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Old 10-26-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
3lilbubs
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Why goats?

I know a few mamas here have them, give me the positive and negatives of owning them. Dh is really pushing for one but I'm hesitant. I'm not sure I really like goats. I'm not fond of milk to begin with (cow) so goat milk sounds even less appealing. Thoughts?

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Old 10-26-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
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Re: Why goats?

they take up less space then cows=)

really im not sure. I prefer bovine buuuuuut to grass feed bovine you need some space and some people just don't have it. They are also less expensive to buy to begin with then most cattle. I am also not a big milk person but OMG love goat cheese!
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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Re: Why goats?

They really do grow on you, I was ready to turn Cocoa into goat burger 2 weeks ago a few days after I got my goats. She's still a pill on the milkstand but better. I plan to sell any doelings and send any bucklings to freezer camp after they are weaned. I guess even the small goats dress out with a high percentage of meat, so even a 50 pound goat will feed a family for a while (depending on how much meat your family goes through)

If you garden, goat berries make perfect fertilizer. But they make lots of goat berries so you want somewhere to keep them so that the goat berries are contained. They will disintegrate into the grass and fertilize it. And they prefer weeds over grass so you will have a fantastic lawn.

Mine are currently housed in our fenced back yard and pooping on the deck, this is going to change ASAP. I wasn't planning on goats this winter but the ones I got fell into my lap.

They are playful and fun to watch. The doeling I have goes down my kids' slide, it's hilarious. They also like to play follow the leader and will run after me around the yard.

The biggest con I can think of for you is that dairy animals are the most intimate of human/animal relationships. You will be milking 1-2 times a day every day for around 10 months, maybe more. If you don't want to spend that much time with a goat, they aren't for you.

I do find milking relaxing though.

Another cons is that chicken food can kill them, so if you have chickens you have to be careful because goats LOOOOOVE food.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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Re: Why goats?

Well I do have a lot of chickens and I have decided to get a few turkeys next year as well so that could be a real problem. Wow, milking twice a day, I've never heard that. That could be a problem with 4 kids and everything else I need to take care of plus we'd never be able to take real vacations again. Hm. I think for now I'll buy a carton of goat milk from the grocery to see if we even like it to start with. As I'll be primarily responsible for it (and I'm not so hot on the idea to begin with) it's going to take quite a family commitment to have one. I think this is one thing dh is going to have to wait on for sure. Thanks mamas.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: Why goats?

Grocery store goat milk doesn't compare to fresh milk as the store stuff is handled excessively and shook in the process which seems to bring out a "goaty" flavor. A good rule of thumb is to actually try milk from the animal you are buying.

I have Nigerians and they have a higher butterfat content in their milk, so breed does play a part in flavor but it's comparable to whole cow milk mixed with half and half.

If your husband really wants goats perhaps a milking machine would be a worthwhile investment. I made a system like the Henry Milker so that my husband, kids, or a neighbor can easily do the milking from time to time. My oldest is 4 and my goat is fidgety but she can do it with supervision.

You don't HAVE to milk twice a day, but it is considered best practice. I only milk in the morning after mama and the kid have been separated, but will probably go to twice after she is weaned.

I plan to time her next breeding so that she will have young kids on her during vacation time because then I can just leave them with her when we go on a vacation and only need to worry about having someone feed the animals.

Chicken food can cause bloat if the goats get enough of it. As long as the chicken feed is in an area the goats can't get to, it should be fine. I plan to get some chickens next year.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:09 PM   #6
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Re: Why goats?

They are so affectionate - we had about 8 goats here not long ago, and even though we found out we have a couple dairy allergies in the family (we initially had them for dairy to have milk, make cheese, etc), we still kept a few - we have 2 does & a buck now, hopefully they are preggo I'm not sure what your reasons are for considering getting any, so I can't say for sure it would be good for you or not, but they are great as pets, do well clearing out areas they can browse, are great for dairy or meat (we have eaten some of our goats & they taste very much like lamb, only less fatty), are good for keeping with cows and or horses, and I just plain think they are fun!

But just a word of caution - DO NOT GET ONLY ONE. Goats need companionship. If you get a single goat, you'll likely have issues, especially with it getting out. If you have a companion for it & access to food, they will stay put better. Also make sure you have good fencing for them & they need to be able to get out of the wind.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:12 PM   #7
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Re: Why goats?

And ftr, milking twice a day isn't needed. It's gonna mean you get less milk, but you can do it once. The people that bought our lactating does from us have something like a dozen foster kids, homeschools and a million other things I wish I could do too! lol & she milks once a day only.

And we have other animals here too - chickens, pigs, cats, lgd... it's never been a problem with the food issue.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:21 PM   #8
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Re: Why goats?

I don't milk a goat, but I do milk a cow. I generally keep one or two calves on my cow at any given time to help me milk her. It cuts down on milking time drastically. When I have good sized calves, I don't have to milk in the evenings at all which is nice. You could just keep a kid on her to cut down your milking time. I'm not sure how long it takes to milk a goat out, but skipping the evening milking adds gives me a ton more freedom. We just took our big calves to the sale and I'm starting all over with two itty bitty calves, so I'm back to hand millking 4+ gallons a day. I'll be honest, it is time consuming. However, I'm stock piling my freezer with butter!
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:00 AM   #9
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Re: Why goats?

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Originally Posted by dublinup View Post
I'll be honest, it is time consuming. However, I'm stock piling my freezer with butter!
hehe! Me too! I figure why not stock up making butter while the grass is still somewhat green (well, we see when the sun comes up). DH will put one of our jersey's calves on her if he is too wiped to milk in the evening as well. I'd love the milk from the evening too (for cheeses/butter), but understand his tiredness (keep trying to use that as my way to get into milking, but he is not budging!).

No suggestions on goats. Dh doesn't like them (and yet we raise sheep ). My sister has 2 and they are pretty cute.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:24 AM   #10
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Re: Why goats?

I loved my goats, unfortunatly ODD was allergic to them. They do not take up much space, they're a hoot to watch and they're not as much time as you'd think (once you get the routeine down) Milking a qt didn't take more than 5mins of actual milking (and this was on a dwarf). I did milk twice a day at 7a and 7p. My only issue was that I didn't have ANYONE who could take over milking if I was sick or if we went on vaca or something. Mom said she'd feed them but milking was out of the question. I 'was' going to train ODD so she could handle that if I was sick, but she was severely allergic (honestly even though it's HIGHLy unlikely I'm hoping it was a breed specific allergy, in the spring I'm going to torture the poor child by taking her around nubians and cows and see if she reacts, it's not anaphylaxis or anything just severly red and itchy eyes, blothyness and itching all over, a dose of benadryl clears her up pretty quickly).

I miss my goats and I only had them a few weeks. Milking was a relaxing chore and it forced me to get up, get moving and outside long before normal and it was great. (I need a good hour or two before I'm capable of anything in the a.m. so I'd get up around 5:30, have my internet time with my decaf coffee and breakfast before going out to tend goats and chickens, as it stands now, I get up at 6 because of school but still don't tend the chickens till 8 or 9 )

I may get a cow in the spring if ODD is allergic to all goats and not cows. But 2 of my kids can't have cows milk
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