How long will a goat live? A goat will typically live about 10-15 years, so when considering a goat purchase it’s important to keep in mind that your baby goat will require just as much care, for just as long, as a new puppy would.
How hard is it to care for a goat? It is not difficult to care for a goat, but like any animal, a goat does require care. They must be given fresh food & water daily. Preferably have daily attention. They must have their hooves trimmed every 6-8 weeks.
Can I get just one goat? No, a goat must have a fellow goat buddy. They are herd animals and must have another goat to keep them mentally & physically healthy.
Do Nigerian Dwarf and Oberhasli goats have horns? Yes, most goats are born with the ability to grow horns. Horns are naturally beautiful, but can also be dangerous to other animals and people. Horns can also get stuck in fencing and cause harm to the goat itself. Also, goats with horns cannot be shown in 4-H, AGS, or ADGA shows. We disbud all of the goats born on our farm so that they do not grow horns. We feel this gives our goats the best opportunity at having a happy life.
Should I get a goat with horns? It is entirely up to you, whether you feel horns are OK for your situation. But keep in mind, that a goat with horns is more difficult to sell and can cause injuries. We feel that hornless goats have a much better chance of a loving home when they are disbudded.
How soon can I take home a baby goat? We feel that baby goats need their mothers, just as other animals & people do. While it is ‘cute’ to have a tiny bottle baby goat, we feel there are more health benefits to keeping them with their moms. Our babies are raised for 8-12 weeks with their moms. They are handled daily to ensure their friendliness. We feel a friendly goat is a life-long happy goat.
What do I do with my goat once I get it home? When we sell our goats, we will give you 1 week’s worth of any grain/feed the goat has been on. We do this because it is very important to gradually change a goat’s feed routine to avoid any illness or additional stress. When you get your goat home, be sure to help him/her feel safe & secure. Double check your fencing and your new goats food and water area to make sure it is safe. Give the goat plenty of fresh water and some nice green grass hay to help him adjust. We prefer grass hay, especially during stressful times.
How big will a goat get? A Nigerian Dwarf goat will get about 19-24 inches tall and weigh about 60-90 lbs. Roughly they will be about the size of a Labrador. An Oberhasli goat will grow to be 28+ inches tall and will weigh 120-150+ lbs. Goats will grow fairly slowly for the first few years until reaching their full size by about 3 years of age.
How much milk can I get from a goat? This question is very tricky because it depends LARGELY on what the animal is being fed, it’s genetics, how many times it has freshened (had babies), how old it is, and how many times a day it is getting milked. Nigerians can give anywhere from a cup to a gallon of rich sweet milk a day, depending on the above noted things. Oberhaslis can give anywhere from a half-gallon to several gallons per day.
Does Oberhasli milk taste more “goaty” than milk from other breeds? While some affirm that Oberhasli and Toggenburg milk tastes stronger than milk from other breeds, this simply is not true. When handled properly, all goat milk tastes sweet and delicious. Strong “goaty” flavor comes from mismanagement; strong-flavored weeds in pasture or hay, keeping does in close proximity to bucks, and certain forms of pasteurization can all contribute to goaty flavor. Although Nigerians and Nubians do yeild milk with a higher butterfat content than Swiss breeds (making their milk better for cheese-making), I have not personally found the flavor to be any different.
I am looking for a goat to keep my dog company, is this alright? NO! A goat needs to have another goat for a buddy, not a dog. A dog that is not specifically trained/bred as a Livestock Guardian Dog will instinctively consider a goat ‘prey’. A goats playful manner will usually set off a dogs instinct to ‘chase’ and this can be very bad for the goat. Even our own family dog, who is well trained, are NOT allowed in with the goats.
What does a goat need? A goat doesn’t require too much. They need a fellow goat buddy for company. They need basic shelter that is free of drafts where they can get out of the bad weather. Goats require hay & room to run & play. Growing kids, lactating and pregnant does, and bucks in the breeding season all need grain supplementation. Goats need to have access to goat minerals to ensure they grow well & maintain their good health. Goats love to play, so things like secure stumps, picnic tables, kids’ plastic play structures, or other fun things for them to play on are great ideas. You will definitely find much more joy in your goats if they are happy & playing. I find it is very hard to not smile & laugh when a goat does a flying leap off of a play toy!
What is a wether? A wether is the best goat pet ever! They are male goats that have been castrated. They are very sweet & friendly, & require only minimal care to have a happy healthy life. Oberhasli wethers make great pack or cart goats.
What is a buck? Do I need a buck?A buck is a male goat that is capable of breeding & producing offspring. This may sound interesting to newcomers, but…yuck! A buck goat STINKS… they have glands in their bodies that produce a VERY smelly odor, which *apparently* attracts the female goats. They also urinate proficiently, usually spraying all over their chin, belly, and legs, in hopes of attracting the does. Bucks must be kept separate from does to prevent accidental breedings, and to protect the quality of the milk. Goat milk will absorb the buck scent, making it very unpleasant. Even very friendly bucks can become DANGEROUS AND AGGRESSIVE during rut (breeding season). Bucks are NOT for the faint-of-heart! We feel that a buck should only be purchased by well-educated goat owners who know exactly what they are getting into.
What is a doe? A doe is a female goat that can produce offspring & milk.
How hard is it to milk a goat? While it is not rocket science, it certainly is not something you can learn in a few minutes. It is a bit of an art form to properly milk a goat. It’s best to learn using a doe with experience in milking. She will have the patience to put up with your learning curve. Trying to teach yourself using a doe with no experience is going to be very frustrating for both you & her, and will probably ruin the experience for you both. If you are shopping for a milking goat, ask the breeder to show you how they do it… everyone does things a bit differently and goats are very intelligent & very routine oriented. You will have the best experience using an experienced milking goat & having someone actually show you how they do it. Then you can go home and practice, practice, practice.