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finnabairpendragon Profile
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Aging goats?


We jumped off into pygmy goats because of a strange congruence of events. Isn't that always the way it is?? emoticon

Now, we have Betty Lou and Billy Bob.

They are not quite knee high. Have horns about 3 1/2 inches long. Billy Bob is well endowed with testicles, so he's no baby, I'm sure. I have felt Betty Lou's udders, and I don't think she's ever had a kid.

The gentleman we got them from knows NOTHING about goats. He got them from an old man who was moving about a month ago. He thinks Betty Lou is preggers.

Luckily, we had a large well-built, closed-top pen and a couple of large dog houses for them to play in and on. They have settled in well, and the dogs are finally deciding that this is just new family.

We'll be calling the vet to come out and give them the once over tomorrow. I've been reading anything I can find on the Internet. My friend that works at the Extension office is bringing literature, too. I'm hoping Yarrow will come over this week and render an opinion, too. (HINT HINT)

Between now and then, how do you tell how old a goat is?
6/18/2006, 7:09 pm Link to this post Send Email to finnabairpendragon   Send PM to finnabairpendragon
 
finnabairpendragon Profile
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Re: Aging goats?


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6/18/2006, 9:00 pm Link to this post Send Email to finnabairpendragon   Send PM to finnabairpendragon
 
ozark woodwyfe Profile
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Re: Aging goats?


LOL, afraid the most help yarrow could be with pygmies, is YEP, their goats LOL. Except for feeding little goats at a zoo, I've never been around them. I thought you were wanting to get a milk goat? Granted, I guess a really determined person COULD milk a pygmy??? again, they are cuties. I've been up to my eyeballs in goat things this past week. The neighbors have decided to go full out & put in a LARGE goat dairy. I've been running here & there with them buying goats, looking at different dairy set-ups & such. (***IF*** the cheese place goes in the next larger town becomes a reality. I MIGHT decide to go into it on a small scale (only milking 50 or so) I'm lucky in that I won't be having to do it for our soul income, so I wouldn't have to push my girls blah, blah, blah LOL. At this point, I'm sort of sitting back watching/learning/thinking. I did go ahead and buy a couple pry puppies (pick them up in 2 weeks) Also I'm in talk mode with a breeder in TN about her 2007 saanen kid crop. Really only want the nubians & saanens *BUT* am thinking about adding some alpines too. Again, congrats on the goats. I'm sure the new vet will be a lot more helpful in giving you a clue on age/pg/care & such.
yarrow
6/18/2006, 9:17 pm Link to this post Send Email to ozark woodwyfe   Send PM to ozark woodwyfe
 
finnabairpendragon Profile
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Re: Aging goats?


Still want you to come visit. emoticon

Yes, we hopefully want to get a milk goat at some point, but these just sort of fell out of the Universe into our laps.

Let me know when/if you have milk again. We are missing it!

Huggs,
Finn
6/19/2006, 2:06 am Link to this post Send Email to finnabairpendragon   Send PM to finnabairpendragon
 
MysticMT Profile
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Re: Aging goats?


They are so cute, looking like theya re King and Queen of the Hill! Of course that is generally the Pygmy attitude too! Be careful with their horns, are they pretty much sweet?

To tell the age look at their teeth, thats generally a good indicator. The sharper the teeth the younger, the more wore down the more age. Its like with horses. Its hard to describe the age with teeth without having a picture or diagram of the mouth to work with. Also, look at their stance, just as we get bulged bellies as we age so do they. I'm sure the vet can give you a good idea as to how old theya re, etc., if he/she is a good goat vet too!

Yarrow, many Blessings with the new dairy venture. Please take your time with that. Glean all you can from those that have walked in those shoes before you and take their advice. Its a tough road to go down.
6/19/2006, 12:41 pm Link to this post Send Email to MysticMT   Send PM to MysticMT Yahoo Blog
 
ozark woodwyfe Profile
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Re: Aging goats?


Mystic, I got to tell you, after hearing your experiences it's making me more then a bit leary. I will only do it IF the cheese plant goes in. I will also only go into it only AFTER everything single dairy related thing (goats, barns, equipment) is paid for. I will be breeding my own goats, saving my best does. Only adding a few new ones as I can find/afford. I won't be buying no trash does LOL. I will NEVER *hopefully* have to live off the dairy money. I just would like to make enough to make the land payments and to pay for feed/hay and such. I will also only milk the min. that the co-op is planning on allowing (what was it 50?) I keep meeting all these older goat dairy ladies. They are all healthy/get around great/PLUMP HEHEHE if milking goats keep ya young, bring it on LOL. My clan sister will also be retiring here to my land in a few years. She will be my right hand so I won't be doing it alone. Time will tell how it goes I guess. Then again, the whole cheese plant may never happen. At that point, I just sell kids & make cheese I guess LOL.
susie
6/19/2006, 3:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to ozark woodwyfe   Send PM to ozark woodwyfe
 
finnabairpendragon Profile
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Re: Aging goats?


I am guessing that they are at least a year old, based on their horns and general body structure, but that's not a very informed guess, as I have all of two days of goat experience. emoticon

Yes, they are sweeties. Billie Bob's not belligerant at all. Neither has attempted any horn threats.

We are creating a grazing yard for them this afternoon so they will have more than the pen for cavorting. Due their diminuative size, I think we will pen them at night. Too many coyotes and foxes and neighboring dogs.

What's going to be fun is when I go south for the winter!! I think I'll get a big dog carrier for them to travel in.
6/19/2006, 3:37 pm Link to this post Send Email to finnabairpendragon   Send PM to finnabairpendragon
 
MysticMT Profile
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Re: Aging goats?


Has the vet been able to get out yet Finn? Just wondering if you had a better idea as to their age. Oh, I can just see you now traveling about the countryside with those cute babies! When we would travel to some shows we would take only a few goats in the cap of the truck on back. We had a sliding glass window and keep it open. Whenever we would stop at drive-thrus they would pop out their little heads through and the cashiers would just gawk and awe over them!

Yarrow:

I feel much better about the your plans to start a dairy, you are going into it with a lot of knowledge and wisdom. Its a difficult business and not one that really provides a living. Yesterday one of our friends was over to visit who has a 300 goat dairy and mentioned his feed bill, $1,500, didn't say if that was for a month or what, but I just shook my head.

I've known so many people here who were lured (ourselves included) by the dream of making a living and that grit to make it happen. I think we could have endured the wait-out time and eventually turned a profit if hubby could have stuck it out. But as the dairy grew so did the work demands and finally something had to give. We did have everything paid for with the goat equipment but still we battled. It was impossible for me to keep up with working full time too. That was one point that one of the directors up in MO made to us when he talked with us about his venture into the dairy. He and his wife spent 18 hrs a day between working full time and the dairy and it burned them out.

In our situation finding reliable help was our biggest battle. With having your clan sister there to help that will make a big difference. Plus the amount of money JM paid was too little and unstable to depend upon.

I honestly believe that the cheese co-op will be a success because that is being spear headed by folks who have delt with the trials of having shipped milk to JM and looking for something better. Plus that group seems to have one important factor: the ability to work together to make it happen. I have some good vibes from that venture. We actually got our letter in the mail last week and did consider the possibility. Had this come 3 yrs ago I would have jumped at it and gotten involved. But now with the gas prices for hauling up there its not cost-effective and we would be spending a lot to ship milk, the end result would be making the same amount of money as JM.

Your plan to have less goats that milk more with good genetics is the best way to go. That way you don't have to push them and burn them out too. I think I mentioned to you some folks here would milk goats that produced only a cup pr/milking just to have something to milk! It costs as much to feed a 2 gallon a day milker as a cup a day one.

Well...I need to go, there is so much more I could say but i have to head to town to get my paycheck and more boxes plus goatie groceries and people food.emoticon Talk to ya soon!
6/20/2006, 12:56 pm Link to this post Send Email to MysticMT   Send PM to MysticMT Yahoo Blog
 
finnabairpendragon Profile
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Re: Aging goats?


The vet has gone out of state for a week. I'm supposed to call him next Wednesday.

The goaties are doing great. We are feeding them a very small amount of cracked corn because their previous owner did, plus hay and grass and what they nibble in their play area. They also like a bit of garden trimmings, especially collard greens!

This evening, they successfully followed me into their night pen instead of being dragged by the collar. I just had to get smarter than the goats. LOL A small bucket with their corn ration being shaken in front of their noses did wonders.

Tomorrow, I'm building a goat tractor.
6/22/2006, 2:39 am Link to this post Send Email to finnabairpendragon   Send PM to finnabairpendragon
 
MysticMT Profile
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Re: Aging goats?


Sounds like they are settling in nicely for you! emoticon Remember this: Whoever has the grain bucket has the power! emoticon emoticon

A goat tractor? Thats a great idea!
6/22/2006, 1:10 pm Link to this post Send Email to MysticMT   Send PM to MysticMT Yahoo Blog
 


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