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Topic: Novice wants to start a cashmere herd  (Read 11671 times)
AmberLyn
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« on: January 06, 2010, 10:02:13 PM »

A few more start up question from the aspiring Cashmere mamma   Grin

Ok, so as far as what I need to start my own herd of cashmere goats, I have found information on space requirements, nutritional needs (as well as where I can get the right feed and suppliants, and where my local vets are), and how to put together a good pasture and fence line for my goats. However, one thing that I haven’t been able to find any reading on (with the exception of selection standards) is the beginning of the herd.

1.   How many goats should I start with (I’m thinking 2-5)?
2.   About how many animals will it take to start seeing any kind of profit? ???
3.   How long should I wait before I start trying to grow the herd through breeding?

*I’ve only ever owned two goats before, and they were just pets (bore/Nubian crosses. one wether one buck.. lol yeah that was interesting).
*Also local vets, that have the training and equipment for goats, are anywhere from 40min-4hours away.
*Land isn’t really an issue, and though it may sound odd, I’m not worrying about cost just yet; I want to figure out what I need and where I can get it from first, then I will worry about comparing prices. 

Also, after seeing picture of the horns which fiber goats have, my mom has suggested that maybe I should try getting a few Bores again before I invest in Cashmeres. Does this sound reasonable? If I do this, and still want Cashmeres, will I be able safely house them together, or would it be better to sell the bores first?
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Sally P
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New Sharon, Maine


« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 07:25:44 AM »

You do realize that boers have horns also.  Dairy goats are the ones that are normally disbudded so that they don't have horns.

You certainly want to start with a minimum of 2 goats -- they need companions and three is better than two.  Five would be the most I would suggest you start with.
As to seeing a profit----that's a lovely dream.  There are very few goat breeders that see a "profit" of any kind.  Certainly there are people who make a profit off their goats, but those people have HUGE herds (like 700 goats) and have been at it for a very long time.  Their profits/livings are made off the fact that they either make cheeses and cosmetics, or they have very large herds of meat goats.  How long will it take before you see a profit?--realize that you may never see a profit, but you'll have a lot of fun, have some wonderful 4 legged friends, and learn a lot along the way.
If you can find a vet that has good knowledge of goat care, then you are very fortunate.  Vets spend 1 day on goats in med school, and the knowledge they have is very limited. 
What i suggest you do is to find a breeder near you who has had goats for a while and make friends. 
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imalilbirdie
Herdmasters
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Texas


« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 07:54:39 AM »

I agree with Sally..on all except the conclusion on the Vets..yes, she's right, they do only spend 1 day on the anatomy of a goat..but there are growing numbers of Vets that lengthen their studies to go more indepth of the Caprine animal.  They are out there, and they are good.

I was fortunate enough to have one of those "Caprine Specialists" back home..but she's moved to England now.  The two Vets that I had prior to her joining them in their practice were not "Caprine Specialists" but they were good Goat Vets.
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~ Birdie ~
sweetgoats
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 09:09:49 AM »

  Any goats can have horns.  NO goat HAS to be disbudded unless You chose to do it or the owner does.

  The horns are just a part of their life, really there is nothing different with the horned goats and not horned is the fencing, and the feeders.  You can not use a key hole feeder on horned goats.

  Hey Amber, go back to my website, I have had two sets of twins so far, more due any day now.  The pictures are NOT the best, but I have so many people that have put deposits on goats, that they wanted to start seeing the babies.  I told them I would get better ones soon.
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Lori

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Sally P
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New Sharon, Maine


« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 09:13:46 AM »

I'm not saying that all vets are bad or don't know anything about goats---what I am saying is that knowledgable vets in the field of goats are very few and far between.  
A good vet will make a few phone calls to Princeton, Tufts, etc. if they don't know the answers (or will even call a goat breeder that been around a while).
The sad reason that more vets don't go into large animal (yes a goat is a large animal) husbandry is that all the money is in cats and dogs so that's where they practice!!!!

I will debate that statement sweetgoats, that "no goat has to be disbudded".  If you hae registered goats, they HAVE TO be disbudded or you can't show them or technically even register them.  So it's not the owner's/breeder's choice----it's a fact of life in the goat world.
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Sunshine
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 10:07:38 AM »

Also on the horns and no horns is they can hurt each other with their horns. I have seen it happen. They tend to get their heads stuck in everything if they have horns.. Not all of them but there is always one or two that will consistently get their heads stuck. I had 2 that I was sure I was going to find dangling from something they got their head stuck in last year..
 We drive by this Boer farm and they always have goats stuck in the fence. We knocked on the door and they could have cared less. Said they were her son's goats... So we get them out when we see them. Disbudding takes very little time and its done. I have never had any complications from it.
 Boers arent exactly the easiest goats to take care of either.. They tend to have more parasite problems because of the breeding for quantity not quality that took place when they first came to the U.S.
 I know there are varying opinions on here about this subject but this is my experience and my opinion Only.....
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AmberLyn
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 01:15:27 PM »

Yes I know that Boers have horns also. Neither of my boys where disbudded, that’s why mom was worried about the horns. She knows how much trouble I had with my one Bore/Nubian buck and his horns where nothing compared to the cashmere horns that I have seen. And correct me if I’m wrong, but cashmeres and angoras really can’t be disbudded dude to their heavy coats, so I will have to learn how to handle horned goats if I’m going to have cashmeres.

Plus I know what to expect from bores and Nubians as far as temperament, so she was thinking that they could serve as like a confidence builder I guess u could say.

Also yes I understand about the vets. Also, one of my brother-in-laws friends raises bore goats, so I should be able to get some good contacts from him   ^.^
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Sandie
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 03:41:17 PM »

while i have been told that angora and cashmere goats have to keep their horns because that is how they release heat in the summer months, i have to say i really don't know how true that is at least with the angoras, i disbud my angora kids and have had no problems with any of them stressing from heat, in fact the older does i started with that have horns have a lot more problems in the heat than the disbudded ones but that may be an age issue too. so really it is up to you if you disbud them or not unless you are going to show them and then you will have to go by the show standards.
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Sally P
Goat Genius
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New Sharon, Maine


« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2010, 03:43:45 PM »

I've always been told that the real reason angoras are not disbudded is that they have a very thin skull and it is tricky to disbud them.  Yes---I've had a couple of angoras and pygoras.  Nice goats but a lot of work with the coats!!!
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AmberLyn
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 07:35:39 PM »

Ok, so…….
1.   Start with three does? (three keeps them happy, minimizes cost, and should prevent me from getting to overwhelmed)
2.   Get in contact with as many locals as I can that are familiar with raising goats to keep on call, along with the vets… find out what vets the locals recommend too. Bleh, I feel stupid that I never thought of that before x.x
3.   Try to call around to some other cashmere breeders (thanks to sweetgoats I think I know exactly who I wanna call and possibly visit first  ^.^) to ask them about their opinion on disbudding cashmeres.
Also, keep the input costs as low as safely possible since profit margin is minimal lol

What about getting bores before cashmere though? Unlike with Cashmeres, I know I can get cheep local bores easily. Do you guys think it might be worth the extra time and money, or are cashmeres too different from bores? No one around here has ever handled cashmeres (it’s all bores, pygmies and a few Nubians and sannens) I think the nearest cashmere farm is in Maine…
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Sunshine
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2010, 07:53:09 PM »

No one around here has ever handled cashmeres (it’s all bores, pygmies and a few Nubians and sannens) I think the nearest cashmere farm is in Maine…
that raises another question.. THe ability to get the goat you want. If its hard to find then you may have to travel to get them or have them transported to you.. You have to figure out how to get that taken care of..

3 is a good number to start out with.
 Starting out with a different breed is entirely up to you and why you are getting goats.
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Sally P
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Posts: 8923


New Sharon, Maine


« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2010, 08:17:04 PM »

I assume you really mean boers.  Bored is someone who has too much time on their hands and thinks there's nothing to do.  Boer is the goat.  Don't you just love homonyms??? Grin
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AmberLyn
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 10:49:24 PM »

LOL yes Sally you are correct... apparently I haven’t been watching my spell check again xP

Sunshine: yes I will most likely have to travel to find Good cashmeres... and I was incorrect, there are a few cashmere herds closer to me than main.. a few in PA and I think I saw a web site for a farm in Maryland too. The one in Maine that sweetgoats suggested to me has really caught my attention though for many reasons.

Hmmm. why do I want goats...long storey short… I live on a crop production farm but I’m starting to feel like crop production is not for me; I’m much happier working with animals than playing with tractors. Of all the animals that I have dealt with (cats, dogs, horses, goats, sheep, chickens) I enjoy goats the most. Also, I want fiber goats because meat production industries are too impersonal to me, and dairy is too risky (mess up fiber, people just won’t buy it. Mess up milk and people get sick).
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Sunshine
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2010, 12:17:52 AM »

It takes a lot to mess up milk. I got into the goats because they were a small animal that could produce a lot for my family. 
 Another thing to look at is what your market is like.. What is it going to take to sell the fiber? Or are you going to be stuck with a massive amount of product and having to put money into supporting the goats too.
 This is my way of thinking with my goats.. Just to give you an idea.. By the time I provide milk and by products for our family, sell extra milk and babies and retain a couple of wethers for meat they pretty much pay for themselves. Most of the time! Of course they are our spoiled babies too!lol
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AmberLyn
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Posts: 112



« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2010, 05:15:54 PM »

Yes Sunshine, I am aware of all that, and more. It is a lot to think about, and let me assure you, I am not taking it lightly. I haven’t even mentioned the goats to my step dad yet because I want to make sure that I have all my facts straight first. lol I am even working on a spread sheet to compare start up costs and possible profit Grin. I'm glad that you are concerned enough to point it out though, thank you  ^.^

And yes the size of goats is one of the reason I prefer them; I love horses, but they are too large for me to handle confidently. My hope is that I can establish a very good herd of cashmeres and use them for fiber, meat, and recreation; I want to tech a few to pulls carts. Also I’m hoping that I can learn how to spin the fiber so that I can broaden my market range.
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