Caring for Goats

How to Care for Goats – A Basic Guide

Goats can be adorably sweet and caring but no matter how self-supporting and hardy they appear, all goats need some basic care and maintenance not just a handful of goat feed. If you’re thinking of adding a kid as a companion or a few does to add income to your farm you should be aware of some basic needs of a goat. A Basic checklist can be seen below listing the bare necessities you need to provide for any goat.

Goat Checklist

  1. Secure fencing – Goats are very good climbers and will get out of almost anywhere
  2. A shed or a form of shelter with adequate water, feed tubs and bedding material.
  3. Quality goat feed
  4. A mineral and nutrient supplement specific to your needs
  5. Medical supplies like de-worm syringes, and vaccines.
  6. A lead, collar and identification tag
  7. Styptic Powder and hoof trimmers.
  8. A good reference book or two
  9. First aid supplies
  10. Kid supplies if needed

Goats are susceptible to poisoning just as much as any other animal. If a toxic plant or material is ingested by your goat, seek immediate medical advice.

Toxic Plants

Goats aren’t immune to toxins if they ingest too much of the wrong plant. It is crucial to care for your goat by ensuring they do not ingest any toxic plants.
Here’s are six common plants to keep out of reach of your goats

1. Rhododendrons/Azaleas

2. Water Hemlock

3. Mountain Laurel

4. Death Camas

5. Choke Cherry

6. Poison Hemlock

All Plants listed above can inevitably kill a goat. Some contain toxins that can kill a goat in a matter of hours.

Goat Feed

Feeding Grain

Grain or pelleted grain adds protein, vitamins, and minerals to a goat’s diet. There are types formulated specifically for goats. Grain options include the following:

  • Whole grain

  • Pelleted grain

  • Rolled grain

  • Improved grain 

Feeding Hay and Alfalfa

Hay is the main source of nutrients for goats in winter and non-grazing seasons. Grass hay provides a moderate amount of protein and energy for the goat diet. Legume hays, such as clover and alfalfa, usually have more protein, vitamins, and minerals, particularly calcium, than grass hays. Careful selection should be made when choosing a goat feed. Discuss your individual circumstances with your local livestock/veterinary professional.

 

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