Author Topic: Possible new goat owner?  (Read 1654 times)

HelenVF

  • Joined Apr 2012
Possible new goat owner?
« on: May 11, 2012, 03:58:45 pm »
I have been toying with the idea of goats for a few years now but it's come back this year, for some reason.  I have a section A and thinking that a couple of pygmy coats might be a good companion.  I've asked the advice of my farrier and riding instructor, who said that keeping goats with ponies is fine and they both know people who do.  Dusty used to live with sheep and we do let some sheep into the paddock every now and then so I'm going on the basis that she would be ok with goats.

A lot of people that I have talked goats about have been horrified (apart from my farrier and riding instructor!).  However, the only negative thing they have said are that they are escape artists, which is what I have read.  How bad are there?  What sort of fencing do you need for pygmy goats? 

I've got a LOT of reading to do before dipping my toe in but my main question is the above at the moment. I'm sure there will more once I have started reading about them!

Thanks

Helen

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2012, 06:08:38 pm »
Hi Helen

We only had escapee's in the days before we sussed the fencing!  We have post and rail with a top strand of electric and a line of electric chest height to the goats running along to stop them from pushing the fencing over in time (where they rub and push!)

I know people who have goats and ponies together as companions.  Just have to watch the worms if sheep are ever with them as goats seem more susceptible to the burden than their woolly friends. I mingled sheep and goats last year however with no issues.

Usually those that are horrified at potential new goat keepers are those who've never had goats  ;) they are usually full of stories of these escaping animals that eat the washing off your line. In reality they are intelligent, loveable bright animals!
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2012, 06:13:55 pm »
I've build up my herd over the past 4 years. We have stock fencing with one wire below and 2 rows above. We have one goat that 'escapes' into our adjacent paddock but that is because she wiggles under the bottom wire as it's very loose - if I fix it she won't get through - she's after the molasses sheep lick!! As PE say's they are great animals, love attention and fusses, want to get in on the act in every job you do - I love my boys and girls to bits although I don't hug the Billy too often but even he's a softie
Pygmy Goats, Call Ducks, Shetland Sheep, Castlemilk Moorit Sheep, Sasha German Shepherd, Zip Border Collie, BeeBee the cat, Skye Buzzard, Poopee Bengal Eagle Owl

HelenVF

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2012, 07:57:06 pm »
Thank you, both of you. It does sound promising. I think you are right about people not having experience of them but saying negative things about them.

I will continue researching :)

Helen

Roxy

  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
    • festivalcarriages.co.uk
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2012, 11:31:34 pm »
Some of my goats graze the paddock with our Dartmoor pony, and they all get on fine.  Some racehorses have a goat as a stable companion, and they travel to shows to calm the horse when travelling :)  Our Dartmoor shares his stable every night with Bertie our Shetland sheep, and I am sure he would not mind the goats too if need be.

All goats have the potential to be escapees if the fencing is not adequate.  Usually they are after branches on trees overhanging the field, and the temptation is just too much.  Goats are browsers, not grazers, and will definitely prefer trees and bushes to grass if given the choice!!

HelenVF

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2012, 09:15:15 am »
Thanks. I am feeling very positive about it now:). The one side of our paddock has a stone wall amd I'm sure a goat could climb it. What would be the best solution - fence in front of the wall?  We do have trees bordering one side - hawthorn mainly.

Where would the best place to get a pygmy from and what sex age would be best for starters? I still have a lot to read about the care but I do like to plan.  I will obviously get 2.

Thanks :)

Helen

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 10:14:59 am »
Hi Helen, we have kept crosses before and found them hard to handle and they hated having to get their feet trimmed and we ended up selling them, then we got pygmy goats and they are great.  Easy to handle, although you will probably need help trimming their feet but they don't mind it (well they do but they seem to forget about it 30 seconds after the event).  They are great fun and very friendly.  Ours have never tried to escape - we just have regular posts and box wire fencing.  They love branches to chew on for leaves and bark (make sure you have access to a lot or even some near a roadside) and ours LOVE dried apricots and hobnobs for treats.  Horses and goats love each other - we have a smithy neighbour whose horses come over every morning to chat to the goats.  If you don't intend milking goats, don't get a milker and if you don't intend breeding from them, give some whethers a chance (they don't smell if castrated). I would always get 3 if possible, so that if anything happens to one of them they still have a friend.  You should let us know what part of the country you are in, the Pygmy Goat Society will have a list of breeders.  Don't trust a 'small goat' say from a farm park - they can grow quite big.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

HelenVF

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2012, 11:41:48 am »
Thanks. That is fantastic and making me even more excited :) 

We are in N Lancashire.  I know our localish poultry place has them and my farrier friend is going their this afternoon to see to her horses so is going to ask there for some information.

Helen

NormandyMary

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 08:19:16 pm »
From day 1, never have I regretted getting my boys, infact as the weeks go by, I fall more and more in love with them. They are so tame now, and even though they can get out of their run if they want to, they often opt not. When they do escape, they never roam away from the garden, even though a huge field of nearly an acre (our land) is next door! They prefer to be within sight and earshot of "mummy and daddy" and will always come running if called. OK, so they may have eaten my plants and the lower branches of my apple trees, but that's my fault for not having fenced off that bit of garden. They are goats after all, and goats do what goats do if you catch my drift. Ive had Billy and Toby for a year now but it only seems like a few months. Even in the depths of winter with inches of snow on the ground, my favourite time of day has been putting the boys to bed with their food, water and a big cuddle!!

HelenVF

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2012, 08:27:25 pm »
Aww bless!  Thanks for your experience. Very much appreciated.

I was just coming on here to ask another question. How much do they cost? I am looking at some ads and there are massive price differences. 

Helen

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 02:57:22 pm »
Registered are around £250 for girls and boys about £150.  You can get older girls or ones not suitable for breeding for less.  I paid around this for our 3 girls but wouldn't do it again - it is a lot.  Try the Preloved website, or if you just want some for fun then take some wethers.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

HelenVF

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 03:51:57 pm »
Thanks. I have been looking on preloved and seena few but was worried anout the price difference lol. I'm not bothered about registered so might just go down the wethers route this year and then see how it goes.

Thanks

Helen

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 06:34:51 pm »
You're right about them climbing the stone wall. You can put up wall topping fencing or, as you suggest, fence separately in front of it.

Old English? Bigger than pygmies but not huge and nowhere near as expensive.

HelenVF

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 09:40:56 am »
Will have a look at Old English - thanks.

Helen

HelenVF

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Possible new goat owner?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 09:28:32 am »
We are going to see a breeder of pygmy goats tonight :). I found his name on the Pygmy goat club website and he only lives 15 mins away. He was VERY helpful and answered loads of questions.

Helen

 

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