dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Do you keep livestock? Having any problems? Want to talk about it, whether it be sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, bees or llamas, here is your place to discuss.
Berti
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dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #267214 Berti
Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:40 pm

since shortly I am in touch with someone who has the same dream as I do, starting a community farm.
my suggestion was to keep goats, for milk (mostly, as she wanted to be vegetarian) and make dairy products.
my question is, how hard is that? both keeping goats and the dairying. someone tell a complete goat-dummy please :)
I am a dreaming realist....

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #267499 merlin
Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:26 am

Hi Berti,
No, you are not dreaming! We have goats (we live in Bulgaria), and I can tell you it is the one of the most simple things we have to do. I don't know where you live, but here we still have shepards. they come buy the house in the morning and the goats follow them out, they come back at sunset and the goats peel off and wait outside until we let them in for milking and parking :-) It costs about a pound or so a month per goat!

If you have to keep them on land where you are, it is just as simple. They come in at night, go into the goat shed, have a small amount of food and go off to sleep, we keep ours with the chickens.

Making cheese is as simple as you like also, we made a film of it once, it is here if you want to watch it http://www.inbulgaria.co.uk/ You should go for it, they need very little attention and just great to have around. Hope that helps
A few short films of us making home made food and drink in Bulgaria
http://inbulgaria.co.uk/

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #267506 oldjerry
Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:30 pm

There's a fairly simple way to keep goats,if you don't have them wandering past your door on a daily basis.(Agree with the above about simplicity of making a half decent cheese,soft cheese especaily is so easy to be worth making every day.)

Quite simply,buy 2 females,mother and Young daughter would be ideal.Go to a recognised goat breeder,who sells the milk(they wont be pretty,but they will be productive.)T hey will need to visit a proven billy,every other autumn,alternate years(take the elder one the first year,her experience of giving birth will make up for your inexperience).A good goat in full milk will give you 4 or 5 pints a day,milked twice,near as poss 12 hours between.Alternate years you will dry off each goat before she's mated.

Feeding is important,they don't ''eat anything'' in factv they are quite fussy,a mix of oats\barley\peas\beans is good(if you're really interested,ask for more detail.) Add to that a constant supply of good hay,and a daily helping of various branches,from heges\shrubs\etc. placed in a manger.

Here's the controversial bit... They will llive happily in 10x10 foot shed with a concrete floor and a lockable door that opens on to a concrete or stone yard Fenced about 20 x20 feet.Leave thedoor open during the day so they can go in if it rains.They dont need grass to graze,just bring them loads of stuff out of the hedgerow and stick it in the manger.They'll need collars,so give them a lead and take them for a walk occasionally if the weathers nice.

A pair of goats will thrive in an average back garden kept like this(in UK you may have a prob with DEFRA,but hey,welcome to farming!)

We kept goats for a number of years,please ask if you need any advice\encouragement.BWs.

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #267840 merlin
Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:55 am

I don't know if I would be happy with keepeng them in a 20 foot by 20 foot. The sleeping area is plenty at 10 x10, but with two goats and one in kid every year, you could end up having four in a 20 x 20, that is around a yard and a half each in terms of space.
A few short films of us making home made food and drink in Bulgaria
http://inbulgaria.co.uk/

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #267844 oldjerry
Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:51 am

I'm not suggesting you keep the offspring!!!

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #268066 the.fee.fairy
Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:58 am

Keep posting people, this is something I'm interested in too!

Ooh...that reminds me: DEFRA movement licences - how do they work for goats?

I'm talking about the UK laws.

I see goats going to farmer's shows and local schools and stuff, but when I've been reading about getting them, you need to leave them in place for 6(?) days each time they're moved.

The reason I ask is because I do medieval re-enactment and we have chickens (Niki's) and when I get the goats, I think it would be nice to take them along for the ride too. But...I can't work out between the farming speak (I thought I was good at that...) and the legal speak what exactly the rules are. In one place it says they can't be moved for a set number of days - which would prevent goats being taken to weekend things like country shows and school visits. Yet...I see the goats doing just that.

It's good to hear that they can live happily with chickens. What about sheep and alpacas?

In the dream I cling to I have a piece of land (I know where it is and am taking steps to get there too!) and it has an orchard. In my dreams of ishism, I can see goats (2), sheep (3) alpacas (2) and chickens (loads) living in the same space. Would this be possible? Or would I be condemning one of the species by putting them together? The orchard is plenty big enough for the animals (I have no idea of the actual size - it used to hold 160 pigs).

I read that goats need copper and copper can kill sheep, but you can put the copper supplements in the feed that the goats have when they're milking so that the sheep can't get it. Does this sound reasonable? or a daft idea?

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #268084 merlin
Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:17 pm

Sounds like a great dream, I really hope you get there with it. In terms of mixing goats and sheep, lots of people do it here, so I would say that was ok. I don't have any experience with alpacas. I don't know anything about copper as far as goats go, I did ring around and nobody has a clue what I am on about (all have goats). The only thing I can think of is that they should have a salt lick. This is a rock that everybody buys from the market, the goats lick it, all I know is that is important that they have it, perhaps there is copper in that, mind you, the salt lick is in the sleeping quarters usually, and people keep the goats and sheep together for sleeping. We just have goats. I don't know whether I have helped much there or not :-(
A few short films of us making home made food and drink in Bulgaria
http://inbulgaria.co.uk/

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #268088 the.fee.fairy
Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:32 pm

Thanks for asking around for me!

I only read about the copper supplements on a website somewhere, so it might not be absolute.

In the dream, the animals all have separate sleeping areas (don't want the goats trampling the chickens). I don't know if they'd all sleep in separate areas in reality, but it's something that's there just in case.

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #268091 merlin
Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:44 pm

It is unlikely that the chickens would be trampled, but reasonably likely that their tail feathers would suffer the occasional munch, so if you have the space, great for the chickens. Just wondering what you do in China, anything to do with teaching? PM me if you fancy.
A few short films of us making home made food and drink in Bulgaria
http://inbulgaria.co.uk/

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #268095 oldjerry
Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:29 pm

In the UK you need a Holding number to keep Goats(it is possible to register your garden as a holding.).DEFRA regularly change the rules regarding movement of animals,I quit 2 years ago,and they will have been modified 3or4 times in the intervening.There have always been exemptions for showing etc.Poultry can wander around anywhere if you've only a few and can exclude them from your veg,if not bung them in a tractor.

There are huge advantages in keeping goats the way described above,not least in terms of their health,keep them on grass that even occasionally gets wet and you will always(in my experience )be dogged with foot-rot trouble which can be a huge problem.Keeping them on a solid surface is much nearer to their 'natural' experience,remember,constant and skilled hoof maintenance,is something goat keepers need to learn(and on grass,learn fast!)

By bringing food to them they should(if you are diligent ) get a far wider selection of grazing matierial to browse,which is really what they are all about.I kept goats for many years(well er indoors did a lot of it) and their welfare and contentment was always top priority,in return 2 goats(we usually kept many more)would give us a constant supply of milk and soft cheese,and the pigs(my first love) thrived.....but I miss them too much to talk about at present.

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #268105 diggernotdreamer
Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:46 pm

I have 2 pot bellied pigs, 30 ducks, 40 chickens, 3 rabbits, 1 deaf old dog and 2 alpacas (see facebook teddytonyalpaca, they have their own page). They all live very happily together. Alpacas are very protective and are excellent flockguards against strange dogs and foxes. We have a byre which is divided into duck pen, chicken pen and pig pens so everyone except the alpacas go in at night. The alpacas have a 'pod' which is basically a roof with three sides shiplapped half way up to keep the wind off them where they can go when it is raining if they want to. They Alpacas are fine with all the other animals, but they do need to get used to them, when we first got the pigs they chased them a bit and the dog irritates them when he does mad old dog barking at them (they just chase him out of devilment). You can tell the difference with the alpacas behaviour when a strange dog comes to visit, they really go for them. We have a 3.5 acre field and everyone just goes out there and does their stuff. The rabbits live in with the chickens and go out in the 50 foot pen we have, then the chickens go into the field a bit later on after they have laid the eggs. So I don't think it is a dream, bit of a reality here.

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #268111 the.fee.fairy
Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:14 am

That's why I was thinking of getting alpacas - for fox protection.

As I understand, they will get used to the 'family' dogs, but not tolerate strange dogs.

If everything works out, there is a chance of strange dogs coming near them, but not in the same area (the animals will be fenced off). I'll be putting signs up to warn people about having dogs off lead in the area because of the alpacas. Where they'll be dogs should be on leads all the time anyway (even the family dogs will be on leads).

Merlin: Yep, predictably, I am a teacher. I've been here for 3 years and this will be my fourth. I'm going home for good next year (hence making the plans for the dream). 4 years is enough I think.

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #268114 oldjerry
Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:49 am

As an alternative,you could try running an Ostrich with your poultry...( titter ye not !) I went to a place in the English Lake District 4 or 5 years ago where they did just this.( the monstrosity was left over from the 'Ostriches are the Future of Farming'craze,that preceeded the 'Alpacas are the future of Farming' craze....don't get me wrong,nice animals as pets,but commercially?...even if it worked you'd only be making a South American subsistence farmer even more impoverished.

Whatever, if you chose to run Alpacas,Ostriches,Giraffe or anything else with your poultry you will need good fencing ,and as luck would have it,that's going to protect your fowl from foxes,with or without the accompanying menagerie!

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #268221 the.fee.fairy
Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:07 am

I looked into ostriches (really!) and they needed a dangerous animals licence. With the plans that the Family and I have, we wouldn't be able to get a dangerous animals licence because they'd be close to the public (although fenced off).

Rhea birds are, however, not class as dangerous :)

Unfortunately, they also cost an absolute fortune!!

With alpacas, I could shear them and sell the fleece to spinny/knitty people (or learn to spin myself), so they have more than one use.

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Re: dreamer asks: goats for milk.

Post: #268264 diggernotdreamer
Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:17 pm

With alpacas, I could shear them and sell the fleece to spinny/knitty people (or learn to spin myself), so they have more than one use.[/quote]

Well, my alpacas which are two wethers (neutered males) cost me 1200 euro's although they are a bit cheaper in the UK. I have to get a specialist shearer to come and do them which costs me 200 euro a year, I would not trust any shearer, they must not get their skin nicked as it will not heal up very well. They have to be tethered by their feet and stretched out on the floor, and my boys are quite large and very strong, and tied to something that won't move. The fibre is then not worth very much, you might get 40 quid for the whole thing, look on Ebay for alpaca fibre. I just dont justify them, they are my pets, I get loads pleasure out of owning them, they make us laugh at their antics, same with the pigwigs they are pets too. Don't have holidays, eat out or have expensive drug habits so my pets are my luxury. There is a mill in England that processes the fibre, you can just google it, I don't think there is anyone else much. Probably finding a use for it yourself is practicle,I am going to look into making rugs and duvets as I am not really much cop at sewing and knitting.


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