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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI there, brand new to here AND goats in general. I have dealt with cows & pigs most of my life, not any goats ever. But we recently moved and instead of a family milk cow, I am getting a family milk goat. I am buying a 1st lactation Oberhasli Doe. She's about 3-4 months into her lactation giving about 1gallon/day. The lady she's at now is feeding her a little organic grain mixture and some Alfalfa hay and pasture. Not sure about minerals, etc. (also buying 2, 3month old wethers from her for pasture mates)
My questions are:
* Sea kelp, necessary? where to buy it from?
* what kinda of Minerals do you use? I know they need high copper mineral, but that's about all I know.
* Hay- straight Alfalfa or grass mix or just grass? I am planning on fencing some pasture and then have moveable fencing for in our woods which is overgrown and could use some pruning down. I know while she's lactating she should get better hay for milk production, but if she's on pasture, can she just eat that all summer and not have to give her much, if any, Hay??
* I read somewhere that the wethers shouldn't ever get grain, is that true?
* How high does my fence need to be? The place where she's at has 4 strands of electric fence and she said the wethers get out sometimes under the fence, but the Doe respects the fence very well. For my temporary fencing in the woods I was going to use woven wire fencing and for my permanent fencing use just posts and wire and electric.
I think that's all my questions for now! :rolleyes:
ANY advice, suggestions is greatly appreciated! I have about 2weeks to figure out how to raise a goat. Shouldn't be too complicated since I'm at least not green to farming in general. Thanks!!
 

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You don't have to use kelp. I find that it helps but many people don't feed it. I use Right Now Onyx Cattle Mineral for my loose mineral. It seems to be working well. It is out free choice all the time.

I have an alfalfa/grass mix hay. I like it but sometimes you have to get what you can get. Second or Third cutting though.

I use horse woven wire fencing that is 4'. So far my goats stay in the fence.

It is very important that a wether's diet is balanced 2.5:1 calcium to phosphorus. And that is their entire diet. Most of the time wethers really don't need grain since they aren't doing much. Giving them ammonium chloride once or twice a week will help keep UC away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the reply!
what type of grain mix do you feed goats? I am having a hard time finding info on that. I'd like to feed them no corn and only maybe Barley & Oats?? Is that an ok thing to feed goats?
I actually found some Oat/Alfalfa mix bales and am thinking of trying that for some of their hay. It's nice and green and I thought It would make a nice feed for when they are on pasture. I'll have to find some nice 2nd or 3rd cutting later this summer for wintertime. Thanks!
 

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My questions are:
* Sea kelp, necessary? where to buy it from?
-I feel like it is a helpful supplement, but it is hard for me to find and very expensive when I was able to find some. Definitely can't hurt though!
* what kinda of Minerals do you use? I know they need high copper mineral, but that's about all I know.
-We use Manna Pro goat minerals. It is a good mineral, but we still have to copper bolus.
* Hay- straight Alfalfa or grass mix or just grass?
-We feed straight Alfalfa for the calcium. She can eat grass in addition to pasture, but she definitely needs hay too.
* I read somewhere that the wethers shouldn't ever get grain, is that true?
-We do not feed our wether grain. Grain throws off the calcium to phosphorous ratio and can cause UC. We also supplement with AC o prevent UC. Confusing much? :)
* How high does my fence need to be?
-We have standard woven cattle fencing with the smaller holes on bottom for three sides of our pasture. The 4th side is hot wire with a very high voltage charger.

That's what works for us. Good luck with your goat adventure! :)
 

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as ours run with sheep and alpacas, we use copper bolus and a (sheep) mineral without copper.

We give a little grain to the wethers (mostly what they steal when we feed the alpacas) - the milking does get a much larger amount while on the milk stand.

We feed timothy hay -- very little this time of year, we go through a lot in the winter. Our pasture is unimproved, mostly weeds. They cleared out all the thistle last year (before goats the field had huge patches of purple every fall) and the blackberry bramble patch is shrinking dramatically this year. They apparently don't like goldenrod much, as the field shifted to yellow last fall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks- I hope mine like Burdock, my whole place is almost all burdocks! I dont' think the people before us ever picked up a weed eater the entire time they lived here. More questions if you don't mind......
* For your grain, do you know what exactly is all in it?? Do you get a premixed kind or does the feed mill mix yours specially for you?
* What do you use to sanitize your milking equipment (pail, filter, jars, etc) I really want to stay clear of bleach, I just don't like it, but I'm not sure what else to use to sanitize the jars and my milk pail.
Out of shear curiosity, what are you paying for hay this year?? I know it's super high in WI, a lot of people (dairy farmers) are paying between $250-300ton. I think even with 1 doe and 2 small wethers, I'm going to be spending an arm and a leg to feed them thru winter!
 

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We feed Noble Goat grain to our doe. Not exactly sure about ingredients, but I know it contains soy, wheat, and some alfalfa. We buy it from TSC.

We just wash out our milk pail with dishsoap and warm water. Haven't used bleach yet.

For Alfalfa we were paying $19 for a 100 pound bale at the feed store. We finally found some for $14 a bale. Not cheap!
 

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1st cut timothy hay is STILL running $10 a standard bale at the feed store. My neighbor/partners have a local farmer who will sell the BIG (4'x4'x8'?) bales to them for substantial savings. We put up a 12 x 24 tent garage last fall and completely filled it for $350. Unfortunately, we ran out in February. Limping along with them mostly on pasture (just the buck and the babies stuck in the weaning pen get hay right now) until the second cutting is in (hoping a good second cut will help prices drop).

lol - sadly, I can't even tell you what grain we use. It's my partners' grandmothers' 'secret recipe' for all stock (sheep feed). She gets it made up by the half ton and we store it in a re-purposed old freezer.

Usually sanitize the milk pail with just dishsoap. My dishwasher does have a sanitize cycle and I try to remember to send the stuff through that once a month or so.

Our pasture is 4 strand electric. So long as the fencer is holding a charge well, the goats all stay in. But they do test -- power goes out for more than a few hours and they will be out. If she had trouble with wethers getting out but the does were staying in, check that the charger is strong enough for the fence -- if weeds grow on my fence and reduce the charge, first thing the big wethers and the sheep are out (usually followed by the little guys who can slip under. It's definitely worth upgrading the fencer to a more powerful model than you think you need. Note that this won't keep kids in (though they usually won't wander too far from mama) nor will it keep small predators out. Woven wire -- the six foot stuff we have on the male pasture seem to work well. The four foot stuff you have to add an electric line along the top or they will jump it. BUT, even with the electric line on top, they push their heads through the holes, half-climb, etc and it gets pulled down pretty regularly. Slowly replacing all ours with cattle panels. Expensive, but lasts way longer. Incidentally, zip ties are NOT strong enough to hold panels together (or to the posts permanently. They were nice and quick to set everything up, but goats pushing on panels and the zip ties snap and everybody is out. lol -- can you tell I've spent way too much time in the last year rounding up our herd?

PS, I don't think there is any burdock left in the pasture. Dolly is working on the clumps around the milking stand while she is waiting for her turn to be milked. Can't say whether they all eat it, but Dolly certainly loves the stuff.
 
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