How to be taken seriously when buying a goat.

Amaggio

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Ok, so I've tried to get into contact with three different farms, one of which claims to be open to tours and teaching new goat owners, and i cannot seem to get anyone to communicate with me. I have only emailed them at this point or Facebooked, but still it's been weeks and am surprised to have not received anything back from two. I did get ahold of one and when i asked to inspect their stock i was told they don't give tours. This is my first time doing something like this and i feel it's clearly a problem with me. Before i started calling people i wanted to ask for some advice from everyone here.

(On a side note i know what to look for in the stock themselves it's just a matter of connecting with a farm or breeder)
 
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Baymule

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They don't sound too friendly, but then I bet they get lots of looky-loos that just want to waste their time. Maybe you should inquire about specific goats, or ask what they have for sale at this time.
 

luvmypets

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They don't sound too friendly, but then I bet they get lots of looky-loos that just want to waste their time. Maybe you should inquire about specific goats, or ask what they have for sale at this time.
As someone who had tried selling animals on craigslist this is so true. I put all details in the post about what Im selling how much, etc etc etc. and yet I still get the how much for so & so question which is so frustrating because I put the price in the add. Or saying they would like to come meet the animals and then never showing up. Or asking for the price(which is in the add) and then never responding again. Or emailing and never responding. While I was trying to desperately sell hogs this summer this happened at least six times. Try asking more specific questions like Bay said, it will prove you are truly interested and not just trying to waste their time.
 

rachels.haven

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There are some odd goat people out there, especially if you are looking at the more expensive breeders or breeds. Just do your best. If they refuse to talk to you in the end all you can do is consider it a bullet dodged.

Here's a story that illustrates why. This breeder did not take me seriously either, but in a different way.
I was going to buy goats from someone who was a "good" breeder in the area once-my first goats. After going and thinking about it I believe she was a hoarder and I have no idea how all her goats weren't totally parasite ridden and on wormers every day of their life based on their cramped quarters limited resources, large numbers, tiny pen, and mud. She was paranoid and thought I was going to shove her goats in my trunk (I'd told her previously I was coming to see the goats and put down a deposit and come back the next week). The whole week after putting down a deposit she fb messaged me about how her goats were her babies and she didn't want them to go to someone in a city (or at all probably) and how I needed to prove I wasn't going to kill them. And how she was going to check up on me often if I did buy them. Eventually I got fed up, hurt, and offended and requested my deposit back.

This experience made me too scared to try again on goats for a year. I thought all goat people were like this and I would be judged not entitled to the holy grail of goats every time because I tried once.
Turns out they're not, and I wasn't. A lot are normal. And I was prepared fine then too and I didn't kill any goats. That lady was crazy. As a more experienced goat person, to this day I will not touch a goat with that breeder's herd name or have anything to do with her ever again, even though her name and elite genetics sometime shows up on pedigrees here, across the country where we moved. I wish she had ignored me!

You absolutely do need to go look at goats before committing. See disease testing results, see that they are not pasterns deep in mud even if it's been dry and shoulder to shoulder unable to move without bumping into companions. Listen to the vibes you get, if you know what I mean. Ask about their parasite control. They need to be active and bright. They also need to be not obese (sometimes covers up for lack of hay), and not too thin. If the breeders do not or stop talking to you avoid them (or they might just be busy, but still, they should WANT to sell the goats they say are for sale).

Good luck.
And if you just want to see a goat starter setup, ask around on here.

(side funny story, bought a buckling from Rosasharn farm, a great show ND breeder, guess where she wanted to put her buckling in my car? ...yep, he rode home in the trunk. Even if that were my intention at that other breeder it is not so bad if ventilation and climate control are there, but man, did that scare me, I had flashbacks and was worried she was playing mind games at first).
 
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Hipshot

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Want to learn about goats . simple. Find and go to a livestock auction barn . Almost all have goat sales . If anyone in your area has goats to sell they'll be there .Sit down next a farmer and start talking . I know they have goat auctions over there . If you can't find a sale barn there come over to Tn. we have graded sheep and goat sales all over the state . Check craigslist I think one just happened in west Tennessee . Also this is a good time of year to buy . Not to sale prices are down this time of year . Selling private is good if you can, but there is no substitute for a good livestock auction barn .
 

Ridgetop

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Personally, I like to look round at 4-H youth shows. The kids love to tell you all bout their goats, most of the parents are somewhat knowledgeable, and you can get referrals to decent breeders. Most breeders that sell to children with the idea that they will exhibit their goats are interested in educating you too. The parents will only give you referrals to breeders that have been nice to their children, and have sold them decent stock.

That said, their will always be some breeders that sell substandard animals to newcomers and kids. However, you will also find most parents ill warn you away from anyone they have heard is dishonest.

I don't want to offend Hipshot, but I would never buy from a public auction barn if you are concerned about disease, CAE, etc. Nothing comes with a guarantee, you don't know what you are getting, and it is not worth the risk. Lots of the animals are there because they are being culled fro someone else's herd for a reason. On the other hand, auctions are lots of fun! And you can learn a lot talking to people that are there to sell and buy.

Finally, you will be able to weed out the good breeders from the bad ones when you ask what sort of health testing they do with their herd. Good breeders will start telling you what tests they do, offer to show you test results on their herd, etc. If they don't want to show you test results or if they insist they don't have or never have had certain diseases in their herds so they don't test, that means they probably don't want to test because they suspect they might have whatever it is! LOL

I suggest you get in touch with ADGA if you want dairy goats, or with the parent breed organization of whatever breed of goats you are looking for. They will have lists of breeders in each state. You can also find out where shows might be held and attend them. Exhibitors often have stock for sale either at the show, or back at the ranch. Also by watching the show and listening to the judge's comments you will get a good idea of what to look for when buying an animal. The standard of perfection against which all animals are judged is there for a reason. Deep rib cage and girth allows enough room to grow babies and maintain enough food to keep good body condition. Good feet and legs mean they will be able to travel to graze and browse. In dairy animals the udder counts 50% of the score because the strength of the attachments, medials, and ligaments that hold the udder in place are in direct relation to the length of time during the animal's life that she will be productive. An udder that collapses in just a few years will make it difficult to milk your doe, and harder for kids to nurse if you are mama raising them (meat goats).

Good breeders will welcome your questions and the fact that you already have some knowledge will make you a desirable buyer for a good breeder. Keep looking - they are out there!
 
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