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10/15/2021 7:52:46 PM
Posted: 8/13/2015 6:09:19 PM EDT
I've been surprised by how popular they are around here, and if I get one of the mini or pygmy breeds I have more than enough room for a couple of them. Anything I need to know going in, or stuff I should do to prepare? I'm considering an older Nigerian Dwarf that is already trained to the milk stand.
Link Posted: 8/13/2015 6:44:49 PM EDT
Not yet but want.
Link Posted: 8/13/2015 8:37:36 PM EDT
we just got some pygmy goats and my wife is going to make soaps with the goats milk. I want to try cheese.

We only have 6 (3 were just born). So far 1 male , 2 females, and 3 new females. Male goat is by himself as we were told that his scent could spoil the milk.
Link Posted: 8/13/2015 9:23:49 PM EDT
I haven't but I've read this thread called The Goat Chronicles.

http://www.thementalmilitia.com/forums/index.php?topic=16073.0



Link Posted: 8/14/2015 12:26:40 AM EDT
Just know that you can own goats, but you don't keep them, at least you don't keep them in your pasture. They can and will climb out of all but the best fences.



Plus, goat milk is nasty, and I tried so hard to like it.




I went with a dexter cow instead.
Link Posted: 8/18/2015 2:38:38 PM EDT
We had dairy goats for a number of years.  Our Alpines were the best producers - one of 'em produce 3-5 quarts a day.  We had Nigerians but didn't milk them b/c it was a PITA.  They are too short (IOW access is a challenge) and don't produce much milk.  If you do want to go w/ Nigerians, build a milking stand that drops your milking bucket lower than the surface the goat is standing on, otherwise, you'll have not room.

The taste of goats milk is totally subjective.  I personally can't drink cow's milk straight from the cow - I get horrendous stomach cramps if I do.  I can, however, drink goats milk straight from the goat w/ no problems.  Goat's milk has  a lot less fat than cow's milk.

Link Posted: 8/18/2015 3:04:55 PM EDT
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We had dairy goats for a number of years.  Our Alpines were the best producers - one of 'em produce 3-5 quarts a day.  We had Nigerians but didn't milk them b/c it was a PITA.  They are too short (IOW access is a challenge) and don't produce much milk.  If you do want to go w/ Nigerians, build a milking stand that drops your milking bucket lower than the surface the goat is standing on, otherwise, you'll have not room.

The taste of goats milk is totally subjective.  I personally can't drink cow's milk straight from the cow - I get horrendous stomach cramps if I do.  I can, however, drink goats milk straight from the goat w/ no problems.  Goat's milk has  a lot less fat than cow's milk.

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Less FAT?
That's bad news the fats the best part.
I want butter and cheese but I don't have a clue what that's going to take.

Link Posted: 8/19/2015 9:10:43 PM EDT
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Not yet but want.
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Curiously enough, I do but don't want!
About a dozen Nubians.
Link Posted: 8/20/2015 2:55:05 PM EDT
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Quoted:

Less FAT?
That's bad news the fats the best part.
I want butter and cheese but I don't have a clue what that's going to take.

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Quoted:
Quoted:
We had dairy goats for a number of years.  Our Alpines were the best producers - one of 'em produce 3-5 quarts a day.  We had Nigerians but didn't milk them b/c it was a PITA.  They are too short (IOW access is a challenge) and don't produce much milk.  If you do want to go w/ Nigerians, build a milking stand that drops your milking bucket lower than the surface the goat is standing on, otherwise, you'll have not room.

The taste of goats milk is totally subjective.  I personally can't drink cow's milk straight from the cow - I get horrendous stomach cramps if I do.  I can, however, drink goats milk straight from the goat w/ no problems.  Goat's milk has  a lot less fat than cow's milk.


Less FAT?
That's bad news the fats the best part.
I want butter and cheese but I don't have a clue what that's going to take.


You can make cheese from goats milk and it's quite good, just takes a whole lot more milk.  I'd be surprised if you can do butter.    Also, certain breeds produce fattier milk, I don't recall which, my wife is the goat expert in the family.  I just occasionally learn stuff when I do randomly listen to her.
Link Posted: 8/20/2015 3:16:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/20/2015 4:49:52 PM EDT
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You can make cheese from goats milk and it's quite good, just takes a whole lot more milk.  I'd be surprised if you can do butter.    Also, certain breeds produce fattier milk, I don't recall which, my wife is the goat expert in the family.  I just occasionally learn stuff when I do randomly listen to her.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
We had dairy goats for a number of years.  Our Alpines were the best producers - one of 'em produce 3-5 quarts a day.  We had Nigerians but didn't milk them b/c it was a PITA.  They are too short (IOW access is a challenge) and don't produce much milk.  If you do want to go w/ Nigerians, build a milking stand that drops your milking bucket lower than the surface the goat is standing on, otherwise, you'll have not room.

The taste of goats milk is totally subjective.  I personally can't drink cow's milk straight from the cow - I get horrendous stomach cramps if I do.  I can, however, drink goats milk straight from the goat w/ no problems.  Goat's milk has  a lot less fat than cow's milk.


Less FAT?
That's bad news the fats the best part.
I want butter and cheese but I don't have a clue what that's going to take.


You can make cheese from goats milk and it's quite good, just takes a whole lot more milk.  I'd be surprised if you can do butter.    Also, certain breeds produce fattier milk, I don't recall which, my wife is the goat expert in the family.  I just occasionally learn stuff when I do randomly listen to her.

Wife picks up goat butter at the store and its pretty good.
Link Posted: 8/21/2015 1:00:35 AM EDT
Wife is the goat person in my house, I don't care for them too much but I will say our milk from our goat is sweet and tastes excellent!   Store bought goat milk was nasty, we couldn't finish it
Link Posted: 8/21/2015 4:19:59 PM EDT
I'll have to check out the goat milk butter.  It must take a lot of milk to make.
Link Posted: 8/23/2015 8:53:49 AM EDT
We had nubian and alpine goats.  We let them free range during the day and enjoyed their milk unless they found a patch of onions.

They can be a lot of fun but they can also be destructive...  I remember when an uncle of ours came to visit for a few days.  The goats knocked off almost all of the chrome trim on his aspen wagon while playing king of the hill

Once the kids are weaned there is a firm time commitment because someone "has" to be home to milk them twice a day.  If you're late, they'll let you know.

Goats are very hardy but if you get a chance look up mastitis and be prepared to recognize the symptoms.
Link Posted: 8/23/2015 2:02:01 PM EDT
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Wife is the goat person in my house, I don't care for them too much but I will say our milk from our goat is sweet and tastes excellent!   Store bought goat milk was nasty, we couldn't finish it
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What breed of goat do you have and what are you feeding it I cant imagine good tasting goat milk.
Link Posted: 8/23/2015 11:35:06 PM EDT
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What breed of goat do you have and what are you feeding it I cant imagine good tasting goat milk.
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Wife is the goat person in my house, I don't care for them too much but I will say our milk from our goat is sweet and tastes excellent!   Store bought goat milk was nasty, we couldn't finish it

What breed of goat do you have and what are you feeding it I cant imagine good tasting goat milk.




A lot of bad tasting goat's milk comes from keeping the bucks with the does.  The bucks STINK and somehow it affects the flavor of the milk.  I have no idea how it does...but it does.
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 8:07:06 AM EDT
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A lot of bad tasting goat's milk comes from keeping the bucks with the does.  The bucks STINK and somehow it affects the flavor of the milk.  I have no idea how it does...but it does.
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THIS! I've given goat's milk to folks who HATE goats milk and they never noticed.
We take our does TO a buck to be bred every fall.
Does stunk for a week when they got home.

Last year, we borrowed a buck and brought him here.
Whole place reeked for a week after he was gone, including does.

Another big thing is PROPER milk care. We milk, filter and it goes STRAIGHT into ice water bath to cool.
Makes a big difference!
Link Posted: 8/24/2015 11:46:31 AM EDT
Nigerian dwarf currently but we also had saanen. They were on hay and alfalfa last time I had their milk. They now free range, I haven't tried the milk lately but I will report back when I do.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 11:12:54 AM EDT
I have two nigerian dwarf goats, three soon.  They are not currently producing but we hope to breed them next year.  Should be interesting.  
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 3:58:12 PM EDT
My wife just finished a week of milking for our next door neighbor who was on vacation for the week.  We used this as a test for if we wanted goats ourselves for milk, as this is something we have seriously considered recently.

She had to milk 1 nubian, it gave about a quart a day, but the damn kids (May birth) are still with her so they get a lot of it during the day, reducing the evening quantity.  I remember goats' milk being freaking disgusting as a kid.  This stuff, in terms of taste: store bought cows milk < fresh goats' milk < fresh cows' milk.  She made some mozzarella cheese from it but that tasted too goaty.  I would be afraid of the same thing with butter.  Fresh is awesome though; just had some homemade cherry pie with a big glass of goat's milk for dessert last night.

All-in-all, we concluded it's not worth the 30 minute commitment twice a freaking day to milk the goat for the quantity you get.  We will revisit the issue in a couple years when the kids are old enough to do the chore independent of heavy observation/assistance.

Quoted:
Quoted:




A lot of bad tasting goat's milk comes from keeping the bucks with the does.  The bucks STINK and somehow it affects the flavor of the milk.  I have no idea how it does...but it does.
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THIS! I've given goat's milk to folks who HATE goats milk and they never noticed.
We take our does TO a buck to be bred every fall.
Does stunk for a week when they got home.

Last year, we borrowed a buck and brought him here.
Whole place reeked for a week after he was gone, including does.

Another big thing is PROPER milk care. We milk, filter and it goes STRAIGHT into ice water bath to cool.
Makes a big difference!
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Interesting.  Our neighbor does not have a male goat on the property.  These guys could be on to something.
Link Posted: 8/25/2015 4:19:56 PM EDT
So how far away does the male need to be?
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 8:57:54 AM EDT
We have dairy goats, Lamanchas to be exact.









Their milk has a higher milk fat content than other breeds, which is appealing to those wanting to make cheeses, butter, etc.






Our buck was in the same "pasture" as our does. We've had goaty tasting milk many times, even before we had a buck.






From what we've found, the goaty taste comes from how the milk is handled and processed, more than having a buck in the same area.






The faster you can get it cold, the better it will taste. Many times, our milk is so good you could not tell that it wasn't cow's milk.






It's all about getting it cold, FAST. My wife puts our miking bucket in the freezer to help in the process.






Also, milking a goat takes very little time. Our best doe produces over a gallon a day during peek production, while out other doe produces about 1/2 - 3/4. My wife can have them both milked in about 20 minutes.






While I do like the goats, if you want milk, get a cow. They produce so much more milk, and you get a MUCH higher milk fat content. Our friends sold off all their goats and got a couple cows, and they can't stop bragging about the butter they've been making.






We've made butter a few times using the canning jar method (skim the cream for a couple days, then shake up the jar until it starts to form butter), and it was delicious. However, that took forever for maybe a half a stick of butter, which was gone in an instant.






If anyone has questions, I'll gladly answer them to the best of my abilities. Meaning, I'll be asking my wife, LOL.

















 
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 10:31:10 AM EDT
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We have dairy goats, Lamanchas to be exact.

Their milk has a higher milk fat content than other breeds, which is appealing to those wanting to make cheeses, butter, etc.


Our buck was in the same "pasture" as our does. We've had goaty tasting milk many times, even before we had a buck.


From what we've found, the goaty taste comes from how the milk is handled and processed, more than having a buck in the same area.


The faster you can get it cold, the better it will taste. Many times, our milk is so good you could not tell that it wasn't cow's milk.


It's all about getting it cold, FAST. My wife puts our miking bucket in the freezer to help in the process.


Also, milking a goat takes very little time. Our best doe produces over a gallon a day during peek production, while out other doe produces about 1/2 - 3/4. My wife can have them both milked in about 20 minutes.


While I do like the goats, if you want milk, get a cow. They produce so much more milk, and you get a MUCH higher milk fat content. Our friends sold off all their goats and got a couple cows, and they can't stop bragging about the butter they've been making.


We've made butter a few times using the canning jar method (skim the cream for a couple days, then shake up the jar until it starts to form butter), and it was delicious. However, that took forever for maybe a half a stick of butter, which was gone in an instant.


If anyone has questions, I'll gladly answer them to the best of my abilities. Meaning, I'll be asking my wife, LOL.




 
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So why do you guys have goats over a cow?  What's the benefit?
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 12:34:20 PM EDT
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Quoted:
We have dairy goats, Lamanchas to be exact.

Their milk has a higher milk fat content than other breeds, which is appealing to those wanting to make cheeses, butter, etc.


Our buck was in the same "pasture" as our does. We've had goaty tasting milk many times, even before we had a buck.


From what we've found, the goaty taste comes from how the milk is handled and processed, more than having a buck in the same area.


The faster you can get it cold, the better it will taste. Many times, our milk is so good you could not tell that it wasn't cow's milk.


It's all about getting it cold, FAST. My wife puts our miking bucket in the freezer to help in the process.


Also, milking a goat takes very little time. Our best doe produces over a gallon a day during peek production, while out other doe produces about 1/2 - 3/4. My wife can have them both milked in about 20 minutes.


While I do like the goats, if you want milk, get a cow. They produce so much more milk, and you get a MUCH higher milk fat content. Our friends sold off all their goats and got a couple cows, and they can't stop bragging about the butter they've been making.


We've made butter a few times using the canning jar method (skim the cream for a couple days, then shake up the jar until it starts to form butter), and it was delicious. However, that took forever for maybe a half a stick of butter, which was gone in an instant.


If anyone has questions, I'll gladly answer them to the best of my abilities. Meaning, I'll be asking my wife, LOL.




 
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I wish I had the room for a cow.
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 10:07:06 PM EDT

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I wish I had the room for a cow.
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Quoted:

We have dairy goats, Lamanchas to be exact.



Their milk has a higher milk fat content than other breeds, which is appealing to those wanting to make cheeses, butter, etc.





Our buck was in the same "pasture" as our does. We've had goaty tasting milk many times, even before we had a buck.





From what we've found, the goaty taste comes from how the milk is handled and processed, more than having a buck in the same area.





The faster you can get it cold, the better it will taste. Many times, our milk is so good you could not tell that it wasn't cow's milk.





It's all about getting it cold, FAST. My wife puts our miking bucket in the freezer to help in the process.





Also, milking a goat takes very little time. Our best doe produces over a gallon a day during peek production, while out other doe produces about 1/2 - 3/4. My wife can have them both milked in about 20 minutes.





While I do like the goats, if you want milk, get a cow. They produce so much more milk, and you get a MUCH higher milk fat content. Our friends sold off all their goats and got a couple cows, and they can't stop bragging about the butter they've been making.





We've made butter a few times using the canning jar method (skim the cream for a couple days, then shake up the jar until it starts to form butter), and it was delicious. However, that took forever for maybe a half a stick of butter, which was gone in an instant.





If anyone has questions, I'll gladly answer them to the best of my abilities. Meaning, I'll be asking my wife, LOL.
 




I wish I had the room for a cow.




 
This. We don't have the room. We had a cow at one time that we bottle raised. We don't have quite 1.5 acres, and when she got up to about 500 pounds, she would destroy the yard / "pasture" if there was just a slight drizzle.



Goats on the other hand are not bad at all, don't eat a ton of hay, and they are easier on the ground. So, goats it is... for now.




We are looking at land, and once we find the perfect place, we'll be adding some cattle, etc.






Link Posted: 8/28/2015 4:37:19 AM EDT
Another advantage to goats is if you need to clean up brush.  They eat what we often consider weeds.  They will also eat low hanging branches' leaves.  If you pen goats up in some woods, they will clear the undergrowth given enough time.
Link Posted: 8/28/2015 9:45:45 AM EDT

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Another advantage to goats is if you need to clean up brush.  They eat what we often consider weeds.  They will also eat low hanging branches' leaves.  If you pen goats up in some woods, they will clear the undergrowth given enough time.
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This.




It's amazing how they can strip the bark right off a tree..
Link Posted: 8/29/2015 4:14:56 AM EDT
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  This.


It's amazing how they can strip the bark right off a tree..
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Another advantage to goats is if you need to clean up brush.  They eat what we often consider weeds.  They will also eat low hanging branches' leaves.  If you pen goats up in some woods, they will clear the undergrowth given enough time.

  This.


It's amazing how they can strip the bark right off a tree..




I've never seen them strip the bark off a tree but I suppose they might.  They DO strip all the leaves off if they can reach them.
Link Posted: 8/29/2015 8:42:20 PM EDT
I've been keeping goats for awhile.  

I started out with Nigerian Dwarfs, thinking that the smaller ones would be easier to deal with, but pretty quickly moved up to larger animals.  The bigger ones might be a little tougher on standard fences, but I've trained mine with electric tape (hung inside of woven wire) and haven't had to mend fences or round up loose goats in a long time.  As others have mentioned, milking dwarfs has its drawbacks: (1) they are very short, which makes it difficult to get a bucket and your hands under them; (2) they don't produce a lot of milk; and (3) for me, their teats were so small that they were difficult to milk.  I now keep Nubian/Oberhasli goats.  As others have mentioned, milk taste is subjective and I've found it to vary by breed.  I don't personally like the taste of any milk I've ever had out of a Saanan, for example.  I also find that the milk always tastes much better raw and cold.  

Some stuff to know to prepare...

Fence - Put up a good one unless you want them wandering off.  Welded wire is junk.  Even if you go with heavier gauge stuff, they pop the welds and the whole thing comes apart.  That said, after years of fighting with goats eventually busting fences, I finally put up electric tape and it solved that problem.  I recommend using a plug-in fence controller.  I tried a solar once, but it just couldn't consistently keep a charge to deliver the shock needed for the goats.  

Number of pens - If possible, have multiple pens for rotational grazing.  This not only allows time for grass recovery, but also gives you the ability to separate bucks and does to avoid in-breeding once the kids are born.  They are fertile from a very young age!  Rotational grazing also reduces parasite problems.  If you do run across parasite problems, be sure to put together a plan for remediation that involves using varying treatments, rather than just one de-wormer all the time.  Different worms and parasites are susceptible to different treatments.  On a related note to space and parasites, clean their shelter frequently and wash out their water bucket.

Breeding - Some breeds are fertile all year round.  Many are seasonal breeders.  If you have goats that go into heat/rut in the fall, consider the timing for kidding.  If you let the does get pregnant in August/September you're going to have kids when it is still very cold.  You might lose some kids or have to bring them indoors to avoid hypothermia (think dog crate in the kitchen).  I suggest keeping the bucks and does apart until October.  Try to keep your spring does from getting pregnant until the following year.  In my experience, the young mothers more often than not don't take care of the kids and you have to bottle feed/bring kids inside.  

Horns - Get a disbudding iron or get poled (hornless) goats.  When they have horns they just get themselves, and you, into that much more trouble.  They get them caught in everything, they sometimes injure one another and can injure you if they get a little overzealous at feeding time.  Disbudding isn't that hard to do if you have a second set of hands to help.  For best results, you really have to disbud within the first week or two of life.

Hoof care - You will need to trim their feet from time to time.  Most of mine are good about this, but some of them really hate having it done.  If you're buying, handle their feet to see if they've been kept and to see how the goat reacts.  Get a hoof clipper.

Yes, they will strip bark off of trees.  Mine obliterate birch, maple, and sumac, but leave oak and locost alone.  

Good luck.  They are amusing critters.
Link Posted: 9/2/2015 6:46:18 AM EDT


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Yes, they will strip bark off of trees.  Mine obliterate birch, maple, and sumac, but leave oak and locost alone.  





Good luck.  They are amusing critters.


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Mine strip the young honey locust saplings of their bark, and they LOVE the pods and leaves of the locust. Were were told that they were not good for them, but after some research, we found that they are fine, and that the pods are actually a pretty good food source. IIRC, they noted they had similar protein to some grains.







Our herd queen goes crazy for the leaves. I can pull them off a tree and she'll come running to me to get them.












 
Link Posted: 9/3/2015 10:20:27 AM EDT

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  Mine strip the young honey locust saplings of their bark, and they LOVE the pods and leaves of the locust. Were were told that they were not good for them, but after some research, we found that they are fine, and that the pods are actually a pretty good food source. IIRC, they noted they had similar protein to some grains.





Our herd queen goes crazy for the leaves. I can pull them off a tree and she'll come running to me to get them.
 
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Quoted:





Yes, they will strip bark off of trees.  Mine obliterate birch, maple, and sumac, but leave oak and locost alone.  



Good luck.  They are amusing critters.



  Mine strip the young honey locust saplings of their bark, and they LOVE the pods and leaves of the locust. Were were told that they were not good for them, but after some research, we found that they are fine, and that the pods are actually a pretty good food source. IIRC, they noted they had similar protein to some grains.





Our herd queen goes crazy for the leaves. I can pull them off a tree and she'll come running to me to get them.
 
Agree on all counts, definitely the amusing part.  I think my goats are my favorite pets, have 2 more coming next month to increase the brush destruction.



 
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