New Member in Conroe, TX

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by PatchofHeaven, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. PatchofHeaven

    PatchofHeaven New Member

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    Hi, I'm Dana and I live in Conroe, TX. I have a wonderful Husband and 2 sons. We live on 6 acres and right now only have chickens on our "Little Patch of Heaven." We have a dream to become more self efficient and stop being so dependent on Wal-Mart. We were looking into buying a milk cow, but just don't have the pasture land that a cow needs and I have never milked anything before. I have been on the Keeping the Family Cow board since last year and after reading, meeting, talking with several experienced milkmaids - I think that maybe I should start with something smaller - maybe a goat for my first dairy animal.

    So that's why I'm here, I'm researching what type of goat would be best for us to have for our family of 5 (my father-in-law also lives with us.) I'm not wanting to breed, show or sale any animals - just need a healthy milker to give us plenty of milk. I'd like also appreciate any advice on where to buy a milk goat. Someone told me to try the local 4-H club because sometimes they don't make the sell and the kids will sell their project goats after the show.

    Also, I love Goat Cheese, maybe one day I could learn to use the milk to make cheese...just dreaming right now, but maybe I'll be a milk maid in the near future.

    Any advice would be great...
    Thank you,
    Dana
     
  2. ecftoggs

    ecftoggs New Member

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    Dana,
    Good to have you here! You will definitely learned every thing you wanted to know abour goats here. There are some very good breeders on here from TX that can help you with your first goat.
    Tim
     

  3. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    Welcome. I second that about contacting one of the Texas goat breeders from this forum. Herd health is their priority and it's important to buy a healthy animal from a reputable breeder even if you do not plan to show. This time of year, I'm sure some will have first fresheners who they feel may not excel in the show ring, but will still make excellent family milkers. You'll need at least two goats because they are herd animals and are not happy alone. As for breed, that is a matter pf personal preference. I love the Nubians with their long ears. Their milk is good as well.
    Kathie
     
  4. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    Welcome, Dana! Boy did you come to the right place as there are quite a few here from Texas with excellent herds. I wish I lived closer. Lots of sound advice here. And yes...you definitely want to get at least 2 goaties to start. When you're ready hop over to the cheesemaking forum. I'm just starting in that dept. and they've been a big help.
     
  5. Katarina

    Katarina New Member

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    Welcome! You are about halfway between Vicki and us. Look forward to getting to know you and maybe get together!
     
  6. Keeperofmany

    Keeperofmany New Member

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    I will give a big welcome too even though I am so faraway from Texas. :welcome

    I have Nubians and love them. You will get such good advice here, the best you can get. So don't be shy, ask away whenever you have a problem.

    Wendy
     
  7. MRFBarbara

    MRFBarbara Guest

    Hello Dana and family, welcome to our forum..
    Barbara
     
  8. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

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    Hi Dana. Welcome to the forum, neighbor. You'll have to email me and tell me where you live. My daughter lives off of Porter Road near Mimms Baptist Church. I live near New Waverly, between Conroe and Huntsville. I raise Alpine Dairy Goats. They give more milk than the Nubians do, but the Nubians have more butterfat than Alpine Milk. I am milking only one Alpine right now. My other 2 are going to freshen tomorrow. The one doe is feeding a month and a half old boer doeling and her own 3 kids. She is giving over a gallon and a half of milk per day as that is what the kids are drinking. I give them a half a gallon morning, noon and night. So You can see with only a couple Alpines you could more than supply your milk needs for your family. Also, Ric Metts lives right outside of Conroe too and he raises Alpines also. I will have a couple of doelings for sale this year if my girls cooperate. :biggrin
     
  9. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    Hi Dana....Welcome to this forum.

    First let me say that I applaud your efforts to become less dependant on foreign goods.
    Second , let me say that I like the fact that you are planning ahead before just jumping into goats and not knowing anything about them.

    It appears from what you said, that you are pretty much wanting to supply fresh milk for your family, and really not much more.......maybe just a little extra to play around with.
    .....and yes , you really need to plan on getting 2 goats when you get started. One crying all the time wanting a companion will drive you up the wall, and IMO puts unwanted stress on a lonely goat.

    Now, there are several very good breeders and dairy goat breeds in your area....so you should be able to get quality animals without too much trouble......I really suggest that you privately PM some of these folks in your area, and ask them what they think about so and so before you purchase something.

    Now to get what you want, and what you need........I would do some figuring on about how much milk a week that you will be needing to meet all you milk needs. I figure this at my house this way. I have about a 4 month dry doe season here at my place through the winter.....so I know that a portion of my milk will need to be put in the freezer while my doe's are in milk. I put about 1/3 of what I milk in the freezer....in otherwords about every 3rd day goes there until my freezer is full. This will last me through allmost all the dry period. The rest is used up all along the way as daily fresh milk.

    Now, try to match up what you are gonna need in milk, with a couple of good production doe's that will meet that need, or just a little over that. You can always feed the left overs to the chickens, pigs and stuff.....so no waste.
    Feed makes milk, and feed is rather high priced right now. If you are making way more milk than you can use or sale, or whatever......then you are throwing feed away, and the money that you paid for it.
    There are many folks on this forum that can guide you well in making your efforts to be as stream line as you can get, and with very little waste.
    Many folks on here with only 2 or 3 milkers, and some on here with upwards of 80+ goats that run legitimate dairies. Last count that I had, there were some 2500 + dairy goats represented on this forum, and several hundred years of combined goating knowledge.

    I sincerely hope that we can help you get started off the right way........if you get started right , it will be hard to go wrong...but if you get started off wrong, you will be hard pressed to get it right.

    Best wishes ,,, WHIM
     
  10. coso

    coso Guest

    Welcome, This place is a wealth of information. Enjoy!!! :hi
     
  11. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Hi and Welcome!!
    Just to mix up the pie a bit LaMancha are sweet docile /quiet and produce a bunch of milk. Nubians are sometimes loud, but a very regal and also lovable goat that produce higher butter fat than most but don't always produce as much as a LaMancha or an Alpine. LeeAnne and Katie (Astronut1) have both Nubians and LaManchas
    Christine (above) has Alpines and Vicki has Nubians all of them are fairly close to you and I suggest visiting each of their farms to get an idea of what you want. See what is the easiest to milk etc etc etc. taste the milk from each. also Get to know each of them as all are wonderful I can attest to that personally. OH and you can't have just one goat. Has to be two or more.:)
     
  12. 2Sticks

    2Sticks New Member

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    Hi Dana,
    Welcome! You've come to the right place to learn and get good advice.

    Tamera
     
  13. Ravens Haven

    Ravens Haven New Member

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    Welcome! Yep I want to commend you on learning first and then leaping....

    Autumn
     
  14. Shykid Acres

    Shykid Acres Guest

    Welcome! I read everyone's replies so far and many of them suggested getting at least two. I totally agree with that. It is very important. What I did not see is that you do not need to get two milking goats. One can be a wether, which is a fixed male. They do not smell and can be very sweet and friendly. I had a few when younger. You can also have mini's, dwarfs, pygmy's. The list is endless. Keep strict watch on the hoped for milker's personality. You do not want an agressive, independent, stubborn thing. I had one of those too. She did not stay at our farm very long. Do your research on the different breeds of goats. There is a difference in average temperment and milk production.
    Again...I say welcome! Glad to have you on the forum. I am new to this site too.

    :hi

    -Kimberly
    Shykid Acres
     
  15. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Yep you are surrounded! Nubians, Lamancha's, Alpines, mini-mancha's.

    The only sale shows around here are boers, you don't want to milk a boer.

    Keep your wallet at home and visit everyone. Pick the breed you fall in love with, don't let anyone pressure you into a breed (OK I am the worst about this :)

    Welcome to the forum. Vicki
     
  16. pettigrewfarms

    pettigrewfarms New Member

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    :welcome you will enjoy it here.

    Deana
     
  17. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    OH yes be sure and look into the Mini-LaMancha which is a cross between a full blood LaMancha Doe and a Nigerian Dwarft Buck. they have a very high butterfat content because of the ND and have super temperments. My favorite of all and I have all 4 breeds mentioned here. LeeAnne (Quillmidwife)& Katie also have MM. Lynn in East TX has MM and LaMancha , Diane over between Austin and Vicki also has LaMancha and MM and if you want to come up to the DFW area I can show you LaMancha/ Nubian/Mini Mancha/Nigerian Dwarf and a rotten Alpine who is not something you want or for that matter she would only be to look at for what you don't want.:)
     
  18. Narrow Chance

    Narrow Chance New Member

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    Hi ya Dana.. welcome to the forum!!
     
  19. PatchofHeaven

    PatchofHeaven New Member

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    Wow! Everyone is so friendly here - Thank you for all of the information and I do want to contact the members in my area and see their goats and farms.

    My Uncle lives near San Marcos and he breeds Boers - so I knew that they would not be milkers, but what about one of his whethers as a companion to a milk goat? Would that
    work?

    Thanks again,
    Dana
     
  20. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Will work fine but what I would do as I have two little boers I get them as babies (bottle feed) and disbudd them the same as my dairygoats as horns are very dangerous in with your milk goats.