Keeping a goat in the country

Keeping a goat in the country

The trouble of keeping this pet in the country pays off with tasty and healthy milk.

Goats - animals, one might say, multipurpose. They are bred to produce milk, meat and various types of raw materials (down, wool, skins for sheepskins and leather). Depending on this, four main "goat" directions are distinguished: milk, down, wool and coarse-wool mixed (milk, down and wool - a little bit of everything).

Dairy goats give 450-550 kilograms of milk per year. Its fat content is 3.8-4.5 percent. In the best farms, with proper feeding and maintenance, milk yield reaches up to a thousand kilograms. Goat milk is a very valuable, easily digestible product, especially valuable for the nutrition of children and people with stomach diseases. Compared to cow's milk, goat's milk is more high-calorie, contains more dry matter, fat, proteins, mineral salts. It is also used for processing into cheeses and dairy products (yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir). Goat milk products have a delicate taste. True, the oil is poorly stored.

Goat meat in nutritional and taste qualities it is equivalent to mutton. The carcass of a fattened goat contains 20-28 kilograms of meat and 4-6 kilograms of lard. In the carcass of a 7-10-month-old kid, respectively, 12 and 1.5 kilograms. From goats of a downy breed, a fleece of down is obtained up to 0.2-0.5 kilograms. The maximum is up to two kilograms. Goat down has exceptional fineness (15-20 microns), softness, relative strength and low thermal conductivity. It is used for knitting openwork shawls (famous Orenburg) and shawls.

Wool specialized wool breeds, primarily Angora, are homogeneous, characterized by high strength, elasticity, elasticity and strong silky sheen, excellent spinning qualities and good dyeing ability. This wool is known as mohair. Angora wool in its pure form and mixed with sheep wool is used for the manufacture of high-grade drapes, plush, velvet, suiting fabrics, carpets, as well as for various knitwear. Fur-type goats are made from the skins of these goats. Leather goats are processed into premium chevro, chrome and other types of leather. A husky is made from the skins of goats.

It is clear that the villagers, summer residents who keep goats, are unlikely to be able to achieve high milk yield, fleece of wool and fluff, because the overwhelming majority of their animals are outbred. The livestock is very diverse in terms of breed characteristics: this includes various local goats. They give a little milk - 100-200 liters per year, a small fleece of fluff - 75-150 grams, a low cut of coarse wool - 0.5-1.2 kilograms and a small meat carcass. Their live weight is 30-45 kilograms. But in order to get the maximum benefit from these even outbred goats, it is necessary to feed and maintain them properly.

Goat room should be dry, clean, spacious, light, well ventilated, warm in winter and cool in summer. Goats are not afraid of the cold, but they do not tolerate dampness, drafts, stuffy, stale air. In a damp stuffy room, they often get sick (especially young animals), their hair is steamed and begins to shed prematurely. In winter, the normal temperature in the goat's rue is 6-7 degrees Celsius. The windows in it should be arranged at a height of at least 1.8 meters from the floor so that the goat cannot break the glass with its horns. The floor must be wooden, made of well-planed boards, tightly fitted together.

It is necessary to whitewash the walls in the goat's house several times during the year. This measure is necessary not only for cleanliness, but also for disinfection of the premises. For whitewashing, a kilogram of quicklime is diluted in one bucket of water. Do not keep chickens in the same room with goats, as skin parasites can pass from them. Young goats from the age of five months should be kept in a separate room from the goats.

Now, when, we will consider, the necessary room for the goats is selected, it is necessary to learn how to feed them correctly. Goats need to be fed three times a day.: in the morning at 6-7 o'clock, in the afternoon at 12-13, in the evening at 18-19 o'clock. The intervals between feedings should be the same if possible. The goats are milked after or during feeding. The main feed for goats is grass of natural pastures, aftermath (grass that grew in the same year on the site of mowing), hay, silage, straw and concentrates. Pasture grass is the main and cheapest summer food for goats. Its nutritional value depends on the botanical composition of the herbage and the growing season of the plants. The more legumes and grasses in the herbage, the higher the nutritional value of the green forage.

Young grass is rich in calcium and vitamins, especially carotene. That is, such substances that are necessary for the goat's body for normal development. Pasture feed is digested in the goat's body by 75-85 percent. Silage, potatoes, rutabagas, fodder beets, carrots, turnips are used as succulent feed and as a source of vitamin A (carotene). Such feeds are not only well digested by animals themselves, but also contribute to the digestion of others, especially roughage. Together with succulent feed, goats also eat well straw.

Quite often (especially in winter) concentrated feed is used for feeding goats. They are high in nutrients, but low in vitamins and minerals. Therefore, in order to diversify the diet of animals, it is necessary to strive to use as many different feeds as possible. The more varied their composition, the more complete it is. In addition, dried tree brooms with leaves can be substituted for up to half of the total amount of roughage a goat needs. Three to five dry brooms of birch, poplar, willow, willow, aspen, ash, linden, acacia, mountain ash (each weighing about two kilograms) are equivalent to a kilogram of medium-quality meadow hay. Goat brooms are harvested in June-July. Goats can be fed young spruce shoots (spruce foot), which contain a lot of vitamins.

In a personal subsidiary farm, you can successfully feed food waste: potato peelings, vegetable tops, the remains of liquid dishes: soups, borscht. Approximate daily rations of a dairy goat are given in the diagram (in kilograms):

1.Medium quality hay - 2.5
Root crops (fodder beets, pumpkin, cabbage) - 1.5
Wheat bran - 0.4
Flaxseed cake - 0.1
2.Clover hay - 2.0
Oat straw - 0.5
Juicy feed - 1.5
Wheat bran - 0.5
3.Meadow or forest hay - 2.0
Spring straw - 0.6
Kitchen waste (thick) - 1.3
Bran or compound feed - 0.7

In addition to the main product - milk, goats also receive fluff... It must be harvested during natural molt before stalling and clogging with spine. Awn - long and coarse hair, among others, shorter. The fluff is usually combed out twice: the first time at the beginning of the molt and the second time after 15-20 days. The down of the first is valued higher than the second, since it contains almost no guard (coarse) fibers. It is necessary to brush in a clean, dry, bright room. To comb out the fluff, the goats are carefully placed on their side on the table and three legs are tied: two front and one back. You can also tie the goats by the horns and neck to a pole and comb out the fluff in this position.

Goat fluff combs

First, the fluff is combed out with rare combs. (Figure 1, position a), at the same time, vegetable debris, manure are removed from the rune and a small part of the fluff is combed out. They begin to comb first the neck, then the chest, shoulder blades and the back of the body on one side of the animal, then on the other. The resulting down is folded separately.

In the same sequence, the main fluff is combed out with frequent combs. (Figure 1, position b)... Combs can be made from steel wire with a diameter of 2-3 millimeters. Fix it on a wooden blade: in a rare comb 6-8 teeth, in a frequent comb - 14-16 teeth. The comb is led in the direction of the growth of the braids from top to bottom - from the back to the stomach. Do not apply too much pressure to the comb to avoid injury to the skin.

After the second time, goats can be sheared... Goats of all breeds are sheared in the spring. The timing of shearing depends on weather conditions, the fatness of the animals, the time of lambing of the queens, and so on ...

Do not cut wet animals, as raw wool quickly warms up and deteriorates. If the animals are wet, then they must be allowed time to dry. Sheared goats should be protected from colds and sunburn. Therefore, in the first days after shearing, during strong winds, cold rain and during the hottest part of the day, animals should be kept indoors.

Summer residents who are going to keep a dairy goat, in no case should buy it as a "pig in a poke". A deliberate, correct choice is required.

What qualities can serve as a criterion?

First of all, you need to pay attention to the origin, body shape, signs of milkiness and age. The goat must be strong, hardy and fertile. A healthy goat has a vigorous appearance, shiny smooth coat covering the body, strong bones and dense thin skin. A good dairy goat has a deep, fairly wide chest, a wide straight back, rounded ribs, a voluminous belly, wide-set straight legs with a strong hoof horn. The body is slightly barrel-shaped.

Udder in a dairy goat should be spherical or pear-shaped, not overgrown with wool, elastic to the touch. After milking, the skin on the glandular milk udder becomes covered with fine wrinkles. If the udder of a goat remains large after milking, it is considered fat and is not capable of producing a large amount of milk. A drooping udder that dangles from side to side when walking, and an udder that is divided into two lobes or with short teats are considered vicious.

The shape and length of the ears, the color, the presence or absence of earrings on the neck, or other signs not associated with milkiness, when choosing a goat, are not of practical importance.

Goats usually show the highest milk yield after the second or third goat. So, choosing a goat, make no mistake, and then you will have a source of such rare and extremely useful products as milk, meat, yogurt, cottage cheese and kefir.

Ivan Zaitsev


At a neighbor's dacha, a goat, what should I do?

The neighbors in the country are the older generation. For the diversity of their lives and the lives of neighbors in the country, they began to breed goats. It doesn't make us very well. And there seems to be nothing to fight. All would not be anything, but the smell and eat up all the grass and flowers. Empathize.

Goats are very fond of oats, you can buy bagels or sweets at the store. It is better to buy more so that it remains for tomorrow. If you are far from the store, cut the bread into slices and feed the neighboring goats.
Apples can be sliced ​​or pears. Give the cabbage just like that.
Also scratch regularly behind the ears of your neighbor's goats, they love to be scratched.

In general, your task is to integrate into the goat herd, even though it is a neighbor

Changes of chairmen (frequent) are fraught with the complete collapse of the partnership and the transition of the territory to the status of a village (with all the ensuing consequences).
At least that's how it went with us. For each new chairman will steal as if not into himself, but, having incurred debts, will want to evade responsibility and will do everything to make the partnership fall apart by itself. He will frantically begin to transfer the public lands to the administration (so that some lands that have “floated away” for sale are not revealed) and that's all.
I had a rather comic situation when I belonged to the village at one end of the site, to the partnership at the other, but did not join the partnership (the previous owner was a member, and for 20 years I never bothered to write an application for membership), well, they then everything was destroyed there and, as I understood, the territory completely went "to the village", that is, now it is not clear what to be guided by, whether by the certificate where the IZhS is written, or by the passport, where the village is written such and such a house such and such. And if at first I was somehow embarrassed and grazed goats exclusively on agricultural land, now (with the collapse of the partnership) I calmly stagger around the village, mowing grass anywhere, because no chairman is no longer entitled to stipulate me, and the administration (before her, as before tsar or further) to which mowing and goats do not care at all.

Those. Once upon a time I could not have someone larger than a goose, but now at least keep a herd of cows, according to the law, no one can say anything.

True, it's easier for me, I didn't have conflicts, wandering into other people's gardens - even more so, and I'm alive in the outskirts, and I border on neighbors across the road, to their fence from my distance about thirty meters, and somewhere more, two wide strips of bushes on both sides of the road, two parallel ditches, etc. Well, their barn is a slightly different system - it is capital and there are triple-glazed windows, and not a leaky barn with the noise of hungry animals and the smell of always uncleaned rooms.


The most important condition for planning a vegetable garden is the presence of the sun in this area for a long time of the day. In this case, the plants will not only develop well, but will also emit a natural aroma. In addition, this same condition prevents the accumulation of nitrates in crops. Shaded plantings do not give the result that summer residents expect. As a result, disappointment comes.

The next important factor to look out for is wind. Moreover, both constant wind and its complete absence have a negative effect on plants. With a constant air temperature will decrease, and the plants will not have enough heat. In addition, there are a number of crops in which flowers can fly around from strong winds, and there will be no fertilization, as well as the harvest. These are cherries, cherries, gooseberries, cucumbers, too, do not like drafts. In a calm place, fungal diseases develop more often and pests appear.

The close occurrence of groundwater will adversely affect the growth of fruit trees and berry bushes. In this case, the roots of plants will rot and, accordingly, this will negatively affect the harvest.

The structure of the soil and its chemical composition are also important for plants. On heavy clay soils, no crop will grow well. Therefore, if you have just such a soil, it needs to be improved regularly.


Keeping a goat in the country - garden and vegetable garden

Have you dreamed of having a goat for a long time, but knew little about it and were afraid to make an unjustified choice? Feel free to start the goats! This is just a godsend for the backyard! Goats are the most profitable and unpretentious pets. From them you can get meat, milk, fluff, skins, wool, and manure. Goat dung is the best fertilizer for gardens and vegetable gardens. And dairy goats are capable of producing up to eight liters of milk, thus not inferior to some cows. Due to the fact that goats are picky about food, not burdensome in conditions of detention, they became the first animals tamed by man.

Goat milk is known to everyone as a healing drink. It is great for baby food, has a positive effect on the well-being of the elderly and helps those suffering from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, milk from purebred goats is not only as good as cow's milk, but even surpasses it. It contains 4.5% protein, 4.4% fat, and in cows, on average, only 3.3% and 3.9%. The aroma of milk and the curd obtained by curdling it serves to ensure that goat's milk is included in the best cheeses. Goat milk is used in the production of butter, feta cheese, curd cheese.

Goat breeds are divided into dairy, downy, woolly, and coarse-haired with mixed productivity. Angora belongs to wool breeds, and Kashmir is to downy breeds. For many years, goat hair has been used to make fabrics. Many females and males have a goatee, the body is covered with straight hair. Its quality and length depend on the breed.For example, Angora goats have a long and silky coat, while Kashmiri goats are famous for their thick and downy undercoat. Goats come in a variety of colors: pure white, dark brown, black and variegated. Shears of wool from goats are 4-6 kg, from queens 3-5 kg.

The carcass weight of an adult fattened goat is maximum 20-28 kg of meat. As for the taste of goat meat, it is not inferior to mutton. High-quality meat is obtained from well-fed culled queens, fattened castrates and young stock. To get good meat, you have to castrate goats until they are one year old. This prevents the specific smell of goat meat.

If you decide to have a goat and keep it in your own yard, then you should buy two at once or a goat with a goat, or even a uterus with kids. The goat does not like loneliness terribly! But the best solution is to buy a couple of young goats. From childhood, they will be able to easily adapt to the same conditions, get used to the same owners. It is necessary to prepare for them a dry, warm, bright room with ventilation. Near it, it is necessary to organize a walking yard so that goats can go directly to it from their barn.

These animals feed on shoots of woody species, so goats do not burden the owner with concerns about stocks with hayloft and pastures. Vegetation is usually used to feed them, as well as table waste. The main food for goats is the shoots, branches and bark of forest trees. Twig feed is more nutritious than any hay. But even with a sufficient amount of fresh hay, the goat should be given a broom a day, adding needles. 80-100 brooms 80-100 cm long are harvested for the winter per goat, as an additive to the main feed. And the prepared food should be protected from rain.

In order for a goat to milk well for many years, it must give birth annually. To do this, she is introduced to the goat. Goats of different breeds are distinguished by their early maturity and fertility. They reach puberty at 5-7 months. Hunting is actively manifested, but a young goat can be brought with a goat not earlier than one and a half years. Goats live for about 15 years, the best time for childbirth is 6-9 years. Mating occurs once a year, with one goat capable of covering a herd of 30-50 females. Pregnancy in goats lasts 21-23 weeks, after which, as a rule, a pair of kids is born, although often there are more, the number of them in a litter can reach five. They are born sighted, the coat is well developed and after a few hours they are already frolicking and jumping. At the age of 3–6 months, young animals are weaned.

It is known that the mating of a goat with a closely related goat is prohibited. And yet, some, ignorantly or out of necessity, do it. What are the offspring? Painful, weak, lagging behind and just plain stupid. The difference between kids from different and half-blooded parents is obvious: the former learn in a day or two what the latter learn in weeks and months.

There is an opinion that without grazing the goat will be sickly and weak, which means that good milk yield will not work. Yes, there are no grazing areas in many localities, and animals are kept in stables (especially when it comes to household plots in the city and the suburbs). However, with proper care (good feeding, long exposure to the fresh air in a spacious stall, care), stall keeping goats will not affect the growth and development of animals, and they will be milked perfectly for at least eight years.

It should also be noted that with good feeding and proper care, goats very rarely get sick. The pulse of a healthy goat is 70-80 beats per minute. The normal body temperature is considered to be 39-40 degrees. It can rise to 41-42 degrees with various infectious diseases. The pulse begins to quicken and reaches 100 beats per minute, or even more, shortness of breath appears, breathing becomes frequent. Ears grow cold. The animal's appetite decreases in this state.

Goats are sociable and sensitive, mobile animals that react very quickly to changes in their environment. The sociability of goats is manifested both in relations with each other and in relation to humans. They are able to perceive a person as part of their herd and faithfully follow him as a leader. And if a person took part and helped with (the goat), the birth of the goat, then later the goats perceive him as their own. Keeping goats on the farm is very cost-effective and not burdensome, much easier than cattle. Are you still thinking: to have a goat or not? We advise you not to waste time on long reflections.


Walk in the country

A dacha is a cozy place with a vegetable garden, a garden and a house. We had such a piece of nature before. The dacha had to be sold over 10 years ago. I was still a teenager then and did not understand anything. If you take me back in time, you would never let me do it. My parents are urban - they didn't like poking around in the ground, but my grandmother lived in these hundred square meters. It was she who taught me to work and work on the ground. But my grandmother became very old and the dacha began to gradually overgrow. It was quickly sold for next to nothing.

But the memory of the dacha remained in the photographs with which I will introduce you. I dream about this wonderful place very often. There, of course, everything is modest, sometimes even unkempt. But my grandmother and I tried to put a lot of energy into it. But the sense was at least from a girl of 16 years old and a grandmother of 73 years old.

In total, we had 12 acres. For a summer residence, this is considered a lot. We have classic plots in the region - 6 ares.

  • two-storey brick house
  • place for a car (parking)
  • vineyard
  • garden: apples, pears, cherries, plums, apricots, sea buckthorn, black chokeberry
  • vegetable garden: cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, radishes, peas, various herbs, zucchini, pumpkin, eggplant, squash, cabbage.
  • berries: strawberries, currants (any), gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries.
  • a place for rest and cooking in the fresh air.

The only thing that was not there was a reservoir nearby. SNT was built on the site of a simple field, there was no water at all.

This is how our summer cottage looked like (vineyard and the house itself):

And here is a view of the garden (3 photos):

View of our garden and neighbors' house:

It is evident, of course, that much is growing carelessly there. Lots of weeds. But believe me, it was difficult to ennoble 12 acres together with my grandmother.

If you take a closer look at the photo below, you can see dry branches that needed to be cut in an amicable way. Although, this jade is already dead wood:

After active work on the site, I loved to have an interesting rest - to catch lizards! Although in appearance I was such a straight-growing "girl", I was already wearing all my makeup and just running after fashion, but in this small world, far from the city, I turned into a "asshole". Bugs, lizards, spiders, larvae, ants, mice - all this abomination interested me madly! In a good way, of course. I didn't kill them, I caught them, examined them, and then let them go.

Here is my "trophy" (I apologize for such huge nails in the photo, I say - FASHION!):

It was I who caught the animal, held it with one hand, and took a photo with the other. By the way, in defense of the lizards - they are very cute and beautiful! And they don't bite at all, they just pinch gently. And there are even larger lizards - green. They bite harder, like pinching a Soviet finger with a clothespin, but also tolerable. And it's not scary at all. I don't understand girls who squeal at the sight of them. Funny animals))

And now I'll show you our landings. Of course, my grandmother planted everything there. I only helped and tried to remember what-where-how. She herself took care of her seedlings. I remember that even in winter I planted a bunch of pots on the balcony: peppers, cabbage, tomatoes. There are a lot of seedlings ... I still don't understand - why so much? Nobody ate - they distributed most of them.

It's a shame to admit, but I'm not a gardener at all. Yes, we now have another land, but I am just starting to develop it, but there is still no time. What happened in my youth with my grandmother has long been forgotten ... I can hardly now identify the seedlings of cabbage and tomatoes. But soon I will definitely delve into all this. We still have to mature a little and steal the time.

So, let's go - cabbage (I don’t understand at what stage of ripeness, like there are already a lot of leaves, but the forks have not yet formed, or is this necessary?):

And here are the peppers, I remember them, they have pointed leaves:

And here like "pomodorina" grow:

My grandmother tied them to rusty metal rods (you can see it in the photo), but, as far as I know now, you can't tie them to metal - it heats up strongly in the sun and the plant gets a serious burn. Well, who knew then ...

Next we have onions and garlic. There was a lot of it. Grew up everywhere! Probably himself. Although there were a couple of beds of specially planted bulbs and garlic:

Next in line are cucumbers. I always expected little "pimples". Grandma picked the first little cucumbers for me!

And now I'll show you the berries. They are the most beautiful!

This is a blackberry. Granny called her Black Raspberry, though. She herself grew up with us. My grandmother tried to plant her many times - but always unsuccessfully. But in one year the blackberry itself grew, and in a completely different place.

Where without everyone's favorite strawberries. There are 2 varieties. One late, another early:

The strawberries themselves are not very large. She grew up in the country for a long time, 15 years in one place. Now I know that it is degenerating and you need to periodically change the place and update the strawberry itself. Here's the harvest:

I also want to tell you about the chokeberry. Or am I wrong in the name. My grandmother said that it was "a rowan crossed with currants." Very sweet berries, just sugar! Do not knit. Juicy, already splashing! They look very much like blueberries. There are no bones inside (or maybe there are, but they are not felt), there is one juicy pulp in the mouth. This was my favorite berry. Tastier than strawberries. I could eat half a bucket! Until now, I have never seen or tasted such a berry anywhere else.

Here it is (growing / assembled):

This is our most important planting and harvest. There is a lot more. I will definitely write later. There are also flowers that we planted. But more on this later, and so painted a lot and tired everyone.


What and how to feed

When people raise quail in the country, they do not always have the opportunity to be there around the clock, so the feeders should be of the bunker type. For drinkers, it is best to select nipple systems. If you are going to leave the dacha for a rather long period, then only dry compound feed should be poured into the feeders.

Basically, quail feeding consists of grain crops. This product must make up at least 60% of the total amount of feed. It is necessary to add calcium to the compound feed in the form of crushed to a powdery state of river shells. Another important feed ingredient is greens: nettle, alfalfa. In the diet of quails, it is necessary to add meat and bone or fish dust.

A good diet should contain boiled potatoes and root vegetables. It is very important to monitor the cleanliness of the drinking bowls: birds consume a fairly large amount of liquid, they often rinse their beaks, which makes the containers quickly become dirty.


Watch the video: Do You Have a Goat Record-Keeping System set up? Keep track of breeding, kidding, u0026 weaning dates!