You are talking about CPs (cattle or combination panels) I HAVE had a full sized jump but, unusual. Goats are tough on fence if there is anything they can reach to eat by standing up on it -- trees, vines, etc. NDs are smaller, so less issue with jumping that fence size. I also find that a goat in milk is less interested in jumping with the udders in constant production/fill. Young kids can fit through the holes in those panels! Goats jump! Goats always think they need to escape. My older, heavy milking does are less aggressive -- they have learned to open the gate! Goats are very, very smart with the memory of an elephant.
I have Saanen, SaanenxNubian.....did have some with ND cross. Those are referred to as "mini" Nubian or "mini" Saanen, generally in the 50/50 mix ration. As to butterfat, that is just a crap shoot -- and feed input. So while ND has higher fat, a cross breed won't get full benefit, normally. The quantity of milk each doe will produce varies, also. If you are interested in milking you need to buy a doe with a good background of genetics for production. First fresheners will generally give less than after 2nd freshening. A lot depends on what you want to taste, use milk for, amount you want to have on hand.
Goat milk is naturally homogenized, so while some cream will rise, it is nowhere near what is IN the milk. I have a cream seperater. Costly but very efficient when I want to spin it out. My Saanens generally give me a gal at each milking, 2X a day, on average. Cream will vary by feed and the time within their lactation. Some will milk longer than the "usual" 9-10 months. I've successfully milked 18 months without rebreeding. Not all will do this and the quantity produced will reduce in late stages. Mostly my full Nubians will give a little less. I love them both! The milk if GREAT! Milk, cream, yogurt, butter, kefir, cheese, soaps -- excellent uses. Also my cats, chickens, pigs love it.
If you get NDs, the 16 ft cattle panels will work for them. I had one Saanen, known as "fence-jumper" clear cattle panels and all fencing until she was 2 yrs old with an udder, then she stopped. Cattle panels work for my other Saanens pens.
As for a buck, you can always find someone that will do driveway breedings or will board for a fee. It's nice having a buck, but they are a different critter to take care of. My Saanen boys are gentle giants (35"-37" tall) but during rut (mid Aug thru Feb) you cannot turn your back on them....same with horses, sheep, cattle, etc. Hormones run rampant and no matter how well trained, a person has to be careful.
You need two goats at a minimum being as they are herd animals. One doe should be enough along with a wether (denutted male). IF you are willing to milk thru the winter and once a day is fine, even for Saanens, then you don't have to breed every fall. Otherwise, breed for when you want to kid. On average, goats are 150 days preggers. NDs tend to be 145-150 days, while Saanens tend to be 150-157 days. So, if you want kids to be born, for example, 15 March, you want to catch her around 10-20 October. Does cycle every 18-21 days. Just realize that all babies are cute, but you can't keep them all. If you let kids nurse, handle them everyday so they aren't so wild. Boys are a dime a dozen....when 2 mths old, he should be banded. Too many people want to sell bucks to try and make some money. They usually end up in the sales ring going for meat.
How close are your neighbors? Saanens tend to be quiet and laid back, tho I had one once that I could hear all over my 5 acres! A friend raises NDs and some of hers are yellers, while others are quiet. Nubians tend to be noisy, but there are quiet ones.
As for cost, it depends on where you are. Just realize that you get what you pay for. You pay $100, you could get a good one...but more often than not, you will get one that you will regret buying (doesn't milk much, temperment is standoffish, etc). Spend as much as you can in the $250+ range from a breeder that is willing to mentor you and possibly bring the doe back for breeding.
No climb fencing has been our fence of choice, we have tried the welded wire fencing (welds break over time. So a waste of money)....cattle panels are great if you need to move them in the future (cost is higher) so if you have the funds..no climb is well worth the time and investment to put it up...and none of our goats have gotten out or over it... .
I agree but don't forget doe in milk cost more same with pregnant does. Around me they can go for 500-750 depending on the does pedigree. I found some on sale because people where moving. You also need a milk stand equipment for milking and sanitation and if you plan to pasturize it you 'll need some way to cool the milk off whether that's a sink full of ice water or an ice cream maker. You need to have basic medical supplies on hand. You also need to think where your going to keep the feed because goats can and will break into feed bins if they can. Mine have been know to beat up metal trash can until they could get it to open. And if they over eat the can bloat... They like to eat lol. I love nubians i currently have a nubain/sansan buck, and nubian/toggenberg doe and her 3/4 nubian/1/4toggenber doelings who are just about does now. I absolutely love them. My first herd was nubians and they were awesome as well. My buck was very laid back guy even in a rut(male hormone crazed stage) wanted loving that being said there were times he wanted to challenge me and had to be put in his place (pinning him to the ground until he calmed down) so if your not very physically strong i would suggest a smaller start off herd and or just get does and wethers and but see if you can find someone willing to let you breed using their buck because alot of farmers don't for biosecurity reasons. Also make sure the person you get your goats from has the paperwork to prove they are disease free as some can carry illness that can stay on your land and spread to other animals.
We like our goats to be able to graze, it really offsets the feed budget too! So we could keep three pygmies in about 1/4 acre with only small supplements in the summer and of course you have to feed through Winter. Keep in mind nursing mamas need way more feed. As far as shelters, goats don’t always like to share so we have built multiple small shelters/shelters with dividers. For pygmies pallet boxes covered with wood works, but my favorite is a recycled children’s play tower that we covered with boards. Goats destroy everything so don’t worry about a million dollar barn lol. And goats LOVE to play. Give them stuff to climb on and eat and leap off of I.e. short shelters, buried tires, ramps, logs. Goats have a few basic food needs, Forage, grain, nutrient, fiber. Forage is grass or hay. Grain is corn, bread, sweet feed, goat pellets. Nutrient is either loose minerals or blocks, keep in mind babies and moms need more or these than your average goat. Fiber is an over looked and super important one; straw, bark, wood, paper. Basically fiber is non nutrient dense food that fills them up and keeps the stomachs working. If you don’t have good sources of fiber your goats will eat their shelters and I mention paper because goats will eat homework lol.
For us personally we don’t have any milking goats or babies so we can do a bit of a lighter diet, but you will have to keep up with nutritional needs for whatever you have. We have healthy goats on deer corn or sweet feed every few days and bread in the summer for grains, but when we had babies it was Sweet feed, corn and goat pellets every day. Forage is your top concern, if you don’t have plenty of grass have good hay around (cow grade is fine, but make sure it’s clean) and as much as they eat with plenty left over. Keep forage, water and minerals available 24/7. Grain is obviously the most varied category, so you really have to figure out for yourself what you have and what they need because everyone is different.
Goats need to be wormed so get the on a schedule right away.
Fencing is important, we started with cattle fence and got so many heads stuck in the fence it wasn’t even funny. Sheep and goat wire 4 ft tall is fabulous though.
A wise horseman said if you love your horse train him well, that way no matter what happens he will always be wanted. I totally get not wanting your babies to go as meat, and with does that’s rarely an issue, but boys can be troublesome. If they’re handsome you can consider leaving them intact to sell as a breeder or you can whether them to sell as pets. I believe the key to selling as pets is training, get them hand tame, teach them to walk on a lead and load up with ease and you shouldn’t have to worry about them.
good luck by the way! Oh, and learn about emergencies before they happen and they won’t be so big of a deal.
Wow, I was NOT expecting so many posts. Thanks for all of the great advice! Let's see, neighbors. No, I do not have any neighbors within earshot. I can't hear them unless the wind is right and they're screaming. Heads can get stuck in cattle panels? That's not good to hear. So I've read that goats are browsers, like deer, rather than grazers, like sheep. My land is mostly grass, but I do have a windbreak barrier of pines, so they might like that? I think I'm pretty good, unless anyone has any more advice or warnings for me. You can never have too much.