Forgive me if this is has been brought up before
I'm sure it, like everything else has been discussed in one thread or another...
But, to those of you who raise dairy goats...
I've been offered a currently milking 2 year old Nubian doe, and her kid, a wether (also full Nubian) for $125. For both of them. I have to let the seller know this week, or the goats go the sale barn
. I know its a heck of a deal price-wise, but I have other concerns. (they are not, to the best of my knowledge, registered) I am a complete newbie with goats - but I have raised sheep before. I've learned much through the mistakes I made with them
(unfortunately), but there is much I need to learn, and could use advice.
First I have to see if it's possible economically for us. I need to know what other additional start up costs I'll have to pay, excluding building a shelter, at first.
For a temporary shelter, I'll have access to a barn my grandmother kept katadhin sheep in before she died in 1998. It's been a few years since any animals have been housed there, so it is in some need of minor repairs. But it's weather tight and made for animals about the size of a goat, so I think it will do fine for now. Though I'd rather have them closer to my house, we'll be able to house them there until we are able to build housing and put up fencing here. Grandma's house is about 1/4 mile down the road.
I'm assuming we'll keep them there until we're able to save up the money or scrounge the materials we'll need to build a shelter here. What are the requirements for goat housing? I've seen some very well done housing at http://fiascofarm.com/goats
, but I don't have anywhere near the kind of money it would take to build such a structure, much as I might love to have one. So, what can I get away with for now (warm weather), that I could add to as needed when cooler weather approaches?
I want it definitely to be secure from predators, as I've had the unfortunate experience of dogs killing several sheep I had several years ago (at a different place). Any creative construction ideas to save money? (I'm thinking pallets
As for milking itself, what do I need for home dairying? I've read that you must use stainless steel. Is this true? If so, that seems like it would be an expense, as I don't have it at present. What other items are essential to have from day one? Any ideas of the cost? or, places to barter or get equipment cheaply?
Finally, what do you feed your goats, and what do you estimate that your monthly expense would be in buying feed, supplements, etc.
Sorry if I ask too much
, but I've got to let this lady know if I want the goats in the next couple days... I'd really love to get them, but honestly don't know if we'll be able to afford to maintain them, even with the added benefit of the dairy we'll receive. I'd love
for someone to convince me that we can