New Goat Mama Here

Momma.sea

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First time goat owner here! (Excuse my lack of goat :D). I have 2 unregistered pure bred Nigerian dwarf goats, one buck and one (soon to be) wether. I originally purchased them as pets but I’m wanting to expand our herd for milk production in the coming year! I have a couple questions for you experienced goat owners.

Do I need registered goats for selling goat milk products? Should I purchase a doe that’s already pregnant and is registered? Or a doe that isn’t pregnant to mate with the buck I have?

Can I keep my buck, wether and doe together in the same pen even after the buck and doe have mated? After she gives birth I would obviously move the buck and wether out. I live in Ohio and prefer to keep them in the barn pen during winter and the summer pen during warmer seasons (just a small shelter, not good for winter). Will the does milk be affected in any way if I keep them in the same pen during her pregnancy?

Do you have a vet come out after your goat babies are born to deworm and give them all their required shots or is this something you do yourself? If so, what do you give your new babies?

I know this is a lot of questions so even if you know of any great resources to point me in the right direction, that would be great! Thank you!
 

animalmom

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Well! A big howdy and welcome to BYH. Glad you found us, tickled pink you are posting.

Some answers for you:

You do not need to have a registered doe to sell goat milk products.
IF it was me, I'd buy a pregnant doe... think of it as a two-fer since you have a 50% chance of her having a doeling or two that would be unrelated to your buck. But then again it all depends on genetics and what you want to do. When you purchase any doe you would want to see the dam and sire (mom and dad of the goat). If the doe isn't registered you have to take the owner's word for what great genes the doe has. If she is registered you have the paperwork to show the genetic background.

I'm not saying this too well... so let's start off this way...

What do you want to do with your goats? Do you want milk for you/your family and maybe make cheese for you or soap or lotion? Do you want to raise extra bucklings for meat? Do you want to show or have your children show goats?

I have Nigerians, registered and pure bred unregistered. They don't know the difference, but you improve your chances of getting better milkers (more production for longer time) with registered. If you buy registered ask to see the dam and sire registration papers. What you want to see is milking stars, notations like champion or grand champion. This won't guarantee a super duper doe but it works in your favor.

Do you have a goat mentor? Someone you can go talk goat with? If not us goaties here on BYH are good, but tend to ramble on occasion.

Keeping everyone together isn't such a great idea... in my humble opinion. Other's mileage may vary. If you buy a doe you would want to keep her in quarantine for 30 days... just to ensure she is healthy and hasn't brought anything unpleasant with her. Again, if it was me I'd keep her separated from the boys. After the quarantine period, would it be possible to make a temporary pen for her that is next to the pen the boys are in now? That way she can see and smell the other goats and not feel alone. After she kids then you don't need to worry about her being alone. As a mom she is never alone :) .

When you buy the doe ask when she had her last CDT shot. She should have one 30 days before kidding. This will pass some of the protection to her kids. I CDT kids at 4 weeks and again at 8 weeks. You can buy this at Tractor Supply, most feed stores, your vet. You do have a goat vet, right? You can do the injections yourself. It is sub-Q which is fancy for just under the skin. You don't use much of the vaccine, like 2cc. Once the kids have their second shot they are good for a year. Every goat should get vaccinated yearly. When you bred your doe she should get a second shot 30 days before kidding.

Oh lord I do ramble.

Regarding other vaccinations.... as your goat vet what is recommended. All I do is CDT, but then that is me. Others may suggest other shots. Young kids need to be watched for cocci which gives them the runs. You can pick up some Corid powder to have on hand, just in case. Keep in mind kids' poop will first be dark and then become mustard colored due to the mom's milk. Baby poop is soft and not necessarily a pellet. This does not mean it is the runs. The runs well the runs run. Know what I mean. If you have any worry the kids are not doing well take a fecal sample to your new best friend, your goat vet and have them check.

Your goat vet (I can not stress enough how important, useful, vital, helpful it is to have one) can advise you on parasites and if and when you should worm the mom and kids. Some moms get a parasite bloom when they deliver and an unhealthy mom makes for unhealthy kids.

Other things to consider: disbudding the babies if needed, tattooing for identification if registered.

A website, besides us here, that is good is fiascofarm.com (Fias Co Farm).

And pictures, darn it, we live for pictures, please and thank you.

I truly hope I have not confused you. Please remember to ask questions, keep asking questions UNTIL YOU understand the answers.

Good luck with your goaties. Got to warn you, they are like popcorn. I started with 2 and now have 19 and am planning on breeding 4 for spring delivery. They wiggle into your heart, take up residence and you are hooked forever. Welcome to our insanity! (in a good way)
 

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