Learning about Goats!
So I have this running joke. I keep telling my Mom that someday, a few years after college and I find a good husband(hopefully) that she and Dad are going to come visit "The Zoo". I love animals! I want chickens, Horses, Barn cats, a few dogs and GOATS! I've already got the horse part taken care of, Cats and dogs.. well they aren't too hard to find. But.. I don't know a darn thing about goats!
They are herbivores, correct? So a bit of yard, and some hay? What about grain? Are they the type of animal that can survive off of anything, or do they need a complete and balanced diet? Are there certain things they should never eat?
Can they be taught to lead, tie.. what about bathing?
I don't really want the "Backyard" bred type. If you know what I mean. What are the good blood lines? What makes a good quality goat?
What about common ailments? What health problems to look out for?
And anything else you think I should know!!
As a veterinarian, I want to tell you that goats get worms. Almost all of the sick goats that I have treated were sick because they had worms and a lot of them died of worms. The other big issue that I have seen is kidney stones. These almost always seem to happen in goats that are on an all grain diet. Goats need good, clean hay.
Hay, salt, water, and dewormer.
They also like to get into toxic plants.
They like to steal feed and over eat and get sick.
The other problem is that goats love to escape.
You need good fencing. The fencing should be predator proof. The most common predator against goats are your neighbor's big dogs.
Thanks Celeste! I was worried I wasn't going to get any replies! I'm super excited to someday own a few Pygmy's. I'm kind of anal when it comes to the health and safety of my animals, so I feel like they will be well taken care of. I've done a lot of research already on health and feeding and what not. They only thing so far that I haven't figured out is the blood lines. What are good pygmy goat lines?
;-) Blue Rose Farm's a good name to look for
Haha that was my families farm for a while while we showed and bred pygmies.
There's not really bloodlines to look for in the goat world, it's just all conformation based. For pygmies you want short, stocky, and with a very good sprung of rib.
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Thanks, I will keep that in mind! With goats, is Chrome/Color a good or bad thing? I won't take a pretty color over a good build, but is a "Flashy" Goat looked down upon??
Facial markings are okay but "pinto" goats are a sign that the pygmies have been crossed with Nigerian dwarf goats.
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Except for white markings on their stomach that come up to their sides, that's okay.
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One thing to think about is what do you want the goats for?
If you want milk goats, then you need a milk goat like a nubian. If you want meat, then a boer might be nice. If you just want pets, there is probably no reason to pay for registered stock. You might as well just get something that is cute. If you get males, I would sure neuter them. Our neighbor had an intact male, and not only did he get mean, he smelled so bad that we could catch wind of him at our house, 1/2 mile away.
I have Nigerian Dwarf goats.
Very cute, very friendly and boy are they a PIA!! My hubby jokingly tries to give them away to anyone and everyone. They escape just for the fun of it. If they can't go under or through it, they're going over it. Other than them pooping all over my porch, the escaping really isn't a problem since they have zero desire to leave the property.
I don't feed mine grain, they steal a few mouthfuls from my steer but he doesn't let them have enough to be an issue.
Bonus is that they prefer weeds to grass and eat the weeds to the ground. Not a single weed left in my goat pen so they are now out cleaning up the cow pastures of weeds.
I own goats, their fun to watch and be around but are a pain in the butt. mine don't get grain they live of pasture's spring-fall, and get good clean hay in the tub winter with a loose mineral and lots of fresh water, mine will not drink unless they get their water prayed out/cleaned with fresh water everyday. I had pygmy's at one time, and if they can get their head through the fence they will fit their body, how i have no idea but they would, which became a problem when my grandmothers dog decided she likes goat. I don't know much about bloodlines, but they do work great for rotating pastures with other livestock, and children love them. Mine all walk on leashed and tie for their hooves to be trimmed/deworming/vaccinating. Mine enjoy walks on a leash. Coyotes are my main problem with my goats. I bathe my Billy's but no so much my nanny's. I have a toxic plant guide book for goats and remove all the toxic plants, but there's been times when i didn't see one and find it later but the goats never touch it they eat everything else around it. But as Celeste said Billy's do stink and you can smell them from a mile away. Goats do better on large pasture's they like to roam and taste different thing's, my goats never stand still to eat they bite and then run to the next plant.
Hope this helped.
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