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Monday, August 31, 2015

What I Know About Goat Keeping...Thus Far

L-R: Tessie, Nub and Lilly
     
In 20+ years of goat keeping I have learned a few things and forgot most of them.
This is what I remember thus far:

Disclaimer: This is for information purposes only and is how I treat my goats and is not intended to treat or diagnose your goats where you live. Consult a local Veterinarian.

General:

1.) Provide fresh clean water and add a little apple cider vinegar if possible. (1 cup per 30 gallons of water)

2.) Provide shelter so the goats can get out of the rain that is well drained and protected from the prevailing wind. 

3.) Keep a loose mineral/salt blend available free choice. The following works pretty well... Thus far.

Combine:

1 pint food grade Diatomaceous Earth 
2 pints fine or extra fine Pink Himalayan salt

Or:

1 pint Powdered Sodium Bentonite Clay
2 pints Plain Fine Salt

Add:
About 3 ounces garlic powder (in hot weather)
About 3 ounces vitamin C powder (year round)

4.) Allow goats to forage or graze freely.  Any changes to a goat's diet should be made gradually. Provide high quality horse hay in the Wintertime along with 1 pint per goat whole corn per day or 2 pint corn or Multi species pellets and 2 pint afalfa pellets per day twice daily divided. A trough that they can keep their feet out of works well for this. Don't allow goats to stand in a wet area while they eat or sleep.

5.) Check goats daily. If one seems a little "off" check it out. Keep Goat Nutri-Drench, Ivermectin, liquid anti-diarrhea medicine and mineral oil on hand. Goats should have a healthy pink color to their inner eyelids when you pull down on them.

6.) Clear kids nose when they are born and dip navels in iodine solution. Give mom a tetanus toxid vaccination within 24 hours after she gives birth. Keep does and kids in together for at least 3 days. Keep them in a confined pasture for at least 30 days until the kids can keep up with mom. Do breeding when does will give birth in early spring. Disbud kids at about 1 month of age. I like to have it done when the signs are in the feet. 

7.) Have castration done at 6 months of age in males. Signs in the feet. Give males a jelly sandwich with about a teaspoon of vitamin c powder 3 days in a row occasionally.

8.) Avoid giving goats products labeled for deer.

9.) "Where there's breath there's hope." for a goat that is sick. If they get down and can no longer eat or drink don't make them suffer to long but always look for a Miracle. 

10.) Keep a guard animal that is compatible in stable fencing.