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Old 01-04-2008, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCodder View Post
I still can't get over that those are pallettes...I need to show my father this...he was a farmer and loves things like this.
They are very sturdy.

The kids were forever climbing on them. Which is better then climbing on my cars.
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Cape Cod, MA
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Thank you all so much for sharing your goat information with me.

I just may put the goats on a leash and take them for a walk with my dogs too!
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:12 PM
 
411 posts, read 790,556 times
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Cape Codder,

Goats are a subject that I love! Very near and dear to my heart. Sorry I wasn't here earlier, as I've been well, goating all day, since about 3 am actually. lol We had a doe give birth at about 4:30 am to 2 bucklings. Both are now bottle babies, inside the house. The cold was just too much for them. Very precious. In fact, they came shopping and errand running w/us today as we had to feed them every couple hours.

Goat are interesting creatures... Forest is right in that they can be trained to stay home. What he didn't mention is that he lives about 200 feet down into the forest, and they goats have LOTS of room on his good acreage. Our goats are another story... we have about 5.5 acres, and 12 goats right now. (We normally run about 20-30 head, but we thin down for winter.) Our goats are fenced, and the fencing is being expanded and changed to electric this summer. Our goats do GREAT in cattle panel fencing. This runs us about $22 per panel, at about 4 feet high, and 16 feet long. The bucks will ALWAYS stay in cattle panel, as they can't get out, and I can control breeding this way. The does will run the electric. Our goats do get out sometimes, the does that is, and they have never gone in the road, although we do live about 75 feet from it. They stay and browse the grass and trees on the edge of the forest. When we get home and find them out we simply holler "time to get in girls" and off they go, right back in the fence. No problems. They ARE easily trained.

They do like to go on walks, and as long as they've been leash trained they will do great on a leash. We take ours on walks w/out a leash, and they love it. They've been trained to stay w/us. Training took us about a week, holding out a marshmallow each time to get them to follow, then periodically during the walk to hold their attention. Very rarely now do we use these, they get them at the end of the walk as a treat.

Goats will do well in the snow, as long as you clear a path if they are pygmys. We've had pygmys, and they did fine, as long as the other goats had already cleared the area. lol They don't like to get their bellies wet.

I need to actually go and feed the babies, but if you'd like to DM me I can give you a TON of information!
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Chaos Central
1,122 posts, read 3,608,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCodder View Post
I still can't get over that those are pallettes...I need to show my father this...he was a farmer and loves things like this.
Pallets are great around the farm. They're wonderful for gates and temporary (or permanent) fences; for stacking hay bales off the floor or ground; for separating animals indoors, as "hay feeders" indoors (so long as critter legs or heads can't get stuck in the openings); as "stepping stones" around the barnyard during mud season, and naturally for keeping household stuff high and dry off cellar floors. They're like duct tape - a million and one uses
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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Marshmellows? Now that is cheating.

I 'talk' to my goats, using the same sounds that they verbalize with. For the most part, they seem to recognize me as their 'alpha' so when I call to them, they all raise their heads to look at me.

When we go for a walk, they want to stay within a direct line-of-sight, so they will call to each other, so none of them get lost.

Some calls are like saying 'Marco', 'Polo', just to say 'hear I am'.

Other calls get them running to me.

If I am not out with them, if they have simply wandered into the forest to feed, they will still be in a group. If I want them to come back to the house when they are deeper into the forest I have to use the bell.

Our calls do not carry for long distances, so using my bell works better.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Arlington Virginia
4,538 posts, read 7,980,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCodder View Post
...You mean...the goats are free in the woods and they come running at the bell? They don't run away?...
I have dear friends in who live in an open area in the West Virginia mountains and they have five pigs. They have a structure shelter but are free to run during the day to find what they are interested in. Every evening my friends bang a pan and the little guys come running and they get their daily human provided meal. They are companion animals, not raised for meat. And they are "real" pigs not the pet kinds, although they are pretty slim and well proportioned animals, nice colors.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Central NH
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Growing up on a working farm here in central NH, I had the good fortune to be exposed to all types of animals. Sheep, cattle and hogs were livestock and not much of a pet to me. My older sisters rode and showed horses so I wanted nothing to do with them (the horses that is) One summer day at a church picnic, a local man had several of his nannies and their kids there. I feel in love with them and we went home with 3 young Nubian kids in our station wagon.
They were the best pet I ever had. Friendly, funny and smart. One in particular would walk around town with me. I never used a leash. They also ate my Mom's flowers and got into the gardens, even climb the cord wood pile stacked next to the house and get on the roof! I later showed them and their offspring in 4H. We milked them and made cheese and soap.
We now only raise sheep, but my wife, who is an avid spinner/knitter, would like to get a few goats and have a try at spinning some cashmere down. I told her as soon as we get up to Maine (early summer 2008 God willing) we would.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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We just butchered our pig in November, he was mostly like that.

He and I talked to each other, but Porky kept wanting to sleep in the goat shed and not in his shed, and then he kept digging into the chicken coop, pestering the chicken. Porky never ate any of the chickens but just being in their coop really upset the chickens.

So for the most part I had to keep Porky penned up.

Pigs are easily trained, Porky loved to be scratched.

He weighed 250 when we processed him.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,969 posts, read 11,132,103 times
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I think the best thing you can do to be prepared is start a working relationship with a vet. You'll have a much better chance of getting help when you need it if you're not a stranger. Pay very close attention to what the vet tells you and ask to do as much as possible. You might become best friends with your vet but if s/he's on another emergency you're going to have to figure out what to do next. I have a goat book coming back from a loan soon. If you'd like it I'll send it to you when it gets here. I won't be having goats again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCodder View Post
Thank you so much for this info.
So, if the goats area was cleared of snow they would be ok? We could easily do that. I have five acres but it's wooded not pasture. Would they be ok if I just fed them hay etc...during the summer too?
That should be plenty. This is a selenium deficient area. I'd do some research on selenium deficiency so that you know what to watch for. There are options such as minerals and BoSe injections.

Quote:
My friend had big goats (the kind with the weird slitted pupils) and they ate my hair all the time...they were so friendly and would run to the gate when I would visit. There's just something about goats...then when one gave birth they were running around wagging their tails. oooh I could have just scooped them all up.
Other species have slitted eyes too. It's probably partially due to needing excellent peripheral vision to aid in protection from predators, and to aid in the rough terrain non-domestic goats live on.

Other thoughts - leashing is great when the goats are with you. Many goats have strangled because they were tied out, got tangled and died when there wasn't anyone to watch them. Goats that are tied up can't run from predators.

Manners matter. Biting and butting people isn't ok. Goats have teeth that are designed to strip leaves from trees. They're sharp. I have scars from a biter. Even as small as the pygmy doe was, those horns hurt. If ill mannered goats catch people off guard someone could be hurt.

If you buy kids and want them disbudded have it done for you before you take them home. I disbud with an iron after they've had a tetnus shot. It's not as horrible as it sounds. They could go back to the herd immediately and be banging heads 30 minutes after it's done. (I think I still have a disbudding iron, a clamp and bands I'll never need again. They're free to anyone who can use them.)

Goats are precocious breeders. I didn't know this in the beginning and lost a doe because she was bred at four months. At nine months she was still too small to deliver the huge singleton. Twins would have been better because they'd have been smaller but it wasn't. I had no ideas babies could reproduce so young.

If you opt for wethers as pets you should have them neutered. They can be banded or (sorry guys) have the vessels leading to the testicles crushed with a Burdizzo. I banded with one exception. My first goat was well endowed and couldn't be banded when I got him at five months.

Goats are herd animals. Herd animals get lonely without companions. They're like Lays, you can't have just one. Two is company, three's a lot of fun and what the heck, 16 was fun too (most of the time).
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,969 posts, read 11,132,103 times
Reputation: 5240

Buddy and Brekke, Autumn of '06.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quiet walker View Post
Every evening my friends bang a pan and the little guys come running and they get their daily human provided meal. They are companion animals, not raised for meat. And they are "real" pigs not the pet kinds, although they are pretty slim and well proportioned animals, nice colors.
I had pet pigs. Matty and Penny were seven feet long from snout to the tips of their tails. They were loose when the garden wasn't planted and never went far. They spent weeks sleeping on a pile of hay in the back yard after I had hay delivered. A couple of bales broken, they found the hay and bedded down. We gave them more as it broke down. There were people parked by the house watching them all the time. They were Gloucestershire Old Spots, a critically rare breed. They were like 600 lb lazy dogs.
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