3 Ways to Buy a Milk Goat

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Ready to buy a milk goat? Here are a few ways to do it…

Once you’ve done all your research on raising goats and you’re ready to buy a goat for milking purposes, there are a few things you will want to look for in a milk goat.

The first thing you will want to do is decide which goat breed you would like to buy. While there are a number of goat breeds to choose from, many homesteaders prefer Nigerian Dwarf goats for milk production. This is a dwarf breed (about 75lbs full-grown), so they are smaller goats and require less food. They are also bred for milk production, and many people report that their milk is very tasty and more similar to cow’s milk than other breeds.

Once you’ve decided on a breed, you can start looking at some milk goats!

Keep in mind that you will want to purchase at least two goats. Goats are herd animals, and they don’t like to be alone. If you have cows or sheep already, they will make friends, but otherwise, you will want to get more than one goat to start with. Most likely, you will want two does (females), as male goats (unless wethered) will become aggressive (and smelly!) when full-grown.

There are several options when it comes to buying your goat(s). Here are 3 different ways to buy a milk goat, along with the pros and cons of each:

OPTION #1 – Buy a baby goat doeling.

The cheapest way is to buy a young doeling, as young as 8 weeks old (that’s the time when they can be weaned from their mother). Goat breeders usually have a lot of babies around the same time and are willing to offer package deals for two or more goats. The only con with this is you’ll have to wait AT LEAST a year to a year and a half before you can breed, then you’ll have to wait 5 months until they have babies and start giving milk. For Nigerian Dwarfs, you can find a young doeling for $150-$300 depending on their parents background, milking star awards, and colorings. Goats with blue eyes usually cost more.

TIP: The most important thing is FRIENDLINESS of the baby goat. You don’t want one that runs away and is afraid of everything. Although this can be sometimes hard to tell because baby goats like to RUN, haha. As long as they will eat from your hand, you’re okay.

OPTION #2 – Buy a junior doeling.

Sometimes you can get lucky and find an older doeling (6 months to 1 year old) and skip ahead a bit. Female does that are older, but haven’t been bred their first time yet are called JUNIOR DOES. Sometimes you can get lucky and have them bred BEFORE you purchase them. This way, you only have to wait 5 months until you have fresh milk. The only con with this is it gets more expensive as they get older, and then you have to tack on a breeding fee. I bought a Nigerian Dwarf milk goat this way for $400 total. Five months later, she had babies and it was perfect. Although we did pay top dollar at first.

TIP: You’ll want one that is friendly and NOT SKITTISH, and you’ll want to look at HER MOTHER’S TEAT SIZE and production. Don’t even worry about the junior doeling’s teats, they are always small before they have babies, but just be sure to check the mother.

OPTION #3 – Buy a senior doe in milk.

The final way to purchase is to look for a FEMALE DOE ALREADY IN MILK. This is what I tried to do at first. I “thought” this was the easy way, but in the end I just kept getting does that nobody wanted and had problems. Sometimes you can find one that is a good producer and no problems, but more often than not, the breeder is downsizing the herd, and the doe your about to purchase is at the bottom of the list. You’ll find these does are cheaper, like $150-$200.

TIP: If you still want to pursue this option, look for traits that will be worth having. You want a milk goat that ISN’T SKITTISH, that is producing the correct amount of milk for the season (see below), and that has a good teat length (1 1/2 inch or longer). You’ll also want to make sure she doesn’t have any visible signs of infection or skin disorders.

Read LOTS more about raising goats at WeedEmAndReap.com

 

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