The best advice we could possibly give you is to visit other people's farms and operations. Get a feel for the different ways of raising goats. Decide what is best for you and what you want from your business. No matter how you decide to raise your goats or why you are in it (meat, 4H, big shows, etc) I highly recommend you join this group http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/The_Boer_Goat/messages There are hundreds of goat raisers and farmers on this group. They surely would have the advice there that you need. Keep in mind you may get different answers to a question depending on what works for each person and where they live. If you have a sick goat when you ask for advice make sure you know if it is running a temp, list all things going on with the goat no matter how small you think it may be, what it's eaten, what it hasn't, if it is drinking, eating hay, laying around, twitching, paralyzed, eyes weird, not standing, not walking, drooling, has it been in a pen, on pasture, any meds given recently,.... no matter how small you think something may be it may be worth mentioning. Also, keep in mind that sometimes there are certain individuals that get a little childish on there. If there is a post you don't want to read.. then don't... move on. All in all the experience on that group to me is worth putting up with the in between somewhat sometimes childish behavior. There are also several fantastic Facebook groups.
2010 was a big year for us. We learned a lot. We continue to strive to have healthy good quality goats. However, we have learned it's not all cut and dried when taking care of these wonderful animals. One thing I know for sure and I want anyone reading my pages to know is that a goat is NOT something you can just 'throw out to pasture to clean brush and forget about.' Not at all. If this is why you want a goat.. then think twice. Not all goats need a lot of care but they do require that a person regularly check them for the basic needs, trimming, vaccinations, and wormings. These basic needs alone take time and MUST be met.
2011 has brought some changes to our farm as well. We added a fullblood spotted boy and some new show does. We were blessed.
2012 - Still more changes. We are focusing on better show quality. Most of our nonregistered animals have been sold. We do still have a few on the farm. But mostly all registered stock now. We have from 50% up to fullblood. Added two IBGA doelings this year from Nebraska. Our traditional and spotted side are both evolving. We added a new billy (Mr. Remington) from Urish Ridge Boer Goats this year. The three times we showed the judges really liked our girls. I can't wait to show our spotted girls. We feel our program is headed in the right direction. But as always we will continue to learn and try to make our program better. Our wethers did very well. We had one win grand champion this year in market and a reserve in showmanship. A HUGE thank you to our buyers and how well they all did with our animals. It's not just the animals. The kids do a lot of hard work. All in all 2012 has been truly a year full of blessings. We also hosted the first ever boer goat production sale in Oswego,KS. This will happen again in 2013. Huge success. Words can't express how busy, exciting, tiring, eventful, this year has been. Also, we ushered in our FIRST spotted babies. Mr. Dot did very well.
2013 - So far this has been another year of ups and downs. Last year went really pretty well. This year I had a car accident and the kids had to take over feeding. I ended up loosing two of my best kids to coyotes. The year started out with a selenium deficiency. If I had to do it all over I'd start out with soil testing. We have issues here due to high sulphur in the ground and that causes issues with selenium, iron, copper, and thiamin. So, it's always an under taking making sure everyone is doing well. With me down for 2 months that didn't help matters. We sold Mr. Dot and he went to a fantastic home in Illinois. We do however have semen collected so will continue to have kids out of him. Remington was sold as we chose to add a new traditional boy. Top Gun (this is sept.. updates to come soon I promise) is the son of a full brother to Luger and Cuger. I'm very excited about him. We will start having Dot kids the end of this month. We will be finished kidding about the end of January 2014. We have a new black and white spotted herd sire coming from 3DK in Ohio. Very excited to get him next week. We haven't really added many other animals. Our wethers did well in the shows and we are very pleased.
2014 - Today as I write this is the end of June. With half the year gone I'm happy to announce we have our first kids coming from most all our new boys. Moon, King, and Gun all have doe expecting starting end of August I believe. Could be a little earlier from times exposed. We'll have kids from that point on through probably January 2015. It is an exciting time. A lot is going on at our house and we've been very busy. We ended up making the decision to sell Mr. Dan and brought in another new boy from Anderson/Frasier farms. Very nice folks. We bought two fainting doe. I've wanted some for a while now. They come from Bakken's farm in Independence, KS. We have ducks, guinea, chickens... oh the farm goes on.
* We will no longer meet someone anywhere off the farm for a purchase. Buyer must come to the farm or arrange pick up at our farm. We feel it is a good chance to come look our facility and goats. This way a person can inspect the goat(s) expected to purchase. Please be sure to inspect the animal thoroughly before you leave with it. We will not let an animal leave we feel is sick. If something happens in transit to cause illness we can't be responsible. Stress does a lot to an animal sometimes. Also, driving through rain, excessive wind, etc... we've heard of too many catching pneumonia in transit to think it can't happen. Be prepared for anything when you're buying a new animal.
*We will accept a deposit on a goat to hold him or her until weaned if not weaning age. We will not wean prior to 12 weeks of age unless it is absolutely necessary for some reason.
*A deposit on each goat to be held must be in place at the time person leaves the farm or in a short amount of time if we agree on mailing. Animals will not be held if deposit is not received in at least a week of the original agreement. Please understand if someone changes their mind and they don't really want the goat and then decide a week or two later they really don't want he animal we originally agreed to hold we may loose sales especially in the matter of wethers. People need their show wethers in place by a certain time. So, please be sure you want the animals and are prepared for the deposit. If you can't put a deposit down or afraid you can't pay for the goat by time of pick up then you should not say that you want the animal.
*If the animal isn't picked up within 2 weeks of weaning or 2 weeks of deposit received we will need to charge for feed daily. Unless we've come to some kind of mutual agreement. Price for feed is subject to change with the fluctuating prices at the feed store. Deposit will be kept if buyer changes their mind later. Please understand we want to try to be fair to everyone. We expect that if a deposit is placed on a goat that it is a sign the person is truly obligating him or herself to buying that goat.
*Speaking of deposits.. If something should happen to an animal that a deposit has been placed on prior to pick up deposit would be refunded. By something happening would mean death, extreme accident causing animal to need lots of care, an injury that may leave the animal permanently injured. In some cases what happens will be discussed with the buyer and buyer can decide such as in the case of an injury. Injury would be horn busted, cut, broken leg, whatever. I am willing to work with the buyer should something happen here on the farm.
* In the case of buying breeding stock. We can not be responsible for a doe that has left our place and is not a breeder. We expect that they should all breed fine but there can be those odd cases where they may have an issue. With a doe if they're not in the proper condition or are lacking a vitamin or mineral in substantial amounts they may not actually take when bred. Once they leave our farm we can not say how the doe has been taken care of. Sometimes the vitamin or mineral defficiency is beyond the knowledge of the new owner. Each animal can have it's own limitations as to what it can withstand without getting sick and without it affecting their breeding. In the case of a buck. Most buck have no problems breeding. Sometimes a juevenile has trouble getting the first few bred because 1) he gets too happy too fast and doesn't hit the right spot (doe humps up) 2) he is throwing blanks the first couple of times 3) proper nutrition balance. If everything has been checked out by a vet we would be happy to discuss issues if buyer is upset with the situation.
*Honesty is always the best policy.
*Ask any questions you may have at any time... before or after purchase.
*If you 'become a member' I do sometimes send out emails when something exciting happens on the farm or when I add goats to the for sale page. If you'd like an email please sign up.