I want a goat but don’t know what kind of goat to get…
Ask yourself, WHY do you want a goat? Do you want to have some delicious milk to drink? Make cheese? Soap? If so, once that goat is BRED, has her kids, and comes into milk then that is a responsibility, you have to milk that goat each day, rain or shine, at least half the year until you “dry her up” and or breed again.
Do you want a lawnmower? Dairy goats ARE NOT lawn mowers, they DO NOT eat anything, tin cans, etc.
Dairy goats are browsers; they look for leaves, twigs, vines, and shrubs. If you have a brush that needs clearing and trees they can browse they will be happy.
Wethers are castrated males they are just like does, but you don’t have the responsibility of milking them every day because they are castrated. They do not smell, and all my goats come dis-budded so you don’t have to worry about horns, wethers make great “pets” they are like outside dogs but with less responsibility.
Can you have a doe and never breed her, Yes, but that is not what they are made to do. It is kind of like having a guardian dog, like a Great Pyrenees and keeping him or her in a house instead of a field where he or she can guard.
Why do you take the kids (baby goats) from their mothers? Why not leave the kids on their mothers and let them raise them and feed them?
When you have a Grade A dairy you need a lot of goats to have enough milk to make cheese and other goat milk products. A lot of goats mean 60-80 (or more) mama goats which are called Does. Each doe can have 1-4 goats with the average being 2 each freshening (birthing).
If we had that many kids running around the barn/field they would wander off, drown in water troughs, other does are “not so nice to them” ram them, corner them, hurt them, etc.
Even with twins, the kids inevitably nurse off of one teat, they become familiar with that teat, I would be going around nursing the other teat so the doe doesn’t get mastitis. We would not know how much the kids were drinking if they were on their dams. When bottle-feeding the kids, we know they are getting the proper amount of colostrum and milk to set them up for a lifetime of health and happiness. Bottle-raised goats are friendlier and bond with humans better. When I sell goats I give you the bottle and the nipple they are using so you can continue the bonding process at your home.
We can take much better care of the kids in the baby goat nursery and know the amount of colostrum/milk they are receiving, and take care of the moms at the milk barn. After birthing (freshening) each doe gets warm electrolyte water, grain, beets, alfalfa pellets, fresh hay, and special attention until she passes her placenta, then she is rejoined back with the herd.
The kids grow up in the nursery, graduate to the teenager field, graduate to the backfield, grow up to breeding weight/age, get bred then come to the milk barn to have their kids. They then rejoin their original herds. It’s not uncommon to have a mom, daughter, and granddaughter come into the stanchion all next to each other. The circle of life.
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony" . - Mahatma Gandhi
"Julie David" wholeheartedly agrees with this quote. Enjoy and stay in Harmony!