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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, as some of you might know I was going to wait until spring to get my first goats, but I should have seen this coming, turns out I am very impatient and once I have started something I like to complete it before I move on. So getting goats is all I really can think about right now:crazy:. I have discussed this with my family already and we have some concerns about getting them now:
1. It will be winter sooner than later, and it would be better to not deal with trying to keep your first goats from being cold (How hardy to cold are recently weaned NDs? The converse is that around here sometimes it doesn't get very cold until January... sometimes)
2. Getting hay and straw in the winter is hard. (I'm saying this. I don't know if it's true)
3. The overall lack of forage for them to eat in the winter. (I don't have a rebuttal to that)

Here's what I see as the positives of getting them now:
1.It is very nice weather here in the fall.
2. I know my Anatolian breeder will have puppies available at the end of September.
3. I am very VERY impatient and would love to get them now while all this information is swirling around in my brain.

So, should I stifle my impatience and wait the long, cold, goatless winter? Or give in to my desires and add goats to my family, now? Any opinion would help my decision.
 

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I say if you see something you like now go for it. Don't settle, be picky, you have done your homework so don't jump on the first thing you see but if there's something you really like to for it. Sooo....
1. Goats are going to be warm or cold no matter where they are. As long as you have shelter ready for them they will be fine
2. If you worry about hay and straw you can get some now and put away to last till winter. Your going to have to deal with winter sooner or later it doesn't matter if it is in a few months or a year and a few months ;) Just make sure the hay and straw are in a place that it will stay dry
3. Same as 2
Again don't let you impatience allow you to jump on the first thing you see but I sure wouldn't kick myself latter for letting something pass by. You will find that when your in the market for something it's usually a wait to get the perfect one.....at least for me lol
 

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I agree it is your decision and if you see what you want go for it. While searching you can also work on finding a reliable hay source. They can tell you if they have enough hay to supply you through the winter. I go every 6 weeks and get hay. I am a regular customer and he puts up a ton of hay so I have no fear of him running out. My feed store keeps a barn full of straw. So my sources are pretty secure. We built a special enclosure just for hay and I can only get so many bales in it at a time. This has worked well for us. If you have your pens and enclosures ready then you are as ready as anyone can be. I would think about how you are going to do water during the winter. Make sure you are up for it!!! They have to have water - summer, spring, fall or winter. The ice and freezing is what becomes a big challenge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Water wasn't something I had thought of. My family used to have chickens, and what we would do was bring a watering can inside and fill it with hot water when it got really cold, and then dump that hot water in their waterer for the night, and I can think of only a few times when it froze. And in the day time it was never a problem.
 

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Find out from hay and straw farmers if you need to buy a years worth now or if you can buy a few bales at a time. In my area, I have to buy my hay and straw for the year which means I have to have proper storage for a years worth of hay and straw.
 

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Fair-Haven
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Ditto on the hay and straw. With the wet season, it's been a horrible hay year for us in this area. Make sure you can get what you need before having goats. I wouldn't get a puppy and new goats, lots of work with both, as you can never trust a new dog or puppy around goats by themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wouldn't get a puppy and new goats, lots of work with both, as you can never trust a new dog or puppy around goats by themselves.
I know that you have to work with the puppy before trusting it to be alone with the goats, but I have done a lot of research and I have found that I believe it would be beneficial for my goats and dog to be raised with each other. I will have lots of help from my family, and I am home all day, everyday so all of my time will be spent working with my animals. Those reasons coupled with the fact that my goat breeder and Anatolian breeder are both in the same area, and about two hours away has made me make the decision to get them at the same time. I am very aware that it is going to be hectic at first, but with nothing to divide my attention from it I am really looking forward to the challenge and responsibility this is going to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I guess it looks like I should wait until spring. That seems like the more responsible thing to do. I think it would be better to wait so that I don't have to worry immediately about feed supply or cold or anything like that. I will wait. And hopefully not loose my mind while doing so
.
 

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Catharina
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Unless you're miles & miles from anywhere, I can't imagine you couldn't find a feed store that has hay all year round. Also you can buy electric things to keep water buckets from freezing. How cold does it get where you are, & what breed are you getting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unless you're miles & miles from anywhere, I can't imagine you couldn't find a feed store that has hay all year round. Also you can buy electric things to keep water buckets from freezing. How cold does it get where you are, & what breed are you getting?
I'm in western NC. The lows in the winter around here are like low 20s at night, and 30s - 40s during the day time in late November and December, but we have had years where it didn't get that cold until more like January. Two years ago it was 60 degrees on Christmas! (dashing all dreams of a white Christmas :mad:) In January and February last year we had two days out of those months where we got around two feet of snow, but it doesn't stick around and by the evening it is usually melted. Lows in the teens are pretty usual for January and the occasional (occasional) drop into negative numbers.
As for a feed store I do have a few small farm supply stores that sell hay, but they really don't seem like they would have enough space to store hay through the winter, but I don't know where they are getting it so maybe they do. I'll look into that. Does anyone know if tractor supply has hay all year round? Because I do have one of those near enough to me.
Oh, I almost forgot I am getting Nigerian Dwarves (ND is the abbreviation;)).
 

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Goat Crazy!
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I'm in Maine. I use an electric bucket in winter. It will keep the water from freezing in all but the bitterest of cold weather.
 

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Fair-Haven
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You can get the baled hay from TSC in my area, however it is very expensive and doesn't have the amount I would need for the winter. I typically buy around 100 bales, so for me that is absolutely not an option. However, with just a couple of minis, your hay usage won't be nearly that. Try to figure out how much hay you would need, along with all other supplies and see if you will have the resources and $$ to fund your goats. I would go to my extension office and try to contact the goat leader for the local 4h goat club. They are a wealth of information.
 

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Really that's not that cold. I mean that's cold for us but not for a animal. Also talk to the feed store if you worry about hay. I don't think they will not carry hay during the winter. The one I go to only has room for a small amount but he has many many truck loads sitting at his house that he hauls over from there. The other 2 feed stores they go threw a hay broker and they split a load every two weeks. Also keep your eye on craigslist. My parents grow hay and my brother sells it and it's all stored in a barn and he has a few people that come threw out the year that grab their hay. Some people want it out fast so will want you to get large loads but not everyone
 

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Fair-Haven
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Also think of your shelter, hay/feed storage area, browse area, and making sure you have a relationship with a large animal vet close enough to you. Lots of things to consider. It's hard to wait, but it does give you a lot of time to research breeders near you. ADGA has a lot of resources for this, you may want to consider becoming a member and using their info to help you with your options and education on your Nigerians.
 

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GreenTGoats
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I'm in western NC. The lows in the winter around here are like low 20s at night, and 30s - 40s during the day time in late November and December, but we have had years where it didn't get that cold until more like January. Two years ago it was 60 degrees on Christmas! (dashing all dreams of a white Christmas :mad:) In January and February last year we had two days out of those months where we got around two feet of snow, but it doesn't stick around and by the evening it is usually melted. Lows in the teens are pretty usual for January and the occasional (occasional) drop into negative numbers.
As for a feed store I do have a few small farm supply stores that sell hay, but they really don't seem like they would have enough space to store hay through the winter, but I don't know where they are getting it so maybe they do. I'll look into that. Does anyone know if tractor supply has hay all year round? Because I do have one of those near enough to me.
Oh, I almost forgot I am getting Nigerian Dwarves (ND is the abbreviation;)).
Hey, you're pretty close to me :)

I water once a day, winter and summer. Only difference is the temperature of water I give them.

As for getting hay at a feed store. Save your time and your money. That stuff is terrible quality and way overpriced.

Look on craigslist or fb and find someone that grows their own hay. Sometimes you will need to store it yourself, but a lot of supplier will have hay available throughout the winter. Go for horse hay, not cow or goat hay.
 
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