Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Golden Guernsey's - land set up and milking routine  (Read 572 times)

Gornoeth

  • Joined May 2019
Golden Guernsey's - land set up and milking routine
« on: June 25, 2020, 10:41:48 am »
Hi folks, we've been thinking of adding some goats to our smallholding and our friend has just mentioned she's thinking of selling her Golden Guernsey's. They're not registered but are pure. She has a nanny and a billy who are unrelated and 2 kids belonging to the nanny.
We wanted goats for milk for us (to use as milk and to make cheese) plus the occasional kid for meat. The breed appeals as volume of milk seems to fit our needs and like the idea of supporting a rare breed.

Before committing though I wanted to ensure we can provide the right land set up and also know what milking routine will be needed. We have 5 acres and only 3 sheep so plenty of grazing plus hedgerows etc as realise they like a variety. We also have shelter for them in a few places.

So questions:

Will we need to keep the billy and nanny separate for all/part of the year?
What sort of milking routine will we need to follow? Every day (had read every other day ok for this breed). Also can it be done in the evening rather than morning as could fit better with our family life?

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Golden Guernsey's - land set up and milking routine
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2020, 12:17:19 pm »
Definitely keep the billy apart from the females, and even more importantly from his own daughters at all times. Goats are mated "in hand", as they get taken to the male if/when in season, for a very quick mating, and that's it. Probably a repeat once or twice that day. The billy needs his own companion, preferably a wethered male.


As to milking routines - it all depends on how the kids are fed (or if they are weaned), how much milk is being produced etc etc.


I would recommend to get a few goat books to learn more about goats before jumping in.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Golden Guernsey's - land set up and milking routine
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2020, 12:32:26 am »
Hi folks, we've been thinking of adding some goats to our smallholding and our friend has just mentioned she's thinking of selling her Golden Guernsey's. They're not registered but are pure. She has a nanny and a billy who are unrelated and 2 kids belonging to the nanny.
We wanted goats for milk for us (to use as milk and to make cheese) plus the occasional kid for meat. The breed appeals as volume of milk seems to fit our needs and like the idea of supporting a rare breed.

Before committing though I wanted to ensure we can provide the right land set up and also know what milking routine will be needed. We have 5 acres and only 3 sheep so plenty of grazing plus hedgerows etc as realise they like a variety. We also have shelter for them in a few places.

So questions:

Will we need to keep the billy and nanny separate for all/part of the year?
What sort of milking routine will we need to follow? Every day (had read every other day ok for this breed). Also can it be done in the evening rather than morning as could fit better with our family life?

Just some observations:
1) You're not supporting a rare breed if they're not registered.  Any milking goat that is not registered has the same status - being pure is irrelevant.  If you just want them as pets for milking that's fine and they'll have personalities and souls just like any other animal to win you over.
2) Are the kids from a mating with this billy or a different one?  Are they male or female?  What age are they?  If male, have they been castrated?  If they're male and over 4 months, there's a risk they will mate with the female(s).
3) Goats are browsers not grazers; they need browse (trees, scrub, weeds).  If you don't have that habitat then have you considered how do you can source sufficient browse to keep them healthy?  If you have hedges (and/or trees), and want to keep them, how do you plan to restrict access so that the goats don't eat their way out?  On the subject of escaping, how good's your fencing?
4) Keeping goats and sheep on the same pasture is a bad idea.  They share parasites but have entirely different treatment regimes and dosages.  It can be done but it's a complicated business so be sure you know what you're taking on before bringing them home.
5) Are they horned, polled or disbudded?  What about the sheep?  Keeping horned with non-horned is a bad idea if they haven't grown up together.  If both the male and female are polled you can have problems with intersex offspring.  Again, be sure you understand the implications of what you're taking on.
6) In terms of shelter - do you mean sheltered areas in the field or do you mean field shelters?  Goats need to be able to get out of the rain at all times; they don't have lanolin in their coats so aren't "waterproof" like sheep.  Are the shelters big enough for everyone to get in even when there's bullying going on (which there will be at times)?
7) You can run the buck with the female full time, but it means they will mate every time she's in season which can have implications for your stocking density, milk continuity etc.  Assuming she catches on the first season each time, you're potentially looking at her kidding 3 times in 2 years.  Bucks smell less if they're running with the females during rutting season, but they still smell and some people believe the smell can taint the milk.
8) Anke's covered the milking points: "it depends" on too many factors for a simplistic response.

I'm not trying to put you off, life will never be the same and you'll probably not regret the decision to get goats... just be sure you know what you're taking on before you start.
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.

Lyndahalley

  • Joined Sep 2017
Re: Golden Guernsey's - land set up and milking routine
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2020, 06:00:17 am »
 Hi there this maybe an unusual request but by any chance do you have goat cholostrum I can buy. I have an alpaca due to give birth shortly and have used all of mine with a troublesome birth this week. Also where are you based, I was in touch with someone from steathaven but thief messages have disappeared off my thread. I live in Moffat DG10 07402060787 if you  or anyone else can help. Thank you Lynda

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Golden Guernsey's - land set up and milking routine
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2020, 12:45:42 pm »
I am sorry I do not have any spare, I only keep as much frozen as I need from the end of one year to the first goat kidding the next spring.




 

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