My dilema with buying goats

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by kellygreen, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. kellygreen

    kellygreen New Member

    9
    Jan 7, 2009
    Maryland
    Okay, I have been researching dairy goats for a while and feel ready to start with buying 2 for milking. So this is my problem, how do I deal with babies every year just to keep a goat in milk? More specifically, I dont take animal ownership lightly so I am struggling with the thought of bringing baby goats into the world just for the benefit of fresh milk for my family. I get attached too easily and the thought of caring for them just to sell them (if you are even able to sell them)--then worry about whether or not they are going to good homes keeps me from buying any. What if you have too many bucks? Are there breeders that let you breed your does to their bucks and then take back babies to sell if they are healthy, registered and UTD on vacs? I could see a serious problem with goat over-population after a few years if there wasn't some sort of maintenance plan in place. How do you all handle this? I'd like to hear any thoughts/suggestions.
     
  2. crocee

    crocee New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Northeast Arkansas
    You get additional acreage so you can keep the extra goats. :)

    Seriously, You would do selective breeding. Only breed up and sell or cull the rest. There are many people wanting goats. There will always be a market for them. The market may not be willing to pay what your asking, you will have to make the decision to keep or lower the price.

    Getting attached is always a problem. There will be some members of the herd that you can't wait to see them go. They may be so mean and cantankerous that they become a danger you you and your family.

    You have to have the mind set that goats are livestock and not exactly pets. Although you may be able to keep a favorite few as pets, the majority will be livestock. Livestock are meant for food and food products, whether that be meat or milk. You can decide somewhat who to sell to but you have to draw the line somewhere or you will be keeping every goat you will ever have.

    Many here stud their bucks out for a fee, plus the option of taking the first doeling born or pick of the litter. This can be a problem if their buck only throws buckling's with your doe.

    When you decide what you want to do, you need to think realistically and humanely toward the animal.
     

  3. kellygreen

    kellygreen New Member

    9
    Jan 7, 2009
    Maryland
    Thanks for the advise Crocee. I do understand the livestock aspect of raising farm animals, though it is not always easy for me--I am never inhumane. And if worse comes to worse--I do have plenty of acreage :). Seriously, I will always do what is best for the animal. I wont keep one I cant afford to feed--or one that doesn't have a purpose or job on my farm. That's why it is such a big decision for me--lots to think about. Thanks again!
     
  4. DopeyOpie

    DopeyOpie New Member

    86
    Jan 4, 2009
    Canada
    I'm not interested in starting a goat dairy (although my sister wants to one day) , but those would be my exact same concerns.

    This has nothing to do with goats, I know, but my true passion is parrots. I work at a bird store and for the past two years I've taken home baby parrots and handfed them for the store. My problem with it? I don't like the idea of breeding and selling these amazing creatures just for the money, and it was so hard to part with the babies - I never know what kinds of homes they're going into. There were lots of tears! But there are many, many bird breeders who are totally fine with the whole thing. I can't do it, and I've decided not to help with babies again. So, my point is, if something doesn't "sit right" with you morally (the third sentence of your post) it's usually best to avoid it. It was very emotionally trying for me with the birds, and it sounds like it will be for you with the goats. JMHO, if I'm way off base then just ignore me :greengrin:
     
  5. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    764
    Oct 22, 2007
    That is something you would have to ask a breeder if they are willing to do.
    Me personally, nope I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't because I wouldn't know where the goats have been....I don't even allow breeding of my bucks to outside does.
     
  6. kellygreen

    kellygreen New Member

    9
    Jan 7, 2009
    Maryland
    Thanks for the input everyone. To Amy...I guess that was a stupid question for me to ask. I dont even let people who have chickens at their house step into my hen house due to the possibilities of carrying/spreading diseases. Why would a breeder allow a breeding--makes sense. So that would mean I would also have to get a buck to keep my girls in milk most of the year (if I got them). Which isn't out of the question, like I have said before I have plenty of room to house a buck separately if required.

    To Opie, you are not off base and thanks for your opinion. It would be tough for me, I am sure. But, I still might want to try it. If I dont like the milking aspect I have lots of acres of trails and rocky woods that need a good "weed-eater" so the goats would definately have a place here with me no matter how it turns out.

    Well I have lots to still think about. I will keep researching and reading posts. The good news is I dont have to decide today :)
     
  7. DopeyOpie

    DopeyOpie New Member

    86
    Jan 4, 2009
    Canada
    I would love an acreage like that one day for my goats - so I can get some more :greengrin:
     
  8. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    764
    Oct 22, 2007
    Not stupid at all... That is just a question you would have to ask the breeder though. Some will let their bucks breed outside does, some won't.

    Oh and IMO, Having a buck is a good idea. I hated taking my does to get bred. Especially if you didn't want to leave them there for a few weeks to get bred. It's hard to plan it right when the buck owner is home and your home and your doe is in heat.....Missed a couple heat cycles because it didn't plan out right.

    As long as I am breeding goats, I'll NEVER be with out a buck. That is just something to think about. If you want the hassle of taking the does every fall to get bred so you don't have to own a buck, you can go that route.
     
  9. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    We have given kids back to breeders in the past when we only wanted the goats for milk.

    But now that I have a website and my name out there I can sell kids much faster and I use the money to go back into the goats (paying for hay and grain adn breeding costs for the next year).

    I would ask around, some people arent as picky about disease and such as others. I am one of those people. I keep my goats healthy and do the best I can for them but I cant own my own buck so I bring my does to the breeder or bring a buck here. I also dont do all the big tests (right now) and am glad that the breeder of the bucks i am using doesnt see those tests as manditory for breeding. But she does check the does over to make sure they are healthy before coming to her place.

    Also if you want the goats to have a great chance for good homes try getting into registered goats from good lines. Yes it is more money up front for you but then you know that you will be getting good milk goats as well as a chance to sell kids for a good price and have them wanted. That said I have had no problem selling "mutt" goats to good homes. YOu just have to be picky and stick to what you feel is right. You are the breeder and reserve all rights to decline a goat to someone if you dotn feel it will be in the best interest of the goat.
     
  10. rgbdab

    rgbdab New Member

    252
    Nov 26, 2007
    TEXAS
    If your land has any brushy areas, the kids that you don't find GOOD homes for can earn their keep clearing your property. I haven't mowed my backyard in years because when it gets a little shaggy I let some goats in and they eat it up since it's the proverbial greener grass on the other side. LOL

    They also make great pets and are great stress relievers, especially if they are bottle fed kids. They will love you.

    I raise boers and sell my kids at a higher price than a "market" price to decrease the chance they end up at the slaughter house. I market to others starting herds and occasionally to 4H or FFA for showing. I love all my goats, each has a name and most of them are smart enough to know it. I would like to keep all of them, but I must sell some to support the others.

    Bottle kids are the worst, because I really get attached to them. I have 2 right now and fortunately my sister fell in love with the little one, Alvin and is going to buy him so I know he will get a great home.

    I gave a couple of pet wethers to some friends that needed brush cleared and they fell in love and treat them like family.

    So you can find appropriate homes for any unwanted kids, especially if you have plenty of room to wait for it.

    Good luck and I hope you will soon have a goatie. I think they are special, although I know most people think they are just livestock. They are livestock+ in my book. :)

    Denise
     
  11. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    There are so many ways to look at this and make decisions based on what is best for the goats, including to the good homes.
    While my Boers are livestock some are my best friends. And I cry whenever someone leaves.
    However, I would rather see them go for meat than to wind up in a lousy situation.
    Every yr this decision has to be made. Golly those little boys are cute & cuddley and oft times friendlier than the doelings.
    And I agree, if you have a gut feling about a potential buyer you dont have to sell! And the idea of purchasing high quality stock for fair price is going to help weed out the "oh my daughter wants a goat she thinks they are cute or my cousins freinds neighbor is looking for brush goats."
    Its like signing a 2nd party check.
     
  12. BeeLady

    BeeLady New Member

    I am having the same dilema as Kellye, but I've about decided to keep one or two bucks and a few wethers, for brush control. I plan on tryng to sell my does and have no problem making all my bucklings into wethers. Unless I am willing to really pay attention to genetics, and buy excellent bloodlines, I don't think any of my "boys" should add to the gene pool. There are already enough conscientious breeders who can supply enough good genetics for us all.

    I also enjoy cabrito and while I wouldn't want to process my own cabrito, I wouldn't object to bucklings (wethers) being enjoyed by me or others. I have my cow calves processed, and I do this after usually watching or assisting at each of their births, at fully enjoying their newness and aliveness and after witnessing the miracle of new life. Then limiting my emotional attachment. If I am going to be a carnivore, or an omnivore, I want to face up to what I am doing and accept that about myself. If I quit eating meat, then I won't bring animals into the world to become meat.

    If I keep only two does, the maximum number of kids I should have each year (if I'm asleep at the swith) is 16. I should be able to keep it down to a maximum of 8 kids, and hopefully more like four.

    I'm interested to see what tune I'll be singing after a year or two of experience under my belt! :angel2:
     
  13. kellygreen

    kellygreen New Member

    9
    Jan 7, 2009
    Maryland
    Thank you everyone for all of your responses. I do have plenty of brush to keep goats very actively employed on my farm, should I decide to keep any I just can't part with. I also have three relatives living in the next three houses that won't mind borrowing them once in a while. So my search is on for a local breeder. I am very excited at the prospect of having fresh milk. Wish me luck and I will keep everyone posted on what I find--and maybe to ask for some more advise!