The Goat Spot Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there!

My name is Cindy and I just bought two 9 week old Nigerian Dwarf goats. I am brand spankin' new to having goats, but my husband grew up on a "hobby" farm.

We got these guys from a reputable breeder 45min. from us. They are both males and were banded the day we picked them up (Aug. 3rd.) We named them Duble and Willie, they are absolutely adorable and I feel a bit like a new mom, so I'm hoping my concerns are just new mom worries!

We built a small shed (4'x8') and they have a very large fenced area to roam in. It used to be used as a dog run by the previous owners. Eventually we will move them to the other side of the property (we live on 9 acres) into a larger structure. There is a large outbuilding that was once used as a chicken coop, but has been in disrepair and overgrown with blackberries for the longest time. We plan to restore it, fence off a large area around it and house the goats + a few chickens in it.


We are feeding grass hay, we buy our bales from his parents, who feed the same hay to their goats, horses, and donkeys. It's a local field that they pay to have cut and baled.
I set them up with a two gallon bucket in the shed and have been changing the water twice daily. My husband built a hay manger to set out in the fenced area, it's a bit too tall for these guys, he thought they'd be a bit larger. We set stumps out on either side and they seem happy to eat from it that way. In the shed I just have a bucket setting in a tray with hay in it. I need a different set up, but for the moment they seem good with that.
We cut down some blackberry vines and offered them those, they immediately went to town and had the canes striped bare in no time. We bought purina goat minerals and offer them that along with baking soda.

When we got them home Willie seemed almost a bit... carsick? He seemed sort of wobbly and uncomfortable, but possibly that's just a result of the banding. I'm hoping transporting them on the same day that they were banded was not a bad idea. The breeder didn't seem to think anything of it.

I've noticed both yesterday morning and this morning that Duble is shivering. It's been right at 50 degrees in the mornings, but heats up to around 80 during the day. He doesn't shiver during the day, and I've watched him eat and drink, though when I'm around he seems much more interested in getting pets. He's a sweetheart.
When I saw him shivering this morning I placed them back in the shed with blackberry vines I trimmed from my yard. I also changed out their water with warm water and added a little bit of molasses, to warm him up and entice him to drink more. I have a regular old thermometer that we use for ourselves, but stupidly didn't think to buy one for the goats yet. I could sacrifice ours, but it takes forever to read a temp. and I would like to just buy one specifically for them. Any suggestions on which thermometer to buy?

I also noticed that Willie's poop has changed from small separated pellets to clumps of pellets. I didn't see Duble poop this morning, so not sure yet if he is the same. I read this can be a indication of adjusting to a diet change. I'm keeping a close eye on it, but anything I should be doing or worried about?

They have headbutted a little, (Duble is Polled and Willie is disbudded) especially over the tray of blackberry vines. Not sure if they are establishing a pecking order, if so it seems like Willie may be the winner. Hopefully Willie is allowing Duble to eat enough, I've definitely seen him eat, but as I said, when people are around he's much more interested in getting attention.

They also cry A LOT when I leave... for a long time. It's only been two days that we've had them. They are very vocal!

I check on them a lot. Yesterday I spent 45min with Willie in my lap. I was sitting on a stump and he climbed onto me and then laid down like a big ol' cat, sweetest thing ever.

I think I have a couple of really sweet babies on my hands, but want to make sure I'm doing my absolute best for them! Any advice is wanted and welcomed!

Glad to be apart of this community!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Welcome wild brair!
I'm a newbie as well (june) as I have 3 fainting wethers who quickly captured my heart too. Sounds like you are doing everything that I have done, they will be vocal the more you get close to them as they see you as one of them and want you there. Sometimes they just have to bleat it out...lol. Mine call for me whenever they see me, however, they stop when I don't give them attention, but will let me know when its supper time! I personally feed mine Purina growth 1/2 cup per goat 2x daily helps with growing and help to prevent UC. Plus I add a cap full of ACV to their water to help with the hardness and keeps it clean outside. I purchased a digital thermometer just for them (a people one) that is a must have it quickly gives a reading and is lighted to help read if needed at night. You might want to get a few essentials for their emergency kit to have on hand and put it in there. Keep an eye on the poop, sometimes it just takes a few days to adjust to everything and clumpy poo can come quick and leave just as fast. Enjoy those little guys and this forum and its users on here are amazing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,618 Posts
Welcome to TSC.
A few things..9 weeks is pretty young for banding. Its preferred to wait 4 to 6 months to allow the urethra to grow in width so stone can pass more easily. What this means is you will need to take extra care with their diet. Keep a ratio of 2:1 in calcium and phos. Hay and alfalfa and browse is good. . Most pellet feed is 2:1 so would check before feeding. Skip the sweet feed..do straight pellet. Once they are reaching yearlings..ween them off feed all together. Hay and alfalfa is all they need along with quality loose minerals.
Pull baking soda..only give as needed. Baking soda can change the PH of their urine causing stones. There is a product called Ammonium chloride you can feed daily in their water or top dress their grain to keep proper PH.

Keep tabs on their temp as stress from the banding and a move can cause pneumonia.

As mentioned..gather a few emergency supplies. There is a great list here on group.

These boys will bring you tons of joy. Head fighting is normal goat behavior. Crying when you leave is normal. They will get used to their new routine.

Best wishes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for your thoughtful response happybleats! I hope you don't mind if I ask a few clarifying questions. When you say 2:1 ratio in calcium and phosphate, are you referring to the quantities found in grain? I don't quite know the difference between sweet feed, grain, or pellets, I have a lot to learn - apologies for being a total goat rube.
Most of what I read prior to getting the goats was not to feed grain, and when I asked the breeder she just said she doesn't feed them anything other than hay. My MIL has only had does so she couldn't tell me much about wethers. I'm glad to know I should be fortifying their diet, up until they are yearlings.
Thanks for the tip on baking soda vs. Ammonium chloride. Will do.
Putting together my emergency arsenal now!
Welcome to TSC.
A few things..9 weeks is pretty young for banding. Its preferred to wait 4 to 6 months to allow the urethra to grow in width so stone can pass more easily. What this means is you will need to take extra care with their diet. Keep a ratio of 2:1 in calcium and phos. Hay and alfalfa and browse is good. . Most pellet feed is 2:1 so would check before feeding. Skip the sweet feed..do straight pellet. Once they are reaching yearlings..ween them off feed all together. Hay and alfalfa is all they need along with quality loose minerals.
Pull baking soda..only give as needed. Baking soda can change the PH of their urine causing stones. There is a product called Ammonium chloride you can feed daily in their water or top dress their grain to keep proper PH.

Keep tabs on their temp as stress from the banding and a move can cause pneumonia.

As mentioned..gather a few emergency supplies. There is a great list here on group.

These boys will bring you tons of joy. Head fighting is normal goat behavior. Crying when you leave is normal. They will get used to their new routine.

Best wishes
Welcome to TSC.
A few things..9 weeks is pretty young for banding. Its preferred to wait 4 to 6 months to allow the urethra to grow in width so stone can pass more easily. What this means is you will need to take extra care with their diet. Keep a ratio of 2:1 in calcium and phos. Hay and alfalfa and browse is good. . Most pellet feed is 2:1 so would check before feeding. Skip the sweet feed..do straight pellet. Once they are reaching yearlings..ween them off feed all together. Hay and alfalfa is all they need along with quality loose minerals.
Pull baking soda..only give as needed. Baking soda can change the PH of their urine causing stones. There is a product called Ammonium chloride you can feed daily in their water or top dress their grain to keep proper PH.

Keep tabs on their temp as stress from the banding and a move can cause pneumonia.

As mentioned..gather a few emergency supplies. There is a great list here on group.

These boys will bring you tons of joy. Head fighting is normal goat behavior. Crying when you leave is normal. They will get used to their new routine.

Best wishes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,618 Posts
We dont mind questions at all!! Im happy to share what ever I know

2:1 ratio..means the calcium should be at least twice as high as the phosphorus. So if you look at the bag od feed for ex: it may say ca is 16 so you don't want the pros to be higher that 8.
Hay is high is phosphorus so we add alfalfa which is high in calcium.
If you choose NOT to feed a grain or pellet. That is fine. Just make sure they are growing well and in healthy flesh. Many raise on pasture only. My advice about feed was in case you choose to feed it. If you offer hay and alflafa and a good quality loose mineral they should do just fine.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top