Any goat owners on here? Advice needed please

hayinamanger

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I have recently ventured into goat owning, and somehow have managed to end up with 6. Some are particularly challenging, I have two with horns and they know how to use them, two others are lovely, very people orientated, you can take them out for a walk, no lead required as they just walk beside you, but then when you leave them, they escape. I have some pretty heavy duty farm fencing here, but these goats can ping a fence, door, gate from a standstill, truly astonishing but very disappointing.

Do any of you tether or do you rely on electric fencing, if so, how do you set it up? Do your goats wear collars?

I have kept sheep and cattle for many years, but these goats have me feeling like a complete novice :eek:
 

Pamfyson

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What kind of goats are they? The houdini types are more often, ime, pygmy sorts. I've never seen anything jump like they do!!! I would never keep a horned goat. As you point out they know how to use them and even if they are gentle accidents will and do happen. I found that fencing had to be Fort Knox variety! I had post and rail fencing backed up with sheep hurdles and electric fencing!! Mine always knew when the fence was off. Fences and gates were all 5 feet high. An electric wire about 2 foot off the gate and fence keeps them in as they can't get close enough to jump over.

I only tethered one once out in the field and she almost killed herself by wrapping herself in knots with it. I'd never do it again. Most wore collars for ease of handling daily. I used to milk mine so they had to stand tethered during that process. Hope this helps you. They do need access to shelter, coats aren't waterproof. Hay or forage at all times and vaccination and worming as per sheep. I miss my goats, they were such fun. However I don't miss the work they made. Pictures??

Just to add that small holes in the fencing about an inch wide have signs on them a foot high which say "Goats this way!"
 
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hayinamanger

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Great reply, Pamfyson, thanks very much.

They are housed in their own groups, they each have a loosebox and can see each other as we have an American barn arrangement. They all have ad lib hay, are wormed etc and look good.

The horned goats are Boer x, they did not come from a pet home and are only interested in food, I've not been able to establish any sort of relationship with them. I tie one of them up at feed time, otherwise she will use her horns very agressively on her sister. These are not a problem from the escaping point of view.

The high jumpers are a AN x Alpine (gold medal potential here) and a Saanen, these are big goats, from a pet home, and have lovely temperaments. I will put up electric fencing as you describe and hope this foils their attempts to go walkabout.

I'll get the camera out :)
 

Pamfyson

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I've no experience of Boer goats. They are generally meat goats I think and probably aren't handled as much as dairy breeds. I too would tie the aggressive goat up at feed times. Little wretch, you can go off them.

I had an ANxAlpine who was a prodigious jumper but even she balked at electric fencing. I never had Saanens. Mostly AN's here.
Naughty or not, I envy you the fun of your goats. good luck with them.
 

Janah

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I used to keep goats, milking herd. I had one who used to peer at me from the rafters of the barn. I really feared for her life if she fell off, never did tho'.

I am trying to persuade OH to let me keep goats again, losing battle.

He won't let me have a pig either. He is going to have to go!
 

GinaB

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OHs dad owns a Saneen and two pygmies, they are kept in with electric fence. The younger Pygmy is a wee monster and can crawl under the tape though! None of them wear collars.
 

heebiejeebies

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Have always wanted to keep goats, I love them! Currently trying to move to a place with my own land so maybe... :)

Stupid question, but when you milk them can you drink the milk straight away or does it have to be sent off to have stuff done to it? What does it taste like? Never tasted goats milk, though I love goats cheese!

Would love to see some pictures of your goats! :)
 

Pamfyson

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Have always wanted to keep goats, I love them! Currently trying to move to a place with my own land so maybe... :)

Stupid question, but when you milk them can you drink the milk straight away or does it have to be sent off to have stuff done to it? What does it taste like? Never tasted goats milk, though I love goats cheese!

Would love to see some pictures of your goats! :)
Yes you can drink it straight away. It is highly important to keep everything clean. From the goat to the kitchen. Udder is washed before you start as are your hands. Milk into a stainless steel sterilised bucket. When goat is milked then dip teats in to disinfectant to ensure that nothing can start mastitis and that sort of thing. I can't recall the sort of disinfectant that I used, but it was a specialist one. Once in the kitchen the milk is strained through a sieve (I used coffee filters, excellent) and put the milk straight into the fridge to cool. You can use it straight away if you like warm milk but I don't. Milk should taste fresh and not goaty. It tastes a bit more goaty when it gets old. (2 or 3 days in the fridge creates a more goaty flavour) If you like goats cheese then I would say that you will enjoy the milk.
Please remember that in order to milk the goat must be bred and arrangements made for the kids that will arrive. There are a number of options but like everything else one has to take responsibility for them.

Best breed for quality milk are Anglo Nubians although British Toggenburgs are really great as well but butterfats tend to be a bit lower than AN's. Never just have one, they need company. Old saying goes that one goat is nothing but trouble, two are no trouble at all.

Hope this helps.
 

heebiejeebies

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Milk should taste fresh and not goaty. It tastes a bit more goaty when it gets old. (2 or 3 days in the fridge creates a more goaty flavour)
KILLING myself laughing at this and intrigued as to what 'goaty' tastes like haha :D
Thank you so much for such an informative reply, I feel really thick now, how come you have to breed from the goat if you want to milk it? I imagined they were like cows and as long as they had good pasture could be milked? Or do you have to breed from milking cows too?

Such inexperienced questions... I'm determined to learn though!!
 

Pamfyson

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KILLING myself laughing at this and intrigued as to what 'goaty' tastes like haha :D
Thank you so much for such an informative reply, I feel really thick now, how come you have to breed from the goat if you want to milk it? I imagined they were like cows and as long as they had good pasture could be milked? Or do you have to breed from milking cows too?

Such inexperienced questions... I'm determined to learn though!!
I'm hoping such questions are a joke????? You don't produce milk until you have a baby so why do you think it different for any other mammal?
Goaty taste to me means it tastes like the smell of a male goat. If you've never smelled one, trust me, it is one of the worst smells known to mankind!!!!

Yes cows do have to be bred to produce milk and male calves and unsuitable females are killed usually very early on.
 

heebiejeebies

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I'm hoping such questions are a joke????? You don't produce milk until you have a baby so why do you think it different for any other mammal?
Goaty taste to me means it tastes like the smell of a male goat. If you've never smelled one, trust me, it is one of the worst smells known to mankind!!!!

Yes cows do have to be bred to produce milk and male calves and unsuitable females are killed usually very early on.
Now I'm killing myself laughing at my own stupidity.... how could I not have figured that one out for myself! Considering I breastfed my own child and I didn't do that by eating good pasture LOL :D

I do apologise.... been a long day...
 

Pamfyson

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Now I'm killing myself laughing at my own stupidity.... how could I not have figured that one out for myself! Considering I breastfed my own child and I didn't do that by eating good pasture LOL :D

I do apologise.... been a long day...
Mops brow and has another brandy!! LOL!!
 
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