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Rabbits and Goats

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1 Rabbits and Goats on Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:36 pm

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I'm trying to figure out this whole... pricing thing.

I've been watching UsedRegina/Stoon, Kijiji and so on for Goats and rabbits (as well as chickens, of course), but what's the going rate? I've seen Goats from $50 - $400, and they look similar in the picture. The same goes for rabbits -- I've seen New Zealand Black and Whites varying from $8 each up to $120 each.

I can't quite figure out what differentiates the low end from the high end -- is it just bloodline? How do you know it's structure carcass quality? I understand confirmation, how to look/listen for health, what to look out for, but Im wondering what I should LOOK for.

DH would like to raise meat rabbits. I'd use them for their hides/meat/skulls (art), he'd use the whole carcass for feeders. Should I worry about starting high on the scale of quality, or breeding for what we want, working up our own lines and introducing different bloodlines along the way?

Same for goats. I want a meat buck for sure, and, though I'm after the raw milk, I don't know if I'd have use enough for a full dairy goat. Is this even making any sense?

*Deep breath* I suppose what I'm saying is I'm trying to get in this to save money, know where my food comes from, and to reconnect with that 'circle of life', but I don't want it to drive me broke trying to get a basic start.

Suggestions? How did you do it? Am I just completely irrational and off my nut?

2 Re: Rabbits and Goats on Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:02 pm

Schipperkesue

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Can't speak for goats, though I am sure the same principles apply.

If you want to breed rabbits decide on a breed then buy the best stock you can find. In the long run they will not be more expensive. You will have health and quality. Go to a rabbit show and if you like a certain breed, ask someone with a totally different breed who has good rabbits, (you will have a less biased opinion) then have a look and decide for yourself.

If you want commercial crosses, go to a commercial rabbitry to buy stock.

Conversely I know someone who filled her rabbitry with free cast off rabbits. She had trouble with consistancy, health and quality. She ate almost all her bucks and kept all her does as breeders. At her peak she had over 100 breeding does and could not make money. She is disposing of all her rabbits and looking for quality rabbits now.

Sue

3 Re: Rabbits and Goats on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:19 am

chickencrazygirl

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So for goat prices up high as $400 would be registered stock. Mine are dairy breeds and young stock off their moms are $150. Really low priced ones are people trying to get rid of them and don't value them.
Goats carry a few different things like CL and CAE if the goats are reg you would want them to have been tested for it.
I was going to get mine tested last year, but when I found out $1500.00 later I chose not to.
If you just want goats for meat and maybe milk a dairy breed will grow slow compared to a meat breed. Meat breeds can be milked as well, so I would keep with a breed that will cost you less $$ to raise to the weight you want than a dairy breed. My first goat was a boar cross with a nubian so both dairy and meat breeds in one , great milkier , mom and all round sweet heart.
Also a goat in milk will cost you more as she is milking even if she is sold without her kids. It does not take long for a goat to mind being milked. By the end of one week I had 4 goats that had never been milked taking it in turns to get out the gate to get onto the milking stand to be milked. One kicked a little and all the others was fine. Guess the one that kicked had ticklish teats :0)

http://www.wovenndreamscanada.com

4 Re: Rabbits and Goats on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:19 am

heda gobbler

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Agree with these replies but should point out that if you are confidant of your ability to assess an animal visually and perhaps by pedigree you can pick up very very cheap animals from people who just want to get out of having animals or are retiring etc.

It is a risk - there is so much more to an animal than you can see as pointed out above, but I did pick up two of my very best older Highland cows for very little after seeing an add for them posted at the stockyards. Turns out they were registered and were from very rare bloodlines, but one was almost 20, the other 15. Both were incredibly handsome and "typey". Lovely temperaments. The older one came with a calf at heel but never came into calf again - too bad as she was an amazing animal - but spent years looking after the weaned heifers and teaching them calm, sensible behaviour. And being a great ad for the breed. The second one is still in my herd, calves every year, just fantastic, has paid for herself a hundred times over as her daughters are calving just as consistently too. The prior owners were downsizing and sticking to purebred herefords and just wanted the highlands gone to a good home as they were very fond of them.

Of course when you are selling good registered stock these sorts of vendors make you crazy because people see the ads and ask why your stock is so much more expensive. Then you'd better have a good reason for your price, also as discussed above.

I'd say read a lot, look at lots of photos, ask other breeders what good stock is and yes, post threads like this one. Have a firm view of what you want and get yourself a good mentor at least to start. Buy at least a few of the best you can afford so you have something to compare to.

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

5 Re: Rabbits and Goats on Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:28 am

mirycreek

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"*Deep breath* I suppose what I'm saying is I'm trying to get in this to save money, know where my food comes from, and to reconnect with that 'circle of life', but I don't want it to drive me broke trying to get a basic start."

I'm not sure but I don't think it will ever be "cheap" to get started in anything with quality stock...however if you are willing to start slowly with a long term plan you should be able to do it at a reasonable cost...
But it will take longer to become self sufficient for sure.
(I know a very nice lady who started her Katahdin sheep flock with only 1 bred ewe and now she has a very large flock indeed! Very Happy )

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

6 Re: Rabbits and Goats on Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:33 am

chickencrazygirl

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Your right you do not have to start of big or with big $$$ I started off and still only have un registered goats. I got 2 does and one buck and now have 10 does , one buck and 2 castrated males.

As long as you try to pick healthy stock and ask lots of questions you should be doing just fine.

http://www.wovenndreamscanada.com

7 Re: Rabbits and Goats on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:09 pm

Guest


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Great. So the price range is because of a system of beliefes, every one of you shared a different opinion (if only slightly) *Falls over* I'm greatful, but still undecided.

Thanks so much for everyone's time, I will take a little of what everyone said into my decision making.

Mentor? Where does one find those!

8 Re: Rabbits and Goats on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:22 pm

heda gobbler

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But I think we are all agreed you want to get the best you can. The question is does the market place/pricing always require you to spend the most to get the best. All seem to agree you have to do your homework too.

I found mentors by: 1. buying from breeders who felt responsible to provide support to those who bought livestock from them and 2. belonging to breed societies where many are active and interested in their breed and have an interest in improving it and so happy to help teach or spread information.

Good luck!

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

9 Re: Rabbits and Goats on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:41 pm

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heda gobbler wrote:But I think we are all agreed you want to get the best you can. The question is does the market place/pricing always require you to spend the most to get the best. All seem to agree you have to do your homework too.

I found mentors by: 1. buying from breeders who felt responsible to provide support to those who bought livestock from them and 2. belonging to breed societies where many are active and interested in their breed and have an interest in improving it and so happy to help teach or spread information.

Good luck!

I'm definitely taking all of those points to heart! I will continue to look around and try to learn, poking and prodding some ads here and there to see what I can find.

Let me ask -- is haggling kosher if it doesn't say 'firm'?

10 Re: Rabbits and Goats on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:45 pm

heda gobbler

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You can always ask, especially if you are buying more than one. It doesn't hurt to ask. Some people are anxious to sell quickly. Showing up, cash in hand, can be hard to resist. But most people price carefully and will shut you down quickly if they won't. Be gentle though.

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

11 Re: Rabbits and Goats on Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:37 am

chicken crack

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I learned the hard way not to just take the cheap ones. I do agree that you can get a good price on some good stock if you look for a while and are careful. Auctions are BAD unless you really know your stuff or the breeder.

There is something to be said for buying the higher priced ones though. Generally they are registered or pedigreed and the breeder should have no issue with you seeing the rabbitry.

I guess it depends on what you want. If you want consistent growth etc, get a meat breed that is already grown so you can see its end size. If you want fur over-all maybe Rex or Satin. Look at the breeds and decide what you want taking into consideration if consistency is important.

Right now is the time of year when you can find a lot of good deals because of the winter coming. There are people that just plain don't want to winter the animals and they may well be great animals, just have to be cautious.

Goats, I personally think that if you don't need a lot of meat or milk, go with pygmy crosses. They are small enough to handle but big enough to butcher for your freezer and can produce a good amount of milk too. At this time of year, again, you can get good deals because of winter coming. The CAE and other disease is the important thing for sure. Go to the farm and do NOT buy anything if you see ANY sign of lumps or bumps or crusties.

12 Re: Rabbits and Goats on Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:33 am

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I have learned a great deal about goats in the last year, some of it the hard way.
When I was searching for a goat breed, I tried a Nubian cross, Boar and Nigerians and Pygmies. The boar was awful, into everything and nothing but trouble. The Nubian was nice, good personality, but larger than I could handle easily if she did not want to be handled. Nigerians were wonderful, have large udders and are good natured, but the Pygmies won me over.
I got the first two pygmies from a local person. They were his children's pets, male and female and because they were pets, they were well handled, tame and friendly. I could tether them as well. Now having learned a great deal about raising goats and their frailties, the tame hand reared goats are the only way to go unless you are into production, which is entirely different.
But, the goats are the most demanding animals on the farm for care. They require special goat minerals formulated for your area, goat salt, baking soda (especially for the bucks to prevent urinary calculi), special wormers (the goats I got from a person in Saskatchewan were resistant to Ivomectin and two died before I realized what the problem really was), hoof trimming (which is easy on a small goat) and good housing. A dominant goat will not let the others into her house and what I found works well for the farm are dog igloos set up like a little goat city so each goat or mom and kid have their own space. Goats are prone to mites as well. Their food is best acquired from browsing, not grazing. We want them to graze like sheep, but they do not do as well nutritionally if they are forced to graze. I let the goats out in summer so they can go into the bush and browse and they are very happy. In winter, I have tried to find hay that contains roses, clover, alfalfa, dandelions, weeds, etc, so they can still eat things they need.

I like the pygmy goats best because they are comical and cute, small and easy to handle, provide the riches milk, and are very meaty though I have not eaten any of my own goats. People who are not very knowledgable about goats will sell any small goat as a Pygmy and laugh if you tell them differently (or get offended). People who bought goats for fun or pets and then realized they are work or trouble will sell them very cheap. Most likely they have not been cared for or fed the way they need to be, but maybe if they are young enough, you could remedy that before damage is done. Many miniature goats are crosses of Myotonic, Nigerian and Pygmy in any formulation and some even have normal size goat genes thrown in somewhere along the way. After a lot of research, which is continued, my preference is to have pure Pygmy goats. I do have one pure Alpine as well. She has taken a great deal of patience to get used to because she is different than a mini goat and cannot be compared, but she is lovely.


The goats are my second favourite animals after the dogs. They can be trained to pull carts, and do tricks, unlike most other domestic livestock. Good luck with your choice. They certainly are entertaining and fun.

Price...
I believe it is dependent entirely on what the owner believes the animal is worth to them. As with Heda's cows, when her purebred registered cows were not worth much to the previous owners, they sold them at the price deemed their value. When owners perceive the worth of their goats to be great, they sell them at the higher price, justifying such with terms like registered, blood lines, confirmation and so on, and it is so, just as it is when they may be equally good (or not), but have little value to the current owners. Having said that, troublesome and sick animals have little value to owners and they are not always truthful about the reasons they are selling them. As with all things, buyer beware applies. Buying purebred registered stock from a breeder who values their stock is an excellent way of ensuring quality, but there can be problems even with that method. Price is only what one can get as well, when motivated to sell.

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