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Things to Consider Before Getting Dairy Goats

Cute 2 Week Old Kid - I'll take a dozen!

Cute 2 Week Old Kid - I'll take a dozen!

So, you’ve decided that you want to keep goats. You’ve done lots of reading and lots of studying. You’ve even decided that you want to keep dairy goats. That entailed lots more reading and even more studying.

You’ve found that female goats are called does, male goats are called bucks and they, like us, have kids. You’ve learned that goats are social creatures and would never be happy alone, but that’s okay because you would never be happy with just one.

You’ve learned that they have to be feed twice a day, and if you have dairy goats they will also have to be milked twice a day.

Are you really ready?

You have your land and you’re ready to get your goats, or are you? Other things that you need to have considered are:

  • Is your pasture or pastures fenced with materials appropriate for keeping goats in? Is your fencing also able to keep dogs out?
  • The pasture has trees or a shelter in place to protect the goats in times of extreme heat, and/or a dry draft-free building is available for use during cold, inclement weather. All poisonous plants (milkweed, sheep laurel, black cherry, and nightshade) have been removed from the pastures.
  • Do you have enough supplemental broad-leafed feed and a ration of high-protein grain feed?
  • In purchasing a goat that needs to be milked immediately, do you have all the necessary equipment for milking your goats, and for storing and processing your milk?
  • If you are also purchasing a kid, to you have everything necessary to care for this arrival: bottles, heat lamps, etc.?

These are the very minimums of things that have to be in place, taken care of and considered before you bring your goats to their new home.

Before Buying

Before purchasing there also some other things to do and consider in order to make this experience all that it should and could be.

  • Join one or more area dairy goat clubs. Talk to other members and visit their farms or facilities.
  • In addition to the reading and studying that you have done, visit herds and look at the different dairy goat breeds. Observe the goats and talk to their owners.
  • Visit goat shows, talk to the owners and ask lots of questions.
  • Taste the milk produced by the herd, and then the goat or goats that you are considering the purchase of.
  • Contemplate the pros and cons of purchasing a kid, a yearling or a milker.
  • Any goats that are being purchased for milking should be disbudded, for your safety and for theirs. Marye Audet has a very good article on this, How-to Disbud a Goat Kid In this great article, Ms. Audet has pictures showing the disbudding in progress. Notice that the kid is being held in someone's lap during the disbudding. This is proof to me that the disbudding is minimally painful. This would not be possible during a very painful procedure.
  • Look at recent CAE test results, brucellosis test results and a Caseous Lymphadenitis vet check before purchasing a new addition to your herd.

With all of these things taken care of, you will be assured of making a much more intelligent decision on the purchase of your new herd. When you bring your new herd home, it will be a much more enjoyable experience and one you can remember for all the right reasons.

After having read this list of “Do's”, and The "Don'ts" to Consider Before Getting Goats you are much more prepared for the wonderful journey ahead.

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Copyright © 2011 Cindy Murdoch (homesteadbound)

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Comments: "Things to Consider Before Getting Dairy Goats"

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 16, 2011:

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I've been told that goat cheese is in very high demand. If I could get my writing going, I could find out how much I like or dislike goat cheese. LOL

But I have yet to taste a cheese I didn't like.

Thank you so much, I always enjoy your visits.

Cloverleaf from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 16, 2011:

Homesteadbound, I couldn't even imagine owning goats. I tried goat's cheese once and didn't like I don't think I'd like the milk either. But I absolutely loved your hub and as always I'm learning so much from you!


Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 15, 2011:

ubanichijioke - I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by.

Alexander Thandi Ubani from Lagos on October 15, 2011:

Great ideas for goat rearing. Great piece

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 14, 2011:

Gofygure - I'm glad that these have been helpful for you. More will be coming soon. I wish there were more hours in the day! Thanks for the votes and glad for the visit!

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 14, 2011:

travel_man1971 - I was only too happy to share. I have a few more about goats planned in the future. Thanks for stopping by!

Gofygure on October 14, 2011:

Great hub. We plan on getting some dairy goats next year and these have been very useful as a sort of preliminary crash course in all things goat. Voted up!

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on October 14, 2011:

Thanks for sharing info regarding goat raising. This is an effective primer to those who are interested to venture on goat-milking home business.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 13, 2011:

Capstone Trends - It's hard to describe. It's stronger than cows milk. Where they drink more goats' milk they say Americans like a weak milk. And they milk you can buy at the store tastes different than fresh. And even more interesting, milk flavors vary from goat to goat, and cow to cow. Like all things different, it's an acquired taste.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 13, 2011:

thelyricwriter - Thanks so much. If someone reads this and realizes that its more work than they want to do or are willing to do, then their pocketbook, and the goats they don't buy are better. That just leaves more for me. :)

CapstoneTrends from Outside Boston, Massachusetts, USA on October 13, 2011:

Great hub- really interesting... So how does the milk taste? Never tried it.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 13, 2011:

ktrapp - Then that cute little goat did exactly what I wanted him to do. I'm generally very picky about what pics I put in my hub, especially the first one. I love animals also, so I imagine I'll be writing a few more hubs about them.

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on October 13, 2011:

Awesome and useful plus up! What a cute pic at the beginning. Just came home and getting ready for bed. For myself, it seems like a lot of work taking care of goat, quite expensive in time. Useful for me. Thanks for sharing.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 13, 2011:

Hillbilly Zen - I am thrilled that you enjoy reading my hubs. And the babies really are precious. Thanks for stopping by. With fans like you, I will always be a winner. Thanks so much.

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on October 13, 2011:

That cute little goat chewing on straw drew me into your article. Your terrific way of presenting facts kept me there. Plus, I love animals and love to learn about them.

Hillbilly Zen from Kentucky on October 13, 2011:

Wonderful Hub, Ms. hsb. I never liked goats until I got a job at a local agribusiness. The babies were precious, and I found myself becoming more and more of a fan, just like I find myself becoming more and more of a fan of yours!

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 13, 2011:

ktrapp - it's good to know what you want and don't want. I was raised a country girl and will always be one at heart. I really start feeling crowded in in the city. I'm glad you are faithful in reading my hub even when you are not really interested. I do appreciate it. Thanks for stopping by.

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on October 13, 2011:

I admit, I'm not a country girl and the closest I have ever gotten to goats was at a petting farm, but it is quickly apparent that they do have personalities. I remember this one goat nudging out all the others, over-and-over again, anytime someone came up to feed them. He was a little chubby now that I think about it.

Your article is full of useful information for anyone considering getting goats, and even though I'm not in the market for goats myself, I enjoyed learning a little more about these adorable creatures.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 13, 2011:

stephaniedas - I like goats too. They have such interesting personalities. You'll be happy to know also that I have several more planned. If only the days were longer or I didn't need my beauty sleep. Thanks so much!

Stephanie Das from Miami, US on October 13, 2011:

Nice hub! Voted up and useful...I adore goats and would like to learn all I can about them.

Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 10, 2011:

Hey davenmidtown. I went to a homesteading class last week. It was very intensive. Even milked my first goat. Prior to the class I had thought that I didn't want goats, now I am not so sure. They sure have cute personalities.

You are dispensing very good advice here. One should visit more than one! Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on October 10, 2011:

Great hub HSB... I would recommend that someone visit a goat dairy first before trying to raise goats... You will know in a few minutes if they are right for you.

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