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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!
I’m writing this because I feel that I need other’s opinions on a difficult subject for me.
My family has owned goats for more than ten years. After five years of owning two goats, we moved and got more land and more goats. Instead of instantly building a pen with stalls for the goats, my father just put a gate on one side of a wood shack and called it a stall. We got a ton more goats, and crammed them into that tiny shack.
Five years later, and here we are, with goats that are constantly dirty, and a horrible milking set up.
The thing that really makes me angry is that the goats aren’t thriving like they should be. We have ten acres of woods and land for them, with plenty of water and minerals for them also. The only reason I can think of for them not doing that great is that they are sleeping/living in the best conditions.
My father believes in using goat poop and straw for mulch, so he will let the straw mulch in their stalls, causing the goats to get very messy. And of course, because of the messy situation, they aren’t healthy, and we constantly have worm overloads.
Another problem is that my father got a buckling, who we raised, and let’s him stay full time with our does and kids. The buck is becoming slightly aggressive, but of course my father won’t get rid of him.
And all these things are just piling up on one another, and every single day I’m super overwhelmed when I go out to see our goats.
You I might all ask, “Well why don’t you build a shed?” The reason why is because it costs a ton of money where we live for lumber. My father also prioritizes everything wrongly, so he won’t think of building a shed before he does everything else he wants to do.
So the thing I really wanted to ask everyone is, what should I do? Should I get rid of all our goats that we have become super attached to?
I also just want to hear what everyone thinks of this situation that I’m in...
I’ve already tried to get my father to hire someone to build a shed for us, but of course that also costs a ton of money.
😂 and also sorry if this is really confusing and stupid. I’m just super angry that my father isn’t prioritizing our goats health first before everything else.
 

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I feel your frustration. It can be hard when. Things are not in our hands.
Solution one: cattle panels are pretty cheap. You could take 2..arch them and stake them down well and use tarps to add shelter and shade. A few of them can really help spread sleeping quarters. While you are at it. Make one for the buck and pen him away from the girls. While many run bucks with does year round..its not safe for young does to be with him and be bred too young. So a few cattle panels can make a sturdy pen for him.
Two: offer to make a designated area for the old hay and poop. This way dad has his compose and you have clean bedding for your goats.
In the end, you must decide to do what is best for the goats. If that means drastic down size or full blown selling all of them then that might be what needs to be done. But before you do that..sit down..make a solid plan and discuss it with your dad. Make sure to be detail..get cost of making a few cattle panel shelters..show pictures ect..let him know why it's better, healthier..cost effective cutting on worm issues..get It all in paper..then have a meeting. Here is a pic off pinterest.com of a simple shelter..there are many good pictures for ideas.
 

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Hey. It can get expensive...in fence? Or in medications, dewormers, and vet bills. I agree the hoop shelters are fantastic. Get that Buck seperated! You can go on Craigslists , they do give away buildings if you come & get them. Dog houses work well for goats. Especially a Buck by himself
Maybe if you could share with your Dad cost of meds versus..gas to get a home. It might get Dads attention, since your helping save $$$ on goats. He might be overwhelmed too?
 

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I would keep an eye out for free material on Craigslist. If you sell or trade a couple of goats, you could put that towards material to make a better housing situation. Do you think if you helped your dad with chores on his list that don’t involve the goats, it might free up some time to possibly work on the goat situation? I’m sorry that your overwhelmed. Hopefully you can figure out something so you don’t have to give up on goats completely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I feel your frustration. It can be hard when. Things are not in our hands.
Solution one: cattle panels are pretty cheap. You could take 2..arch them and stake them down well and use tarps to add shelter and shade. A few of them can really help spread sleeping quarters. While you are at it. Make one for the buck and pen him away from the girls. While many run bucks with does year round..its not safe for young does to be with him and be bred too young. So a few cattle panels can make a sturdy pen for him.
Two: offer to make a designated area for the old hay and poop. This way dad has his compose and you have clean bedding for your goats.
In the end, you must decide to do what is best for the goats. If that means drastic down size or full blown selling all of them then that might be what needs to be done. But before you do that..sit down..make a solid plan and discuss it with your dad. Make sure to be detail..get cost of making a few cattle panel shelters..show pictures ect..let him know why it's better, healthier..cost effective cutting on worm issues..get It all in paper..then have a meeting. Here is a pic off pinterest.com of a simple shelter..there are many good pictures for ideas.
Thank you for understanding. That is a brilliant idea!
Thank you so much! I will most definitely do what you have said and will get a solid plan before my family and I do anything drastic...
I'll update everyone on what ends up happening also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't have much advice, but I'm sure others will. My advice is that healthier goats will produce more milk, healthier kids and those healthier kids just might sell better or for more money (or produce more meat if that's your MO). 😉
Mhm yes! And healthier goats in general are just better. I am raising meat and milking goats right now. I don't care about the meat part, but I want to get a few Chashmere goats too. Sadly, I've got to wait until we have a plan.
 

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Mhm yes! And healthier goats in general are just better. I am raising meat and milking goats right now. I don't care about the meat part, but I want to get a few Chashmere goats too. Sadly, I've got to wait until we have a plan.
Oooo cashmere goats. Do you do any fiber crafts? I've wanted a fiber goat ever since I started a spinning. 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey. It can get expensive...in fence? Or in medications, dewormers, and vet bills. I agree the hoop shelters are fantastic. Get that Buck seperated! You can go on Craigslists , they do give away buildings if you come & get them. Dog houses work well for goats. Especially a Buck by himself
Maybe if you could share with your Dad cost of meds versus..gas to get a home. It might get Dads attention, since your helping save $$$ on goats. He might be overwhelmed too?
Thank you! I mean the lumber and building a mini barn for the goats with wood can be very expensive. And yes, medications and dewormers expensive also. I never thought about going on Craigslist, but now that you have said so, I will go look on there. I don't know if there is a dog house big enough for our buck though. He is huge, and his horns take up so much room!
I will most definitely share costs with my dad. I don't know if he is overwhelmed. I would be, if I were in his situation, but then again in the first place I would never let it get that way.
Thank you for everything! It's really helpful for me and my family! And the goats too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oooo cashmere goats. Do you do any fiber crafts? I've wanted a fiber goat ever since I started a spinning. 🙂
I actually have never done anything with fiber yet. I love to knit and crochet, so I was thinking after I start on start on some practice wool I could maybe get a goat or two.
I love goats way more than sheep, which is why Cashmere is just the best option.
 

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I actually have never done anything with fiber yet. I love to knit and crochet, so I was thinking after I start on start on some practice wool I could maybe get a goat or two.
I love goats way more than sheep, which is why Cashmere is just the best option.
I find spinning very rewarding even without my own fiber animal, so I can only imagine how awesome it would be to turn your own goat's fiber into yarn! That would be so cool. 😎
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would keep an eye out for free material on Craigslist. If you sell or trade a couple of goats, you could put that towards material to make a better housing situation. Do you think if you helped your dad with chores on his list that don’t involve the goats, it might free up some time to possibly work on the goat situation? I’m sorry that your overwhelmed. Hopefully you can figure out something so you don’t have to give up on goats completely.
Thank you! I will most definitely be looking out on Craigslist.
My dad has a lot on his plate that he wants to get done, and I don't think I'd honestly ever be able to help him. It's not that I don't want to, it's that I am physically to week to be able to do what he wants to work on. He needs to do a ton of wood chopping this year, which I do help out with, but the rest is things that I help out with from time to time.
We have eleven kids this year that we are selling, and I'm hoping that someone buys them soon. No one has talked to us yet, and our goat kids look beautiful this year, so I don't know what the problem could be.
Thank you for understanding! I hope we can get the situation figured out too.... It's very difficult paying for everything and keeping all our goat kids at once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I find spinning very rewarding even without my own fiber animal, so I can only imagine how awesome it would be to turn your own goat's fiber into yarn! That would be so cool. 😎
Mhm! I have always wanted to spin. I have only spun once,and it was only for a few minutes when I was really young, but I absolutely loved it!
And yes, turning fiber into yarn would be so much fun. And the money that someone could make from spinning the yarn, or making something out of it would be very worth it.
 

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Adjusting to make things work is hard. I had to down size after illness to make things easier. I'm getting better and sat down to make a 5 year plan. I'm still working on details but shared it with my husband and children and they are on board. Life takes us many directions that require change and adjustment, not to mention lots of work. Make a plan. Break it down and prioritize each goal, then figure how each will be conquered. Having a plan in front of me motivates me to get the steps done..get those results. But you have got to know your end game. Doing meat, dairy and fiber is fine..just be sure you can do it all and if not right now..pick one..start there..add as you can. 😉
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Adjusting to make things work is hard. I had to down size after illness to make things easier. I'm getting better and sat down to make a 5 year plan. I'm still working on details but shared it with my husband and children and they are on board. Life takes us many directions that require change and adjustment, not to mention lots of work. Make a plan. Break it down and prioritize each goal, then figure how each will be conquered. Having a plan in front of me motivates me to get the steps done..get those results. But you have got to know your end game. Doing meat, dairy and fiber is fine..just be sure you can do it all and if not right now..pick one..start there..add as you can. 😉
Thank you! So sorry you had to downsize. I'm sure that was much easier for you though, due to illness.
I am definitely going to make a plan before I do anything. I will probably ask everyone's advice when I do come up with one, though. Again, thank you so much!
 

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You can take them to auction to downsize quickly. Goats are bringing a great amount right now. Maybe not something you want to do but it works. Esp since you are overwhelmed right now with it all. Then what you get for them will help with building supplies. Pallets can be used and are fairly cheap or free. You can spend some time breaking them apart and pulling nails out then reguild how you need to. Old sheds free or cheap on craigslist make good shelter. Just make sure there is good ventilation... might need add some “windows”. We jad an old camper shell topper that we made a small shelter from with pallets, tposts and four 4x4 posts. Posts in corners, measure two pallet lengths and put in tpost, pallets on three sides, topper atop that “frame” and it works well for us.
 

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I second taking kids to the auction, if you're having trouble finding buyers elsewhere. That would not be my first choice, but if I had 11 kids that needed to be rehomed, and I was struggling with housing already, I would definitely do that, rather than allowing the health of the herd to struggle. Have you tried advertising them in Facebook groups? You have to be creative with the wording, as FB doesn't like animal sales, but I've had good luck finding homes for my goats that way. It is time consuming, though, as prospective buyers usually have a bunch of questions. To me, it is worth it though, as I feel good about finding them nice homes.
How does your dad feel about letting you create a compost pile? That way, all the bedding and manure can break down into a nice compost, but it won't be inside the goat shelter. That is the system I use. In the winter, I usually muck everything out at least once a week, sometimes more often. The more goats you have, the more frequently you have to clean everything out. Right now, since the weather is warm, I don't have bedding down at all. I just have pallets down on the floor, and I pick those up and scrape all the manure out whenever the house needs to be cleaned.
You can also use IBC totes for housing. I don't know if you can get those cheap or free anywhere near you, but they should be able to house two or three goats each. I had one out for my buck and wether last winter, and it worked pretty well.
I do think it's important to evaluate exactly what your goals are, and how many goats you can reasonably care for. I added to my herd this year, and I'm realizing that my limit needs to be about 10 goats. Anything beyond that begins to feel very overwhelming for me. I manage my goats pretty intensively, rotating pastures, etc., and I realize that I just don't have big enough pastures and the right shelter systems set up for larger groups of goats, so I plan to keep it small, so I can care for them the way I want to.
 

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Not just IBC totes, but even the large round plastic water/fertilizer containers can be cut into good, long-lasting shelters. They eventually wear out and can't hold liquid but are still useful for shelters so if you're in an agricultural area where farmers use them for irrigation you might be able to find some for free/cheap. I haul water for home use and my old plastic 450 gallon tank sprang a leak last year so I cut the bottom out with a sawzall and repurposed it as a shed for my wood splitter. It works brilliantly! It would work for goats too as long as it was staked down.

Good luck! Downsizing your herd is a good option when you're in this kind of situation. As difficult as it is to sell any, it's so much easier to manage a few goats than an entire herd.
 

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It is definitely hard when it’s not your animals. I am kinda in the same boat with my dad and our cattle. Even though I own a good amount of them, bought and paid for myself, he is still the boss, what he says goes. It’s his property, and he owns the majority of the cows. I agree with happybleats, sit down and talk to him when you have a idea. Really do your research and thinking before bringing it up to him and be open to his side of things as well. Your idea might now be exactly what he is willing to do but it also might give him another idea that he sees would work better. That’s how I do it with my dad, sometimes he listens, sometimes he tweaks it, and sometimes it’s a no go and I usually end up seeing his side of things. But he listens a lot more to me then my brother because I don’t nag, and I don’t come up with ideas and expect him to do it all himself. I am 5’2 and never hit over 107 pounds until I hit 30. I never let my size or my strength keep me from doing anything. It might have taken me longer but I got it done. If it was easier for me not to be in the way taking all day I at least handed tools, so don’t let your strength keep you from helping.
But you have some really good ideas here to get started. It doesn’t have to be pretty it just has to serve its purpose. When I first got goats I honestly thought I could just have them in the field like we do the cows. When I realized that wasn’t going to fly I had plyboards on barrels, plyboard on either side of a fence to make a A frame house, tarps and cattle panels, play houses, it looked like a homeless camp out there lol and as I got the money they got better and “prettier”.
 
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