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sydmurph
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone here have a relatively uneventful goat keeping experience? I.e.feed/water/graze/worm etc? Or is it always intervention and panic and I'm totally disillusioned? I feel like I adore these little guys but I'm doing it all wrong. Don't even get me started on how confused I am about how to properly feed them! I feel there are a million ways to kill a goat and I'm cautious for sure. I'm terrified to be the cause. Sorry if this all sounds dramatic, but I'm pretty overwhelmed. I absolutely adore goats and all my farm pets for that matter. But there is so much 'don't do this/that' out there...I.e. dogs: feed kibble, get exercise, see vet once a year, don't feed chocolate/let them run into traffic and you should have a healthy dog that lives a long healthy life. I know Im oversimplifying, but rather just drawing a comparison: switch dog kibble=farts. Switch goat food=possible bloat/ET/dead goat. That's kinda heavy stuff for me. I don't want the kids to fall in love with these amazing goats only to lose them. And I don't want you guys to think I'm lazy either, my border collies and huskies have always had top of the line vet care/private training/feed, my chickens are clean/parasite free/insulated coop, etc....
I have two toddlers!!!! Yet the goats are keeping me up at night. Are they not for me or am I just suffering from internet information overload, or should I be this nervous? Feed milk replacer/don't bc it will kill your babies....feed fresh vegetable scraps/never feed goats scraps....feed plenty of alfalfa/never feed alfalfa...feed grain/grain kills. Aaarrrggghhhh!!!!!
 

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While there is definitely truth to the fact that ruminents are more sensitive, keep in mind this site is full of us creazy goat lovign fools. There are plenty of goats who just get tossed some feed or left out to scavange whatever and actually do live. There are those poor goats who live all along their whole lives and somehow do okay without a herd. There are goats who don't get hardly any long fiber and just some goat chow and manage to live okay. My point is not to encourage this...but to balance out what you see on this site. If your goats are getting hay and minerals and water and a little bit of some feed type (wheatever you go with) you are pretty likely to not kill them. Every goat is different too...a lot of what your goat will eventually need dependso n environment. We try not to stress about it...but just make a well informed decision...stick with it for while and make little adjustments if need be...for ex. I only added alfalfa pellets to our grass hay/little grain regiment when I had a milking doe I wanted more milk out of. Thought I'd try adding some pellets and boom...more milk. Had a doe with dry skin and added sunflower seeds. Everyone's coat got shinier, so in the mix they stay. Had goats who ate too fast...added beet pulp pellets...no scarfing it down now.

I build my first aid kit over time too. Couldn't afford the $300 medicine cabinent...so every trup to TSC I tried to get one more thing I felt I should have for my goats. I started with Probios, then Pen G and needles, then CD antitoxen...and so on. Take a deep breath and try to put it all in perspective...it's a little like Web MD...if you get a tummy ache and go on there...suddenly you think you might be full of cancer... This site is full of good information, but if it's causing you stress, determine to decide what you will feed & etc., then maybe stay away from the site for awhile until it's not causing you to loose sleep and come back when you need us.
 

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I have to agree with the above.....I was feeling the same way with my goats. I would feed them, give them hay when needed, deworm on occasion and everything seemed to be ok. Then BOOM!! I found the goat spot and now my goats have copper deficiency and any soft poo I now think is worms and on and on.....LOL! Just take a deep breath and yes do realize that the more knowledge you have the more aware you may be of things going wrong or different ways of doing things but use it for power instead of letting it defeat you. If your goats are doing well with what you are feeding and seem healthy otherwise then you are probably doing ok. Most goats live/survive within reasonable means without problems. I agree that TGS is the WebMD of goats!!
 

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Don't let all of the "do's and dont's" overwhelm you! Work out an affordable, but yet healthy feeding/mineral program for your goats >> THAT WORKS FOR YOU AND YOUR GOATS..What works for someone in Colorado will not work the same for me here in Georgia. I made myself a goat info book with many different solutions to most any situations that my goats could get into. Next I built up a good supply of meds, and accessories that I might need to tend to them. When I 1st got into goats I lost 2 of them due to lack of knowledge...That's what brought me and a lot of others to this forum in the 1st place.. Most members here know..and WILL AGREE that a goat can spiral downhill like NO OTHER from experience. Therefore when people come here for advice/help, most of us recommend to treat AGGRESSIVELY..When a goat starts going down-hill , ill throw EVERYTHING at them (but the kitchen sink)! ..lol...And some times EVERYTHING still isn't enough to save them..
Just remember in the back of your mind, that a lot of us have lost goat friends that we loved very much from lack of knowledge.No one here wants anyone to experience any sickness, or loss that could possibly be prevented by sharing their knowledge, and experience with others needing help/advise..And that's a lot of the reason the advice is so detailed and overwhelming sometimes.
Sit back...Take a deep breath...and enjoy all of the fun in owning goats!!
 

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Goatless goat momma
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for me, when i got my first dog, i freaked out a bit too. there are so many diseases it can pick up, parasite management, training, etc etc. but after having one for a while, it gets easy.

if you're seriously thinking of getting goats, find a local breeder who's close to you and who can help if anything arises. ask A LOT of questions. of course everyone here at TGS will be here for you!

and, make sure your first goats are friendly and healthy.

just read a lot, and note the basics - housing, fencing, minerals, food, etc etc. the rest will come on an as-needed basis.

yes, there are a lot of conflicting information, but what in life is ever black and white? there is A LOT of grey in between. and on feeding, it really depends on what you have your goats for, but all of us can help you with that when you get your goaties.

take a deep breath, and relax! like i said, visit a breeder or a friend who have goats and hang around them and their goats for a while to really get your feet wet. :)

btw - where in Ontario are you?? i grew up in Hamilton, but lived in TO for years. i LOVE Ontario and i'm trying to talk my bf into moving back with me....
 

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Most people don't post their "hey my goats are doing great" threads. Most of the time it is the problems that they post. So it appears that goats are continuously sick when in fact they are not.
 

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sydmurph
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. Phew. I have had them for a few weeks already and things seem 'fine' outside of specific issues I've posted here, which are kind of getting me down. I adore them, as do the children. I feed them free choice hay (which is first cut, am seeking out grassier clover/alfalfa as they are wasting about 80% of it)...about 4-6 cups of textured ration mixed with a bit of horse sweet feed (mostly oats), plenty of fresh water and the odd raisin or apple slice. I've have them out all the time but they really don't forage much. The baby is a joy...I don't want to get rid of them but I want to make sure I don't kill them with proverbial kindness or rookie mistakes. Oh. Two 1.5 yr does, one with a 4 week old buckling. They are Pygmies. Not sure if I said that yet.
I feel better. I lost a bunny once by feeding hay to a young doe who was not ready for it. And since then I'm terrified of ruminants. Plus I know a lot of horse people, and they have similar woes to us 'goaters'.
@ nchen...I'm not far from Hamilton. Just about 15 mins E of Guelph. Local breeders...will have to seek that out. I know of one that isn't far, but I'm not sure if she is on the forum....I think she has a great reputation with Pygmy breeding.
 

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Goatless goat momma
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oh! thought you were looking to get goats, and was overwhelmed by info.

i'm not 100% sure about feeding pygmys, but generally the dry doe will need way less grain than the one in milk. dry does are usually ok with just browse and hay (minerals and baking soda of course).
 

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I have to agree with the above.....I was feeling the same way with my goats. I would feed them, give them hay when needed, deworm on occasion and everything seemed to be ok. Then BOOM!! I found the goat spot and now my goats have copper deficiency and any soft poo I now think is worms and on and on.....LOL! Just take a deep breath and yes do realize that the more knowledge you have the more aware you may be of things going wrong or different ways of doing things but use it for power instead of letting it defeat you. If your goats are doing well with what you are feeding and seem healthy otherwise then you are probably doing ok. Most goats live/survive within reasonable means without problems. I agree that TGS is the WebMD of goats!!
:ROFL: Haha, Sounds like we're in the same boat! I always felt like there was more I could be doing for our goats, but didn't know what it was. Now I'm swamped with info on what to do/not to do, etc.
I for one am very glad to be swamped, though. It makes me happy to finally be able to better care for my goats.
And it's not exactly overwhelming; I think I'm cramming for the rest ofmy life right now. I don't know if we'll always have the internet, but I sure am glad we do right now. TGS is great.;)
 

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The first year, we got goats, we did lose some adults. The hardest was losing babies. I was tired of so much death. I made mistakes and learned from them. The following year, I knew what not to do. Well, another problem arose. A couple of more deaths because of something I didn't do and did do. It is hurtful especially when I was never raised on a farm, I didn't expect this. I was the dog and cat rescuer and goats are dying on me. I felt so guilty. I took it so personal. I talked to all kinds of people. People here at TGS who are great. I even asked craigslist for advise. I could not believe the response I got on craigslist. I got lots of advise from local breeders when I got stuck bottle feeding 4 babies. Many even gave me phone numbers to call them in the middle of the night if I had any problems. I found the goat community is very tight and most will do anything to help. You start building friendships and contacts. I still make mistakes, but experience is my best friend. Don't ever stop asking questions and always keep learning and researching. I have seen healthy goats die and seen almost dead ones fight and fight and fight and make it. You will find as time goes on what works for you. God bless you.
 

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sydmurph
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You're all so sweet. Thanks again for the kind words. I just want to say, and I hope nobody took offense, I was not pointing the finger at TGS to be the main source of confusion. It was a conglomeration of websites/ info in general!! I find this a soft place to land, and I am so glad to have it as a panel of experts 'on call', practically 24-7!
 

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You need to keep in mind that if you put a dozen experienced goat owners in one room and asked them all the same question you'd get a dozen different answers. You have to be patient and find out what works for you and your goats.
The fact that you are feeling overwhelmed is a good thing. It means you care and are willing to learn and go the extra lengths that are sometimes necessary.
 

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I agree with all that has been said. I have had goats now for a little over a year, and well I have been extremely fortunate not to have lost any of mine. I started with 2 now I have 8 and 2 sheep:) Yep you will get information overload... and be overwhelmed, but that does mean you care. I have taken 1 question several different answers, and decided what will work for not only me but my goat friends, and if that didn't work I would try something else... You will do great!! Goats are very addictive and I find myself worrying about them more than anything else sometimes, but that is the goat world for ya:) Welcome:)
 

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dont let this site get you down. this is mainly for questions when something is wrong or medicines, or conformation questions. nobody gets on here and says every thing is perfect, well very few do. maybe we need to encourage you more. for the most part.
i would change your hay though to second cut.
i have a dairy herd management degree with a minor in genetics and i'm in the same boat as everyone else!!
 
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