Jesusfreak101

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I do that all the time lol. It's more fun plus if you learn everything first you can change your mind and miss out on the fun lol. I wouldn't change it i love all of the crazy animals we have and also love the ecperiance even the hard ones helps you to grow. You never to old to grow and learn.
 

Ridgetop

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You don't need 6' fences with dairy milkers. Like Saanenmom and Minihorses said, does in milk will not go leaping over fences.
You DO need good perimeter fencing to keep out stray dogs and coyotes. Better yet, a good LGD if y have problems with predators. Goats will eat grass, but prefer forage so if your grass is wild, or has weeds they will enjoy that.
A word of warning, if you plan to turn them out into a large area during the day, get bottle raised dairy goats. Mama raised goats are often spooky and will need to be chased back to the barn for milking.

Also, since you have no experience, it will be easer to get a goat already in milk and being milked. Go to see her when it is milking time, try to milk her (not all goats have nice udders and easy milking teats) and taste the milk. Some breeds of goats have horrible tasting milk. It will be worth the higher purchase price to get a goat that is already milking, is easy to handle and has good tasting milk. Often the budget priced goats are that way because they have problems, have nasty milk, or are a b**** to milk.

Our first milk goats were Nubians (wonderful milk) which the breeder had kept to get milk stars on the sire and dam. They were each star milkers, and the breeder also took them back and bred them for us. We have had about 100 milkers over the 30 years since, and not all of them had nice milk were good yielders, etc. One older Nubian we were given by some one else had good milk but her attachments were so bad that the udder hung so far down that it had to sit on your arms between the edge of the pail and the goat. It compressed your arms and my wrists and hands would go numb while milking! She went to the sale yard. Everything is experience and that taught us a hard lesson about the importance of attachments. Before that it was "just a show standard thing".

Those first 2 Nubian does were delightful - sweet and friendly, had kids easily, gave massive amounts of milk for an entire 10 month lactation, and when they learned to open their gate my 2 and 4 year olds could take them by the collars and lead them back to the pen! Their pen fences were only 48" tall and they never jumped out. They were not top show quality, but were nice looking and my DD1 had fun showing them in 4-H. Good bucks improved their kids, but those does were favorites for us for years. The ease of learning on those girls is what made our whole family enjoy and love dairy goats so much.
 

Caprine

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Question: how much hay does a goat eat daily? And is it better to give them Timothy or alfalfa? (Two questions, I guess.) Starting to think of getting three does for production...
 

Wild Bug Ranch

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I recommend to give 3 goats one slab a hay daily or every other day. And give the Orchard grass, you can also give bucks and wethers orchard grass because I know Alfalfa blocks wethers and bucks bladder
 

Caprine

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I recommend to give 3 goats one slab a hay daily or every other day. And give the Orchard grass, you can also give bucks and wethers orchard grass because I know Alfalfa blocks wethers and bucks bladder
Thanks. Is Alfalfa fine for does? Or should they also have Orchard?
 

Wild Bug Ranch

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Yes it is fine, but since you said you will be breeding, you will need orchard grass when the babies are eating hay.
 

chickens really

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Goats need hay 24/7 to keep a healthy gut/rumen. Also some type of feeder/manger to keep the feed waste down. Goats don't generally eat anything once it hits the ground and gets stepped on or pooped on. The best hay is a quality orchard grass or a Timothy/ orchard grass mix. A little alfalfa in the hay won't hurt them though.
 

Caprine

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Hmm... Anyone know how many pounds of orchard grass per goat per day/week/month/year or whatever?
 

Caprine

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For Nigerian Dwarfs, Mini Nubians, and Mini Saanens, along those lines.
 
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