I want a pair of goats

ducks4you

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I do this from time to time. Remember my thread, "I want a Magnolia Tree"? I had reasons. My neighbor over the fence had a I-don't-know-How-old magnolia tree, about 35 ft tall, No wind protection, so I knew it was doable. MY Magnolia Jane was a WM clearance, spent it's first winter in a pot and buried in my main garden bed blanketed heavily with mulch. It is now about 12 ft tall, lives on the east side of the house with a Great winter wind block and I still keep it's 12 inch x 12 inch decorative metal garden fencing around it, thankful for it every time I mow and I know I won't nick the bark.
I have an AG2 zoned, 5 acre plot, and a couple of goats would not make my property a nuisance. Again, I look to you goat owners here to give me advice. I was looking for Pygmy's or Dwarf Nigerian. I learned yesterday that a "wether" is a gelded boy goat, and that removing the horns keeps them from getting caught in things with their horns.
I have the room, intend to keep them with a new flock of chickens in their 12 x 30 ft run (with their own "goat house"), and I want to picket them to mow in hard to mow places, like under the fencelines, where the weeds flourish. I also need to have them eat the burdock in the pastures, that my horses will "sample", but never get around to really eating.
So...advice from anybody who knows More about goats than me, Please. :D
 
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Dirtmechanic

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As a fan of all things oven, I would suggest a particular breed of sheep. The breed has a brown head and white body. I never can remember the name, but oh boy I remember the flavor! I do love feta and goats milk too, so don't think I have it in for goats. I am fairly broad in my support for farmed animals.
 

digitS'

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Goats?

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You sure? You will need very good fences. I once showed up at a neighbor's house. He had bought a couple of goats and had a most outrageous pen built for them. Good enough for a tiger!

He was given to doing things in a very "demonstrative" way. They had 15 acres but it wasn't fenced. I think that the goats were his wife's idea to encourage the fencing of the entire property! He was showing that it would take an outrageously-built fence. The goats were gone in short order.

Steve
 

Artichoke Lover

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Goats?

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You sure? You will need very good fences. I once showed up at a neighbor's house. He had bought a couple of goats and had a most outrageous pen built for them. Good enough for a tiger!

He was given to doing things in a very "demonstrative" way. They had 15 acres but it wasn't fenced. I think that the goats were his wife's idea to encourage the fencing of the entire property! He was showing that it would take an outrageously-built fence. The goats were gone in short order.

Steve
Depending on how secure the chicken run is it may be enough to contain them. If it can keep a raccoon out it should be able to keep a goat in.
 

Ridgerunner

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For pets wethers are the right answer. You do not want an intact male, they are dangerous. Milking is a twice a day commitment plus all the hassle of mating and raising kids.

Goats are domesticated deer that can climb. It will take a really good fence. You know how you use a brace for a corner post, slanted from the ground to the top of the corner post. Goats can climb those. If you put a corner brace, put it on the outside of your fence. And build strong. Wethers will not be as rambunctious as an intact male but they can be pretty smart. An electric fence may not be out of order.

Goats can get into pretty small areas and they will love to eat chicken feed. Either feed them the same thing, build really small pop doors on the coop, or consider creep feeders for the chickens.

For disclosure I have never owned a goat. Dad brought a milk goat home when I was a preteen, it took him abut a week to sell her. When I was in Arkansas my wife got goat milk from a lady, a gallon a week. She gave us a nice tour when we started plus she was fun to talk with when I was the one picking up the milk. A really nice lady. She kept the girls in a pasture with a couple of livestock guard dogs. That pasture had an electric fence against coyotes. Coyotes were a real threat. One power outage the girl goats destroyed some of that electric fence. She was training a third guard dog, a pup, and it killed a baby goat just playing with it. You have to train a guard dog what it is supposed to guard. She was busy with other things and didn't pay attention for a while. The older guard dogs did not protect that baby against another dog.

You sure? You will need very good fences. I once showed up at a neighbor's house. He had bought a couple of goats and had a most outrageous pen built for them. Good enough for a tiger!

Steve, it sounds like the enclosure that lady had for her intact male goat. A strong tall fence, really strong, and she did what she could to not have any way it could climb out. She said it still broke out about once a week. She was using him for breeding purposes, her goats and others, but wasn't sure she was going to keep him the last time I talked to her when my wife stopped getting that milk. It is a pain taking the girls to another billy for breeding and she was making some money from stud fees but wasn't sure keeping him was worth it.
 
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digitS'

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My brother wanted a goat when he was about 12 and I was 8.

She would climb in a big cherry tree with a branch that overhung the pasture. I know that she did this because I saw her climbing around in the tree. However, I have never known how she could climb on the branch over the fence.

See, I wasn't very tall but a cow is a cow and they didn't have problems walking under that branch. Neither did I. Maybe, a cow laid down in the shade of the tree and the goat climbed on top of her :hu. Anyway, Peggy the Goat enjoyed being in the front yard.

Steve
 

ducks4you

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I DO appreciate ALL comments.
@digitS' , I plan to expand my 12 x 30' chicken enclosure to accommodate the 12 x 12' enclosure no longer in use. It is chain link dog fencing, 6 ft tall. Will they dig to escape this?
I DO plan on wethers and now I am pretty much sold on Pygmy goats. I have found 2 farms that raise them in IN, probably no more than 2-3 hours away from me.
It will be probably in the next few months. Would be fun to picket them and see them climb one of my trees!
I am really MORE worried about having a stray dog come and harrass them when picketed to mow.
We will SEE if I can train Eva to truly guard them. She gets scolded for barking/growling at the unseen, but I WILL encourage her to run off anything that would harm them.
I will admit, I am a goat idiot, BUT, if I don't like them, there are places to sell them around here.
The other atty in our office spent time with goats. Her father is a Professor Emeritis, Animal Sciences, University of Illinois. He produced, among other things, dry dog food, and animal birth control, like for deer. She and her brother would play with the goats that were penned in behind his office, and were being used for university student studies.
She told me this week, that we had had this conversation before, in the past, about getting goats. I guess I shelved it at that time.
Anyway, the U of I is a great resource for animal husbandry.
 

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