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Buying goats

            


Joined: Dec 03, 2010
Posts: 58
Hello friends
In need of some advice. I would like to have goats for the manure and milk. I have been looking around this area for some to purchase and have found Nigerian dwarf kids due next month and a twin pair mixed milk breed one with a kid doe. Looking at them today we noticed that the doe and kid had been separated because the kid was shivering and the doe was not producing well. The breeder is doing this to see what is going on and keeping the kid under a heat lamp currently (as of today). The other doe lost her kid at birth and seems to be producing milk ok, she has large teats and some milk showing. So back to I want some goats and I would love to get into milking right away as it is something we will use for yogurt and cheese, the farmer would probably take 180 for all three, two does and one doe kid. Should I be very concerned about the doe and kid? We have a nice piece of land with plenty of trees and pasture. We would be feeding them good hay and some store bought feed. Will they perk up a bit in time? Obviously a tough question to answer but any experiences with this sort of situation would be most helpful. The breeder has other goats in milk that are producing great that are in the same family as these does. By the way he has far too many animals in far too small an area currently and I think this may lead to problems such as these. Thanks for any advice!
Erik Lee


Joined: Sep 21, 2011
Posts: 104
Location: Zone 6 - Missouri
    
    6
I tend to shy away from situations like that, because one of the things I need from my livestock is the ability to reliably birth and raise young without my intervention. It sounds like there's a chance that the breeder's management practices could be the real cause of the trouble, but if it was me I'd still be pretty uneasy buying animals that are known to have trouble with such an important process, just because it increases the probability of heartache and hassle in the future. I may be over cautious as I'm relatively new to raising goats and sheep myself, by that'd be my two cents.

I don't know what prices are like in your area in general, but I can tell you that I paid $100-$150 for each of my animals (nubians and painted desert sheep), so $180 for three sounds like it could be a good price if the animals turn out to be fine.


Permaculture will save civilization: http://www.human20project.com
Alison Thomas
volunteer

Joined: Jul 22, 2009
Posts: 933
Location: France
    
    8
I'm with Erik on this one. It's not just the birthing/rearing issue (even though that's a BIG one), over-crowding can lead to all sorts of health issues, some that may not rear their ugly head until they're your responsibility! Plus as this is your first time into goats, be good to yourself and give it the best chance because you're learning and, believe me, at times that can be a steep line. 'Good' prices are often for a reason. If you were an experienced goat-keeper and wanted to take these as a kinda 'rescue' project then I'd say fine. If it was me, I'd try to find another alternative very quickly - that might seem odd that I say 'very quickly' but my heart too often rules my head so I've made quite a number of these kind of mistakes. Having another alternative to 'replace' this option would be good for me so that it's easier to walk away.
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
You really got to fight that urge to want yields so soon, i was on the brink of buying goats, then when i herd how long it would take before i could brag about cheese things got hairy. I started looking for that mother child combo with an extra female to breed right away.
Everything I came across sounded suspect, always the same old "too many animals" reason for selling. It's not that you have to be a goat expert to get a great deal in life but really how much effort do you want to put into a new creature just so you can get the yield.
There's allot of sloppy things breeders do, that a week's worth of wormwood and rosemary would solve but it might require you to read an entire book in 1 few nights to have that kind of info on your side. I want to say go for it, I wanna go for it if I was in your position but it's about your ability to overcome todays handicaps tomorrow. If that's the kind of go getter you are dive in, nobody is going to sell their best animals just because. I went through the same thing with my rabbits, i had no idea after a month of waiting for a top breeder to find me a rabbit she'd normally cull id also have to wait 5 months for them to breed. When the time finally arrived nobody did anything time after time. I started feeding them apple cider vinegar and everyone got preggers and have turned out to be great mothers and friendly after spending 5 months being angry, skittish and biting rabbits.

So i think you can do allot to turn any creature around if you got the gut's to wrack your brains over them and crawl around in thorny bushes looking for some weed that could save the day. But if your just looking for goat's to put on pasture and manage themselves, the way you describe the situation is making me nervous.
Nervous because I too have F'ded up bigtime thinking with my heart not my head, i'm so glad i didn't get those goat's i don't think i could do them due service given my situation 80% of our pasture is made of a poisonous weed that even blisters the skin on the indestructible goat.
Alison Thomas
volunteer

Joined: Jul 22, 2009
Posts: 933
Location: France
    
    8
Saybian Morgan wrote:There's allot of sloppy things breeders do, that a week's worth of wormwood and rosemary would solve
Sorry, slight sabotage of thread but Saybian, you sound like someone who knows. I'd be so pleased if you could expand on this? Do you have any good links/books that detail the plant remedy side of things?

Currently two of my goats have lice and, according to Pat Colby "Natural Goat Care", it's a deficiency in sulphur. They have a multi-mineral block on free-access. I have 'flowers of sulphur' here but there's no way in the world that my goats would eat that, even mixed in something - it smells like rotten eggs. Is there a plant remedy that they would eat?
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
Ali, you already have the answer but I think you read the recipe wrong
Pat colby taught me this one

copper sulfate "de-worm", flowers of sulfur "acid", apple cider vinegar "acid", animal dolomite "alkaline", kelp meal "iron + trace minerals", rock dust "minerals and of course "MOLASSES" you mix that all up with boiling hot water till its really well blended, then add it to either pollard or watever they eat that will soak it up.

Even my rabbit's and ducks get that recipe everyday except I use it as the moisture content when im making pellets rather than force ducks to eat it poured all over ground wheat. They hate it that way but they still ate it in a day back when my ducks use to flop over and go lame from anemia. Now it's not even remotely an issue. If a duckling goes lame it's usualy garlic water for 3 days, but again that's before i started putting it in the pellets.

I don't know where that Pat Colby recipe comes from the tell you the truth, Geoff Lawton taught it to me in the permaculture soils dvd "which is on youtube" if your looking for proportions.

When things are beyond that recipe I'm most likely going to live and die by Juliette de Bairacli Levy - Grandmother of herbal medicine.
Complete Herbal Handbook For Farm And Stable <------ thats all you need if it ruminates, she has other books for dog's and people and kids and so on. All that can happen is you don't have the herb worse case, and can't figure out a substitute or think deep enough to see what the parallel herb is in your climate.
She's the real deal, she's lived life the way you have to for the wisdom to radiate from your bones. I think you can tell i love her...............
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_VRj1RMTXU


heres a trailer for her movie, i went forever on just what I learned from the movie before even buying the books.
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
One thing I learned was with sheep, it is very important to have the mothers separated from the others if you have a lot, when they are giving birth. They need to imprint on their lambs, and sometimes that won't happen when they are crowded with too many other sheep. Might be the same with goats.


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
Alison Thomas
volunteer

Joined: Jul 22, 2009
Posts: 933
Location: France
    
    8
Hmmm, the trouble is my goats have dry food (rolled barley and a smattering of wheat grains) and they WILL NOT tolerate it being wetted (that was them saying "WILL NOT" very loudly!). If it even gets a few rain drops on it they leave it. They free-range over 4 acres and have free-access hay but the food humans bring for them is always viewed with suspicion.

It made me smile when I read your post "I think you can tell i love her" - that's a true recommendation in my book. I'm off to watch your link - thanks.
            


Joined: Dec 03, 2010
Posts: 58
Thanks for all the advice. I am truly grateful for sites such as this one. Our hearts are bigger than our brains for sure and we are trying to talk ourselves out of the rescue. I am of course not positive that they will be problem goats and would of course do what we could to get them in great health. I think having one good milker would keep us positive about the others. Our other option would be to wait for the Nigerian dwarf kids and breed them in a year, and I am sure other goats will be for sale. We are only wanting to buy goats that have not been disbudded which limits our options greatly.

Any one try raising Boer goats for meat? I have heard that it is the best.

Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
Alison I know what you mean about stubborn animals I had a tread going for ages in a colony rabbit forum called "angry rabbits" they would shake there feeder until all the food fell onto the floor, then they'd poo on it and give me the feed me look.
Try a few drops of molasses on their dry feed, if they go for it with no additives you can build there familiarity to surgary goodness before adding in the beneficial elements that are masked by a little sweetness. In the end to I realized the store bought pellets had sugar added and my home made pellets didn't, once i mad pellets with a little bit of goodness added they ravaged the pellets into their tummies and got big and strong and produced great litters.
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
Saybian Morgan wrote:Alison I know what you mean about stubborn animals I had a tread going for ages in a colony rabbit forum called "angry rabbits" they would shake there feeder until all the food fell onto the floor, then they'd poo on it and give me the feed me look.
Try a few drops of molasses on their dry feed, if they go for it with no additives you can build there familiarity to surgary goodness before adding in the beneficial elements that are masked by a little sweetness. In the end to I realized the store bought pellets had sugar added and my home made pellets didn't, once i mad pellets with a little bit of goodness added they ravaged the pellets into their tummies and got big and strong and produced great litters.


This is a good point, a little sugar makes it goes done better, but a lot is really bad for them.

When foraging, they are eating plants that still have their sugars in them, but dry feed has lost it. Just like wheat in the field is pretty tasty, but straight flour, not so much.

A few drops of molasses in water, sprayed on the food does wonders. If you can grow it, try stevia - it works really well. I wonder how many people who use artificial sweetners like stevia know that in animal husbandary, we use them to STIMULATE appetite.
 
 
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