How to raise your first goat

… and given that I understand all your husbands/boyfriends/fiances/ girlfriends/wives are, like, absolutely begging you to please transfer to a farm so you can milk goats every morning … I’ve decided to put together a basic guide to raising and milking goats.

What is Goat?

When I initially was interested in getting a goat or two, I had NO IDEA how all of it worked. Hopefully, can help some readers out there in their research and perhaps I’ll even persuade you naysayers to obtain a goat yourself! Then you can be an unusual goat person like me! And just believe, next year you can send Christmas card pictures of you and your goat. (Don’t worry, you won’t look weird AT ALL).

I need to confess, we have actually gone full strange. We utilize vital oils for our healthcare requirements, we homeschool our kids, and now we milk goats. Complete strange, folks. However that’s how we like it, am I right?
Female goats are called DOES or DOELINGS as infants. Male goats are called DOLLARS or BUCKLINGS as babies. If a male goat has actually been castrated (neutered with basic rubber banding) they are called a WETHER.

The ONLY method to get milk from a goat is to obtain a female doe pregnant so she can have children initially. Each time a goat has children, this begins her milk production and is referred to as a FRESHENING. It’s extremely much like human beings. In the beginning, the mom has a great deal of milk, but then slowly over the course of about a year, the amount of milk decreases. Typically, goats have their children in the spring, then at 8 weeks you can offer the infants and take pleasure in milk for nearly an entire year. You’ll want to breed your goat once again in the fall if you want to refresh her milk once again in the spring. Don’t worry, you can still milk a doe while she is pregnant, however, you’ll need to let her dry up 2 months prior to she is due so she can build up some nutritional reserves for her offspring.
Goats will not eat your mower, your outdoor furnishings, your trampoline, or your kid’s toys. They might chew on the bark of a tree and will consume the fruit that falls off (although my goats don’t like citrus), but that has to do with it.
Female goats (or DOES) are not indicate and won’t try to head butt you or bite. Male goats that are castrated (WETHERS) are nice too. Male goats that are undamaged (BUCKS) can be aggressive and bite/head butt. But I’m sure there are some nice ones out there, too.
First thing you have to know is that there are many different types of goats.

There are dairy breeds: Nubian, La Mancha, Alpine, Oberhasli, Toggenburg, Saanen, Sable, and Nigerian Dwarf goats.
There are meat types: Spanish, Tennessee, Boer, and Kiko goats.
There are some elegant– pantsy types that produce fibers for material: Angora and Cashmere goats.
Then there are the enjoyable family pet types: Pygmy and Fainting goats.
I make certain I forgot a couple breeds here, however you get the idea that there are unique jobs for certain types. Considering that I have no idea very much about other breeds than milking types, that’s exactly what I’m going to discuss today. (Although it would be quite enjoyable to have a couple fainting goats, am I right?).

When I began taking a look at the different dairy breeds, all I appreciated was the flavor of their milk. I attempted a couple different breeds’ milk and there were some that had that too familiar musky/goaty taste. Yup, not gon na consume that!

When I attempted the Nigerian Dwarf’s milk, it was amazing! Very smooth and fresh, and a bit sweet with no sort of aftertaste. I found out that Nigerians were reproduced for this function, to have milk that tastes much like cow’s milk. So I would personally suggest Nigerians for the best tasting milk. Nigerians are also smaller sized and eat less hay, so that’s a benefit. Full grown, Nigerians are just about 75 lbs.

UPDATE: I have attempted different Nubian milk and some has actually been tasty. Some was not so tasty. Excellent milk handling practices are necessary, however I ‘d likewise ensure the bloodline of goat you purchase has a good flavor simply to be sure.

When starting, you should buy 2 does or doelings. Goats are herd animals and they will be extremely unfortunate (and LOUD) if left alone. Ask me how I know.

Yep, we bought just one goat at first and that dang thing was constantly bleating and calling out for a good friend. So you’ll certainly wish to find that goat a good friend. A canine or some chickens will not cut it. Any other hoofed animal would though. A cow, a sheep, a horse– they find good friends in these animals too. I would not advise purchasing a buck or buckling yet, unless there are very few currently close by to breed with in the future. Bucks can stink a lot when they are older, and are quite revolting and aggressive. If they are kept in close quarters with a doe, the flavor of your milk can in fact taste actually bad! They emit strong scents that alter the female doe’s hormones too. In the end, unless you wish to really begin a herd of goats, you can just obtain a dollar once a year for reproducing time (or take your female does over for a visit to Mr. Buck’s home) and be done with it.

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