WHY do you raise goats?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Deborah Stephenson, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Deborah Stephenson

    Deborah Stephenson Well-Known Member

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    I keep wondering if we're the only ones. Does anyone here raise goats just because they love goats (like dogs or cats) - with no intention of selling for meat or milk or to breed kids? Our 13 are pets. Anyone else have pet goats or is that just plain weird?! :shrug:
     
  2. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

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    I'm not saying your weird, but I originally got ONE doeling goat because my daughter and I have a mild lactose intolerance. Within 2 years or so, we were well over 50.... just love goats, but raise them for milk if that makes sense.

    Kaza
     

  3. rranch

    rranch Well-Known Member

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    when I bought my first 2, my husband said "What do you need goats for?" Now I'm up to 16 and HIS goatie is getting close to kidding:) We show them, breed them, but most of all love them.
     
  4. Va. goatman

    Va. goatman Well-Known Member

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    Your not weird Goats are just fun to watch WE keep 15 to 30 we got 2 about 8 years ago were just gonna let them clear the brush and then get cows but now land is grass and goats are still here when I bought this place it had run down had about 25 acers of wild rose + small trees goats are better than a brush hog
     
  5. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    Though I do breed and sell, I'd keep goats for pets as that's why I first acquired them. And that remains my number one reason for having them. They give me so much just by their company.
     
  6. Sweet Goats

    Sweet Goats Cashmere goats

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    We started in goats becasue we wanted to do something in 4H. My daughter could never sell one to be butchered, or any animal. The horse project here is so political, "more then livestock which is really hard to believe", so we looked into goats. We looked at al the different goats. Market, NO way, could not sell to be eaten, dairy, LOVED neubians, but more work then we really wanted, "the milking", pygmy, well they are really really cute, but what can you get out of them, and then we looked at fiber. OK, you don't butcher "you can but we don't", and they produce something we can sell or use. That is how we chose goats, and I am SSOOO glad we did. Now Pygmy people, please don't get mad, I love the pygmy's we have several friends that have them, we just wanted to do a goat that we could get something from. Really, how can you not LOVE all goats?
     
  7. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

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    To care for goats properly takes money. To keep that many for pets wouldn't be in the budget around here. We need some kind of return, even if its just milk and meat for home use. Even through 4H, we've received some benefit, not all monetary.
     
  8. Deborah Stephenson

    Deborah Stephenson Well-Known Member

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    Oh good! It's not just us then - I was beginning to wonder...

    We only got into goats because my sister - who is not really good with animals - had acquired 2 from a neighbor who moved. Then one of them died (probably from neglect, knowing my sister!) so the remaining goat was all alone and very unhappy. I felt so sorry for that poor goat. She had no shelter and spent most of her time chained out to a tree (where, of course she immediately wrapped herself around until she couldn't move and someone would have to untangle her). Finally, I told my sister if she wasn't going to take proper care of the poor creature she should let me have her. She agreed so quickly, that in retrospect I'm thinking it was all an act just to get me to take her in the first place!

    Well, of course we couldn't let her be all alone, so when a fella down the road told us he was selling one of his doelings - a beautiful brown and black Nubian, we said we would take her. Then a few months later he told us he was going to take one of his old does - a good breeder, but getting worn out (!!!) out and shoot her so he could "make room" for some new blood in his herd. He put it to us more or less like this... "If you don't take her and her kids, I am going to shoot all of them, so its on your head..." We thought he was kidding, but decided not to chance it and took all three.

    Okay, that put us up to 5 goats - which was still fairly manageable. UNTIL... we found out that a 4 month old buck is perfectly capable of inseminating an adult doe!!! A few months later (and one castration) we found our herd had increased by 6 new kids!

    I could keep on with this story, but you get the idea. From none to 15, and now back down to 13 - we still have 13 goats more than we ever intended to have.

    We should never have allowed ourselves to get into this position since we knew from the outset that we would never eat them (we're vegetarians - and animal rights activists) and though we both love goat's milk (I was raised on it because I couldn't tolerate cow's milk as a child) we didn't want to breed them because we couldn't bring ourselves to sell off the kids (knowing they might be going to slaughter). So they have been pets. They are good brush eaters, of course, but we don't have our 75 acre property fenced, so we have to play shepherd every day for 2 hours while they browse. The rest of the time, they have an enclosed area - about 1 acre - that we keep them in (with hay and a daily grain ration).

    We love them dearly, but they are eating us out of house and home (have you looked at the price of hay lately!!!) and take up more time than we really have to spare (gotta make a living). We would love to find a home for them - if someone would take them all together and promise not to ever butcher or sell them, but that is not likely to happen.

    (Well actually a local vet agreed to do just that - he has 300 acres and already has other goats and a few cows - but... He simply takes the animals, gives them shots and worms them, then more or less dumps them in the middle of the 300 acres and leaves for a year! He even told us outright that there would be no one there to look after them except to occassionally throw out a few bales of hay in winter when conditions were cold and forage unavailable. He said there was an old barn they could get into if they wanted to, and automatic waterers, but that they would not be looked at on a regular basis. Basically they would live wild, and if one got caught in a fence or attacked by coyotes, well, that would be that. Can you believe it?! A vet was telling us this! We declined the offer.)

    Okay, didn't mean to ramble! Sorry! :eek:
     
  9. gryndlgoat

    gryndlgoat Well-Known Member

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    We do breed because we love the milk. And we do sell/eat kids because our pasture is too small to support more than 5 goats. Winter feed is another issue- too expensive to feed a large herd and not enough barn space for more than we have now. So our herd size is five adult goats and as many kids as they produce each year, but the kids only stay until they are weaned.

    But yes, I couldn't imagine being without goats. No matter how bad a day you might be having, all it takes is one glance over to the pasture to make your day better. And nothing beats that "Meh, bleh, blaaaaa" good morning to get your day started!
     
  10. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    I LOVE goats; smart, funny, and a great place to spend my money instead of putting it in a retirement fund or a responsible savings plan. I also need to keep my veterinarian's office in business, which this year I'm doing a great job with.
     
  11. nubiannana

    nubiannana Willow Pond Farm

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    I just love goats! I think goats are the sweetest animal there is. I do use the milk and will probably sell some kids along the way, but for the most part, mine are just for pets and entertainment. I raise purebred nubians for 4H shows, etc. But, I couldn't just stop at that! I also have Lamachas, saanens and Alpines. I just love goats! They are my babies! :happy:
     
  12. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    They're an addiction.

    Ruth
     
  13. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Why do I raise goats? Why would I not? With as much or more personality as a good dog, a goat makes a great pet. I was attracted to the idea of having a milk goat for independence, and brush goats to eat down the scrub in my woods and pastures, but once I became acquainted with our first goats, I fell in love with the species!

    We've had goats off and on for about 15 years, most recently for the past 5-6 years here. My dd shows them in 4-H, and we are branching out into open shows and really raising fine quality stock now. We have LaManchas, Alpines, and Oberhaslis, with the odd Nubian (our first doeling we bought after moving here), Nigerian Dwarf, and Pygmy.

    I had major cow's milk problems until I started drinking goat's milk...now I can even eat cow's milk cheese and ice cream again, which I couldn't for years. I don't know that it is from the goat's milk, but I don't know if it's not, either.

    I do keep goats for brush control, milk, show, kids, and the benefits of having dd in 4-H, but even if I didn't keep them for that, I would probably still have a couple goats around, just because.
     
  14. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Nope, you're not the only one. We've got only 12 goats. Had these 12 for 2 1/2 years. Never had any intention of breeding, milking or eating them.

    Their only "real" job is to control the brush on 70 acres (a lot of it is woods). They have done an unbelievable job of this. Actually we have put so much money into these goats, and time building stuff for them, we could have probably hired a crew of humans with heavy equipment to come in and clear the place every year. :)

    But even after 2 1/2 years the goats still make me laugh every day. I can't think of any other hobby that would be so much fun, or one that would keep you on your toes so much (trying to outsmart them). Needless to say they are spoiled.
     
  15. lyceum

    lyceum Well-Known Member

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    We raise goats for milk and meat, as well as some show. We started out showing a lot but them realized it was more work than what we had time for. So, now milk and meat. My brother can't see why people raise goats just for show. They are for milk, meat and fiber. We know a lot of people that show very seriously that throw the milk out and think that it is gross that we drink it. I love goat milk, goat cheese, etc. We butcher our dairy boys for meat and it is great too. We are planning on getting some boers for meat and for selling for meat too. We live near Purdue University, which has a large international population. We have had a lot of people ask if we have goats to sell for meat and could make a good profit on it.

    Lyceum