Example of a Balanced Goat
I do not know whose goat this is, but she is beautiful.
Thank you Rubystar for the neat pictures
You have decided that you want to buy a Goat. What do you do now?
Ask yourself: what you want the goat for? Do you want a family pet that you can take on walks, play with and will be a brush eater? If so, then you want a wether. They are easy to keep, are sweet and friendly and love to eat brush. If, on the other hand you want a goat for milk then you will need a doe. You can purchase a doe "in milk" or a dry doe that you can raise up, breed and get milk from later. Does are also sweet, friendly and can go on family walks, however they require more care than a wether because they have higher nutritional needs due to pregnancy and milk production.
Before you run out and buy a goat you need to do some research. First and most importantly GOATS ARE HERD ANIMALS. YOU CANNOT HAVE JUST ONE. You must have at least two or they will be sad and miserable creatures.
Other questions to ask: What breed do I want? Do I want this goat just for milk or do I think that I might want to show this goat too? Do I want to Participate in milk testing? If you buy a wether do you want to show him?
If you are unsure of the breed you want call up farms and ask to come see their goats. Ask to taste the milk. Each breed has its own flavor, some are strong like goat cheese some are mild and sweet. Some breeds are large others are small. There are so many to fit each persons wants and needs. What do they eat, how much space do they need and what kind of shelter should they have?
Once you decide the breed that you want it would be tempting to run out and buy the cheapest, cute pair of goats you find. Word of caution: If you want a milk goat then this animal will have a lot of strain put on her body and udder for many years. You would be wise to purchase your goats from a reputable breeder who strives to produce quality animals with correct confirmation. Why does that matter?
Having a doe that is balanced and correct means that her body can handle the strains of pregnancy and years of milking. How sad to have a "pretty" goat but have her udder fail after a year or two. The whole purpose of Linear appraisals, DHIA and showing goats is for breeders to assess their breeding program and see what needs improving, how they have improved and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Buying from a reputable breeder means that you will receive a healthy goat that has had its shots and come from a "clean farm".
What is a clean farm? A clean farm is one that has their goats regularly tested for diseases. When buying an animal from them they are more than happy to show you their paperwork proving that.