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Basic Goat Care

Worming

This tops the list of healthcare concerns for every goat breeder. All goats have worms. The concern is that they be kept to a level that the goat can handle. Although goat breeders do have discrepancies in the manner and frequency for worming their animals, they all agree that it must be done in order to keep these animals in good health and peak condition. The best and surest way of control would be to take a fecal count along with weekly checks of their gums and eyelids which should be pink. Pale or white gums is a warning sign of worms and should be heeded immediately. A fecal count can be done by your veterinarian; or, it can be done by the breeder with the use of a microscope. After a parasite determination is made, an intelligent decision can be made on the type of wormer that has to be used. Additionally, it is an excellent practice to worm each doe the day after she kids. After kidding, any dormant parasites in the doe will become active. Therefore, worming at this time is imperative. Please note that chemical wormers can become ineffective after a period of time as the worms develop resistance to them, and therefore the wormer must be changed. In addition to using chemical wormers, we have found that garlic added to their feed (powdered or dry minced) with a pinch of ginger goes a great way in expelling internal parasites. We also feed fresh raw garlic cloves.

Feeding

Goats are browsers by nature. They will graze, but prefer to browse on trees and brush. The nutrition derived from eating browse is important, but it is not enough to keep them in peak condition. Goats should be feed grain on a daily basis. The standard ration is one lb. Per goat. This is of a grain mixture made for goats and there are several brands on the market. During lactation, does should be fed the one lb. Ration plus another lb. for milk production. The first lb. is used by the doe...and the other to facilitate milk production. It is very important never to make an abrupt grain change in feeding your animals. Always do this very gradually....or it can create problems with their digestion. This is the procedure we use here on our farm for our does. If you are raising fullbred dairy does, some research should be done to determine if a higher quanitity is required to support the higher milk production. We also add a small amount of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds to our Rations. It is important to not overdue the grain ration, however. The bulk of the goat's diet should be hay, browse and plant matter. Out goats have free access to hay daily. Minerals should also be fed and access to salt blocks made available. Just a note on minerals: It is very important that goats receive the appropriate amount of copper either from browse or added supplements. The best course of action would be to have a soil test performed to determine the mineral content. Many areas are deficient in copper, selenium...and other required minerals. Additionally, soil that has been farmed may have some mineral depletion. The soil may be amended to upgrade the deficiency....or the inclusion of a higher potency mineral or kelp may be required. As important as it is to ensure that your animals are receiving the correct amount of copper to maintain good health....care must be taken not to overdue as copper poisioning can result. Additionally...never feed minerals that are specifically manufactured for goats to sheep. The high copper content can be lethal to sheep. Fresh, clean water should be made available on a daily basis.

Breeding

Does should be housed separately from bucks. It is our belief that a doe should only be bred once per year for health reasons. Breeding season for dairy goats is August-January. Boer goats can breed all year round. A doe will come into heat every 21 days. At this point, she should be introduced to the buck for breeding. After breeding takes place, the doe and buck are again separated. Once a doe is bred, the gestation period is 150 days. By keeping records of breeding dates, the breeder can then have an accurate anticipated kidding date. Knowledge of this date will aid in administering required vaccinations and give you a heads up on when the new arrival is expected Many breeders give their does vitamin E supplement shots. We prefer to add one Vitamin E capsule (1,000 mg.) to their daily ration of feed one month prior to the anticipated delivery date.

Kidding

Approximately two weeks prior to kidding, the doe will usually secrete a discharge. She will soon start making a nest in the bedding area. Many does, but not all, will "speak" to their babies. Their udders will begin to fill---some may not fill until the last minute. It is always a good practice to be present at all kiddings. Not only is this important in case any assistance is required by the doe, but the kids' navels must be dipped in a strong iodine solution within half an hour of birth to prevent navel ill. Additionally, the kids should have a drink of their mother's colustrum as soon as possible after birth and no later than one hour after birth. Although, many breeders practice CAE prevention by taking the kids from the mothers and feeding a commercial milk replacer---there is no equal to the antibodies contained in natural mother's milk. These antibodies provide immunity protection to the newborn that cannot be duplicated. This is, unfortunately, a controversial subject, and many breeders will disagree with our practice. We offer all our does a drink of warm molasses water after each kidding. They love this treat and it helps them recover some of their energy.

Cocci Prevention

One of the biggest threats to the lives of kids is Coccidiosis. Adult goats will have this parasite to some degree, but they are resistant to it. However, it is the kids who are more susceptible as their systems have not built an immunity to it yet. It will cause diarrhea in the kids; and, if left untreated will result in death. We practiced cocci prevention by administering a dose of Albon at 4, 7 and 10 weeks of age. Each treatment is given for a five consectutive day period. However, if Albon has ceased to become effective against coccidia in your area. You might need to turn to medicated minerals to protect the newbies. Again, this is something that the breeder must do some research on.....as every area differs.

Hoof Trimming

The hooves on the goats must be trimmed. If they are not, they will cause the animals to walk improperly and lameness can result. This is best done on a milk stand. Tools needed are hoof trimmers and a hoof plane. The end result should look like the hooves of a kid. The bottom of the hoof has surrounding walls which need to be trimmed flat to the bottom walking area of the hoof. Use the trimmers to cut off a little at a time until the desired effect is achieved. Finish of with the plane to create a flat walking surface. When pink is observed, stop to avoid any bleeding. It is best not to trim the hooves of a pregnant doe during the last two months of her term. As goats sometimes have a tendency to kick when their rear hooves are being trimmed, this could cause her to abort. After about a month of age, we check the bottoms of the kids' hooves. If they need trimming, we only use the plane to "shave" them down.

Milking

Milking your goats is the fruit of the entire goat rearing experience. Goat's milk is not only the most healthy milk available, but it is so versatile. Goat's milk is used in everything from yogurt and cheese to soaps and lotions. Although colustrum is only made by the doe for approximately the first 16 hours after kidding, we don't use the milk for human purposes until 1 and 1/2 weeks after kidding.

Location
Molao, Lilo-An
Cebu, Philippines
Our herd is growing daily. Our goats are some of the best boer goats in the Philippines, alot of love and care goes into each one. We hope you enjoy browsing our site. More updates coming soon! Male Goat Female Goat Goats GoatGoatGoatGoatGoatGoatGoatGoatGoatGoatGoatGoatGoat