We've been into dairy and meat goats for abt 30 yrs .We all know how cute they can be. I've seen many a goat later in a sad state, poor nutrition, bucks running with does year around,, indiscriminate breeding etc.
So I pose this thought to new goat owners. What happens to your kids? To know the answer, you have to have some kind of a plan with your herd. re: Are you raising goats for pets? To breed and improve the breed? to sell for 4-H and FFA? Dairy? Meat? Show? or pets?
If you only want to have as pets, Band the bucks and keep as pets
Find an outside breeder for your does.
You can often lease a buck, if needed.
If you want to keep your buck, get ahold of the ADGA guidelines and see if your buck meets the guidelines. Ask yourself, do I know their bloodlines? How will they improve my herd? Will my does have adequate milk and structure for her kids?.
Consider going to some goat shows or looking through websites and look at champion bucks and see confirmation, udders etc and see how your goats stack up?
You can usually depend on 1-4 kids for each doe
Goats are considered large animals and (RA zoning), so you have to consider how many goats your property can hold safely.
If one of your goats gets sick how will you separate them from the herd?.
If sold for 4-H or FFA the goats have to be disbudded, +(meat: scrapie tagged)
ADGA offers a free pedigree search on registered goats that can help you with percentage of inbreeding and DHIA milk testing
Leaving your bucks to run with your does year around can have many side effects. Milk can taste like smell bucks. Yuck! Does that breed too often between kidding don't get time off. Young does that breed too young can stunt growth or have problem pregnancies.
Those who run sheep and goats together should know that they have some different nutritional concerns plus shared medical needs/concerns. While goats need copper bolus, Copper is toxic to sheep. You need to check for selenium in your part of the county and see if you need to supplement for that. Black Oil Sunflower Seeds can help supplement selenium and goats love them. Should limit to no more than 1/2cup a day for most goats. Deficiencies show up in your kids.
There are a few distributors who now carry goat sized copper boluses.
Both breeds can get CAE, Johne's disease, CL and and Dryland Distemper. Should your herd acquire the latter two (CL or Distemper) and it gets in the soil, you will likely have to cull your herd. If you think you have it separate immediately, call your vet and sterilize and separate everything. You can carry it on your shoes to another barn.
Important to learn about the diseases and how to keep your herd healthy.
When you learn proper care and breeding you will decide who your clients are that will buy your kids
While these are not all of the concerns, just a few that have popped up recently that we have been asked and thought I would share. Many of you probably have other suggestions or comments.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. There are no stupid questions. We all had to learn what we know from others and our experiences. Thank you to the person who started this post. Hopefully this is a help to others.
I wish I could spay as easily as band! I refuse to sell an unbanded buck with a doeling. People won't listen, won't band and don't get that their precious little boy will knock up his sister as soon as he can.
Great thread! I wonder if you shouldn't retitle it so when people are searching for goat information they'd be more likely to end up in this thread. Maybe something like "Thinking About Getting Goats?" or "Things to Know Before Getting Goats." It's just a thought I had. (thumbup)