Where to start!

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Member for

1 year 1 month
Last seen: 03/08/2018 - 21:05
Joined: 12/06/2017 - 12:20

Where to start!

Hi, I have recently retired (at 50 - lucky me), and I am wanting to start farming goats on our property just out of Roma, QLD. We have 22 hectares and are currently having them goat fenced. My husband will be working full time so it will fall to me to set up and farm with the odd bit of input from him lol! Neither of us have ever farmed, but have lived rurally most of our lives, myself in NZ and my husband in the Toowoomba region. Where do we start for advice?

Cheers,

Lynda

Forums
Last seen: 11/05/2018 - 12:47
Joined: 11/23/2011 - 09:38

Hello Grapeview,

Barb Vincent here. How can I help. I am the author of Farming Meat Goats: Breeding, Production and Marketing.  There isn't a lot I don't know about goats. So fire away with any questions you have. First off, goats are the most mischievous, funny, lovable,  but cheeky animals you will ever have anything to do with. Just fire away with any questions you may have, remembering that no question is silly or dumb. The basics of goat husbandry are: Fencing suitable for goats, because they just think that cattle fencing is a laugh. So that box is ticked. The next is water requirements. Ordinarily around 5 L a day for an adult, but up to 12 L in summer for a lactating doe. Next feed: DO NOT give ad lib. Molasses as it will kill them if they eat too much by blocking the glucose uptake in the brain. Any new grains or whatever that they are introduced to must be started off slowly i.e. 125 gr each building up to about 400-500 grMax. They love hay but will waste most of lucern hay, so better to give them a hay that is Oaten hay, Rhodes grass hay, or mixed grassy/lucern hay etc Buy hay in summer when it is 1/2 the price or less than what it will be in winter. I would guess that you don't have very cold winters in Roma, but the goats will still appreciate a lean- to  or small she for when the weather is bad. Certain trees and shrubs are poisonous, so check back with me if you are planting trees and shrubsl that the goats can get at. You can put guards around the trees three star pickets with mesh or shade cloth around them at leas 30 cm wider than the furthest reach of a goat at full stretch, when they are trying to get at them. Drench goats before they come onto the property at the place where you are buying them. Don't take their word for it that they have drenched them, because the parasite and worm eggs are passed out in the droppings. The drench used should be an oral drench for goats. Albendazol is the cheapest and the most effective as it will also treat fluke. O.k. that's enough info for a start.

The 2nd edition of my new goat husbandry book for CSIRO will be out next April, but I think that the 1st Edition is still available on cd. You would have to check.  Please get back to when you need to as I am only too happy to help. I love my goats. Barb

Last seen: 03/08/2018 - 21:05
Joined: 12/06/2017 - 12:20

Hi Barb,

Thanks for the great reply! We have been a bit busy with Xmas but I am keen to get sorted with my goats now. I visited a local goat property, near Injune. The owner is Glen Telford who also loves goats and used to be heavily involved in goat research (maybe for MLA)? We are going to get 7+ mixed goats from him to start with (a couple are in kid) so we may leave them at his place until after they give birth. We talked about getting a Maremma dog, which he thought was a great idea as he thinks from time to time dingo's/ foxes or humans, take his goats and he never knows or feels that they are safe. Fortuotously a lady 75 kms from us, adverstised this morning on the local buy, swap an sell FB site, with Maremma puppies! So I think it is all coming together. We will time the arrival of the goats wth the arrival of the puppy so they grow up together and the dog learns his role immediately.

We do have cold winters (down to minus 4 - but quickly getting up to 20 by the afternoon). I hope to have a shelter in each paddock as well as a climbing structure to eleviate their boredom :0)

We have our own bore with troughs in each paddock. We hope to build a platform on the cattle ones so that the kids can reach the water (the horse ones near the house are quite low so should be ok? 

We bought our property 2 years ago and the previous owners were very horse oriented - we are not. They built a purpose built impliment shed that you can drive a gooseneck horse truck through, it has a motor winch and 3 covered stables that open to the outside, and into an arena. I plan to utilise these for the goats. We have a cattle crush and yards about 500m away in another paddock and I am tempted to bring them into the same yard (arena). Glen is coming for a visit soon, and will give me some advice I hope. All the trees on the property are edible (and in fact we are hoping the goats will clear out a lot of the new growth of gums (1-2m high). The other trees are all well established and will cope with any "chewing" they might be subject to. The house paddock will be double fenced if need be, as that is where all the gardens are that might be 'too tempting'. :0)

I have much to learn and am very excited (as is my husband after yesterdays visit to the goat farm). I have started some of the modules on the MLA website under "Getting Started with Goats". It is a wonderful resource. I hope to purchase your 1rst edition too. I am pleasantly surprised at the available resourses, that are pretty much free! It must be a refletion of the passion of the Goat Farming community :0).

I would love to cme for a visit to see how you do things - if this is something you would be interested in? I can stay in your local town and visit if this suits :0)

Thanks again,

Lynda Fletcher

Last seen: 07/10/2018 - 18:14
Joined: 07/03/2018 - 18:18
Hi Lynda, I'm curious to find out how you are getting on with your new venture. I too am hoping to get into small scale farming but not sure as what yet.. I love reading about other peoples experience and hope to learn a thing or two. Thanks Terry

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