bollmash

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Hello! My name is Ashley and I am a high school student from Dallas County. This year, I will be showing a Boer doe (breeding) at many major shows across Texas as part of the FFA. The problem... I’ve never shown goats. I’ve never even owned a goat! I know nothing except for bits and pieces! I do have a few questions/things I would like clarification on.

1. Alfalfa? My teacher told me to only feed about a handfull a day, but a fellow student has told me to feed much more, if anything, feed primarily Alfalfa and only some Sudan. Opinions?
2. Halters! She HATES it! I know she just isn’t used to it yet, but she is so stubborn! I have to drag her! Any advice on getting her to start actually walking?

General advice regarding raising a good goat is greatly appreciated! I love her and want to make sure she is the best darn goat she can be! Thanks so much!

(PS: This is her. Her name is Sharona! She’s 5 months old)
E65F0727-D6C6-4BED-8280-9051860FC57A.jpeg
 

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Greetings and welcome to BYH Ashley, from NE TX! So glad you joined us. Congrats on being part of FFA and your "new" goat. :clap There's a wealth of info, knowledge and experience shared in the multitude of threads. Browse around and see what interesting stuff you can find. By all means post away when the desire strikes you, especially if you have questions (provide as much detail/info as possible and pictures truly help)... With all the great folks here, generally someone will respond in no time at all. Please make yourself at home!

I "think" the thing your teacher was trying to get across is that "too much of a good thing is NOT a good thing". Alfalfa is a higher quality feed and can lead to your show goat putting on too much fat/weight and growing too fast. I believe with the show (meat) goats, you're really wanting them to be a specific size/weight based on their age and if they are over or under that, you don't score as well. Ask your teacher to explain the recommendation to verify. Just plain old hay available 24/7 is a good thing along with water and loose goat minerals. Of course if you have a pasture where she can graze/browse (goats much prefer browse), she'll be a very happy goat. Most goats, being herd animals, really like to have a goat friend they can hang with. Many don't do real well all by themselves.

As for "halter training" her, I can't really help there, but if you find a "treat" that she really likes (most of my Lamanchas really love animal crackers/cookies), you can keep a couple in your hand (and refills in your pocket) and that head and mouth will follow wherever that hand goes. ;) You'll teach her real fast to follow you where you want to go.

Hope you enjoy the site!
 

H.N.G.

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Welcome @bollmash, call me H. I live about an hour or so outside of Dallas myself. Good luck with your goat. I would love to give you advice, but I'm not sure if my experience with pet Nigerians will help you at all with a show goat for FFA.
 

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I believe @Mini Horses was one of the first in the states to own and show boer goats... Maybe she has some insight?
 

Mini Horses

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mWell, I did bring the first known registered Boer to VA. I personally did not show them -- sent to trainers. I was busy with mini horses. :D Those I did work with and sent to trainers as they were full time on the circuits. We drove to the shows often and participated in a lot of grunt work!

One fine acres is the "goat trainer" as it is not as easy, IMO, to convince a goat to show well as it is a horse. Go figure! each animal has to be handled, praised, controlled. They all have their quirks. But once trained they do very, very well.

Now, I did train the goats at home to be handled, led, washed, trimmed, etc. And the key is to have their trust that they will not be harmed and praise when they do well.
With that, I felt my BEST animals were those who were trained at an early age to allow a halter, stand tied, allow me to run my hands all over them without resistance. begin with one area to handle and extend each time...head, neck, shoulders, legs, belly, etc. Time, time, time....start with short periods and extend time as they become more familiar and comfortable with the specific thing you want. Once that is learned, add another specific thing. Talk to them. Always use the same commands for a specific thing....like walk, stop, back, etc. At some point, all the work will melt together and you will be a team.

There are tactics which you learn to use because they have a natural reflex to it, like pushing a certain point on the back to make the lift, another point makes the move a foot, etc. Again, I could tell you a lot of horse points, not so much goats response points. But, they sure do have them! Horses respond well to several small halter movements, not SURE the goats do AS well but, do respond to halter cues. Both horses and goats often need to be exercised well to be in shape for some events. Weight control, healthy body, excellent foods.....they need more consideration than your pet goat if you want to do well at a show. What classes you enter will be part of how you train and prepare. Dairy & meat goats are different for classes & what a judge will consider for placement.

Spend time with her, do not let her get pushy (!) and enjoy her.:D
 
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