Posted May 9, 2023 in General, Livestock Blog by Patti Croft
Go ahead, admit it. Few things are as cute and cuddly as a baby goat. Even the adult goats are pretty adorable, too. It also helps that they’re social animals, so they love a little attention. If you’ve decided to try your hand at raising goats, we have the essential tips for mastering your new herd. Keep reading to learn the basics with this beginner guide to raising healthy goats.
The first step is to choose the right type of goat. Many people don’t realize there are numerous kinds, ranging from dairy goats to pet goats. Even dairy goats have breeds that produce different milk tastes, so get the type for your specific goals. Remember, goats are social beings, so they enjoy being in a group setting. Never get just one.
You’ll want a fenced area where your goats can roam. Take a walk around the fence and check for any open spaces. These kids can be rambunctious, and they are amazing escape artists. Make sure you can provide clean water and hay. Yes, goats will eat grass, but they also love hay. Don’t let the hay get moldy because this can make your goats sick. Some hay feeders can keep it off the ground and clean. Goats can also eat grain, some kitchen scraps, and snacks. You want to be sure your goats get the minerals needed for healthy digestion.
You don’t want to leave your new goats in the elements without shelter. Have an enclosure so your animals can stay warm during colder months and cool during those hot summer times. Goats love to climb, so consider placing something in the center they can jump on that won’t allow them to break free.
Goats are like any other animals that require care. Develop a routine, like checking on them at certain times each day. Set a care schedule and stay with it. Goats are intelligent creatures, and they quickly adapt to routines. Keep water and feeders clean and make sure the living areas don’t have excessive amounts of manure, which could make them sick.
After some time, you’ll know how your goats usually behave. If you notice any signs of illness, you’ll want to act immediately. Some examples could be an expanded stomach or sluggish behavior. Goats can sometimes get parasites, too, and a common sign to watch for is diarrhea. You’ll need a dewormer but check with your vet before using any product. Your goat will need appropriate doses and the correct types of medicine.
There are some items you’ll want to have handy when taking care of your goats. Hoof trimmers, bandages, and electrolytes are all helpful with goats. Keeping these on hand will allow you to care for your animals properly and not have to make a quick dash to the vet supply store as frequently. Not kidding around, raising goats can be a ton of fun. With a little experience, you’ll be an expert and want to get more goats to add to your herd.