Advice needed

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by steffb, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. steffb

    steffb New Member

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    I have made a big decision. I am planning to drastically reduce my herd. I have many goats just not giving me enough milk. If it is costing me $3 a day in grain to feed them they need to give me at least 6 pounds of milk a day. Unless they are nursing kids then 3 pounds min. in the morning. Mostly because they are smaller than the others and have no milk in their bloodlines. I have about 6-8 does giving me well over 4 lbs each morning. It seems like I can make just as much money selling milk from 8 does and only feeding 8 does as I can selling a little bit more milk but feeding twice as many does.
    I do have some camps here in the summer that always buy goats and they prefer small ones. I do not have the market for pet goats. Between now and July should I switch their feed over to say an all stock at 10% and continue to get as much milk as they give or stop all grain and dry them up.
    Your advice is much appreciated.
     
  2. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    You can't sell a dry dairy goat here, if they aren't a baby, customers want to know why she is not in milk. So what is your market? Will they purchase dry does?

    I can't believe with all of the back to the land movement across this country with impending talk of depression, not just recession that you can't sell your does as family milkers. You might want to put an ad in your largest city paper near you and see if anyone bites. A tame, milkstand ready doe, especially one who is being used for exactly what they want, perhaps do up a brochure for them, and send them here...tons of help with their first goat project...that sells goats. Then you could sell them now. Vicki
     

  3. steffb

    steffb New Member

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    I do not feel comfortable selling them as milker if they are not giving much milk. I am usually happy with about a 1/2 gallon per goat, so these gals are not even up to my low standards.
    I live in a strange area, close enough to NYC to get the customer base for raw milk but too close for there to be much interest in livestock.
    My market for these gals would be camps and petting zoos so they do not need to be in milk but need to be tame and friendly, they are.
     
  4. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Steff.........It kinda sounds like your caught up somewhere in between the milk market, and the goat market.....and that you have a few goats that are caught up somewhere in between making production, and just not carrying their weight.
    ........so I suspect you are right that you would be making more with just the 8. Those 8 are making you a little money, and the rest are eating into those 8 Gal's profits.
    The milk market is good down here, but the goat market still stinks around here locally......so I'm caught in the middle too it seems. I know of a pretty good registered nubi doe in milk, that went through the sell barn last week, and sold for a whopping $57.....and this was not your every day sell barn goat either.( and the dummy that sold her was offered $150 for her at his place the week before).
    I'm not sure what some of us are gonna do if it stays like this, but we know that we are gonna have to market some kids if we continue to freshen these doe's.
    I'm keeping things very small around here for now, and only plan to freshen 4 doe's next Spring. This will at least help keep my feed bill small until things get better.
    I've been watching these folks talk on here for a while now, and have come to the conclusion that the somewhere in between area is the worst place to be. You either carry enough goats that it pays enough to transport your product, or you carry just enough to provide product to the folks that come to you. Try to hang in there, as many of us are gonna have to learn how to manage our goats with a little sharper pencil....kinda like Vicki does every day of the year at her place.

    Best wishes, Whim
     
  5. Patty13637

    Patty13637 New Member

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    If they were mine and I was worried about finding them good homes I would make them into sausage. I will not send some animals to auction when I feel I owe them something better. It is much better for them and me to give them a bullet to the head while they are grazing. I know they were treated well and then they put healthy meat on my table.


    Patty
     
  6. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Patty.....you make a good point. I would rather eat them, than to see them drug around from pillar to post like some piece of trash.
    Whim
     
  7. steffb

    steffb New Member

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    I really put down on paper what it costs me per goat. That includes feed , hay, vet, minerals, supplements, gas to get feed and hay and everything else.
    I do not pay any property taxes, rent or utilities.

    example #1
    A doe who milks well (8 lbs a day) and kids with twins
    She costs $950.00 a year to keep
    She has the potential(my milk market) to bring in $2400.00 a year plus $150.00 if both kids get sold.
    $2400.00
    + 150.00
    -------------
    2500.00
    -950.00
    -----------
    $1550.00

    potentially a profit of $1550.00
    Now much of that milk is consumed by us or the pigs if it doesn't sell. Winter is slow here in the milk dept.
    But she still has the potential. Not her fault if the milk does not sell.

    example #2

    A doe who milks only 4 lbs she usually only has a single kid
    She has the potential to bring in $750.00 in milk plus one kid at $75.00
    It still costs $950.00 a year.
    So I loose $200.00 on each of these girls.

    My biggest problem is in the spring , summer and fall i can sell around 15 gallon a day. But in the winter, when there is the most milk I sell hardly any. Also my kid market is easter. If They do not deliver end of Dec. or early Jan. I miss the market and have all these extra kids.
    Next year it will be different as I am going to have the cheese license and can use all the extra milk for that.
     
  8. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    It still costs $950.00 a year.
    .................

    I can't imagine this. I just did taxes and this would take care of two big nubian does and one kid I am wanting to keep out of one of them. And my girls are good milkers, in excellent shape and healthy.

    As you cull out these poor milkers, use the money to invest in a few great milkers, does that you can then resell their kids for the price of their keep for the year. Then look into your management program on how to trim down fluff. In most instances when I take that sharp pencil Whim was talking about to someones herd, they are feeding fluff. You add kid sales and more milk with purebred stock to your farm, even with ADGA fees, you would be further ahead the first year. Vicki
     
  9. steffb

    steffb New Member

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    How I got to the 950.00
    Feed costs $.23 a pound
    I feed 2 lbs 2x a day
    that's $1.00 - feed

    Hay costs $3 a bale I feed 5 bales to 20 goats
    that's $ . 75 a day per goat

    I added $1 a day for everything else, Milk filters, paper towels, meds, vet, fencing, worming, gas to get feed and hay. That does not include water, electric or property taxes.

    $2.75 X 300 = $825.00
    $1.75.00 X 65 = $113.50
    Total = $938.50
    close enough to $950.00

    I do keep very careful records, when it comes to money.
    In the past we had a few goats as a hobby it paid for itself and that was enough. Now trying to turn it into a business, I put it all down on paper.
    Heck I use 1 roll of paper towels every single day out in the barn. It really adds up.
    I do not have a market for kids as milker but I do have a growing market for kids as meat but only in the spring. This works out fine. Any kid will do it does not matter who the parents were. It does not matter what they look like. It does not matter what breed they are.
    So last year I purchased a buck from some nice milkers. He sired a buck with one of my good milkers. So I am now keeping the two young bucks and getting rid of my older unknown origin buck.
     
  10. Patty13637

    Patty13637 New Member

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    Stef you should not be keeping any bucklings from your breedings right now. You just do not have enough milk .

    While some cross breds will milk very well after 2 out crosses {I think 1} you loose highbred vigor.

    You should be using bucks bred for milk. You can even bred father to daughter from ones that milk well.

    You do not have to spend a fortune to get a good healthy milker . My girls all milk 1 gallon plus dry I spent 200.00 at most . I just got 2 bred does from really nice milk/show lines with lots of sg in there pedigrees they cost 350.00 each but remember they are bred to really good bucks.

    Sell them eat them do whatever but get them out of your herd. Decide on which breed or 2 breeds you want .Buy the best buck you can afford. Maybe buy a doeling or 2.

    Look around for bulk grain dealers and see if you can get better prices. Hay bought out of the field is cheaper than out of a barn . Look around now not in a month.

    Patty
     
  11. Sunny Daze

    Sunny Daze New Member

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    Does hay get any cheaper than $3 a bale?? :biggrin
     
  12. Patty13637

    Patty13637 New Member

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    Yep we pay 1.00 out of the field and even bought it out of barns for 1.00


    Patty
     
  13. stacy adams

    stacy adams New Member

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    Selling a doe in milk, even if she is a poor milker for you, may be just what some other family wants. As long as you let them know up front what she's producing, why should you feel bad? Put a decent price on her that reflects that (1st) she's in milk, and (2nd) that she's not pumping out a gallon. She may just make some small family a nice milker. :D
     
  14. steffb

    steffb New Member

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    First off I do not live in an area where people want family milkers.
    Second I do know of folks who sell hay off the field, their goats all died from listeria this past year, the hay in the field was moldy. Besides I do not have room to store more than a weeks worth. maybe a month certainly not 1500 bales.
    I might be able to trim the everything else down to $ .50 a day per goat but to think that things don't pop up would not be realistic. That is from a business point of view.
     
  15. Patty13637

    Patty13637 New Member

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    Buying hay off the field means picking it up the day it is made. It also can mean when its in the wagon and not yet in someones barn. If hay is rained on when baled its no good. We have left it in the field over night the bottom gets damp but you turn it let it dry for a few hours and you are good to go.

    Living week to week or month to month buying hay would be scary for me. I would look into the cheapest way to get storage. It may cost up front but would put my mind at ease the rest of the year.


    Patty
     
  16. steffb

    steffb New Member

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    I do have storage, it is just 10 miles down the road at my friends house who grows the hay. It is my hay I store it there and pay for it as I pick it up. I cannot imagine any one being able to sell a bale of hay for $1 with the cast of fuel I am sure that will change quick.
     
  17. Patty13637

    Patty13637 New Member

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    It will probally be higher this year but maybe .50 cents. remeber I am almost in Canada. If fuel was not so high I would suggest you coming for a visit.

    Have you consider the Vernon auction ? How about one of the ones empire runss ? i was at are small auction yesterday and a doe in milk brought 50.00 She was nothing to look at mix breed with horns and a small bag.

    If there is any more holiday sales coming up that is were you should go. New Holland Pa brings the best prices around these parts. Nice ridse and then you can skip over to do some good eating and shopping in lancaster. It takes me 6 hours it should be less for you.

    Patty
     
  18. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

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    Don't forget to advertise on the internet that you have some milkers for sale. I have several times had people drive several hours to get a milker because no one in their area had one for sale or the ones that I had were cheaper then the ones in their area, even after adding the cost of gas. Just be up front about what they are milking. You might be suprised and you have nothing to lose. Well, just a little time answering emails. ;)
    Theresa
     
  19. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    WOW. $1 for a bale of hat? IMPOSSIBLE! Here in Virginia I paid a MINIMUM of $7.50 a bale for hay all winter long and am feeding 6 horses and 5 adult goats! Local hay was impossible to find due to the drought and so hay had to be brought into the area. I just bought some nice alfalfa for $9.50 for 55 pound bales. I also bought some bagged alfalfa for $16 a bag, with a weight of 50 pounds. My hay dealer says hay prices are going to go up this year, even without another drought due to the high price of diesel fuel and fertilizer (made from petroleum,,,,yuk.) I think we are all in for a severe belt tightening. On a positive note though, more people are thinking of growing their own food. I even heard radio programs urging people to do that. Goats are small animals well suited to family life and sustainable farming. Maybe we'll be able to find better markets through those folks, wanting to "get off the grid" and become more self-sufficient. One can always hope.
    Good luck. Anita
     
  20. pokyone42

    pokyone42 New Member

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    950.00 per goat per year? If our goats cost THAT much, we would have to sell them all ! WOW! We spent 150.00 per goat this past year, and decided that was WAY too much! (we were also wayy overfeeding grain, but did not realize it until fairly recently.) Ideally, our does will produce twins, and between their babies and the milk they produce, will pay for themselves, as well as a little extra. I cannot imagine spending an average of 950.00 per doe, each year! We also are limiting hay, now, as well.... Last year our goats did not have to leave the barn, but could stuff themselves on the hay that we put into the hayracks every morning and evening. Well, the weather is nice now... their huge pasture is growing very nicely, and so we are not putting hay out during the day...........and they all actually go OUT and GRAZE!!!!!!!! lol! It is almost amazing to see them!So, we are hoping, just by changing our hay habits, that maybe this year, making our own hay may be enough, and that we will not have to pay high prices during the winter to buy it, (as we did this past winter.) ! So far, our goats are doing great on this new plan... (tho they think they are terribly abused.. ) How DARE we make them get up, and go out to EAT! lol. All are milking as good as expected, and all of the fat ones are slimming down nicely! :)