Curious about Goats

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Ellie L. F., Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Yes Always

  2. No

  3. Depends

  1. Ellie L. F.

    Ellie L. F. New Member

    Nov 18, 2018
    Hullo from Colorado!

    I'm a hopeful future goat Mom! This summer my husband and I are building a house, and for the first time in my adult life I'll have a yard of my own! At first we considered getting a dog, but as lovely as dogs are, I don't want one???
    I know weird right? I think a part of it is that I'm afraid of most dogs bigger than a purse. There are lots of nice ones, but I've encountered plenty of "scary" dogs that have sort of ruined dogs for me. I considered getting a small dog, but then my mother in law mentioned that her niece kept pygmy goats. Her niece is high on the autism spectrum and having gentle goats to care for has really benefited her. I looked up miniature goat breeds and fell in love.

    Having kept a number of rescue ferrets, rabbits, snakes and volunteered for several animals shelters, I'm fully aware that taking on any animal is a big responsibility and is for life. I am not the kind of person to get a cute kid only to neglect it as it gets older. I also looked up to see if our town had any good goat vets. And according to the goat owners in our area, we have three! I checked to see if it would be legal, according to the city map we are on multi-use land. There's a ranch nearby that breeds Nigerian Dwarfs, and I've met a few other goat owners who have gotten their Nigerian Dwarfs from them and recommend them.

    My plan is to get a pair of wethers. We have lots of little hikes nearby to take them on (on a leash! and with a dog whistle and mace). I already have names picked out from some of my favorite books. I've been making plans for their shelter and their enclosure. I'm in contact with the local "goat" lady who is happy to teach me about keeping goats and is full of advice.

    That being said I'm always happy to hear more advice.

    One question I'd like to put out there: Is it necessary to have them dis-budded as kids? I don't have any children to worry about and I like the way their horns look. Can't I just put something on the horns if I'm concerned about them hurting each other?:what:

    Thanks a bunch! Ell :)
  2. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    In all likelihood the breeder will have already made this decision for you. Disbudding is done at just a few days old.
    Goat_Scout likes this.

  3. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Hello fellow Coloradan! I love horns and I leave horns on my wethers. So no, I don't think it's necessary to disbud. BUT, it is important that you teach your goats good horn manners so they are never tempted to butt, poke, or snag people. Two horned goats are unlikely to hurt each other even when they play very rough. If you decide you want horns, be prepared to stick with that decision. I've heard people say, "Well, if they are bad with their horns we'll just band them later." But banding horns is very hard on goats and could cause them to become permanently shy. You'll also have to keep horns in mind when building fences, feeders, gates, shelters, etc. Horned goats can require somewhat different management than dehorned ones since they may learn how to use their horns to open latches, destroy things, etc.

    In the end, it's up to your personal preference and what you feel you can manage. When we go out in public I sometimes wrap my boys' horns using tennis balls and vetwrap so they can't accidentally poke a careless kid in the face or snag someone's jewelry or belt loops. Our goats are careful, but some people are not! Nigerian Dwarfs are very cute, and you're making a good decision to get wethers. The world needs more good homes for wethers. And I'm 100% with you on the "goats are better than dogs" thing. I have two big dogs myself, but their only purpose is to guard my precious goats! ;)
  4. SonRise Acres

    SonRise Acres Active Member

    Apr 23, 2018
    It’s not something we do no matter gender or if it can procteate or not. With the exception of one buck, we have never had issues. Yes, they will butt each other. It’s in their nature. But we prefer to keep them intact up above for a few reasons.
  5. MadCatX

    MadCatX Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2018
    I have a NigiXpygmy Buck. Fully intact and with horns. Personally Im fine with them understanding its his primary weapon. He's hooked me before..gored me and such...its is AMAZING how much power a 45-50lb Buck has so be very very careful. That said, proper training, respect and time...its not that bad, you can teach them. I am going to tennisball Clyde geught, I let his horns grow and now they are like spears. So some hot pink tennis balls with green duct tape is what he's getting.

    I would say stick to Wethers or Does. Bonnie is a pygmy and she is just a doll, does her thing...just chills. Possum peen is totally different animal...esp in RUT...Lort.
  6. Nigerian dwarf goat

    Nigerian dwarf goat Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2017
    First, I agree, I like goats Better than dogs. Not saying dogs are bad (I have 3 myself) but it just... Well... GOATS!! Lol! I don't know why I like them better I just do!

    Second: be sure to have a draft free shelter for your goaties. They a sturdy, well built structure to block wind, rain ( goats HATE to get wet!), sun and just general weather.

    I don't care if my goats have horns or not. If you want horns then keep the horns, but stick to the decision that you make!
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I agree with what Has been said already.

    I believe in keeping the horns, it is their radiator, which helps keep them cool in the summer and warmer in the winter.

    Some do remove them, for different reasons, to each their own. ;)
    catharina and 21goaties like this.
  8. Dwarf Dad

    Dwarf Dad Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum! We disbud because it is a little safer for the dogs and cats. We also did not want them getting hung in the fence.
  9. spidy1

    spidy1 Well-Known Member

    for me, disbuding-dehorning is a big NO, I will not have a dehorned goat no exceptions, all my dairy goats, meet goats all goats of mine WILL have there horns, OK dont get me started, this can be a hot topic.
    I'm SOOOOOOOOO glad you want goats!!!!!!!! wethers are SOOOO much FUN!!!! does can be a blast two, not bucks for someone with limited experience. what are the names you have picked?
    catharina and 21goaties like this.
  10. SleepingDogRanch

    SleepingDogRanch Member

    Aug 10, 2018
    South Texas
    Wethers are a good choice. My first, official, goat was Cameron a wether who was in my life for 13 years and he was such a good goat!
    catharina, MadCatX and 21goaties like this.
  11. Mmhyronimus

    Mmhyronimus Well-Known Member

    I have both dehorned and horned goats. I honestly prefer the horns. Not only are they, as Toth Boer goats pointed out, radiators, but they also make great handles. I know, not a great way to put it, but they make it a lot easier to hold on to when giving shots. Especially if you have some ham-handed people helping with them like I do.
    Most of my dairies are dehorned but only because I bought them already dehorned.

    Wethers and does are a good place to start. As some people have said, bucks can be a little challenging when in rut. Welcome to the site!
    toth boer goats likes this.
  12. 21goaties

    21goaties Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2018
    Southern GA
    I got butted in the head today (my fault for bending down in the hay though), but I think goats should have their horns. It's an essential part of being a goat! We only have 1 goat without them and he was disbudded as a kid before he came here.
    catharina and toth boer goats like this.
  13. 21goaties

    21goaties Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2018
    Southern GA

    Imagine running around with both arms around a goats neck WHILE trying to give a shot. Horns are much easier to hang on to.
  14. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    Hi, welcome.
    It is a personal decision, I have Nigerian Dwarfs and I absolutely love the breed. Wethers are so sweet and loving, it's a great choice to start. I respect the fact that you're doing the research you need to be a good goat mom. I have mostly horned however, I did disbud our triplets that were just born for two reasons, first they're dairy and to show it's required. I'm not sure if we will show the does,but since the window for disbudding is so short I went ahead and had our vet do it. Second is we want to retain the buckling for future breeding, a powerful buck in rut with horns is not something I feel I can personally handle. I'm getting older and not as quick as I used to be.
    If I was only getting goats as pets, I'd chose horned wethers that I bottle fed because you bond really well bottle feeding and they get used to you being herd queen so you have less issues and like others have said it is their way of cooling off in hot weather.
    Good luck with your new goats and again, Welcome we will look forward to pictures once you get your new fur babies :)
  15. SonRise Acres

    SonRise Acres Active Member

    Apr 23, 2018
    :nod: I third the built-in handle situation. They have been the only reason I was able to get ahold of a few goats.
    21goaties likes this.
  16. Ellie L. F.

    Ellie L. F. New Member

    Nov 18, 2018
    I'd like to talk to the breeders and ask if they will let me keep their horns. I think it makes them look....goaty!

    As for names We were thinking Aberforth for one:
    Aberforth is Dumbledor's brother in the Harry Potter books. An old Crotchety wizard who loves goats (a little too much). His Patronus is a goat.

    And Either Bartelby or Bombadil for the other:
    Bartleby a comic book character from Jeff Smith's Novel "Bone", who's name I presume comes from "Bartleby the Scrivener" by Herman Melville.
    Bombadil is a Tolkien character. I'm rather fond of both names but my Husband thinks Bartelby sounds cuter.
    spidy1 likes this.
  17. wifeof1

    wifeof1 Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2016
    Boulevard, CA
    Well I guess I'm gonna be the ONLY one here to go with No Horns.
    I'm fond of Dairy so we don't have horns or keep wethers.
    Colo. Doesn't get that warm so the radiator point is moot in my opinion.
    Having had meat goats with horns I know I don't like how they manage to always find a new place to stick their head through and get stuck because of the horns.
    The horn walking is great, but mine are trained to go where I shush them.
    Just my opinion.
  18. Ellie L. F.

    Ellie L. F. New Member

    Nov 18, 2018
    Thanks everyone for being so warm and welcoming! I appreciate your words of wisdom. My town is small and I think I request the breeders not to disbud the kids if I ask. It's that kind of town. I'll be sure to share pics of these guys, and my progress building their enclosure and shelter.

    Looking forward to more goat talk with yall! Thanks! (woot)
  19. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Where in Colorado are you located? I'm in Rye, which is south of Pueblo.
  20. SonRise Acres

    SonRise Acres Active Member

    Apr 23, 2018
    Aberforth is a must!! I won’t share that our next little buck might be named Sirius.

    I am torn on the other two. Bartleby is really cute BUT I am a big Tolkien fan so that dedication leans me towards Bombadil.