The Goat Spot Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am bringing my two ND kids home tomorrow, I am a first time goat owner. I'm excited, yet nervous. A little stressed too because it has been non-stop rain for the last two days and today we were supposed to get their shelter built with the help of friends...I don't think that is going to happen now, or at least it won't be finished.

Plan B is to put them in one of my horse stalls until it dries up or buy a calf hutch and let that be their temporary shelter.

Has anyone used a calf hutch for a temporary shelter?

Also, which bedding is better...shavings or straw? I'm thinking straw will be warmer, but shavings will be easier to clean up. I have both here.

Do you I need to worry that they are going to have a sudden diet change? With horses I always do a very gradual diet change. The goats will not have this. I bought some probiotics for them. How many days should I give it to them? Anything else I should do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,621 Posts
Welcome! Calf hutches make great shelters. Temporary or permanent. My goats eat some of their bedding no matter what I use and I am told that shavings can be a problem, so I use nice straw. Yes, the diet change can be a problem just like with horses. Can you buy one bale of the breeder's hay to make the change with? Just don't go to a high grain diet unless they have already been getting that. They don't need a lot of grain anyway. Actually, going from grass hay to alfalfa hay too fast or from hay to pasture can be just as big a problem. Try to make your changes as gradual as possible. The biggest things to do are provide a dry place, fresh water, loose minerals, good hay and lots and lots of love! Good luck! :)
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
14,615 Posts
Yes gradual feed changes for sure.
Buy a bag of feed from the breeder if it's not available where you live.
Ask to have them wormed before they go & be prepared to redose after they have settled in.
Stress causes worm load to manifest.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
59,221 Posts
I would put them in a horse stall. While the calf hutch does make a great shelter, they are not protected if a predator comes. At least in the horse stall, you can lock them up.

I would give them probiotics daily for a week.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,944 Posts
I would also put them in a horse stall until they get settled in and you can finish their shelter. It doesn't matter whether you use shavings, straw, or a combination of both. Goats routinely eat leaves, bark, and small twigs and shavings are just flaked trees.

As far as the feed goes, see if you can buy a bale of hay from the breeder and mix it with your hay to transition them over. If not, start them on plain grass hay. It's hard to go wrong with grass hay. Unless they are getting a lot of pellets/grain I would take them off that or cut it down to a bare minimum - say 1/4 lb/kid for right now. They are going to be stressed enough and grain can further upset their tummies, cause diarrhea, and possibly lead to dehydration. I would give them a week or so to get used to their new place and then either re-introduce pellets/grain or start increasing it.

You cannot overdose probiotics, nor will it hurt them. Some people use them daily, while others never use them - it is up to you. Have fun with your new kids, and I hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
458 Posts
They are also going to have the jitters coming to a new place. I would put them into the horse stall to make them feel safer until they get adjusted. Hay works the best because it is a heavier insulator and will not hold moisture as much. Do you have a medicine supply on hand: dewormer, antibiotic, electrolytes, etc?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The kids are home! I am in love with them already! They are so friendly and playful!

I have them in a stall, they are eating and drinking well. I have about 1/2 bale from the farm I bought them from, I will slowly transition them over to the grass hay I have. I do not plan to feed them any grain. They are both wethers.

I have a well rounded first aid supply kit for the horses, so yes I have electrolytes, dewormer, Vetricyn, antibiotic ointment, bandages, stethoscope, Banamine, etc that I can use for the goats as well. I have a vet for them too. I do not have antibiotics on hand though, doesn't that have to be prescribed? They were de-wormed two weeks ago and I was told they should be good until spring. They also had their vaccinations and the breeder told me they are good until spring. They were also given a coccidia preventative treatment.

Question though - they really start bleating whenever we leave their stall. I have a radio turned on for them. Other than sleeping out there with them, I'm not sure what I can do. We have been checking them and playing for much of the time we have been home, but if we just step out of the stall they start crying. I hate to see them stressed. How long can I expect them to be upset when we leave?

I have two other health related questions that I will ask on the health related forum. Thank you everyone, I appreciate your words of wisdom!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,663 Posts
When I first got my 3 goats they screamed until they were hoarse and couldn't anymore. I tried to be with them as much as possible, but the first 2-3 nights the screamed all night. I felt terrible, but they'll be okay. They just have to get used to their surroundings and don't like being alone in a new place.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top