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Raising Goats - Goat Care Basics

Susan Katchur

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Raising goats can be expensive and time consuming, but if you know the goat care basics it will make life a lot easier for you and your goats! If you love your goats you will want them to be healthy and happy. There are ways to achieve these goals.

There are hundreds of goat breeds. Before buying, you might want to ask yourself, “What kind of goats do I want to raise?” For example, there are milk goats, meat goats, show goats and pet goats. Alpine and Saanen goats are examples of some great milk producers. Boer goats can be raised as meat goats or show goats. Miniature, Nigerian Dwarf, goats can be raised as show goats or pet goats. Fainting goats are great farm fun animals! Raising goats can be challenging. There are lots of facts to consider.

Look at the environment and things surrounding you. Is your environment accommodating for raising goats? Goats like to roam and graze in large pastures, like you would find on many farms. They should never be cramped or contained in small areas. Does your environment have proper structures surrounding it? You sure would not want your goats wandering off, getting lost or pestering your neighbors. Proper structures could include different kinds of fencing and gates.

Goats need some kind of shelter whether it is a small barn or shed. Although they do well in cold environments they can be very sensitive to extensive heat. Their shelter should be bedded well, clean and draft-free. The floors of their shelter should stay dry since goats can be prone to foot rot. Maintaining a good and clean shelter will decrease the spread of bacteria. It will help maintain a healthy animal.

Feeding your goats the proper foods and placing their food appropriately is very important. After all, what good would it do to have the best food for your goats, that you could find, but it was not accessible for your goats to consume? A mixture of foods is used to feed many goats, but the nutritional needs of your goats may need to be decided by a professional, such as a licensed veterinarian. A professional or local breeder can help you learn the proper amounts of food to give your goats and the proper time(s) to feed them. Water should always be nearby and accessible for these animals.

Maintain the health of your goats with preventative care. Get to know your animals and their daily routines. Notice if there are any changes in their appearance, behavior or temperament. There are many indications that could signify a problem. For example, a dull coat may indicate parasites, refusing to eat, not being alert, or having a droopy tail could all signify problems. These are just a few examples to be aware of regarding the condition of goats, there are many more.

Make sure your goats stay in healthy condition. Keep up with their immunizations and medical history. Do a close and thorough check of their coat, eyes, feet and bag. Do an overall, periodic, check of their appearance, temperament and behavior. Maintaining proper goat care will allow them to live long and happy lives.

Make sure to spend time with your goats. Pet them. Talk to them using a calm voice. Goats do not like to be alone all of the time. They enjoy the companionship of other goats and people too! Raising one goat may not be a good idea. Having companionship will help them stay happy.

Raising goats is well worth the hard work and efforts. They can be enjoyable, interesting and amusing animals. Whatever kinds of goats you raise, knowing and maintaining the goat care basics will make life easier for you and help keep your goats healthy and happy.

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