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Discussion Starter #1
I am not a newbie or in need of advice, but I thought I'd start a thread full of advice from people who've made mistakes themselves. That way, newbies to goats don't have to make our mistakes! It can be anything; it doesn't even have to have ended up as a mistake, just some tips and such. Here are mine:

1. Never coddle your bottle-fed buckling. Don't bring him in the house and swaddle him . . . and especially don't praise him when he flehmens or wails, no matter how cute it is. He will do worse things later -- and probably at you as well as the goats, if you have coddled him.

2. Don't even bother deciding exactly how many goats is right for you. You will most likely change your mind later when you see an adorable kid for sale . . . and another . . . and another . . . and when your does have kids . . . etc. (It even happens to people with great self control -- you know, that doe with perfect form . . . nice teats to milk . . .)

3. When you buy that adorable kid who is so tiny and not growing, of which the owner said is just 'a runt,' be forewarned that it has Coccidiosis pretty badly, because no kid just naturally doesn't grow. As soon as you start the meds, it'll grow like a weed (but might still be a little goat all through their life.)

4. If/when one of your does has her first kid/s, you will be in a panic and think something is going wrong and all that and maybe even call a veterinarian . . . but most likely nothing is wrong and you'll have some perfect, adorable newborn kids (but you'll still be terrified about the kids all the way until they're several weeks old!)

5. When you vaccinate your goats, be prepared with something to reverse an allergic reaction. This one ended in tragedy for us, when a doeling died from an allergic reaction to a shot. (I'm not saying it will happen; just that you should have something just in case, because it might happen.)

6. Never be afraid to ask for help. Not saying we did this one wrong, but seriously. Everybody makes silly mistakes, nobody's perfect, and nobody gets stuff right on their first try. So ask for help . . . have somebody show you . . . have them give the shot for you . . . whatever. Trust me, it's helpful, especially if you know somebody who has a lot of goats and is experienced and willing to trim your goats' hooves for you, LOL.

Feel free to give your own newbie advice, anyone! This is intended to help out those of us who are inexperienced and probably will make just as many silly mistakes as we did, but might not make our mistakes if we tell them what they are! :D
 

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STILL not Alice
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19,808 Posts
Oh, I so agree with #1! A stinky 250# buck is not funny, especially when he tries to cuddle with you!

My advice is to know what breed you want, and never NEVER bring a questionable goat home unless you're running a rescue. TEST for disease, and don't take someone's word for it. Firmly request (demand?) to see the paperwork for the test results.
 

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Legally blonde!
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My advise is goats come with a steep learning curve :), so don't beat yourself up when the first bad thing happens.

Also figure out what exactly YOU are wanting be it just brush, pets, pack, dairy, meat, etc and go from there. The reason I say that is because each area has a slightly different set of...difficulties I guess you could say. Manage a meat herd is much different than managing a dairy herd and same goes for pet, pack..well you get the idea. The basics are the same, good nutrition, basic animal husbandry but then you start getting more into what you are looking for in an animal and all the other plethora of things that go along with what YOU want to do.

And HAVE fun! Don't forget to enjoy those goats whether you started off with auction yard goats(though not an encouraged venue to buy stock from)), registered stock or just brush eaters. If you haven't started in goats yet and don't know what breed to get I encourage you to find local breeders and get around the different breeds. Each one breed is so eunique and have their quirks, everyone will tell you their favorites so enjoy making friends, meeting new goat people and getting to know YOUR favorite breed :). Also don't forget sometimes the nicest ones are the crosses such as Snubians (Saanen/Nubian) or LaPines (LaMancha/Alpines).

I have also MANY practical things I could say of course about getting into goats for newbies. But sometimes we forget what just getting into goats is like, I myself jumped in lock, stock and barrel all those years ago with NO clue how to even feed them or that I even needed to test. So, pull up a seat, start reading the backlogs of advise from the many years of newbies starting here and of course enjoy the CRAZY ride you embarked upon.

My biggest advise is no matter WHERE you got goats from either make sure you test them or have them tested before you get them.

Justine
 

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I write dosage on all meds, put them in ziplock bags. That way I get the right meds and don't have to look up how much.
Also, when trimming feet we always trim hair around hoof AND shave tail. That way we know who has been done, even though names are written on clipboard.
Always have collar & lead either in pocket or handy place outside.
Heavy duty eye bolts placed in strategic places & various heights with a double ended snap attached saves the hassle of having to take goat out when being checked over or giving whatever.
 
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