Aussies Living Simply

getting goats

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
  • Author
  • #250403

    Hi there,

    I have no real internet access at the moment, but, we moved to Katoomba, Blue Mountains and we will but half an acre with a house.

    I wanted to graze two sheep in an orchard, but my husband really prefers goats (and he’s the one who has to do the hard work like fencing etc.)

    I like goats but I think they are a bit more difficult.

    We read some books and they write that goats are not really suited to pasture, but there are people around which have goat paddocks. Is it feasible running them in an orchard and fencing each tree in or is it better to have an exercise yard as described in the books and have onla the chooks in the orchard? How about growing some sstuff like alfaalfa etc for the goats there?

    The goat books write that you have to desbud the kids, because it is dangerous having goats with horns. It seems to me quite cruel and I knew pwople who had goats with and others without horns.

    What about the bucks? Do the have to be castrated or can zou run them for some month and then butcher them?

    The books advised to feed some premix or mix something which sounded greatlz difficult. We want milking goats but we don’t want to bathe in milk. What is really advisable to feed them to get, say three litres a day for a family of four.

    We will have 2000 sqm, there will be a veggie garden, an orchard and something for two goats – is this too small? There is a strip of council land, maybe another 400 sqm which can be used and there is lots of patches of unused land around.


    Goats and orchards are a really bad combination. You would have to fence your trees so far out that you would have very little ground for the goats to use. They rear up on their hind legs to access tree branches.

    I would definitely de-bud any goats as their horns can do a lot of damage, even when they are just being playful.

    We used to neuter our bucks and slaughter at 6 months, but not sure if you can run them without neutering – I would think if they reached sexual maturity that the meat would be tainted.

    We used Denkavit (which now seems to have been replaced my Veanavit) to feed the kids. It was no more trouble than mixing up powdered milk. You can, however, leave the kid on the mother overnight and separate them during the day so you get the evening milk.

    Goats do need to have roughage in their diets, so while you can run them on pasture you need to supplement them with branches from trees to chew on. We used willow (a pest) and native cherry (which would probably be illegal these days).

    Sheep can be milked and if you get the right breed you can get a fair amount from them.

    Half an acre is possibly not enough land unless you are prepared to supplementary feed them, especially if you have to isolate various areas for orchard, veges etc.


    Thanks for the answer, my computer time is running out. We might be able to graze them on land nearby as well…


    hey alokin,

    we have atm I doe and 2 kids… we run them on a 1/2 acre paddick during the day and ‘stable’ them at night. One of the kids is kept at home all the time for the moment as she does not belong to our doe and we are bottle feeding her 3times a day ( and my pushover dh is worried that she is so cute that someone might take her;)).

    We also feed them a stud and dairy blend. Her kid is kept with her all the time and atm we are averaging 1-1 1/2 litres a day.

    We disbud as we feel it is necessary (otherwise we would happily not,) but our goats are kept in close proximity to each other and there are small children around. Also as head milker I am not interested in coming into contact with one of those horns. The thing I will say about our disbudding experience is that it is over when it is over…. I mean that while neither goat or human enjoy the experience, none of our kids seem to be bothered immediately or ever afterwards… but… make sure they are up to date with Tetanus injections.

    People we know box their trees with wooden pallets. When our goats are in our house yard they are on a tether. The kids are more concerned with the chook tractor than they are the trees at the moment… Apparently it makes a great trampoline. My poor chookies are getting a little traumatised:(

    Ok the thing I know for sure is that reading about goats and owning them are 2 different learning experiences. They are personality and intelligence plus. They will not be made do what they do not want to do… you have to find a way to make them want to do what you want them to do… for instance my goat will follow me, but not if the lead rope is taught. It has to be slack… if it is taught she gets the ‘idea’ that I am ‘forcing’ her and it is all over…:@ It is always a battle to see which one of us is going to be that step ahead


    Thanjks for the answers. Do you run them on the entire 1/2 acre paddock or is your property 1/2 an acre (like ours)? That makes heaps of difference.

    I reaqlly must get some more information before starting with goats or sheep. They are definitely more difficult than chooks.

    I still contemplate if sheep may not be better for us.


    I had a 100 or so angoras.

    Some were naturally polled.

    At the time of purchase I thought that would be good however.

    in practice I found the horns are a useful handle when you have to do things with them.

    yes a day in the yards meant bruises from horns but the polled ones were so hard to get a hold on.

    When you are trying to worm them or cut hooves a handle is nice.

    In your case with only one or two it would be different.


    Alokin have you thought of geese or ducks? I have a couple of goats (Boers) and they are gorgeous animals and I find easier to manage than sheep but on such a small acreage maybe geese would do the same for you and potentially more in terms of insect control and cleaning up fallen fruit in your orchard thus helping with fruit fly control. May be worth a bit of a read considering you are still in the researching stage. I dont have Geese as GH has an aversion to them but I do have Muscovey ducks which are very goose like and are from the same family and they are wonderful, very friendly and also very quiet.


    Alokin, we run them on a half acre paddock… although last year when our doe broke her leg, we kept them tethered in the house yard (for about 4 mths as she was newly pregnant when she broke her leg… and I worried about something else going wrong). I don’t think that I would keep them in the yard permanently…. but there are smaller breeds…. Boer goats for example.( also have a smaller udder…would hate to try and milk one :D)


    weaver, yes, I thought of geese and ducks, especially as there is a creek. But they don’t give milk and I wanted to have decent milk and cheese.

    Trudy, how do you manage them? Do you use the whol half acre or do you have some fruit trees and veg? Do you run them on paddocks and how big and how many do you have? I think of simply sending my DH out every Saturday during summer (grass does not grow here in winter in Katoomba) to make some hay. There are so many unused bits and pieces of land. Unfortunately our whole setting is only half an acre, but the house is not big no garage etc.


    Atm we have three goats.. a milking doe, a buck kid and a doe kid. The buck kid will be around for about 6 mths at which time he will be ‘harvested’…. the second doe is primarily for companionship, so after about 6 months, we will only have the 2…. when she is ready to be put to kid we will do that, but any offspring at that point will be either sold, or become dinner.

    We have a 1/2 acre house and yard block, and 100 m up the street we have another 1/2 acre block. Right now it is very lush and the goats can’t keep up with the growing grass…. I am sure that you are aware that goats are browsers rather than grazers…. we are planning to plant all sorts of things up there… for their benefit, but we will see…. there is a 3 sided shed up there to protect them from the weather and to provide shade (trees too). At night we bring them back to our house block to be stabled the milking doe gets a serve of concentrates each morning while she is being milked… and we get about 1 1/2 litres from her each day. She is still feeding the buck kid…. so he gets the milk during the day and at night as well (actually he favours one side, so I milk the other) we also manage other treats for them like willow cuttings, poplar and silver birch..(not as popular).. herbs such as mint and chamomile, wormwood etc. they like grevillia too, but we found that it ‘taints’ the milk…. not in a bad way…. just odd lemony sort of smell 😉 I left them in the goat shed one rainy day and failed to properly latch the gate…. needless to say all my pretty rose flowers were gone the ‘abundant’ green apricots had been harvested and the apple tree denuded, so if they have to stay in the yard…. they are tethered. Two goats ( the milking doe and our then wether) spent most of winter in our yard as the doe had broken her leg ( jumping a fence…silly old cow:p) and i wanted to make sure I didn’ allow her to place undue stress on it. She seemed to like the arrangement well enough…. but every time I went outside she would holler a greeting at me. Come spring and it has been quite an effort to convince her to go back up to the ‘paddock’. :@ But we are winning at the law making game;)… So I hope that some of that helps…. we don’t have it al sorted yet and she is quite fond of showing us the weaknesses in our grand design, but we are getting there:D


    we don’t have it al sorted yet and she is quite fond of showing us the weaknesses in our grand design, but we are getting there



    G’day Alokin,

    I thought it was you who wanted goats and husband wanted sheep… :confused:

    Never feed powdered milk of any kind to goat kids. Cow milk replacer is for calves and could contain tallow which will kill your kids quick sticks.

    I like the horns on my goats because, as someone above said, they make great handles!

    There’s nothing stopping you having your goats on pasture (though NOT in an orchard!) *if* you can harvest and feed them some branches from an assortment of trees and buy them in some hay and perhaps some hard feed.

    Congrats on the move…is that a huge commute for hubby??


    Goats milk is lovely :tup:


    Trudy, this might be a possibility for us to rent another paddock. Or to buy some land which is not suitable to build on. MDH has to get a room in Sydney but we agreed that it might be better not to raise our kids in the middle of a huge city. And the he will have to build a shelter for them which can be month. But the yard wil have to have a self closing door , the experience of our chicken scraqtching up the yard is enough, and our children are not always thoughtful.


    Love my goats and wouldnt be without them, full of life and personality. But boy, oh, boy, they are a lot of trouble. Goats will climb over or go under fences, eat everything in sight and refuse to do anything you want. They also seem to be immune to electric wire, they just put their heads down and run for it.

    We have ten acres that had to be professionally fenced. The orchard was devestated in two hours and then they decided that they would go for a walk, our place wasnt big enough. They found the broadscale farm across the road and wiped out half and acre of pumpkins before we found them.

    The fencing had to be be the most expensive, feral proof, as they put their heads through and then get caught with their horns. So far we have paid $15k, all for the love of a great, and yummy, animal.

    Think very carefully before you get goats.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.