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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My start up budget right now is $200,000, last week it was half that.
QUESTION: Is 50 sqft. per animal good enough? 25 sqft. of barn space and 25 sqft. of outside space? They will only be in here during the months grass doesn't grow to give my pasture a rest and for them to empty out their worm load.

$20,000 on breeding stock (including imported genetics)

$130,000 on fencing (50 acres)

$10,000 on a barn

$1,000 on drylot fencing

$200 on drylot bedding (some type of grit or gravel)

$800 on a trough feeder and hay holder

$5,000 on milking supplies/machines

$2,000 on various health and medical supplies

$2,000 on dispatch and processing equipment

$5,000 on product makers (pasteurizer, cheese maker, meat curer, meat grinder)

The rest of the money is undecided, is my budget too small or too big? Any recommendations or comments?
 

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Fair-Haven
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I would start out much smaller. I think 25 sq. feet per animal is overtaxing. Goats need room to roam, not space stress. If you are looking at an intensive dairy operation, reach out to producers who are doing this. Goddard farms is one I can think of off the bat. You will also need a lot of storage space for milk/ meat/ - containers, a license which can be costly - and lots of grain for those milkers, which is not in your budget. Also disease testing - at least for CAE and G6S if nubian or nubian cross. A barn of $10,000 doesn't get you much anymore. You need kidding space, buck space, does in milk space, milking space, hay storage etc. I'm not sure how many animals you plan to keep, but if you've never had goats - take it SLOW. Milkers are labor intensive - I hope you have lots of free labor. Also think of waste disposal, if you need a backhoe or manure spreader, etc. Depending on the number you plan to keep - you may need it. IDK about your medical supply budget - you didn't mention how many animals this is supposed to cover. Also , if you get into AI, CIDR's, recip does etc. that is added cost.
 

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25 sq. feet is only 5x5 feet per animal. This isn't nearly enough and will lead to disease, parasite, and hoof problems. If you have 50 acres to work with then you should plan to devote a lot more than 25 sq. feet per animal in your loafing/barn/wintering area. My PolyDomes are 7 feet in diameter, giving them a square footage of almost 40 feet. I often see 2-5 goats bedded down in each PolyDome during bad weather, but they're not confined to them and there's a whole big area for them to run around in when they're not resting. The little pens at shows are 6x6 feet (36 sq. feet) and are too small to keep goats in for more than a weekend. I see a lot more bullying and fights over food when goats are confined to small spaces. Small pens are great for kidding, confining sick goats, etc. but they shouldn't be used as long-term living quarters even in winter. You'll create a lot more work for yourself too since mucking out becomes very important and very labor intensive when animals are confined. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I'm still tweaking my plan so it's not set in stone yet.
 

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Goat Mentor
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$10,000 on a barn
I think it depends on the type of barn you want. Sure, possible for a carport barn. A real barn is more.

But how many goats are you looking to get? If you've got 50 acres, you surely can give each goat more than 25 sq ft - there is 43,000 sq ft in 1 acre alone.

I recommend at least 500sqft outdoor space per goat, and at least 30-50sqft of indoor space per goat.
 

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Fair-Haven
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How many goats do you plan to have? Also, if you are doing dairy, factor in the price of lambars, kidding supplies, a trailer for necessary emergency vet, vet calls (you will have them). Your first step is to find out what you need to do to get your dairy license (can be $10000) or more depending on your state, what the requirements for your milking room and milk testing are, and who your potential customers will be. If you haven't had many dairy animals, the work and costs can pile up exponentially. If you are counting on kid sales for some of your profit - know that even will stellar bloodlines, you won't get the prices that top breeders demand - that takes building a herd name through milk testing (more $$), shows ( alot more $$), and many years in the business to build a good name for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think it depends on the type of barn you want. Sure, possible for a carport barn. A real barn is more.

But how many goats are you looking to get? If you've got 50 acres, you surely can give each goat more than 25 sq ft - there is 43,000 sq ft in 1 acre alone.

I recommend at least 500sqft outdoor space per goat, and at least 30-50sqft of indoor space per goat.
I plan on having 20-30 goats and sheep, and thanks for telling me this, I looked up how many sqft. does each goat need and all the articles said 15-25 sqft. I thought 50 sqft. was generous! Do you have a better estimate for a barn price wise? I'm still looking and it'd help to have a more accurate estimate.
 

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Fair-Haven
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Do you plan on housing them all together? Do you plan to have separate buck space, kidding space, hay space, a grain room, a milking parlor? Are you breeding both species? Do you expect them to be in the pen 24/7? These are all things you need to look at before deciding on the size of barn. Also, barns with a finished loft and/or pens are more expensive. There are a lot of website that will quote a price for a pole barn, but that's not finished out and does NOT include electric or water which is an absolute necessity. If you are looking at a few years out - add some $$ - everything is higher later on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How many goats do you plan to have? Also, if you are doing dairy, factor in the price of lambars, kidding supplies, a trailer for necessary emergency vet, vet calls (you will have them). Your first step is to find out what you need to do to get your dairy license (can be $10000) or more depending on your state, what the requirements for your milking room and milk testing are, and who your potential customers will be. If you haven't had many dairy animals, the work and costs can pile up exponentially. If you are counting on kid sales for some of your profit - know that even will stellar bloodlines, you won't get the prices that top breeders demand - that takes building a herd name through milk testing (more $$), shows ( alot more $$), and many years in the business to build a good name for yourself.
This is just the budget for my initial investment. I don't plan on making money through kid sales alone, I plan on having a side business as well. I have a long term goal as well, so I am looking forward to the competitions, appraisals and milk tests too. I plan to start with 20-30 goats/sheep initially and grow from there, and when I finally manage to get the conformation and production I want, I'll downsize a bit to have a more manageable herd.

Do you plan on housing them all together? Do you plan to have separate buck space, kidding space, hay space, a grain room, a milking parlor? Are you breeding both species? Do you expect them to be in the pen 24/7? These are all things you need to look at before deciding on the size of barn. Also, barns with a finished loft and/or pens are more expensive. There are a lot of website that will quote a price for a pole barn, but that's not finished out and does NOT include electric or water which is an absolute necessity. If you are looking at a few years out - add some $$ - everything is higher later on.
In winter everyone will be housed together because that's when I'll be breeding. By the time they start kidding everyone will be back on pasture (I'm planning on letting them kid in pasture, but they have access to the barn if they want to in there) and the boys will be on their own pasture. Good thing you mentioned electricity because I totally forgot about that, and I was planning on toting water up to the barn, but that probably won't work out. But, I'm not finished with my plans and budget, and since I am a few years out I'll adjust it for inflation.
 

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Are you going to be Grade A? If so..contact your local Grade A office to find out the qualifications needed. A friend is doing a grade A cheese dairy and there are ALOT of rules and $$$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Are you going to be Grade A? If so..contact your local Grade A office to find out the qualifications needed. A friend is doing a grade A cheese dairy and there are ALOT of rules and $$$.
Thanks, I'm going to look into now. Do you have any experience in this area?
 

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Goat Mentor
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I’m curious, do you own any goats now?

Jumping in with 20-30 is quite a lot. I see that you are 16, so I’m not sure where you’ve gotten the $200k, but I hope you know the time involved is quite a lot, and you may want to start with 10 and test the waters.

Also, running sheep and goats together is not easy. They have very different needs.

If you want bucks you’ll need two barns, keep that in mind.

Let me know the kind of barn you want for an estimate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm curious, do you own any goats now?

Jumping in with 20-30 is quite a lot. I see that you are 16, so I'm not sure where you've gotten the $200k, but I hope you know the time involved is quite a lot, and you may want to start with 10 and test the waters.

Also, running sheep and goats together is not easy. They have very different needs.

If you want bucks you'll need two barns, keep that in mind.

Let me know the kind of barn you want for an estimate.
I don't own goats anymore, we had to sell them earlier this year. So in a few years I'm hoping to start again. I came up with $200,000 based on the rough estimates I've gotten from browsing through different websites, but it is a very rough estimate and I'm actually editing it right now trying to see if I need to make the budget bigger, especially when I'm finding out that getting dairy certification may cost $10,000. If that's the case I'm definitely staring out with ten or so.

How much would a barn like this cost?
Sky Cloud Window Building Natural environment

if you can see the fencing towards the left, that would be my drylot. The ground would be barren and the space would be much larger and they would have basically 24/7 access as long as it isn't rainy
 
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You may want to start on a smaller scale, then plan on keeping within your herd... You also need to figure in the time that it’s going to take to do hoof care for all of them, how the barn is going to be mucked out etc... Are you going to need a tractor? I’ve figured out throughout the years, that feed/hay prices fluctuate greatly... Around here that barn would be around 50 k maybe even more... I think planning smaller, then growing slowly would work better than jumping in with everything first..
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You may want to start on a smaller scale, then plan on keeping within your herd... You also need to figure in the time that it's going to take to do hoof care for all of them, how the barn is going to be mucked out etc... Are you going to need a tractor? I've figured out throughout the years, that feed/hay prices fluctuate greatly... Around here that barn would be around 50 k maybe even more... I think planning smaller, then growing slowly would work better than jumping in with everything first..
Yeah, it'd probably be wiser to start of smaller and just retain stock.
 

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If you use intensive rotational grazing your 50 acres will hold near 400 head of stock. in Alabama if you work it right you will not have to corral them.
your fence cost are real low. with fences you can build them right or rebuild them again and again.
right now i am building fence on 30 acres dividing it in to seven 4 acre paddocks. My cost is near $55,000,00
 
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