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Old 03-08-2013, 11:28 AM
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Default Gettin' in over our head.....

First some background info. About 4 years ago we put the kids into 4-H. Started looking at taking goats, but couldn't find anyone with experience to help us. End up passing on animals the first year. Didn't like the club - they were boring and didn't do anything. We switched clubs. Found one we like - much larger, much more involved, and they had almost every type of animal represented. We also found a guy that I went to school with and really like (and trusted) that raised and sold 4-H goats. So we went back to the goats. First year we bought 2 Boer wethers and took them to the fair. Did pretty well. Last year then we bought 2 more Boer wethers and a Boer doe for breeding and an Alpine Dairy doe for breeding. So after all was said and done. We've had the 2 does all winters. Then in early February my wife and daughter had a brain fart and we bought a Pygmy that we've been bottle feeding. Then about 3 weeks ago we bought an Alpine that had been bred with my buddy that we bought our other goats from buck. She had her babies last Tuesday. She had a little buck and a little doe. So now we are up to 6 goats. We are also buying 4 more Boers (2 wethers, 2 does) as soon as they are ready so we will be up to 10 goats. We've been slowly gathering everything up we need and doing a lot of reading and learning. Still have a few things we need to get, but it is going pretty well so far and having a lot of fun. Thought I would attach a few pictures. Thse are our 1 year old Alpine and Boer. My daughter Ally was working with them for a science fair project over the winter.

Goal for this summer is to build a new barn for them as the current 8x16 shed isn't going to cut it this summer. Would like to go BIG, but budget constraints will probably keep it around 30x36.

BTW, the Alpine's (the tan one) name is Alaina. The Boer's (brown and white) name is Callie.

So far all of our goats (other than the Pygmy) are either registered with the American Dairy Goat Association or the American Boer Goat Association. We will try to keep anything used for breeding or milking registered. Anything raised for meat won't be.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:37 AM
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Here are a few more shots of our Boer and Alpine. In addition this is the little Pygmy that we bought. Including my daughter watching her play, Monica bottle feeding her, and then me and Skylar taking a nap in my recliner.

The last picture is of my and our first Alpine. She is "my buddy" and always has to know what I'm doing.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:43 AM
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Finally here are some pictures of our "new" Alpine. She is actually the oldest one of the herd at 3 years old. This is her first breeding. She has been a very good Mom. She is also a very good producer. She is producing more milk than the kids are drinking so we are having to milk her twice a day. We are getting about 1/2 gallon total. We are able to give this to the little Pygmy. She doesn't let her kids get very farm from her and she always has her eye on them. If they make a sound she has to go see what is going on. Mom's name is Midnite. The little buck is the one with the light front and the dark back. His name is Tsunami. The little doe is the brown one with the black stripe. Her name is Selena. These pictures were taken with the babies being under an hour old - except for maybe the one where they are stacked. That one may have been a couple days old.

We aren't drinking the milk as we have her on a medicated food as she was kind of neglected before we got her and hadn't been vaccinated properly. Now that we are getting her caught up on everything and getting her up to our standards we will switch her over to unmedicated food so that the milk can be drank by humans.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:50 AM
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That is seriously COOL! Nicely done.

It sounds like you're doing it as a hobby right now. A friend of mine started getting into it and he's now finding that they're more financially lucrative then raising beef. I think he's up to about 60-80.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:09 PM
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Wow. Impressive. Nicely done.

I know we always want bigger but a 30 x 36' barn would be a dang nice size for them. Post progress pics of that if you have time.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:23 PM
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Thanks guys. We are having a lot of fun with it. We've learned a lot, but know we still have a lot more to learn. BTW, since one of Monica's goals is to have a greenhouse to sell flowers and such, we have named our farm the Flowering Goat Farm.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:00 PM
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Kewl name.

Good luck with the greenhouse business. I've heard they can put quite a strain on a marriage from a friend who ran a number of commercial greenhouses. Take it slow.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:04 PM
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Oh, the greenhouse is definitely LONG, LONG term. Goats are certainly the focus now. Right now we are spending so much time giving them attention and learning, we don't have time (or finances) to tackle anything else right now. At least we have a built in source of fertilizer
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:57 PM
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Top notch! Are your kids going to show them? We had goats at our old place (3 Pygmys) built them a jungle jim for climbing. I could watch them for hours playing, the most fun-loving and playful animals ever. My wife buys goat milk soap from a lady that bottle fed an orphaned doe, all she uses now and gives as gifts to her freinds. Bill
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:23 AM
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We originally got into goats when the youngest boy had a milk allergy as a baby. We also rapidly expanded and were milking as many as 5 at one time. They are great animals and helped clear out our old overgrown pasture. They can be fun and are a challenge to keep in at times. I ended up with 2 strands of electric on the inside and 5 strands of barbed wire on the outside. Wife got into making cheese and fudge. Most of ours were nubians and had one alpine. We had one who learned to come in the house through the big pet door. She would come in look at the TV for a few minutes and go back out. The babies are adorable and active as can be. They do like to eat flowers and gardens.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid Willis View Post
Top notch! Are your kids going to show them? We had goats at our old place (3 Pygmys) built them a jungle jim for climbing. I could watch them for hours playing, the most fun-loving and playful animals ever. My wife buys goat milk soap from a lady that bottle fed an orphaned doe, all she uses now and gives as gifts to her freinds. Bill
Yes, our kids will be showing them. My oldest daughter will be showing the 2 older Alpines. She will also be showing the Boer that you see and then a wether that isn't home yet. Then my son will be showing the doe that was just born. He will also be showing another Boer doe and a market wether that neither of which are home yet. These will all be at the local county fair. We also plan on taking the dry yearling to some ADGA shows and the Boer to some ABGA shows around Ohio. Since we are going anyway, my son may take the just born doe and the yet to be home Boer doe.

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We originally got into goats when the youngest boy had a milk allergy as a baby. We also rapidly expanded and were milking as many as 5 at one time. They are great animals and helped clear out our old overgrown pasture. They can be fun and are a challenge to keep in at times. I ended up with 2 strands of electric on the inside and 5 strands of barbed wire on the outside. Wife got into making cheese and fudge. Most of ours were nubians and had one alpine. We had one who learned to come in the house through the big pet door. She would come in look at the TV for a few minutes and go back out. The babies are adorable and active as can be. They do like to eat flowers and gardens.
That is too funny about the pet door. Yes, our goats love to come in the house - especially if Monica has raisins. They love raisins and will knock each other over to get them. Yes, the shrubs and trees around the house have taking a beating from being chewed on.

One thing my daughter is running into. She has "trained" them to follow her around the yard as you can see in the pictures, but the problem with that, now they don't want to walk properly with the harness. She will have to be doing a lot of work to get them back in shape. Monica gave the black Alpine and the Boer a bit of hair cut yesterday. The Alpine because she looked so bad where she wasn't take care of and the Boer because she had so much hair and it was that winter yellow. If took Callie for a walk and let me tell you, it was a work out because she didn't want to walk. She is probably going to have to start working with her about 30 - 40 minutes a day to get her back in shape - both behavior wise and also weight wise.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:06 AM
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I need to grab some more pictures of the goats. But we are still going at this. Between the heart attack slowing me down and a lack of finances we probably won't get our barn this year, but we will make do with what we have. I've also been trying to get our chicken coop finished, again that pesky heart attack has slowed my progression on this as well. Anyway on to the goats...

We currently have 11 goats. Still milking the black one. She has been a bit of a handful. She ended up having mastitis and worms. Had to take her to the vet for the mastitis and he gave her and antibiotic. Then we had to give her some Ivermectin for the worms. It has a 56 day withdrawal period, so we still aren't allowed to drink the milk even though she is producing close to a gallon a day. Dogs are loving it though. We took a couple of the boers to an ABGA show last weekend. Did OK with one judge (5th place out of 10 in the class) second judge placed us dead last and was rude about it (This last goat doesn't have anything to offer). Now I know we are taking our $150 goat and going up against 3-5k goats, but that was still uncalled for. Of course, he was also from Indiana and so were most of the other folks showing...wonder why they were all winning with him since he knew all of their names and their kids' names? Any way, it was still fun and we learned a lot. Next weekend we are taking the camper and going to a dairy show. We will be taking the 4 Alpines with us and the kids will be showing them. Should be a good time again.

Just a little update on the babies they were 3 (buck) and 5 (doe) pounds when they were born. They are now weighing 36(doe) and 38 (buck) pounds each and look great and are doing great. Not bad for goats that were underweight by almost half when they were born because of the previous owner not feeding the momma properly while she was pregnant. The little doe is very friendly and always wants to be with you just like our other Alpine. The little buck is just like his momma and scared of people. Though Midnite is getting better. She is realizing we aren't going to hurt her, though she will still run from us at milking time. Both her and Tsunami (the little buck) will come to you though if you have apple peelings or broccoli. They both love that.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:52 PM
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Thought I would post a quick status of how we did at the dairy show. Our 1 year old placed 3rd in the youth show, 2nd in the 1st ring of the open show and then 1st in her class for the 2nd ring. She then took Grand Champion in the second ring. The little doe took first in her class in the first ring and then dead last in the second ring (WTF?). Midnite place first in her class during the youth show. We didn't show her in the Open Show, we should have. She would have done well. Then our little buck took Grand Champion Jr. Buck in all 3 rings on Saturday evening. Needless to say it was a pretty good weekend.

We also had the cutest thing. They did a PeeWee class for Showman Ship. Addyson our 4 year old showed Selena our little doe that was born in February. Now Selena didn't behave the best for Ally and Keagan when they showed her, but when Addy showed her, she behaved wonderfully. It was so cute watching Addyson bent down and set Selena up. She was able to tell the just the body parts (nose, knees, and hoof) and she was also able to tell the judge what breed her goat was (she was the only one). It was just really cute to watch.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:17 AM
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Sounds like a fun time all the way around. A weekend the kids (and parents) will never forget. Good job Jim. All the hard work paid off.
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:22 AM
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What a great thread!
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:36 PM
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Again, I need to get a few more pictures, but we are still going at the goats. We've bought a few more including a couple of LaManchas and some Toggenburgs. Up until this morning we had 17. We lost one of the new Toggs. She was only 4 months old and has been moved 3 times and I think all of the stress was too much for her. We had her at the vet yesterday and we already had bought the one medicine he was going to give her and he gave her an antibiotic. Guess it was still too little too late. Was rough having to tell my daughter at 6:30 this morning that Porsche didn't make it. It is the first one we've lost. Also sucked having to go out at 7:00 this morning and have to get on the tractor to dig a hole for this.

Anyway, on a brighter note, one of the other Toggs is pregnant and should deliver within the next couple of weeks (hopefully before we go to the fair).

The one LaMancha we bought is in milk. We are drinking her milk and we really like it. Now Midnite, the black goat that had the babies. Not so much so. We either give her milk to the dogs or pour it out. We've thought about selling her after the fair, but we feel so sorry for her. She was tossed from house to house and never really cared for, that she has finally found a home and treated and being taken care of. She has finally gotten to the point she trusts the 5 of us and will come to us, but no one else yet. So I think we are really going to have a hard time letting her go. Not sure what we will do yet.

We've been installing a fence for a pasture, just need to go get another roll of fencing and it'll done. I think we might still try to do a barn this fall. Our Suburban will be paid for, so we will have a bit more money....fingers crossed this work out for us.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:25 PM
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We are still going with our goats. I've started calling around getting estimates for a barn. Hoping to do a 40x60, but that is going to be really pushing the budget. Might have to scale it back a bit so I can have some money left for the inside and such. We had a pretty time at the county fair. My son took first in his class with his meat goat. Daughter was 9th. On the dairy side Keagan took second in the class with our little doe that was born in February to Midnite, which he place 4th in the class with. Ally took our LaMancha Xaney and our Dry Yearling Alaina. She placed 5 in her class with Alaina because the judge didn't like her feet. I wanted to tell the judge, yeah, but those feet came from your buck as all the kids that he threw had those feet. With Xaney she placed first in her class, Reserve Grand Champion Producing Doe, and Reserve Grand Champion Doe Overall. The judge hesitated and really wanted to give it the Grand Champion to her, but since she is only a year old, she has her own rule that she wouldn't put a year old above a 4 year old. I don't get it, if the goat is better, it should beat it, shouldn't matter if it is younger or not.

Anyway, we have the pasture "done." Right now we will put the goats there during the day and back to the current "barn" at night. We are also doing some selective moving around as we are also trying to do the breeding right now. We have our Yearling Boer Doe now to be bred by the son of the 2010 National Reserve Champion. We also just bought a new Alpine Buck and a Boer buck. Both are a little younger than I wanted, but both should be able to service our 2 does each this year. Next year they will be old enough that they can handle several more and we will be able to advertise stud service.

Here are a few pics.

First is of Bella, one of our new Boer Does. You can see the fence for our new pasture in this picture. Then we have Acea, she is naturally polled (doesn't have horns). These are both percentage does as they have some Nubian in them.

We then have Selena. She is the doe that was born to Midnite back in February. Speaking of Midnite, the next picture is of her back side and her udder. This was after going about 12 hours without being milked. At her peak she was giving us about 5 quarts of milk a day. After we got her nutrients balanced out, we were able to drink her milk. We have since started drying her up so that we can get her ready to breed again. She is a very hard milker though. Between small orifices and just not wanting to cooperate. It takes forever to milk her.

Then we have Xaney and her udder. It had been about the same time since she had been milked as midnite, but she just isn't as heavy as a producer as midnite, but still at her peak, she was giving us a little over a half gallon a day. She is a very easy milker. She can usually be milked in under 5 minutes. As a matter of fact, Ally want the milking contest this year. It was called a minute milk out. How much milk could you milk in 1 minute. She did 3 lbs. 2 1/2 oz of milk in 1 minute. Xaney actually only had about a skirt of milk left when the minute was up. Probably another 10 seconds and she would have been finished.

Then finally the last picture is of the Toggenburgs we bought. We are actually trying to sell them as all of the different breeds are making it hard to keep them all separated for breeding and such.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:28 PM
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Oh, we also did a thing where the public was allowed to try their hand at milking a goat. Here is the 1st Attendant of the Queen's Court trying to milk Midnite. It was amazing how many people didn't realize that you could milk a goat.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:33 PM
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Now they are a lot cuter than cows! When you price that barn, consider the heavy duty sky light panels placed in a few places. They make a world of difference in shops and barns- free lighting in the daytime. bordercollie
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:40 PM
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A couple more pics I forgot about and another quick story. Both kids also competed in Showmanship. Keagan finished second in his class, but the first place passed so he was eligible to compete in Showman of Showmen contest where they had to be able to show all the other breeds of animals: Meat Goats, Dairy Goats, Horse, Steer, Dairy Cow, and sheep. They also had to take a test on hogs since they are already sent to slaughter by that time.

When it came time for Ally, she finished 6th in her Showmanship because Xaney raised up a couple of times. We think she had to pee because she had never done that before or since. The judge broke Ally's heart because she told her had Xaney not done that, she would have won and bust out bawling. But she recover, so Ally being the competitive spit fire that she is, she was eligible for Master Showman since she had won her group last year. She walked Xaney back to the barn and grabbed Alaina. She walked back into the ring with her head held high. The judge then looked at her and smiled. You knew she had it right then and there. The judge knew that if she had 2 goats that she was willing to use for Showmanship, she knew what she was doing. I might be a bit biased, but she took that goat and between the the two of them managed to put an ass whoopin' on the rest of the competiters. She was pissed and they were keeping that from her and Alaina was going to make sure she got it.

Second picture is with Ally and Xaney the day after the Showmanship from above. This is the day of the actual judging of the goat and she won her Reserve Grand Champion.
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