Ridin' The Range
- Oct 31, 2021
- Reaction score
- Northland, New Zealand
Thanks for that. The entire property is fenced for sheep - number 8 wire, so will need to see if it's suitable. Already assuming it'll be too short for containing goats and we'll need to add a topwire at the least if not have to replace everything with woven. If so, may just keep them to one of the smaller paddocks separate from the sheep. Was thinking shorter goats might have been easier to fence. The main paddock is spacious, so not sure if a small herd would be inclined to roam too much, but I suppose we'll have to see.Well...
With a goat you need a milk separator to get cream, butter etc.
Saanan milk is lower in fat. I still made cheese out of it (and cream for ice cream). But the Saanan claim to fame is that one doe can easily give over a gallon a day for 2 or MORE years after a single breeding. No messing with a buck, breeding, kidding, kids, etc. Just milk reliably every single day, for almost forever.
My nubian had higher milk fat, yes. But, she would only milk for maybe 9 months. Her milk quantity was never as high as my Saanan, and her milk would just slowly taper off. I had one other nubian whose milk production was even shorter! I didn't keep her for long.
The Saanan, if her milk quantity started to reduce, all you had to do was increase milking.... and her production would pick up. If she produces too much, just milk once a day.
With a small herd, it is so much nicer to NOT have a buck. Of course, since you have high regulations... you will have to look into how things work....
But here, I would take blood samples of the does, send them off. I would get the results that they were disease free, and with those papers in hand could easily find a buck (that had also been tested disease free), and set a "date". I would then take the doe, once she went into heat, drive her to the buck in the back of my SUV. Get her out of the SUV, put her in the buck pen. Run a couple of errands, come back in an hour. Spray doe down with a vinegar spray, to help mute the buck smell, and stick her back into the SUV to take her home.
Your son could have the does as pets. But I don't see the point of a non-useful extra mouth to feed (having a wether). The does can be very friendly. We greatly enjoyed our girls.
If making a "date" is not possible where you are, artificial insemination might be a perfect choice. Yes, that costs most than a "date". However, then you have no issues with keeping a buck all year. You also have the wonderful choice of choosing exactly which kind of buck for each doe, and changing your mind each time they need to be bred.
I also tried a Saanan x Nigerian dwarf... hoping for cute, small, higher fat. Teats were way too small for me. I like large easy to milk teats.
I also found the full sized girls much easier to fence. Goats are INCREDIBLE escape artists and need the highest quality fences.
I have never had a Tigger urge.
Oh, one other thing about Nubians is that they are LOUD. Incredibly loud. Truly.
My saanan was quiet.
Was thinking the wether as essentially a family 'dog', since we can't have cats or dogs on the property. We are already giving up our house cat to a friend due to the no 'domestic pets' covenant. Of course, it would be turned out with the herd when we're not home for sure.
I would assume a wether would probably have less medical problems to worry about than an in-milk doe, and a small one would be easier to get around with for school livestock shows etc. We aren't really worried about being profitable or animals 'earning their worth' out the gate. That being said, it'll prolly be a while before we're ready for goats anyway as I'd like to build a proper little stable with 3-4 stalls first.
Right now, I think there's only little birthing shelters out there in the field for the sheep.
So you reckon saanan is the way to go? They're definitely available here. Saw the 2 yearsish of milking and have seen them for sale in-milk. Am a bit worried for having more milk than we can handle though. Can they be reduced down to one milking a day, or two smaller milkings? Or would I do best to buy a doe with kid? I think 1 litre a day would be the most we'd want and realistically would probably do with 500ml, so quality over quantity would suit us best. At the moment, we use about 1.5 litres a week, but that's without making things like butter etc...
Am aware of the naturally homogenized milk - was looking at either a separator (which are a bit pricy to import due to delivery), separating by freezing, or making a diy centrifuge for splitting it off.