10 Mistakes Made with goats

10 Mistakes I Made With My Goats

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These are just some of the mistakes I made when I purchased my first couple of goats. This is my journey and I do have some tips to help people who are on the fence about getting a couple. Yes you have to buy more than one, they are herd animals, they need a friend or two.Not long after I posted the notice on facebook that I wanted a baby goat to raise.

benefits of GOATS

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.

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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. 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. 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!
  8. They talk to you, and you can pretty much tell what they are saying. Mine little one in the picture would say “Haaaaaay”. 🙂

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. Don’t judge me.

1.Over feed them. I fed them, hubby fed them. Should have only one person taking care of them, not both of us.

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!

Homesteading for women Goats

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

Happy Goat hunting or not,

Michelle

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Comments

    • Sherry
    • September 25, 2018
    Reply

    We have had goats for almost 9 years. Started with 2. A doeling and a wether. We now have 14. Bred some and took in a few from a neighbor. Would love to help out anyone who needs advice. Here I just wanted to point out that though they Will eat it, cedar is TOXIC to goats, even shavings if your thinking of using cedar shavings as bedding use Aspen shavings 1st choice or pine shavings as your second choice. Also, loose minerals marketed for goats are imperative for healthy goats, mineral blocks don’t allow them to get the amount they need but can be used as a supplement to loose. They know when they need it and how much . Keep a container full for them. Baking soda in a container is extremely important also, keeps gas from building up in their gut.. Google a goats digestive system to understand how their 4 stomachs work to digest food. Only worm when the inside of their bottom eyelid is not bright pink. Light pink or white means they have to be dewormed. And then again 21 days later to kill newly hatched worms. Safeguard makes a goat dewormer. Read up on dewormers, there are several brands and types and dosing amounts are different. Some are orally and some are meant to be topical on other species but orally for goats. It can get confusing so please familiarize yourself with the different ones or ask your large animal veterinarian. If you grain your goats, store where the goats absolutely cannot get to it. They will eat themselves into sickness and death. It is very important to vaccinate them every year with CD/T. Read up on its purposes. And read up on and know that the difference between a tetanus vaccine and tetanus anti toxin. Invest in a good book on raising goats. Make sure it contains a list of medications and dosages. This sounds like a lot but it really is easy once you read and understand these points. Lastly but not least my, goats are heard animals. They do not do well as the only goat so plan on at least two. Either 2 does or ceilings, a doe or doeling and a male that will be weathered( fixed) by the age of 5months, which is when they can impregnate a doe. For the health of your goat and the babies, although popular to do sooner, wait until your doe is at least 18 months old to breed her. They are not done growing themselves until they are 3 years old. And stop breeding your does after the age of 8 unless you don’t care how long they will live. Goats, kept healthy, can reach the age of 14 to 16. And have been known to reach 18. Hope I have helped in some way . Happy Goating.

      • Michelle
      • September 25, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Sherry,
      Thanks for all the tips! Glad we didn’t keep our goats in that cedar forest for very long. This will be very helpful for goat newbies like me.
      Michelle 🙂

    • Lilly
    • April 23, 2018
    Reply

    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
      Reply

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

      Michelle 🙂

    • Laurie
    • February 8, 2018
    Reply

    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!

    • dEBBRA BRECKENRIDGE
    • February 7, 2018
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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 🙂

    • Laurie
    • January 13, 2018
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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
        Reply

        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
          Reply

          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

            👍

    • Dianna
    • July 22, 2017
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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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