Introduction - Questions

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by jillygoat, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. jillygoat

    jillygoat Guest

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hi Everybody,

    I'm an expectant goatie mom. I know I'm getting them, we're getting ready - but they aren't on my property yet - and I feel just like I did when I was pg with m ... =post&f=2# :whatgoat: :whatgoat: y first child. I'm reading everything I can - stressing about how to do it right - and the whole time knowing that as valuable as preparation and education are - nothing will prepare me for the "real thing".

    We are in suburbia - so we don't really have access to pasture. I'll be turning a shed into the milk room, and hubby still needs to build the goat house and fence the yard. We have chickens and ducks right now that free range - but we'll definately need more fencing, as we also have some garden space in the back yard. I would say the designated space we have available for a goat run is about 5-600 square feet - with the possibility of an additional 200 square feet.

    One of our side fences has a lot of ivy coming over it from the neighbors yard. I had initially thought that the goats could help keep that under control - but then I read somewhere that its poisonous to goats. Its not poison ivy - just regular old (maybe english) ivy. Would access to about 20 feet of ivy growing over a fence be toxic?

    I've heard rave reviews about La Manchas in an urban setting. Do I need to look for a Mini La Mancha, or is it reasonable to believe that the regular size La Mancha, being a somewhat smaller goat, would do okay in the space allocated for it?
    Also, when it comes to milking equipment and setting up a milk room - what is essential, what is very helpful, and what is just plain luxury?

    These are my first questions - I'm sure there are plenty more to come, but I'd be thankful for any advice from those of you who are already goatie parents with all of that experience under your belts!

    Thanks in advance for the advice!

  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    welcome Jill :wave:

    Lamanchas are very sweet and mellow -- they should work fine for you situation :thumb:

    as to the ivy -- never heard of it being poisonous but then again I dotn have ivy in my yard so I dont think about it. its on the editable list here

    Milk room: a shelf up high enough so the goats cant pull things down from it.

  3. jillygoat

    jillygoat Guest

    Jan 20, 2010
    Thank you Stacey. I checked out the Fias co site - and that put my mind at ease about the ivy. Maybe I'll even send them over to the neighbors to keep it from coming over the fence so much!

    I'd love to hear from anyone that has experience with La Mancha - either full size or mini - and also if anyone has any advice on what is absolutely essential for a milk shed!


  4. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I think you'd really like Lamanchas in that setting. They are very adaptable and easy to handle. Plus, their milk is delicious :)
  5. donbusbin

    donbusbin New Member

    Aug 30, 2009
    I have a full sized LaMancha that my grandson just had to have. She was extremely friendly from the first meeting. She will dance on her hind feet for a cookie and will steal them from your pocket if given the opportunity. She can be vocal if she doesn"t get enough petting though.
  6. nutmegfarm

    nutmegfarm New Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    NE Ohio
    That sounds like plenty of room. the ivy thing I'm not 100% sure on. I raise LaManchas and they are my "test dummies" for the kids in 4-H in my county. They do clipping demos, showing demos...they're like stuffed animals! They are very sweet and I've NEVER had a bad tempered earless wonder!!

    Hope you enjoy them!
  7. wookiee

    wookiee New Member

    Oct 26, 2009
    Welcome! It's so wonderful to have goats at home! You will love them.

    I do have a question about the size space you mentioned. When I did my research, people were saying that you would need 1/2 acre for two or so Nigerian Dwarfs? Has that changed? Because to my calculations, 500 SF of run is 20 x 25 feet. And you said "them" so that is more than 1 full sized goat in that space. Am I misunderstanding?

    I hope I was very misinformed in my initial looking around. I would love to have more than two goats in my 60 x 100 foot pen!!! :leap:
  8. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    I think you would need a half acre for two nigerian dwarfs if you were only feeding them on pasture, and even then it would depend on where you are and how the pasture grows. If you are not relying on pasture to feed them you can have a lot more than that on a 1/2 acre. Everyone has different ideas about what works, but goats do fine in not so much space if they are taken care of properly.
  9. Idahodreamer

    Idahodreamer Senior Member

    Ditto, lissablack

    I kept 2 Nigerians and 2 standards in my 36' x 50' pen and they were fed hay and alfalfa pellets. There was no 'not enough space' issues because I let them out of their pens during chore time and play time so they could browse while I worked. My German Shepherd would watch over them for me and make sure they didn't wander far. *gosh, that brings back memories. . .can't wait to get back into goaties again this year.*
    But anyway, if it's pasture you're relying on then yes, you'd need a bigger pen then 20 x 25. However if you're feeding hay, as long as there's enough room for them to run and play, they're good. :)
  10. wookiee

    wookiee New Member

    Oct 26, 2009
    Whew, what a relief! So many knowledgeable people here on this board!

    OP, When are your new babies coming home??? :clap:
  11. goatiegurl*Oh

    goatiegurl*Oh Senior Member

    Nov 10, 2007
    I just got my lamanchas a little over a week ago,and I love them,they're very mellow,and friendly. :] I think they would be fine in that setting