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Herd Bound
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just curious if and how other people cull in their dairy herd. Currently I have a few does that I want to find pet homes for that are not beneficial to my breeding program. Lack of experience in the beginning really has made it difficult emotionally to part with some of these goats because they were the "firsts". Now that I have more experience I know that I would prefer to let them go and make room for the new kids coming soon. Do you guys take kids/does you can't sell off the farm to auction? What do you do with the does and or wethers that are too old for freezer camp? I have tried craigslist but I just posted one ad, do you repost often in order to get a better response? What is a good price for a Pet only animal? Some of them are registered but I won't be selling them with their papers. Thanks for your input! :whatgoat:
 

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www.wildheartsranch.org
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Yes. Depending on the quality of the animal I have taken them to the sales barn. One was a crossbred doe who I got from there, she was a high volume milker but pushy, and kicked on the stand. I tried selling her on CL but no one wanted her for the same reasons I didn't. She had to go and there wasn't really any other option for her. If the goat is good for milking or friendly enough as a pet I'll usually hold out for a good home, even if I have to drop the price. I renew my ad as soon as possible. As pet only I usually get around $100.
 

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I do take mine to auction. I don't believe in trying to sell "pet only" animals...but that is just my opinion. Around my area, there aren't too many people that will keep a traditional farm animal as a pet. If you aren't getting them sold and you absolutely do not want them to go to the auction...you may have to try giving them away. Just keep in mind that once you no longer physically OWN that animal, it is the new owners right to decide what to do with them...some people will take them and sell them. Animals that you think are too old for freezer camp are not too old for a lot of people. I've heard of people that far prefer old animals to young ones for eating. I hate culling, but also understand that it is part of owning a breeding operation.
 

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Culling

If you have ever been to an auction you probably won't ever take your goats there to sell.

Advertise aggressively. Craigslist, the internet, post flyers in your area and contact your local extension office for names of goat 4-H clubs.

There are alternatives to the auction.
 

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Well, I have diary, dairy/meat, and meat goats, so what I've done is:

-Look at your animal. Is she cute? Friendly? What's good about her?(for just a family goat) Also look at her cons. Is she mean or ugly? What is wrong with her conformation? Udder?

If she is cute/friendly/ etc. Put her on Kijiji(craiglist for U.S.ers :)
If she is mean or bad udder, send her to the auction.

For example:
5yr old Alpine. supposed to be purebred. Nice attached udder, but not great production. Very Alpine look. Good conformation. Good mother. Sounds good, does she? Put her on Kijiji for $200?
BUT: she could NOT hold weight. She lost it like a sieve. She was nasty to the other goats. She was hard to catch. Not so great, now, is she? Auction barn for her?

For oneline ads, repost often. You don't want your ad to be too far back. Less people will see it.
Pet only price: Again, look at your animal. For a nice looking, friendly doe, $150 to $200 is not bad (Remember, I'm in Canada) For a Ok looking, Ok personality doe, $100 to $150.
For the registered, but unpapered, Say that they are reg. People are more willing to buy a reg animal, (even without papers) then unregistered animal.(Which could just be a mutt.)
Any animal I can't sell, I either send to an auction or freezer camp. Animals too old for freezer camp, it's the auction barn for them!

But the most important thing is to test your area. what do people like? When do they buy? What do they dislike? Watch the auction barn prices. when are they the highest for your animal type?

Hope this helps!
 

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If you have ever been to an auction you probably won't ever take your goats there to sell.

Advertise aggressively. Craigslist, the internet, post flyers in your area and contact your local extension office for names of goat 4-H clubs.

There are alternatives to the auction.
Yes, but not everyone is going to always going to buy your goats. Just DON'T always just send to the auction barn without advertising.
 

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www.wildheartsranch.org
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Keep in mind that even if you don't find a goat to be breeding quality, withholding their papers won't stop them from being bred, it just makes the babies less valuable. If they have a serious fault you think shouldn't be passed on they should be butchered. If they're just not the quality you want in your herd, I would let other people decide if they do. Personally I won't sell an animal without papers that has them, it's not doing them any favors.
 

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Goat Girl
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I've culled goats before. Usually if I have a doe that is a decent milker (not to my standards), good conformation, good attitude I will sell them privately. I advertise on craigslist (and I do renew my ad when I can, that way it is on that days listings and more people see it) and I advertise on Facebook. There are several groups on there for dairy goats for sale, goats for sale in your state (there is for mine anyways) and there probably is a pet goats for sale group too. In my state there is a Hobby Farmers group so I post hobby type goats on there. I've had goats that have gone to the sale before too. Usually they are the ones that are super aggressive towards other goats, not a pleasure to be around, don't want to breed, or in the case of the meat goats if they are a poor mother. I don't like taking them to the sale, but if it is an animal that you would feel bad about selling to someone or you tried to advertise the goat for awhile and didn't get any hits, more than likely no one else wants the goat either.

As far as pet only goats, it is kind of hard to sell them that way because they will likely be bred again unless someone is buying the goats just for the purpose of having a pet. With yours, you might try to find someone near you who does petting zoos. They usually will buy nice friendly goats. Around here $100 would be pretty average for a pet goat, I have seen some advertised for more, but it usually takes them awhile to sell. With Christmas right around the corner, now would be an excellent time to advertise them as X-Mas gifts.
 

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Shady Acre Homestead
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Like others have said...I would look at the individual animal, if I think it could be productive for someone (albeit milking,pet,companion)I would sell it, provided I don't need the meat.

I do sell does when possible,and males are raised for meat,provided I get any males! Last year I got 4 doelings...and zero bucklings,so two does will be processed in January.

I did end up eating one of my does that was actually my first doe. She was a pet,really, and it was a little hard to swallow (no pun intended)...but...for the better of my small herd it was necessary.I couldn't sell her as a milker...she had double orifices on each teat and milk would go everywhere,she was a bully,so she created havoc in the herd.I would not allow the meat to be wasted, so we had her ground.I let the meat stay in the freezer for awhile until I felt I could handle it.
 

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Yes, I cull. My culling criteria includes lack of mothering ability, lack of milking ability, short or squatty looking animals, overly aggressiveness, fence climbing, incorrect conformation, bad feet, and small kids. All culls and wethers are sent to the sale barn because there is no market for pets where I live.
 

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I'm sorry but there is nothing wrong with taking a animal to the sale. Just because the sale you have been to isn't ideal doesn't mean they all are. The sale I take mine to is clean and not mean to the animals at all. I saw a worker grab a does ear once and the owner of the sale yelled at them. The sale is a perfect place to take animals you can not sell on your own to. The buyers are not stupid and know a good goat from a sickly one and there are many nice goats that go threw the sale. If your doe is in milk you might even get more money then your asking for. A dairy doe in milk here with a decent bag will bring between $200 to $300. I bought a Nubian in milk last year because I pull a kid if they have trips and the cost of milk was killing me and the man I bid against wanted her for the same reason. And there are also buyers there that want milk for their own use as well but think at a sale they will get a deal. I also agree that a goat is never too old to butcher. I have seen some old used up girls sell to butcher.
 

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I would suggest going to your local auctions and see what they are like. We have one near me that I would never consider taking an animal to but we recently went to another auction place that was very clean and the animals looked very healthy and were treated well. So it is going to depend on each individual auction place around you.

I honestly would rather put meat in the freezer but you have to decide what is best for you.
 

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Herd Bound
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, I am glad that I asked the question. You guys are great and have really given me some good things to think about. I think I will check out the auction on my own first and see how I feel about it. The doeling I am thinking of doesn't have any serious faults, she isn't aggressive, she actually gets picked on a lot. I don't like her conformation but I don't think that should automatically qualify her as a bad producer. I think I will spend some time using the thoughts you guys shared and build myself a Cull/Auction/Sale decision template and try going at it logically. I know that part of building a quality herd is making those tough decisions.
 

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Is her conformation really that bad? Even if she does not meet your standards for show and as a breeder, there are plenty of people who might appreciate having her as a home milker. I wouldn't be too quick to take her to auction, only if you really think she will bring down the breed or have other solid reasons.
 

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Herd Bound
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For this particular goat I am going to work hard to sell off the farm to a good home. It will be a loss for us as well. We bought her with papers to be sent in and it turns out the owner didn't own the sire at the time of breeding and I need a service memo. I have tried to contact the previous owner but she has not gotten back to me. I decided to just chalk it up to experience and NEVER buy a doe without the proper paperwork complete.Anyway...her FF was a disappointment and she doesn't let us milk her, although we could force the issue we didn't. The offpring of my own original stock are strong legged, quick growing and are healthy. I have noticed that stock I get from other people often are slow growers and need worming treatment more often ect,,this could be just bad luck but I am now at the point where I can cull and just have a closed herd at least for a few years anyway.

Auction will have to be plan B. I do realize, however, that I have to have a plan in place to make wise decisions regarding culling. I personally like to make the decision before they are an adult but sometimes you just don't know until after they freshen. I had one doe that was herd boss that had a rude personality and she wasn't registered. I had thought at one time that she would be on my cull list but then she freshened with the most amazing bag. Her personality changed too. She is now my favorite doe and produces the most milk on the farm. I have over 20 goats and I have Lamanchas, Mini-Nubians, Mini-lamanchas and Nigerian Dwarfs. I have only been raising goats since 2010 so it has taken me awhile to learn what I want from my herd. I am excited to see a clear direction but know that I need to slim down if I want to go there.
 
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