New Goat Owner

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by sprinter, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. sprinter

    sprinter New Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    I just recently brought a new little four month old pygmy goat doe into my life and was wondering what I should know in order to take the best care of her possible. I have spoken to a vet and done a ton of research, but I figure the more information I know, the better! Also, I suppose I want to insert myself into the world of mini goats, and I figure this is a good place to start. :)

    So far, I know she needs to have her hooves trimmed every four to six weeks, needs to be dewormed every two to four months, should eat a balanced diet of free-choice timothy and alfalfa hay every day, should get a small amount twice a day of pelleted grain with around 15% crude protein (using Purina Mills Goat Chow at the moment), and needs to be blanketed or at least kept warm during the winter months. Oh, and she needs company, which she has in the form of two other goat female friends she's currently getting acquainted with.

    I've only had my little girl Noelle for about a week, so right now I'm just getting to know her. What kind of treats do goats enjoy that won't fatten her or be unhealthy? I'm in the process of teaching her to lead at the moment--I have a tiny little blue halter for her--but I want to make sure I'm using proper training aids that she likes that won't hurt her. I eventually want to be able to take her for walks or hiking, but right now, she's not too keen on the whole moving thing. She would prefer to bound or lay down and munch on the leaves.

    Is there anything else I should know about pygmy goats? Also, as far as the hoof trimming goes, is it normal to have someone else do it, or to do it yourself? I own horses and we have farriers that come out and shoe them, but I don't know what the process is for mini goats.

    Thanks for any advice anyone might have to offer! :greengrin:
  2. PiccoloGoat

    PiccoloGoat goat girl x0x0

    Sep 10, 2008
    Well first of all congrats on your little girl :)

    I don't know much about Goats, let alone Pygmys but I'm sure someone will answer quickly enough :)

  3. deenak

    deenak New Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Ames Iowa
    Welcome to the Goat Spot. You are on the right track with your new little friend. I also have a pygmy goat and 4 nigerian dwarf goats. They can be addictive it is hard to have just one!!! Everyone here at the Goat Spot is very good about answering any questions that you will have as you start your new adventure with goats!!
  4. Candy

    Candy New Member

    I think most of us just trim the hoofs on our goats. It can be done with pruning shears, but I would just get a pair of hoof shears at the feed store. It's not hard to do (if you can get the goat to co-operate) we're lucky, you have a pygmy I have Nigerian Dwarfs. Smaller is easier.
    I never blanketed mine, they get a thick coat of 'fuzz' and they can stay pretty warm. I have a nice pile of hay for them to bed on.
    When I trained my nigis to walk on a leash, I just attached it to their collar and left them get used to the feel of having something there. When ever I wanted to go left they wanted to go right :shrug: it was fun. I found that if I kept just a bit of pressure on the leash, they would give in. If you try to force it they will set their legs and go NOWHERE!!
    By the way, welcome to TGS. We have a good time and we all learn every day. So ask away! Everyone like to share info.
    Candy :sun:
  5. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    i wouldn't worm that often. i worm mine every 6 months or so and they're fine with it and worms aren't immune

    as for snacks.. mine like

    pretzles, animal crackers, apples , pears, carrots, banana chips, oatmeal, granola bars ect
  6. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    First off, welcome to The Goat Spot! :wave: I raise reg. Nigerian Dwarf goats in Oregon. We started out with Pygmies almost four years ago and still have our pet Pygmy girls.

    It sounds like you are off to the right start, definitely! I commend you for researching so much into this. We can all tell that you love your goats and that is awesome!!! :D

    I also wouldn't worm as often. We deworm in the spring and late fall. I would recommend taking a fecal sample to your vet at least once a year to determine any parasite problems.

    We learned how to trim hooves. It is easier for us to do it that way. But I know of some people (those who have bought goats from us) who have their farrier trim their goats hooves when they come out. It's all up to you. I know I was scared when we first started trimming our goat's hooves, it was really nerve-wracking for me and took a while to get used to it.

    It's funny that my little sister (who is 6) has trained most of our goats to walk on a lead. She just takes them on little walks every day. It's cute. Just be patient with them and maybe give them a little treat if they behave.
    Our goats like horse treats (peppermint and apple-flavored the most) also the alfalfa/berry ones. There are also recipes for goat treats you can make at home. I think they are in the "Cookin' Corner" of TGS.
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    sprinter...welcome :wave: glad you stopped in...we are hear to try to help....have a question? Just ask...
    I agree with SDK worming that often may not be such a good Idea.... :shocked:

    One thing you should know is not many vets know about that is why we learn alot from other goat breeders by trial and error....some vets think they know ...but sometimes ...I feel can give wrong advice.... :(

    trimming can be done less often than 4 to 6 weeks...unless it is for correction.....When you pick up the hoof....look to see if the bottom is folding over...trim that off see ..that is when you trim them ...doing a visual can see if they are over grown.....You can have someone come and trim your goats ...but it is a good idea... to learn to do it your self.....It is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.. :help:

    she also needs (cattle loose salts and minerals) in which has copper in it...that goats need... .......and baking soda all choice..

    she also needs CD& T tetnus toxoid....for over eating disease....give them it ...and I think it is 21 to 28 days later..instructions are on the bottle..then annually...some give it twice a year...
    If she gets preggo ...then you give her C D & T 1 month before she kids to help the kids....coming to this world.....

    leading her .....takes time we all have different methods....when she pulls back....keep on the tension until she releases...and takes 1 step forward or more steps LOL.. :) . and then give her a treat... she likes and pet her....I have found though... that having a goat friend she likes ....that already knows how to walk her with that goat.... have 2 separate leads ... she will follow along ...watching the other goat....and not panic as much gets easier and easier....when she is walking pretty smooth and you are not fighting her.....after a few times of doing it ...try her..... by her self ....she may...fight a little but....eventually she will get the hang of it.. :thumbup:
    taking her walking around the yard or where she can nibble on things you are training her to leading ....makes it a little more entertaining for her a reward..... :dance:
    Using a halter is fine or you can use a plain dog color.....
    To many treats may not be a good thing ...only in moderation..

    hope this helps.... :wave:
  8. sprinter

    sprinter New Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Thanks for all the pointers everyone! I'm excited to try out the leading techniques. And I'll keep in mind what you guys said about worming... it did sound a little excessive to me since we don't even worm my horses that often, but I didn't know otherwise. I have a lot of horse treats for my horses, so I may test some of those out, but they are rather... large. Noelle already seems to be a tad bit overweight, so I wouldn't want to make my little one obese! I will test out some of the other treats mentioned as well. It's handy to go to a college with an unlimited meal plan with an endless supply of such items. :wink: I think little Noelle will find it handy as well.

    I was wondering about the blanket. I don't think I've heard anyone other than the vet say that they need blankets during the winter, just shelter, but she really was very adamant about it. Is it a good idea, or would she be more annoyed by it than comforted?

    toth boer goats... you mentioned that she needs baking soda and CD& T tetnus toxoid. Is the CD & T a kind of supplement? I was wondering if they need any supplements, because I know my horses certainly get them. And how much baking soda should you give them if it's free choice? Do you feed it mixed in with their grain or separately?

    I am going to the store tomorrow to get her a goat block for her minerals, and I'm going to see if perhaps one of the other goat owners can guide me in terms of trimming the hooves. I would hate to cut them too much, so I'm going to go by the theory that less is more for now.
  9. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    Sometimes I bite the treats in half if they are too big. Doesn't taste so great though. You could cut them in halves or quarters.

    We rarely use blankets with our goats. It is normally not needed (unless an animals is sick). One of our does blew her coat in December, she had a coat on then but other than that, no coats. Just warm, dry bedding and plenty of hay. Eating hay and then ruminating is what keeps a goat warm. A problem with putting coats on in the winter is that they will not grow the "fluff" and fur that would normally keep them just as warm. Our goats get all poofy in the winter with their own "coats". :)

    CD & T is a vaccination given under the skin. Your vet could do that for you, if she did not already.

    You can leave out baking soda free-choice or mix it in their minerals or grain. We do kinda both. If you leave it out free-choice then they take some when they need it but typically leave it alone. It helps their tummies.

    Here's a really good link with pics for hoof trimming: ... imming.asp
  10. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    some people use the blanket all depends on the circumstances... ...if the goat is sub temp(sick) helps......

    CD &T is a vaccination shot give under the skin...

    have the loose salt and minerals in a separate box container ...what ever you want to put it in...(I do not recommend just the blocks... you really must have the loose salt and minerals.. free choice as well.. :pray: ..they can lick all day on those blocks and never get enough out of it.... if they are deficient in something...with the loose salt and minerals ...they can get a whole bunch at a time ...and when they are out ....then their trusty pet owner ...adds more.. if the goat needs more... it is there.... :help:
    EXample ...when your body craves salt add alot more to your food...right? well if you try to get it out of meat'll eat it all day or more ....and may never get it out of that meat.... :shrug:
    Also ...when your goats don't get enough of a mineral such as selenium ....when they kid out ....will have weak or dead kids..... :tears: They really need the loose minerals and salt....make sure they are always with it...
    baking soda free choice in a different box......just sprinkle some in there ..make sure you keep them with it at all times...put a little out at a time......add more when needed.... it is a good idea to check every day...sometimes you have to pour it out ....because one of your dear goaties walked in it and got it not mix any of these things together.. have them all separate ...

    I am not a pygmy goat breeder .....but other great Pygmy breeders ..can advise you on what supplements they may need....

    good luck in whatever you decide to do ..... :hug: :) :thumbup:
  11. sprinter

    sprinter New Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    I know the goat breeder who I bought Noelle from said that she was up to date on her shots, but I am going to call her tomorrow and ask what exactly those shots were so I can know what she needs from now on. She will be taking a personal trip to the vet in the near future, even if it's just to get a good check over.

    That's really interesting about the minerals... I've never thought of it that way, but it's really true. Come to think of it, all animals need salt and minerals, but the blocks they have aren't really all that effective, and I would think their tongues mght get worn out in the process of all that licking to make up for mineral deficiencies! Where do you buy the salt and minerals from, though, if you don't get the blocks, and what kind would they be? Would you get them just from a regular grocery store or elsewhere? That sounds rather silly, but I suppose it's better to ask than fumble around looking for something that turns out to be inadequate..
  12. sprinter

    sprinter New Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Oh, and thanks for the link to the info on hoof trimming, capriola! It was very helpful. :greengrin:
  13. deenak

    deenak New Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Ames Iowa
    I have never put a coat on my goats. I live in Iowa and it can get rather cold but I have found that the goats get a nice fluffy coat as it gets colder. My goats also lay in a big pile of straw and they lay right next to each other to keep warm. I also put out lots of hay for them to munch on to stay warm. I also have one goat who would chew off a coat he like to eat material (my winter coat, jeans or my mittens)!!
  14. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    thye make loose minerals.. you can usually buy them at a feed store
  15. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    That is really good ...that she is up to date on her you ask ..
    what she was given ...when it was given ..and when she should be due ...for her next one..
    ....Also ask... if she was given her booster shots on whatever she was given...

    You are a very good goat mom just take your goat in for a vet checkup...I commend
    you.. :hug: :thumbup:

    I buy loose salt and minerals made (for cattle)it has copper in it ...that goats
    desperately need...(do not feed it to sheep.. Copper is not good for sheep) You
    should be able to pick it up where you were going to get the block .. :) .(any animal
    feed store)... It is very light tan in color ..and looks like fine sand....
    I hate to say ..that they don't have it in grocery store's.... I wish
    they did though....And it doesn't sound silly at all ask around to
    your feed stores... so you can make sure they have it..and if they are out ...if
    they can order it......the bad part is.... it only comes in a big it will
    last you a very long time it in a bucket a barn ..and it will be OK..You
    can put a lid on it....
    Good luck with your new goatie ..and if you have anymore questions ...feel free to ask...
    :hug: :)
  16. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Hello from Idaho :wave:

    We are so glad to have you here with us - now the only thing that we ask - is that you post LOTS AND LOTS of pictures of the goaties!!! :wink:

    Looks like you have already received some good answers to your questions - but be sure to ask away!!!
  17. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    WELCOME to the goat spot. :wave:

    I have to agree. It sounds like you have lots of good advice already.

    I do not know if I missed it anywhere (I am sure I did), but she needs a friend. Goats need other goats for company.

    YEP, WHERE are those pictures. :dance:
  18. sprinter

    sprinter New Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    She does have other goats for company--a pregnant doe and another young doe that she plays with. I am probably going to purchase another little friend for her around Christmas time, as well, but I wanted to make sure I could properly take care of one goat before I took on two. :wink: I have a feeling the little buggers may be addicting...

    It's raining today, but I am going to go out tomorrow and see if I can get some pictures of the little girl. :greengrin:
  19. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Welcome Sprinter! I have mini's also...pygmy/nigi crosses and a couple registered Nigerian Dwarfs....the only time I ever use a coat on my kids is when they are newborns, to prevent chilling, other than that they all have a nice barn to bed down it to keep warm. Pygmies are supposed to look "fat"...short and cobby....and at 4 months your Noelle should be weighing around 15 pounds if not a bit more, depending on your location, she should have a nice thick fluffy coat about this time of 9 month old doeling looks like a puffball and weighs 25 pounds. If you have a Tractor Supply company store close by, I get my loose minerals for my goats there...I get Dumor Pasture Minerals, it's labeled for cattle and goats.

    Your baby is still growing, so don't short change her feed if you think she is too fat....a good way to check is to run your hand over her back bone, if you can easily feel the ridges of her spine without having to "search" for them then she is just fine, there should be a healthy layer over them...if she feels bony, she may need an increase in feed or even just a higher protein.

    As far as wormings go I use ivercare 3x a year....usually before breeding and at kidding as well as mid to late spring, not alot of people have the same worming schedule but this one works for my goats, hoof trimming is super easy too...she's small enough to lay on your lap and you can do it then, as was said previously, if you look at the sole of the hoof, you trim off what curls over the soft area....I used heavy kitchen scissors for years on my babies, now it's regular by pass pruning shears for everyone. Just in case you didn't notice....we love piccies!!