Goat Care

2 goats eating

Media Hatchery Farm

(adapted from Five a Farm)

  1. A New Home–Until your goat (s) get used to its new home, they may be frightened and nervous. He/she may be shy and call out for company. A little TLC and reassurance that this new place is safe, comfortable, and happy maybe required. It usually takes about a week for them to settle in.
  2. Housing—Goats do not need elaborate housing, but do require clean, dry, well-ventilated, draft free shelter. Provide a barn or shed so they can get out of the rain, snow, wind, and sun. Study fencing is also a must to not only keep your goats where you want them but also to keep them safe from any predators, primarily coyotes in this area.
  3. Family–Goats are herd animals and require the companionship of at least one other goat. Goats are sociable and playful with their human family too. They enjoy climbing and jumping on rocks, stumps, tires, and platforms made for their pleasure and your entertainment. A fenced area with room to play and pasture-browse is important for proper weight management.
  4. Feeding—The feeding requirements of your goats depends upon their age and gender.

* Hay. As ruminants, they need a diet primarily of hay. I get my bales from Uncle Luke’s Feed store in Troy. Sweet smelling, non-dusty, grass/alfalfa hay is ideal and should be available at all times.

* Water. Fresh water also needs to be available at all times, night and day.

* Mineral supplements such as Purina, Manna Pro, can be purchased online or at the Tractor Supply Company. These are very important because Michigan doesn’t have enough selenium in its soil. If the loose minerals are left out continuously, goats will eat only as much of this as they need.

*Baking Soda can also be left out all the time. Goats will eat this as needed for good digestion.

*Goat feed such as Purina Goat Chow, which can be found at the Tractor Supply Company, needs to be limited. Does and kids can be given this twice daily, ½ cup each. If you give too much, you’ll notice that their droppings begin to clump together or they will get diarrhea. Male goats can get urinary tract stones so should not eat goat feed at all.

*Goat treats. These should just be extra snacks held in your hand and offered only occasionally. They also may be purchased at the Tractor Supply Company.

*Other occasional treats. Our goats love bark from stumps, cottonwood leaves, apple leaves, willow leaves and pine needles, especially bare Christmas trees. (Avoid some yard trimmings though; lilac and cherry leaves are poisonous for goats. Look online for a full list.)

  1. Health Care—Preventative health care is necessary to maintain your goats’ health and happiness. Most of these supplies can be purchased online or at local feed stores or the Tractor Supply Company. It helps me to keep a spreadsheet with the dates that you gave injections and dewormings.

*Added Selenium—you can give this through an annual injection of BoSe (need a veterinarian prescription) or through weekly squirts of Nutri-drench and Mineral supplements.

*Monthly Hoof-trimming–monthly or every two months you will need to trim hooves to prevent hoof rot, so that the bottom should be flat without the edges curling under. Long nails hold in the bacteria from droppings and damp mud. I like the green handles hoof trimmers at the Tractor Supply Company.

*Annual CD+T immunization. The baby goats have had their first and second month injections so will be fine for the first year. After that they will need one injection of 2cc annually. You can purchase the CD+T vaccine medication, hypodermic needle, size 20 gauge by ¾”, and 3 cc plastic luer-lock syringes at the Tractor Supply Company.

*Spring and Fall De-worming—Goats need to be dewormed at least twice yearly by feeding them. Your baby goats will have had been fed Dumor Dewormer this spring, so won’t need any more until fall.

  1. Scurs—Your goats have been disbudded by burning the horn cells within their first month. Scurs are partial horn grown and can grow if some of the horn cells have been unaffected by the burning. It’s been my experience that scurs fall off or get knocked off, although every goat varies in how they react to the disbudding. They can bleed some when scurs fall off, but usually heal quickly.

Back to current goats for sale.