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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry to post another threat about livestock lol

Other than chickens, which we have, and may even add some ducks, we have also thought about goats. I'd like to have Pygmys, if I were to get any. I've heard that goat milk is very good, and I suppose they can also be used as a "Natural Lawnmower" haha I've also heard they can make good pets.

Any advice on them? Like starting out with goats? My aunt has 3, they pretty much free range around her house and get in the barn of the night. I like the looks and size of the Pygmys best, so that's mainly why I'd choose that breed.

If anyone has goats and has made a pen or a little shed for them, please post pics!
 

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I was looking into them and pack goating. It's like a pack mule but little, and as I have trouble walking and hiking now a goat to follow me around with my BOB would be a great item to have.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was looking into them and pack goating. It's like a pack mule but little, and as I have trouble walking and hiking now a goat to follow me around with my BOB would be a great item to have.
Haven't thought of that, but that's a great idea! Can you do that with any goat or only certain ones?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
the big ones can haul 60% of their weight
Wow! Well that's pretty good then. I'll have to look up which breed of goat is the biggest so I can get a good idea on how much it could carry.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"Most breeds are about the same size. The does are smaller than the bucks. Dairy goats are more sleek and meat breeds are stockier. So if it is weight that you're looking for... check into the meat breeds. But if its height, all goats but pygmies are about the same size. I used to raise goats for 4-H. I have been around all breeds and I have a personal preference... but I chose b/c of personality not size! Nubians Rock!
Source(s):
Personal experience... 7 years in 4-H" - Yahoo Answers

Just read that
 

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We raised French Alpines for years and kept at least three milking all the time. Keeping them penned was not a problem at all. We had indoor/outdoor free access pens and they really didn’t seem interested in going further. They would go for walks with us and stay as close as a good dog would.

I can’t imagine mini’s producing enough milk to fully supply a family, but maybe ( a lot of milking). There were four of us and between morning cereal, baking and a little cheese making, we used most of what we got daily. We found it was a great advantage to put a small fridge in the barn to store pre-chilled clean stainless steel holding containers. We milked into stainless buckets and immediately poured the milk through filter-tops into the chilled containers and returned them to the fridge. The typical smell and taste of goats milk comes from nature yeasts that multiply quickly at room temp. If you chill it quick after milking, you can keep the objectionable aspects to a minimum.
 

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goats, can be hard to fence in. yes, smaller then cows. but cows are easier to fence in. take this from the girl who in one day chased 6 alpine-mutt milking does, three seperate times, across a 10 acre hayfield and yard back into the pasture. and thats with 7 to 9 foot high fence. some goats will dang near fly. and a milk goat doin those jumps over a fence is bound to rip her udder on the fence. ever milked a goat? how about a goat with a fresh 5 inch gash running from her belly, across her udder, and down her teat?..... please trust me when i say not fun. they also can think they are bulldozers. a goat will go chin to ground and with its back legs push and push and push until it strangles itself in the fence or gets through or under it. which is hell on a fence and a goat.
not to mention you might end up with a smartypants herd queen who stands on the fence, holds it down, and lets all the others out, and then jumps it herself...

i beg anyone who thinks it, DO NOT TETHER A GOAT! i have had to do it and i almost had 2 "suicide" goats MANY MANY times from it. any way you look at it you are asking for trouble.

these are just some of my experiences. all that said, i have 2 milk goats of my own now who are due to kid soon and i wouldnt trade em for the world. but dangit if i dont work my tuckus off for those goatkids and goatmilk.

pygmys and nigerian dwarfs do not make as much milk as a standard size breed. the animal is smaller and certianly so is the production.
a standard size breed will produce about a gallon per day. depends on lines, some milk alot more and some milk alot less.

pygmys and nigerian dwarfs produce about 1/4 to 1/2 gallon per day. and unlike what many people say, i have seen lots of them and had a few of them and they eat same as a standard goat and if they want to get out, they will get out any fence same as a standard goat.
if you are scared of being trampled by a standard goat.... small ones will act just the same, like goats. you still got a good chance of being knocked down and walked over by them same as any.

personally the only plusses pygmys or nigerian dwarfs get, in my book at least, is that they tend to have more babies. which is good if you want extra kids for goin to the freezer. and in a SHTF situation the smaller bodies means less to worry about cleanin up afterwards because you can cook up one goat for a group of people and its basically all gonna be gone. at least if anyone else's family eats like mine! hahaha.

in my opinion i'd go for some standard size goats for milk. you will always have extra babies you wont want/be able to keep as breeders/milkers for eating. if you want small, hearty animals for meat i would personally go for pot belly pigs.
 

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something i dont think was brought up in this thread.... milking....

if you want milk, you have to milk the goat or whatever animal.

to milk a goat the easiest way is with a stand that you can lock the goats head into and has a bucket there in reach for the animal to eat its grain ration while milking. this gives them a reason to get on the stand, cause they will know there should be food for them there. my milk goats will automatically go right for the stand if they get out the gate. wether it is milkin time or even if they are in milk.

next is, have you milked a goat or animal you plan to milk? its not as easy as people assume it is.
and take it from a girl who has handmilked 7 goats, twice a day that your hands and arms WILL HURT until you get used to it. but after that you shouldnt have as much trouble opening jars ;)
links to videos of mine of hand milking goat:



 

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another thing not talked about really i dont think is what to do with the milk after its in the bucket. you really need to get the milk inside, strained, and in the fridge and cold as fast as possibly. odd smelling milk and off tastes are often from milk being warm too long. here is a video of mine, me filtering the milk:

personally, coffee filters work. they filter the milk. BUT it takes FOREVER AND A DAY! coffee filters are made to filter coffee and they do a SUPER SLOW job of milk filtering. but in a pinch, they do work. i want to find a reusable method like cheesecloth instead of bought filters. but from what i tried so far the cheesecloth gets funny smell to it and then taints the taste of the milk. so i guess i just need to work on a super supply of milk filters...

if you want to make cheese, goatcheese is super easy the way i do it. i wont attempt to quickly jot it here right now but its not that difficult.

butter on the other hand, is more challenging. i have not dont it in several years because our seperator broke. and they arent cheap fixes and of course it was a main part so i will need to buy a whole new one. which isnt in the cards for me anytime soon.
but anyhow.... goats milk is naturally homogenized. you might know that word from the side of your milk carton or jug. homogenized means that all the fats and solids stay floating around evenly in the milk. cows milk is not naturally homogenized and if you leave it, the cream will rise to the surface.
a gallon of goats milk left in a bucket will have a thin film of cream across the top. not enough to make butter. just enough to shake the container before you pour it.
on the other hand a gallon of cows milk left in a bucket will have a decent layer of cream rise to the top. if you have pitchers for milk then you could easily spoon the cream off the top and into a container. over several days doing that to all your milk will give you a good amount of cream. enough to make butter with.

so for goats milk butter you need a cream seperator. you pour the milk in the top, crank it, out one spout comes skim milk (as in the milk has had the cream skimmed from it, in case you didnt know) and out the other spout comes cream. skim milk is still fine for cooking and drinking. its actually probably the same as store milk. but personally i like the whole raw milk and not skim, it just tastes empty, like storebought milk.
 

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smelly goat milk comes at least 90% from people smelling bucks. a goat buck ABSOLUTELY STINKS! i have a very strong stomache and some have made me cover my nose even. and i know its bad and to expect it.
a buck goat kept with does will make them all stink like him. and if they are milking does that passes into the milk taste. even a buck goat pen too close to the doe's and they can smell him will cause hormone changes and can affect milk taste.
another thing that affects taste is plants in the pasture. wild onions or mustard or pine trees.... you will get onion milk! you will get pine milk! onion milk is fine for cooking if you want the onion taste. nothin wrong with it. it just has an onion smell and taste.
and if your does get into pine trees.... you will have pine scented and flavored milk. several people i have heard do this on purpose when they know they will be using that milk for making soap.


something to think about if the SHTF is a breeding buck. and his smells and attitude and determinedness to breed.
 

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oh and i have to add my most current video of my own goats :) both bred and due in march. both are saanens. bred to a pygmy-nigerian dwarf buck who was actually large and just a tad shorter then the shorter doe. and that is only because my buckling i was raising as a breeding buck got sick and i had to put him down and was frantic for a breeder buck. that one landed in my lap and the girls needed bred so he did the job. i'm actually interested to see what the babies look like and how many they have :) but thats always exciting no matter how many you have or how long you have them.
(milkyway is the taller, tan one and moonbeam is the shorter, white one)

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the goat info! :)
 

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Walkswithgoats, you are a fountain of knowledge and experience, thank you for all the great information.

I'm wanting to add a couple of milking goats to our farm. I have to be realistic, cows and I don't get along. I've known too many folks who have been seriously trampled by them and lived to tell about it.But I can handle goats, so I have been gleaning information from this forum trying to decide what I should get and when. You have pretty well done that as my husband and I would only need milk for our own use. So something dwarf would probably serve our needs.

BTW, congratulations on the new arrivals.
 
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