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Essentials To Always Have For Your Goats



Raising Goats Guide Series 11
 
·        Always keep a clean and cool supply of water

·        Always keep a clean and fresh supply of bedding; when it gets soiled, change it immediately

·        Keep a set of  hoof clippers and a brush for regular foot maintenance

·        Always keep a fresh supply of hay for them to eat

·        Keep healthy treats on hand, such as fruit or vegetable peelings, corn, black oil sunflower seeds and various grains

·        Make sure that the area for your goat is secured and fenced-in at all times; this can prevent them from running away as well as keeping out predators

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Additional Tips On How To Take Care Of Goats



Raising Goats Guide Series 10

·        Find out as much information as you can about taking care of goats.  Get some books, research online and find some people who have or who are currently raising and taking care of goats for a living.

·        Consult with more than one breeder.  See which one would give you a good deal on a goat.  Find out about vaccinations and other things you need to know before you seal the deal. 

·        Make preparations for your goat prior to purchasing one and bringing it home.  They will need a secure shelter, water and food.

·        From day one, you will have to put your best foot forward with taking care of your goat.  Try to stick to the same daily schedule.  Spend time with the goat so that they can get used to your presence. 

·        Have a regular schedule that involves preventive maintenance that includes hoof trimming and maintain their coat.  Their coat should always be cleaned and well groomed.

·        If you don’t do anything else, always remember that goats are more content when they have company (other goats).  They don’t like to be alone.

·        Do not breed the goats past ten years old.  If you do, they won’t live as long.  The average life span is about 12 years, but some of them can live longer, up to 18 years. 

This is because they stopped breeding when they were supposed to.  Breeding can take a lot of energy out of a goat.  By the time they decide to settle down, they don’t have much energy left.

·        When you put up fencing, make it so where the goat cannot easily access getting out.  If you have easy access, the goat will be able to get out of the fence and roam elsewhere.

·        If you have trees and bushes on your property, keep the goats away from them.  They like trees and bushes.  If they get near them, you won’t have them much longer.  You won’t have to prune them yourself because they will do it for you.

·        Don’t give goats more hay that what they will eat.  It is part of their makeup to eat less than what you give them.  Study them to see how much they eat.  Then you can adjust your portions accordingly.

·        Don’t be scared of your goat.  There are times when they are aggressive.  They will know when you are timid and can take advantage of that.  Once they know that you can play their game, they will buckle down and act right.

·        Your first goat should be a female (doe) goat.  They are easier to deal with than male (buck) goats.  Male goats require more energy and more experience for you to handle.  They can be aggressive; if the male is a billy goat, they tend to emit a strong odor that you may not be able to handle right away.

·        Keep your goat secured in the event of predators, such as a dog or a coyote.  If they should get violated by one of them, check for injuries and take them to the veterinarian as a precaution. 

 

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Goat Diseases



Raising Goats Guide Series 9
 
There are various diseases that goats will contract.  Some of these diseases come from viruses, parasites and bacteria.  The diagnosis of the diseases will vary.  However, some of these diseases may be similar and can be difficult to pinpoint. 

Treatment is imminent in order to get them well very quickly.  There is a part that the farmer is required to play as far as getting their goats back to health.  A lot of times, these diseases can be prevented if the farmer takes preventive steps to keep their goat healthy.

Here are some of the diseases that goats deal with:

Abortion

Abortion in goats can happen between the 6th – 8th week of a doe’s pregnancy.  It can be caused by drinking water that has salmonella.  The female goat can receive treatment from a veterinarian.

Anorexia

Can be caused by a lack of appetite.

Arthritis

Arthritis in a goat (baby) can be an infection in the navel.  There is also arthritis that happens after birth, due to neglect of sufficient vitamins and minerals. 

Anthrax

The goat gets a high temperature and doesn’t have an appetite.  They may only survive for a day.  Keep the goat away from everyone.  For the remaining goats, they should be vaccinated.

 Bronchitis

If the goat gets a lung worm infection, they can get bronchitis.  Get rid of the dust in the feed by putting more water in their mixture (regular or molasses water)

Bloat

Eating Lucerne hay can cause the goat to bloat.  It will urinate a lot, walk funny and stomp their feet in irritation.  Use hay that is dry when you are giving them fresh legumes.  This can prevent them from bloat in the future.  You can also put a little peanut oil on the feed.


Chlamydiosis

The symptoms for this are diarrhea and pneumonia.  If the female goat is pregnant, they may lose their unborn child.  If the child is born, they may contract arthritis. The goat can be treated with penicillin.

Coccdiosis

The goat will have low blood, diarrhea and feel week.   If they are baby goats, they could die.  They will need to be examined by a veterinarian.

Dermatitis

There are different kinds of this disease:

·        Labial dermatitis – when milk residue remains on the mouth of kids that are pan fed, the skin gets hard and starts to crack.  Their face looks disfigured.  This can be treated with a cream.

·        Labial and interdigital dermatitis – this happens when a goat eats plants such as ragwort Azaleas or they are attacked by mites.  To treat this, use lanoline or petroleum jelly. 

·        Allergic dermatitis – this happens when a goat gets bitten by wasps or mosquitoes.  This can be treated with a protective cream.


Eye Illnesses

·        Conjunctivitis – this happens when a goat’s eyes come in contact with grass, seeds, and thorns.  The closer that they get to the cornea, the greater chance there is of contracting this.  The eye area gets red and swollen.  The affected area can be treated by using a saline solution. 

·        Pink eye – this is a contagious disease.  You may see a discharge coming from the goat’s eye.  Wash the affected area with saline water.  Use aerosol drops (2 drops) twice a day.


Foot and Mouth Disease

This disease affects young goats and adult goats.  It affects the tongue, lips, cheeks and other oral areas.  The adult goats look lethargic; the kids may not survive the disease.  Keep them away from everyone else and get the rest of them vaccinated.  For the ones who have the disease, wash their mouth using a mild disinfectant.


Foot Rot

This disease is contagious.  It deals with various bacteria.  The foot gets inflamed and it is moist.  They turn red and start losing hair between their toes.  The infection can mess up the horn of the foot.  This can cause the goat to lose weight. 


Goat Pox

The goat will have a fever and feel congested.  If it’s a baby goat, they will have a high temperature as well.  They could also have lesions on their skin, but they usually don’t live long enough for that to happen.  Keep them away from everyone else.  Wash the skin lesions using hydrogen peroxide. And warm water.  Use antibiotic cream to keep out infection. 


Hemorrhagic Septicemia

The goat will have difficult time breathing, a high fever, coughing and they may succumb to this disease.  Treatment involves being vaccinated.

Hoof Trimming

In order to prevent the hooves to grow differently, they must be trimmed.  Having them grow any kind of way will add pressure on the goat’s legs.  The pressure can lead to pain which would make it difficult for them to walk. 

If some of the hooves have curled  up, mud and other stuff can get inside.  This can cause foot rot disease.  Trimming is important so that the toe and the heel of the goat can be placed in proportion with one another.  Make a schedule to have your goat’s hooves trimmed every 90 days. 

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