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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

My name is Sarah and I am a new goat owner! I have three beautiful alpine goats that I purchased from a local breeder. I have two bucklings that are currently 1 month old (today!) and a beautiful doe who is 3 months old. My husband and I bought a house that had a fenced 1-acre pasture and stable already built so all we had to do was get the animals! Last year we raised a bull for beef over the growing season and had him butchered in October. We "goat-sat" for a friend so the bull had company. I LOVED having the goats back there! We are raising beef cattle again this year and decided to have goats of our own to keep him company.

So, without further ado, meet our kids: George Michael (black one), Buster (black and white one) and Lucille (AKA "Lucy", brown and tan one).

Right now we are all set with some good mixed-grass hay, Blue Seal medicated grain (for the boys, we will have them castrated when they get a bit older), lots of pasture for grazing, and a comfortable stable for shelter. I also have some medicine on the way to stock up our medicine cabinet for the goats. I purchased some Probiotics, Fortified Vitamin B-12 gel, Bovi-Sera, C&D Antitoxin, and Bio-mycin. I just dewormed Lucy with Ivermectin from the vet. She already had her dosing of Corid to prevent Coccidia before we got her. The boys will get their dosing in a few weeks. I am really hoping I've covered everything at this point!

My biggest concerns about being a new goat owner: 1 - that I do not recognize signs of some sort of illness and do not know how to properly treat it once identified and 2 - I am nervous about winter care. We live in a very windy spot and our stable has two wide open doors and no electricity (at the moment, we are planning on getting a solar panel out there). I may have to figure something out to keep it warmer in there during the cold windy central Pennsylvania winter days. Maybe pile up bales of hay or straw in front of the door outside their pen. We'll see.

I am really happy to have found this forum. I've already posted a thread and a few replies and am looking forward to getting to know the community better! I have to say I find myself spending a lot of time browsing the breeding pen photos! Goat kids are so freaking cute! I cannot wait to breed my doe in a year or two :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Welcome from West Central PA!

Adorable babies you have :love:
As far as the windy and cold PA winters... open doors here have feed sacks stapled over them to allow free choice access to outside pens and keep the winds out :)
Thanks so much, Liz! That's really interesting with the feed sacks! Do you have a picture of that? I'd love to get a good visual so I could try that over here. Not a big deal if you don't have a picture, I am pretty sure I have an idea of how it looks! I definitely would like for the babes to have free choice access to the outside pasture area so I really like that idea!
 

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I don't have a pic... mainly because I have some heathen goats who enjoy ripping them off the door ways!

I have "goat size" doors into the barn areas...mine are at 2x3 door ways, I just staple the opened feed sacks across the top and half way down the sides to secure them. IF you have a very large door opening, for winter use only you may be able to attach a piece of plywood with screws to make the opening smaller for the goats, then just remove in spring and set aside for yearly use :)
 

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First off Welcome~! :)

Sometimes the wind may whip off the bags, if you get really bad winds.

Another thing to think about, install some doors, so, if it gets to nasty with the wind, you can close it. Especially if, it is super cold and windy.
It will keep them warmer in winter. If you have babies, it will help them better without having a big draft or by accidentally going out in the storms and freezing to death. Drafts are not good on goats. But make sure, it has ventilation somewhere, it is best to have it on the opposite side of your winter winds.

Goats need lose salt and minerals out free choice with copper and selenium in it.


When a goat is not well, they will start picking at their feed or not want to eat at all. They may stand alone or lay around more than usual.
First thing to do is, get a temp, normal is 101.5 to 103.5. Remember though, if a goat has been out in direct hot summer sun or been running around, because you are trying to catch it, prior to a temp, it may effect their temp. If this is the case, let the goat cool down in the shade or calm down for a while, before getting a temp.

If the temp is high, start antibiotics, I find the best is, Nuflor for pneumonia and bamnaime to help drop temp and give appetite. You have to get it from a vet but they are miracle drugs.

If the temp is normal or a bit sub, give Probitoics for rumnants for 3 days or more depending on how down the goat is and a fortified vit B complex shot, Under skin. For the smaller breed you have, maybe try 3cc's.

Watch their gum color, gently open their mouths and look at the color , if it is dark pink, they are healthy, if they are pale pink to white, they are anemc and may have worms, cocci or lice and will need treatment. Plus they may need an iron supplement.

There are many ailments and treatments, if you have a question, create, post and ask.;)

Cute goats by the way. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First off Welcome~! :)

Goats need lose salt and minerals out free choice with copper and selenium in it.
I forgot to mention we have a mineral block out for them. Hopefully that is sufficient.

I will be sure to make a plan for covering the open doorways before the winter, whether it is a door, plywood, or a tarp I am not quite sure. We'll see what we can come up with. Good thing I have all summer!

Thank you for all the health tips, as well! I am going to save all of the information!
 

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The blocks may be labled for goats but a loose mineral is much better... they can get what they need much easier with the loose.
Since you already have a block, is it one for goats or just a simple brown trace mineral salt block?

I will suggest getting the Manna Pro mineral from Tractor Supply to start out with a loose mineral, mine get their minerals free choice in a pipe feeder.... gravity fed so it's always full.
After a few months, you'll be able to assess wether this mineral type is working for them...and it has added ammonium chloride which is great for preventing urinary calculi in the boys :)
I currently have mine on Cargill Right Now Onyx, it's a cattle mineral made by the makers of Nutrena feeds and I have it ordered in for me by a feed mill close by....
 

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Liz - thanks for the advice. I will get loose minerals today from Tractor Supply since what we have is an old mineral salt block that was left behind by the people who we bought the house/property from. No label so I am not exactly sure what is in it. I am feeding the blue seal grain feed with ammonium chloride in it, but I'll be sure to get a loose mineral feed with it as well. Cannot hurt, right?

Buster, the white one, had a bit of a bloat last night. I put out free choice baking soda and his little belly is better this morning. I rubbed the left side of his belly and his neck for a while last night too. Every time I rubbed his neck he'd cough a little and pass gas at the same time. I always chuckle a little when they do this but I have to say I was so happy to hear those little "toots" last night!

Next step is trimming hooves for the first time! I received my trimmer in the mail the other day so I am anxious to get out there and find the best technique. Hopefully everything goes smoothly and they do not bleed!

I am also weaning Lucy off of milk. Right now she is down to 12 oz in the morning and again in the evening. I am not looking forward to taking away one of those meals, she gets so excited for her milk and it will be tough to keep her away when we bottle feed the boys for another couple months...

My DH says our goats are spoiled. He thinks he is criticizing me but I take it as a compliment :)
 

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Hi and welcome! Looks like you have a beautiful farm, and such lovely new goaties to boot! Loose minerals are probably the best way to go. They can't get enough of what they need. Whichever brand you decide on, make sure it has iodine in it. Goats need plenty of iodine, and a lot of these mineral mixes do not contain in. It's very important that it contains iodine.
 

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Ooops- needed to clarify my last post. They have trouble getting enough of what they need from the mineral blocks.

I also leave out Thorvin kelp, free choice. Has many minerals and trace minerals, including iodine. Kelp has so many health benefits, and is great for conditioning bucks and does prior to breeding season.
 

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Hi Sarah, very cute little guys. I would like to point out that free choice baking soda deactivates the medicated feed and can make bucks and wethers prone to Urinary Calculi. It's much better just to use it as needed with boys.
 

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hi sarah
be careful of what kind of grain you give the boys, we feed medicated meat goat grain on all our babies to get the growth we want faster and then we dont have to worry about bladder stones in the boys
your babies are very cute,
 

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Thanks, everyone! I am a serious goat addict already! I have to head out of town for a week and my husband will be home with the goats. I am thinking I might miss the goats more than him! ;)

Goathiker, I took away the BS and will use when needed. Only Buster, the white one, has been getting a little bloated belly occasionally so I will keep it on hand for helping with bloat on a case by case basis.

In_Clover - I checked the minerals I got for the goats to see if it had iodine. It of course does not. I cannot help but feel Tractor Supply is always lacking in what I actually need. Frustrating. I did find a feed mill not too far away that carries a lot of different feeds for goats. I'll have to stop by again and see what they have for loose minerals. Any other suggestions on loose minerals that have iodine in them, or a supplement I can add to the minerals I already have? Can I just add iodized salt to the loose minerals? I read somewhere that you can "paint" 7% Iodine onto a hairless part of the goat as well. I will also see if I can get kelp anywhere.

So many details! I am so happy a place like this exists to help me through all of this! Thanks everyone!
 

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I've read that you're not supposed to feed additional salt with the loose minerals because they may not be getting the minerals they need if they go for the salt too much.

You could supplement the minerals with organic iodine (sold in packets at Jeffer's) but be careful with it as iodine overload is toxic. Liquid iodine, like Lugol's Solution, can be added to the water, but again, careful with that. Right off hand I do not have any set dosing guidelines.

Painting the tail with iodine is usually done as a diagnostic tool rather than a treatment, and one uses a certain strength iodine to paint on the tail webbing. (Maybe somebody can help out here with that- I can look into it further if necessary.) If the painted on iodine disappears (is absorbed really) in 24 hrs., the goat has suspected deficiency.

You could always 1) try and take it back to TSC (yeah, right I guess), 2) mix it with a goat blend containing iodine, 3) provide free choice kelp which has iodine in it, or use it up and shop around. Iodine deficiency can display itself as goiter, hair loss, and fertility issues. I have no idea why some companies do not put iodine in their mineral mixes. :confused:
 

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Horrible news. The black one, George Michael, died today. We came home and found him stuck between the ground and the lowest board on the wall separating a storage area and the pen. There was about 5 inches of space and I found him half way through, with his front two legs out. He was my favorite of the ones I have. He liked to snuggle and lay on my lap. He was my husbands favorite too. We are just devastated. His brother seems to be ok. Hungry. Milk feeding had to be delayed so we could bury George Michael. I wish I would have been home. I feel so awful. I was attached to him, maybe too much since I cannot stop crying! I will get over it but the thought of him struggling and either suffocating or whatever happened is going to haunt me for a while. I can't decide if I should call the breeders and ask to buy another goat. What do you all think??
 
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