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Thread: Goats

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Knoxville, TN
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    I can't really say what my milk production is since I only seperate the kids from my milker overnight. I get a quart or more in the morning. Seems decent for a first freshener. She comes from a doe that supposedly produced up to 2 gallons a day. That doe was primarily Alchemy Acres blood. I bought two does (goats not deer) for $150 each from a milker turned vegan who was willing to get rid of a couple. One was his escape artist leader. Prices vary greately, the well known breeders charge alot, but good goats can be found elsewhere. Anyone with honest milking records should be considered for your venture. I know a girl that might reserve you some does in the spring, my buck is from her. His bloodline is on my webpage under agriculture>goats Her goats are usually cheap, but the main problem is getting her to let go of some! selling 5-10 animals at one time might convince her though. You would have to discuss milking expectations with her. PM me if you want her number.

    Your diverse farming sounds like the direction I want to go! Arts and crafts are a direction I'm working in too. I'm building a toddler bed for my son using small walnut logs. People sell alot of goat milk soaps around here.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
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    Bubbabob, If you are looking for small space and large profit, look at white rats and mice. I was raising 1000+ mice weekly in a 12 X 16 building. All auto. waterers, self feeders, the works. Used about 6 hours weekly. Pet shops pay from .50 to 1.00 each.
    If you are interested, let me know and I'll give you more details.

  3. #23
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    Jan 2005
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    iddee, I'm always interested in looking at something new. Post what you know that might help (especially marketing info on mice) here or email me at bubbabob@ellijay.com or phone number is 706/692-7004. Thanks.

    BubbaBob

  4. #24
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    Jan 2005
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    I personally like electric fencing, mainly due to cost.

    Rolled wire with the 4x4 openings runs about 50 cents/ft for the wire alone. Add posts and other stuff and you can get into some real money just for 2-3 acres. I can do 5 wire fencing, run off 12 volt and a solar panel for around $300-350 total. I can't even come close to that with ANY other fencing.

    BubbaBob

  5. #25
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    S.E. Oklahoma
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    337

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    Where I live the field fencing isn't only for keeping the goats in....You might be surprised how many free ranging dogs/coyotes would love a go at your goats. Easy enough to take the offenders out most times but if your luck runs like mine, they would always get your best animal and by then it's little comfort. Fencing is a large part of your investment, but IMO it isn't the place to save a dollar.

    My 2 cents,
    David

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Only electic fencing hasn't worked for goat people I have talked to. Some people use it in addition to woven wire. I think I remember someone getting high tensil electirc with the tape to work on a goat webboard. Shop around on woven wire 50 cents sounds high, can't remember what I paid. The Red Band 330' rolls of woven wire are the cheapest.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
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    <<ag regs that have such a low blood ppm standard in milk that goats simply cannot meet it>>

    Somatic cell count?

    There's two tests out for that, goats will score MUCH higher on one than the other, it has to do with how their udder physically produces milk compared to a cow.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, Tx
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    9

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    I'm still pretty new and don't post much but I've really come to enjoy visiting this forum. I hope, like BubbaBob, to one day own a few acres that I might live off of or at least supplement my income. I wanted to give a shout out and thank those of you who are willing to share your knowledge not only on bees but other useful information.

    With that said, I thought I'd chime in on an area where I may be of use. (despite the fact that the wife claims I'm useless)

    BubbaBob I believe iddee was referring to raising rats and mice to sell to pet stores as feeders. The reptile trade is booming and most of us who own reptiles as hobbyist may own a 100 or more at a time so we're in constant need of a supplier. Some of us will raise our own; others purchase theirs as they either don't have the time or the means to raise their own feed. One of the advantages of raising rodents is that you can even sell them frozen and ship them once your client base grows. Since you seem to have the marketing instinct you might try to find out if anyone around your area keeps birds of prey, since they demand food more often than reptiles. Zoos may buy your surplus if you have one in your area. This has gotten lengthy so I'll shut up now, but if I can help please let me know.

  9. #29
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    Jan 2005
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    Thanks reptyle...help/ideas are always appreciated.

    Iddee was, indeed, talking about the pet food market. He and I talked on the phone, and he gave me some breeding ideas and pointed me toward www.kingsnake.com as one way to market the mice. If you have any other ideas about where you snake folks look for food, or any other ways to move mice, I'd appreciate the info. If I start raising mice, what I don't want is to suddenly find myself with tens of thousands of the little buggers and nothing to do with them.

    BubbaBob

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
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    <<tens of thousands of the little buggers and nothing to do with them.>>

    A friend of mine is in that situation right now. Got a boa from the local shelter, and bought a few rats to provide food for it.

    Two years later, he's traded rats for two or three more boas and they're still not eating fast enough

    I like being able to trade honey for rat pups, and I don't have to deal with the stench. I'll take a billy goat in rut anyday.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, Tx
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    Kingsnake.com is the place as far as reptiles on the web. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one on this forum that keeps reptiles.

    Actually rats don't have too much of an odor, the mice are the worst for stinkers and gerbils have almost no odor compared to the other two. BubbaBob if you're worried about too many mice you can always get a snake or several and raise'em! Since this topic started out as goats you might be interested to know that some people purchase goats for their reticulated pythons, anacondas and burmese pythons, so you can sell those as well.

  12. #32
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    Jan 2005
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    North Georgia mountains
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    Hey Michael...thanks for putting me in touch with Andi. I just got off the phone with her and I bought 6 goats ... all purebred Nubians ... 2 2 yr old milkers, one yr old doe ready for first breeding, two 4 month doelings, and a young buck that has already "proven himself".

    Now I've just gotta find someone to loan me a trailer.

    Oh my goodness ... what have I done...

    BubbaBob

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    Awsome! Welcome to the goat business. I see lots of milk in your future You're gonna be Rrrreal busy getting set up, but you won't regret it.

  14. #34
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    Yep....rrrreeeaaaaalllll busy for a while...

    1000 ft of fence to put up, a 12x16 shelter to build, milking parlor, watering tank, couple of hundred pounds of feed and a couple of round bales of hay to get...all by friday evening...oh my...

    BubbaBob

  15. #35
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Good luck BB...... keep us posted.

  16. #36
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    Jan 2003
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    Kiel WI, USA
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    <<a couple of round bales of hay >>

    Careful how you feed them, if you just put'em in the pen, the goats will eat out the middle, and the top could fall and crush one.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Clarksville, MI
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    Sorry I'm getting in late on this one. My wife and I run a small but rapidly growing (!) goat dairy.

    We use just electric to keep our goats in. Check out the portable woven electric nets sold by Premier 1 (google it). Given them a call too, they raise Boers behind electric.

    Making cheese is exhorbitantly expensive, at least in MI. Grade A milk parlor, dedicated cheese kitchen, etc. Some friends set up a facility for $100k. Granted it was pretty big, but the facilities and equipment requirements are the same regardless of your size. Unless you've got a structure in place with a concrete floor grade to a drain, or you've got a LOT of money burning a hole in your pocket, I wouldn't even try.

    We're finding just doing the milk end of things to be plenty profitable (and time consuming).
    <a href=\"http://www.slezakfarms.com\" target=\"_blank\">http://www.slezakfarms.com</a>

  18. #38
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    Jan 2005
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    North Georgia mountains
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    Scott, thanks for the info...and a couple of questions:

    Electric netting...do I need to go that far, or will 5 wire (3 hot, 2 ground) do with the spacing, starting at the ground, 6", 6", 8", 8", and 8", for 36 high total. If breed matters, I got all Nubians yesterday, and today added an Alpine doe.

    Also on electric fence...I've always used a Gallagher B60 (.6 Joules) for bear fencing around hives, and I have a few extra B60's laying around. Gallagher says use minimum B160 (1.6 Joules) for goats as the small hoofprint makes getting a good ground difficult. If I alternate hot and ground wires, why do I need worry about foot grounding?

    As to regs on milk/cheese sales, GA is tough. Like you said, 100K investment for milk sales...for human consumption. It's only $75 for a state ag dept pet food producer permit, and you have to label it "Pet Food - Not for Human Consumption" ... then it's none of my business if the customer drinks the "pet food" after getting it home.

    Cheese, oddly enough, does not require Grade A dairy permitting if it is AGED cheese, and aged properly. Soft, fresh cheese is like milk...fly under the radar.

    BubbaBob

  19. #39

    Post

    We raise/show/milk registered Lamancha Dairy Goats.

    We started with Nubians got Lamanchas then Alpines...we found out rather quickly that we didn't care for the Nubian temperment nor the agressiveness in some of the Alpines.

    Lamanchas have butterfat equal to Nubians with a wonderful dairy temperment.

    If you are going for high butterfat then you need to go with Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats, they are a true minature dairy goat.

    We have 4 ft tall square horse fence...our goats NEVER get out. The only way ours get out is if someone has left a gate open, which is a rare thing thankfully!

    The proper terminology for dairy goats is does, bucks and wethers (castrated bucks). Most dairy goat people don't use the slang terms since it gives negative impressions with the general public.

    www.adga.org is the National Dairy Goat Association and their website has quite a bit of info as well. Also there are individual breed websites www.lamanchas.com is the Lamancha Dairy Goat website.

    Also another favorite site, containing tons of Lamancha breed history http://www.goatsleap.com/info.html


    Now about general health:

    Goats require clean water and minerals year round. Minerals that are kept up off the ground, if it gets dirty they won't eat it. Our goats prefer loose minerals. A good dairy mineral with sufficient copper is a must. Copper and Selenium deficiency can be a big issue with goats...avoid anything labeled for sheep. Copper is toxic to sheep therefore won't work for goats, who need large amounts.

    If you can't find a good dairy mineral, Purina 12:12 horse mineral is better than nothing. Avoid the Purina goat mineral..it has way to much salt and goats don't care much for it.

    Crystalyx has some excellent goat products out also. http://www.crystalyx.com/other/index.cfm

    We use the mineral/protein lick and ours do very well on it. We also keep out baking soda year round (replace when it gets wet/dirty)....you can buy it in 25 and 50 lb bags from most feed stores. This helps buffer the rumen just like when you get indegestion. Goats are good about 'self medicating' if you provide what they need.

    Another extremely important issue with goats is worming. Parasites are death to goats. You need to find a local goat breeder (most vets are clueless about goats) and ask them about your specific area. Some areas need to worm once a month, others less often. Also you will need to learn what wormers to use..again talk to a local (knowledgeable) goat person and ask them.

    It's a good idea to keep certain medications on hand. Procaine Penicillian G, LA200, Banamine, Therabloat, Fastrack, Epinephrine (a must), Mineral Oil, Vet Wrap, Yellow Spray/paste, Wormer, Coccidia treatment.

    Coccidia can be death to goats. Find out what the local goat people do for coccidia treatment/prevention. We use deccox M in the milk when bottle feeding and feed with deccox prevent in the grain on young stock. Adult stock should not have coccidia problems..if they do it's generally a management issue.

    Shelter...goats can't handle being wet/cold. This turns quickly into pneumonia and a goat that is stressed ends up with a shut down rumen, which ends up with a dead goat.

    Another thing to keep in mind are the new Scrapie Laws going into effect. Tattoos are allowed to be used in lieu of ear tags but each state can make up their own rules also. Check with your state vets office.

    There are 3 major goat diseases that are the most concern:

    CAE (caprine arthritis encephlytis) A manageable disease however most end up with a hard udder that produces no milk...kinda a problem in dairy goats.

    CL (caseous lymphadenitis) The WORST goat disease out there, not manageable and will infect your whole herd, highly contagious and the disease can live in soil and on wood for around 2 years...and can be contagious to humans.

    Johnnes The wasting disease found in dairy cattle is also found in goats...this can be particularly an issue because there have been links found between infected cow milk and Chrones disease in humans.

    Blood tests indentify all 3. WSU (Washington State University) is the leading research and disease center for goats. They can test blood for all 3 diseases. There are other labs out there but unfortunately most don't have the same test for CAE and are only 50 percent accurate for, as opposed to 95 percent or higher accurate at WSU.

    Feed...we feed around 16 percent protein feed mix with low molasses (can bind up B vitamins and cause rumen acidosis) and a alfalfa/grass mix hay.

    You are probably on overload with all the info so I'll stop now [img]smile.gif[/img]


    LaRae

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
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    LaRae, thanks for all the info. I already knew it, but you just reinforced that I have a steep learning curve ahead of me. Some of what you posted I was had already learner, some I was aware of but had not studied up on, and some was totally new...just makes me more aware that I have a lot to learn.

    Especially thanks for the "medicine kit" to keep handy. I have seen some lists on what to keep around, always, for kids, but that's the first all around kit I've seen.

    Anything else you think a rank beginner might find useful to know I'd appreciate. Thanks.

    BubbaBob

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