The Goat Spot Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

I've gotten young goats in the past, but in spring and warmer temps. They were meat goats that were butchered.

I've been asked to take in a young pair of dairy-crosses (Alpine maybe?). I've been wanting to get dairy goats--I have two children and we go through LOTS of milk. So I want to make sure I'm not going to get in over my head this winter.

The goats are 4 and 5 months old. How long with these two need supplemental heat? About how much hay will they go through (small bales/week estimate is good too)? I'm in Montana, but it's not nearly as cold as where I was in Minnesota and Wisconsin--winter daily highs are in the 20sF, lows only occasionally below 0F.

Anything else I may want/need to know before I commit?
 

·
merryoaks
Joined
·
4,249 Posts
About the heating, I have found if you have a closed barn with deep bedding they are fine, you can also use old sweat shirts, they make great blankets.
Good luck.
Meg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,576 Posts
No supplemental heat should be needed. Just need to make sure they have shelter and plenty of bedding. I would give free choice hay ....2 growing babies....ummm...I'd sure plan for at least 3 to 4 bales a week of good hay. It's going to be a while before you get any milk from them, unless they are already bred?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,944 Posts
At 4-5 months of age they should be eating around 3 pounds of hay per day. I would start there, keep an eye on them and adjust as necessary. None of my sheds/shelters are heated and the girls and kids do fine. Just make sure they have a fairly deep layer of straw or old hay to snuggle into. They will also snuggle with each other and share body heat. If you're going to be using them for milk you probably want to have them tested for CL, CAE, Johnes, and Brucellosis. I know that Brucellosis can be passed to humans through raw milk and soft cheeses and it causes Undulant Fever.
 

·
7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
Joined
·
11,087 Posts
If you're going to be using them for milk you probably want to have them tested for CL, CAE, Johnes, and Brucellosis. I know that Brucellosis can be passed to humans through raw milk and soft cheeses and it causes Undulant Fever.
Yes, if you are rescuing, this is important, because you don't know what other goats they have come in contact with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info!

We're actually leaning toward not taking them in--we were planning on getting goats in the spring, but we're not quite prepared for any right now. They could live in one of our sheds--but we're working on the fencing and I've got some turkeys growing out in the "goat house."

They would be tested for all mentioned above, we've got an excellent rural vet that already gave me a quote on the tests.

But like I said, our fences are down and with winter setting in I'm not sure we'll get them up quickly.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
58,899 Posts
You could alway put up a smaller temporary fenced area that you could do quickly. Not trying to push you but goats do fine with temporary things till you can get more fencing up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
Yes a little ag wire you can put up in a day or so(we are ones to talk) never got around to fencing the goat pen, they come out when they see us and follow us around all day eating browse (one flake lasts 3 days but then they get treated with grain daily too) we only have 2 acres but they really dont wander.... we have 5 ....4 five/six months olds and a yearling milker who just freshened in June-- her milk is really lovely, cant say one bad thing about it....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,709 Posts
If you are not ready, I would not get them. I think it would be best to wait till you are totally set up if you are keeping them long term :)
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top