A Short Guide On Goat Care
Thanks to dedicated farmers and other goat lovers, taking care of goats are discovered to be not that difficult.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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