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it looks like we will be getting some in the spring. So, tell me. What do I need to know? LOL! I have been trying to glean what I can from the few people I know that have some exp with sheep/goats. What I have learned is that I either need to worm them regularly, or rotate pastures? Is that correct? I only own a little more than an acre, so rotating is not going to work unless the neighbors don't mind them in their yard regularly :D. So, IF these facts are true, how does one de-worm a goat? What is involved? How expensive is it? Where do I get the stuff? Please don't let my inexperience and dumb questions throw you off. I'm sure I will have a grip on the basics by spring. :banana:
 

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Deworming should be done when fecals show they are necessary, not 'on schedule'. Body condition, anemia (famancha score), fecal consistency, and fecal egg count should all be taken into account in adult animals. In kids, I do more of a routine in their young age because young animals do not have a developed immune system against worms or coccidia yet - takes about 6 months to fully develop. After that, worm management is important in adults but coccidia should not be a serious concern except in the young.

(5.00 fecals - http://www.midamericaagresearch.net/)

If you have less than an acre you can still do rotating pens which any amount of rotating is helpful not only to reduce worms but also to help keep them fed. I would use regular woven fence to enclose as MUCH of an area as possible, and locate the housing centrally. Then use an electric net (moveable) to section them into at least two pens - if you had two electric nets you could make a central pasture too. :) You can even plant a deer mix to help keep them fed, and some things like chickory is a good feed and may help reduce worm load as well.

There is also a lot you can do to reduce the number of worms they encounter - let them out on pasture AFTER the dew has lifted for the day. Worms use moisture to travel up the plants. Generally they only travel around half a foot, which is why rotating pastures and having 'taller' browse is ideal as goats will choose to browse up if possible, instead of grazing down. Another thing is cleanliness - keep poo out of their water buckets/bins and keep hay and feed up off of the ground. If you have disbudded goats, you can use a cattle panel to feed - disbudded goats can get their heads in and out, so you can put feed and water outside of their pen where they can reach it but not poop/soil it. Keeping hay up in hay feeders also helps - here I put a whole round bale of hay out, wrap it in a cattle panel, and they eat through the panel.

Cleaning before kids arrive and cleaning kid pens regularly helps reduce coccidia/worms. Moving kid pens within season and at end of season can also help a lot.

What breeds are you interested in? There is a lot of difference in management depending on what type of goats you'd like to raise. Dairy are different than meat, and within each of those, there is a wide range of options of management that you'll need to weigh the costs/benefits of depending on your individual situation. Having a distinct goal and STICKING TO IT is very important for your success long term. :)
 
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it looks like we will be getting some in the spring. So, tell me. What do I need to know? LOL! I have been trying to glean what I can from the few people I know that have some exp with sheep/goats. What I have learned is that I either need to worm them regularly, or rotate pastures? Is that correct? I only own a little more than an acre, so rotating is not going to work unless the neighbors don't mind them in their yard regularly :D. So, IF these facts are true, how does one de-worm a goat? What is involved? How expensive is it? Where do I get the stuff? Please don't let my inexperience and dumb questions throw you off. I'm sure I will have a grip on the basics by spring. :banana:

I'll second recommending the Fiasco Farm site. She also shows in detail how to do the fecals.
Also get a good basic book incase the net ever goes down. I don't have internet in the goat barn. I brought the book in with me when my doe was kidding. I also brought the book over when the neighbor's doe was having trouble kidding.

Fencing, Fencing, Fencing.

Don't bring any goats home untill you have EVERYTHING in place for them - fencing, shelter, hay storage, minerals, extra copper, hoof trimmers, stand, etc.

Budget: find out the price of hay in your area. Ask the breeder how much they can be expected to eat. Determine your costs beforehand! I raised goats in the midwest back when good hay was almost negligably inexpensive. Moved to NM, and committed to goats without ever considereing the price of hay here...Yikes!!

Also, read the sitckies about CL and CAE. Don't even consider the sale barn, and if you go with a less expensive breeder, at least know what you are paying for. A less expensive goat can be a very good choice, but you need to know what you want, and what you are actually getting.

Lots of people keep healthy goats in a small area. This just requires more hay and care to keep the area clean.
 

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Also, if possible have the breeder come and inspect your place and the fencing/shelter, etc. before the goats arrive. An experienced eye will detect potential problems you may not be aware of.

This will save headaches.
 
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