Caring for Your Goat
Goats require shelter from the sun, the rain and the wind. Adult goats require a draft free shelter, big enough for each goat to stand up, turnaround, lie down and stretch out. This could be a water tank cut in half, a stable, a small shed, a home build solid structure or something purchased from a livestock supplier. Baby goats are happy in a dog kennel, small pen, shed or box.
Clean water must be available at all times. Water should be checked daily especially in the warmer months where algae builds quickly. A copper block in the water container will help to keep algae at bay. Water gets hot during the day so it is always a good idea to tip at least half out and refill with cold water wherever possible.
It is important to have an enclosed area for kids, one that is free from poisonous plants and other hazardous objects such as boards with nails, loose bits of wire and anything that a small kid can be caught up in. You also need to ensure that the enclosure is strong and solid enough to keep out dogs. Adult miniatures respect fences and usually only lamb and ewe or cyclone fencing is required.
Kids should not be housed with adults unless they are the parents and it is always best to keep two together. Goats are herd animals and like their own species for company in most circumstances.
Vaccinations & Worming
Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies that protect against a specific disease. After vaccination the immune system takes about 4 weeks to produce antibodies, these will give an animal long term protection from the diseases they have been vaccinated against. Most vaccines require a booster every 6 to 12 months to keep up immunity.
Kids are born with nearly no immune system. They get their first antibodies from the Dams colostrum (the thick yellow milk produced in the first few days. At about 8 to 10 weeks the colostrum antibodies start to wear off and the kid will start to develop his/her own immune system.
Goats need to be wormed regularly like any other animal. A rough coat, pale eyelid or gum membranes, scouring, loss of weight or off feed can all be symptoms of worm burden. If not treated the goat can die. You can take stool samples to your vet for testing, learn how to do your own egg counts (loads of information on You Tube) and this will help you determine how often, what type of worms are on your property and what type of drench to use. Feeding off the ground helps to reduce worm burden.
Garlic in feed either granules or minced will assist with external parasites.
Hooves need to be kept trimmed and it will depend on your ground how often. If you have rocky or hard ground you won't need to trim as often as soft grassy ground or sand. Hoof trimming can be easily learned, breeders will happily show you how.
It can be a bit daunting doing something for the first time so we have been offering hoof trimming, vaccination, worming & wethering services for your miniature goats for a number of years.
We charge a small fee to cover costs and larger goats are catered for also.
Please contact us to find out when we might be in your area and get pricing. Appointments are necessary.
We are more than happy to teach you to do these things yourself also.
Please ask anyone who is offering these services how much experience they have. Just because they own goats does not mean they are experienced. We have been breeding over 10 years and are still learning!