Hi from Coastal N. California!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by tararuns, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. tararuns

    tararuns Guest

    17
    Feb 12, 2010
    Hello! This website looks like a great resource and I look forward to reading/absorbing/asking as much as I can.

    I'm brand spanking new to goats, and actually don't have any of my own yet. I live on a shared acre in Mendocino county in California, and my first step will be convincing my landlady that having a dairy goat would be a really beneficial thing both for her land as well as for food! Then we'd need to figure out a suitable shelter and fencing situation, as she's got really rustic wooden fencing around the property that can't even keep in our coonhound :)

    I really want to make my dream of having a dairy goat come true (we inherited this amazing organic vegetable garden and would love to become as self sustaining as possible), so I welcome all suggestions for making this a reality! i'm already looking into finding some local goat mentors.
     
  2. goatnutty

    goatnutty Active Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    South East,IN
    Welcome to TGS from Indiana! You will learn a lot of great information and the people on here are all very helpful! Also always ask any questions you have there is almost always someone that can help you or at least some that will try :)
     

  3. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    Hi! Welcome to TGS..... this IS a great forum... you will find a lot of great info on here. :) :wave:
     
  4. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    hi,
    great! I hope you can own your own dairy goat!
     
  5. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Well Hello from North Idaho!!!!!

    Nice to meet you
     
  6. farmgirl42

    farmgirl42 New Member

    640
    Jan 2, 2010
    Eastern Ohio
    Welcome from eastern Ohio! :wave:
     
  7. greatcashmeres

    greatcashmeres New Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Maine
    Hi and welcome to TGS-a great place for answers, info., and nice people. :wave: Have fun here!
     
  8. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    Welcome :wave:

    remember goats are herd animals so you need at least two. Either one doe and a wether (castrated male) or two does. Good luck with the convincing hope it all goes well
     
  9. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    519
    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Welcome from semi-coastal N. California! I'm in your neighboring county to the south, and have Nigis, little dairy goats. Have some kids due any day and more due in April and the summer... so... when you convince your landlady, I might be able to help you out. :) And you're always welcome to come visit with the girls if you're trying to decide on goat breeds!

    Nigis eat about 1/3 of standard dairy goats, are easier on fences, and require smaller shelters and less space, so they may be more landlady-friendly. They also have the personality of puppy dogs; at least, 8 of my 9 do. They follow me around and greet me with a "meeehh!" as soon as I open the front door. And while they produce less milk than standard breeds, it's usually plenty for a household (and to share around with friends).

    Am I biased? Sure... Standard owners, feel free to chime in... :)
     
  10. tararuns

    tararuns Guest

    17
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oh farmergal, I think you just sold me :) Is Nigis an abbreviation for Nigerian Dwarf goat? If so, I'm already really intrigued by that breed.

    Are you down in Sonoma county? We have family in the Bay Area and often travel down that way. I'd love to come meet your babies!

    ANY information you can give me to speak with my landlady would be great. Concerns I can imagine she'd have would be noise of the goats, affect on her land, if they would ruin her trees (she's got mature apple trees as well as younger trees. Most are lightly fenced off/wrapped to protect them from the deer) and scaring her beloved deer away. There'd be no way to create a fenced area for the goats that wouldn't include some of the trees, as they're throughout the property.
     
  11. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    we lease our land and the ONLY concern that our land lord has shown is the bark eating. The deer actually come right up to the fenceline with the goats and I think they sometimes even munch a little hay with the goaties.

    As far as noise - we don't ever have an issue unless it is past feeding time or we are in "rutt season" and the boys are seducing the girls - and really - then it is the SMELL that can be offending .... lol
     
  12. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    as long as the trees are wrapped then the goats cant eat the bark and they will be ok. I had to do that for my oak trees -- use chicken wire becasue their little noses can get through welded 2 inch wire

    Nigi is short of Nigerian Dwarf
     
  13. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    ohhhh i can see the fun with that ---- I have like 80 trees in the pen --- -aghhhhH!
     
  14. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Welcome from northern Ca..... :welcome: Glad you are here...this is a great learning site ...for goats and sometimes other things...HeHe.... :greengrin:
     
  15. CottonwoodCroft

    CottonwoodCroft Member

    90
    Jan 26, 2010
    Inyokern, CA
    Hi, from Southern California!
     
  16. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    519
    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Yup, I'm in Sonoma County, just a few minutes off the 101! Inbetween Windsor and Healdsburg. You're more than welcome to stop by sometime and meet the goats, just let me know when.

    Mine are only noisy (as someone else said) when they're hungry. As long as there's plenty of nice hay in the feeder, they are fine... but if you dare to let the feeder run out... :devilish: :) Other than that, they just say a little "mehhhh" hello, and if I say "mehhh," they say it back. (You might think this is dorky now, but as soon as you get goats, you will find yourself talking to them in English and goat too :) ) And actually, my goats act as a bit of a security system, at least during the day... if anyone comes walking up the driveway the goats all say hello and I know someone is there!

    I have found sheep and feral cats to be harder on trees than goats (they both use them as scratching posts, the cats destroy the bark and the sheep are strong enough to knock the saplings over) but the goats can eat the bark. Mine seem to prefer leaves and hay and the old Christmas tree in the corner to oak bark. (Another cool thing -- you can feed your Christmas tree to your goats.) But if yours are fruit trees, I think fruit trees are more desirable to goats.

    Other fun things about Nigis... they come in all different colors... They can have (rarely!) up to 6 kids... more commonly twins, singles, or triplets. They have the highest butterfat content of any of the goat breeds (besides Pygmies), so if you make cheese, there is less waste. One good thing to know when building your pen: young goats can fit through amazingly small holes. I have 10 month olds who can fit through the chicken door. I look at their round bellies, and I look at the hole, and I have NO idea how they do it. Course they only really try if there is something they want on the other side... like me... or goat food... or chicken food (which is bad for them). The fence doesn't have to be that high, however, to keep them in... just no holes. And for a pair of Nigis a good-sized dog house would suffice as a shelter, although it's nice to give them a little more space for the rainy season.

    Good things about all goats, regardless of breed (to tell the landlady): the poop is REALLY inoffensive. Just nice dry little pellets... not icky patties like cows. They will eat problem plants in California, like blackberry thickets and thistle. And... you can make her goat butter and cheese! They are pretty closely related to deer so I think they'd get along just fine. And if she thinks deer are cute, just wait until she sees Nigerian Dwarf kids! And those will jump in your lap, unlike deer that run away!
     
  17. tararuns

    tararuns Guest

    17
    Feb 12, 2010
    Those are great things to tell my landlady. I know she doesn't mind the deer poop, but we're very careful about picking up after our dogs. I'm sure the trees could easily be wrapped to protect the bark as well. There's actually a wonderful amount of crazy brush/plants throughout the acre, but I'm a little daunted by the cost of fencing off the entire acre for goats. It also wouldn't fly to fence it enough for the deer not to be able to get in.

    As far as the dog house for a shelter, that sounds like a terrifically cost effective idea, but someone else was telling me that I need to have a secure (aka lockable or at least with a latching door) that I can put them in at night to protect them from predators. None of my dogs will be out there protecting them, believe me :wink: I would LOVE to have the solution be that easy, but even with sufficiently high fencing, couldn't a mountain lion still get in? That's our biggest concern up here.

    Thanks for all the advice!
     
  18. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    519
    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Hm, that's a tough one. My pasture is surrounded by 5 foot high fencing and right by my house so I don't (knock on wood) have to worry about predators. I also have a couple of alpacas who help keep the coyotes away.
    Could you put them in a small yard adjacent to your house overnight? Then you could still use the dog house, otherwise you might need to build a bigger structure...
     
  19. tararuns

    tararuns Guest

    17
    Feb 12, 2010
    You think them being in closer to the house would be a deterrent for predators? We definitely wouldn't have the space for an alpaca :)

    I could certainly think about constructing a smaller yard off the house-we need one for the dogs anyway...But their day-pasture/area should have some kind of shelter from the elements as well, right?

    Another thing I just thought of...can goats wear collars, or is there too big a risk of them getting caught on something? (I, as a rule, won't turn out horses to pasture in a halter because of the risk). If a goat is wearing a collar, creating an electric fence around the property's perimeter isn't unfeasible.
     
  20. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    519
    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Their day area would need some kind of shelter from the elements, but it could be simple... my buck pen currently has a little lean-to (posts pounded into the ground, and a tin shingle on top). In California all we really need to worry about is keeping them dry!