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Old 03-02-11, 12:00 PM   #1
UnsafeAlpine
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Goat owner questions

So we're thinking about buying some goats but we've never dealt with them before and I have some questions.

I believe goats are herd animals. How many goats should a person have? Is one sufficient as long as we spend enough time with it or do we need more?

What sort of facility to goats need? What do they need in the summer and what do they need in the winter?

What is the yearly cost to own a goat? Are there significant vet costs and what are the costs of food?

How much milk does a goat yield? We'd be getting them principally for the milk so we're looking into Nubians. Are there health or other problems we should be aware of with this breed?

How much area do they need to be happy and healthy?

Thanks!
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Old 03-02-11, 12:06 PM   #2
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If you are going to get goats you need to capable of containing those goats. This is different from keeping a dog or even a cow. If you fence goats in an area with trees, sheds, cars, anything that you don't want destroyed, it will get destroyed. When I lived in a more rural setting than I do now I was happy the wife had chickens and pigs. The neighbors on either side both tried goats for a short while and gave up.

Not to talk you out of it, but where are you keeping the goats is not an easy answer for everyone that thinks they should have goats.
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Old 03-02-11, 12:08 PM   #3
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If you get a goat, get a Judge, those things are cool.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 03-02-11, 12:13 PM   #4
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If you are going to get goats you need to capable of containing those goats. This is different from keeping a dog or even a cow. If you fence goats in an area with trees, sheds, cars, anything that you don't want destroyed, it will get destroyed. When I lived in a more rural setting than I do now I was happy the wife had chickens and pigs. The neighbors on either side both tried goats for a short while and gave up.

Not to talk you out of it, but where are you keeping the goats is not an easy answer for everyone that thinks they should have goats.
It's Detroit. It shouldn't be hard to find an empty lot.
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Old 03-02-11, 12:14 PM   #5
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They will eat the top off of your father's '66 VW Beetle convertible and crap all over the interior.
This diet is detrimental to the quality of the BBQ.



This is the facebook of my exotic livestock farming neighbor. They have goats on their farm. He would know all the answers to those questions.
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Old 03-02-11, 12:25 PM   #6
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Goats are hard to keep in. Solution.... electric fence with (2) wires. Put a long length of chain around the goat's neck. That way even if the goat's body can pass between the wires, the chain can't. The ones I've dealt with were also prone to foot problems, but a brush type goat seems to be less susceptible to such things. Goats will always stick their heads through fences. Have fun getting them back through...

We ended up just getting rid of ours. Too much headache.
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Old 03-02-11, 12:26 PM   #7
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They will eat the top off of your father's '66 VW Beetle convertible and crap all over the interior.
This diet is detrimental to the quality of the BBQ.



This is the facebook of my exotic livestock farming neighbor. They have goats on their farm. He would know all the answers to those questions.
My dad has a 2001 Audi TT convertible. Will there be any damage to that?

Thanks for the link. I don't know if this is doable right now but we'll definitely do it at some point.
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Old 03-02-11, 12:34 PM   #8
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My dad has a 2001 Audi TT convertible. Will there be any damage to that?
On an Audi I think it would show. A Pontiac Sunbird or PT Cruiser convertible however, I don't think it would be noticeable at all.
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Old 03-02-11, 03:51 PM   #9
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I bet you could not get a goat to touch a Pontiac Sunbird or a PT Cruiser. Even goats have some taste.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 03-02-11, 04:19 PM   #10
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You sure you want goats?

We had goats on the farm when I was little. They were a PITA. Pretty much what everyone else said. They jump & there was one that ALWAYS managed to find a way to escape the pen.

Then there is the "Aaawwww - the goat is being all friendly, how cute! Oh crap - the goat has eaten my coat/shirt/sleeve."

Mom tried to make us drink goat milk once. And only once. I'm pretty sure the cow was a lot easier to milk anyways.
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Old 03-02-11, 04:30 PM   #11
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How many goats?

n+1 goats!
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Old 03-02-11, 05:04 PM   #12
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Get the fainting goats, they are funny.
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Old 03-02-11, 05:35 PM   #13
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Also, owning a goat inside most city limits is generally prohibited.
Make sure you've checked with said zoning regulations.
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Old 03-02-11, 05:42 PM   #14
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Here's what I can tell you about goats: They will climb on top of anything.....even when there's no way for them to get on top of something, they will. I don't know how they do it, but they get on top of buildings, in trees, etc......damndest things I've ever seen. If you go ahead with this, just be prepared (if that's possible).
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Old 03-02-11, 05:43 PM   #15
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Here's what I can tell you about goats: They will climb on top of anything.....even when there's no way for them to get on top of something, they will. I don't know how they do it, but they get on top of buildings, in trees, etc......damndest things I've ever seen. If you go ahead with this, just be prepared (if that's possible).
Including themselves (if other goats are present)
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Old 03-02-11, 06:37 PM   #16
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Old 03-02-11, 06:46 PM   #17
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If you are after milking goats also look into the Saanens instead of the Nubians. Not only will goats climb on almost anything but they will eat almost anything including plants such as Rhubarb which will poison them.
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Old 03-02-11, 06:55 PM   #18
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I had a friend who lived in a rural setting up near Toledo. He bought the goat to keep his yard "mowed". The goat had free reign of the fenced in yard. I remember going to his house one day during a severe cold snap. The goat was froze solid laying on his side with all four legs parallel to the ground. The guy did not even supply a decent shelter for the goat during the abnormally cold weather.


This is the same guy who shot his beagle square between the eyes when we were out rabbit hunting. The dog did not respond to his command so he just walked up to the dog and blasted it. He left it lay there in the field. Yeah, I saw the whole thing. What was I too do or say to such a creep with a shotgun in his hand?

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Old 03-02-11, 07:00 PM   #19
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Old 03-02-11, 09:05 PM   #20
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My family has had goats at one time, and the only fencing that kept them in was six foot stock panels...
electric wires doesn't help at all....
If you want them for milking...it does take a little time to get used to the different flavor, but it is good, and they aren't hard to milk, in my experience...
some breed's milk does tend to taste better than other's.
They will destroy trees, and anything made of plants - paper, fabric, wood, and such.
our pens(in the barn) were fenced with wood, but they had high walls, and the goats don't chew through it.
I enjoyed growing up with the goats around. the kids sure were fun!
We did have one goat, a wether, at one time, but he wasn't totally alone...we had a cow too, and they liked to be penned together. Unfortunately the cow had a beautiful set of horns, and would bully the goat sometimes with them. We had to separate them sometimes....
Have fun! and remember....6 foot fences with no goat-size spaces....
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Old 03-03-11, 11:23 AM   #21
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You have to ask yourself: How MUCH milk do you need? THEN decide how many goats. You can just get one - you can keep it company, it will not pine away for lack of goat-company. With 1 goat, you can tether it and avoid fencing.
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Old 03-03-11, 11:31 AM   #22
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crap. Looks like we won't be able to do this as soon as I was hoping.
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