Let's talk Goats!

MericoX

Roos, Poos, & a Wog!
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#1
What with having a goat at our shelter the last few months, everyone here getting goats, and my lifelong want of having goats, I have finally convinced the powers that be that we should have some goats.

I am specifically looking at a pair or trio of pygmy goats, I figured what with maine winters a snuggle buddy or two would benefit the little guys. Any good websites someone could suggest? We have a couple acres of wood behind us, I plan on putting their shed and fencing out there, but I cant find anything specific on how big of an area they need. A few coworkers have goats so I will be picking their brains soon. TIA!
 

smkie

pointer/labrador/terrier
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#2
Hyia's future goal is to have a small rescue farm for goats. She loves goats. I do too. I have always wanted a pair of pygmy goats. Please come back and share what you learn so I can take notes.
 

Dekka

Just try me..
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#3
I can't help you with resources (I just talked to other goat owners) but Taog (goat backwards) and Toga (goat rearranged) were really fun and great pets. Pain in the butts sometimes.

They were both nubians so were larger. But they handled Ontario winters just fine. Preferring to spend a lot of it outside with the horses vs in the barn (they could squeeze between the post and the gate so could come and go as they pleased.

I <3 goats. So smart and full of personality. They are the terriers of the livestock world.
 

Romy

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#4
Goats are very much like sighthounds. At least mine are, they train the same way.

THEY ARE SO CHEAP TO TAKE CARE OF! I wish I'd known that before, would have gotten them sooner. My goat pen has no forage, so I have to buy 100% of their food. It only costs me $200 a year in hay. FOR A YEAR. I also buy a locally made oat/alfalfa blend for goats at $20 for 50 lbs, and that lasts my three big goats 2-3 months.

Goats definitely need at least one goat friend. They get really depressed by themselves regardless of the weather.

They don't need a huge area, but will use all the space you give them. My neighbor has a pair of nigerian dwarf bucks that have a 15'x20' secure pen with a little barn (electric wire to keep coyotes out) that they stay in at night or if nobody is home. During the day he ties them out with long lines so they can graze, or uses hog panels to make a moveable pen. The little guys are really vulnerable to dog and coyote attack.

Two of mine have horns because coyotes. One doesn't. They've never used horns on people.

What are your goals with them? Cute brush clearing pets? Milk goats? Backpacking?

Tiny goats make great pets and are good at clearing brush. If you want milk goats, nigerian dwarfs are better producers than pygmies and are still tiny and cute. Tiny goats don't make the best pack animals, but they can do it.

Mine are a kiko (about 200 lbs), nubian (about 130 lbs) and an alpine doeling (about 80 lbs). The kiko is taller than my borzois. lol. They are being trained to pack and will hopefully be good milk goats. We milked the kiko for a little while after buying her but she was drying up. It was literally the best tasting thing. My kids called it ice cream milk.
 

Romy

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#5
Also, when you buy them, avoid auctions. There's a pretty nasty infectious disease called CAE that cripples them. Most people test their herds or maintain closed herds. If you get a goat from someone who studs out their bucks, chances are they will be testing their herd.

If you can get a a bottle fed goat, do that. My kiko was not bottle fed and there is a big difference between her and my other two. The others are like dogs and want attention for the sake of being petted and loved on. The kiko just wants food, and if you aren't holding any doesn't really want to hang out.
 

Dekka

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#6
Also, when you buy them, avoid auctions. There's a pretty nasty infectious disease called CAE that cripples them. Most people test their herds or maintain closed herds. If you get a goat from someone who studs out their bucks, chances are they will be testing their herd.

If you can get a a bottle fed goat, do that. My kiko was not bottle fed and there is a big difference between her and my other two. The others are like dogs and want attention for the sake of being petted and loved on. The kiko just wants food, and if you aren't holding any doesn't really want to hang out.
Neither of mine were bottle fed and they were both super friendly. The one surviving offspring of them (Taog was NOT a good mom) was bottle fed and he was more stand offish. It could be in part just who they are. I do think its important that they are well handled. Taog was raised at a kid's camp and got very used to people. She was the best, walked on leash. Once when she wasnt' feeling well I let her in the house. She curled up on a towel on the floor beside the couch and we watched TV together.
 

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