Raising goats and stuff

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HoLeChit

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What's it like? How are the returns? My plan for the future goes like this: buy some land, wife wants to start small, but maybe we can make what I want happen. We'll have to see. But regardless, our next home will be somewhere with the space for a few chickens, a few ducks, a few goats, a pig or two, the dogs, and maybe a few goats and a beehive or two? More or less I view it as being a training ground for a larger operation down the road. I figure If I can learn about these smaller animals and figure out how to balance my life out to where everything is sustainable before eventually buying a big piece of land and having a small farm. Figure out what is useful, what I like and dont like.

So I'm open to suggestions about pigs as well. Never had pigs. I figure we're talking like one or two just to fatten up and slaughter.

Those of you who have goats, how much work do they take? I understand you gotta milk them every day, what do you do with all that milk? I don't drink milk, It makes me sick. But I can eat some cheese or small amounts of yogurt. Anybody raise meat goats? Sell juvenile goats? I don't want a lot to start, maybe a buck and two or three does/nannys/whatever they're called. Gonna be working full time and raising a family while I'm doing this.

Was looking at Boers, but I would love to figure out how to get a hold of a few Damascus Goats and would likely raise them for milk/meat and to sell offspring, as they're not very common in the US. They're also uglier than sin, so I figure they would scare off any predators or nosey neighbors.
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On the bright side, they're pretty cute as kids, so I could probably sneak them past the wife then.
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caliberbob

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Man, unless your wife is going to be chipping in with a lot of the chores of the goats it will be a VERY long day for you. I Haven't owned goats it my understanding is that similar to cows, ones for milking are way more time consuming. I would definitely do goats but my wife will have nothing to do with it lol. We do have three cows I’m raising for beef. Here in green country the grass grows fast and other than watering it’s fairly easy. Have to supplement hay every now and then.
 

tynyphil

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Been raising them for 30 years now. I started with registered Pygmy but changed to the Nigerian Dwarf breed after about 10 years. I prefer the smaller goats for maintenance reasons. Hoof trimming vaccinations etc. if you set your place up right with ease for you in mind that makes all the difference. I have a lot of information on my website Tyny.com click on various words as links to more information. I encourage new folks to goats to visit some folks that have been doing it a while to see how they have it set up. I spend about 10 minutes a day feeding. About every 3 months I catch them all for hoof trim, worm prevention med and the vaccination done yearly. I sell enough kids to pay for feeding the herd for the whole year. I’ve butchered one to just test it out. Just like a deer. The Nigerian dwarf makes a lot of milk for their size but I don’t always do that as you have to do it daily to keep them producing. Holler at me if you want to check us out. We are located a couple of miles east of Tinker.
 

OK Corgi Rancher

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We started with 4 nanny goats. We got them last October. They were really fun watching them grow up. They're tame and are pets for the most part. I think we're gonna breed them and sell some of the babies. Goats are extremely easy to raise, in my opinion. Learn to give them shots and what to look for in terms of illness and parasites...basic stuff. They're pretty cheap to raise, too. Aside from the initial cost it's next to nothing to feed them because we have lots of good grazing space for them in the summer and we make our hay for the winter.

We have one that's a bit older and much larger than the others (all Nigerian Dwarfs)...Annie. She's really sweet with us but she bullies one of the smaller goats relentlessly. She's gonna be the first to go. She's a really pretty goat, too. I just don't like the way she treats the other one.

We also have chickens and guineas. If I had to do it all over again I'd just pass on the guineas. They really provide nothing in return for having them other than eating bugs. Seemed like a good idea, but didn't turn out that way.

The chickens on the other hand, are great. Believe it or not, they're much more expensive to care for than the goats. But the chickens pull their weight. They just started laying eggs maybe 3 weeks ago and they pretty much each lay one per day. We have 11. That adds up to a lot of eggs very quickly. Ours pretty much free range around the entire house and eat a ton of bugs. They're also tame and every single one of them run to me every time I come out of the house. They're really friendly and very social. They all let me pick them up and pet them while we walk around. I really like the chickens and I'd like to have a few more. They're pretty nasty, though, and poop EVERYWHERE.

I don't really have a plan or business model. I just treat them all as pets for the most part. I enjoy having them around.

@tynyphil gave me some good pointers when we started out.
 

HoLeChit

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Been raising them for 30 years now. I started with registered Pygmy but changed to the Nigerian Dwarf breed after about 10 years. I prefer the smaller goats for maintenance reasons. Hoof trimming vaccinations etc. if you set your place up right with ease for you in mind that makes all the difference. I have a lot of information on my website Tyny.com click on various words as links to more information. I encourage new folks to goats to visit some folks that have been doing it a while to see how they have it set up. I spend about 10 minutes a day feeding. About every 3 months I catch them all for hoof trim, worm prevention med and the vaccination done yearly. I sell enough kids to pay for feeding the herd for the whole year. I’ve butchered one to just test it out. Just like a deer. The Nigerian dwarf makes a lot of milk for their size but I don’t always do that as you have to do it daily to keep them producing. Holler at me if you want to check us out. We are located a couple of miles east of Tinker.
I find myself in that area quite often. When I find the time (right now I may as well have negative time) I'll give you a holler and make plans to stop by.
 

Ready_fire_aim

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Dairy goats? I wouldn’t recommend starting with that. Typically the milk producing breeds are a lot more expensive and obviously require way more work.

Goats can be very sensitive to parasites. As others have stated, you have to catch them every few months for routine health maintenance.

I do hair sheep. Purely for meat. They are even lower maintenance than goats.

It’s definitely all about having the proper set ups though. Good fencing. Catch pen. I have my different paddocks all connected so I can easily move them onto fresh sections of ground. As you grow, you will learn what you need to do to accommodate your situation.

With hair sheep I recommend people start small. Maybe just buy a couple of weathers to raise for a season then butcher. You will learn a lot. You will find the flaws of your fencing and infrastructure. You’ll find out if you really like dealing with animals or not. Etc… then if you wind up liking it, go ahead and get some females and start overwintering and breeding.
 

HoLeChit

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We started with 4 nanny goats. We got them last October. They were really fun watching them grow up. They're tame and are pets for the most part. I think we're gonna breed them and sell some of the babies. Goats are extremely easy to raise, in my opinion. Learn to give them shots and what to look for in terms of illness and parasites...basic stuff. They're pretty cheap to raise, too. Aside from the initial cost it's next to nothing to feed them because we have lots of good grazing space for them in the summer and we make our hay for the winter.

We have one that's a bit older and much larger than the others (all Nigerian Dwarfs)...Annie. She's really sweet with us but she bullies one of the smaller goats relentlessly. She's gonna be the first to go. She's a really pretty goat, too. I just don't like the way she treats the other one.

We also have chickens and guineas. If I had to do it all over again I'd just pass on the guineas. They really provide nothing in return for having them other than eating bugs. Seemed like a good idea, but didn't turn out that way.

The chickens on the other hand, are great. Believe it or not, they're much more expensive to care for than the goats. But the chickens pull their weight. They just started laying eggs maybe 3 weeks ago and they pretty much each lay one per day. We have 11. That adds up to a lot of eggs very quickly. Ours pretty much free range around the entire house and eat a ton of bugs. They're also tame and every single one of them run to me every time I come out of the house. They're really friendly and very social. They all let me pick them up and pet them while we walk around. I really like the chickens and I'd like to have a few more. They're pretty nasty, though, and poop EVERYWHERE.

I don't really have a plan or business model. I just treat them all as pets for the most part. I enjoy having them around.

@tynyphil gave me some good pointers when we started out.
I like how you do things. I just wanna have enough of these critters around to supply all the chicken meat/duck meat/eggs/goat meat and dairy products I need. Be able to give some of it away to those who can use it. I know my family and my inlaws would love that.

While I love eating them, and their fresh eggs, I do hate chickens, they're just nasty creatures. But I'll put up with them in small numbers.



Also, I forgot to mention, I figure a pig or two would be on my wish list as well. I would be open to any advice on them too.
 

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