Taking proper care is very important for raising goats. So before starting goat farming business, try to learn more about how to care for goats.
You have to learn what kind of greens and grains your goats love to eat, suitable place where they like to stay, the best food to feed them, good shelter or housing system, and many more.
How to Care For Goats
Here we are describing almost everything related to caring goats. The caring methods are very easy and simple. Just follow the methods mentioned below.
Create A Safe Environment For Your Goats
Creating a safe environment for your goats is very important. Try to create such an environment where your goats will live and grow happily.
You must have to keep your goats free from all types of predators, harmful animals and plants. Consider the followings.
Make Good Fencing Facility
Make a good fence surrounding your farm land. The fence must have to be tall enough for your goats so that they can stay inside safely and for keeping wild animals and predators out. Usually a fence about five feet tall is suitable enough for the goats.
Provide Adequate Shelter For Your Goats
Goats require shelter for taking rest at night and for keeping themselves safe from rain and excessive cold. So create adequate shelter facilities for your animals.
Usually goats can live in any type of shed or house. They can easily adopt themselves in a small shed, even in any large dog house.
But while making shelter for your goats keep in mind that it should be well ventilated and must have to be free from drafts. You can make their bedding with straw.
Concrete floor is very suitable for goats and it’s very easy to maintain. But it is pretty expensive.
Feeding adequate amount of nutritious food helps to keep your goats healthy and productive. Always ensure availability of sufficient amount of fresh and clean water according to the demand of your goats. See below for more.
Feed Your Goats Properly
You should always provide your goats a healthy diet. Usually a healthy diet of goat consists of hay, and concentrates like oats, bran, and barley.
Never feed them on the ground. Keep their food off the ground for preventing mold and insects or birds from eating or infesting the food. Use goat feeders for feeding them.
You can consider feeding them by using water proof feeders or trash cans. This will keep the food elevated and clean. Providing food on the ground can also cause various types of goat diseases.
So always use specially designed goat feeders for feeding your goats. Read how to make homemade goat feeders.
Provide Sufficient Amount of Water
Always provide your goats sufficient amount of clean and fresh water according to their daily demand. Never let the water get dirty. If possible, change water from the pot frequently and clean the pot regularly.
Try to allow your goats permanent access to water and provide a salt-lick block preferably containing Selenium. Selenium is required in such areas where it is less in the soil hence in the hay.
Consult with your vet regularly. According to the suggestion of your vet, you can give your goats a “BoSe” shot. This type of shot contains Vitamin E and Selenium (both are very important for bone, muscle and reproductive health of goats).
This shot is also very important for pregnant does. So give them about a month prior to kidding.
BoSe helps to have proper heart and other muscular development, as well as helps the doe to avoid kidding complications.
Harmful Foods For Goats
There are some grains and plants which are extremely harmful for goat’s health. You have to remove ornamental plants from your farm area (especially the plants in the Rhododendron family).
This types of goat food can cause different types of GI problems including diarrhea, vomiting and even death (if the goat has ingested enough and the condition hasn’t been treated by a veterinarian).
So be very careful while giving your goats a treat that may contain rhododendron type plants.
Regular grooming is another goat caring method. Grooming goats on a regular basis not only helps to look the goats beautiful but also helps to keep them healthy and free from common parasites.
Usually a proper and complete grooming consists of a long bath and thorough brushing. Trimming the hooves on a regular basis is also very important. It will be better if you can trim the hooves of your goats once a month.
Trimming doesn’t take a lot of effort and time. So why not trimming every month? Regular trimming also help to prevent your goat’s hooves to bend, crack or from getting infected.
Always Try To Keep Your Goats Healthy
Healthy goats = more production = maximum profit. So you have to be more conscious for keeping your goats healthy. Here we are describing the common methods for keeping your goats healthy and productive.
Exercise Your Goats Regularly
Let your goats to exercise by their own. Goats usually love to climb. So help them to climb a lot. Give them some toys that would involve climbing.
Goats are very intelligent and playful. They love to play. Keep a free space for them where they can run and play freely.
Most of the goats are very susceptible to external and internal parasites. For example ‘worms’. So your goats should be dewormed on a regular basis.
Hookworms, bloodworm and a different species known as coccidia are the common worms that prey on goats. This type of parasites can cause different types of health problems such as reproductive failures, weight loss, poor hair coat and more (even death) depending on the environment.
So regular deworming is a must. The young kids should receive their first deworming at the age of between 6 to 8 weeks. You can easily purchase commercial dewormers for your goats from your local livestock feed stores.
While applying deworming, be sure to follow label directions. Although, most of the goat dewormers are not effective against coccidia.
Coccidia can be particularly harmful in young kids and immune or older compromised goats. For the treatment of coccidia, there are several products available in the market.
The mostly available product is called Corid. Difficulty in weight gain, inappetence, lethargy and clumped stools are the signs of coccidia infestation.
However, if you have any question about the worm problem in your herd, then you should consult with your vet.
Only an experienced vet can provide you definitive answer and he/she will be able to recommend the proper treatment for your goats.
Vaccinate Your Goats
Never forget to vaccinate your goats timely. You have to vaccinate all your goats once yearly with CDT vaccine. CDT also includes tetanus.
Vaccinate the kids at their 6 to 8 weeks of age, and then boost in 4 weeks. After that, vaccinate your goats once yearly.
Providing your goats with too much lush green food can cause them to bloat. Bloating is very dangerous. And it can kill your goats if not treated timely.
Some Tips For Caring Goats
Here are some tips for caring goats. Follow the tips carefully and always try to take good care of your goats.
- Never keep the does and bucks together. Because bucks are usually aggressive in nature and they might harm your does. Bring your does to the buck only for breeding purpose.
- Ensure that the latch on the fence is on the outside.
- You can visit your local agriculture extension office to learn more about goat care.
- If you want to have dehorned goat, then the best age to dehorn is one week. Ask for vet help to dehorn mature goats.
- Don’t do trimming by yourself for the first time. Instead call an expert or professional for trimming and try to learn from him/her.
- Never provide your goats wasted food from another animal. And never feed them dog or cat’s food.
- Never let your goats go outside the fence.
- In a word, always try to take good care of your goats and keep them healthy and productive. Thus your goat farming business will be more profitable.
Frequently Asked Questions
People ask many questions about how to care for goats. Here we are trying to list the most common questions about how to care for goats, and trying to answer them. Hope you will find your answer. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.
Is goat caring difficult?
No, caring for goats is very easy and simple. You can start raising goats even if you are a beginner.
Do goats need to be put away at night?
Goats need access to shelter during night and also during adverse weather conditions.
What do you feed goats daily?
Goats generally eat grass, hay, grains, greens, vegetable etc.
What are the basic needs of a goat?
Food, water and shelter are the basic needs of a goat.
Do goats need water every day?
Yes, like many other domestic animals goats also need drinking water everyday.
Can goats just live off grass?
Yes, goats can be kept on grass alone.
Do goats like to be held?
Yes, some goats like to be held.
Are goats good for beginners?
Yes, raising goats is very easy and even the beginners can raise them easily.
How often should goats be bathed?
Once a week or once after every two weeks.
Do goats need salt blocks?
Yes, they need salt blocks.
Do goats do well in rain?
No, goats don’t do well in rain. They need shelter to stay safe from rain.
How much space one goat need?
Depends on the size of the goats. Generally, one goat require around or up to 10 square feet space.
Are goats good as pets?
Yes, goats are very good as pet.