New to goats, a few questions

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by trailhound, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. trailhound

    trailhound New Member

    38
    Mar 22, 2008
    North Carolina
    Hi all,

    I am new here and not sure if I am posting in the right forum, let me know if I should have put this in a different place.

    I just got my farm about a year and a half ago and have 1 mustang, 1 big ole mutt dog, 2 cats, 2 grown hens and 3 baby chicks, plus two mice and a gecko that reside most of the year in my kindergarten classroom (I am a teacher).

    I just got my first goat this weekend. She is a Nubian/Alpine cross and 6 weeks old. After the fact, I have found out she was weaned a little early (not my choice, choice of the person selling her), and I know she needs a friend also, which I am working on. In the meantime, I am keeping her in a crate (she has room to stand up, turn, walk around a little) in the garage at night. She is next to my 3-4 week old chicks and they are sharing a heat lamp since the nights have been cold. I have a shed with attached pen for her during the day. I have also been taking her out on a leash/lunge line for walks and browsing. I am feeding her medicated pellets and hay along with whatever fresh stuff she gets when out and about.

    She was unhandled when I got her, but she is coming around. She is very calm when held and has figured out that she likes to have her head scratched. She will sit on my lap unrestrained and pretty much go to sleep. She is still a little hard to catch, but getting better. The wonderful surprise is that she and my dog are bonding. He is lonely because we lost our old dog a few weeks back and haven't found just the right new one yet. He is scared of everything (even the chicks), but loves the goat, I
    think he thinks she is a puppy. She is interested in him, but still a little scared, but I think it is only a matter of time before I find them curled up napping together, lol.

    She is eating and drinking good, and going to the bathroom. In fact, she is pretty much crate trained like a dog, which is pretty interesting to me.

    In the research I have done, I have found that everyone does things a little differently with goats, but I just want to make sure I am on the right track.

    Here are some questions I have:
    -She gets shivery outside, I am not sure if she is just scared in a new place or truely cold. I figure a little of both, but didn't want to leave her alone in the pen overnight, figured she was better off in the garage with the chicks and thier heat lamp. She seems to have a good warm coat and she lived outside before I got her, should I be worried about the cold. What is her temperature threshold? The nights have been around 30 and they days warmer, but windy.

    -It sounds like she grinds her teeth a lot, when she is nervous or thinking about something. Also, it sounds like she burps alot. Are these normal goat sounds?

    -Her mother was wormed when she was born, and I was planning on worming her at 8 weeks. Sound okay? Do I go by weight like the horse?

    Thanks for all of the help! I look forward to spending time on this site learning all I can about my new friend.
     
  2. alyssa_romine

    alyssa_romine Breaking Dawn Ranch

    Oct 4, 2007
    arkansas
    Welcome to TGS!!! The burping sound is normal. Sounds like you have a good handle on things. She may shiver until she gets used to her suroundings and she may be chilled because she is kept in at night with a heat lamp....her body may not be used to the temp change. I would make sure she gets loose minerals and baking soda free choice. I noticed you said that you were feeding medicated feed...DO NOT let your horse get into this as the rumisen and decox(sp) are poisonous to horses. Normal temp range for goats is 101.5-103.5 degrees F. Teeth grinding is a sign of discomfort and pain...I have noticed my kids doing the same thing when I hold them....after they got used to being held, they quit doing that.

    Hope this helps and I am sure I forgot something but I think I covered the basics.
     

  3. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Tailhound, First of all, WELCOME to the goat spot. We are so glad that you found us here. :wave: :wave: ans welcome to the Wonderful world of goats. Soon you will see that goats are addicting. You will have to have more.
    Yep it sounds like you are going a good job, yes you are right everyone does things a little different because it depends on where you live because of the weather, the worm type that you will have to deal with, if you are in a wet climate then you will have a different worm problem, but I really do believe we all have about the same thing in mind.
    If I was to say a few things that you should try to get her another goat right away, she will be a lot happier if she has a goat friend, along with you dog, (and I know how that is, I had a dog adopt a bottle baby). I would also maybe bottle feed her at least a bottle a day. If she in only 8 weeks old, that is pretty young, (here I know some of us differ, some wean babies at 8 weeks, and other longer).
    Do you have any idea if hse had her CDT shot? If not I would give her one. They get a 2cc shot SQ. Most people (not everyone), give them at 2 weeks, then 6 weeks, if mom had a shot before she delivered, other wise the shot are at 2,6 and 10 weeks. The cdt is for ever eaters disease.
    I also would not keep the heat lamp on her at night. She is old enough, and if she is kept warm by the heat lamp and then she goes outside and it is cool, that is when she will get sick, she needs to maintain her own body temp. I only leave the heat lamp on by babies for a couple days and only when it is really cold, like below 20.
    Do you have pictures of your new baby? As I am sure you have realized, we all LOVE pictures.

    Again, Welcome to TGS. :wave:
     
  4. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    Well first, Welcome to The Goat Spot! I'll let those more experienced then I give the advice on dosing, etc. These folks are awesome when it comes to care and management! My advice is to go through some of the older posts...you will find a wealth of information.

    As to the weather...I'm pretty sure she'll be fine...as long as she has shelter from the wind and rain (goats HATE to be rained on). Are you aware that your little goat needs a little goat buddy? They are herd animals and she will not be happy without at least one or two little friends. But, since goats are "habit forming" I imagine you'll be looking for more soon anyway. The "friend" can be male if it's a "wether" (that's a neutered male goat). I'm guessing the "shivering" is fear from being alone. I'd see if she would take a bottle...probably won't but she might if she was weaned too early.

    When I got my first little doelings, they were a little wild too. I made it a point to take my lunch out with them in their little paddock. Since a goat is naturally curious, I would sit quietly and they would start "checking me out", now they come running when they see me, even though they are big girls now.

    If no one has told you yet, we LOVE pictures. It took me awhile to learn to post pics, but that is because I'm "computer challenged", I had to wait for my son to come over an show me how! LOL

    Good luck! Di
     
  5. trailhound

    trailhound New Member

    38
    Mar 22, 2008
    North Carolina
    Ahh, I wondered about the heat lamp. What I have set up outside right now for her is a shed that is about 8'x12" with about a 5.5' door that has a 6' high wire covered gate across it. I am going to add a paddock this afternoon or tomorrow- 6'high pipe horse panels covered with wire. A little while ago I put a doghouse with a blanket inside into her pen. She is protected from the wind inside the shed. Tonight I think it will be in the upper 20s, should she be okay out there?

    Sounds like I need to get her away from the heat lamp and just let her adjust on her own.

    Thanks for all of the great help. I am already addicted to goats for sure. I carry her around all the time and have managed to sneak her into the house for little visits. Poor husband, he is such a good sport!

    I think I attached a picture, trying to get this all figured out. She is supposed to be mostly Nubian, but wouldn't baby Nubian ears be already floppy? I like the sticky outy ears better anyway, and I don't care that she is mixed breed, I don't plan to breed her.
     
  6. enjoytheride

    enjoytheride New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Humboldt Co Ca
    She is adorable- I like her ears too even though my girls are from the floppy earred set. Welcome- you ask great questions.
     
  7. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    OHHHHHH, she is adorable. What a wonderful first goat. Like I said, WARNING, they pull on your heart strings, and it doesn't take long does it?

    I would say that she will be fine outside tonight. I would if you can get some straw and put that in her house, they love to snuggle down in that, but as we said before another buddy would be the best, that way they can snuggle together.
    It sounds like you are well on your way and doing a great job. Congratulation and like I said welcome to the crazy goat nutty people's family :lol: :lol:
     
  8. trailhound

    trailhound New Member

    38
    Mar 22, 2008
    North Carolina
    Miss Maple really is a lot of fun. She has come so far just since Saturday afternoon. She was terrified and totally wild, now she comes up to me. I just took her for a nice long walk around the neighborhood and through the woods and she walks better on the leash than my dog! She also pruned some wild roses back from the roadside, how handy!
     
  9. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    Oh yes, she's adorable! The ears! That's what happens when you breed a Nubian (ears down), with a breed that has upright ears! It's really cute, though. Very sweet!
     
  10. jBlaze

    jBlaze New Member

    254
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oregon
    My gosh, I LOVE those ears, way too funny!
    I like the doghouse for her, which will help hold her bodyheat in. She will be cold without another warm body to curl up against, lots of fresh straw helps too and you don't have to wash it, lol. Nice that she and your dog are friends. :) Someone said offer a bottle, she may not take it, but if she does great. I would give 2 cups whole milk from the store if she does.
    Hope you find her a goat friend you like soon. Welcome to happy goating.
     
  11. PACE

    PACE New Member

    404
    Oct 8, 2007
    Mass
    Welcome :)

    Maple is an adorable baby for sure! What a little doll! It sounds like you are doing a good job with her! A friend will be great for her, and it might even make her more confident with people, especially if the new one is friendly already. I would probably switch her off medicated feed if possible, because as stated before, it might be bad for your horse, and I personally don't like constantly giving them meds when they don't need them. You could switch her onto a sweet feed or other grain (just do it slowly), but if you're happy with the setup now, then stick with it. Also be careful she doesn't get to the chicken feed, as that can make them pretty sick. Hay is what you want to give the most of, though. And since she is still young you could try a bottle, and if she doesn't take it you can also try offering some warm whole milk in a small dish. Sometimes they'll slurp it up that way. Also offering loose goat minerals and baking soda out is a good idea, so she can take them when she needs them. Shavings or straw will be good bedding and the doghouse is a good idea, along with the shed. More pictures are always appreciated lol :wink:
     
  12. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    welcome Trailhound!! :wave:

    Great advise was given. I am running out the door or I would say more, she is adorable. :greengrin:
     
  13. Sara

    Sara New Member

    605
    Oct 4, 2007
    Ellensburg, WA
    She may have a low cocci load if she's grinding her teeth, I'd give her a dose of Albon or Sulmet to be safe.
     
  14. trailhound

    trailhound New Member

    38
    Mar 22, 2008
    North Carolina
    More thanks for the advice and compliments! I am looking for a friend, there just are a lot of goats for sale right now that fit the bill. I am a worrywort, I just went to check on her in the shed and she is laying by the gate shivering, breaks my heart! I put her in the doghouse, so hopefully she will go back in there. Ugh! Should I leave her in the garage, just not with the heat lamp since that is what she is used to?
     
  15. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    couldnt' hurt to put her in the garage until she gets a friend and can cuddle at night.

    where do you live? I am assuming it is pretty cold from your descriptions
     
  16. trailhound

    trailhound New Member

    38
    Mar 22, 2008
    North Carolina
    I am in the mountains of NC. It was warm, but of course, we are back to cold. I think I will put her in the garage, she might feel at least safer there.

    Thanks!

    Oh, I know that horses can't have goat food, but what about dogs. My big dog snacked on about 1/2 cup today.
     
  17. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I would be careful about letting the dog eat the medicated feed - I know it was an accident of course.
     
  18. trailhound

    trailhound New Member

    38
    Mar 22, 2008
    North Carolina
    He is a sneaky dog when it comes to things he isn't supposed to eat, but now we know to keep an eye out.

    She seems happier in the garage. I scootched her crate away from the chicks so she can still see them, but not get the heat from their light. She had water out in the shed but chugged as soon as she got into her crate and started chowing down. I have always prided myself in not spoiling my animals, but I think my maternal instinct must have kicked in (never thought that would happen, lol) in a misdirected sort of way.

    So, days in the pen, nights in the garage until she gets used to things, a friend, or too big for the crate, whichever comes first. The dog thinks she should sleep inside on his bed with him.
     
  19. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Keeping her in the garage where she started out is better for her....away from the heat lamp. She's comfortable there and feels"at home". Depending on the type of grain you feed your horse ( if it is a 16% sweet feed) you can gradually switch her over so you won't need to worry about the horse or dog (i have a sneaky pup too!) getting the medicated stuff. Keep moving her crate further away from the lamp each nite and when you find her a buddy she'll be ready to live in her own house. She sure is cute with her airplane ears and her name suits her color!

    Also, you can use the same type of wormer you use for your horse...inc. safeguard, ivercare, ivomectin. Weigh her( best to pick her up and stand on a scale) then triple it for the dose you would need to give her, check her feet too, I know my kids at 6 weeks old have some overgrowth that I trim off before they leave at 8 weeks. Easy enough to do too, if a pair of shrub pruners feel too big for her size the heavy type of kitchen shears work great!
     
  20. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Sounds like you have it under control. Yep it is those mothering instinct that kick in.
    What I would do before you start treating her with dewormer, or treating her for something that she MIGHT not have, I would take a sample of fresh goat berries to the vet and have them run a fecal float on her and see it she has any worm or Cocci problem. Then if so have them tell you what to treat with. Different dewormers work for different types of worms. It is very important to treat for the correct problem.