NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??  (Read 424 times)

PipKelpy

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cattle and sheep!
Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??
« on: April 23, 2019, 09:07:00 pm »
I know I know, disbud when young etc! Been to auction and also sold privately and bulk of sheep flock now gone! Jennifer the calf is testing my patience as unlike the others, she goes into "donkey" mode when On the head collar and lead. Front feet stretched out, eyes squint and she growls at me! Previous owner been informed, who laughed and said 'Juniper genes!'.

However, I've ALWAYS wanted a goat or 2. Now, I've googled and read and no, I don't want to set myself up as a micro dairy, so am only interested in a goat that can rear a baby that will become burgers (have found a supplier of very tasty goat ???? burgers - who needs beef burgers?) and will live very happily with remaining sheep and 4 cattle. Hornless due to electric fences!!

Now, I like the idea of Golden Geurnsey or English goat yet can't see anything about breeders for English goat. Also, different goat websites differ about what a goat will eat. Some state grass, others say thistles and rough which is great as got plenty of thistles. Swearing doesn't seem to frighten them, neither does digging them up or topping them! Last resort is spraying and the last time we did that we had fertility problems in the cattle (2013), so since then, we've been chemical free.

Goat folk, opinions please!
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!
Voss Electric Fence

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 09:13:55 pm »
All goat breed are horned. Some guernsey are polled but only some.

My goats actually ate thistles!
I saw someone on internet removing adult goats horns with elasticator bands (like lamb tails). Horns fell off after like a week. I don't think this is legal though and certainly very risky for the goat (risk of infection and injury).
We are still eating our goat. To be honest I find her flavour very strange - more used to eating lamb - perhaps because of her diet? Mostly ate brambles, ivy and rough grass.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2019, 06:21:13 am »
My old golden guernsey produced naturally polled kids - one out of triplet girls and all male kids.  Now retired so can't help you but ask around.There's an angora breeder near Tewkesbury, breeds for polled might have wethers for sale, not sure.  Do you want to deal with shearing goats twice a year?

PipKelpy

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cattle and sheep!
Re: Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2019, 07:10:44 am »
No to shearing!! Bad enough with the sheep. To be honest, if it weren't for 1 sheep, they'd all go but she can't be left by herself and whilst the cattle herd are growing, I need a few sheep to keep the grass down. I have looked at the hair sheep breeds but only the Dorper lamb December/January time and other forum's/websites i have read have stated foot problems in the current UK breeding stock (I'm only going on what I've read). After lambing in winter and spring i and mum have decided we prefer winter lambing. This time of year, no thanks. Yet I've had lambs jumping in snow in winter on a sunny winter's day and they are fine!

Goats - the folk we buy our burgers off also do cuts, which we tried and didn't like. Maybe I wasn't cooking it right. Lambs chops i prefer! But then they told us that they had the kids done as burgers and they are flying!! Really are, fried or grilled.they are divine!! Are you eating yours as joints/chops or as burgers?
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

Dogwalker

  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2019, 08:32:23 am »
My main focus is the fleece so meat in my by product, the other way around than most people do it.I keep the angora wethers for 2 - 3 years before they go as goat mutton.  Slow cooked joints in the rayburn.
Boer goats are the meaty ones but some of my dairy x angora have been big enough to send at 6 months.  The angoras are slower growing, it takes a lot of energy to grow body and all that fleece.How about dairy boys from a bigger dairy farm that doesn't want to bother with them.  If it's for your own consumption, size doesn't matter so much.  just get them disbudded if it's a problem.
What kind of electric fence do you have, I use two wire round the pig patch and insecure fence line, don't have any problem with horned goats.  wouldn't use netting though.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2019, 09:33:16 am »
No to shearing!! Bad enough with the sheep. To be honest, if it weren't for 1 sheep, they'd all go but she can't be left by herself and whilst the cattle herd are growing, I need a few sheep to keep the grass down. I have looked at the hair sheep breeds but only the Dorper lamb December/January time and other forum's/websites i have read have stated foot problems in the current UK breeding stock (I'm only going on what I've read). After lambing in winter and spring i and mum have decided we prefer winter lambing. This time of year, no thanks. Yet I've had lambs jumping in snow in winter on a sunny winter's day and they are fine!

Goats - the folk we buy our burgers off also do cuts, which we tried and didn't like. Maybe I wasn't cooking it right. Lambs chops i prefer! But then they told us that they had the kids done as burgers and they are flying!! Really are, fried or grilled.they are divine!! Are you eating yours as joints/chops or as burgers?
Why dont you get Easycare of Exlana sheep? No shearing, no dagging, no lambing problems (or at least less), no horns. Thats what Im thinking of doing.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

PipKelpy

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cattle and sheep!
Re: Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2019, 12:02:44 pm »
Easy care don't lamb out of season! If I have to lamb, then it's got to be at December time.

Goats, my burger supplier (we have 10 a month when he's this this way) they are dairy goats so the off spring are dairy.
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2019, 03:58:41 pm »
All breeds of goats have horned ones, dairy breeds often have polled ones.  However when breeding goats you should put a polled goat to a horned goat otherwise you risk getting intersex kids.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2019, 04:53:04 pm »
I doubt you'll find polled Old English but as others have said polled dairy are quite common. 

I have horned goats and electric stand-off fencing to reinforce the otternet and prevent them using it as a ladder!

Goats need company of their own kind so you need at least 2.

You'll be increasing the risks of parasite resistance if you keep sheep and goats together - they share parasites but have entirely different treatment regimes due to the metabolism of the goats.

If you don't need/want the milk then possibly your best option is buying in male dairy kids (polled or disbudded if that's your preference) to rear on for meat.  Another option may be a dairy female covered by a Boer buck to give half bred, fast growing kids that give a decent carcase weight.  Boer horns are less of an issue than most due to their shape.

Goats NEED browse; most will eat grass if there's nothing else, but they won't thrive on it; some do better on paddocks than others.  Non toxic weeds and trees should form a substantial portion of their browse.

In terms of your issues with "Jennifer" have you tried attaching her to a tractor and driving slowly forward?  If you don't have machinery to do this then use the same techniques as with horses which can include a second line that attaches to the halter on one side, then goes through a strap on a surcingle and around the bum above the hocks before coming back to your hand on the leading side.  You can "encourage" her forward by pulling on this rope to drive her forward, rather than dragging her by the halter.  Ideally you should be behind her shoulder anyway when leading so should never be in a position of "donkey" mode.  A long stick or dressage whip is another way of "tickling her back end" to encourage her to walk forward on command.

Good luck whatever you decide!
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

PipKelpy

  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cattle and sheep!
Re: Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2019, 05:43:26 pm »
Tie her to the tractor??? Yes, a relative has suggested that! Her 'problem' is that she wants to go where she wants to go. The others walk beautifully and when I say left or right turn, actually turn that way. Jennifer walks and trots willingly by my side until I decide to take her the opposite direction to which she wants to go. I no longer pull her, she has a choice, stand and growl or back down and walk to me. Took her 20 minutes to get across the field the other day. Would have been faster if she didn't arse about. She won't win, promise you that! The other 2 when they had their moments when learning didn't stand, both Knickers and Mary would put them front legs down and flop down. It's quite a funny sight when I think about it. Worse than children!
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Which HORNLESS goat breed is best??
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2019, 09:01:45 pm »
Lots of the "big" show guys use tractor training to get their animals trained... it needs to be something heavy enough that they can't drag it off or overturn it so a quad is no good and often neither is the farm pickup!  They're initially tied to it and allowed to get used to the halter and the fact that when they pull they tire themselves out without getting loose, then there's the "follow the feed", and finally there's the drive forward and follow whether you like it or not and if you dig your heels in or throw yourself on the floor you're still moving forward so it makes more sense to walk.  I don't know anyone who drags a fallen beast any distance (just to be clear there's no cruelty, they generally stop and wait for the animal to get back on its feet before immediately moving off again). 

Perseverance and time are always good... the longer you're willing to spend making her do something she doesn't want to the first couple of times, the quicker she'll give up trying.

I once had a pony that didn't like being caught, over 7 hours was my longest time following him around the field and refusing to allow him to stop to eat or drink.  When he started shaking his head to "threaten" me, I knew he was bored and wanted the game to finish... he'd got away with it with previous owners but a few weeks of only going to catch him when I had time to keep following him until he gave up and we were down to about 15 minutes... and then pretty quickly thereafter he just came when he was called because he knew it was futile to postpone the inevitable.  It did cross my mind that the quickest way to catch him that first day was a rifle... but I didn't have one to hand!
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

 

goat breed mix

Started by poppy2012

Replies: 12
Views: 3721
Last post August 31, 2012, 02:26:13 pm
by Roxy
Another breed of goat to keep

Started by laurelrus

Replies: 7
Views: 2558
Last post August 01, 2015, 11:27:54 am
by gillsta
Which breed of dairy goat is best?

Started by roddycm

Replies: 16
Views: 5534
Last post August 04, 2013, 10:22:09 pm
by Mad Goatwoman of Madeley
any idea what goat breed these are? saw them in thailand when on hols

Started by lizzypeg

Replies: 16
Views: 2652
Last post April 01, 2013, 11:41:50 pm
by Mad Goatwoman of Madeley
Goat prices from Thainstone Rare Breed Sale

Started by Scarlet.Dragon

Replies: 18
Views: 431
Last post September 16, 2019, 07:39:55 am
by macgro7

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS