Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: living in shimmering disequilibrium
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I don't have goats any more but I did keep nubians for a long time. We used them for milk for orphan foals.
Of all the livestock I have ever kept, goats were the biggest pain. I could not keep them in. They sprang over, through, and under whatever fence I put up. I ened up getting two Border Collies and just siccing them on the goats full time. Hot wire, electric fence, regular four board post and rail..
..the only thing that kept them in was a 6' tall woven wire stallion fence. Ugh. I was never happier than the day I got rid of my goats.
Goats need to be able to get up off wet ground. They need to be protected from rain and excessive wind. I would not keep them without some sort of shelter. A $100 Home Depot shed would do just fine, with some kind of well drained footing. You could put a fan in there in the summer time, or a heat lamp in the winter.
Feeding goats is not an expensive proposition. They eat just about anything. Mine got whatever we were feeding the horses. The one thing that's difficult for a smallholder to do is find reasonably priced, good hay. Not the junk you feed cows, who have the digestive capacity to deal with crappy hay. Scoop out hay availability in your area. If all you can find is $15 a bale alfalfa, that's a problem.
Also, make sure there's a male you can take them too to get "in the family way", otherwise, you've just got two pets. And have you thought about what you're going to do with the babies? Female goats, you can sell...but the law of averages being what it is, you need to figure out what you're going to do with the males.
I'm skipping around and not really thinking this through. If I can be of any (more) help, just ask.