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Goats (& Butter)

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Erin

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I've been thinking over what animals I'd like on my (very distant) future homestead, and I thought goats might be a good idea, but I don't know much about them. Primarily, I was wondering what you can do with goat milk - I don't eat dairy much in general, simply because it's not especially tasty to me, but I adore butter. Do people make goat butter? What's it taste like? I assume the milk can be used much the same as cow milk, and I know that goat cheese is a thing, but given that those aren't very common in my diet I'm more curious about if goats can be used as a source for butter.
 

Peanut

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Poultry is a must for a homestead, as least below the arctic circle. Meat and eggs are a hard combo to beat.

Guinea fowl are a great alarm system, another good addition. Geese make a great alarm system also. They have also been know to run strangers out of people's yards.. Geese eat a lot of grass. My dad tells me of a great aunt of his who lived out in texas. She maintained a huge flock of geese she leased to farmers to clean grass out of cotton fields, made a living from it. This was before ww2 when tractors weren't that common. Just keep them out of your corn patch when it's small. I've had geese, like them. Guinea fowl are noisy buggers.

A donkey is another good addition. They eat very little and are a holy terror when it comes to keeping coyotes away from your livestock. They can be used for light burdens, skidding up firewood etc. I'm down to one horse and one donkey. If I had to get rid of one it'd be the horse. I like that donkey.

My experience with goats is limited except to say... I've never seen a pen that a goat couldn't get out of. Annoying in that respect.

At the end of the day I'd recommend getting what is best for your unique situation. Do a little reading on all the common farm critters, then pick and choose. An educated choice is always better than a blind guess.
 
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Amish Heart

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Goats and ham radio are a good combo. There was an article I read in a ham radio mag, wish I remember what the group was called. But basically the goats were used as pack animals when going out to set up in high elevation areas.
 

Patchouli

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Goats can get sick quickly and go downhill rapidly, from what a couple people have told me. I had always wanted a few goats but at this point...
I see one or two in a field sometimes but they need their herd; don't they do better in numbers?
I researched sheep and thought I'd look into acquiring a few from an heirloom stock but my husband didn't like that idea either.
See if you can find someone willing to let you see how it's run to have goats or chickens.
I knew a teenager who wanted a flock of sheep but their set-up wasn't right for it. A neighboring sheep farmer allowed her to keep her smaller flock with theirs and she took care of hers, was completely responsible, had the tutoring from the shepherd and learned a great deal that way. Didn't have to make costly mistakes.
Sheep can also quickly succumb to illness.
Goat milk is preferable to cow milk for small humans. It doesn't cause as much allergic reaction. I don't drink milk, but if I had to, goat milk is a better choice. Goat milk can be used for other critters if needed too.
 

Peanut

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My experience with goats is limited except to say... I've never seen a pen that a goat couldn't get out of. Annoying in that respect.
This is too funny, I even heard about these 2 goats waaaay out here in the country...


Roaming rams charging at cars corralled at Tuscaloosa business
Updated 1:26 PM; Today 1:26 PM

A two-week search for two rams in Tuscaloosa ended Friday morning.

The rams had previously been spotted roaming in the city and then multiple people called 911 Friday morning to report the rams were running along Skyland Boulevard and were aggressively charging at vehicles in a car lot.

A worker at a business was able to get them into a gated area before animal control officers were notified. Animal control has been receiving calls of random ram sightings for weeks.

Rams 02.jpg
 

Weedygarden

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We didn't have goats, but there were sheep in our pasture when I was a young kid. They would always butt us and I was terrified of them. That and the banty rooster, animals can figure out how to scare the heck out of young children.
 

Patchouli

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Our first morning waking up in Texas, looked out the back windows and there was something looked a bit like those ram goats standing out in the back field at the edge of the woods. Apparently someone nearby had a few gamey critters and this one had escaped.
 

Peanut

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An old man down the road... great ol guy, everyone loved him. One year he bought some goats, a dozen or so. Goats being goats... They were out of the pasture all the time.

One would get killed in the highway every month or so. They didn't last much more than a year. He sold the last 3 he had... I felt bad for him. He liked his goats but there has yet to be a fence invented that will hold a goat.

One day I'd stopped to talk to him. He'd put up a new fence by the road just like this fence. While we were talking I saw a little goat barely 2ft tall climb the fence like it was a ladder then jump over when it got to the top... goats are amazing climbers.

goat 01.jpg
 
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