for people who love the littlest dairy goats
Well my husband and I just finished hand clearing 10+ acres and built a new home in 2015. Since then, we've completed the 2 chicken coops with covered/hardware clothed runs due to all of the predators that we have that love to eat chicken and have killed our neighbors lambs. We back to 2,800 acres of state land in SE Michigan - the coyote packs are many! We are over-run with deer as well so we are trying to be prudent and keep them away from our goat areas in case they have any nasty disease they could pass onto the goats.
We've been planning on getting goats and this Spring, we will be getting Nigerian Dwarf weaned babies.
We are expecting at this point; 2 doe and 2 bucks. We are building 2 small (8 x 16 each) separate goat houses - one for the does and one for the bucks.
On the 8x16 goat houses we are attaching fenced, covered runs that will be 8' wide by 24' long so when we need to leave, we know the goats will be safe from both weather and predators.
Each goat house and run will have a fenced pasture area of approximately 60' by 80' - (I am thinking we will electrify the fence as well but that will have to be later.) We hope the accommodations we are building will be adequate for keeping them dry, warm in the cold winters and out of any inclement weather as well as providing a nice area to hang out when the sun blazes down on them. I would also like to eventually get some portable electric netting to make some browsing areas when I'm home - we have plenty of blackberry and poison ivy for them to clear!
I'm not sure if the neighbors sheep, horses, and alpacas will or can attract any parasites or disease on our property - we are not sharing fences. They use horse fencing and we are using a 5' no climb goat fencing around our goat houses.
I was raised on a farm and worked on a farm in my younger years where we had horses, cattle, pigs, chickens, fleece sheep and rabbits but not goats so we are newbies to goats. Hubby is a city slicker that is going along for the ride. (Poor fella has had to endure a lot of you-tube goat videos!)
Anyway, after reading at least 20 books on goat care, diseases, breeding and joining 3 goat associations, buying a lot of supplies, tracking down suppliers and a goat vet, I think we are ready to welcome the new little ones sometime in May.
I'm so excited to be able to experience having and raising these beautiful creatures - I'm happy to be a new member here to share and learn even more!
Welcome to the group! If you happen to have my book, Raising Goats Naturally, it answers a lot of your questions. The parasite chapter is more than 20 pages, but parasites are usually species specific, and they don't crawl through the pasture, so no worried about your neighbors.
You mentioned having a lot of books, so I don't want to repeat a lot of what's in my book, in case you have it, but rotational grazing is absolutely a must to avoid parasite problems. That means that a single a 60 X 80 pasture for the goats is a bad idea. The goats will basically be eating in their toilet and continually reinfecting themselves with worms larvae. Using the portable ElectroNet works great so that you can rotate them around their shelter. Hopefully you haven't built your shelters yet and can incorporate this into your plans.
Here is an excerpt from my book that explains some of that: