How to Care for Goats ( Complete Beginners Guide)
The complete Goat Care and Maintenance of Healthy Goats.
Goats are profitable small farm animals. They are cute, friendly, peaceful but sometimes feisty farm animals. They can be your best friends and entertain you to no end with their weird and curious behaviors.
Out of my love for goats and an inspiration to help, I want to write this article for my fellow goat lovers so that they can have a handful of helpful information.
Let, know how to care for goats in your farm, shall we?
- Goat Care for Amateurs: How to Care for Goats
- Final Tips on Goat Care
Goat Care for Amateurs: How to Care for Goats
Generally, goats do not need much care. If you are raising them as a pet, the caring process is simple.
You have to maintain proper salter, foods and environment.
However, in a commercial farm, you need to focus on proper management. Because it's hard to take care of a bunch of goats.
In this article, I will try to guide you to care for both rearing methods.
Goats usually have about 10 to 12 years of life span. But if a goat comes from an abusive environment, it may have serious health issues and a much shorter life to live.
1. Shelter Management
Use pole barn to house your lovely goats. Do not use a shed. The floor should be a dirt one. Avoid wooden floors. With a wooden floor, there is a risk that your goats might get injured.
Joint and ligament injuries are common problems. Prepare your barn with maximum air circulation and ventilation.
- There should not be any direct opening for the draft. Each goat needs at least 25 square inches of space.
- As you like your bed sheet to be clean and nice, do the same for your goats.
- Keeping goats in a gazing area is challenging, therefore, you will need to build the fence. For this purpose, electric fences are best for goats.
Always give them a nice clean and dry straw for the bed and remove the old straw daily. Always target a healthy environment.
You should keep goats in a herd of at least two. They love to touch and play with their mates. They are just like us. They cannot be alone.
You have to put a lot of effort. Some goats are with aggressive behavior and get into fights with other members.
As you cannot keep a family of your own without hard work every day, you cannot keep goats if you do not work hard for them. To stop any infection or bacteria spread, use hydrated lime over damp spaces.
Hence, goats need special care in winter. You have to provide proper shelter in winter. Learn more here- winter goat care.
2. Ensure Fresh & Healthy Food
Goats require to feed 8 hours to fill the four chambers of its stomach. It depends mainly on pasture or hay. The mixture of grasses and clovers are the best feeds.
You need to maintain more than one pasture and then rotate them according to the feeding routine. With this method, unwanted weeds and other grasses will regrow after a few days. Talk to the local animal department to learn more about poisonous grasses and weeds.
You can use timothy to feed your goats in case you do know the situation. Only for weak, debilitated, or pregnant goats give calcium. In order to cut costs, we need to purchase bales of hays.
They will chew on harmful objects like debris, posts, etc., and cause damage to their mouths.
Learn more at-
- Goat Food List: What do goat eats and not eats?
- What to feed an orphan baby goats?
- Best Grass for Goats
3. Goat Handling
Goats are playful things. They are cute and timid in nature. So, if you suddenly make move or behave roughly, they will be afraid and try to run away from you. T
Think of them as your friends, even if you are using them for your own good. They are not just animals. They have lives, emotions, feelings, and a sense of relationship.
They will play with you, run towards you when you call them, but you must take them as friends. Even when you are taking to slaughter, take utmost kindness and use mercy killing.
Always call them with a soft voice. Have patience. Have some goodies as present when they come to you. Spend time with them and they will come to know you, and you will come to know them in return. They will become your family member if you think of them as such.
4. Provide Ample of Freshwater
If you come from a tropical climate, you do not need to worry about frozen water during winter. If you are from freezing cold climate then buy an automatic water system for your animals. You must make sure that clear, clean, and freshwater is always available for goats.
An automatic water system will greatly reduce the wastage of water. But if you cannot buy an expensive automatic water system, then buy a very heavy-duty big and sturdy troughs.
5. Keep Contact With Vet’s
This is the first thing you should have within your reach. Save the contact information such as telephone or cell phone number, helpline number, website address, email address, fax, etc. within your reach.
Whenever you are in a serious situation, you can always contact them. You need to keep in contact with the vets who can make on-call visits to your place if necessary.
Besides, you should learn and have their advice even before you start buying your favorite breed of animals. Make a list of all the vets within a 1-to-5-kilometer radius including bigger hospitals.
6. Routine Goat Health Care
The next thing to learn about is how you should take routine care of your goats. Let us talk about it step by step.
Trimming of Hooves
We have nail clippers and goats have their hoof trimmer. You have to learn how to use them. Learn from a professional about hoof care for your goats.
It is not okay to try out your no-skill performance on living things like goats. They feel pain and they bleed from hooves.
So, be sincere, and please learn first before you start farming yourself. It is always good to work for a few months on a farm and learn these directly from experienced farmers.
Always buy sharp and the best goat hooves trimmer so that you can get the job quickly. Goats can become restless, so use a sharp trimmer for a quick and proper job. Hooves grow like our nails, so keep your eyes open.
Care for Lice on Goats
This a common problem in goat farming. Especially, in the winter, your goat may get affected by them.
You can easily find out lice. They move on the skin under the hair, and suck blood, causing goats irritation. There are chimerical and natural ways to get rid of goat lice.
Goats need to be treated with regular doses of medicine for worms in their intestines. Chemical wormers are quickly becoming useless as the worms become resistant to them.
It is better to use herbal wormers. You can get them from the nearby store. Use regular doses, and never miss one. Otherwise, your goat will have trouble. Always buy the best herbal formula.
Although many goat farmers do not like to vaccinate the goats, I will seriously recommend getting vaccine protection against Tetanus.
This can seriously become irrecoverably ugly, even if noticed at an early stage. Therefore, vaccinate at least for this disease.
Emergency Fast Aid
In-office or school or farm or other workplace, humans have first aid kit. In the same way, farmers or pet owners must have a first aid kit for goats handy.
Goats sometimes fall into serious trouble and injure themselves. So, keep a first aid kit and call for immediate veterinary help before it is too late.
7. Basic Goat Care Equipments
There are a few things you must have on your farm if you own goats.
- Hoof trimmer
- Rectal thermometer
- Measuring cup
- Mastitis Testing Tools
- Milking Stand and Milking Machine.
8. Entertaining Your Goats
Do not let your Goats DOWN! You must be proactive to set up an entertainment corner for your goats. Otherwise, they will get bored and start doing the followings:
- Fence knockdown frenzy: they will push the fence with their butts, then knock it down and escape.
- They might climb up to unsafe heights and then fall to death or bad injuries.
- Let me give you some pointers on how to knock their boredom off of their minds. Try doing the followings:
- Build scratch stations so that if goats have an itchy sensation, they can just go there and have a lovely scratching time.
- Build structures where your goats can climb and play. They love to explore. If you are near a meadow or a mountain range, take your herd for a walk. Keep a guard dog so that it can keep track of them.
- Give them a lot of balls of different sizes, and colors. Goats love to play balls.
- You can build tunnels, hide and seek places for your goats. Think of them as inquisitive kids. They love adventures as well.
- Build safe and high ramps and obstacle courses for your goats to explore.
Final Tips on Goat Care
Goats are great pets and farm animals. Ensuring care is dependent on observation and action.
Therefor, you have to keep an eye for them.
They are interesting, social, and playfully naughty. They are lovely and cute if you have eyes and emotion to see that.
Every day, go to your goats and rub them, play with them, walk and run around your farm. Try to keep them entertained and you will see they also are playing with you.
Take proper care of your animals. That is how they will love you back. Keep this article in print copy so that you can look up important information when you need one.
Always follow what is written here and do more research. I hope your goats have a lovely time with you.