Aussies Living Simply

Goat questions

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    I have been looking at getting a goat or two for milk, mostly I have been looking at miniature goats but if I could I would love an Anglo-Nubian. I know I have to get a PIC number and such but what I am having trouble trying to find out is just how much space do they need (both sizes)? I would have to buy feed that’s a given but I’m talking about living space not just housing. I need 500ml of milk a day, anything over that is a bonus for soap or cheese making. I don’t have the space for a buck, so that will be something else to deal with, anyone know if I could have the doe done by AI here?

    Oh and a feed question, I grow lucerne for my chickens, they love the stuff. Will it give the goats bloat if it’s fresh and growing?


    Hi Iduna,

    We have minatures – got them from Bucko Stud, you should be able to find their site easily enough and they often advertise on Gumtree – if you want to get in touch with them they are VERY helpful with information and willing to refer you to others if they can’t meet your requirements. Hope this helps, don’t have time to go into it further atm but will try to get back here over the weekend.


    What type of land are you planning on having them on? Goats like a fairly varied diet and usually will not eat too much of anything to make themselves sick unless there is nothing else to eat.

    Here is a list of plants I couldn’t see fresh lucerne on the list, but it does give an idea of how diverse their diets can be.

    I have no experience with mini goats, but the 2 nubians I had were gentle loving well mannered creatures, like big puppy dogs. I am not sure how much milk they give, sorry. Also goats are rather social, so one alone would be sad and lonely and they like to play, so a bit of room to run around in and a few things to jump on is good.


    I am planing on having them in my backyard. I had a look at that poison list and I don’t have any of those plants growing.


    Hi again Iduna,

    the book Natural Goat care by Pat Coleby was recommended to use by Sue from Bucko Stud and it is a good read. We also were warned not to feed our minatures lucerne although I sometimes buy a bale of oaten/vetch/lucerne mix and alternate that with just plain oaten hay and they are ok with that – a big no no is wheaten hay. We were also told not to give peas in their food. All this comes from Sue’s own experiences with her herd and since we bought from her it has turned out to be good advice. Another thing is soursops, they can eat the young plant but not the mature plant (oxalis acid, I think that is the content/spelling). Sue gave us some handy tips on home remedies that have proven valuable and we haven’t had to get them any medical attention in the nearly three years we’ve had them. You should always have mineral blocks and salt licks available to them and a trough block in their water also.

    We negotiated with Sue to have our girl serviced by one of her bucks (she got to choose the buck and will get a kid if it has the desired qualities that she wants) and she had been overly helpful to everyone else who has bought from her, she will also put you onto other breeders if she cannot meet your needs with her herd.

    In any case, I would recommend you find a breeder who you are comfortable with and talk with them a lot before purchasing, they should be invested in their stock enough to want to make sure they are going to a good home and so be willing to walk you through the process.

    We are just outside of Gawler (you are in S.A? yes??), if you’d like to borrow the book or come see our goats you’re welcome, just pm and we can organise something.


    If you are only looking for 500lm per day then minis should be ok, most good milking goats will give around 2 litres a day and my sisters best saanan gives 3-4 litres a day.

    You need to keep in mind that they need a lot of good feed, grass and grain per day to keep up milking. Don’t scrimp on their feed quality or quantity. I wouldn’t like to advise keeping any goats in a back yard, it will be too small, a half acre is the absolute minimum for two with it divided into 2 for resting and extra hay.

    Nubians can be very noisy and naughty. I would never have them again myself. If you are in town a saanan might be the go as they are gentle and better with fences (you know goats climb don’t you?

    NEVER, NEVER tether goats.

    Edited to add, as the above poster says, Togs can also be a good choice if you want something a bit ‘prettier’ than saanans.


    The right goats are lovely, they can be so entertaining and useful to have around. However, I think a back yard would be to small for two goats and therefore a bit cruel sadly.


    My nubians were not naughty at all and never got out. My milker was a toggy/boar cross and she was quite the b*tch, hated men and would laugh at any fence.


    Well as fencing goes it’s all taller than I am. I thought my backyard might be a bit small but I have seen people on youtube and blogs where they have them in their backyards mind you they all seem to be in the USA. I know not to tether a goat unless you don’t want to have one for very much longer, I also know they can climb so do rabbits.

    What I find interesting is my backyard is big enough for a large dog or a couple of smaller ones and no one would think anything of it.

    Sadly I may have to give them a miss.


    How big an area do you have ?

    my milkers spend most of the day in their lounging area which is roughly 9m x 12m ……… it has a roofed area 3m wide along 1 9m side, and several hay racks …….. I have 10 British Alpine milkers …… they can go out into paddocks in the day but generally seem quite happy to lounge arround and nibble free choice hay rather than look for their own food :laugh:

    I knew lady years ago who kept about 6 BAs in an even smaller yard on a half acre block and used to take them for a daily walk with the dogs :laugh:

    I also dont see much advantage in getting minis …… may as well feed a goat that will give a reasonable amount of milk …….. one` BA will give about 4 times as much milk as 2 minis ……. maybe get 1 milker and a mini whether to keep her company

    the main thing is if you keep them in a small area you need to spend time with them and provide plenty of hay and cut branches for roughage ………


    The earthed area would only be 80m2 but the concrete roofed space would be 50m2. I would be happy to take them for walks, we have a couple good spots and a creek near by they would really like I think. I’m home all day if I’m not studying and these days if I am I’m only gone a few hours once or twice a week. I can use more milk if I have it, I would just start making cheese.

    I may just have to keep it a dream.


    Most councils also frown on livestock in town, if you are in town.


    Mine are ok as long as there are no noise or smell complaints, same with owning roosters.


    Hope you don’t mind me hijacking your thread Iduna.

    I took home a stray goat someone bought into the vet I work at last night. It’s a young entire Billy [not sure how old, looks like he has 2-4 adult teeth maybe?]. If we cannot locate his family, we will probably keep him.

    Firstly, how much should a goat weigh? He’s little [stands at my knee at the shoulder] so I’m guessing a miniature goat but is super thin. Only weighs 9.2kg. What is the best food to fatten him up?

    Secondly, if I do keep him I want him castrated. What is the best way to get an older goat done?

    Do I need to apply for a PIC if I only have one? I know they’re happier in pairs and I would definitely get him a friend eventually.


    Ravyk from what I have read up on you do need a PIC number and it will cost $76, I think that’s per year.

    If you can find a band that will go over them that sounds like the better way of castrating an older buck. If he has 4 teeth he is well over 2 years old.

    If he is 2+ years old the range is 50 to 100 pounds so 22 to 45kg.

    So I would guess feed well, grains are mostly fed to does in milk to keep their weight up so that would fatten him up fast some corn and sunflower seeds and wheat about half a cup a day tops would be all you need to give. Don’t give lot’s of lucerne hay as that is meant to give them blote.

    Good to see you again.

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