A few basic questions...

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by NevadaJoe, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. NevadaJoe

    NevadaJoe Guest

    Apr 27, 2009
    My family very recently got into goats, quite by accident. We rescued them from the local auction. The first one is a female, we think Alpine or Alpine cross. The other is a mix of who kows what? I'll have to get some pictures of him, and maybe someone here can help identify himm. :) We got the female first, about a month before the boy. We think she's about 2 months now, and are guessing that he is about 2-3 weeks.

    So my questions are.. at what age should the boy be to get him fixed? Both are pets, and I don't want any babies!

    Another question is when should I deworm them, and with what? Also, vaccinations: should they get them in spring, like my horses and cows? And what should they get? I'll actually probably just have the vet vacciante them when we take them in to get him fixed and both of their horns taken care of (they are going to be shown in FFA, and the local fair does not allow goats with horns), but for future reference it would be nice to know.

    Also about feed.. I heard from someone that alfalfa should not be fed to a whether? That's what they are getting now, but once he's been fixed, should he no longer get it? And if not, would a local hay, timothy, or orchard grass be better? The horses get alfalfa and the cows get local (they're fat!). Also, should they be getting any grain, or is just good hay enough? The female was getting a bottle 2x a day when we first got her, but we weaned her recently. The little boy would not eat the milk at all, but he does not slow down on the hay and grass/ brush. Currently they get alfalfa hay free choice in their pen, and I bring them out during the day to graze.

    Sorry for all the questions.. I just want to make sure I do the best for them that I can do! Thanks to anyone who can help!
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    As far as vaccinations go they need to get CD/T according to the following 1st dose now, 2nd dose in 21 ays then another in 6 months then yearly after that. As far as worming, most use ivomectin, but it would be wise to have your vet run a fecal first so you know which type of wormer to use.
    As far as wethering, he should be done around 8 weeks after that you are risking him being fertile.
    At 2-3 weeks, he is not getting the nutrition he needs to be healthy, if he is that young he really needs milkas his rumen is not developed at that age to be able to digest a constant diet of hay.
    I feed mine a mixed timthy hay and they thrive on it, you are right about the alfalfa...for bucks or wethers, it is a bit rich in calcium and can cause problems with urinary caculi, I do feed mine a goat specific grain...Blue Seal Caprine Challenger, they all getit and I've had no problems with the boys yet.

    A loose mineral would be ideal for them to have, if you give your cattle a "pasture" mineral, as long as it as copper in it and the ratio of calcium to phosphorous is 2to 1 it will suffice for the goats unless you can find a goat specific mineral...never feed minerals or grains made for sheep to goats, there is no copper in it at all and goats need copper.

    Having the does horns done at such an advanced age will need to be done surgically....if the bucklings are just nubs and less than 3/4 inch, the can still be burned, so it's best to make that vet appointment as soon as possible.

    Welcome and I truly hope that you get even more answers, browse the forums on wormers and such...lots of info!

  3. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas

    Sounds like Liz covered everything - but I will add - you can also band the does horns, instead of surgically having them done. I personally prefer banding as the surgery is aweful (IMHO) and with her being so young the bands will work in no time!
  4. Jenna

    Jenna New Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    I agree with liz in everything except what kelebek pointed out. :wink:
  5. NevadaJoe

    NevadaJoe Guest

    Apr 27, 2009
    Thanks everyone for the great info!

    I forgot to mention that we do have a salt block in their pen, salt that the feedstore owner recommended. Is horse salt okay? The salt we have out for the horses is okay I know for cows (and it's what the cows use), and it has added selenium since we are deficent in this area of that. The goats are not currently with the horses or cows. They go into their pen at night, and during the day if it's not raining or cold they go out and graze in the yard.

    We've tried many times, and still try daily, to get the little boy to drink, but he simply refuses. Should we force feed him then? He might be older, but if he is, he would only be a month, max.

    I'll have to measure the horn length, but I know Tilly's (the doe) is less then an inch long, and they only started growing about 2 weeks ago I think (we had to other male goats that we rescued along with her, and they had been dehorned, but each one of them ended up growing one horn back, hers hadn't been in and I thought they had been taken care of, then they started coming in. Could they have been done at one time, but the they came back? Cause I can already feel the boys horns coming in). I'll have to find a good vet that deals with goats so I can set up an appointment for the boy to get fixed, shots and everything else!

    Edited to add: Is banding something the vet will do? Are they the bands they sell at the feedstore to fix sheep and calves? Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, I never heard of banding horns!

    Thanks again for all the info!
  6. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Yes, the very same bands....and you can fix the buckling yourself too, if you have banded bull calves its the very same process.

    Banding horns is simple on youngsters ... get the band over the horn down to the base at the skin, it's the same concept as castrating, cuts off blood flow and they fall off.

    Good that you have the block for them....but it is sometimes difficult for them to get the amount they need from it.
  7. ProctorHillFarm

    ProctorHillFarm New Member

    everyone covered it- but I just wanted to add- we just banded one of our bucklings (wether now!) horns. He WAS disbudded- TWICE but the suckers still grew, so I tried banding him.
    Voila- the horns were just about ready to come off the next day, one is gone, the other almost, and actually I could probably pull it off, but it will come off on its own I think.

    Just a note- my guy screamed bloody murder after I did this- probably because the horns were still so soft. I think he had a mega headache the first day or so, but hes fine now :)