SnR's Farm

Nigerian Dwarf & F1 Mini Alpine Dairy Goats

 

Goat Information



Never delay seeking veterinary care
if your animal is sick. 


Here on this page you will find useful information, forms, and links on goats.  Please let us know if any of the links below are no-longer working.

DISCLAIMER
 
We are not vets, nor experts on goat medicine and health care.  The following information is for general reference only and is not intended as a way to diagnose or treat your animal.  Nor is it intended to replace a professional veterinarian's opinion and care. We cannot guarantee the effectiveness of any of this information, or take responsibility for any loss or damage by following this information.

Each breeder's opinion on goat health and management is going to differ.

NEVER DELAY SEEKING VETERINARY CARE IF YOUR ANIMAL IS SICK.
Some Necessary Thing To Have On Hand

  • Black Oil Sunflower Seeds - Black oil sunflower seeds (yes the kind you buy for wild birds) contains vitamin E, zinc, iron, and selenium.  It is said that when feed to goats it can make their coats shinny and increase the butterfat in their milk. It is also a good sour of B-3 (Niacin), B-6, and Choline.  It is  great for their overall diet and add fiber & fat to the diet.  Most goat owners call it BOSS for short.  It can be mixed into the goats grain shell and all. Can be feed to most goats, all year long.  (Note: We mix BOSS with our grain in equal parts (1:1).  When not feeding grain we feed straight BOSS as a treat.)

  • Sweetlix Goat Mineral (loose form) - Very important to have some type of loose mineral. Try to find one made specifically for goats, if you can't, then get one made for cattle, but not sheep as it will not contain copper and goats must have copper. Also try to find a brand that doesn't add fake flavors to the minerals, or the goats may eat too much (molasses is fine). Try not to buy one in block form, it should be loose. Keep this in a separate bucket; do not put it in with their food. Please keep this available at all times.  IF YOU ONLY BUY ONE OTHER THING OTHER THAN ALFALFA/GRASS HAY, THIS IS IT!  (We use the Sweetlix brand for our goats.) http://www.sweetlix.com/products/C14/goats.aspx

 

  • Baking Soda, Very important, this will help prevent bloat, a little like Tums works on heart burn in humans. Bloat can happen very quickly, so you need to have this out at all times in a place that your goats have easy access to, and make sure it stays clean so the goats will want to use it.

Diamond V yeast may be a better choice for wethers, as baking soda can help contribute to Urinary Calculi (urinary stones).  (NOTE: It used to be said that you needed this out at all times, however some breeders are now saying you don't need this.)  (We have noticed that some of our goats do bloat up with out it, but not so much that it is life threatening.  They just seem a bit uncomfortable.  As we don't like to see our goats "uncomfortable", we put Baking Soda out for them.   However, in the spring we put out a bloat block for our goat.  As we have had some close calls due to to much rich spring grasses.  We use a bloat block made for cattle as our vet said it would work for goats.)

 

  • Bo-Se or Selenium and Vitamin E Oral Gel - These two are the same product, (they are both Selenium and vitamin E).  Bo-Se is prescription only (you can only get Bo-Se from a veterinary).  You can find Selenium and Vitamin E oral Gel online at Jeffers Livestock supply.  Do not give too much, goats can overdose on Selenium.  Give to bucks and does before breeding also give to does 2 week before kidding.  (We also give to does 5 weeks before kidding) Increases fertility, and helps with birthing.  Helps prevent White Muscle disease in kids. Give to kids born with weak legs, preferably give to kids again around 8 weeks old, and 3 to 4 times a year for all goats. Make sure goats have free access to minerals all day to get the daily amounts of Selenium they need.  Inject 1 CC of Bo-Se per 40 pounds of body weight. 5 CC's of Selenium and Vitamin E gel will treat a 120 pound goat, so make sure and weigh your goat, and give the proper amount to avoid over dosing. 


  • Bar Vac CD&T  (CD&T Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine) - Use 2 CC's, or 2 ml (same thing) Give their first shot at 2 weeks old, their 2nd shot 6 weeks old , and a third shot 9 to 10 weeks when weaning.  Give 2 CC's again at 6 months old, and a year old, and twice a year after that. There are many other brands of CD&T shots, although you should ask someone if they felt it would work well for goats before buying it. (Keep refrigerated). Make sure and check the expiration date, and store correctly. CD&T Tetanus Toxoid is not the same as Tetanus Antitoxin or C&D Antitoxin. All three of the vaccinations we have listed here are for different uses, one cannot do the job of another, even though they have similar names. Make sure you are using the correct vaccine for what you need to protect against. CD&T can usually be purchased at most local Livestock supply stores.   http://www.jefferspet.com/bar-vac-cd-t/camid/LIV/cp/16741/


  • Tetanus Antitoxin Vaccine - This helps give short term protection from tetanus until the kid is old enough for their CD&T shots. It is also to be used after a goat has been vaccinated with CD&T, but needs to have a surgery, or after they happen to get a large cut, or puncture wound, also before castrating, and dis-budding, and at birth to prevent navel ill. 1/4 CC for newborns, 1 1/2 CC's for kids, 3 CC's or more for adults depending on the situation. (Keep refrigerated). Make sure and check the expiration date. This can usually be purchased at most local Livestock supply stores. 

http://www.jefferspet.com/tetanus-antitoxin/camid/LIV/cp/11528/

 

  • Ammonium Chloride - For wethers and bucks (very important), helps prevent Urinary Calculi and can be mixed into the loose minerals. Another product that can be used instead of Ammonium Chloride is Biochlor. Keep this available, mixed in the right proportions at all times for wethers. Does are not prone to having problems with Urinary Calculi, so do not need this product. This often needs to be bought online. http://www.jefferspet.com/search.asp?t=ss&c=0&ss=Ammonium+Chloride+&camid=LIV&sb=2

or at  http://hoeggerfarmyard.com/xcart/search.php?mode=search&page=1  (NOTE: We buy the Manna Pro Goat Mineral at Wal~Mart for our bucks as it has the Ammonium Chloride already mixed in.)


  • Copper -  There is not enough copper provided in grain.  Even goats when supplemented with loose minerals can be lacking in copper.  Some symptoms of lacking copper in adult goats are: hair becomes very long, bushy hair, hair can look sun bleached, rough, and faded.  Another sign that a goat is deficient in copper is a bald tail tip.  The hair on the tail separates at the end giving the end of the tail a "fish tail" look.  Copper is also important for parasite resistance.  Goats with copper deficiency are less likely to fight off parasite infections.   Copper can be toxic if given improperly.  It is recommend that goats receive 1 gram of copper per 20 lbs of body weight. Boluses come in 2 gram or 4 gram sizes when bought from Santa Cruz Animal Health. Use whatever combination that will add up to 1 gram/20 lbs.  It is recommended that bolusing your goats starts at 6 months and is repeated again every 6 months.  Santa Cruz Animal Health's  website is: http://www.scahealth.com/ultracruz-copper-bolus-goat-supplement.html   You will also need to buy a "Pet Piller" which will put the bolus into the correct place in the goat's stomach. We supplement our goats with copper once to twice a year.  

(NOTE: We have found that if you take a bit of grain wet it down a little then open the boluses and sprinkle the copper onto the feed it is a lot easier to get into the goats!)


  • De-Wormer -  Ivomec Plus Injectable for Cattle -  Some breeders do three treatments in a row, ten days apart each, followed by a forth treatment a month after the third.  They feel wormers cannot kill the worm's eggs, so the 4 treatments will kill all stages of larvae development.  If you have a problem with mites, or need to de-worm pregnant does, then use this wormer.   1 CC for 40 pounds of body weight, injected SQ or 1cc per 33 lbs if given orally.  We have found that some goats act like Ivomec Plus burns a little when injected.   Due to the burning of this wormer some people are now giving it orally.  We usually start de-worming our kids for the first time no earlier than 4 to 6 weeks old and de-worm our adults twice a year as needed.  You can purchase Ivomec Plus Injectable wormer for cattle at Jeffers.  http://www.jefferspet.com/search.asp?camid=LIV&ss=Ivomec+Plus+Injectable+for+Cattle+&search-submit=GO


  • De-Wormer -  Valbazen This de-wormer will get Tapeworms as well as others. Not all de-wormers will get Tapeworms. (Do not use Valbazen on pregnant goats).  For Valbazen, use 1 CC per 10 pounds of body weight, given orally.  Some breeders do the same 4 treatments as with the Ivomec Plus Injectable for Callte. Can be purchased online at Jeffers http://www.jefferspet.com/search.asp?camid=LIV&ss=Valbazen&search-submit=GO

 

  • De-Wormer for Lice -  Ivomec Eprinex Pour on for Cattle De-Wormer.  If you have a problem with lice, you can use Eprinex. 1 CC for 10 pounds of body weight, directly on the skin, in a line down the goat's back, using a syringe without the needle on it, to apply the product. Treat a second time in ten days. (Ivomec Plus injectable can also be used instead of Eprinex.) 

http://www.jefferspet.com/search.asp?camid=LIV&ss=Ivomec+Eprinex+Pour-On+&search-submit=GO

 

  • 20 gauge, 3 CC's (or more) Monoject Luer Lock Syringe with needle - For use with the CD&T and other products. Sometimes you can use the thinner 22 gauge for the Tetanus Antitoxin. For very thick products such as some antibiotics, you should use an 18 gauge needle. We always prefer a needle with a luer lock syringe, instead of a slip tip. Luer lock means that the needle screws onto the syringe, and will not slip off of the tip if the goat jumps while being injected. The gauge is the size of the needle, the larger the number, the thinner the needle will be. The 20 gauge is what we use the most. The shortest needle will be best, 3/4 or 1 inch long, not longer. Some products need to be administered at the dosage of 1 cc per ten pounds, and some very large bucks can weigh in at around 90 pounds. Make sure you have larger syringes on hand so you don't have to refill twice or more.  You can buy these online at Jeffers or at any farm supply store.

 

  • 18 Gauge Luer Lock Needles - To be used with antibiotics, and other very thick liquid injections.


  • 12 CC syringes without the needle (or oral syringes) - So you can give de-wormers, selenium and vitamin E gel, probiotics, and any other oral dosages. Sometimes you can find these with a long tip to help get the product into the back of the mouth.

 

  • %100 Alcohol and Cotton Balls - To use before giving a shot, drawing blood, or disinfecting the skin for other reasons. Also to disinfect tools to be used on the goat. Good to have on hand at all times.

 

  • Hoof Trimmers - Use the small orange handled hoof trimmers, they work really well for these small goats. They are sometimes called "Shear Magic" Hoof Trimmers.  Some breeders will tell you to never use anything that is not specifically made for goats, such as scissors or pruning shears.  We on the other hand have found that pruning shears work great at times. Hoof Trimmers can be bought at any farm supply store or online at Hoegger's Supply Co. or at Jeffers.  http://hoeggerfarmyard.com/xcart/Hoof-Care/ or http://www.jefferspet.com/grooming/camid/LIV/cc/3308/c2c/sc/

 

  • Water Trough - You will need some type of water trough/bucket; make sure they can't drown in it, and that the sides are tall enough to keep dirt out. If you have small goat kids you may get a shorter one now, and a taller one later. Kids can drown in a 5-gallon bucket, and adults can drown in horse troughs. Make sure the trough/bucket can not be tip over easily, and think about a heater for the wintertime. Goats need their water to be defrosted 24 hours of the day. Have a heater ready, and tested before the weather gets too cold.Make sure you keep the cords up so that your goats cannot chew on them as well. 

 

  • Probiotics, (Probios Bovine One Oral Gel) - Great in case your goat gets an upset stomach, is sick, stressed, or is a bottle baby. If you know you are going to do something upsetting like take them traveling, giving shots, or finishing an antibiotic treatment, or other medications that might upset their stomach, give them the Probiotics first, or after. Give to bottle babies in their bottles.  (Keep refrigerated).  Keep this on hand at all times if you show your goats, breed, want to be prepared, or have bottle babies.

 

  • Goat Nutri-Drench -  Great if the goat looks a little down, or has a long day of traveling, showing, a doe that just gave birth, is off of their feed for some reason and needs extra calories, is sick and has diarrhea, skinny goats, bottle babies who need a little help, and for newborns. You can substitute for Karo syrup or molasses if in a bind. Good to keep on hand. We supply this to our doe's when they have just kidded to give them that added boost.

 

  • Iodine or  Xenodine Polyhydroxydine - For cuts, wounds, and navels at birth. Also for sanitizing your banding tool before use, and for buck kids before castrating. Plus many other things. Good to have on hand in a first aid or birthing kit. Iodine is becoming very difficult to find in some areas, Xenodine is also a great product if you cannot find Iodine.


  • Leash and Collar - Read the directions on the collar about how to measure your goat's neck for a correct fit. We usually buy a dog collar, sometimes a dog harness will work better for long walks. Some prefer not to leave a collar on their goats when their not watching them, as they do not feel it is safe. It would be too easy for them to get it caught on something and not be able to reach food and water, or be an easy target for predators, break their neck trying to free themselves, or hang themselves. If you are buying a show collar, than most people prefer thin black nylon collars, and short black leashes. For shows we prefer the choke chains, but we do not leave them on them unless in the ring.  We use loose nylon collars that stay on the goats unless in the ring.  A horse lead rope is convenient to quickly catch your goat when they won't be walking far. The end of the rope can be looped through the metal snap to make the collar. We only use this when we are working on our goats or have them tied up to eat their grain, not walking them.  For walking we use regular dog leashes. 


  • Traveling Crate - A really large Pygmy or Nigerian will fit comfortably in a dog crate the size of 27 wide, times 42 long, and 31 high. A Medium sized Pygmy or Nigerian will fit in a crate the size of 21 wide and 30 long, although may have to duck to get in. A kid will fit in a crate the size of 19 wide and 24 long. If you plan on traveling in a truck with a canopy on the back you can get a crate made out of wire, although if they will be in an open truck bed we suggest the more enclosed crates made out of plastic with just the wire door or cover the wire crate with a tarp to help brake the wind. Make sure to keep the sun off of them while traveling.  Please always have a way to transport your goats, and a plan set up ahead of time in case you have an emergency and need to evacuate your home quickly without much notice. (Such as fire, or flood etc...) Goats can also travel in horse trailers. You can buy your crates on ebay ( www.Ebay.com ) or check out some at Jeffers Livestock Supply.  You can also purchase at pet supply stores or Wal-Mart.

 

  • Brushes - There are many types of brushes, some like to use a metal Curry comb, especially to get out the winter coat, or anything that is shedding out already. While we are bathing them, we use a rubber curry comb while shampooing and rinsing out the shampoo, it really helps to remove all of the dead hair. The metal curry comb is not good on the bony areas of the face and legs, and do not press hard over the spine, or other bones as it will hurt. The rubber curry comb works better over bony areas. 


  • Stall Dry - This is a product that you put down on the bottom of the barn floor before laying down the bedding to absorb the smell of urine, and the wetness. It is really nice, and we suggest you try and find some. There are a few other brand names out there too.  This is something we use every time we clean out our barn.  We use it every week in the winter time as the goats are in the barn more during the winter months.  

 

  • Food Carrying Buckets and Scoops - If you use a bucket to bring the grain or feed to your goats, than they will get used to seeing the grain bucket each day during feeding time. When you rattle it, they will come running to you, making it easy to catch them if you need to do any work on them such as de-worming, this is always a plus! Having measuring scoops in the storage room makes it easy to know how much to feed each goat, so you won't over feed anyone. A 5 gallon bucket is helpful, encase you ever need to carry water to their trough.  We keep a verity of different sized buckets on hand as well as scoops. 

 

  • Food Dish - You should buy a couple of food dishes.  Depending on how many goats you have will determine what size the dishes are.   The most dominate goat is going to push the others out of the way to eat all of the food, and will end up getting over weight, while the others will be under nourished. You can tie your goats up while they eat their grain or separate them out into small holding pens.  This will help you know who is eating and how isn’t.  This also helps keep the dominant goat form eating every thing.  Make sure the food dishes have sides that are high enough to keep the food from being pushed out, and dirt from getting in.

 

  • Hayrack - *Note* A lady we know had a goat get stuck in a hayrack at night and die. This is known to be a common problem among goat owners. Please be very careful when building, or selecting the design of your hayrack. When building or purchasing a hayrack for a goat, think about what your needs are. If your goats have horns you need to be careful not to have one that they can get stuck in, if you are breeding goats, make sure that the kids can't climb inside the rack. If the spaces between the bars are too wide, goats will put their head inside, and some have been known to get their necks broken when they are trying to eat and another goat butts them from the side.  We have heard of goats getting their feet caught in some where the bars come together in a V shape, and they've actually lost their feet.  Also, goats may try to jump on top of the hay feeder, either for fun or to eat, and get stuck. So you may want to build a top on it to keep them out. Here is a site that sells hay feeders, you can get ideas to build one from here, or buy one. Some prefer the ones with the smaller wire squares, because there is much less mess that will end up on your barn floor. You can also feed out of large buckets put on the ground. http://www.nextag.com/hay-rack/compare-html   The first feeders we  built were built using Harvey Considine’s plans for a low waste feed. We now have feeders we built using the Premier One design. Build Your Own Feeders - Premier 1 Supplies

 

  • Food Storage Bin - This can be something from a garbage can, or other type of storage container, as long as it will keep rodents, moisture, and all of the outside elements away from your goat's food while it is being stored.  You will want to use something that the rodents can’t chew through. 

 

  • Wheelbarrow - To use for hauling off the dirty barn bedding.

 

  • Pitch Fork - To put the bedding into the wheelbarrow.

 

  • Rakes - It is nice to have two types of rakes to clean up in the barn, and the corral.

 

  • Shovel - A shovel is always going to come in handy.

 

  • Heavy Duty Leather Work Gloves - To prevent blisters and splinters while working. Can be found at any farm supply store even Wal-Mart.

 

Hay Hooks - These are used to easily move bales of hay.  You can find these at most farm supply stores. 
Hay

Alfalfa - Best for pregnant and nursing does, also milking goats. 3rd or 4th cutting dairy quality alfalfa is best. Growing males should have some type of grass hay mixed in as well, to help prevent bent leg, caused from too much Calcium. Alfalfa Pellets also work well instead of flakes. Alfalfa can give young kids diarrhea, as it is too rich. Timothy hay is a better choice for younger kids and wethers. Alfalfa can cause Urinary Calculi in wethers.

 

Grass Hay - Best for wethers and bucks. A Grass Alfalfa mix, 80 % Grass is best to add nutrients. Alfalfa can cause urinary stones in bucks and wethers. A diet of Grass or Timothy hay can help prevent the stones from forming. Orchard Grass, or grass hay has very little nutrients, and should be fed along with alfalfa a couple times a week.

 

Timothy Hay - Best for kids and over weight goats, also young goats just starting to learn to eat, and wethers. Brome if it is in your area is also nice if you don't want to use Timothy.  

 

Oat Hay - Good for all goats, feed along with Alfalfa, Timothy, or Grass hay. Goats are known to love Oat hay. Use it as an additive to their diet for variety, not the main meal.


We feed a mix of Alfalfa/Orchard Grass hay and have had no trouble.  We feed this to all our goats.   At times we have feed straight Alfalfa hay.  We find that they put on a lot of weight with just straight Alfalfa.
Great Items to Consider Buying

C&D Anti-Toxin - To give short term prevention and treatment of enterotoxaemia. This is a life safer, it should be kept on hand at all times, and given anytime a goat has diarrhea, or looks bloated. C&D Antitoxin will make any previously given CD&T shots ineffective. If your goat ever needs a shot of C&D Antitoxin, than make sure to re-give their CD&T vaccine, with a booster shot. C&D is a separate product from the two listed above. This may need to be purchased online.   

 

Epinephrine - Prescription only. This is for treatment of anaphylactic shock. You should keep it on hand, and near by anytime you are administering a shot. IM injection, 1 cc per 100 pounds.

 

Milk Plus or Calf Manna pellets - Best pelleted food for young goats, wethers, and a good food for all others. Can be fed as a "creep feed" (left out all day). Great to keep available for young goats at all times, as long as they are not over weight.

 

Beet Pulp Pellets - Great for fiber which can be lacking in their diets. Usually can be found in the horse food section. Must be soaked in water before being feed to the goats. Never give to bucks being used for breeding, as beet pulp may cause temporary sterility.

 
  • Carrots - Great for Beta Carotene, and treats to make them friendly. Must be cut up very small!

 

  • Apples - High in fiber and Potassium, great for treats also.

 

Other Fruits and Veggies - Goats love many things.  Extra healthy treats help to keep your goats super friendly.  Some goats’ favorites are dried fruits like prunes, blueberries, raisins, and also cherry tomatoes, fresh bananas even with the peal on, apples and carrots are good for their health too.  But watch out and don't over treat, you don't want a fat goat.

 

Nutrena Nature Wise Goat Feed (grain) - A must for milking or nursing does, does in the last two weeks of pregnancy and bucks in rut. Do not feed to goats that are under the age of 6 months, they cannot digest it yet. Always sparingly to wethers of all ages, if any (1 tablespoon a day).  Milk Plus would be preferred over grain for those animals.  Some prefer to give none during the first stages of pregnancy to keep the does thinner, to prepare for kidding. A heavy doe is more likely to need a C-section. Goats can die from eating too much grain at one time.  Do not let them get into the feed bag. There is also Purina Goat Chow brand, although it is not as high of quality as Nutrena.  Also there is Land O' Lakes Dairy Goat Feed,  but we do not have any experience with Land O' Lakes food.  Some horse grains tend to contain too much molasses so use caution. 


  • We feed our does a mix of wet cob and dry cob with BOSS mixed in.  The boy's get a pelleted feed for show goats with added Ammonium Chloride in it, we also mix BOSS in with their pellets.  

 

  • Dr. Naylor's Blu-Kote or Red-Kote antiseptic spray - This is an antiseptic spray that is great for any kind of wounds, scraps, or cuts from trimming hooves, scurs (horn growths) that may get torn off from time to time, and can be used after disbudding goat kids. The Blu-Kote aerosol is best. Good to keep this on hand. 

 

Aspirin - Goats can have an Aspirin if you need to give them something for pain. Not Tylenol, or Advil, just plain Aspirin. 325 mg. 1 pill per ten pounds. 

 

Pepto Bismal or Kaolin - For loose stool or diarrhea, and stomach upset. Sometimes called Kaolin for animals. 1 tablespoon for kids and 3 tablespoons for adults, three times a day for no more than 2 to 5 days. It is important to remember that diarrhea is not an illness, it is a symptom of an illness. If your goat is having diarrhea, you still need to find the cause of the illness, and treat it. Use Kaolin sparingly, or it can cause constipation.  

 

Electrolytes - Goats can get sick or dehydrated from illness, stress, heat, traveling, and other reasons. Give them electrolytes anytime they have diarrhea, or fluid loss from extreme heat or stress. Do not mix with milk, or milk replacer. Make sure to keep this on hand at all times.  Vi-Tal is the best brand for goats, followed by Revitilyte Plus, Electrolytes Plus, or Re-Sorb

  

Terramycin Soluble Powder, or Biosol Liquid - Great to treat gut upset from bacteria, e-coli and many other problems that cause scouring.  

 

  • Fortified B Complex, or B12, B1 - Should be given during and after the use of Di-Methox and Terramycin to prevent B deficiencies, which can cause a condition known as goat Polio. Also great to use anytime the goat is sick, has diarrhea, or a doe kids, and for newborns. B12 and B1 are prescription only, B complex is OTC. Make sure to get FORTIFIED B complex, or else it will not contain enough Thiamine. You need to make sure it contains at least 100mg/ml of Thiamine.

  

  • Shampoo - There are some types that are made just for goats, and you can also use baby shampoo for humans. Make sure to rinse well, and do not get water in the ears and nose, or shampoo in the eyes. Tearless is good. There is also the brand called Mane 'N Tail Shampoo.  We like the coconut shampoo for horses as well as the whitening shampoo's which we get at North 40

 

  • Bedding - You can use straw, although it is not as absorbent and some goats like to eat it. You can also use Pine Shavings which are very soft and absorbent, although it sticks to your clothes more and is more likely to get tracked into your house if your barn and house are close to each other. Some people mix the two, others use grass hay or another type of cheap dried hay, although if your goat is over weight they will eat this, so you will have a harder time controlling their weight. Don't use anything that could harm them if they ate it, and wouldn't be comfortable to lie on, such as wood chips.  Sometimes of the year, dirt floors don't need bedding if you choose not to, although almost all other barn floors such as cement, wood, etc... will need bedding year round.  We don't use bedding except when kidding.  

 

  • Play Toys - Inside their pen, provide objects for them to climb and play on.  Old picnic tables or similar items are good choices.  Just about anything safe, free of nails, splinters, and not so tall that if they were to jump from it they could get hurt. Rocks, large empty wooden spools that were once used to hold wire, apple bins, large tree stumps or logs that can't roll, tires that won't fill up with water. If you have a very large amount of land and it is all flat, you could have a load of dirt brought in to make a tall mound. A lot of times you can get it for free when they need to remove the dirt from building sites. Goats like to be up high and off the ground and play "king of the mountain", so let your imagination carry you away!! The possibilities are endless.  Just be careful it isn't to tall.  We have a friend who sold kids that died from jumping off stuff.     


  • Heat Lamp - Only newborn kids will need a heat lamp in cold weather. Goats can withstand very cold temperatures while dry and healthy. If you have a doe about to give birth in colder weather, we suggest you set one up in a corner of the barn, even make a small “hut” to hold in the heat. The heat lamp needs to be kept three feet away from all objects to keep from starting a fire. Make sure you triple secure it to something very sturdy so you know it will NOT fall. Do not rely on the clamp that some heat lamps come with to secure it onto something… It will come undone; make sure to tie it on, preferably with wire, nothing flammable such as rope or string. Heat lamps are not something to play around with!!! Make sure it is high enough off the ground that the goat will not hit it if they are jumping around playing. You do not want to burn your goat! Some people put a wire mesh "cage" over the lamp's frame so the goat cannot accidentally touch the hot bulb, and the bulb cannot break off of the lamp (which happens a lot) and fall to the ground, starting a fire in the barn's bedding. Buy the red 250 watt bulbs with the metal lamp covers they are supposed to be used with. Adult goats do not need heat lamps, as the transition from being in a warm barn to the cold air is not good for them. Only use them during kidding season, or for a real problem such as actual worries from frostbite. Kids have been known to get pneumonia from having heat lamps on for too long, they can also cause dehydration.

 

  • Rubbermaid Tub - To put all of your goat products in so they will be in one convenient place, and do not get lost. It will also keep everything clean if you keep them in your feed storage room, or have to take it to your barn.

 

This is just a birthing kit: http://fiascofarm.com/goats/birthingkit.html

You can buy kid supply's at Hoegger Supply Co and at Jeffers:

http://hoeggerfarmyard.com/xcart/OB-Supplies/

http://www.jefferspet.com/breeding-ob-supplies/camid/LIV/cc/3303/c2c/ln/

 

  • Compost Pile - It is best to designate an area for either a compost pile, or a place that you can keep the dirty bedding until it can be hauled off, or burned. Please remember that if you would like to use your goat manure for your garden, it is best to let it sit in a compost pile for at least one year first.

 

  • Barn and Fencing -Because dwarf goats are so small, their shelters don't have to be large and elaborate.  Provide between 8 and 10 square feet of space for each goat.  The more you can provide the better!  Remember these are minimums.  Goats need room to run and play, and shelter from rain, snow, wind, and the hot sun.  They need to have a spot inside that is free from drafts, but is also well ventilated. Good ventilation and a dry environment will go a long way in keeping your milk goats healthy.  If you live in a very cold climate, goats might need enclosed housing.  If you have a barn on your property, stalls can suit their needs as long as they can't climb out of them.  Sheds with doors are also suitable.  While promptly removing soiled bedding is a basic part of goat husbandry, it's especially important if the goats live in enclosed housing since the ammonia from urine builds up quickly.  Goats breathing in these fumes often develop respiratory diseases.  Avoid wooden flooring in barns or enclosed sheds, as the wood traps urine and odors.  Remember too that your dwarf’s nose is closer to the floor than yours so just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean they can’t!  For safety, goats are better kept in at night if you live where there is a large number of dogs or coyote’s.  Make sure your fence sits tight against the ground, and is at least 4 feet tall for does and wethers, and OVER 4 feet tall for Nigerian bucks.  Choose small wire if you own a goat with horns, or don't want them to eat your plants on the other side of the fence.  Also for dwarfs small wire will help keep those little kids in!!  For bucks you might consider a hot wire on the inside of their fence to help keep them off and away from the fence. 

 

The following is a list of housing ideas for dwarf goats

 

  • Upside down apple bin with door cut into it – This is a great summerhouse as it can me easily moved from one pen/pasture to another and can easily be tipped up for cleaning.  It could also be used as a winter house too. (However, if you have lots of rain or snow, the ground will get wet and then they are sleeping in a water puddle.  So if you use this make sure to put a pallet and flat board down to keep it off the ground.)  Goats love to play and sleep on top of the apple bins also.  


  • Three sided lean-to – Make sure to have the open side facing an eastern to southeastern direction to avoid the wind and snow from blowing in.

 

  • Shed – A shed can be bought and turned into a goat house. 

 

  • Barn – A barn doesn’t have to be elaborate.  One can build a simple barn or a big barn with stalls. 
 
  • Milking/Milk Stand - If you plan to milk your does, you will want to design your milking area so it's easily accessible for you and the goats, as well as relatively simple to clean and disinfect.  Here is a sit for building your own milk stand. http://fiascofarm.com/files/Milk_Stand_Plans.pdf

We built ours of PVC pipe, it is light weight and easy to movehttp://pholiafarm.com/milk-and-milking/build-a-pvc-milking-stand/

 

*Note - Kelp Meal – We have yet to use Kelp Meal, although we have read that this product contains the greatest variety of trace minerals of any product. If you feed Kelp along with beet pulp and alfalfa hay, which are all high in calcium, you must have good sources of phosphorus available for the goats. The Calcium and Phosphorus ratio need to be in balance, or it will cause some major health problems for your goat. Monosodium and dicalcium phosphates are two kinds of Phosphorus you can buy. You may be able to find Kelp where you live, or afford to have this shipped if you have fewer goats.

 

*Note - Diamond V Yeast - Is a product that we have not bought so far.  Although the goats only eat small amounts each day, so this might be something you could afford, some people call it a cheap product. Diamond V yeast culture contains enzymes that help digest carbohydrates, help in the splitting of feed proteins, reduces fiber to simpler carbohydrate and helps with the switch of fats and oils in feeds to more digestible compounds. It slows digestion making the food the goat eats available for a longer period of time. Yeast raises butterfat levels, and the best part is that it prevents bloat. Also, It helps to keep the rumen working at peak efficiency too. Sounds great, doesn't it!

Bio Tracking LLC

We use Bio Tracking LLC for pregnancy and CAE testing.  Click here to go to their website: Bio Tracking LLC
Washington State University
Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL)

We use WADDL for our Johne's Disease testing.  Click here to go to their website: WADDL 
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