So I have a little project and I'd like your input ...

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by keren, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    I'm really excited about this one :D

    I've just been given more or less free range on turning a licorice all sorts, motley crew of a little goat herd, into a really good high quality little registered herd. It belongs to our local university.

    So basically the herd is about 20 - 25 goats. There is a saanen x togg doe, a nubian x saanen doe, a nubian wether, a boer wether, a british alpine x togg, and then the rest are all toggs.

    The story goes, the uni has a fantastic, world renowned vet school, and a fantastic specialist vet clinic. Two goats came to the clinic (not sure why), the vets fixed them up, then about a year later the owner could no longer keep them, so she gave them to the uni. The farm manager knows nothing about goats, but loves them for their temperament etc. So he got a buck, and the herd grew from there. There were a couple rescue goats added, and the boer wether came from the sale yards (he sweet talked the farm manager).

    But essentially, the farm manager really likes them and would like to see them utilised better, but he doesnt have the knowledge, expertise or the time to do it. Now he knows me, and knows that I know goats, he is happy for me to do whatever I want with the herd. And what I'd really like to do is turn it around into a little registered herd and start showing. Particularly because they are mainly toggs, and virtually no one shows toggs here, I was just saying a few weeks ago that its such a shame that there were no toggies represented at the royal show.

    The only thing the farm manager does want, is he wants to have a representative of each breed.

    So anyway, I've had a little think and come up with a checklist of things to do. And this is where you come in. Can I get your thoughts as to what things you would do with these goats, if I've missed anything?

    This is kindof but not necessarily in order.

    • 1. Identify. The goats aren't tagged, tatooed or anything. Since the toggs look alike (at least for now, when I'm not used to them) I'd like to individually identify all of them. I don' want to tag (showring) and I don't want to tattoo straigt away. So I thought I would get some breakaway collars and collar them to start with. Name them, number them etc. At some point later I will tattoo. I need to match the kids to the dams (some have kids on them at the moment) and record notes for myself, such as conformation, udder, age etc. I also need to photograph them all for registration purposes. From the farm manager I need the relationships between the goats, if they have names, if he has ages for them, and I need to trace back the bucks he used to see if they were registered.
      2. Testing. I'll get the vet students to pull bloods and test for CAE and Johnes.
      3. Foot trim. They are all in desperate need of a foot trim (starting with the old matriarch)
      4. Disbud. The kids are between 2 and 4wks old and growing little horn buds (though some of them look polled) but I think they are small enough still to disbud.
      5. Castrate. They had a ridiculous amount of buck kids this year. Makes me sad! lol So, on with the green rings!
      6. Herd health. Establish when they were last drenched, vaccinated, treated for lice etc. and treat as needed.
      7. Diet. Find out what they are eating and adjust as necessary.
      8. Talk to breeders about purchasing a british alpine doe and an anglo nubian doe - I can do this on saturday, as I'll be at a goat show.
      8. Talk to breeders about stud services - I'd like to take the saanen doe to a saanen buck, the nubian doe/s to a nubian buck, the british alpine to an alpine buck, and I'm thinking lease a buck for the toggs (just cos there are so many of them). Again, I'll do this saturday.
      9. Training. Teach them to lead, stand for milking etc. Not much has been done to them, they just live in the paddock and raise their kids. When the kids are weaned they just let them dry off. I have my eye on a couple of this years doe kids to maybe train to show.
      10. The plan for the old girl. The old matriarch is currently in the equine barn with her twins, she has one teat blown out because the kids obviously havent kept up with the milk, and they don't milk her. Now it's too low for the kids to suckle. They don't know what to do with her. CHances are, I will probably take her home to my place, because I am able to milk her twice a day there. The buck kid I will wean onto hard feed (since he will only be a wether) and the doe kid I will try to get onto a bottle (could be a challenge at one month old).
      11. At some point once I get everything sorted, apply for a herd prefix and go through and register all the goats that conform to a breed standard, as appendix D. From there we can go on breeding up to purebred, and we can show the appendix animals here. I think there will be a small group of students interested in working with them and showing them. Would be fantastic to get some more young people into the industy :)
      12. And of course, take plenty of photos for you wonderful goat spotters! And I think before and after, and progress photos, would be fantastic too. A little photo journal of the project.

    So ... anything you would add, or do differently?

    Edit to add - yeah, I don't really know how that list button works! lol
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Sounds like a large endeavor I might be overwhelmed just reading all of it -- give me time to process ;)

  3. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    lol sorry - didn't realise what a novel I'd written!
  4. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
  5. Lexibot

    Lexibot New Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    Wow... you're gonna be VERY busy!

    Something you could try, I was able to get Goat Goat to drink the milk on his own in a bowl around a month old, it took a bit, but this was easier than giving him a bottle :D Those things can be a mess to wash out.
  6. Bellafire Farm

    Bellafire Farm New Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    NW Oregon
    Oh wow... this is a "little" project! I'm nervous to know what a big project is for you! LOL!

    Sounds like GREAT FUN though! And to help not only the goats, but the university itself! That's such a wonderful opportunity! Just think of all the education you can spread there with that "little project"! I am so excited for you!

    Have fun!
  7. alyssa_romine

    alyssa_romine Breaking Dawn Ranch

    Oct 4, 2007
    sounds like a lot of work but sounds cool
  8. melb1

    melb1 New Member

    Sep 28, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    Sounds like a massive job Keren. Good luck. Which uni are you doing it for?
  9. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Murdoch uni (i'm in perth). You know how some people love to fix up old houses? Well, I love to fix up goats. And goat herds. I've always loved the capine rescue I did. The way I see this opportunity, I get to transform these goats (which I love) and I get to teach people (which I love even more) and I get to show people my passion and maybe get them excited about goats too. We need more people in the industry, especially more young people, and we need more vets that are interested, knowledgeable and competent regarding goats. I can't wait to start! =D
  10. melb1

    melb1 New Member

    Sep 28, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    That's awesome. Goodonya!!
  11. ChestnutGrove

    ChestnutGrove New Member

    Apr 29, 2009
    Right now it looks like you have everything planned out well! I think they are very lucky to have you now and you will make the herd into a nice show herd for sure!

    I will reread everything and think about your wrote today and see if I can add anything to it - right now it looks like you have all your bases covered. I think you have it handled pretty well and I am very excited for you! It is wonderful to be able to do something you love, it is a good feeling!
  12. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    lol keren.. you always manage to find the fun stuff
  13. Mon Reve Farm

    Mon Reve Farm New Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Southern DE
    Wow what an exciting project!!!

    I know you said it wasn't in any particular order but I would think you would want the testing to be first as it will impact some of your future decisions or steps you need to take.

    See if they can provide intern support. Maybe a student that can help with care of the animals and maybe one with research skills that can put together a database, records and history on the animals.