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Idahoan here

 
Amy Christensen
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So I'm starting to learn about goats, as a child, my mom would buy a milking doe to raise a calf on a pair of them, then sell the goats. The next year the calf would be ready for slaughter. Saved us from having to make bottles/milk. So how many acres do you need per goat?
 
Deborah Niemann
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There is no single recommendation on number of goats per acre because an acre in Idaho is not the same as an acre in Arizona or Florida. In fact, my acres are not even the same as someone a couple miles down the road from me. Also, goats are not grazers like cattle, so if you have an area with brush or baby trees, they'll love that way more than a pristine pasture! Goats are pretty adaptable, and I know a family in Chicago that has three milkers in their city yard. Of course, they are feeding hay year round, but it works, and they get fresh milk year round.

If I'm understanding your post correctly, that's pretty amazing that your mom was able to find a goat that would let a calf nurse! I wouldn't count on being able to do that reliably. Most goats will not let another kid nurse, so another species is really unusual. Also, calves are VERY rough on the udder. We also have had a few cattle over the course of 10 years or so, and I'd be worried about a calf damaging a goat's udder and/or teats, and you could wind up with mastitis. This is actually one of the arguments you hear for cow dairies removing calves at birth, but it doesn't happen nearly as often with goats. In fact, I've never had it happen with 450 kids born here.
 
Amy Christensen
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Deborah Niemann wrote:There is no single recommendation on number of goats per acre because an acre in Idaho is not the same as an acre in Arizona or Florida. In fact, my acres are not even the same as someone a couple miles down the road from me. Also, goats are not grazers like cattle, so if you have an area with brush or baby trees, they'll love that way more than a pristine pasture! Goats are pretty adaptable, and I know a family in Chicago that has three milkers in their city yard. Of course, they are feeding hay year round, but it works, and they get fresh milk year round.

If I'm understanding your post correctly, that's pretty amazing that your mom was able to find a goat that would let a calf nurse! I wouldn't count on being able to do that reliably. Most goats will not let another kid nurse, so another species is really unusual. Also, calves are VERY rough on the udder. We also have had a few cattle over the course of 10 years or so, and I'd be worried about a calf damaging a goat's udder and/or teats, and you could wind up with mastitis. This is actually one of the arguments you hear for cow dairies removing calves at birth, but it doesn't happen nearly as often with goats. In fact, I've never had it happen with 450 kids born here.

Hi Deborah! Thanks for the reply! Yes that makes sense about the number of goats per acre. I currently rent pasture for my horses as the whole place with house, shop, and outbuildings comes to almost two acres. Not nearly enough for my plans lol. As far as mom, she would put two goats in the milking staunches and let the calf nurse while the girls would eat their grain. She weaned the calf at a couple months old, and then sold the goats. She never wanted to be a goat farmer, she just needed an inexpensive way to raise a calf to a butchering weight. Yes I understand about mastitis. I think I just want a couple for goat's milk for my soaps that I make. Vs going to the store for that canned crap. Lately I've been trading a friend of mine for her fresh goat milk with soap, so the purchase/implementation of goats around the place has come to a stand still. I do think they would be beneficial ditch weed eaters lol. I may have to borrow a couple to stake out along my over grown ditch banks.
Thanks again! Amy
 
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