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Billy and other goat ?'s

 
Ray Star
Posts: 48
Location: twin tiers of WNY zone 5A
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I bought a yr old billy, his withered brother' and two older females last year. I had to board them for the winter, and I received a call last week that one of my females had twins, and the other is "bagging up". I told my co-worker I bought them from, and he's thrilled. But then he said I needed to deworm the new mom, immediately, and two more times on 10 day intervals. The couple who are boarding them aren't goat raisers, but their daughter is, and she's been acting as midwife, for "us". She never mentioned deworming again. They were dewormed before I brought them down, to board them. So first question, is it nessasary?
Second question, please don't get to upset if this is way off the wall, or extremely cruel. It's not my intent. My billy doesn't smell. When I asked my coworker about that, he said it was because he is only a year old, wait till next year. Why? Can't the smelly glands be removed? He didn't need them to get the job done this year. Did anyone ever hear of that being done before? I'm thinking it'll be harder to board him if he's stinky, and we are no where near to being able to live full time on our hill, where I can care for them year round. Thanks for your input. Ray
 
L. Zell
Posts: 33
Location: Missouri
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In my limited experience, he will smell a lot more this year. If you were going to remove the scent glands on his head, you would've had to do it at a few days old, when they are usually disbudded with a hot iron. I've not done it, so I don't know for sure if that would've helped. They spend a lot of time peeing on their heads and legs, so that is going to smell, too. They also have tarsal glands in their hind legs, those I've not heard you can do anything about. So, long story short, bucks stink. Some more than others.
 
Ben Miller
Posts: 24
Location: Southwest Ontario
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You might consider neutering your goat. I have goats and it's near impossible to keep them from breeding. They somehow ALWAYS get together - they ram through gates and fences. They pee on their face and legs. He will get bigger and stronger and smellier and when he's in rut in the fall......he will be very loud screaming "rut, rut, rut...." until the females are pregnant. Horns have nothing to do with the smell. I like horns, as they give you something to grab onto. Are the kids male or female? Neuter them young. They can get their mom pregnant at a very young age. Let me know if you need to know how to neuter. We use a "emasculator tool". It is quick and the most humane way and they get to keep their "trophy sack".
My best advice - borrow a billy when you need servicing!!!
 
L. Zell
Posts: 33
Location: Missouri
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I didn't mean to imply that horns have anything to do with the smell, just that the only way I have heard of removing the scent glands is by burning when dehorning. I hate horns on goats, and the only way they get to stay at my place now is without them. I understand that there are pros and cons to leaving them on. The only goat I needed to use the horns as a handle, was because he was trying to hook me with said horns.
 
Ben Miller
Posts: 24
Location: Southwest Ontario
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This is a great website on goats and they have articles on dehorning and other management issues.

http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/articles2/articlesMain.html
 
Kathleen Sanderson
Posts: 985
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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Does do need to be wormed about 24 hours after they kid. The hormones that cause the doe to go into labor and give birth also encourage the internal parasites to have a 'flush'. I've never wormed at ten days after and ten days after that, though it probably wouldn't hurt to do that. You will have to toss milk twice, for three or four days each time, though, if you do those wormings. It may depend on where you live and on how you are feeding your goats, whether those extra wormings are necessary.

I won't have a horned goat on the place -- they will use them on the other goats (and any other animals you have on the place), and may try to use them on you or some other person. They will also get them stuck in fences (and while they can get their heads through, they never seem to be able to figure out how to get back out). Horned goats hate to have their horns touched, let alone used as handles -- there is a major blood vessel in the horn, and probably some nerves, too. If I have an obnoxious buck, I use his (nasty smelly) beard as a handle. The does all have collars on to use as handles. (Usually the buck has a collar, too, but it can be hard to find a collar to fit a big buck.)

Your new kids will need to be disbudded and vaccinated before their horn buds start to show above their hair (clip the hair away from the horn bud before burning the horn buds off). They should be wormed when they are about thirty days old. Hooves also need to be trimmed every two or three months, depending on how fast your goats' hooves grow (I have one doe who needs her hooves trimmed about twice as often as the others). It helps to trim hooves after a rain, or after they've been walking on dewy grass for an hour or so. When my goats are in pens, and the weather is dry, I have resorted to hosing their pen down completely (every inch of it, because goats hate to get their feet wet and will find any dry patch to stand on!), waiting an hour or so, and then trimming. Bone dry hooves are really hard to cut. There are instructions and pictures on-line to show how to trim hooves.

Your goats also need a good goat mineral with plenty of copper in it. If you are in a selenium-deficient area, it should also contain selenium. Preferably you should give them a loose mineral, because cow mineral blocks are meant for the sandpaper tongues of cattle. Goats have a hard time getting enough mineral from a block.

If you decide not to keep a buck you can wether your buck (withers are the top of a horse's shoulders, wethers are castrated goats and sheep) and put him in the freezer in the fall. Wethers don't get nasty smelling like bucks do, but it takes a while to get the scent out of the meat. If you butcher an intact buck, you can still feed the meat to your dogs and chickens. If you have access to a good-quality buck nearby, it probably is best to see if you can use him rather than keeping your own. I keep a buck for the few does I have, but there aren't many goats in this area, and if we all used the one or two that other people own, our goats would get in-bred pretty quickly. So I have a buck for my three or four does (depending on how many doe kids I keep each year). But they are expensive to keep (they eat at least as much as a doe, and probably quite a bit more); they smell during breeding season; and they can be very destructive of pens and shelters, feeders, etc., not to mention possibly even dangerous to people. It is good to keep a wether with the buck for company for him, but then you are feeding another animal who eats as much as a milking doe!

Your new bucklings should be castrated before they are eight weeks old. They are capable of breeding their sisters, and even their own mothers, by that age. Elastrator bands work fine. The tool isn't very expensive and the bands are easy to use. Just make sure both testicles are descended before you release the band!

Kathleen
 
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