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Lizzy733

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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.
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.

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.
 

Alaskan

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Separators are pricey here too. We ended up going with a hand crank version... a little less expensive.

Not sure why a doe in milk would have more medical issues than a wether.... unless you are including kidding. Usually kidding goes easily, but of course not always.

Yes, you can taper down the milk on a Saanan, and only milk her once a day. If you leave a little bit in the udder at milking, she will reduce her production.

Maybe there is a Saanan crossed with a higher milk fat breed that would be available?

It is just so much less work if you don't have to breed yearly. However, if you look around, you might find someone breeding specifically for long lactations with a higher milk fat breed.

All of our does were very dog like. Sweet and personable, but the ND cross was a definite trouble maker and could easily jump a 5.5 foot tall fence.

Since goats are an "in the future" plan, you have time to look about and figure out what is available. Since personality is a priority for you, make sure you spend some time with the goat if at all possible. They are definitely animals with strong personalities, each one an individual.
 

Lizzy733

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Separators are pricey here too. We ended up going with a hand crank version... a little less expensive.

Not sure why a doe in milk would have more medical issues than a wether.... unless you are including kidding. Usually kidding goes easily, but of course not always.

Yes, you can taper down the milk on a Saanan, and only milk her once a day. If you leave a little bit in the udder at milking, she will reduce her production.

Maybe there is a Saanan crossed with a higher milk fat breed that would be available?

It is just so much less work if you don't have to breed yearly. However, if you look around, you might find someone breeding specifically for long lactations with a higher milk fat breed.

All of our does were very dog like. Sweet and personable, but the ND cross was a definite trouble maker and could easily jump a 5.5 foot tall fence.

Since goats are an "in the future" plan, you have time to look about and figure out what is available. Since personality is a priority for you, make sure you spend some time with the goat if at all possible. They are definitely animals with strong personalities, each one an individual.
Agreed, being in NZ, there are a few rarer options we could go for like Arapawa, which are tiny... Kiko, which were originally meat goats, or Waipu which are wool goats.

I'm liking the Arapawa more and more.

Some our sheep will definitely be Arapawa as well, so might as well complete the set with Arapawa goats. Looks like most of the breeders are south island or lower north island though. Will have to plan a road trip when I'm set up and we're done with all these lockdowns.
 

Mini Horses

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I'll agree with Alaskan. The goats are excellent jumpers but, less interested when milking heavy. Damage control? :) I have a separator and while the cream ihhs plentiful, I don't feel the butter is as good as that from cow cream. Even if you let it ripen first :idunno not as much carotene is probable taste factor. But plenty of cream. Great cheese, ice cream, soap, pudding, sour cream, yogurt, and tasty milk!

As to extra milk, pigs love it, chickens love it....only reason I have extra here is that when I'm milking several -- some just to train to sell -- I may have 1.5 to 2 gal per day from each doe. Times that by 5, then you have extra. :lol: I have friends who love to share the overages. I also sell some to a soap maker.

I often cross them with my Nubian buck, good results. After first freshening they can be bred with a Boer an you get a heavier kid...meat? Plenty of milk for those big kids who grow fast!!

As I'm sure you know, cream varies during laction and can be influenced with their feed.
 

Lizzy733

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I'll agree with Alaskan. The goats are excellent jumpers but, less interested when milking heavy. Damage control? :) I have a separator and while the cream ihhs plentiful, I don't feel the butter is as good as that from cow cream. Even if you let it ripen first :idunno not as much carotene is probable taste factor. But plenty of cream. Great cheese, ice cream, soap, pudding, sour cream, yogurt, and tasty milk!

As to extra milk, pigs love it, chickens love it....only reason I have extra here is that when I'm milking several -- some just to train to sell -- I may have 1.5 to 2 gal per day from each doe. Times that by 5, then you have extra. :lol: I have friends who love to share the overages. I also sell some to a soap maker.

I often cross them with my Nubian buck, good results. After first freshening they can be bred with a Boer an you get a heavier kid...meat? Plenty of milk for those big kids who grow fast!!

As I'm sure you know, cream varies during laction and can be influenced with their feed.
Never thought to feed the extra to chickens; knew about the pigs though.

Really getting keen on Arapawa though... Had a chat with a breeder to find out a bit about pricing and availability and they gave me a breed-specific guide. They're keen to help noobs interested in keeping the breed going, so looks like I can make a lot of headway there.
 

Alaskan

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Never thought to feed the extra to chickens; knew about the pigs though.

Really getting keen on Arapawa though... Had a chat with a breeder to find out a bit about pricing and availability and they gave me a breed-specific guide. They're keen to help noobs interested in keeping the breed going, so looks like I can make a lot of headway there.
How long do they usually stay in milk?
 

Lizzy733

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How long do they usually stay in milk?
Not sure. The info doesn't seem readily available, but I can find out from the community closer to time. They are considered critically endangered, which does add to the appeal - I'm still at least a year off from getting any though. Will need to goat-proof one if the smaller paddocks, add a barn and enrichment before thinking of getting my hands on some.

I know at least with the breeder I spoke to, it's typical to wait 18 month+ before breeding them the first time around and I know they aren't heavy producers - they're what seems to be typical of small goats, low volume high milk fat. Lifespan around 14 years.

I would assume comparable to other smaller goats... 1 year maybe at most? They breed all year round though, so could work it where I always have someone in milk if it comes down to it, I suppose.

With keeping an intact buck, would you just have him separated on his own in sight of the herd, or would you keep a bachelor pen out of line of sight with another buck or wether running with them? Everyone talks about mixing the does and wethers, but nobody really says what to do with the bucks from what I've read.

I've read integration for bucks can get pretty intense.

I'll be keeping a few roos together - first time getting to keep my roos! I have what looks like 3 in the brooder (though they're only 3 weeks). Golden Campine and Black(and maybe a very dark blue) Orpington. Will keep one if each breed and sell off the 3rd. I think I can maybe manage 2 roos to 6 hens since they've grown up together... We'll see. Also, my Orpington hatch was abysmal (shipped from south island) so really want to put my pair over each other so I can get more. They 'should' have had a fresh roo from the breeder, so will only go one generation and source another roo to keep the bloodlines fresh.
 

Baymule

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I applaud your interest in the Arapawa goats, wanting to keep the breed viable. They have an interesting history and are the rarest goats in the world. Go for it.

 

Alaskan

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With keeping an intact buck, would you just have him separated on his own in sight of the herd, or would you keep a bachelor pen out of line of sight with another buck or wether running with them? Everyone talks about mixing the does and wethers, but nobody really says what to do with the bucks from what I've
I have never kept a buck.

The bucks that my girls visited all had their own pens with very sturdy fences, where breeding through the fence did not look possible. The bucks could on occasion see the does kept on property.
 

Lizzy733

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I have never kept a buck.

The bucks that my girls visited all had their own pens with very sturdy fences, where breeding through the fence did not look possible. The bucks could on occasion see the does kept on property.
So just kept by itself? I could see that becoming a very naughty goat out of boredom.
 

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