I'm a bad goat owner!

Discussion in 'Goats' started by oldkyfarm, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. oldkyfarm

    oldkyfarm Member

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    Okay, I hope I got everyone's attention with my title. This is going to be a long post because I want to put everything in here and get some opinions. I hate to admit I am very naive when it comes to farm things. We just bought 5 acres in the country and immediately wanted to buy goats (pretty much as pets...not against eating them at some point, though). So a man down the road had a herd of 75+ goats and we bought three females for $150. I had researched them a little bit but obviously not as much as I should have. I was so excited at the time but goat-guy said there wasn't much care involved. Now I'm debating how good of a goat-owner he was. He didn't know the exact count of his herd, wasn't around for much of the kidding, and got pretty far behind in trimming their hooves. He told us at the time there was no vet in the area that would see goats (I've found this to be true).
    To begin my questions: Do goats need regular shots? Can I buy and give these myself? How and where? How often do you de-worm? I dont know if goat-guy ever did any of this! He's not returning our calls.
    Also, we have our goats in a fenced-in horse paddock and there's not much for them to eat (they're eaten everything worth eating already) so how much hay vs. grain-stuff do I give them each day? What do I do if they seem sick and there's no vet in the area to check them out? Can I diagnose and treat things myself?
    Who trims hooves themselves? Any tricks? I don't even know how to restrain them to do this as they run freely around their little area.
    I'm already feeling like a very bad goat owner so I really don't need negatives responses to this post. Any advice and suggestions would be appreciated. Someday, when I've had years of experience, I promise to pass on my knowledge and wisdom to other ignorant want-to-be-country-folk.
    TIA!
     
  2. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    Hello welcome to the forum, and to goats.
    First of all what type of goats do you think you have? If you don't know the breed give us a color discription, and how their ears hang. upright, or hanging down like bassets? Different kinds of goats take different care.
    Most of us here do all our own shots, worming, hoove trimming. None of it is hard. The feeding is going to depend on how big and what type of goats you have. I'm thinking probably boers? white with browninsh red heads, and floppy ears? or little grey pygmy's with upright ears. Maybe you can find a neighbor not too far away to show you how to trim feet! try the 4-h office they can send you to goat owners.
    I generally worm and give shots twice a year fall and spring, but I have dairy goats that I milk twice a day. Mine are easy to trim feet as they are on a milkstand 2 X's a day.
    generally your goats need about a half a bale a hay a day, for your three unless they are smaller goats, and No grain, unless they are growing or pregnant or nursing. though a tiny bit of grain is nice to friendly them up Black oil sunflower seeds are good for goats. (BOSS) and plain oats are fine. I use Oats, corn and BOSS one pound twice a day for my milkers.
     

  3. full sun

    full sun Well-Known Member

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    You're funny! You're not a bad goat owner, I think you're a great one! Lucky for you, it's not too hard to care for goats. See, the guy you got them from didn't seem to do it at all!

    Okay let's see. If you give them all access to good quality hay (I feed mine 2nd cut alfalfa mix or orchard grass mix) They don't need anything else but a dish of baking soda (to settle their stomachs and prevent bloat) and a dish of loose goat minerals (one that is high in copper--not for sheep and not a block)

    I worm mine with Hoeggers herbal wormer every week. But the breeder I got mine from did ivermectin 2x a year. They need a CD&T shot (from Hoeggers) once a year. Yes, do it yourself.

    Trim the hooves about 4-5x a year. It's easy to do.

    It is hard to find a goat vet!

    So go to Hoeggers (on line) and order loose minerals, CD&T with needles and syringe, wormer of your choice, and hoof trimmers. It helps to have an area to restrain them while you are doing hooves, so look into building or buying a stand to lock their heads in.

    Good luck--you're already doing great!

    Jennifer
     
  4. swampgirl

    swampgirl Well-Known Member

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    Try the library or buy a gen. book about caring for goats. Try to find a neighbor who can show you how to give a shot. It's not hard, but you need help to keep them still/restrained. You'll be fine. This forum gives lots of good advice.
     
  5. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

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    I bought my goats from a similar situation: no vaccinations, boosters, dietary supplements. They are dairy goats, so he had them (and I kept the same) on a special organic feed designed for milk production. He did not attend deliveries as a rule, allowed dams to raise babies, and did not prophylactically treat for cocci.

    These goats haven't even had a runny nose! Go figure. ((knocking on wood reaaally hard)). My property was "virgin", never used for animals, so I avoided that one, too.

    Sometimes, "doing nothing" at all produces a naturally healthy herd, the animals die or are culled when ill, and the hardiest go on to propogate. The endless meds, treatments, vaccs, supplements etc are not much a part of animal care up here in north Idaho.

    I'd say the tack you take for medical care for your goats depends most upon their function. Lots of folks on this forum have very valuable dairy or breeding stock and the stuff they put into them makes my head spin and I'm an RN. If I had registered dairy goats (they are grade Lamanchas), planned to sell kids for dairy or meat, I'd do what they do. Since I am still on the fence about the whole registered vs nonregistered, I have only given a tetanus when I cut a wether's hoof to the quick.
     
  6. toomb68

    toomb68 Well-Known Member

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  7. bergy5

    bergy5 Well-Known Member

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    You will do fine as a new owner. Asking is the biggest step. We feed grass hay & shell corn, with loose mineral free choice. Do you have a feed store close? With no good Vet. around they could be a great source of information and supplies. We trim feet 4 times a year. I use my football player son as a holder. To me finding a good hoof trimmer is the hardest part. We now use horse trimmers. This forum is a great source of info!!!!! Enjoy
     
  8. AllWolf

    AllWolf We love all our animals

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    First off you’re not a bad goat owner.

    Next as least you’re not stupid and at least you’re going to ask questions on how to own goats and about their care. You’re a smart one. Congrats on buying 5 acres of land that is great. You will enjoy the goats and have lots of fun.

    Now on what the guy said about not much care involved I do not agree with that at all. To have a healthy herd you need to care for them all the time. Goats are not an animal to just throw out in the field and forget about. I have goats as pets but also they provide us milk and mow our yard.
    If I was you I would try and find a VET that knows goats because lots of us treats our goats by ourselves but there is a time a VET comes in handy and if you need to find a VET that knows goats call your local Agriculture Department in your state and they will help you find a VET that knows goats because where I live we have a VET but mostly knows how to handle dogs, cats, cattle and horse and only knew very little about goat care. The VET I have now will travel to my place if needed but I mostly need him one time a year when it comes to giving shots. He is a great help because we do a finally check up on all the goats.

    Here is how I do my herd of goats. Vaccines for goats if I have kids. We vaccinated our kids with CD&T at 3-4 weeks and 6-8 weeks of age. After that goats need a yearly CD&T booster shot. We use Bar-Vac CD&T shots. Always give your goat/goats the vaccinations when they need them because it could cost them their life.

    You ask this--->>> ? Can I buy and give these myself? Yes you can but make sure you know how to give shots and how much to give to your herd. That is why I have a VET to help me because I have 15 goats in my herd and soon more. It takes time to give them shots.

    How and where? We give the CD/T shots in their shoulder but not in the muscle we pinch the skin up and give it just right under the skin. Where can you buy this shot I get mine from either PBS Animals Health or Jeffers Goat Supply. You can also get them from your local feed store.

    Next you ask this--->>> ? How often do you de-worm? Worm my goats every 3 to 6 months depending on how bad worms are in the year. If the worms are really bad we de-worm more often. For my wormers I use Valbazen and Ivomec. I also do use safe guard but that only when I have kids and when they get older we switch to Ivomec for them.

    Now on feeding my does I give them this….>>> Cracked corn, oats, calf manna, alfalfa, wet molasses, soybeans, sunflower seeds and beet pulp. Do not forget to let them have hay and goat mineral free of choice and lots of fresh drinking water. Again for my goats mineral for the Does we use Ultralyx for my goats not for sheep. I have never taken my does off grain. I never take my does off grain because I use my does for milking and breeding so they need to keep their good weigh on them. I feed my goats grain twice a day alone with lots of hay and browse.

    Do not forget about De-licing your goats. Here is what I use to delice my goats….>>> Goats are de-liced with Cylence to prevent lice. Cylence works great use it 2 to 3 times a year as a prevention method. The dose we use is 1cc per 25 lbs down their back and it will help them. Winter time is the worst for lice.

    What do I do if they seem sick and there's no vet in the area to check them out? If you know of a goat owner that take great care of their herd see if they will help you out when you have questions on goat care.

    Can I diagnose and treat things myself? Most of the time you can treat them yourself almost 100% of the time you can there maybe a few times you need a VET.

    Who trims hooves themselves? I trim my goat’s hooves but when the VET comes over just one time a year he checks them and see if needing trim and if so he trims them for me. I do most of my own hoof trimming. Shots and treatment of sick goats.

    Why do I have a VET to come one time a year here. So far that is all I needed him for because I have a buddy that has goats and he helps me out if need it.

    Lot of other people will have different opinions on how to raise goats and what to give them. My most other advice is find you a VET that knows goats and find you a goat owner that takes grand care of their herd. You have lots to learn about taking care of goats.

    Good Luck on your goats. :)
     
  9. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I second the fiasco farm site. it's a great one.
    To save yourself some hassles giving shots and trimming hooves, build the fiasco farm's milk stand. It's wonderful. Don't know how I raised goats before I had that stand. I love it, it's by far one of my ESSENTIALS.
    Oh, and I also keep a list of equipment that I"ve found handy on my website if you'd like to check it out, there's training info and a bunch of other interesting info found on my website as well, espeically shot giving instructions and whatnot. The main page is www.freewebs.com/short-and-sweet-goats/
    Good luck with your new goats! They're great!
    Oh, and because you got them from such a big herd, you may want to test them for diseases such as CL, CAE, and Johne's. My herds' first testings should be done this friday!
     
  10. PygmyLover

    PygmyLover nigerian & pygmy breeder

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    Well everyone seems to have beat me to it! And that is great. I just want to second or third, forth....whatever, that you are NOT A BAD GOAT OWNER!!!!

    I have learned most of what I know from trial and error through the past 12 years. I didn't have resources like the internet (ok my family was a bit slow with that) and forums like this one!

    One thing I want to add that I don't think anyone mentioned was the poisonous plants . Goats can be poisoned by some plants (common ones at that) the BEST site I have found is:
    http://www.goatworld.com/health/plants/

    Click on the drop down box - top right - any plant name that has a + by it, has a page meaning it is poisonous to goats (if it DOESN'T have a + next to it, that plant is safe). There is a tone of information on each plant, like how toxic, what parts are toxic, how to help a goat that has eaten it etc.

    Welcome and ENJOY your goats.
     
  11. Shazza

    Shazza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi there TIA...I tend to do the goat thing much the same as Idahoe. We have registered Toggenburg dairy goats which I show and one of my second lactaters just got her *Q*...milk award. Dont know if America does them the same <shrug>. We are lucky here that we dont have to jab our goats with a lot of stuff....and we only worm twice a year.
    I would suggest buying or borrowing PAT COLEBY'S...GOAT CARE BOOK...and try to do things with natural substances as possible. For example when treating lice dont pour a chemical on them just put sulphur powder (yellow) in their feed....bye bye lice.
    Looking forward to accompanying you on your goat journey!!!! :)
     
  12. Cloverbud

    Cloverbud Well-Known Member

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    I love the Storey's books...Storey's Guide to (insert topic here). I have the Dairy goat, poultry, and encyclopedia for Country Living. Very helpful, easy to understand, informative, and thorough. It's like talking with your grandfather. Goats are so fun. Marshmallow is going Trick-or-Treating with us--she's the horse to dd's cowgirl :lonergr:
     
  13. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Bad Goat owner? Okay, next time buy good goats instead of bad goats!

    Good advice from everyone. I will add...there are no sheep or goat vets in my area, either, so I'm 'creating' one! I found an equine vet with an open mind. I talked to her about the need for a good vet in the area for small ruminents. She agreed with me. She said she'd work with me, as long as I did understand that she's not up on them, and she'll have to learn and re-learn as she goes. Heck yeah, I understand, but the fact that she's willing to try is better than nothing at all! I can get my Bo-se through her. In an emergency, she comes a-running. And she won't hesitate to grab her cell phone and call the state vet teaching hospital to talk to a small ruminent vet there.

    Interestingly enough, she's had Me teach Her how to disbud, how to use an emasculotome, and a few other odds and ends. Things she remembered doing in vet school 15 years ago, but hadn't used since. She came to my house to assist in the disbuddings and castrations, and did half, after I showed her. We're working together on other things, too.

    So don't quit when they say, "no goat vets here". Talk to other vets, and see what you can do.

    And...welcome to the forum!
    Meg
     
  14. oldkyfarm

    oldkyfarm Member

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    Thanks so much for the encouragement and tips. Yes, mine are Boer goats. I think we'll look into making a milking stand- seems like the easiest way to restrain them. Also, how do you know how much your goats weigh (for dosing shots/ feeding)? I'm trying to picture me hauling a very large bathroom-style scale out into the field :)
     
  15. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Well-Known Member Supporter

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  16. PygmyLover

    PygmyLover nigerian & pygmy breeder

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    Thanks for the link I found the measurements for pygmies :)

    All the weight tapes that I found are for dairy so this is really cool.