I just recently got my first herd of goats! 2 mamas, 1 buck, and 2 babies (1 buck and 1 doe)! The buck is pure Nigerian Dwarf and the 2 mamas are Half Nig. Dwarf and 1 is half Lamancha and the other is half Boer but luckily there all Dwarf sizes for my setup!
I have so much too learn and am going to be looking for a book soon as I have seen a few comphrensive ones suggested online.
I love this community here at permie forums and was looking for some advice!
1. What minerals do I need to supply to them? I am currently feeding them alfalfa hay for reference. I purchased a mineral block for goats but I have seen other people online supplying them with baking soda and other minerals that the goats have access too if they want/need it. Would I be ok with just a mineral block or do I need additional minerals for them to access for their digestive tract?
2. What medicines should I keep on hand? The people we got them from gave me something for worms and bots for horses. He called it Ivermectin but thats not the name on the package. And yesterday I noticed my Buck was having some clumpy poo. Im hoping you guys can shed some light on what medicines I should have at the house and what to look for to keep my goats happy and healthy!
Those are my only questions that I know of for the moment. But if anyone has any additional advice/insight it is greatly appreciated! Thank you all so very much!
For books Pat Coleby's Natural Goat Care is a great reference. I goes into a lot do detail on feeding them in a manner to avoid haveing to use chemicals for worm control. Goats are more like deer in their eating preferences than sheep or cows. They are top down eaters... Preferring to not eat off the ground. But... Most of us with a few acres and a few goats, they are in grassy paddocks and that is mostly what they get is grass of some sort. I do buy 'deer plot mix' seed mixture soon as it comes out in my local box store and plant 100# or so in a place l can keep them off of till it gets established. For mine I do buy a goat mineral, it is loose and since I don't have a reliable way to leave it out for them that they can't poop in it or keep it dry I offer some every couple days. Certain times of the year they go thru a lot, and other times they just have a taste and move on. I recommend you become familiar with FAMACHA, it's just pulling the lower eyelid down a bit to see the color of the membrane... Should be dark pink or red. If its pale you have a problem. Lots of info online. I check mine weekly. Babies more often... For wormer I use herbal mix... cayenne pepper and ground garlic mixed with molasses work fairly well given weekly. If your in the US theres a couple good herbal mixes available online/mail order. If chemical dewormer is needed l use something with moxidectin in it. (quest horse wormer) I give 3x the horse dose... 100# goat gets 300#s worth of the paste. It is rare that I need to go that route but sometimes its a last resort. Where l am is sub tropical and the barberpole worm is most problematic. I think those in dryer climes don't have quite the worm problem as here where it is frequently wet. Good luck with your goats! I milk a couple of mine and raise a couple kids for the freezer every year... And sell the rest. The only animal here that truly pays for its keep. With the right set up they can be a lot of fun!
posted 3 months ago
Thanks for all the Great info Annie!
I was hoping by posting here I would get some feedback on some herbal remedies, fantastic to hear you have had success with that!
I will definitely be looking to how to check their eyelids so I can get a quick snapshot of their health!
And that is my plan to work on deer plot mix this fall/winter outside there paddock that I can get some home grown food/grazing for them even if it doesn't last all that long!
So far my fencing seems to work really well, I went overboard on it to make sure it would contain them and keep my male from breaking it down to get at his females!
And thats our plan as well to harvest the milk, get some meat and sell some kids to offset their cost! Thank you again very much! Its one thing to read about it but so many people say so many things, its nice to hear it here on permies that its working well for you!
Alfalfa is high in protein and is very healthy for goats, but I would not give them to much of it...
If you can, go on the road with them daily, goats seek their own medicine if you allow them.
Change in diet can cause digestive problems.