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Author Topic: What kind of goats?  (Read 2419 times)
Jerrymac
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« on: November 06, 2007, 04:24:45 PM »

I have been thinking of getting some goats to help with weed control around here. I have heard they can really keep the weeds down. But as my daughter pointed out, a close by lot has quite a few goats on it and a whole lot of weeds. So I am just wondering if certain goats do better at weed control. How many goats would one need for three acres. And hardy goats. Some I wouldn't have to baby, just throw them out there and let them do their thing.
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2007, 05:00:35 PM »

rent them.  goats suck.

they don't do much for weeds, but they are good for blackberry bushes.  they are also good for taking down fences, climbing on cars, and breaking in screen doors so they can crap in your house.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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Jerrymac
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2007, 05:13:23 PM »

Other than that are there any draw backs to having goats  huh
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2007, 05:58:07 PM »

they don't taste to bad if you kill them young  smiley
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
reinbeau
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2007, 08:24:19 PM »

They also are great at clearing lots of poison ivy, I've heard.
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asprince
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2007, 08:24:44 PM »

All I have to say is......you must have a good fence. If there is a weak spot they will find it!

Steve
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2007, 08:32:56 PM »

How does electric fence work?
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2007, 10:59:17 PM »

Kathy, what you said me me split my guts laughing, my Husband looked at me as though I was nuts!!!!

Honestly, I know what you say about the goats.  We have had goats and man they are a pain in the butt.  I would sooner use a weed wacker than a goat for cutting brush.  We had Nubian goats and they were incredibly weird.

When I used to go out and feed the horses, sometimes the goat would be around, if she got a chance to get her head into the horses pail while I was carrying the grain, it was near to impossible to get that strong goat neck out of the bucket.  Man, I can't believe their strength when they wanted what wasn't theirs.  They always got out and when they got up into my raspberries, that was it.  I couldn't stand no more and I sent then off to the auction.  I honestly had had enough, they got into everything and everywhere they shouldn't have.

So, I must say no to goats.  And, I don't believe for a minute that they eat weeds, like Kathy said, blackberries, yes.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day. 

Ha, Kathy I'm still laughin' about you saying they will break a screen door so they can crap in your house, that was so ding dong funny!!!!!!  Cindi
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2007, 11:50:58 PM »

Goats are okay.  experiences differ.  My goats are Nubian, Boar, Toggenburg cross.  They end up a medium sized goat with good muscle for meat.  If you put them on brush or blackberry vines they will eat the leaves and leave the bigger vines.  In a forest they will eat the leaves off of trees as far as their tongues will reach with front legs on the trunk, hind legs on the grown and neck stretched as far as it can or 5-8 feet depending on the goat. If you're lactose intolerent, like me, the goats milk and cheese comes in handy.  If you don't fix the billies they need to be butchered at 8-10 months or they start to get a bit gamey. 
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organicgrl37
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2007, 12:07:43 AM »

Well ya all must be crazy cuz I love goats. I have worked on several farms with herds of goats. Goats were my first experience in the dairy world and my first own critters. At first, to train the kids to the electric fence we would have them in a regular pen and divide areas off with electric fence that way they learned what it looked like. Then when working with the kids in pasture we would use 4 levels of electric fence, we would train each kid by touching their noses to the fence a couple of times before letting them into the pasture. We also would hang juice can lids (aluminum) off the fence with a little bit of honey on them. The kids tended to be the nosey ones and would get a shock on their lips or tongue. For the first few days in pasture we would super charge the fence, using a higher charge and a more rapid pulse. Eventually they learn and enjoy being outside. I am hoping that you plan on moving them around your property and not keeping them in one location. They like to browse. As to what breed, I am thinking a nubian cross with Aline would be good. Nubians are desert goats and can take the high heat. But they also have attachment issues and can be big babies. Alpines are tough rugged mountain breed. I also recommend that you train them to a bucket and bring them in every night or get a donkey to hang with them to protect them from dogs. Remember that the bucks are really stinky, if you plan on breeding and milking the does,keep the bucks as far away as possible.The bucks are real tuff and are the best at brush clearing.  My favorite were my two girls, Toggenberg and LaMancha cross. Polly and Esther were great goats. I would rent them out to folks to clean up their road side property. I had more escapes with our scottish highlander cow. The goats were never a problem. Just always check the brush for toxic plants. I didn't and lost Polly and Esther to Mountain Laurel. I hope this helps you with your decision. I loved working with goats, maybe I am just a goaty gal. They are really great animals.
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organicgrl37
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2007, 12:08:50 AM »

my other thought is that goats are good with brush type weeds, sheep or even ducks are much better at weeds
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abejaruco
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2007, 04:54:03 AM »

This post brings at my mind a Spanish sentence:

"We have not a goat yet, and the kid already goes wild". cool

No tenemos cabra, y ya el cabrito se desmanda.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2007, 09:24:34 AM »

I forgot to describe the fence I'm building.  4X4 posts on 8 ft centers.  3 cross bars (2X4) supporting a 5ft welded hogwire (now called no-climb wire).  Total height of fence is 5.5 feet.  The cross bars are outside the wire so the goats can't use them to climb with.  I can string barbed wire along the top or bottom if necessary to keep their noses on the proper side of the fence.  I put the lower cross bar as close to the ground as the terrain will allow, goats geing a lot like mice in that if they can get their head through (or under) they can get their whole body through.

Building a goat proof fence is not that hard, it just takes a little forethought and some knowledge of goat antics.
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2007, 09:28:30 AM »

organicgrl37.  YOur experiences with the goats sounds so nice.  You must have spent alot of time training them, yeah!!!  That obviously worked.

Brian you speak about the billies smelling.  There is nothing more hideous in my eyes than the stink of the billy goat.  My girlfriend used to have bother genders (so many years ago, when we were young and silly).  I would go to her house to visit and her place reeked outside.  I will never forget the smell and it still makes me sick when I am near any male goat, I can't stand that smell.  Funny how scents can take you back years and years to specific events or times  Sad Wink Smiley  Have a wonderful and beautiful day.   Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
kathyp
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2007, 04:39:08 PM »

another way to fence is to build a good stock fence then run hotwire on the inside, top and bottom.  this also works for dog yards.  keeps dogs and goats from pushing, climbing, and even jumping fences. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2007, 03:15:24 AM »

Build the fence around THE BUSHES or mkae her sling/chain too short for her to reach all the bushes.
and for starters, like kathy said, borrow one, they really are a menace!

to explain the too short chain/leash, you know how goats think...the grass is greener over the ridge. well, not exactly, but the weeds that are out of reach are definetly tastyer, that's why they do their job the best a few inches around the fence (if it's not electric:))
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2007, 10:28:25 PM »

We have a small herd of Nubians. Our fence solution is sort of a combination of Brian's structure with Kathyp's hot wire added at the top. 2 of them have still made it out a couple of times. The damage they can do is utterly beyond description with a distinct preference for the more expensive ornamental plants and vegetables (how do they know?!!!). Goats of course are browsers as opposed to grazers, usually showing a preference for stuff higher up than most weeds and almost never grass unless they are starving.
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thomashton
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« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2007, 12:45:56 PM »

I have 4 goats, 3 nubians and an angora. I just got them this spring. The area they are on had 4 foot weeds last year. This year it is clear. They are great weed eaters. I just started feeding them for the winter. Other than that, they have eaten weeds all spring, summer, and fall.

They will get out of everything though. The old adage is nearly true--A fence that won't hold water won't hold a goat. I used welded wire and they tore that up, so I ran an electric line. That has done the trick. Since it has been on, there hasn't been one escape.

Beware of escapes. They will damage everything. I have had raspberries chomped, tree bark stripped, limbs clipped, vegetable gardens eaten etc. Make it strong the first time.
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