Goat Rising for Beginners
May 1, 2020
Though you won’t make millions raising a small herd of goats, raising them still is a rewarding experience. There is much for beginners to learn before purchasing goats, including breed types, housing, feed and, ultimately, the purpose of starting your own herd. As these animals will depend entirely on you, carefully consider if this is something you will be able to maintain over the long haul.
As a smaller, less expensive version of a cow, female goats can produce milk for consumption. Once a doe has kidded, or given birth, she must be milked twice a day every day. This milk then can be turned into yogurt, butter and cheese, and is a great substitute for the lactose intolerant, or those allergic to cow’s milk. Farmers often give excess milk to chickens and pigs. Male goats, or bucks, also are raised for their meat. The taste of chevon has been compared to lamb meat and is sold in ethnic food markets. If the goats were raised free-range or on an organic diet, the meat is highly desired in specialty stores. Goat fur can be used to make clothing or rugs and, as goats will eat the most stubborn brushes, they are even hired out in many areas for lawn care.
Depending on the reason you want to raise a herd, certain breeds will be ideal while others, less so. It also is wise to purchase at least 2 goats from nearby farms as this means the local economy already supports this breed. Saanens, Nubians, Alpines and LaManchas all produce milk, though the quantity and quality will differ between breeds. The Boer, Spanish and Kiko are used for meat, while Angora produces fur used for fabrics. Of course, some want goats simply as pets and the small Pygmy or Dwarf goat is ideal. Keep in mind that goats purchased at auctions, or those who have to be shipped to you, may have health issues from shipping stress and confined quarters. You always should look over the goat before purchase, as these will be the greatest impact on your future herd.
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