Newbie questions..sorry

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by TXsouthrngrl, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. TXsouthrngrl

    TXsouthrngrl Guest

    28
    Sep 25, 2009
    These are pet goats (un-registered) 2 females and 1 male

    I am in the process of making Bosco (my male) his own space. I thought I had more time since my girls are only around 4 months old but I read some where (on my many hunts on the Net) that they can come into heat as young as 3 months. Is this true? I thought it was 8 months?

    Is having a fence that they can see each other (the boys and girls) good enough for my male or do I need to get another buck or whether to be with him?

    Also what would you consider to be the best "house" on a temporary basis for them. I'm not sure if they are where I want them to be on a permanate basis ( I really want to build them their own barn). All 3 are in 1 large igloo dog house (they seem to like it that way), I have another large dog crate in with them (just incase one goat gets the boot) but none of them use it except to jump on.

    Also as far as cleaning, I clean out the igloo about every 3-4 days...take the old hay out and put some new in...considering that all 3 sleep/poop/whatever in there....Is that enough? Should I clean it more often? Hay waste is not important as my mothers cows eat every thing my goats dont. (yes even the stuff my goats sleep/poop on...dumb cows) I rake up my goats left overs and feed it to them.

    One more thing...before I found out about the whole calcium thing with the boys....I was feeding them straight alfalfa hay...Now that I've tried to switch, they are being butts about eating other hay. I still give the Alf hay once maybe twice a week (just a bit) but was wondering what you guys give yours. I was told that around here, that brome or grazier hay was best for goats but these are mostly cow raisers so not sure if I believe it.

    Sorry, one more thing, I asked them (a local feed store) for a good mini goat feed and after they loaded it on my van and I got home, it just said animal feed on the bag. It just doesnt seem right to me!? Is that good enough or should I search for some where else? Make my own? Was expecting somthing that said 'goat' on it.

    After everything I've read on the net I'm becoming overwelmed and just need a few ideas. Plus people are starting to tick me off... I called a couple of vets for vacs and such and they dont do goats. But yet I know they do cows/horses!? Yep!! I'm confused! Guess I'll just keep searching.

    This may be continued....lol......
     
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I suggest you get him and her a buddy each and yes if they can breed fairly young
     

  3. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    :wave: Welcome.........this is the place to ask all your questions.......believe me, in my 1st year I have ask soooooo many questions!

    Yes, all that you read can be overwhelming.......just take one thing at a time......you will slowly absorb everything. I have had my goats for just over a year and knew NOTHING about them when I brought them home........I am just now really getting a grip on it all. What I have done, is pick out a couple of goat people I really admire and trust their advice, they are my mentors whether they know it or not :wink: ! That's not to say that I don't listen to everyones thoughts, but everyone has a different opinion.....so you have to go with thoughts you agree with and trust. Also, read, read, read........I have bought goat care books and magazines.

    I would be looking for a goat specific feed and also a good loose mineral......I don't breed so I can't offer you any advice on how far away to keep your buck, but someone here will give you advice on that. I have all wethers and I feed a grass mixed hay.

    About, vets.......I know how frustrating that can be.....I thought I had a good goat vet, but have come to realize he is nothing more than a cow/horse vet.......he is a good vet and I do use him when needed.....he tries with the goats.

    Take care, Denise
     
  4. TXsouthrngrl

    TXsouthrngrl Guest

    28
    Sep 25, 2009
    I'm thinking about trying Hondo for a vet which is about 25 miles or so north of me or if I have to, drive the 1 1/2 hours to Bandera. I've seen alot of ads on Craigs List of goats for sale and even bought my Itsy in Bandera so maybe they will have a good one. And now that I think of it, maybe I should put an ad on CL's farm section asking for recommendations.

    I bought them some mineral which has the copper in it and I figured their feed needed to be goat feed and not this one-size-fits-all animal feed. I'm gonna hunt down a new feed store today. That is, right after my neighbor comes and gets their cow off my property..AGAIN...lol

    This morning (after I posted last night that they wouldn't eat their new hay) they made a liar out of me because I noticed they had eaten some of the Grazier hay. I'm gonna keep putting half Brome and half Grazier to see which they'll eat. My husband and I made a simple feeder but it's a work in progress and I've already found a couple of things I'm gonna change on it today. They roam the top 2 acres or so of my property during the day since I'm outside most of the time anyways. I had to put a couple of water stations at some of their fav spots since they dont seem to go back to their pen for a drink and I was worried about that.
     
  5. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Welcome to the Goat spot, :wave: So glad you are here.

    I agree with the others, they need buddies, unless you consider castrating the buck. If they are just for pets, that is what I would do. They sometimes really stink when they are in rut as they get older. SO that is a thought.

    As for the housing. They need to have a draft free housing area, so the wind does not chill them to the bone, but I know a lot of people that just use dog houses.

    As for the hay, they are going to like the Alfalfa a lot better, but they will eat the other hay.

    Make sure you have a good LOOSE mineral for them. They need it loose so they do not break off a tooth trying to get some, plus they can stop eating it because it burns their tongue and they will stop eating it before they get all they need. That mineral should be for GOAT. NOT Goats and Sheep. That is because goats need more Cooper then sheep, and if it is for both then the goats will not get what they need in the cooper.
    When you get the mineral make sure it is2 parts Calcium to 1 part Phosphorous. That is how to prevent Urinary Calculi.

    Ask away any questions you have. That is good for all of us.
     
  6. TXsouthrngrl

    TXsouthrngrl Guest

    28
    Sep 25, 2009
    The minerals I bought is called Manna Pro Goat Mineral and is the loose kind. It has calcium min-16% max-19% , phophorus min-8% , and the copper is min 1350 ppm. I have just been putting it in with their feed everyday and they seem to eat most of it. Do you guys just free feed it or give it everyday? And what about corn? My husband bought them some corn which I just throw a little bit in with their feed. Is this ok to do? Although the past few days I have saved it till in the evening when they go back in the pen and give them a little as a treat. Is grain and feed (pellets) the same thing? I keep reading about not giving them to much grain.

    Yes, I'm an idiot when it comes to farm animals...lol Give me a dog/cat/bird/gerbil/etc and I know what to do and how to care for them as these are all I've ever had before now. But I am enjoying my goats very much! Even when Sweety Girl tries to go through my purse and eat my cash...lol She's definitly a mamas girl. If the other goats are going one way and me another, she would rather follow me. She even jumped up in the van with me when I was running up to get ice from the drive through. The employees got a good laugh from it as I just took her with me since I didnt have to get out of the van (I love drive throughs).

    Boscos pen is in the making as well as finding him a buddy or two and maybe another doe for my girls.
     
  7. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    The Manna Pro goat mineral is very good, it also has ammonium chloride in it for the boys to help[ prevent urinary calculi. Leave it out freechoice for them, Tractor Supply carries a divided mineral feeder that can be attached to the wall to keep goaties from spilling it and it can be placed high enough to keep berries out too.

    My mini's get a goat specific feed....I don't think there is a goat feed made specifically for the mini breeds...Pygmy, Nigerian or the mini dairy crosses. With my goats, they just get less of the amount recomended for the big breeds.

    Numerous companies make goat feeds...Purina, Nutrena, Buckeye, Kalmbach, Blue Seal, DuMor, Southern States...these are a few that I know of, there are likely others out there. I personally use Blue Seal's Caprine Challenger.

    As far as hay goes, last year I had timothy/orchard grass hay for myt goats, this year I was very lucky to be able to get alfalfa/mixed grass hay cheap and close to home....They do well with either though there was more stemmy waste from last years hay.
     
  8. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    I feed mine pellets as it is easier for me and I only have 4 wethers......mine only get 1/4 cup or less 2x's a day in the winter, but mine are not having to put out milk or breed. Others can answer you on the corn, but I was thinking it's not good for them to have too much, but maybe that's for wethers.......I give my boys BOSS (sunflower seeds) and raisens as treats and they love them!

    Goats are just the best :love: .......I love my boys so much! They keep hubby and I laughing all the time with their antics....they are so child like. Just today I was out with them and my one little toot (Murphy) got something in his nose and started sneezing something bad, I said "Bless you Murph"......he looked at me and walked right over to me and wiped his nose on my jeans just like a child would do to a mom!.........I laughed so hard.
    Enjoy them, Denise
     
  9. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    First off welcome to the group! We welcome newbie questions after all. we have ALL been there. Yes goats are sexually mature at three to four months old. As kids i suggest getting another buck or whether for your young boy to play with. As he gets older though he may do just fine by himself. my buck pen was right next to my doe pen and all of my buks have been perfectly happy by themselves. I do put toys out for them. Some favorites are jolly balls, which you can pick up at just about any feed store. and tire swings. I tied one to a tree over the buck pen. My boys spend hours rearing up and head butting it. tire swings "fight back".
    As for the corn. I use as little as possible.
    Manna pro is a good mineral, however as with anny name brand mineral its formulated for goats across the country, so it may be lacking a few things. I always have to suppliment with copper and selinium in adition to my minerals.
    beth
     
  10. 3pygmymom

    3pygmymom New Member

    134
    Nov 16, 2009
    Lancaster, PA
    I need to jump on the newbie bandwagon as I am new too! I also have a question about the grain, I feed my three pygmys purina goat chow and that appears to have cracked corn and I think oats in it? I give them this in the morning and the evening but I think I have been giving them WAY too much of it! They are less than a year old and I give them about two cups at each feeding :scratch: Any help with this will be greatly appreciated! I just give them grass hay and they eat it with no problem :)
     
  11. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    yah it sounds like a bit much for them -- I would cut down to 1 cup per feeding until they are year old and then cut down to a half a cup per feeding. They wont need as much after they slow their growth down.
     
  12. 3pygmymom

    3pygmymom New Member

    134
    Nov 16, 2009
    Lancaster, PA
    how much hay should I be putting out per feeding? They do go out in the meadow part of the day and the other part they are in their "playground area" which is pretty big, they have things to climb on and lots of room to run, just not out in 17 acres of field :)
     
  13. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    When there is browse available, I put out 2 sections for 6 does in the morning and in the evening after they are back in the pen another 2 sections. I do have hayracks on the walls inside but through the summer months I put their hay outside in plastic milk crates... my 3 bucks get hay freechoice, available at all times in 2 separate racks with 1 flake fluffed up in each.
     
  14. 3pygmymom

    3pygmymom New Member

    134
    Nov 16, 2009
    Lancaster, PA
    Thank you, there is an old wooden ladder along the one wall to the second story of the barn they are in, I tuck a slice in there in the morning for them, but now that they dont have much to graze, I will put more. This however is in front of their little opening to go in and out, should I move it elsewhere and do I need to make a cover for the doorway when it starts to get cold out? The last few nights its been in the mid 30's and they have been sleeping outside on their playground and I didn't think they liked the cold! :scratch:
     
  15. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    I put up a piece of heavy old blanket with strips cut in it over their little door way to keep the cold wind out, my guys door way faces west.....I have to lock my guys inside at night due to coyotes.