HI! Newb wanting goats!

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7 years 1 month ago #39664 by nikolye
Hello- :)
My husband, our two kids and myself have just landed a small rural property after 2 years in the Auckland market. yay!!

We're looking to get a couple female goat kids for our human kids to raise. We would like to breed them in the future but for now they will just be pets. We initially wanted dairy goats, but we're not ready for the whole milking process just yet. So now we need to make the decision on whether to go ahead and get dairy goats anyway and eventually breed them or find a smaller, friendly breed better suited to beginners and then eventually get dairy goats. We're not sure if you can mix dairy and non dairy breeds? what breeds are friendly for the human kids? what breeds stay small? are there small dairy breeds? what are the popular breeds here and why? where do you buy babies and what time of year are they even born? If anyone can point us in the direction of useful goat information that may answer some of those questions that would be brilliant.

Thank you!

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7 years 1 month ago #507044 by spoook
Replied by spoook on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
Welcome nikolye, what area have you bought?

What are your fences like? This can be very important regards goats.

Kidding time is around September to November.
Yes, you can mix dairy and non-dairy.

As your intention is to hand raise, if you come across a feral kid/s, I would suggest this be a good starter goat. They are hardy and not high on maintenance. Generally they stay a smaller compact goat too.
If you go to our homepage and look for goats under Lifestyle Files you will find a wealth of information that will get you on the right road.

There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"

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7 years 1 month ago #507080 by Farmersden
Replied by Farmersden on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
Hi and welcome to LSB. I would recommend that you go for feral goats, we gave a home to 2 orphaned ones last year.. bottle feeding them which has meant good bonding (they follow us around like puppies when they are allowed), they are tougher than the dairy goats but still need housing to get out of the cold wet weather. We do suppliment our with universal nuts and hay. Ours live in a paddock with electric fencing around the top about 6 inches in on outriggers to stop them jumping the fence because when they do they come to the back door and knock to come in ... good luck.

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7 years 1 month ago #507138 by Andrea1
Replied by Andrea1 on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
Any breed of goat can bond quite well with people. Dairy and other breeds can easily be run together, generally speaking. We have dairy goats (Toggenburgs), as well as a NZ feral breed (Rawhitis), and have been running them together for 10 years. They mostly ignore each other, though ones which are reared together as youngsters will often be together when they're older, but often they self-segregate. We have a large herd though, so with just a couple of goats I doubt you would have that issue.

Top priorities will be fencing and shelter. Goats are quite intelligent, and love to find ways under, over, around and through fences. My husband is fond of referring to fences as holes held together with bits of wood and wire. :/

Since you only have a small section, and you're fairly certain you want to be milking goats eventually, I would get a couple of doe kids to bottle rear this year. You'll have a year and a half with them before you'll be breeding them. That way you won't have to deal with the possibility of re-homing your pet goats to make way for the dairy goats.

As for breed, and yes, while I'm a bit biased, Toggs are considered to be the hardiest dairy goat breed in the world, and certainly in New Zealand. Most dairy goat folks in the North Island are kidding in July/August, so you'll be seeing kids coming up very cheaply on TM very shortly. If you're wanting a good pedigree (as in a known quantity, with hopefully milk records to show productivity), get in touch now with breeders in your area. The better breeders will often have a waiting list for doe kids. You can get a list of breeders of various breeds in your area from the NZDGBA (just google it), and get in touch.

Good luck! :)

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7 years 3 weeks ago #507332 by oonasmith
Replied by oonasmith on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
be aware that if you do get feral goats they love to eat anything that you don t want them to! ring barking all the trees and eating any plants that you wanted to keep!! fencing is a problem as they tend to get under any small space! goats are trouble,,,
BUT I have had my 2 goats from a week old, and they are better pets than dogs,,,they are affectionate, funny, intelligent, faithful, and you will fall in love like I did lol...
if you have children then get one at a few weeks old for lots of bonding and bottle feeding! your kids will love it.
they will jump around like lambs and will provide many hours of entertainment,,,

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7 years 3 weeks ago #507333 by oonasmith
Replied by oonasmith on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
PS get the book goats for dummies and do lots of reading as there is a lot to keeping goats as we found,,,,,

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7 years 3 weeks ago #507346 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
Don't get Boers because they tend to have hoof problems.
Try to get ones without horns ("polled") so they don't get caught in netting fences.
Our goats try to push out before they bother with jumping, but when they learn how to jump they need to be re-trained. They also climb onto things then climb over fences that way.
Probably the best goats we had as pets were 4 very large, quite old, retired Angora wethers. Because they were older the fleece was not optimally fine enough for the owner to want to keep shearing them. But rather conveniently the wool fell out in spring .... which made a bit of a mess of the paddocks .....

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6 years 11 months ago #509757 by nikolye
Replied by nikolye on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!

spoook;513619 wrote: Welcome nikolye, what area have you bought?

What are your fences like? This can be very important regards goats.

Kidding time is around September to November.
Yes, you can mix dairy and non-dairy.

As your intention is to hand raise, if you come across a feral kid/s, I would suggest this be a good starter goat. They are hardy and not high on maintenance. Generally they stay a smaller compact goat too.
If you go to our homepage and look for goats under Lifestyle Files you will find a wealth of information that will get you on the right road.

We are in Muriwai valley, between muriwai and waimauku, north island, west, auckland area, i posted more about fencing below in my next quote. its not great, we're having someone come have a look at it soon. its poles and 3 wires. down in places. we figured maybe getting it fixed in those places and have another wire added in hopefully?

Andrea;513720 wrote: Any breed of goat can bond quite well with people. Dairy and other breeds can easily be run together, generally speaking. We have dairy goats (Toggenburgs), as well as a NZ feral breed (Rawhitis), and have been running them together for 10 years. They mostly ignore each other, though ones which are reared together as youngsters will often be together when they're older, but often they self-segregate. We have a large herd though, so with just a couple of goats I doubt you would have that issue.

Top priorities will be fencing and shelter. Goats are quite intelligent, and love to find ways under, over, around and through fences. My husband is fond of referring to fences as holes held together with bits of wood and wire. :/

Since you only have a small section, and you're fairly certain you want to be milking goats eventually, I would get a couple of doe kids to bottle rear this year. You'll have a year and a half with them before you'll be breeding them. That way you won't have to deal with the possibility of re-homing your pet goats to make way for the dairy goats.

As for breed, and yes, while I'm a bit biased, Toggs are considered to be the hardiest dairy goat breed in the world, and certainly in New Zealand. Most dairy goat folks in the North Island are kidding in July/August, so you'll be seeing kids coming up very cheaply on TM very shortly. If you're wanting a good pedigree (as in a known quantity, with hopefully milk records to show productivity), get in touch now with breeders in your area. The better breeders will often have a waiting list for doe kids. You can get a list of breeders of various breeds in your area from the NZDGBA (just google it), and get in touch.

Good luck! :)

I so far have seen feral breeds of mixed variety, no "just" Rawhiti has come up on TM yet. We also heard someone was breeding Alpine goats around here and there is a dairy farm selling nubian kids near us. So it seems i can easily get a nubian, possibly an alpine or i've seen mixed feral. Haven't seen any Toggenburgs so far. I guess i was thinking if they bred to quickly and i needed to re-home any at some stage it would be easier if they were not a mix breed. I dont plan to re-home but i'm also new and have no clue how quickly they will multiply and if there are boys how the boys born will eventually work with sisters. I assume you have to keep them from breeding and therefor boys maybe need sold? anyway, onto fencing. We have someone coming around to look at it. we have poles and wire. only 3 wires so we figured we need another 1-2 wires to keep them in. hopefully the guy coming can tell us more! Shelter, well, my husband is a computer geek and i'm no builder myself but we're both learning. I'm trying to convince him we could build something, but may have to try and purchase so they are well cozy.

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6 years 11 months ago #509760 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
Presumable "poles" means fence posts. When we moved here I put up 7 wire fences with battens, properly because I knew how to fence for cattle. Then I had to put another wire on. But the goats still kept pushing through, so I have now gone over all my 8 wire and batten fences with sheep netting. If the goats are electric fence trained, it is sometimes possible to keep them in behind a 7 wire fence with 3 of them hot, but the fences need to be very well maintained. Also kill any goat that gets through because it will lead the others.
With male kids, lambs and calves, these get to be made much more safe and sociable by having a rubber ring put around the testicles when they are young. Never, as in NEVER, have pet entire males. They play games that are natural to them, including bunting, with any human they decide wants to play. A 100 kg goat or sheep hurts when it bashes you in the legs or hips.

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6 years 11 months ago #509764 by nikolye
Replied by nikolye on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
hahaha, posts, yes. wire and batons. I sound like such a city slicker! So my fencing may not do. Thank you.

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6 years 11 months ago #509771 by Andrea1
Replied by Andrea1 on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
Hi, nikolye -- best to castrate boy kids and either keep or sell as pets/paddock companions or eat. Most boys here end up in the freezer, with only the best ones being used for breeding. Do make sure your fences are secure and hot before you bring goats home, or you will just have a constant headache trying to keep the goats where you want them to be.

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6 years 11 months ago #509773 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
Exactly. They push through anything to try to find the way home. We were given a small pet feral, so put her in the "goat proof" deer pen. She then got out and disappeared for 4 days. She went through 5 fences and got up to the neighbours house a couple of kilometers away. But they were not home, so a neighbour of theirs caught her and took her to their place. They contacted us. We tried very hard to persuade them that they really needed a small cute goat, but they didn't :-((.

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6 years 11 months ago #509996 by Baroque
Replied by Baroque on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
Definitely look at upgrading your fences as 5 wires will probably not be enough in my experience of Angoras, Boers and milking breeds x feral goats!

My Angoras used to get through anything, and ditto for the other breeds, we upgraded our fences to 7 wires and battens in most places and 9 wires on some of the boundary fences where the ground was uneven. If you can make some of your fence hot then that can help keep them in but it's not guaranteed.

Kids will always find a convenient hole to squeeze through though .... [:(!]

Half my flock of 70 odd used to disappear during the day and go off next door much to the disgust of the dairy farmer there. They always came home at night though. :rolleyes: I've progressively sorted out all the holes under / in the fences and most of my paddocks do not have "Goat Leakage" anymore. :D

As LongRidge says, make sure you castrate all males when they are little as you do not want to play with these guys when they are big and rough and sprouting large pointy horns. We eat most of our wethers, but I've kept a couple as friends for our buck to keep him company when he's away from the does.

Breeding & training quality Spanish horses - THE horse of Kings! Also breeding Arapawa & Pitt Island sheep.

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6 years 10 months ago #510135 by nikolye
Replied by nikolye on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!

LongRidge;516604 wrote: Presumable "poles" means fence posts. When we moved here I put up 7 wire fences with battens, properly because I knew how to fence for cattle. Then I had to put another wire on. But the goats still kept pushing through, so I have now gone over all my 8 wire and batten fences with sheep netting. If the goats are electric fence trained, it is sometimes possible to keep them in behind a 7 wire fence with 3 of them hot, but the fences need to be very well maintained. Also kill any goat that gets through because it will lead the others.
With male kids, lambs and calves, these get to be made much more safe and sociable by having a rubber ring put around the testicles when they are young. Never, as in NEVER, have pet entire males. They play games that are natural to them, including bunting, with any human they decide wants to play. A 100 kg goat or sheep hurts when it bashes you in the legs or hips.

So i've been asking around local and got invited to a breeders farm, i think maybe what i mean by posts are the large ones, or are those the batons? anyway... i'm in a bit of trouble now as we have the posts but not the little batons that sorta fill the gaps. whatever they are called, we dont have enough. and we'll def need more wires.. i'm hoping for 7. The breeder said a couple hot wires will learn em' real quick.

Andrea;516617 wrote: Hi, nikolye -- best to castrate boy kids and either keep or sell as pets/paddock companions or eat. Most boys here end up in the freezer, with only the best ones being used for breeding. Do make sure your fences are secure and hot before you bring goats home, or you will just have a constant headache trying to keep the goats where you want them to be.

i dont reckon we'll keep males we visited a breeder finally and she showed me the size of her boys and i was astonished. they were really friendly fellas and nice to our children even but on hind legs stood well taller than my husband at 6ft. and stunk to high [}:)] The lovely lady said if i bought her goats and kept em bred w/her she'd most likely take any boys off my hands. And we've never eaten goat meat, but they said they have been known to eat theirs from time to time, so i wouldn't fully count that out i guess? She breeds Alpines, not a "dual" use breed from what i gather but they still eat them occasionally.

LongRidge;516619 wrote: Exactly. They push through anything to try to find the way home. We were given a small pet feral, so put her in the "goat proof" deer pen. She then got out and disappeared for 4 days. She went through 5 fences and got up to the neighbours house a couple of kilometers away. But they were not home, so a neighbour of theirs caught her and took her to their place. They contacted us. We tried very hard to persuade them that they really needed a small cute goat, but they didn't :-((.

The goats we are now looking at are huge, I'm hoping that will help out as they get older? little escape artists. also the goats i met (whom kids i will most likely buy) are pretty lazy and calm. but its also winter and they don't like the wet and cold. the breeder said the males are the bad ones as far as escaping. fingers crossed i guess!!!

Baroque;516864 wrote: Definitely look at upgrading your fences as 5 wires will probably not be enough in my experience of Angoras, Boers and milking breeds x feral goats!

My Angoras used to get through anything, and ditto for the other breeds, we upgraded our fences to 7 wires and battens in most places and 9 wires on some of the boundary fences where the ground was uneven. If you can make some of your fence hot then that can help keep them in but it's not guaranteed.

Kids will always find a convenient hole to squeeze through though .... [:(!]

Half my flock of 70 odd used to disappear during the day and go off next door much to the disgust of the dairy farmer there. They always came home at night though. :rolleyes: I've progressively sorted out all the holes under / in the fences and most of my paddocks do not have "Goat Leakage" anymore. :D

As LongRidge says, make sure you castrate all males when they are little as you do not want to play with these guys when they are big and rough and sprouting large pointy horns. We eat most of our wethers, but I've kept a couple as friends for our buck to keep him company when he's away from the does.

Thanks alot. I am starting to think we no less than 7 wires and 1 or two hot in some areas. if you can just do a few sections hot that is helpful as we're on a tight budget. i have no idea what to expect but i guess we'll know more after the fence man comes and gives us a quote. if we can't afford what we need for the whole property maybe we can just fix up one nice paddock and let them free range while we're home on the weekends and evenings. we have a basic boundary fence and a couple lines that separate the paddocks but its just not suitable to keep goats in. thers no little filler batons only the big poles... we were thinking for the kids either chicken wire a section around the shed so they are stuck in a small area or keep them on our big deck for the first month or so. they will make a hella mess but i dont want them to get out and lost. i said to someone above that we decided not to keep males as we met some this week and they are giant stinky beasts (i think we have chosen a breed and the males are monsters!) i dont think its a eating breed, however the breeder said she eats her wethers too. That is something i'd have to ease my family into. i grew up rural and so did my hubby but we've been in the city for the past 10 years. My son is really embracing the circle of life stuff tho! we're only starting off with two to assure there are no big issues and i haven't got in over my head.[:0] The breeder near us is breeding alpine and british alpine goats. i originally wanted Nubian as i just really liked the look of them, they produce less milk(i wont be selling it so i won't know what to do with it if theres heaps) and from what i have researched a more creamy quality milk that would be better for cheese making. i think they are smaller too? but if i have a lovely breeder close to me whom can offer support, i think im smart to go with whatever breed she has... seems logical:confused:

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6 years 10 months ago #510137 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic HI! Newb wanting goats!
My girls do tend to push under some fences, but now my Saanen is getting very "matronly" she is having a bit of a problem!

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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