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ArtisticFarmer

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Hi! I am new here. :) I've been wanted a goat for awhile, and am starting to research so I might be able to get one. I've got a few questions to start of my research-

I am looking for a pet/milk goat. Would and Alpine be good? I know saanens milk good, but I know they need a tight milking schedule and small hands for milking.
How much, on average, does it cost to upkeep a goat(s)
Do I need more then one?
How much time does it require?
What are the basic tools for care? Shed, feeder, waterer, pen etc.
and last but not least,
how much room does it need?

Thanks for answering! :)
ArtisticFarmer
 

elevan

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ArtisticFarmer said:
Hi! I am new here. :) I've been wanted a goat for awhile, and am starting to research so I might be able to get one. I've got a few questions to start of my research-

I am looking for a pet/milk goat. Would and Alpine be good? I know saanens milk good, but I know they need a tight milking schedule and small hands for milking.
How much, on average, does it cost to upkeep a goat(s)
Do I need more then one?
How much time does it require?
What are the basic tools for care? Shed, feeder, waterer, pen etc.
and last but not least,
how much room does it need?

Thanks for answering! :)
ArtisticFarmer
:welcome

Never had Alpines or Saanens so won't give an opinion on them other than they are good dairy breeds.

Average cost is dependent on the cost of stuff in your area, but goats can be kept fairly inexpensively if you are grassfed. You can give alfalfa pellets to dairy does instead of grain (there will be mixed opinions on this - do your research thoroughly before you decide).

Goats are herd animals and will be happiest and healthiest with at least one other goat.

Time is dependent on what you want to do with your goats. If you're just doing upkeep and milking then time can be minimal....or it can be a lot if you are showing.

Tools for care - shed / or some sort of housing, feeder, waterer, pen, milk stand / or alternative, hay, hoof trimmers / brush

Space - as much as you can give optimally. What is the size of space you are looking at?

I would highly recommend reading the articles listed here: http://www.backyardherds.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2607-goat-info
and asking lots of questions.
 

ArtisticFarmer

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Thanks for the answers!
Ok, I will plan on 2 goats.
I have 6.5 acres to choose pasture, and might be able to have 2 pastures to rotate on. Also, what type of enclosure would it need?
Time isn't really a concern, just wondering.
Alfalfa hay- how much will it go through?
What type of housing does it need? I have a barn in which I could easily make a roomy stall for them. And, if at all, what type of bedding do they need?
I'll look around me to see what tool cost are!
 

elevan

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ArtisticFarmer said:
I have 6.5 acres to choose pasture, and might be able to have 2 pastures to rotate on. Also, what type of enclosure would it need?

What type of housing does it need? I have a barn in which I could easily make a roomy stall for them. And, if at all, what type of bedding do they need?
Use electric 3 -5 strands or field fencing that is 5 feet tall.

A roomy stall would be perfect for 2 goats.

Bedding - Use pine shavings, straw or waste hay. We only bed our barn in Winter.
 

ArtisticFarmer

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elevan said:
ArtisticFarmer said:
I have 6.5 acres to choose pasture, and might be able to have 2 pastures to rotate on. Also, what type of enclosure would it need?

What type of housing does it need? I have a barn in which I could easily make a roomy stall for them. And, if at all, what type of bedding do they need?
Use electric 3 -5 strands or field fencing that is 5 feet tall.

A roomy stall would be perfect for 2 goats.

Bedding - Use pine shavings, straw or waste hay. We only bed our barn in Winter.
Would 5' chicken wire work? And what type of predators (if any) go after goats? The biggest thing I would have is coyotes, and they aren't too prevalent around here.
 

elevan

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ArtisticFarmer said:
elevan said:
ArtisticFarmer said:
I have 6.5 acres to choose pasture, and might be able to have 2 pastures to rotate on. Also, what type of enclosure would it need?

What type of housing does it need? I have a barn in which I could easily make a roomy stall for them. And, if at all, what type of bedding do they need?
Use electric 3 -5 strands or field fencing that is 5 feet tall.

A roomy stall would be perfect for 2 goats.

Bedding - Use pine shavings, straw or waste hay. We only bed our barn in Winter.
Would 5' chicken wire work? And what type of predators (if any) go after goats? The biggest thing I would have is coyotes, and they aren't too prevalent around here.
IMHO chicken wire is weak and will only last 2 years at most (in our area anyway). And is not appropriate for goats.

Coyotes, domestic dogs, bear, cougar...depends on your area. Domestic dog seems to be the most prevalent predator.
 

sprocket

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ArtisticFarmer said:
Would 5' chicken wire work? And what type of predators (if any) go after goats? The biggest thing I would have is coyotes, and they aren't too prevalent around here.
Goats will inevitably end up standing on non-electrified wire, and will eventually destroy it. Chicken wire wouldn't last long at all. If you are going to use non-electric wire, make sure you get a woven mesh, NOT a welded mesh - they will break the welds.

We use the portable electric netting sold by Premier1 Supplies:

http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?mode=detail&fence_id=103

It's great for subdividing pastures into small grazeable bits to maximize forage utilization. On a cost-per-foot basis, it compares favorably with pagewire, but with the benefit of being portable.
 

mikayladawn

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As far as fencing goes, I've found that the wire mesh of any type will eventually be bowed out in between posts because the goats like to rub against it. Despite that I have found that it works best. If I were you, I would go for a woven wire that isn't too big at the bottom (they will get their head stuck :rolleyes: ). And try to get the wire thicker, so that it won't bow as easily.

Alfalfa hay- how much will it go through?
With two goats, one flake would probably last a day or two depending on the rest of the diet.
What type of housing does it need? I have a barn in which I could easily make a roomy stall for them.
Yep, they don't particularly need a whole lot of space. Enough to come in, stretch out, and cool off/warm up.
And, if at all, what type of bedding do they need?
The hay that get inevitably wasted is great.
I am looking for a pet/milk goat. Would and Alpine be good? I know saanens milk good, but I know they need a tight milking schedule and small hands for milking.
Can't help you there. I have Nigerians which can produce one to two pints a day which is plenty for my family. I can't say I know much about saanens, but I've heard that Alpine milk has a very goaty taste. (that is opinion of course!)
How much, on average, does it cost to upkeep a goat(s)
full-size goats it'll be a bit more, but I pay about thirty dollars per goat which is feed, mineral, and hay. Deworming meds will be one of the more costly aspects. A bottle of the stuff can be anywhere from 20$ to 100$. Plus, any sort of vet bills.
Do I need more then one?
Definitely. They are herd animals. At least two.
How much time does it require?
As much as you are willing to. Goats are like a version of dogs. They have their personalities and can really enjoy your company. A doe in milk will require at least one milking per day.
What are the basic tools for care? Shed, feeder, waterer, pen etc.
Feed bowls, water bucket, shelter, free-choice mineral, hoof shears, some sort of lead rope/collars thing helps though it is opt, milking stand, hay rack **do not get the net type because goats have hung themselves on those before.**
how much room does it need?
Depends. I agree with the 'as much as possible.' Some people dry lot theirs (no pasture), but personally I think they are healthier with some sort of grazing. I have seven goats on a just under two-acres which works fine.
 

ArtisticFarmer

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Thanks to everybody! So the answer is- Chicken wire will more or less work, but not for very long? Now, from and inexperienced goat-wanter- would staking them out work? We did that with a shetland pony we had, just wondering if it work for a goat. :)

Oh, and, will a doe have to be bred and have a baby before she starts giving milk?
 
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