New to goats? This page is here to help!
Click on blue words to go to different places!
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Buck - An intact male goat
Doe - A female goat
Wether - A castrated (neutered) male goat
Bottle baby - A goat kid that is hand raised with a bottle
Rut - Mating season for goats around fall. Boys become very stinky and rougher than usual.
FAMACHA Scoring - Identifies anemia in goats and sheep. Uses a five-shade chart that corresponds with the bottom eyelid color of the animal.
Who Makes the Best Pets?
Wethers - Make EXCELLENT pets! They are braver than does and tend to be friendlier. They do not stink as bad as bucks.
Bottle babies - Raised by humans, bottle babies are always friendly and love attention, they make great pets.
Bucks - Although some of our friendliest goats are bucks, they can be rough and very stinky during rut.
Does - Friendly, but can be more senstive and standoffish than bucks, bottle babies, and wethers.
Who Can Live With Who?
Does can live with:
Bucks can live with:
Bucklings are ready to mate starting at just 8 weeks old (2 months). Does should not be bred until they are at least one and a half years old.
Does and bucks should NOT be housed together permanently.
Goats are also very social herd animals. You CANNOT just buy one goat by themselves. They will get lonely, depressed, and may even die. Dogs, people, and other animals usually cannot be substitutions for another goat. Goats need other goats. Period.
What We Feed
How Much Do We Feed?
A general rule of thumb for goats is to feed them no more than they can eat in 10 minutes.
We give them 24/7 access to both loose minerals and baking soda. They will go to it when they need it.
Loose Goat Minerals
Loose goat minerals have what goats might be lacking in their primary diet. It helps with their coat, parasite resistance, and overall health. It's important to get minerals specifically made for goats, as they have different needs than other livestock.
Did you know that baking soda is the main ingredient of Pepto-Bismol?
Goats use baking soda the same way we do, to cure stomach aches!
Baking soda helps alleviate bloat that can be caused by overeating and or suddenly switching from hay and food to rich greenery.
Leaving baking soda out for your goats allows them to treat themselves before it gets serious and needs medical treatment.
These two videos are very helpful, going into detail about why hoof trimming is important and showing how to do it.
CDT - A Must!
The CDT vaccine protects goats from the over-eating disease (Clostridium perfringens type C and D) and tetanus.
New kids get a CDT shot when they are 6-8 weeks old, and again after 3-4 weeks.
After that, goats get an annual CDT shot.
All goats, even the kids, get 2mls of vaccine.
The FAMACHA Scoring makes it easy to determine if your goat needs to be wormed. By pulling down the lower eyelid and looking at the pinkness, you can calculate if they are anemic.
If you have goats or are planning to get goats, you will have to deal with parasites, it's just part of the responsibility of having goats. But don't be afraid! Here's a brief crash course and what we do to make sure our goats are healthy. (This only includes parasites we've dealt with.)
Just like with humans, ticks can and will get on goats.
These lice are not the same as head lice, nor will they bite/infest humans.
They are the worst during spring and fall, especially during wet seasons.
They tend to target babies and weak goats.
They cause itching and a massive infestation (biting) will eventually lead to anemia.
They get to other goats by contact and waiting in bedding.
How We Treat For External Parasites
As of right now we use Cylence to treat for external parasites. It is a cattle drench that you can find in Orschelns or other farm stores.
For us, and Cylence being pretty lax (no milk withdrawal period even), we eyeball the dosage. Usually, adults get 2mls, juveniles get 1ml, and babies get 1/2ml. To give them Cylence, you run it down their spines like you would give a flea treatment to dogs.
We've had no problems with it and see good results.
How We Treat For Internal Parasites
Internal parasites can make goats skinny, anemic, lethargic and overall poorly. There are many different internal parasites, but luckily most can be treated the same way.
As of right now we use Prohibit with great results. In our area some parasites have grown resistant to other, better known wormers, including Invermectin. Prohibit, at the moment, is working excellently for our herd.
Be prepared though, one packet of Prohibit powder makes 1 gallon of wormer that needs to be used within 90 days. We usually divide our packet into fourths.
Tapeworms tend to not respond to other wormers, and need Safe-Guard in order to successfully get rid of them. If you have a goat that isn't looking healthier like the others after worming, try Safe-Guard and see if it's tapeworms.