10 Mistakes I Made With My Goats- Benefits of Having Goats on The Homestead

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10 Mistakes Made with goats

I really loved my Goats, I think that was the Problem! Hubs is really great about getting me the animals that I want. I was raised in town and a goat was not something to get in when I lived. We tried goats when we were first married but we really lived in the woods and unfortunately we had a problem with coyotes and within a week we lost our goats. I didn’t try again for 30 years.

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To me I think of goats as unruly kids, you give them a mile and they take 10 miles.  I joined a facebook group about goats in our area and posted that I was looking for a baby goat, one that didn’t need bottle fed.

I wasn’t going to get a baby goat that I had no idea how to take care of. And I don’t recommend getting one that small unless you are doing a 4-H project or just really love taking care of a baby goat that will need a bottle every 2 hours. Totally up to you on that one.

 

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Not long after I posted the notice on facebook a nice lady that lived close contacted me that she had a Momma and baby that she would sell and some hay too, Bonus! We could get everything we needed all in one stop! I was so excited and they were kinda tame although I couldn’t get near the baby for weeks. That was disappointing. I think that’s why so many people want to bottle feed, to make them super tame.

All was fine, we just had a couple Dog Houses for them to sleep in and later on build them a bigger place to stay but they didn’t like it. lol! After all that work making them a nice shed that was off the ground, they slept in the old dog house and under the new shed. Go figure!


Benefits Of Having Goats

First I’m not going to lie. There are many benefits of having goats on a homestead and more than likely I’ll get more when I have a barn and lot that is out in the field close to our Cabin, rather than have them in the woods, which I’ll talk about later. I’m just going to give you a small list of reasons why you might want to get goats on your farm and then you can read my mistake list to help you make your own mind up if you want to get them or not.

  1. Goats are mostly great around kids.
  2. Perfect 4-H project for the kids to work with and learn about taking care of.
  3. Goats are very entertaining and fun to watch and play with.
  4. They will clean out a heavy thick brush with thorns out of your woods or fields.
  5. They have been known to be very protective of their property, alerting and protecting from animal intruders. Say for you chicken coop.
  6. They poop a lot and that is great fertilizer for your garden. It’s easy to clean up and add to the compost pile.
  7. They are cute as heck! What can I say I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for these little goats.
  8. They talk to you, and you can pretty much tell what they are saying. Mine little one in the picture would say “Haaaaaay”. 🙂

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10 Mistakes I Made With My Goats

10 Mistakes I made with my goats

I’ll just give you a run down on what I did wrong with my goats and hopefully help you be more prepared than I was when I bought my goats.

1. I spoiled them, I just loved them too much and they soon learned that as soon as I walked out the back door, I was going to go to their pen and give them food. That was fine for a while but then when I didn’t come to the cage they just stood and yelling for me… all day long. (sigh) Hubby was sure I wasn’t feeding them and would go feed them again. Thus Fat Goats.

2.Give them what kind of mineral? That always confused me.

3.Brought home a 6 week old Baby and put him in the same cage with my Momma goat and her baby. NOPE! She tried to kill him. The little guy had to stay in a dog kennel all night until the next morning when we added fencing in the pouring rain, fun times!

4.No proper place to store enough hay to feed the goats over the winter. Ended up buying hay from the feed store in town and then late in the winter the hay was moldy from rain, so we had to track down some hay from far away. No one bales square bales anymore around us as they can’t get any help bringing in the hay from the field, they all do round bales that they bale by themselves.  We didn’t need nor want a big round bale of hay. Those suckers are big!

5.Didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to cut trim the hooves, but if you do get these, they work Great!

6.Didn’t really know when to worm them and was getting mixed messages from everyone we asked. Some said do it, some said don’t unless the vet said to give them some. “Check their eyes” someone said, really they look fine to me, we didn’t give them any wormer that year we had the goats.

7.We wasted a bunch of our hard to find hay, if it falls on the ground the goats won’t eat it. Until we bought THIS!

8. We put the goats in a lot with mature cedar trees, great shaded place that we used to have a couple old dogs. The fence was great and we thought they would  love it. Oh they did and they stripped all the trees of their bark, we lost many trees before we sold the goats.

10. Not understanding that goats don’t share and my little baby goat wasn’t getting enough food, unless I stood over him until he was finished eating.

TIP: I found this on pinterest, great idea if you have more than a couple goats. I wish I would have had this for my three goats.

Benefits Of Having Goats

Pic From: Feeding Goats The Easy Way By Henry Milker Blog

Conclusion

If you’re thinking about getting goats, make sure you re-read all my mistakes so you won’t make those and remember just how destructive these animals are, I’ve seen one eat a tin can before. And if your marriage is getting stressy over the animals then maybe it’s time to part ways. With the animal of course. (snicker) Hubs would walk up to the cage each day and just shake his head looking at all our fine cedar trees being destroyed.

That’s when I put on my big girl pants and put the ad on facebook to sell them all. Luck would have it, that they guy that bought them from me also bought all the goats that I bought my first Momma and baby from. So they would go back to live with some of the old goats that Momma grew up with and they were going on a farm close to where we lived. I had them off the farm in 2 days.

WARNING! Selling your Goats on Facebook -a couple of the people that called just wanted to buy them to sell to the feedlot. Oh that makes me sad everytime I think about it.  But I saved my sanity and hubby is happy again, thank goodness and hopefully the goats are happy as can be.

Happy Goat hunting or not,

Michelle

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12 comments for “10 Mistakes I Made With My Goats- Benefits of Having Goats on The Homestead

  1. Lilly
    April 23, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Sorry you didn’t have a great experience with goats. I started with mine 8 yrs ago, had to get rid of all of them due to medical issues at the time. I missed them as soon as they were gone & ended up buying 2 of them back. I don’t know what kind you had, but because of my klutziness, I started with minis–pygmy & netherland dwarf. Never had any issues with them getting into stuff they shouldn’t; I have more problems with one of my mini zebu cows doing that! I got my goats mostly because they were adorable, but also wanted to do the milking & soap-making. Found out how flipping AWESOME they are at yard maintenance, and haven’t mowed in 8 yrs.
    I prefer to let mama goat feed her kids, but I do love a bottle-fed goat’s friendliness. I’ve found that as long as I’m not the one bottle-feeding one, they tend to be friendly & lovable enough. If I bottle-feed them, we are joined at the hip when I’m in their pasture–not good for someone who trips over their own feet.
    They do make great guardians, too. My chickens free-range, but are cooped most nights. Never lost one to ‘coons or other wild animals.
    Looking forward to checking out more of your posts; always looking to learn something new!

    • Michelle
      April 24, 2018 at 6:16 am

      Hey Lilly,
      lol, I need to get some again, when I get my new barn built. I’ll be ready this time.

      Michelle 🙂

  2. Laurie
    February 8, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Debra, that does make sense about the goats vs coyotes as a couple of coyotes together can easily bring down a deer. I have been hearing more lately about Great Pyrenees being good guards for livestock. My neighbor has a large fenced in yard with a couple of dozen chickens and two GPs in with them, and I’ve seen others around in the area. I thought they just happened to be a popular breed in the area but apparently they are serving a specific purpose. Good to know. Thanks!

  3. dEBBRA BRECKENRIDGE
    February 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Hello Michelle,

    Goats can also be prey for coyotes. Especially if you have kids, which is obvious. We have two Great Pyrenees and donkeys that guard our pastures. They are worth every penny spent on them and they are easy keepers. I’ve never heard that goats were as good as donkeys for guarding against coyotes. I would think common sense would say different. Maybe one on one they might have a chance, but two or more coyotes would be deadly.

    We raise myotonics and they entertain us daily as do our donkeys. Just in case my horses read this, I love them dearly too, they are just not vocal, like the goats and donkeys.

    • Michelle
      February 7, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Hey Debbra,
      I’ve heard that donkeys make good guard animals for stock. Too fun! I would love to have a Great Pyrenees. I’m looking to get a new guard dog, mine is at least 100 years old. She’s a mix German shepard and who knows what and he little boyfriend Scruffy, he’s the outside chihuahua, he never liked being inside. They are so funny they make their rounds every morning and evening like clock work.

      I had to look up myontonics on google. LOL! The fainting goats! I bet they ARE entertaining. Thanks for the tips!
      Michelle 🙂

  4. Laurie
    January 13, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Hi Michelle. We talked last time of our overly-ambitious to-do lists and me deciding to do just one thing at a time. I’ve also decided that certain projects need to be relegated to specific members of the family – my husband is taking care of the water/drainage issues, my son-in-law will be doing the cows, pigs, and canning, and I’m in charge of the chickens. I also got stuck with the garden which isn’t good because I do no have a green thumb. I’ll be trying to pass that off to my daughter. I want to take on duck and turkey projects next., but another I would really like to do is goats. We have about 8 acres of weedy pasture that’s never been used for anything and I’m thinking goats will take it down to where we can begin building up good hay for cows. We also have a coyote problem that needs to be taken care of and a friend said goats are as good as donkeys for chasing them off. Have you ever heard this? Thanks for the heads-up about issues you ran into keeping goats. Glad you’re feeling better! Laurie (appeared as Laur last time for some reason)

    • Michelle
      January 13, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Hey Laurie,
      HA HA, That’s funny you want to pawn off the garden, I let hubs garden as he is the one with the green thumb. You know I don’t know about the coyote’s. But I know my big Mama goat wouldn’t let any of the chihuahuas near her. So maybe they would. We had a coyote problem bad for many years, those things aren’t scared of people at all and would come up to the house at night, but my big dog would bark, she was scared of them and would jump way up in the air when she barked. Guess to make herself look big. Thank goodness for whatever reason the past few years they have thinned out some. I think someone hunted them around here. Which I’m happy about.

      One thing Goats are great at is clearing out brush. We had about 4 big rectangle Pieces of Hog Fence that you can buy at Tractor Supply and used those as our temporary fencing of areas around the farm we wanted cleaned out. I just put a big plastic water bucket that you use for horses in the pin with them. They would complain a little bit at first until they started eating and then would be ready to go back home when they did there work for the day. I do miss that. Maybe I’ll get them again when I can fence them in the front field out of our cedar trees.
      Good luck with your Turkey and Duck adventures, can’t wait to hear about them on our facebook page.
      Michelle 🙂

      • Laurie
        January 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm

        Wow, that’s a good idea about the hog fencing! That way we won’t have to rush to get all that pasture fenced in. Thanks!

        • Michelle
          January 13, 2018 at 3:02 pm

          You might have to get a smaller size fencing or add some roll wire. I think they can get their head out on the bigger holes at the top. I think I remember Mama goat with her big horns, and thought she would get stuck but she always got her head back in. I know they make different sizes, I think they were out of the kind we wanted to get.

          • Laurie
            January 13, 2018 at 5:29 pm

            👍

  5. Dianna
    July 22, 2017 at 11:51 am

    We just got our first pair of pygmy/nigerian goats, a male and female- and we’ve never had them. the learning curve is a bit rough! So many questions all the time about worming? what? feeding? not too much, but not too little- gee that’s…ambiguous. what kind of hay? what kind of feed? why are they so noisy? Are they happy? vaccines? I’m supposed to do that- a few times a year I’ve been told. Trimming hooves- I’ve done that once before, so I think I can sort it out. I’ve researched a ton, but honestly, every site contradicts the last one, so I’ve compiled a general list of basic concepts and just watch for any unusual signs. The primary goal is to keep them happy and alive- and it seems there are about a million opinions about how to do that. I do have a great track record with keeping all living things alive and healthy and happy- human kids, dogs, cats, chickens, a pig we acquired accidentally with no clue what to do with her, lol- so I guess I’m winging goats now. So far so good. I am hoping they will make a little one- so for now our buck is au’ natural- but I’m a bit intimidated by all the info regarding pregnancy and care of the female while she’s carrying, so we’ll see. Right now, we’re sort of ‘adventuring’ in homesteading- trying out different animals and things to see what is a fit and what isn’t. it’s a great learning experience for us and the kids and we try to be conscientious and cautious and well researched before we start down a path. But sometimes something just doesn’t work- for me it was ducks, I hated them- so we traded them to a friend with a farm for fertile chicken eggs which we hatch in our incubator. It all sort of works out eventually.

    • Michelle
      July 22, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      Hey Dianna,
      You made me laugh! I was the same way and every morning those goats would start blabbing and not stop all day. I would run up there and feed them and when Hubs got up he would run up there and feed them sweet feed. Lol! No wonder they wouldn’t be quiet. Everyday…”did you feed those goats today?”…”YES!”…”Well I feed them too.” We had some nice fat goats in the end. I found a goat group on facebook that really helped and the hoofs you trim after it’s been raining for a while. Makes them softer to cut. Old wise lady told me that one. You’ll be fine if you didn’t kill off your kids. You’ve got this! Lol!
      Michelle 🙂

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