You don't need an elaborate barn or house for your goat. Some type of small shed, about 4 x 6 feet, will make a suitable home. It should protect her against drafts and rain. Part of it may be closed off to store feed and equipment. Facilities should be well ventilated to reduce respiratory infections.
Give your goat plenty of room to move around freely. An exercise yard is a must. It should be about 200 square feet. The yard may be fenced with either woven wire or boards and should be between 48 and 54 inches high.
Teach your goat to respect the fence while she is still young. Use a gate when you take her in and out. Don't lift her over the fence when she is a kid or she will soon learn that she need only jump over the fence when she wants to go out. If your goat insists on jumping out, put a wire over a small pen. Keep her there until she learns that it is impossible to jump over the fence.
Have a dirt floor for the shed and exercise area rather than wood or concrete. Keep it clean at all times.
The goats at Summit Pack Goats are raised on a fairly simple plan. The kids are raised separately from the adult herd on heat-treated colostrum and goat milk replacer. The youngsters receive a mixture of grass/alfalfa hay and goat grain as they mature. Kids are wormed frequently for intestinal parasites, and inoculated against Tetanus and Enterotoxemia. Kids have access to Trace Mineral salt and fresh water at all times.
Adult wethers have basically the same diet of grass hay, goat grain, Trace Mineral salt and lots of fresh water. Summer months allow them to graze local pasture grasses. An occasional treat of alfalfa hay or the local hillside brush is offered. The adult wethers also receive routine inoculations and frequent wormings.
Guard against lice, mange mites and ticks, fleas, domestic flies, screwworms,
and fly maggotsexternal parasites which in dense numbers may harm
your goat. While applications of insecticides will control these parasites,
the use of chemicals will not replace good sanitation and animal management.
Routinely examine all animals in the winter for lice and in the spring
and summer for ticks, particularly if the goats have access to brush areas.
Treat all skin wounds to prevent attacks by flies in summer. Thoroughly
inspect any goats purchased before placing them in your herd.
With good sanitation you can reduce fly problems. Get rid of places
where fly maggots develop. Manure, piles of rotting vegetation, garbage,
and other plant accumulations are ideal places for fly development. Be
sure that the housing area for goats is kept sanitary by removing manure
and bedding weekly during hot summer months.
Goats may harbor many internal parasites; the more important include
coccidia, the stomach and intestinal roundworms, lungworms, and liver flukes.
The signs produced in clinically infected animals may mimic those produced
by bacterial, viral, or other disease-producing agents. To confirm a diagnosis
of disease produced by any of these parasites requires laboratory and/or
autopsy procedures which can only be conducted and evaluated by a skilled
professional. For this reason, the goat owner should call on a veterinarian
when a goat becomes sick for any cause.
The goat owner should be more concerned with preventing parasitic disease
than with treating. With rare exception, it is impossible to rear goats
free of all internal parasites. Consequently, the object of disease prevention
is to prevent the number of parasites from increasing to a level that will
cause disease. Acute parasitic disease occurs in the susceptible goat as
the result of an overwhelming exposure to infective stages of a specific
parasite over a brief period.
STOMACH AND INTESTINAL ROUNDWORMS
Whereas infection with coccidia increases when feed bunks and, to a
lesser extent, water troughs, are improperly designed, infection by gastrointestinal
roundworms and the large lungworm (Dictyocaulus
filaria) increases when pastures are overstocked and the
young, more susceptible goats are pastured with older, contaminative goats.
Gastrointestinal parasitism occurs more frequently as a disease in the
late spring and early summer and in late fall and winter.
Prevention: Use of appropriate deworming
medicines in all pastured goats in midspring, in does approximately two
weeks after parturition, and in all pastured kids at weaning will aid in
preventing disease. Frequency of deworming depends upon factors peculiar
to the premises of the individual goat owner and can be best established
by consultation with a veterinarian.
Selection of a dewormer is largely determined
by cost and ease of administration. The goat owner is well advised to consult
with a veterinarian before using anthelmintics.
TRIM HOOFS OFTEN
To ensure your goat's good health and help prevent foot rot, properly
trimmed hoofs are a must. Untrimmed or poorly trimmed hoofs can cause serious
lameness. The more often you trim them, the less you have to cut off. Check
the hoofs once a month. Use either a small hand pruner or a sharp knife
whose blade will lock in an open position. Most people prefer to use the
sharp knife to get a more level floor on the hoof.
Trim the bottom of the hoof so that it is parallel with the top.
Always cut from heel to toe.
If you trim the hoofs often, you won't need to trim much of the pad,
if any. Sometimes you may have to trim some of the heel in order to get
the bottom level.
If some of the pad has to be trimmed, do it in thin slices; stop when
the pad turns a pinkish color, as you may draw blood if you go too deep.
The right-handed person stands on the right side of the goat when trimming
the front feet. The left-handed person, on the left side. If possible,
keep your animal against a fence or wall. This will prevent excessive movement.
When working on the opposite hoof, reach across the animal and brace the
animal against your body.
Work on one toe at a time. With the first cut remove the outer wall. Then
level the heel and pad to make the hoof floor level. It is seldom necessary
to remove much of the pad. If it is, take care not to cut too deep as this
will draw blood.
When you finish the first toe, begin on the other. Take care to trim
both toes so when the foot is placed on the ground, one toe is not longer
than the other.
Note that the well-trimmed hoof does not have an overlapping wall. The
hoof floor is level and clean.
When trimming the rear hoof, stand to the rear; bring the goat's leg
through your legs and brace it against your knee.
The procedure for trimming the rear feet is the same as for the front
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