Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

The next addition to our little hobby farm will be Nigerian Dwarfs. I am planning to start with 2 does next spring and then build from there. As I'm sure you can imagine I have lots and lots of questions -- most of which seem to be best answered on this forum :-)

So far though I have not found much info dealing with how to handle the joys of Mississippi living ... things like fire ants, 3 to 4 months of triple digit heat, 85-100 percent humidity, ....

So my first question is .... Does anyone have any advice specific for the land mass between AL and NOLA?

Followed closely by the 2nd question ... What is the real story with privit? We have lots of it and I would love for my girls to make it go bye bye but some websites say it is poisonous, other's say goats can eat it but humans can not consume the milk and some say nothing at all. 

I will no go back to lurking ... I mean learning all I can. 

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Hi! I'm in west TN, so we're neighbors. :)

The first thing that comes to mind is that parasites are tougher for us in the south than they are for our northern friends. We don't always get a good hard freeze to help kill them off in the winter, and our summer humidity is bad as well. I tried herbal dewormers when I first started, but when I checked FAMAMCHA everyone was very pale. That's not to say you can't try different methods, but keep a close eye. For me, the herbal did not work.

I'm not sure about your privet question, but I'm sure someone will come along! One thing I have read is that the best way to prevent toxicity in goats is the offer a variety. One leaf of something bad may not hurt them, but if they eat a whole bush because that's all they have it will definitely cause a problem. I read an article on it from the sweetlix mineral company, I'll try to find and link it.

My other best advice is never stop learning!

And buy tested clean stock! If you haven't already, educate yourself on CL, CAE, and Johnes disease.

Hi Colleen, Welcome! Glad you found us, and you are right about this place. It is the best. I don't know what I would do without everyone here!

I am in Mobile, Al., so I am even further south than you and can sympathize with what you are saying. In fact, My Hubby, Dennis works over in Ms. @ Ingalls. And we want to move to Lucedale so badly.

Rachel has already given you some good tips. If I can help you at all, with anything I will.

Fiasco Farms is one of the best resources, and one of several you will see referred to often on here. I checked their awesome plant list but all I saw was Privet Pumpkin which was on the edible list. I have never heard of privet so I am guessing that maybe this may not be what you meant. Does it have another name that you know?

Do remember, when researching things on Fiascos site, that they are referring to standard sized goats so you will need to think basically in terms of halves when considering anything like dosages, feed amounts etc.

Lurk, Learn, Ask all you want!

Privet is an invasive "weed" that was introduced to the south for hedges. You can find more info here ... http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_lisi.pdf

We have so much that if it is toxic I would prefer to get rid of it and plant something else before bringing home my babies, even if I have to put off starting my herd for another year. 

I am really glad that I found out about azaleas!! I think they are very pretty but now I know not to buy any for my yard. Or to at least keep the goats well away. I'm also glad to learn that they are smart enough to not eat bad things unless they don't have enough options.

OK, I will see if "I can find anything about it.

Mine are around azaleas all the time (and I have a lot of huge ones) when they are out of there pens browsing, with no problems, because they can find plenty of good stuff to eat. They don't mess with them. I had 2 does at different times in the past that occasionally nibbled on them the whole time I had them, with no apparent ill affects. But I also had 3 get badly poisoned by them when I put them in a new pen last year that had nothing inside green, but lots of azaleas poking through the fence. We had to put the buck down, and the does made it but I didn't think they would. It was really bad! So don't worry to much if they have lots to eat but I can't blame you for not getting any. Although I still have to wonder why my others nibbled at them and if they may not actually have some medicinal effect for them in low doses when they know that they need them. I think I will probably always keep one around with lots of other stuff, in case they know something I don't.
 
Colleen Tarver said:

Privet is an invasive "weed" that was introduced to the south for hedges. You can find more info here ... http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_lisi.pdf

We have so much that if it is toxic I would prefer to get rid of it and plant something else before bringing home my babies, even if I have to put off starting my herd for another year. 

I am really glad that I found out about azaleas!! I think they are very pretty but now I know not to buy any for my yard. Or to at least keep the goats well away. I'm also glad to learn that they are smart enough to not eat bad things unless they don't have enough options.

I would love to read that article! I sure hope you do find it!
 
Rachel in Wonderland said:

Hi! I'm in west TN, so we're neighbors. :)

The first thing that comes to mind is that parasites are tougher for us in the south than they are for our northern friends. We don't always get a good hard freeze to help kill them off in the winter, and our summer humidity is bad as well. I tried herbal dewormers when I first started, but when I checked FAMAMCHA everyone was very pale. That's not to say you can't try different methods, but keep a close eye. For me, the herbal did not work.

I'm not sure about your privet question, but I'm sure someone will come along! One thing I have read is that the best way to prevent toxicity in goats is the offer a variety. One leaf of something bad may not hurt them, but if they eat a whole bush because that's all they have it will definitely cause a problem. I read an article on it from the sweetlix mineral company, I'll try to find and link it.

My other best advice is never stop learning!

And buy tested clean stock! If you haven't already, educate yourself on CL, CAE, and Johnes disease.

Great article! Thanks so much for sharing it!

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