner's-mouth advice is best!!
     
  2. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ar
    ok , wow, theres so much for you to learn ......
    1st, goats are herd animals , unless you want a true escape artist , get 2
    provided they are bottle raised they will follow you like a dog!!!!
    wethers need no grain , but why not get a couple of good dairy goats, that way you got milk and weedeating
    dont expect the goats to "mow" the field,goats gbrowse and trim , but not MOW
    for that, you need sheep , and IMHO sheep like to die , so its not worth the trouble
    a bred doe needs about 1/2 lb of grain a day , mainly for training for the milk stand , in the last month feed 1 lb daily, on the milk stand
    then you have kids , you can sell the kids right off the dam , or youcan bottle raise them with pastureized milk , a bit more work but oh so worth it, read everything you can on goats and remember jerry belangers book is good , as is gail demerow,
    story publishings goat books are good,
    Carla Emery's enc. of country living has a great section on basic goat care .

    and the only true Caveat i have to the potential goat owner is this
    , goats are like tattoos, you cant have just one, and you either love them or hate them.
     

  3. New Mexican

    New Mexican Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    454
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Hmmmmmmmmmm..so one goat and one sheep.is that ok? How much do they generally cost? How much i grain?

    We have chain link fencing.is that sufficient? Would they either bother or BE bothered by the cats and hens?
     
  4. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ar
    http://www.goatconnection.com/usda_market.htm
    http://www.caprinesupply.com
    http://hambydairysupply.com
    www.goatworld.com
    http://www.adga.org/index.shtml
    http://www.dairygoatjournal.com/


    just do a google on "dairy goat"
    or "Boer goat" for meat type goats
    this should help you out,
    of course the stickys on this board will give you lots of info , so will some of the other new to goats thread, just page through and read read read, then check the net and feed stores for goat people/shows in your area, if you havent fallen in love by then , well, perhaps goats arent for you . otherwise the first time your baby blues see them square eyed golden goat peepers and hear that "Maaaaaa" youre gonna be hooked!
     
  5. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ar
    they wont bother the cats or the chickens
    chain link is the ideal goat fence
    i cant help you with sheep , i know nothing about them , any animal that will die as easy as a sheep isnt for me .
     
  6. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    N.Ar
    price dependso n what you get, a wether dairy goat kid can be as little as 10-15.00 or up to 200, depending on if youre gonna show him or pack with him , etc, generally speaking expect to pay at least 100-150 for an decent grade dairy doe , and a good regiseterd doe, bred wiht papers 300- 500.00 wouldnt be out of line
     
  7. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,312
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    SE Indiana


    You do not want to keep sheep & goats together because their nutritional needs are different. Goats need copper. If you feed the right amount of copper to them in a mineral form, it will kill your sheep because they do not need as much copper.
     
  8. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,019
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    Yep...copper will flat out kill sheep, they cannot process it and it builds up toxic levels. But on the other hand we still keep our goat in a pasture with our sheep. We offer the goat minerals with copper when we milk her.. have a little dish and she always nibbles some as we bring her in for milking . Katahdins are supposed to be a pretty hardy sheep.. they don't need shearing. If you get an ewe lamb you can get her bred and send the lambs off to freezer camp when the time comes if that's your fancy. We have a Lamancha milker (our 1st milk goat) and are so far very happy with her.
     
  9. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,832
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Location:
    Washington
    My sheep and goats get along together just fine. Each critter gets a little bit of grain as a treat - I just make sure the goat's grain has copper added to it. Chain link fencing will work fine. Just make sure there aren't any gaps at the bottom of the fence for the goat to worm through.

    Goats and sheep get along just fine with cats and chickens, at least in my experience. Actually, one of my sheep has decided that the barn cat is his best friend - they sleep cuddled up together.

    And yes, goats can be taught simple commands. They don't obey as well as dogs do, but they also don't have the absolute need to please you that dogs do. My guys follow me around and rub against me and give me kisses.

    Sheep are very sweet, too. They don't rub the way goats do, but I do get sheep kisses and they like to cuddle in (if I'm sitting down, they'll be in my lap). Sheep really don't learn commands, and mine don't answer to their names. If you get the goat trained to follow you around and obey you, the sheep will follow and mimic the goat. At least that's the way it works for me.
     
  10. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,019
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    :haha: it is funny to see the sheep all following in a row when I go out in the mornings to call the goat in for milking.
     
  11. Milking Mom

    Milking Mom COTTON EYED DOES

    Messages:
    425
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    Goats do get into things. Actually anything they can get into they will. They are notorious for opening gates. If you have your cars parked back there they will be jumping on them and playing king of the hilll. They like to climb on all kinds of stuff. I agree. If you want them back there for controlling weeds, they only browse around like deer, then you would be better off having dairy goats. At least you can get some milk for your feed you will be putting into them. Then you can make some cheese and goat milk soap, but that's a whole ...nother story.... :D
     
  12. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

    Messages:
    2,479
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Lynnwood, Washington
    I had goats and a sheep and they got on well. Sheep graze grass much more reliably than goats do. Goats will eat the taller weeds The will also eat any bark you have on any tree trunks in their area, so protect any trees you want to keep with a couple wraps of 6-foot-tall chicken wire, fastened so they can't step on it and drag it to earth exposing the bark. For actual grass control, you might consider a miniature donkey, which could also offer some protection for your goats.

    Just so you know, DO NOT underestimate the importance of copper in a goat's diet. They use a lot more copper than many other animals, and a lack of copper can cause a whole rash of problems that you would never connect with copper. Here's a great site with lot's of good information: http://www.saanendoah.com/copper1.html .
     
  13. seahealth

    seahealth Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Location:
    GA
    this is a great thread! I am also recently fascinated with goats myself, so I have found this information very useful.

    everyone here is SO friendly! :)