How much does a goat cost?
This is important to know if you are thinking about getting goats. I mean, you can’t really add something to your life without knowing what the cost will be….
Milking goats will of course be on your list of farm chores if you are breeding dairy goats. In addition to knowing what goat milking supplies are needed and how to milk your goat, you will also need to know what to watch for in case your goats experience decreased milk production. There are several reasons that your goats might have decreased milk production – some are normal and inevitable while others could mean that your goats need some change or attention. So, let’s review, shall we?
Now that you know some of the causes of decreased milk production in milking goats, you can be sure to keep your girls in tip, top producing states! Drop us a comment below if you have any questions.
Whether you are just looking at goats for sale or you already have registered goats, you may look at these goat pedigrees and think – What the heck do all those letter, numbers and symbols mean? We sure did when we first started looking at goats. Reading goat pedigrees can definitely be a little like reading a foreign language. However, it is important to understand your goat’s pedigree. Afterall, you are paying more to get a goat with a pedigree, right? Then you should make sure that it is a pedigree that you want.
Ok, so you might see a pedigree that looks something like this:
SG GCH Waterloo Pond RHP Nutmeg 3*M VEEE90 (this is the dam of our buck The Winter Solider).
There are 4 parts to this title. Of note, this pegree above is ADGA only. AGS, another popular registry, has similar programs/designations with different ways to notate them.
Typically the first few letters will be designations or titles that the goat has achieved. In this example, the SG and the GCH are designations.
SG stands for Superior Genetics and indicates that she in in the top 15% of the breed for the PTI. (For more on Superior Genetics, check out the ADGA site here.)
The GCH represents that she is a grand champion. (This would reflect as ARMC or MCH in AGS and is called master or permanent champion). You could also see CH which represents a Champion.
After any top designations in your goats pedigree, you will see the goats full, registered name. The first part of the name will be the herd name (the farm that bred the goat). In our example above, it is Waterloo Pond. This will be followed by the goats name. In this example, Nutmeg. Of note, you may see initials, like the RHP in our example. Often times, these initials indicate a sire, dam or some other means of tracking the goats history. These are not required, but some people choose to use them. You may also see more elaborate names like one of our girls: Lil Mtn Karamel Moonlight. In these instances, most goats will also have a call or herd name that is shorter. In this case, it is Kara.
The next piece you will often see are *M or *D. These indicate that a goat has achieved an award for milk production (these can be either based on volume or milk components). M is used in ADGA while D is used in AGS. In bucks, you will see *B or *S and also +B and +S – they earn these based on daughters or dam’s performance. In our original example above you will see 3*M. The number before the * indicates that she is a third generation star earner.
The last piece you will see tagged onto a goat pedigree is their conformation scores or classification. In our example above, she has a Linear Appraisal Score (ADGA program) of VEEE90. The V’s and E’s represent different structural categories she is rated on. AGS also uses a similar program. If a goat has been judged in the AGS program, you will likely see just a letter and number such as E90.
Ok, whew! So, now that you know all the letters, numbers and symbols, you should be able to better understand a goat’s pedigree. And of course, if you are looking at the whole pedigree including the goats dam, sire, dam’s dam and so on, you will be able to see what traits trend in their ancestry. This will hopefully allow you to make purchase decisions to help you get to the goals you are trying to achieve with your goats.
Good quality hay is a main supply for your goats. Figuring out what to look for when choosing hay can be difficult at first. When we first looked for hay for our goats, we didn’t know anything about hay. It’s easy to assume that hay is just hay. But, in reality hay comes in many different qualities. It is especially important particularly if you are feeding goats or horses (which can be sensitive to certain things) to know how to choose a high quality hay.
Once you have your high quality hay, you will also want to make sure you have a nice hay feeder to put it in for your animals so that they can easily eat it!
When you have goats, they will of course need hay in addition to other supplies. The thing about hay is that it can be difficult to find. Finding a high quality hay can be especially hard. Also, depending on your area, high quality hay can become very cost prohibitive. If you can’t find hay, your hay quality is lacking or the price of your hay is too high Chaffhaye might be a good answer for you!
I have to admit something, we just wrapped up our first round of kidding season (one round left) and we are already battling with our goat breeding planning for next year. Has anyone else ever felt this pressure? We are all working hard to make the right breeding decisions to improve our herd, but WHAT should those decisions be?
For real ya’ll, getting your goats bred by identifying your goat heat signs and preparing for kidding season are both a piece ‘o cake compared to deciding what doe should get paired with which buck. There are so many factors to take into account: …