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Discussion Starter #1
how much space do they need? I really would love it if we could produce our own fresh milk. a cow is out though. but a goat might work! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> so I am set to learn everything I can about them before making a decision (this would likely be next year anyway)<br><br>
I live on 2 acres btw. is this possible to keep a goat or two on so small of a space?<br><br>
we don't have a barn or anything. what kind of structure can you build for a goat?<br><br>
how do you go about finding goats in your area?<br><br>
also I am wondering can goats have free range rights? (I live in free range area-the ranchers pays for each cow for the right to graze WHEREVER) but we also have folks nearby who let their horses out free range (They come up to MY house for water!) and I bet any amount of $$ they are not paying.<br><br>
ok tell me all you know about milk goats!
 

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Hi rainbowmoon... goats are great!!! It sounds like you have plenty of space for a goat or two. I don't know about free range rights, per say, but my goats have the opportunity to free range and never leave sight of the cabin. They just don't feel safe enough to 'go out on their own' I guess. Goats don't require much of a shelter- they can even sleep in a doghouse in the wintertime (and actually prefer the smallest space possible). In the summer they'll more likely just sleep on top of whatever you provide. If you built a 6'x8' shed for a couple of goats this would be more than adequate. I prefer to milk in my kitchen, but you can set up for this however you please. It helps if its a clean area though. Goats do come with some responsibilty- being there at the same time every day to milk, taking care of their feet... finding someone ultra dependable to care for them if you can't be there is the most difficult part for me. I love to talk about goats, and I'm not alone in this for a good reason- goats are great!!!<br>
Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thank you so much for all the info. mtn mama and your quick reply! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> that is very helpful.<br><br>
btw do you have any reccomendations for books,websites,etc?<br><br>
also, what do you know about miniature goats?<br><br>
where/how do you think I can find other goat owners in my area? ETA- I think I will ask my vet, he'll probably know! (he's rural large animal dr. and does house calls)
 

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I don't know anything about mini goats... And I don't know of any websites off hand except Fiasco Farms, Caprine Supply, and Hoegger Supply. I'm sure there's some out there though. homesteadingtoday.com has a dedicated goat forum for brainstorming etc. My favorite goat books are "Raising Goats for Milk and Meat" and "Goats Produce Too". Finding goats will be easy, after you find the first herd. Goat people are nice and usually have a great network. Ask your vet, talk to the County Extension Office, check out the 4H Clubs. Be careful though because once you get started its hard to stop talking goats... Good luck!<br>
Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter #5
it was easy to find folks w/ goats in my area!<br><a href="http://www.sadga.org" target="_blank">www.sadga.org</a><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
now I just need to read more about them! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: definitly off to homesteadingtoday!<br><br>
btw what kind of goats do you have mtn. mama? how many do you have and how large is your family? how much milk do they produce on average?<br><br>
TIA!
 

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Right now we only have two milk goats with one in milk. I have been holding off breeding because this doe is still producing more than we can use after 33 months of milking. I had a packgoat wether but he was murdered by one of my dogs last fall. I started with Alpines, moved through Toggenburgs and now am fascinated with Oberhaslis. I'm working on growing super hardy, longer denser haircoated goats that produce alot of milk.<br><br>
Every goats milk record will read differently. They'll produce 16 ounces to well over a gallon (I've heard up to 2 1/2 gallons) per day, for six weeks to who knows how long. I'm going to let this doe go until she doesn't have enough milk for us... I'm guessing it could be years yet. I don't know of anyone who has milked continually for over three years but that doesn't mean they aren't out there.<br><br>
If milk is your goal then you'll want to see the milk records for the doe and for her mother and aunts (and father's sisters if possible). And then its still a roll of the dice what you end up with. My first goat didn't produce over a long enough season for me to be happy.<br><br>
Different breeds traditionally produce more milk with a higher percentage of cream- I believe that Nubians and Saanens fall into this division. Oh, and there's only me and husband to feed right now, although we have a baby on the way- and I make (and barter) cheese with the extra milk. To quantify, we get 15-20 gallons per month average in the last two years from Streak the wonder goat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
that is my dream to make homemade goat cheese! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yummy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yummy"> do you make your own butter too?<br><br>
ok sorry to ask so many questions! I found 2 books I am going trek down next week.<br><br>
otherwise..a few more questions <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
what does one normally do with the goats after they stop producing? will you keep them as pets? what's the average lifespan of a goat?<br><br>
they don't get along with dogs? (you said your dog killed one) do you mind my asking how that happened? (so sorry btw! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> )<br><br>
we have tons of weeds too on our property, will the goats help with that much? also, how destructive are they?<br><br>
how much does a goat cost on average? I see some for $200 in my area. is that high,low, normal? (not sure what kind it was)<br><br>
anywho any insight you might have would be helpful. sorry to bomboard you with questions. I just have a million right now! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: TIA for all the helpful info!
 

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Yeah, I make butter too- but truthfully use more storebought butter than homemade. My goats stay on as pets/packers when I'm done breeding them. The average lifespan question is a good one- but I'm thinking 10-12 years is expected.<br><br>
Goats and dogs can do fine together- but this will depend on the individuals. I have a dog team, and huskies don't necessarily 'live and let live'. My goats grow up with the dogs and vice versa, so usually there isn't a problem- and if there is then I nip it in the bud. The dog (who lives no more) was an adopted project who went crazy when I was out of state (the last day before I came home<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.<br><br>
The goats will eat the weeds depending on what they are. But goats really prefer brushy stuff to eat. About destructiveness, it will depend on the goat and its habits, but I find dogs to be much worse. This said, goats love to climb on stuff, and rub on everything else. And they will chew on anything salty (like rake handles, handlebars, etc.)<br><br>
As for price, I expect that $200 is a fair price for a good milk-recorded recently freshened or bred doe. But I would think you could get by alot cheaper than this. Alot of this will depend on if you're looking for a pedigreed goat.<br><br>
L
 

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Discussion Starter #9
mtn. mama you rock! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bow.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bow"><br><br>
finding lots of info doing google searches.<br><br>
ok bear with me..<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
how long does it take for you to care for your goats each day & how long does it take to milk them? how long does the milk stay good? and how much is upkeep per month? are there lots of vet costs?<br><br>
also do you think kids would do ok around goats?<br><br>
ok I promise I won't ask anymore questions about your goats (today anyway <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">)
 

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I give each goat 10-40 minutes per day- this includes milking, feeding and checking. Milking alone takes me 10-15 minutes per session. Then I trim feet every few weeks, this takes 20 minutes per goat. I like to freeze my milk right away. But if you keep it at 35 degrees it lasts a couple weeks.<br><br>
I feed grain to everyone in the winter (up here its $16 per 50 pounds which lasts me about 10 days for a milker and a retiree). Only the milking and growing goats get grain in the summer.<br><br>
My goats free range and feed themselves browse in the spring summer and fall. In the winter I buy hay which I'm sure costs at least 8 times more up here than down there. Our winter is long so I feed about 1/2 a ton to two or three goats over the course of the season.<br><br>
I've never had a vet bill for my goats- I doctor at home, and if I can't fix it then I put my animals down myself. Otherwise I buy wormer and other supplies online.<br><br>
Goats who haven't been around children can be pushy and dominant. I was surprised to see my doe challenging my 9 year old nephew. Lots of kids are scared of goats too. But raise them together and it will be fine. Just never tolerate any kind of climbing on or shoving of people.<br><br>
Like I told you before... I love to talk goats, so don't worry about questions<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br>
L
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks again mama, I sooo appreciate all the info!<br><br><br>
what are pack goats? do you take them hiking?<br><br>
do they bite much?<br><br>
I had no idea you could freeze goat milk. but I guess you would have to if they are producing 1 gal a day for 2 people!<br>
is that a standard way to store it then?<br><br>
do you make goatmilk soap? sell your milk?<br><br>
oh and do they do ok cohabitating with chickens,roosters and ducks? I assume they do but just wanted to ask..<br><br>
definitly starting to love the idea of a goat or two! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:<br><br><br>
btw I'm surprised nobody else is up for talking goats here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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'Mornin' rainbow... most goat people are super busy this time of year- kidding, milking, trimming feet, mucking stalls. My life is pretty slow right now without new kids and with my own 28wk squirmer on the way.<br><br>
Pack goats are cool. Yes, we go hiking and backpacking, short trips and long trips. We live off the road (can't drive home) so sometimes I use the goats to haul dogfood or groceries or water, etc.<br><br>
Goats don't have front teeth in both jaws, so not only do they not tend to bite but they really can't bite. They do have upper and lower molars in back, so you can get your finger crunched if you stick it way back in there.<br><br>
I can't say what is standard for keeping milk... I'm self taught and tend to do things my way. Freezing is what works for me because we just have a tiny propane fridge, and the springhouse is 1/4 mile and 400 vertical feet away.<br><br>
I don't make soap (yet). I have a neighbor who does this with all of her milk and has a nice business. I don't get many requests for goat milk.<br><br>
My goats cohabitate with dogs and cats and people (and all the creatures of wild Alaska since they free range). We may get some ducks this summer. I think I've read about chickens bringing coccidosis to goats, so you may want to check up on this- or maybe someone else knows the answer.<br><br>
Have a good one!<br>
L
 

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Discussion Starter #13
mtn. mama your place sounds like an absolute dream!!!!<br><br>
I am in the desert btw. I wonder how goats fare w/ extreme heat!!!? (hence the shelter concerns)<br><br>
I know this is an odd question, but is it possible just to keep them in the backyard?
 

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Ooh! Me! I'll talk goats! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">:<br><br>
I am just now learning about them. My kids would _live_ on milk if they could, but I don't feel ready to take on a full size cow. We do have room enough tho for a couple of goats.<br><br>
Do you have any recommendations for breed types? How do they deal with predators? I've heard that llamas make good guard animals, but I am not sure on that one...<br><br>
thanks for all the info already!<br><br>
We are newly semi-homesteading in VT's Northeast Kingdom, btw.
 

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Hi Rainbowmoon, I'm a little late to the party, but I'd love to join the conversation. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
I'm sitting here eating my lunch while reading. It's spinach lasagna, with homemade mozzarella, and ricotta. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I have geese, chickens, and ducks, and they all get along with the goats. They are good at cleaning up the spilled goat grain too.<br>
My only complaint if that the waterfowl take baths in the goats water tub. LOL
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rainbowmoon</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7927969"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am in the desert btw. I wonder how goats fare w/ extreme heat!!!? (hence the shelter concerns)<br><br>
I know this is an odd question, but is it possible just to keep them in the backyard?</div>
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I don't know about goats in the heat. It never gets above 72 degrees here. I think the backyard is a fine idea... they'll poop all over the back porch though.<br>
L
 

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Subbing cuz I have been dreamin' of a spread with a couple goats and chickens.
 

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I wanted to throw a question into this goat discussion <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> What do you use for storing your milk, either in the fridge or in the freezer? Glass jars? Other?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
that would be great if I could just keep the goat(s) in the backyard! do you have to put up some sort of barrier so they they don't get into the garden? my piddly little fence right now isn't going to cut it for goats! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> btw I have a rooster who lives on the back porch already <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"> so I have to clean it regularly.<br><br>
I will have to look into the heat issue further.. our temps get into the triple digits in the summer. we also get ALOT of rain and thunderstorms then as well.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dot2dot</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7932115"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I wanted to throw a question into this goat discussion <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> What do you use for storing your milk, either in the fridge or in the freezer? Glass jars? Other?</div>
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We use half gallon canning jars for the fridge.<br>
For freezing we used ziploc bags, wasn't to thrilled with that idea, plus they leaked.<br>
This year we are going to try those reusable/disposable ziploc containers. If I could afford to freeze in canning jars, I would. They freeze fine, as long as you leave plenty of headspace.
 
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