Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Hello Everyone!  I am getting my first goats in about 6 weeks-mid September.  I am getting a Nigerian Dwarf doeling and a mini Oberhasli wether.  Both were born in March.  I've been planning purchasing goats for a year, reading and learning as much as I can, but the closer the time comes, the more frightened I become.  Coccidiosis, bloat, copper deficiency, feeding the wrong types of food, .....I've become a nervous wreck. I feel like I need to become a chemist to find the right proportions of  nutrients in their foods!  Can someone please reassure me that I'm not making a horrible mistake?  Thanks so much for any encouragement!

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Best of luck with your goats!

I found myself in the same boat when we purchased ours. No matter how prepared I thought I was, there was so much uncertainty in everything. We've found that a good part of goat ownership has to do with learning as we go along, since even if we have a plan in our heads, sometimes animals haven't read our manuals. The trick is to keep watching them and adapting your practices to their needs.

You'll have a blast!

Thank you,  Naomi!  It seems like everything I read is about them getting sick, so I know I need to be prepared, but I am also hoping that they are healthy and happy most of the time! Thank you for your kind words!  

Naomi D'Andrea said:

Best of luck with your goats!

I found myself in the same boat when we purchased ours. No matter how prepared I thought I was, there was so much uncertainty in everything. We've found that a good part of goat ownership has to do with learning as we go along, since even if we have a plan in our heads, sometimes animals haven't read our manuals. The trick is to keep watching them and adapting your practices to their needs.

You'll have a blast!

Welcome! And nope, you are not making a mistake. There is no way I'd have continued to raise goats for 16 years if they were that complicated. There is no one-size-fits-all management protocol, but if you pay attention to the goats, they'll let you know if everything is okay or not. 

Thank you, Deborah!  I'm looking forward to getting them soon!  

Welcome to this wonderful world!
As for uncertainty, we were all there in the beginning. I was lucky to find this group before I bought my first goats. I spent literally hours reading through the archives here to learn as much as I could absorb.  It's been nearly seven years and I have always found this group to be the bests source of information.  There are a lot of facebook groups out there but too often people give short and not always well-thought responses.  That is not true here.  The folks here are both knowledgeable and are more concerned about helping others than showing how much they know (or think they know) which is a fault with some on the facebook groups.  This group is always my go-to if I have questions or there is a difference of ideas or opinions.
I highly recommend "Raising Goats Naturally" which is very well written.  Deborah has done extensive and up-to-date research. I've never seen her give "recycled" information, rather she learns from up-to-date research and works closely with both the vet school and vets.  Many other sources, though well-intended, might have out-of-date information from a time when goats themselves were not studied but assumptions made because they are ruminants.  Also understand that what is right on one farm may not be the right thing for yours.
The very best thing you can do before your goats come home is to find a good goat vet.  Establish a relationship with him/her soon so in an emergency you have someone to call.  You may be lucky and never need to call, but it is good insurance.

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