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Getting started with dairy goats.

If you are thinking about a goat for your homestead, then do read on. If you already have a doe and are happy, then "lucky you." If you have a doe that you wish you didn't have and would like to try it again, then this may be for you.

Ideally you will find a two-or three-year-old doe that has just kidded. You will get to see her manners on the milk stand and have "instant milk." And, in the perfect world, she will be in your price range.

Now, let's get real! Few of us live with such luck and most of us start with a doeling.

First question, where do we look?

Your local vet or feed dealer usually knows of local breeders, or look for ads in the homestead or dairy goat magazines. The local fair should bring out some nice stock for sale.

Which, breed is best? I believe the breed that is best for you is the breed that you like to see when you look across your field, or when you open your barn door. Even does of mixed breeding can be good milkers. She may be cheaper to purchase but remember her kids won't bring as much when you sell. Also remember that a mean natured doe is not a bargain at any price.

I'd look for a registered purebred doeling. In our area you would expect to pay about $75 for a very young doeling. She should be from a CAE free herd and have had her shots and be wormed and disbudded.

Goats love to be with people. Time spent with your little gal to teach her to get on the goat stand for grooming and some lead training is a wise investment. Our goats love to go with us on walks. It all comes back to you in a kind natured doe.

Add up the expenses to raise this little gal and you may decide that $150 to $200 for a good milker is not a bad idea after all.

But either way, "good luck and great milk!"

P.S. I'm owned by Nubians!
COPYRIGHT 1993 Countryside Publications Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Burrow, Barbara
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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