Raising Milking Goats in Alaska



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  • Raising Milking Goats in Alaska

    My husband and I are currently living off grid and are looking into getting a couple of Nigerian Dwarf goats to milk. I was wondering if anyone could offer any suggestions/advice on the following:

    -a list of necessary supplies to get before buying a goat
    -using diatomaceous earth as a wormer
    -poisonous plants common to Alaska

    Also, any other suggestions or advice on raising goats in Alaska would be greatly appreciated!


  • #2
    I know absolutely nothing about goats, other than they taste good in a stew. That being said I know some folks with them over at this site http://alaskaminigoatcache.com/ they should be able to help you out.
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.


    • #3
      Bears like Goats.......Suggest heavy fence.
      ALASKA is a "HARD COUNTRY for OLDMEN". (But if you live it wide'ass open, it is a delightful place to finally just sit-back and savor those memories while sipping Tequila).


      • #4
        We have had goats off and on for years they are the only animals that are pretty much maintenance free. Spruce is a natural wormer, we've never had a problem with spruce tainting the milk. We have never had any trouble with them eating any poison plants they seem to know what good and whats not. We free range our goats and only grained them as a treat, free ranged goats produce less milk but it is a lot richer than grain fed goats. My wife is the one who is into goats this some questions she answered for some else.


        • #5
          We have goats and live off grid too!

          I have a huge supply list, but it's intimidating to the new person. It's on my setup page of my website: http://FairSkiesAlaska.com/setup.htm

          DE does not work as a dewormer. It may work on external parasites and even have some nutritional benefit when fed in small quantities, from what I've read, but it has not been proven to work on internal parasites. I have not used it because I am concerned about the damage it could do to their respiratory tract when inhaled. YMMV As far as deworming, if you buy from a healthy herd, it is pretty unlikely you will need to deworm. Unlike the thoughts I was taught in horses, we do not deworm our goats regularly. We fecal and look for symptoms. When you identify the worms and the load at which they cause symptoms, then you know what to use for the appropriate treatment.

          Common poisonous plants for goats in Alaska include bracken fern, foxtail, (I've also heard foxglove), rhubarb, rhododendron, and lupine. There may be others.

          Goats are pretty easy as long as you don't mind them eating your trees/shrubs and capturing your heart. The better you treat them, the better they will produce for you. I have dairy goats and we participate in dairy herd improvement (DHI milk test) so I do feed imported hay for that. We don't have a lot of browse here. We don't feed a lot of grain and what we do feed is mostly grown locally - whole oats and whole barely. We do test for CAE, CL, and Johne's twice yearly (whole herd, always negative).

          We're in Wasilla.


          • #6
            I have had a few here in the interior. I'm sure most on this forum have way more (and better info) than me. They are VERY smart, and pretty self sufficient. If you have a bunch of them, they will do fine in the winter (body heat in the cold) with a good structure to keep them out of the elements. If you only want a couple of them, they HAVE to have a heated space. We had a nice big fenced in area for them, but let them out all the time to free range. We never had a bear problem, but also had an outside dog that lived near their pen.
            "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one." George Bird Evans


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