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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started out this summer with 12 goats, and one ended up dying and i sold 4. We have about 3-4 acres fenced in but have horrible pasture and they have to share with 2 horses. And having school isn't helping cause this is the first year I've had homework believe it or not haha, then hunting season is coming up, and i haven't rode in about 2 months. It's just getting to be work not fun and instead of earning money im loosing it. At first i just wanted to sell 2 or 3 before winter since the grass would be gone and i would have to feed them more feed. But now i don't know what I'm going to do.

I started out with 2 pet goats that i bottle fed when i was 8 and have sent them to friends to get bred and i would bring them back after they kidded. Then sell the kids. Well I'm 15 now and decided i would try to have a herd of my own and breed and raise and sell kids by myself. Well turns out, me bringing in new goats brought in worms and i had to fight them all summer, where before i never even had any sickness ever. And i still have cases of worms at least once a month and its driving me crazy. So i decided its because i have too many maybe and i want to raise boers... but i have some decent boers, some very bad conformation boers, then some mixed breed field does (thats what i started with) and i think im going to have to pick one breed or the other.

I think i jumped in way to fast so I'm thinking of cutting down to my buckling and the only good boer doe and selling the rest. It wont be near as pricey to feed, and i hopefully will have fun raising them again instead of having to nurse one back to health 24/7. Then maybe next year when the pasture is hopefully growing better i can get 5 at most good quality does and start over. I have a doe that is one of the ones I've had forever that is pregnant and i can't decide to sell her now or not. Or to even sell out or not. I don't know what to do, but selling out seems to be the best way. What do you guys think, how hard is it to rebuild a herd? Should i or not?

Thank you for any opinions on what i should do.
 

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There are always goats for sale. How attached are you to any of them? Picture yourself with no goats at all and be honest with yourself on how you would feel about it. Give it a couple days.

I had a larger herd and now just have 3 goats. There were actually ones that I felt physically sick at the thought of selling them. Those I kept, the rest I sold.

It really comes down to what you want to do and what are your obligations and how the goats fit in. It is time to be truly honest with yourself about it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The one thats pregnant is a mixed breed field goat, one of the ones i bottle fed when i was little, she pretty much started everything and has had 4 generations of kids so far. I have one of her does from 2 years ago and one from this year that i kept. Both of them look good and i was going to keep them all but now that i have to choose what i want to do, i think i should start over.

If i stay with this breed then i would get some bigger does and might have to sell them anyway, these now are pretty little probably 80lbs or less. I sell at auction and pretty much everyone their either has "goats"(mixed) and very few have "those big red headed ones" (boers) that is pretty much the only goats there but there are always 400 there. If you can imagine after being on goat spot for a few months when i talk goats there, people look at me like im crazy haha. Only bad thing is sometime boers sell great and other times, like last time i watched a full blood beautiful 200lb+ proven boer buck with papers get sold for $200. The group of them came from another state and everyone was like $200 who would pay that for a goat, and im like yall have no idea he should have sold for $600 haha. Then other times ive seen them sell twice as much even if their conformation is crap but they have a red head? It's crazy we need a goat class down here.
That story may be pointless (sorry im stressing and i ramble) but either one i pick i it could go great or very bad. They were all raised as pet goats but after all the years of selling kids or any animal for that matter i don't get all that attached anymore and i think ill be fine with either way. I've been thinking about this for over a week and have gotten nowhere. I think ill think about it for a few more weeks like you said before i do anything crazy. Thanks
 

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why dont you sell every thing but the pregnant doe and maybe your buck and start again in the spring. it sounds like you need a break, and it sounds like you dont have the genetics that you want. take the money that you get to get the quality goats you want.
 

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If something turns from fun to something you are resenting- then it's time to make a change! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's fun when everything runs smoothly. :) But yall know thats impossible :p lol. I think i just have too much going on so its stressful. I have to take care of them on my own, not that im complaining i dont like people messing up everything haha, but keeping up with goats, chickens, horses, dogs, and grades...its not going really smooth.

Ill post pics and tell yall what i want to do with each and maybe that will help me decide and make it clearer for yall to help. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What do yall think about pygmys? I know it will be a huge change from boer to mini but i think i might try it.
Here i have no idea what people breed them for, not pets and they can't have much meat but at the sale they will have about 80 of them and they usually go for the same price as mixed medium sized goats, which is around 40-60 for a kid. I guess they would be a better beginner goat, easier to handle and more cost efficient to feed. I don't care about making a profit but it would be great to come close to breaking even. I would get to have kids every year, they are probably somewhat more worm resistant, and instead of dragging giant goats bigger than i am around i just have to pick them up so they will be easier to take care of i hope.

I might even keep 2-3 boers and get rid of the rest and try a few pygmys. :) What are yalls opinions? This is just an idea I still can't make up my mind on what i want to do.
 

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I have Nigerians, who are related to pygmies, and they are wonderful. Hardy, personable. They are less work that full-sized, but before you get more goats, be sure you really want to, because minis have problems too and you may end up overwhelmed even though they're pint-sized. :) I know I get overwhelmed with my 8 when someone has an issue.
 

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With going into winter, I would reduce the herd and just stick with that. Then see how you feel in the spring. Don't rush into doing anything. If you need a break than give yourself one.

Whether small or large, they all need the same care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks :)

Im reducing to about 4 in the next month or so, and it won't be till probably June until i add to that. :) Im thinking minis eat less so i could get better feed, better hay, and have better all around care. :) If i was to feed just hay and good feed would they not get wormy near as bad? Feeding a 200lb boer just feed and hay is a lot more pricey than feeding a 50lb goat.

If the pasture was great then it would be a different story, but it looks horrible and instead of eating hay they would rather eat what's left of that and its making them sick. So when i downsize they are going in a dry lot. And i heard its going to get really cold this winter, so maybe it will kill off some worms. Last year it got to about 40 and that was really cold lol, it stayed mostly 70. But this year i heard it will be in the 20s im so excited! Haha, thank you guys ill be sure to read in to it a lot more before i start adding on again. :)
 

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Worms are in the ground and transferred through feces, so even though good hay and good feed is wonderful, it won't, in the end, keep them from getting worms. What will help is, if you can, rotating pastures. I'm in the process of splitting my pasture in half, and am going to switch them from one side to the other every 2 weeks. When the parasites hatch, there will be nothing to ingest them, and they will die. It won't kill them all, but it should help cut down.

What may help is if you get better hay, they may choose to eat it instead of picking off the ground. :)

It was a very bad worm year this year, and it looks like it's going to be similar next year as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you, you saved me a lot of time i was about to waste. :)

I have 3 fields fenced in, and my new idea is to rotate them through like you said. Like put the goats in field #2 and have the horses in #1, then put the goats in #3 and the horses to #2, and just rotate them out so the goats like to eat the weeds, the horses eat the grass, then it has a while to grow some back. I think ill just go with your plan of 2 weeks between rotations. :D Thank you I've always heard of switching fields but have never attempted it. Guess i can try. :)
 

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We'll try it together, haha! I'm hoping to cut down on my deworming costs. I deworm herbally and usually give twice a week. If I start rotation, I should be able to give once a week.
 

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I pretty much agree with everyone else. There is one point that hasn't been made tho....what are you breeding for? Are you trying for a commercial herd or a purebred herd? If you are going for commercial, there is no reason to spend money on registered stock. Cull the goats with poor conformation since they are really not even good for commercial breeding. Conformation is key because that is where you determine what your goats are going to be used for. A small boned meat goat will put on less muscle than a big boned animal....etc. Poor conformation will lead to problems down the road....lameness, inability to carry a kid full-term, etc. What breed? Well, whatever breed is selling best there. If it seems that the red-headed boers are what is selling at the sale, then that's what you should be aiming for. Cross breeds tend to be way hardier than purebreds (not always, but that is a general rule of thumb across all species) As for the minis...I absolutely ADORE my minis. But they are NOT money makers. They are pets, period, end of story. LOL Out here, they sell for $40 to $60 at best. They are also more likely to be the ones to get out of any pen first...they have built-in radar that leads them right to any small hole in the fence! I have a small mixed herd of boer/kiko/nubian and one spanish type. Mine is a pretty decent commercial type operation. Not fantastic, not horrible. I don't seem to have the problem with worms that everyone else talks about...not saying it won't happen.... I would definitely get on a regular worming schedule if I were you along with rotating your pasture. If you can find some good cane hay or cornstalk bales, goats LOVE the crunchy stuff and might be more likely to eat it than grass hay. Should also be cheaper than alfalfa....IF you can find it in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you, that was a great point made about escaping. Our fences are made for big goats and horses so little holes never mattered unless a kid found one. Back to the drawing board i guess lol. The pregnant doe kidded today with twins (they are so cute!) so that changes a lot too.

Here is the goats i have now and what im planning to do...

#1. 9 month old boer buck- keep

#2. 6 month old small boer doe- sell

#3. 7 year old bad quality boer doe (she has a dipped back and doesn't look very boer, also mother to #2)

#4. 6 year old Very big and wide boer doe- keep

#5. 2 year old mixed breed doe, has had 1 kid- i haven't made up my mind on her

#6. 10 month old mixed breed doe, i like her the best out of the mixed breed half sisters with #5 - undecided

#7. 6 year old doe, has had 4 sets of kids, mama to all the mixed breed- keep

#8 & #9. 10 hour old buck and doe, their mama is #7, and full sister is # 6- sale the buck at 6 months old, keep or sale doe.

So that is all of them, the kids born today won't eat much this winter anyway, ive got to keep the mama, the 2 small boer does are getting sold, #5 will get sold or im going to send her to the breeders in a few months and leave her until march of next year probably along with #6, ill keep the 2 good boers here.

I think that will work out. :) Ill only really have 3 mouths to feed and won't have to start all over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well im not exactly selling the horses (there are only 2) but they are going to the breeders too, they are family and have about 200 acres of perfect pasture fenced in, while we only have 5-10 acres fenced in and its not even good pasture. And they only have about 15 cows, a bull, and about 30 goats so they don't mind a few extra. :)

And today i went from 20 chickens (mostly chicks) to 14, then when i bring the goats to auction im bringing the chickens too and im only keeping a Dominique rooster and 2 hens for breeding and im keeping 3 egg house layers for the eggs. This will be a lot of help too, cutting down on chores. :)
 

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For me the goats would go before the horses. Dogs and horses come first, goats 3rd.

Wow, 20 degrees is spring weather for us! As much as I hate winter, the freezing temps do a great job at killing parasites. Not much survives below 0 temps for weeks on end.

Your plan sounds well thought out and very do-able.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yea there is no way i would sale my gelding :) i got him when he was 4 and i was 8, now I'm 15 and hes 12 and its gonna be heck when he's gone, but im going to visit as often as i can. And as soon as the pasture grows up again hes coming back home. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
And with the weather thing, I guess that is a reason im having such a hard time with worms. We literally wore shorts year round last year and it was about 85 on Christmas, i was like this isn't even right lol. We were even swimming in January, I hate this weather :p .
 
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