Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hi all,

We're getting three goats in a few months - they will be about 4 months old when we get them. We're going to be using them primarily for clearing weeds ("goatscaping") on our property. (I know this is a dairy goat forum but we don't have plans (as of yet) to milk goats or breed them.)

Is there any reason we should consider getting three wethers, or three does, or a mix of does and wethers? The family who we're getting the goats from have 7 wethers and 3 does available so it would be easier for us to get 3 wethers. Any thoughts? Are the boys hardier than the girls?

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I would think it's all the same if you don't think you'll be interested in milking, and if they've all been living together already. There may be a sex-related dynamics difference if they aren't already friends with each other.

I am not sure about easier, but wethers are usually cheaper than does.  So if you don't think you will ever want to milk than you should be able to save money by getting some wethers.  On the other hand if you think there might be a possiblity of wanting to milk in the future you maybe should go with the does or a combination of  something like 2 does and a wether if you don't think you'd ever want to milk three goats at once.

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Thanks for your responses - great advice!

Wethers make better pets because they don't get hormonal. Does will be coming into heat every 21 days if they are not bred. Some does are quiet. Some does scream bloody murder for a day or two. It can also be really  hard to keep dry does from becoming obese. Someone bought three does from me about 12 years ago, and she struggled for their entire lives trying to keep those does from being overweight. And they were just on pasture and hay.

This is the first time I've heard this and it's great advice. I didn't know does would go into heat every 21 days if not bred and that some have hormonal symptoms! I've read your book three times and didn't see any information about this aspect of gender differences. This makes me more comfortable with my leaning to get wethers for our particular purposes.

You would think that in 300+ pages, I'd cover everything, but there was so much more that I could have written! The publisher had set a limit on number of pages, so I had to stick with that. 

This is something that I never think about unless someone asks. Now, you've got me thinking ... blog post or free online class called "Your Pet Goats." Maybe both?

Start with a blog post perhaps? Talk about the particular needs of pet goats? I would be interested in hearing more about using goats for grazing the land. For instance, should you bring them back to their barn/shelter every night if their grazing land is not adjoining their home paddock? If not, do you have loose minerals available to them in their grazing pasture if they are stationed there for a week? What kind of shelters are easiest for their temporary grazing pasture? Just a tent, or a three-sided moveable shelter?

Love it!

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

You would think that in 300+ pages, I'd cover everything, but there was so much more that I could have written! The publisher had set a limit on number of pages, so I had to stick with that. 

This is something that I never think about unless someone asks. Now, you've got me thinking ... blog post or free online class called "Your Pet Goats." Maybe both?

Landscaping with goats is a whole different subject! 

Elizabeth Parson said:

Start with a blog post perhaps? Talk about the particular needs of pet goats? I would be interested in hearing more about using goats for grazing the land. For instance, should you bring them back to their barn/shelter every night if their grazing land is not adjoining their home paddock? If not, do you have loose minerals available to them in their grazing pasture if they are stationed there for a week? What kind of shelters are easiest for their temporary grazing pasture? Just a tent, or a three-sided moveable shelter?

Yes, it is a whole new subject!  Anyone out there raising goats, milking goats, AND using them for landscaping?

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