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Goats - where to find a buck, and where to find a goat-sitter?

 
R Manly
Posts: 8
Location: St Albans, ME
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Hi there!

Very excited to join this forum - so much great information and great people on here!

We have two does that we are planning on breeding this fall, but are having a hell of a time finding a buck. How do y'all find your bucks?

Also, I am in Oregon and my partner is in Maine on the farm with the goats - we are trying to get him out to Oregon for a month or two this winter to work and visit, but that means we'll need to do something with our (hopefully pregnant) girls. Do you think it's reasonable to hope we could pay someone to incorporate our girls into their herd and care for them while we're gone? I figure, if you've got goats already, what's two more to look after?

Thank you,
Renee
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1532
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Hi Renee,

Welcome to Permies, and to the world of goats. I am in western Colorado. I find goats on the local craigslist, and wonder if that would work for you too. Also, there is a regional resources forum as part of the permies website.

Here is a link to the "eastern USA" page. You could start a thread looking for nearby goat resources if you wanted.

http://www.permies.com/forums/f-37/eastern-usa

I have taken my goats to board with another goat keeper when I leave town. It just seems to me that someone who knows goats will keep a better eye out,a nd know what to do if something is amiss, than having someone stop by once a day to throw some alfalfa into the feeder. Where I take my girls, they ask me to bring my own hay, and they charge me per goat per day.

Thekla
 
R Manly
Posts: 8
Location: St Albans, ME
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That's good to know that there *are* goat keepers out there willing to board. Somehow hadn't even thought of craigslist, even though that's how we found one of our girls.

Thank you, Thekla!

 
Thekla McDaniels
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Posts: 1532
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Craigslist is great, though it pays to be careful. Plenty of people I have dealt with regarding goats tell as little as possible, so that if you don't ask the exactly right question, there are things you won't know, and some folks won't even tell what they know even then.

When I sell a goat I have the idea that I want to goat to have the best possible home, so I tell all her idiosyncrasies, and why she does not fit in my operation. IMO, that's the kind of person you want to find as owners of the bucks you are looking for, AND for possible foster home.

It is no guarantee of knowledge or integrity that a person is on permies, but there is a common starting place with permaculture influence if you find someone through the regional forums I linked to above. Also, on the regional page, someone who knows someone might also help out with information and contacts. Not likely to ge tthat on craigslist.

Good luck!
 
R Manly
Posts: 8
Location: St Albans, ME
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Yeah I don't really trust craigslist to find a place to board our girls - finding a buck for stud or goats for sale, sure, but I'd rather find someone in person for someone caretaking our animals. There's a livestock swap coming up locally, hoping we might find someone there for either or both needs, or even posting something up at the hardware store. I just know that people troll craigslist looking to exploit people & animals.

Same - I come from a dog rescue background and the best way to make sure an animal keeps their new home is being totally honest about what someone is getting themselves in for. I'd rather hear that an animal is obnoxious in some ways than that they're perfect - I trust that a lot more!

Thank you!
 
susan vita
Posts: 71
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I'm a long time goat keeper who farm sits in Vermont. I'd be happy to help if I can fit you into my schedule.

Cats, dogs, horses, sheep and fowl are all creatures I have experience caring for--I don't milk or garden though!
 
Ann Torrence
steward
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Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
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See if you can find out who did well at the state fair in the goat category you are breeding for (dairy, meat, hair). Even the herds that produced the champion does have a buck in the background somewhere
 
R Manly
Posts: 8
Location: St Albans, ME
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Susan, awesome! Where are you in VT? I'd like to find somewhere closer if possible just to minimize driving time but that might be doable.

Ann, good idea! I was looking at semen donors and hardly any of them talk about actual milk *production*. As someone from the dog world where a confirmation show win means literally nothing about the health and integrity of the animal, I am naturally suspicious of show animals. But perhaps dairy goat showing has a closer relationship to function than a show dog?
 
susan vita
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Lol, Im near St Albans Vermont!
let me know dates as soon as you can, my schedule is pretty full this fall and winter.
I'm happy to help a fellow permie and will give you my very best permie rate!
 
R Manly
Posts: 8
Location: St Albans, ME
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Susan,

what's your schedule looking like in mid-november to mid-december? also...you don't happen to have a dairy buck we could board them with, do you? the diciest thing with the time frame of our schedule is getting the goats bred. we don't need any fancy schmancy buck this year, just somebody who will make some healthy dairy breed kids. it'd be damned convenient if you happened to have a guy up at your place!
 
susan vita
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I don't have a buck for you i'm afraid. I sold my farm in 2013 and have no livestock or pets atm, which is why I can farm sit these days.

Head on over to equinesite.com and ask on their bulletin board, I bet someone near you knows someone with a buck.

Mid November through mid December should be fine, most of my bookings are for the holidays and January so far.
 
susan vita
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http://www.smdga.net/
 
R Manly
Posts: 8
Location: St Albans, ME
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Susan - I misunderstood - I don't think we could afford to pay someone to stay at our place and I don't think you'd want to house sit for us - no running water or electricity at our place and it's in reaaal rough shape (turns out houses don't like being abandoned for 15 years). I've never heard of goat boarding but I'm hoping it exists out there somewhere!

Thank you though! I will keep you in mind for the future.

I'd looked at the SMDGA before but couldn't find a list of farms but I see a little ad page on one of their tabs, now - I'm going to try contacting those people.
 
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