new to the goat!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by cdtrum, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana I'm so confussed :hair: . I am new to the goat world and this site.....I have two 3month old boys....that will be getting casterated. This is a great site, but overwhelming with info.....what is this I read about giving them baking soda? Do I need to give them salt/mineral blocks at this age and which is the best for them.....oh, and what about protein tubs????? I have them on goat feed pellets and mixed alfalfa hay and what they are cleaning out of the fence row.....we just brought them home 2 days ago......These little guys are just pets for us and we want to give them what is best for any help is greatly appreciated.........Also, how long will they cry for momma.....they are fine as long as I'm out in the barn yard, but as soon as I walk out they bellow! I am such a softy, but I have other chores to get done.....I can't be out there all day, but when they cry it just breaks my farmer neighbor told me if I go out there everytime they cry, I am just teaching them to cry ....I am a reformed city girl that moved to the country 5yrs. ago.....we started with chickens 2 yrs. ago and now we have added the pgymies to our farm......I just love farm life! nothing is better than being out in the barn with my critters!
    Thanks, Denise
  2. rgbdab

    rgbdab New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Hi and welcome!
    The most important thing for pet wethers, which they will be after castration is to avoid UC. It stands for urinary calculi, basically a kidney stone and wethers seem to be more susceptable. You will get many differant opinions and of course you can do your own google search on urinary calculi in goats and find even more info. I started with 2 pet wethers also and from my research I believe it is important to feed them a pellet or grain made for goats with the right ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Avoid alfalfa and feed a good grass hay instead. They will get pretty much all they need from their feed, but it won't hurt to provide mineral and loose salt. The backing soda is to allow them to self medicate if the get a tummy ache. I usually just keep it available in the spring when everything is lush and they aren't used to it yet. But to me, the most important thing you can do to decrease the chance of UC is to add apple cider vinegar (ACV) to their water. I use 1 cup of ACV per 10 gallons of water.
    Your neighbor is right! If you go out everytime they cry they will figure out it gets your attention and do it all the more. They are very smart. Some of mine will "talk" to me as soon as I walk out of the house, but they are quiet when I'm in the house. Yours are just going through a big change and should settle down in time, but they will probably always "talk" to you when you are outside.

    Best of luck!!!


  3. dobe627

    dobe627 Senior Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    southeast PA
    Welcome Denise from here in PA. And congrats on your new goaties. But BEWARE!!!- they are addicting and you may find yourself falling in love. It sounds like they are training you already( goats do that). They will cry for mom for a few days, maybe longer. But yes if you go to them everytime they cry then they will have you trained. I know its tough to not want to go to them but they won't die from crying- trust me we have all done this. As for the baking soda, it is good to have available 1) they may eat it whenever and 2) incase of bloat they have to have it and the quicker the better. There are as many varied views on protien tubs and loose mineral. They should have something as they will get their extra nutrients and such from that. Certain areas lack certain minerals. I too have pygmies so again welcome and although there is alot of info here, just take your time and if its confusing just read what pertains to your questions then read more as time permits. And everyone here is great and has tons of knowledge. So good luck with your goats, they are alot of fun. Cathy
  4. alyssa_romine

    alyssa_romine Breaking Dawn Ranch

    Oct 4, 2007
    Baking soda can be offered free choice, it serves as a buffer for their rumen (helps keep acid down)

    Minerals: loose minerals are the best, purina makes one just for goats. When looking for minerals, make sure you get one made specifically for goats. If it is made for sheep and goats, it wont contain copper/enough copper to keep your goats healthy. Keep minerals out free choice for them.

    Protein tubs: that is your choice. Wont hurt to give it to them but with wethers I dont know that they would need all the protein.

    calcium to Phosphorus ratio: To keep UC down, try to get feed and minerals with a 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio.

    I would feed your wethers good quality grass hay.
  5. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    Thank you all for the warm welcome......and the great advice! Now, about the baking I just put it out there in a tub or do I add it to their grain? Also, is there a good mail order site for goat supplies....would tractor supply have what I need for the minerals/salt....Thanks again....many times over, Denise from Northen Indiana
  6. rgbdab

    rgbdab New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Tractor supply should have most of the things you'll need and if not, will probably order it for you if you ask.
    The baking soda is stand alone, don't add it to feed. Mine hardly ever touch it except in the spring when they are transitioning from mostly hay to mostly green browse. The problem I have is it gets wet easily, even with high humidity so inside of a shelter is best.
    Buy the ACV and baking soda at walmart or any grocery store.

    Denise in Texas
  7. alyssa_romine

    alyssa_romine Breaking Dawn Ranch

    Oct 4, 2007
    I agree with rgbdab about baking soda. I would put it in a tub by itself so they can eat what they need when they need it.
  8. alyssa_romine

    alyssa_romine Breaking Dawn Ranch

    Oct 4, 2007
    You can order some goat supplies from or TSC and feed stores should have what you need.

    By the way.....WELCOME TO TGS!!!!
  9. heavenlyhaven

    heavenlyhaven Senior Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Belmont, NY
    tsc has a black bucket in the goat section that is labeled "goat protein pail" it is around $13 and the goats love it
    that reminds me i need another one - lol

    hoeggers is a good online goat store - dont know addy - sorry - google it
    there is caprine supply too
    fias co farm has herbal meds -
    i get a wormer there that is fed weekly but i still worm once a year with a chemical wormer
    some horse meds work for goats

    ammonium chloride can be bought from a feed mill - atleast thats where i got mine
    goats pizzles are corkscrewed inside and when they get urinary stones it's really hard (not impossible) to get rid of them so ACV with every fresh bucket of water
    i lost an awesome herd sire to UC but saved a boer wether
    i found that AC does not dissolve easily in water so i dissolved it in ACV and syringed it into him
    (syringe without needle - fill it and put it in corner of mouth behind tongue and slowly depress plunger to administer med)
    probably confusing / scaring the daylights out of you
    all i can say is live and learn and ask as you go along
    everyone here is wonderful and kind and there are no such thing as stupid questions
    goats are a roller coaster but its one you will never want to get off
    they are very easy to take care of actually and will love you with the loyalty of a family dog
  10. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

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

    Just remember - breath in - breath out! It is all going to be ok! :ROFL:

    Just keep asking questions as needed and we will gladly help.
  11. goatnutty

    goatnutty Active Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    South East,IN
    Hi from another Hoosier! I go to Orcheln (sp?) Farm and Home. They have most of what I need.Do you want a couple more pygmies? LOL!
  12. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    First of all. WELCOME :wave: we are glad you are here and I have to say you found a great place.

    I just wanted to tell you that YES it can be a little confusing here and anyplace, even from Vet to Vet. But just remember the advice you get here is only advice. I am sure you will see some people will say do it this way others say this other way. It is really what we all have found that works best for us in our situation. We all have different worm problem, lice problem, and so on. So you will have to find out as things go on what works best for you and your new goaties.

    I always leave baking soda out for my goats so in case they get a upset tummy, they will eat the baking soda and it is like a anti acid for them. They do need the loose mineral. They can not lick enough minerals from a block before they would burn their tongue. If it is loose they can eat it by a mouth full as much as they need. They will eat it when they need it also.

    OH, We love pictures.
  13. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    howdy Denise, so glad you did join. Everyone gave good advise so I wont add anything. And like I said before "welcome to the world of goats" :greengrin:
  14. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Hi Denise and Welcome from SW PA!! All great advice too....except heres another tip...I add the ammonium chloride to my bucks loose minerals they get what they want/need and I donb't worry too much about over indulgence. I have pygmy/ nigi's....3 bucks and 6 does.
  15. smwon

    smwon Member

    Aug 2, 2008
    Northern California
    Oh thanks for that! I haven't received my herbal wormer yet, but it should arrive any day. They have had a thorough worming and I hope to not need the chemical stuff again until next fall.

    And welcome cdtrum! I'm new here also...