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Some FAQ about goats and their management

What is a goats normal temp? 101.5-103.5- taken rectally

Whats the life expectancy for a goat? 12-16 years

Is there a list of poisonous plants my goat should not eat?
Yes check these links Fias Co Farm: Goats- Edible & Poisonous for Goats

How can I tell if my doe is pregnant I never saw the buck breed her?
"Pooch Test".
Or by 4 months along, they will form an udder, may look poofy and longer in the vulva area.
You can also take a blood sample and send it into

What does a goat's daily "rations" look like?
This depends on the age and breed of goat.
Basically a young kid will need to be fed 1+ cups a day morning and night.
Mini goats need less then standard.
Adult does who are not lactating, need little to no grain.
Bucks and wethers shouldn't get much grain. Bucks will need more grain during rut, if losing weight.

Lactating does should get grain depending on their lactation amount: 1lb of grain for every 2-3lbs of milk (but this depends on their forage availability). Hay should be the main diet for does, bucks and kids.
This can be left out free choice all day or provided twice a day.
For minis the general rule of thumb is 1/2 flake per goat per feeding. For standards that would be 1 flake per goat twice a day

Do my goats need alfalfa hay?
No alfalfa hay is not necessary, but it can be very helpful for pregnant or lactating goats or goats who need to put on weight.

How frequently do you need to change bedding?
Some like to change it out daily --or once a week during the summer.
Winter. it can be left to build up and this helps with warmth. this is personal preference.
A good rule of thumb is, clean it out, when you can smell to much ammonia smell.

My goat has a cough, what are the causes and treatments?
Goats cough for many different reasons.
The major ones are: cold, pneumonia, worms, dusty hay and exercised induced asthma.
For a cold you can use VetRx in their nose a couple times a day to relieve the symptoms.
If the cough is in their chest and you can hear phlegm or you notice a colored nasal discharge with a fever you know that you have pneumonia on your hands.
Treat with Oxytetracyline (LA 200, Duramycin, Biomycin, 1cc per 20lbs or RX Nuflor 3 cc per 100 lbs). For lungworms you will want to use a wormer that will kill lung worms like Ivermectin.
Dusty hay is hard to get away from in the winter months sometimes so try and shake the hay before putting it in their feeder to reduce the dust amount.

Diarrhea? - A broad subject and can't be just dealt with here.
Runny stools can be a result of: to much feed, to sudden of a change in feed, to much browse, sudden onset of eating browse (like in the spring when everything is leafing out), Coccidia, or worms.
Treatment will depend on what the scenario is surround the onset.
For minor reasons such as, feed increase or change, give pepto or kaopectate to see if it is just diet or stress induced. 3-6 ccs for mini kids and 6-10ccs for mini adults. 10+ccs for Standards. Give this every 4-6 hours and if you dont see improvement in 12 hours then you will want to look into coccidia or worms being a possible issue.

Should I disbud my kids?
The process of removing horns in young kids is good for those who plan to show dairy or sell dairy kids for show. All dairy breeds must be hornless to be shown.
For just strictly pets: disbudding will remove the risk of human kids getting hurt by the goat kids horns. Kiko, Cashmere, Angora and Pygora goats should not be disbudded. Boer goats are in the middle, some market weathers must be disbudded for 4H but most show boer goats are horned.
And personal preference of course.

What are the age restrictions for disbudding?
Depends on the breed - mini: you can disbud up to 4 weeks on average.
Standard: up to 2 weeks. But this depends on if your kids horns are already growing.
Once the horns attach to the skull it makes killing the horn growth that much harder.
So if you can see and feel the horns and they are longer then 1/2inch then you probably have waited to long.

How do you find a vet that sees livestock?
Contact your local vet and ask if they will see goats, and if not ask them if they have any references for you. Keep calling around to other vets and other goat breeders to see if they have any recommendations. Word of mouth is one of the best advertisements -- and if the established breeder is willing to use the vet on his or her herd then you can feel comfortable knowing that's one of the best around

Is a regular vet alright in an emergency?
Yes - any vet is better then no vet in most emergency situations. They have access to IV fluids, and other Rx meds we can not get our hands on. Be ready to provide any goat specific information to the vet if he or she is unaware of specific goat needs/requirements.

How do you determine heat in a doe?
Some does can be very tricky. Here are some signs a doe may exhibit, some may only show one maybe two while others may exhibit all of them.
1) Flagging - this is when your doe wags her tail usually vigorously and more often then normal.
2) clear to white discharge - noticeable on her vulva or on her tail, a transfer from contact.
3) Pink to red vulva - swelling in the vulva area which can be seen as pink or red depending on the degree of swelling.
4) calling - crying out more then usual, can even sound like a moan or even like a buck talk.
5) affectionate - being more friendly then normal, wanting you to stay with her and pet and scratch her - seems extra upset when you leave
6) mounting - yes a doe in heat sometimes will mount another doe. It can be flipped with the doe in heat being mounted by anther doe NOT in heat. So check for other signs on either doe to see which one is really the on in heat. The mounting can also be accompanied by blubbering noises and stomping.

Exactly how strong does a fence need to be to keep a buck inside it?
Stronger then you think you need. Don't use welded wire for you buck.
Have fence posts at least 8 feet at part and if not 6 feet to provide a more rigid fence line against the bucks attacks. A strand of hot wire on the inside of the fence will keep the buck away from the fence line and keep your hard work intact.

How high can a miniature goat jump?

They can jump over 31/2 feet - Some mini goats scaling at 6 foot fence.
But a 5 foot fence in my opinion is suitable and will keep your goats in their enclosure safely.
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