Yet another goat question

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susanne

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We've talked about getting a goat or two for milk and simply because we like them (not to mention blackberry removal), but I worry about the need to freshen the does and finding homes for the babies if we have to do this yearly. I don't want any kids that I raise ending up on someone's dinner table...

So...how often do you freshen your goats, and do you sell the kids or what?

(I'm also trying to figure out what to do with unproductive hens when we get chickens...I'll probably let them retire peacefully. Although we enjoy eating chicken, I can't eat an animal with whom I'm on a first name basis!)
 

Jill

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Susanne --

The kind of goats I have, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, ARE a dairy breed, just smaller. Mine are wethers, so I don't really know how much milk this kind of goat can produce, but I think it must be meaningful as the people we got ours from use and sell the milk and there are other places around us that do the same (we had to buy milk to bottle feed them when they were babies).

Just thinking that if you did choos NDG does, I think 1 or 2 would give you all the milk you could really use and when they have babies, I bet they're more likely to end up as pets, boys or girls, than maybe some larger breeds.

As I understand it, the other small breed, pygmy goats, are not dairy goats but a meat "type" at least in build.

Jill
 

Shari

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susanne said:
We've talked about getting a goat or two for milk and simply because we like them (not to mention blackberry removal), but I worry about the need to freshen the does and finding homes for the babies if we have to do this yearly. I don't want any kids that I raise ending up on someone's dinner table...
So...how often do you freshen your goats, and do you sell the kids or what?

(I'm also trying to figure out what to do with unproductive hens when we get chickens...I'll probably let them retire peacefully. Although we enjoy eating chicken, I can't eat an animal with whom I'm on a first name basis!)

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Susanne,

I have raised goats, but never got around to milking them... though I did milk a couple of my sheep.

Have friends that raise and milk goats, can put you in touch with them if you like.

Also know of someone that has Saanens for sale in this area,, if they haven't sold them yet.

Yes, the Does need to be bred yearly so you can get milk. Once the kids are born you need to take them away from the Doe once they get the colostrum (spell??) and bottle feed them. The doe will have to be milked twice a day, every day and the kids need to be bottle fed. Is a lot of work. Unlike sheep and if you keep milking them, should get away with almost 9 months without them drying up. Though it depends on the goat.

As for selling the kids, buying very high quality, papered/Registered Does, and breeding to bucks of the same, you are more likely to sell them to other breeders, and homesteaders that like to milk them. That way you are less likely to have folks want to eat them.

You have to pay more money up front for this kind of stock. But it costs you the same to feed poor quality as the high quality goats.

The smaller milking breeds will be easier on your fencing and other animals. Also give you enough milk for the both of you.

The larger breeds,, more than likely you will be getting more milk than you can use. And can walk over fencing!!

I had Obers in the past, and love them dearly. But I could not find a Buck to breed them too that did not have CAE. Sigh ~ ~

If you buy goats get them from breeders that test and are clear/do not have CL or CAE. Better to be safe than have to worry.

What is CL?

http://www.goatworld.com/articles/cl/cl3.shtml

http://www.goatworld.com/articles/cl/

What is CAE?

http://www.goatworld.com/articles/cae/cae-waddl.shtml

I was looking into some small goats to help eat brush around here. But since I had someone mess with my fence yet again, I get to wait.


Am pretty sure the Co-op that I use to get 1/4 beefs, does sell goat milk. I could ask if you are interested. Just let me know.


Added** What ever you do, don't keep a Buck on your place. Because no matter what, you milk will smell and taste like the buck, even if he doesn't touch the does!!
 
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Jacquee'

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I used to raise milk goats and at one time was milking 12 by hand, twice a day. They need to be freshened every year in most cases, although we had some exceptional girls that would go over a year in production.

Our doe kids were either replacement milkers or we sold them as milkers to others. The buck kids........ got wethered and put in the "freezer pen". We did not name them. We saw them as a precious gift of highly nutritious food. We were not at all rich (still aren't) and just could not afford to keep more and more and more unproductive pets.

I guess I would look at this the way many look at breeding horses. If you are not able to keep the kids, and are not certain you can sell them (and who can be, nowadays) then you probably should not breed. Perhaps there is a dairy nearby where you can buy goat milk, instead? It really is wonderful stuff, and very good for you. As far as the blackberry brambles, perhaps a couple of llamas could help you out there. Ours are trained to ropes, and we can safely tie them out on stakes to graze down weeds and brush. You can't milk them but you can pack them, or teach them to pull a cart.
 

susanne

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Susanne,I did not scare you off did I???
Nah...I don't scare easily! Regarding goats, I have to ponder everything I do for an unbelievably long time before I can do anything about it...pretty goofy...

(I've been under the weather the last couple of days, so I'm not as quick at responding as usual.
 

Shari

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Glad I did not scare you off.


Sorry you are not feeling well. Get better soon!!!
 

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