Today, more and more people are discovering the fun in raising goats. It was not too long ago when goats are among the lowest on the list of pet animals. Now, raising goats are suddenly on the upswing, either as pets or even as a business.
Unfortunately, many people do not know a whit about proper goat care.Thanks to dedicated farmers and other goat lovers, taking care of goats are discovered to be not that difficult.
Goat Care Short Guide
1# Short history about Goats Rising
Goats are said to be one of the oldest animals domesticated by man. They provide milk, meat, hair and skin. Aside from drinking, goat’s milk can be processed into butter, ice cream and cheese.
The bucks (males) have strong smell and will affect the milk of does (females) if they are not separated. The kids (young goats) are playful and curious and can be trained not to fear people. The wethers are castrated males.
2# Goat’ s Food
For non-free range goats, feeding is done twice daily. Some raisers mixed their own goat food consisting of crimped oats, dairy goat pellets and some sunflower seeds.
There must be water for them all throughout the day. (Cool fresh water in summer and warm water in winter.)
Goats must also have hay available to them all day. Raisers usually provide a mixture of alfalfa, Timothy and orchard grass. Food and water must be placed on sturdy upraised feeders where the goats cannot soil them.
Since they are browsers, goats are ideally raised free-range where they rummage through all kinds of grass, leaves, and bush plants. Carefully check which plants in the area are toxic to them.
Goats are picky Eaters
Goats are really picky eaters and they want their hays fresh and green. If you will let them look for anything that they can feed on, they might turn away from eating anything, especially if they cannot find anything that they want.
The hays that they need were grown for this purpose, such as timothy grass, orchard grass and alfalfa. Its quality can be determined based on the manner by which it was cured in the field.
When the hay is drying and it suddenly rains and it gets wet, it will lose its nutritional value and it will also develop molds. If it gets too dry, this will also present a problem because its nutrition is going to be lost, especially during the baling process.
3# Fence for Goats Keeping
The best quality that you can opt when it comes to fencing is stock paneling. This is also the most cost effective method when it comes to this. The panels can help in containing your animals in small areas.
Aside from being affordable, these panels can be easily installed and removed. You can even do this on your own and you no longer need to hire skilled hands.
4# Goat’s Shelter
Goats hate rain and mud. They need a proper shed to protect them from rain, snow and (cold) wind.
Some owners keep cabinets inside these shelters for goats to sleep off the ground. Goats love warm and dry places. It is important to keep these places always clean and dry to keep off bacteria.
Outside these shelters, there should be some place for your non-free range goats to roam and frolic. A small rock pile and some other objects for them to play-jump with would be ideal.
If the weather is good, your goats will be happy to roam around the area where you leave them. But if it is raining or during winter season, your goats need some kind of shelter where they can feel comfortable and they can avoid getting wet.
The shelter can be made out of three walls and a good roof that will stand still against gutsy winds and rains. It will be better if you have dirt floors so that the urine will soak on the ground and with this, fewer beddings will be needed to be placed in the area.
5# Health for Goats Care
Kids (young goats) should be properly immunized, usually with Bar-Vac CDT (clostridium perfringens types C & D tetanus toxoid). At one year old (and every year thereafter), they should get a booster Bar-Vac CDT injection.
They need to be de-wormed at least four times a year. De-wormers also kills external parasites (lice, ticks, fleas, etc).
Don’t overfeed your goats because they will accumulate gas. (Baking soda usually relieves this.) Baking soda helps goats in their digestion and keeping in check their urine acidity. Goats know when they need to eat baking soda and how much they need.
A healthy goat has bright eyes, smooth and shiny coat, with a good appetite, and alert. Teary or cloudy eyes might mean infection.
A dull coat might mean they have parasites. Hunched backs and droopy tails indicate something is wrong, especially if they refuse to eat.
6# Other tips about Goats Rising
Never raise a single goat. Goats are herd animals. Keep as many as you can. They have different personalities, are affectionate, and hang around people to get a good scratch. Goat care is not a chore.