Learn the goat care basics! There are over 300 goat breeds! Goats shown here include, (left to right), Alpine,
Nigerian Dwarf, Saanen, Fainting and Boer. Each goat has unique characteristics.
The dairy goats consist of the Alpine, Saanen and Nigerian Dwarf. Fainting and Boer goats are, mostly, used for meat production. Goats need the proper environment, climate, shelter and food to survive.
Before spending time, money and energy ask yourself questions about raising goats.
-- "What type of goat do I want?"
-- "For what purpose do I want them?"
-- "Do I have the proper environment to raise them?"
-- "Do I live in the proper climate?"
-- "Do I have time to care for them?"
Don't worry, I'll help answer all of these questions, then you can decide the best goat for you! So, let's get started. Here are some topics of consideration and goat care tips, just for you!
Environment, Climate, Fencing, Shelter, Feeding, Health Care, Companionship, How to Find Goats, Observing Before Purchase
Is the environment you live in beneficial for raising goats? Do you have a pasture in which they can roam and graze?
Goats like to roam and move freely about. Place rocks or something for goats to climb to keep their hooves trimmed.
Is the climate you live in appropriate for raising goats? Goats are very adaptable and can thrive in most climates, except for deserts or tundras. Some can be sensitive to extensive heat, like Saanen dairy goats. Some perform much better in shady or cooler conditions and do fine in cold environments. Goats do not like to get wet and are sensitive to drafts. They like to enter a barn or some kind of shelter during times of rain.
Do you have a fence around your property? Usually, a four-foot fence is minimum height to keep the animal from jumping over. Make sure your goats can not get tangled up in the type of fence you provide. Some people use an underground electric fence.
Goats need a shed or small barn that is bedded well and draft free. The shed should have a pen that allows approximately five square feet of movement per goat. Never contain goats in a small or cramped environment. The floor should be dirt, concrete or covered with hay and kept dry, since goats can be prone to foot rot. Allow air circulation throughout the area. The shelter should have a door keeping them enclosed during cold Winter months.
When feeding goats, a trough should be large enough to hold hay and grain. Place the trough so goats don't have to strain to reach their food. Always keep water nearby and accessible. Use automatic water dispensers or keep buckets of water around. Some owners feed twice a day and others only once. Learn what is best for your animal.
choosy eaters, more than dogs, cows or sheep. They will reject food that is dirty, smelly, wilted, or has been on the ground.
Alfalfa hay, grain mixture and loose mineral mix is used to feed many
goats. Check your local goat breeder or veterinarian for your goats nutritional needs.
PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE
Check with your local veterinarian for vaccinations. De-worm and check for lice. Food, water and environment should, always, be kept clean to avoid the spread of bacteria.
Pay attention to changes in your goat’s appearance or temperament. A healthy goat has clear and bright eyes. Cloudy eyes or tearing may indicate a pinkeye infection. Their coat should be smooth and shiny. A puffed up coat may indicate the goat isn’t feeling well and a dull coat may indicate parasites. A hunched back or droopy tail could indicate something is wrong. Check their bag for an overall healthy condition.
Goats should maintain a healthy appetite, though its normal for a doe in labor to refuse to eat. They should have an alert temperament or attitude. Get to know your goat. Be aware of daily routines so you'll notice any changes in appearance or behavior sooner than later.
It’s not a good idea to raise just one goat. Goats enjoy the companionship of other goats and people! They do not, always, like to be left alone. Spend time with them. Approach them quietly. Pet them. The Alpine baby goat plays, "Peek-a-Boo" with people. (on left) The Saanen baby goats play with each other. (on right)
Goats can be fun, enjoyable and affectionate. You may consider having a pet goat, a new member of your family.
Where can you find the right goats for you? A goat ranch, recommended breeder or local 4H group are a few good places.
OBSERVE GOATS BEFORE PURCHASE
Observe the condition of the animal. Does it look healthy and happy? Notice their temperament. Ask the owner if there are any problems. Can you get the medical history? Are the immunizations current? Are the goats registered? These are a few questions to ask before purchasing.
Find goat care books at your local library, bookstore or Amazon.com. With the proper goat care your animal can be happy and healthy. Thanks for visiting this goat care page! I hope you visit again!