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Author Topic: goat advice please?  (Read 4489 times)

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
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goat advice please?
« on: October 15, 2009, 11:25:35 am »
Hello

I'm new to the forum and also to small holding as we've not long moved into our new home and are getting used to land, orchards and so on!

3 of my 4 children are cows' milk intollerant so drink goats milk and its been a long term dream of mine to own goats because I think they are lovely characters. I was wondering if anyone knows what breed might be a good one for us, we obviously don't want too many pints of milk every day but a couple would be good.
I have been considering anglo nubians - am I barking up the wrong tree?

we currently have some jacobs grazing the land for us and they seem to have identified most of the escape routes so we are mending them as we go, am guessing though that goats will be even more canny at finding ways of escaping judging from some of your posts on here!

many thanks

Lisa
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...
Voss Electric Fence

Roxy

  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
    • festivalcarriages.co.uk
Re: goat advice please?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2009, 11:58:08 am »
Hello Lisa,

Welcome to the forum!!

I have had goats for 35 years, and have had most breeds in that time.

Personally I prefer the bigger breeds, the Anglo Nubian, British Alpine, British Toggenburg and British Sannan.  These are large goats, and can give a lot of milk per day.
 

For people just starting out, I think you should be looking at the smaller Sannan, and the Golden Guernsey would probably suit.  Newly kidded, these would give you ample milk, amd being smaller, they are easier for novice goat keepers to handle.  All goats can be strong, but the bigger breeds especially so when you are leading them.  Also, the smaller breeds are more suited to smaller plots of land.

Pygmy goats are gorgeous, and nice as pets, but if you want the milk, then these are not the goats for you.

I had bred all my own goats, and when I came to buy a nanny, I was gob smacked at the prices being asked.  We do not see many goats for sale here, and any that are, are sold immediately.


plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
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Re: goat advice please?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 01:23:18 pm »
Hello Roxy

thank you for the welcome and the advice re:which goats.  I hadn't even considered how strong the goat might have been so thats been very useful.

The only goats I can find are pygmy goats in this area (which is typical!) and cute as they are, they will not be what we need.  I will look out for GG's and smaller sannans

thanks again

Lisa
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

Roxy

  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
    • festivalcarriages.co.uk
Re: goat advice please?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 02:42:30 pm »
I don't know what area you live in, but if you can find a breeder, or a goat keeper, it would be a good idea if you could go along for a look, chat, and see the goats in the flesh before deciding.  Most goat owners would I am sure be happy to give you advice.  It would be sad if you went ahead and then found the breed or goat you had chosen was not right for you.

Things to consider when choosing your goat, apart from how strong it is - nothing worse than being dragged down a field on the end of a rope - and even the smaller ones can pull!!  are, is it trained to lead on a collar and lead, much easier if it is.  I would also suggest you do not buy a first kidder .....an older goat will be a little better for you to milk, as she will be used to it. As you have children, you want a quiet goat, and preferably a hornless one!! 

One important thing - can you milk a goat!!??  If not, please find someone with a goat to show you how, and visit a few times to get the hang of it.  It is important that your goat is milked twice a day, and milked out fully, unless she is feeding kids, because otherwise you can end up with mastitits in your goat, which you certainly do not want.  I say this, because sadly I have seen goats unable to milk any longer due to people not mastering the art of milking.

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
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Re: goat advice please?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2009, 05:50:50 pm »
Hi Roxy

we live in the midlands and I'm struggling to find any goat breeders apart from pygmies near to where we live - I will keep trying though, hopefully there will be more advertising around spring time perhaps so will find more that way. I've also been put onto a contact list by the local Goat society person who will email when anyone has goats for sale.

I've been taught how to milk goats and have managed to do it but will make sure I get as much practise/revision before our goats arrive.

do you think goats can live happily along side a flock of sheep? are there any diseases/problems that would be an issue even if both sets of animals were up to date with vaccinations and health checks?

thanks again

Lisa 
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: goat advice please?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2009, 08:16:12 pm »
Hello and welcome plumseverywhere (what a wicked name!)
Check out farmers guardian/weekly/trader websites for sale adverts, and ring round local farms,
We spent quite a while trying to find suitable goats, we have a toggenburg and a sanaan from the midlands oddly enough.
Roxy has much more experience than me, and I agree with all she's said so far!
Have you read any goat books yet?  We got some good ones from the library before even considering spending any money, just to give advice and prep for kidding etc

Good luck in your search
Little Blue

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: goat advice please?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2009, 09:14:04 pm »
Great advice given so far- I'd keep an eye on this website as well if you didn't already know about it http://www.ukgoats.co.uk/

Getting in touch with your local goat club is absolutely the right thing to do- I hope you get something soon. I would say that a British Saanen or Toggenburg type are inclined to have a longer lactation (milking period) than an Anglo-Nubian. So they are good milkers to get because you can get away with only kidding them every second year. Not all Anglo-Nubian's will milk through for two years. But Anglo Nubian's are the best breed (I may be a bit biased here). I have a milker going to Newcastle (we live in central Scotland) next weekend and they have been trying to get another Anglo- Nubian milker since last July.

Beth

Roxy

  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
    • festivalcarriages.co.uk
Re: goat advice please?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2009, 09:58:41 pm »
Re keeping goats and sheep together - if ever the vet comes out to a sick goat, he always asks if they are grazed alongside sheep, so must assume they could have contracted something from the sheep.

There is the issue of copper in the feed.  Goat feed has copper in, but sheep cannot have copper.  I have my sheep with the goats, but tend to feed the sheep away from the goats, and be careful with the mineral licks too.  So, this is something to think about if you had them together.  The goats could eat sheep mix, which would solve the problem of keeping them separate at meal times, but then the goats may be lacking in copper!!

Hilbillie

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • St. Mayeux, Brittany
Re: goat advice please?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2009, 09:06:39 am »
I've read a lot that you cant get enough milk from pygmy goats but found this website and think differently now. www.maggidans.com.  We have a Saanan/Toggenberg cross and a French Alpine Chamois, both big goats but they give quite a bit of milk.
Hilary

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
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Re: goat advice please?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2009, 05:59:40 pm »
That is an interesting link! one of the local pygmy breeders here mentioned about crossing a pygmy with another breed in order to have a milker but I was dubious. having read that link, I've started to think out side of the box..and they are sooooo cute!

thanks for all the tips (and for the message I was sent wtih some goats for sale) hubby is still wavering as we have so much to do to this derelict  'project house' so we might have to be sensible for a bit longer before adding to our workload with a milking regimen etc.

will definately keep using this website though the advice is brilliant!!
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

 

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