We are looking into getting our first goats. We definitely want dairy goats, at least at first, with the option of putting the extra bucks born every year into the freezer. I know that there are several breeds of goats that are good for milk, I'm just not sure which one we should go with, nor do I know the best place to get our first goats. We live in north east Texas, just outside of Longview. I've tried contacting several folks listed in the East Texas Goat Raisers Association at www.etgra.com and have received zero response. I just emailed them, didn't call them, so I'll try that next. Any input would be much appreciated guys. We will also be using our goats to help us clear some land for further development as it's very overgrown and from everything I've read, they love to browse on shrubbery and vines and what not.
If you want milk and meat, one of the standard size goats would be a good option. If you want the milk to make cheese, Nubians have the highest butterfat, averaging about 4.5% over the course of a lactation. Nubians are also unofficially considered a dual-purpose goat by many, as they tend to have pretty meaty kids. If you need a couple gallons a day to drink, Alpines and Saanens tend to be the bucket busters, but be sure to buy from someone who milks and is on milk test or at least keeps barn records and can give you a good idea of what to expect. I had a friend who bought an Alpine many years ago who milked less than some of my Nigerians, which is really sad.
Professional breeders have websites with pedigrees, milk records, birthing info, info on disease testing, etc on each goat. Yes, they charge a little more, but you have a better idea of what you're getting. Stay away from Craigslist and sales barns as it's impossible for a newbie to realize whether you're getting a good deal or not. People who just want to get rid of a problem will sell it through those routes. Also, diseases such as CAE and Johnes may not have obvious symptoms in the early stages, and they are highly contagious to other goats, so they could wipe out your whole herd by purchasing a problem.
posted 4 years ago
So, what your saying is that I should get Nubians and from a professional breeder? Ok, any suggestions on how to find a reputable breeder?
Search online for the breed you want and your area, such as Nubians in Austin, Texas or Nubians in Rhode Island (if you live in a smaller state), and you should find some websites of breeders near you.
Another thing to consider is what your land is like. A big heavy dairy goat may not cope as well on very steep scrubby land as something more compact. We had a British Saanen who had such an enormous udder that she struggled to walk on anything but flat ground - needless to say she didn't stay.
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more, it's a tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work