12/21/08 If I were a newbie

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by StaceyRosado, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    So there was a question posed about having a thread for information pertaining to new goat ownership.

    What would you say is most important to know/have on hand?

    What are the fencing requirements?

    Health needs?

    (please note if your advise is general for all goat breeds or specific to a breed/catigory of goats ie meat, mini )

    Please remember that long rambling posts are hard to read and grasp and can be more difficult then several shorter posts (if need be).

    Dont be extremely specific in everything. We have lots of other posts that can be more direct in their approach. Remember you are talking to someone who has no real basic knowledge of goat care, needs or management. Try to not overload them with needless information or scare them with all the "necessities" you deem necessary to go into detail over.
  2. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    While I can't make a post to add, there is something I've always thought would be VERY helpful to newcomers!

    A list of terms and their definitions, in example:

    Udder (and terms pertaining to)

    And much more of course, just terms we use regularly but newcomers might not know.

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    um maybe we should make that a separate thread......make it easier to access and find :shrug:
  4. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    At least five feet high. "No-Climb" horse fencing is great! We find it's best to secure this fencing to wood posts, but that's just personal preference. It works well with t-posts too.

    First-Aid Kit:
    Baking soda (for upset tummies)
    hoof trimmers
    Probiotic Paste
    Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic - Penicillin
    Nutri-Drench (or the equivalent homemade mixture)
    Power Punch (or equivalent) - I have the recipes for this if you think I should post them
    Vitamin B
    Vet-Rx and/or Vix Vapor Rub
    A good, broad-spectrum dewormer
    I know I'm forgetting things but this is all I came up with for now. . . .

    Collect as many goat-raising books that you can! Fias Co Farm is a wonderful source for information as well as TGS and other sites.

    Okay, that's all I can think of for now. . . .
  5. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    The thing that popped into my head when reading the start of this thread, was if I was a newbie, what would I want people to tell me?

    I wish someone had told me how addictive goats are (you can never have just one!)

    I wish someone had told me how noisy they can be (sometimes can be a problem with the neighbours)

    I wish someone had told me how destructive they are (they are hard on your facilities and often break things)

    Not particularly nice things but true
  6. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Also, something I think is really important,


    Even if it is just a mentor you can phone or email, like someone here, it doesnt have to be someone close by, although if there is someone close by that is even better
  7. MissMM

    MissMM New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    McGregor, MN
    Extremely important: find a veterinarian that actually knows something about ruminent animals! Get them on-board w/your herd by having them do a general health inspection / wellness check right away, that way if there ever is a problem, you'll have someone willing to respond in an emergency. Post the vet's number in several different places.
  8. goatnutty

    goatnutty Active Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    South East,IN
    I second that! Luckily our vet has goats so he knows what he's talking about! Some have no idea.
    Another thing is that you should know that while they don't eat tin cans billy goats really do smell and can be dangerous!
  9. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    If you are thinking Boers field fence will do, but be sure to either run hot wire so they wont rub on the fence or nail 2x6's about a third of the way up so they can rub on that & not bow out your fence. If you provide other stuff for them to rub on they will still prefer fence!
    Also think industrial strength hinges, bolts, what have you.
  10. Laskaland

    Laskaland New Member

    Nov 28, 2008
    Hello friends!
    Thanks so much for the info, but I guess I need MORE!

    For example, do I need shelter in the pasture? How many should I start with? What is a good buck/doe ratio? Is there a breed that is most children-friendly? Can they hang out with dairy cows, or do they fight?

    If I were to do dairy, how often do they get milked and how much milk would a Nubian, for example, produce daily (gallons? Liters?)? How long does it take to milk a goat? (thinking how many I could get done in a morning). Do the dwarf/mini breeds produce as much milk or 1/2 (like their size)

    We have an old hog shed on the farm. I am hoping to finish off part of it with stalls. How much room does a goat need for sleeping? I think the area will be about 20' wide x 15' deep, so how many can comfortably fit in the evenings?

    I'm sure I will have more...I am just in the planning stages!
    Thanks very much
  11. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    thats why having a newbie post is so hard -- everyone's needs are so different.

    Ok to answer some questions -- yes a shelter in the pasture would be good. Sometimes there is a passing rain shower or an unexpected one - or they need some shade. Something that is at least 3 sideded.

    Buck doe ratio I wouldnt know but it kind of depends on what breed you are getting and the purpose. Will you be keeping doe kids? if so you need an unrelated buck to breed to them.

    a Nubian probably a gallon + a day depending on peak production etc

    I have milked two goats in 5 minutes -- but they were experienced milkers and I was an experienced milker myself so take into consideration that some does will stand better then others andyou will need to learn the technique of milking.

    Yes the dwarfs dont produce as much as the standard but they have been known to produce 1/2gallon + a day Again depends on the doe and if she is in peak production or not.

    for the shelter it depends on if you have the minis or standards. I had 3 standards in a 8x8 shed but i had 7 minis in the same size shed.
  12. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Good qustions! Yes, everyone's needs are different, lay of land etc.

    All my girls hang out together in one shelter and snuggle up in family groups. It is a 3 sided shelter. Sometimes they will even sleep out in the snow! They do have access to a bldg they never use.

    When we got into goats I found that start up costs could easily be doubled!!
    Find a good vet who knows and likes goats!! Meet this person before you need one! A "consultation meeting" wont cost anything and you will have already established a working relationship. She/he will be more than happy to come out and show you how to give vaccinations. The first time I had mine out after kids were born she ran me thru the basics...of course this will cost you but she has been a life saver when I had questions or had to order meds without a farm call or vet visit. They can also refer you to other goat people.
    Folks do run cattle & goats together.
  13. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    Some things I always tell new goat owners:
    About fencing and shelters. Goats are herd animals. I never let a new goat owner leave with just one. They have got to have a buddy. I usually give a hoof trimming lesson, and let them try it a little bit with watching, that way you can hand out helpful hints. I give a paper on worming and the schedule i use along with my vets number as he is the best in the area with goats. along with a schedule for CD/T updates (dealing with tetnus is not fun) I give a list of poisenous plants. If they are not from around here i try and find another goat person they can go to in case of emergency, i usually find someone in the ADGA book
    Some people will ask about good books and i can send them home with a list of good goat books.
    I usually tell people to contact their local 4-h extension office if they have any sort of issues. Most people involved in 4-h are more then happy to help out.
    this is all i can think of for now.
  14. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    I think this is a great topic to bring back up again -- please give your input on what you would tell a "newbie"
  15. Mully

    Mully New Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    I think a newbie needs to understand the responsibility of raising goats ...to many today think of them like pets and they can be just different. They should ask themselves "am I ready and committed" Am I doing this just for the kids who might loose interest.
  16. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    I am still a newbie (have had goats for 6 months) but I now know a little more than I did at the very beginning. Here are the things I'd wish I'd known from day 1:

    -Make sure kids are disbudded well, by someone who knows how to do it, before bringing them home. 4 of my 6 doelings had horn regrowth and it has been a pain in the butt reburning, trying to figure out what to do, etc. -- I ended up taking them to the vet, which was expensive, and they're growing back again.
    -Teenage goats eat more than itty-bitty kids. Just be aware that your feed bill will increase, even if you don't bring any more goats home (which you will!) Likewise, the hay feeder that easily fit 6 goat kids will start to look kind of small... so always get things bigger than you think you'll need.
    -If the roof of your shelter is remotely in goat-jumping distance (mine is on a hill, so it is) you will have goats prancing on it, which is loud if the shelter has a metal roof (which mine does). Even if your goats don't dance on metal roofs, they will be louder than you think! As soon as I open the front door, it's "meeh! meeeh! come scratch me!"
    -If you have kid goats, everyone you know will want to visit them (and they will start thinking about buying goats of their own, too).
    -Read posts from thegoatspot.net before, rather than after, getting goats! But know that even if you don't the wonderful people here will help you out in a pinch :)
  17. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Member

    Oct 19, 2009
    Very helpful thread :)

    I am still a newb, so my question would be... How is the best way to locate a vet that has goat experience? We have a regular vet, but she's outrageous and doesn't do "livestock" since I've already inquired about it. She wouldn't refer me to someone who would either, which was lame.

    Thoughts or suggestions? I've thought about posting an ad to Craigslist asking for a vet reference. Good idea or no?
  18. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    I found the phone book and started calling places :thumb:
  19. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Member

    Oct 19, 2009
    :GAAH: I don't even think I *have* a phone book. How sad is that? lol
  20. crocee

    crocee New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Northeast Arkansas