Goats are easy, all you need is just open the door of the barn in the morning, make automated
waterers going .. and that's about it
For little bit more details please read further
For the housing you should provide a barn or shed. They like to sit and jump on shelves, at different levels. Goats sleeping place should be
above the ground. They like to feel safe and dry. Our goat inherited a horse barn. Spacious, lots of air, the coolest place on property in 90+
It is great if you have fance, but even if you dont they will grase in a certain radius and come back, just like chickens do.
Be aware of predators though. "Farm Guard" wrapped fences, 4 ft tall will do the job. Welded wire - total waste of money.
First of all, pasture. Goats like brushes and bushes and even blackberries! They will eat all weeds and keep your property nice and clean. Goats like to browse under oaks,
pine and cedar trees and eat all the goodness that falls from those giants. They will appreciate it if you bring them all fruit garden pruning waste,
except plants like azaleas , camelias, lavenders, irises, peonies , oleander and such, anything that is marked as "deer resistant" might be
harmful to your goats! In the end of the summer and winter time when there is not much for them on a pasture, you can feed them orchard grass,
alfalfa or triple mix hay.
Pregnant and lactating goats ration should be different from your regular gaisers. Breeding goats are almost always busy. They are either pregnant
or give us milk. They need to be fed really well all year around, lots of alfalfa, grains, minerals and veggies.
Males diet should be different. We feed our bucks separately. Alfalfa and grains is too rich food for them.
Calcium can cause urinary stones (blockage). We feed them orchard grass, triple mix , some alfalfa but mostly pasture. We still give them our morning
mix (goat pellets, grains, veggies) same mix as we do for females, but for boys it is reasonably small amount.
Mature non-breeding, animals may be maintained on a pasture and good quality hay alone
Goats will appreciate all your kitchen scraps, but they are not your "garbage disposal" !!!!! Those creatures are clean and noble as they can be!
They would not eat anything that is molded, unfresh, stale or laying on a floor. We make our "Morning mix" from vegetable and fruit cuttings: onion ends, banana,
potato, apple, beets peels, tomato ends, broccoli peelings, orange peels, garlic skins plus goat pellets and triple mix grains.
We also like to add sunflower or flaxseed oil, just a little bit, especially in a winter time, to make our goats healthy and gloriously shiny!
Most importantly, minerals should be fresh. Small amount every day. If anything left at the end of the day, just through on the ground and next
day give a little bit less, that is how you will figure out the right amount. Minerals for bucks are different. It contains Ammonium Chloride,
which prevents urinary stones.
Goats need fresh water at all times. They also benefit from a salt block and baking soda.
HEALTH AND GROOMING
You should deworm your goats only as needed to prevent resistance to dewormers. We use only herbal deworming, please check it out:
Molly's Herbals Worm Formula for ALL ANIMALS
and I give them
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) using 10 days on and 10 days off schedule.
Hooves must be trimmed as needed: the bottom should be flat without edges curling under. Garden pruner will do the job, but not so great. We prefer to use Goat Hoof Trimmers.
We brush our goats thoroly, especially on a spring time, till they are nice and shiny.
When you bring your new goats home, they might be shy and nervous. Do not chase! instead, give them fun tour on a pasture, they will follow you as a herd lider
This information is just for the start. We hope that you will learn some things from this page and develop your own way of raising goats that works best for you!