Greetings from (soon to be) Azle, TX.

DParker

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My wife and I are closing tomorrow on a 2.5 acre property WNW of Ft. Worth, just outside of the city of Azle. It is narrow (about 100' wide) but very long, and is already subdivided into 3 well-fenced sections (including a functional electric wire running along the top of the entire perimeter of the back 2 sections), and my plan so far is to keep a small herd of milk...and maybe, meat...goats in the middle section. By "small herd" I mean something like 4 milkers and maybe 3 or 4 meat goats at any one time. I will also have a dozen or so chickens in the section that includes the house (the back yard, basically). The middle section also already contains a large steel barn where hay and other things are stored, and a decent-sized wooden barn/stable with an open front. I'll probably want to enclose that more than it is to make a goat home of it. I've not kept any livestock before, so I'll have questions. Lots and lots of questions.

TL;DR version: New home. Want goats. Total noob. Will be back for a bunch of advice on specifics. ;)
 

Baymule

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Welcome to the forum neighbor! We are north of Tyler. As for 2 different flocks of goats, take the shortcut. Have your dairy does for milk, keep a meat buck to breed them to. Dairy animals don’t have a lot of meat, by breeding your dairy does to a meat buck, the kids will have more meat on them. Then you don’t have to keep two bucks, 2 flocks of does!

Congratulations on the farm! Already fenced and barns too! Awesome!!
 

DParker

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Welcome to the forum neighbor! We are north of Tyler.
Thanks. We're currently in the 'burbs just east of Garland where we built our house on just under 1/4 acre 27 years ago, so this will represent multiple changes for us...fairly late in life (we both just recently turned 60, and my wife will be retiring next month.)
As for 2 different flocks of goats, take the shortcut. Have your dairy does for milk, keep a meat buck to breed them to. Dairy animals don’t have a lot of meat, by breeding your dairy does to a meat buck, the kids will have more meat on them. Then you don’t have to keep two bucks, 2 flocks of does!
Interesting. Now, when you say a "meat buck"...are you referring to a different breed (as in different from the does) more commonly kept for meat, or just a buck of the same breed as the dairy does that will eventually be harvested for that purpose? For instance, say I go with Nubian Dwarfs (Dwarves?) for my dairy does. Are you saying I should keep a buck of a different meat-oriented breed, or a ND buck that I would later use for meat (and replace with a younger ND buck)?
Congratulations on the farm! Already fenced and barns too! Awesome!!
Thanks, we think so too. Here are the structures in question. My plan is to house the goats in the stable-ish one on the left. As I said, it needs a little work, but I'm thinking it can pressed into service for that purpose fairly easily.

132 Fossil Rock Dr - 34.jpg
132 Fossil Rock Dr - 31.jpg
 

Baymule

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If you went with a full sized dairy breed does, such as Nubian for example, then you could keep a Boer buck to breed them to for meatier kids.

There are dual purpose breeds such as Kiko for both meat and milk. @Mini Horses can you help me out on breeds? My apologies @DParker i raise sheep, so I’m no expert on goats. LOL I don’t think there is a miniature meat breed that would match Nigerian Dwarves for size.

That sure is a nice barn! Super nice! We retired 7 years ago and bought this place. It’s 8 acres with a double wide. HUD repo, we got a great deal. But nothing here , just the double wide. It was so grown up that people didn’t know there was a house here. We had to do a lot of clean up, clearing and hacking our way down property lines just to get fencing up. We built a 36’x36’ horse barn, brought our 12’x24’ portable building and put a 20’ roof extension off one side for a sheep barn. You don’t know how lucky you are!

What kind of fencing do you have? Goats require a tight, good fence. Strands of barbed wire will not hold them. It is advisable to use a 4”x4” sheep and goat WOVEN wire or a 2”x4” non climb WOVEN horse wire. Stay away from welded wire, it is total crap. Also you can run strands of electric hot wire at the bottom, couple inches from the ground, midway (goat height) to keep them from rubbing on the fence, and on top to deter predators.

I know y’all must be excited to move to the farm! When is move in date?
 

Baymule

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What type of grasses and pasture is on the property? Goats and sheep like most weeds, so watch what they eat and what they avoid. I pull up goat weed, they don’t eat it. But my sheep love lambs quarters and ragweed, which the horses won’t touch.
 

Mini Horses

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Welcome to your new farm and BYH!

Your not late to the party, many of us are old geezers. Some of us forever, already. Some because it's when we finally arrived at a stage to be able. Kind of backwards, as youth has some muscle to add but, age some wisdom. All in all, it keeps you moving!

Love the buildings. I see two stalls in the shed type. Your ready to go! 😁 Fence. Big issue with goats. Some not as bad but all have their desire to find that spot to escape. It's their life. :lol:

As to types and crossbreed as @Baymule has mentioned. Yes, crossing a meat breed with a dairy breed generally gives more meat on a carcass. I have bred Boer with Nubian successfully. There is a Kiko goat, dual purpose, still large as Nubians. For me, the Boer is my meat choice IF you want meat. They have a good meat to bone ratio. However, like many animals, not all are equal. Boer can be 300#, not all are. I used to keep a herd of them. Now, I'm back to adding them back to my farm. Dairy stays, too. 😁. Love the milk. I use it raw.

What I ask is, what is your purpose for the animal? If you want a couple homestead milk goats and a couple meat for your own freezer, then buy does and rent a buck. The two type does will live together with good karma. Then, no separate buck pen to worry with. You mention Nubian dwarves for milk. I've had some excellent milkers with those. Some breeds give more, easier to milk. Etc. Each animal is different within the breed. Milk tastes different. I have Saanen and Nubian, pure and crosses. Some give me 2 gal a day. Some 1/2 gal. I personally prefer the slicker coated breeds.

There's some things to consider. And you thought this would be simple. :lol::old

Time to get out there and see who needs to be milked! Weaning kids, so a little iffy for another couple weeks as to how many, when, until I get them on schedule. I'm at 20 adult in milk and some will only be milked until I get them dried off. A few will milk until Jan or Feb. :idunno. Some farms pull kids at birth, bottle feed only and milk doe. That gives the best milk production and super friendly kids.

Whatever you decide, visit the animal, taste the milk, be allowed to milk....some are easier and fit your hand better. Others may prefer hand over machine or vice versa.
 
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DParker

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If you went with a full sized dairy breed does, such as Nubian for example, then you could keep a Boer buck to breed them to for meatier kids.

There are dual purpose breeds such as Kiko for both meat and milk. @Mini Horses can you help me out on breeds? My apologies @DParker i raise sheep, so I’m no expert on goats. LOL I don’t think there is a miniature meat breed that would match Nigerian Dwarves for size.
Ah, OK...I get it.
That sure is a nice barn! Super nice! We retired 7 years ago and bought this place. It’s 8 acres with a double wide. HUD repo, we got a great deal. But nothing here , just the double wide. It was so grown up that people didn’t know there was a house here. We had to do a lot of clean up, clearing and hacking our way down property lines just to get fencing up. We built a 36’x36’ horse barn, brought our 12’x24’ portable building and put a 20’ roof extension off one side for a sheep barn. You don’t know how lucky you are!
You might not say that if you saw the size of the cashier's check I left with the title company at our closing this morning. ;) But seriously, your setup actually sounds pretty nice, even though you had to put in a lot of work at first. Our timing couldn't have been worse in terms of being a buyer (the market is even more insane than what you're hearing on the news), but time isn't on our side, and we only see it getting worse in the short term, and not any better any time soon. There were less expensive properties that we considered, but they were mostly just a house on completely empty land, and when I added in the time, effort and aggravation....not to mention the expense with today's shortages and materials costs...to recreate all of the additions that this one has I figured we were better off just paying extra for one that already had it all.
What kind of fencing do you have? Goats require a tight, good fence. Strands of barbed wire will not hold them. It is advisable to use a 4”x4” sheep and goat WOVEN wire or a 2”x4” non climb WOVEN horse wire. Stay away from welded wire, it is total crap. Also you can run strands of electric hot wire at the bottom, couple inches from the ground, midway (goat height) to keep them from rubbing on the fence, and on top to deter predators.
It's steel T-posts with woven wire, but I don't know the dimensions yet (we haven't had a chance to look at it that closely yet). But it does also have a functional electric wire running around the top of the entire perimeter (the current occupants are 2 cows and 3 donkeys), but I can easily relocated it to a lower level and add a 2nd one along the bottom.
I know y’all must be excited to move to the farm! When is move in date?
We start approximately 30 days from today. The sellers are still finishing up the new place they're building and need to time to do that as well as get all of their stuff and livestock moved there, so part of the deal was that they get to stay there for another 30 days after the close, which was this morning.

Thanks for the info.
 
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DParker

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Welcome to your new farm and BYH!

Your not late to the party, many of us are old geezers. Some of us forever, already. Some because it's when we finally arrived at a stage to be able. Kind of backwards, as youth has some muscle to add but, age some wisdom. All in all, it keeps you moving!
That's exactly out situation. Yeah, nature is cruel in setting things up so that you have most of your disposable income when you're too damned old to really enjoy it.
Love the buildings. I see two stalls in the shed type. Your ready to go! 😁 Fence. Big issue with goats. Some not as bad but all have their desire to find that spot to escape. It's their life. :lol:
So I'm given to understand. The first thing I'm going to do after we get moved in is walk the fence line and go over it with a fine toothed comb. If I have to replace the wire panels with something else I will, but my hope is that the addition of two runs of hot wire will be sufficient to keep them from trying any escape shenanigans.
As to types and crossbreed as @Baymule has mentioned. Yes, crossing a meat breed with a dairy breed generally gives more meat on a carcass. I have bred Boer with Nubian successfully. There is a Kiko goat, dual purpose, still large as Nubians. For me, the Boer is my meat choice IF you want meat. They have a good meat to bone ratio. However, like many animals, not all are equal. Boer can be 300#, not all are. I used to keep a herd of them. Now, I'm back to adding them back to my farm. Dairy stays, too. 😁. Love the milk. I use it raw.
Good info.
What I ask is, what is your purpose for the animal?
In practical terms I'm primarily after milk, but I also love goat meat so it would be nice to have that too. For both, our production requirements are quite modest. There's only the two of us, not counting what I end up giving to our kids who live in the D/FW mid-cities area. I just want to make some butter and cheese, and maybe put a little fresh milk in my morning java. And if I'm being honest I also just like the idea of having a small herd of something-or-other just so I can put the acreage to some use and pretend that I'm farming when I retire in a couple of years...and cows are too much work and expense. We also have a 7 year-old granddaughter (and potentially more in the future) who I would love to be able to get some experience being around and caring for some critters. As such, it's important that we choose animals that we aren't worried about her being around, which is an additional reason that Nigerian Dwarfs appeal to me.
If you want a couple homestead milk goats and a couple meat for your own freezer, then buy does and rent a buck. The two type does will live together with good karma. Then, no separate buck pen to worry with.
Yeah, I've considered that as a good strategy after I found out that local breeders offer stud service. After everything I've seen and read about bucks I'm thinking that having one around all the time is more trouble than it's worth for a micro operation like I'm contemplating.
You mention Nubian dwarves for milk.
I did, but I misspoke. I'm still at the stage where I constantly confuse the Nigerian and Nubian Dwarfs, saying one when I mean the other. So I'm actually thinking Nubians, but could be persuaded to change my mind as I learn more.
I've had some excellent milkers with those. Some breeds give more, easier to milk. Etc. Each animal is different within the breed. Milk tastes different. I have Saanen and Nubian, pure and crosses. Some give me 2 gal a day. Some 1/2 gal. I personally prefer the slicker coated breeds.

There's some things to consider. And you thought this would be simple. :lol::old
Nah. I'm old enough that I long ago outgrew the idea that anything worth doing is simple or easy. ;)
Time to get out there and see who needs to be milked! Weaning kids, so a little iffy for another couple weeks as to how many, when, until I get them on schedule. I'm at 20 adult in milk and some will only be milked until I get them dried off. A few will milk until Jan or Feb. :idunno. Some farms pull kids at birth, bottle feed only and milk doe. That gives the best milk production and super friendly kids.
It sounds like you've got quite the operation there. I'm likely going to lean on you a bit more for info and advice going forward, if you'd be so inclined as share more of your experience.
Whatever you decide, visit the animal, taste the milk, be allowed to milk....some are easier and fit your hand better. Others may prefer hand over machine or vice versa.
Kick the tires and take it for a test drive before buying. Will do.

Thanks again for all the info.
 
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DParker

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What type of grasses and pasture is on the property? Goats and sheep like most weeds, so watch what they eat and what they avoid. I pull up goat weed, they don’t eat it. But my sheep love lambs quarters and ragweed, which the horses won’t touch.
Oops...I neglected to answer this one. The pasture is just a fenced section of the property that consists of ordinary grass (I don't know what kind yet, but I suspect Bermuda) and nothing else. And even that looks like the sellers have been keeping it mowed. The place is actually subdivided by fences into thirds: The front portion consists of the house, front yard and back yard. The middle section, where the two barns and the larger storage shed are, is the "pasture" where the livestock currently live. The rear section (furthest from the house) is what I plan on using for a big-ol' veggie garden.

132 Fossil Rock Dr - 39.jpg
 
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