Goat care, in a round-about way,

This will be something of a hodge-podge blog about goat care, 
real milk and all sorts of other homesteading activities.

A few days ago, it was Goat Care day, though not all the care 
could be addressed in a single day at this time of year.

Goats require a great deal more care than the average farmer would want to give, thus most goat keepers have poor looking goats and sell them soon after acquiring them because they in order to thrive, they simply require a lot of upkeep.

So a few days back, the goat herd needed hoof trims, coccidia prevention and worming. The horses and cow were also wormed. For those who would like to know what we used on the latter, Zimectrin Gold and Ivermectin, depending which was used in the winter. The goats received Quest or Valbazen, depending on what works for each goat.

One thing a lot of goat owners over look is trimming goat's hooves, particularly their bucks. This can cripple a goat in a matter of a year or two. It takes a lot time to get hooves back into proper shape, if it can even be done, if they have been neglected.

There is nothing fun about fighting with a buck in rut (which ours aren't now, thanks GOD) that weighs around 170lbs in order to trim 4 feet, but you HAVE to do this if you want to provide proper, humane care! Does, older kids, wethers and bucks all need trimmed about every 8 weeks. Some goats can go longer, and it is ideal to keep hoof condition in mind when breeding for a better goat. Supplementing with copper can help control hoof growth. Copper supplementation is almost always needed, at any rate, and it will improve coat condition, fish tails, bald tails, parasite problems, kidding issues, growth and more!

Ace is a pretty good guy about this!




Ideally, this is your goal:
http://www.npga-pygmy.com/resources/husbandry/hoof_trimming.asp

I also wanted photos of our First Freshener udders in the herd. A First Freshener is a doe during her first lactation, following her first kidding/birth. We have four FF does. For the most part, I'm pleased with their udders. Two have very good attachment, the other two have good attachment, and all have crazy easy to milk teats, especially three of the four. All are even, barring the one doe that had the teat injury, which is preventing her from being even. All seem to have good medials and the teat placement is good. Of course, I speak in terms of a good milker, not the showring requirements, which I have little knowledge of. I'm attaching the ADGA guide for what to look for in an ideal doe. Keep in mind, these does are not stacked/posed for ideal udder shots.
Candy: 2 yr old Nubian FF - 4 weeks fresh - empty
Spring: 1 yr old Nubian - FF - 5 weeks fresh

Eve - FF Nubian - 8 weeks fresh - after a serious teat injury
Dutchie - 1 yr old FF Nubian - 9 weeks fresh - full udder on one side

We are having some issues with Spring's weight. Not sure if the pregnancy was just too hard on her for her age, if there is a serious worm load (we've wormed her, giving Iron supplement, etc) or a nutrition problem. We have her on a high fat Nutrena supplement, so we will see.

We recently reevaluated what we are feeding, and we've stopped mixing out own whole grains.
I know a lot of people swear by it, but I have just not found our horses or goats do well on whole grain self mixes. The goats are now on Nutrena Doe and Kid. It is a medicated feed. Lots of idealistic, holistic folks cringe at medicated feed. Ideally, you could raise goats without it, but you CANNOT! Goat kids will get coccidia, and if it does not kill them, it will stunt their growth so severly, they likely will never recover. There is no herbal, homeopathic remedy. There is no avoiding it. Goat kids have no resistence to it. You must treat them for it. Now, you can shy away from medicated feeds, but you still must treat cocci every 21 days for 5 day periods with Dimethox or Sulmet (never CORID). We do both and experience good growth with the kids.






Buttin Heads Arsenic - Nigerian Buckling -  5 weeks old

We also finally moved the Nigerian buckling out into the pen with the does and kids, though he is in a large kennel inside of that pen to make sure he isn't bullied. We put the other kids up with him at night, but he now has other goat company! Goat really must have the companionship of other goats to thrive. They form very strong family bonds, as well, and much more so than in other livestock that I've had.

 The whole time we were at work outside, the kiddos stood at the window squalling to come up, but since they are have no concept of staying safe around the farm at this point, they have to remain inside if we cannot be one step behind them at all moments!

We are attempting a garden this year.

What is a farm/homestead with a garden? But I have never been very good at growing plants and keeping plants alive, so I cannot promise how well this will go. We started the seeds indoors late to being with. Most were planted a week ago. The garden spot outside is close to finished, so let us pray something grows in these little containers indoors! I did make an effort to buy organic seeds, for the most part, though the term "Organic" is in the eye of the reader and a blog is pending on that whole subject, and I bought only what I thought we would really use!




 By the way, I have an extensive guide to goat care I've put a lot of time into writing on our website, and it might be a great help to anyone thinking about getting into goats, so feel free to read it and then share it with others that might find it beneficial.

Last but not least, most of my readers and friends know how important access to real food
is to me and to you, whether you know it or not, and the state of West Virginia denies
its citizens the right to real milk from local, humane farms. This state even denies
citizens the rights to buy into a herd and obtain a share of milk from his/her part
of the cow or goats.

That is why I want to share an option for milk in a legal way for those who live in the Tri-state area, though I'd like nothing more than to sell herdshares or milk to you myself, I cannot in this state,
so I want to suggest


YELLOW GOAT FARM
Located in Ohio, right over the border from Ky and WV,
they operate a legal HERD SHARE program with a goat
herd and can offer YOU and your family access to REAL
MILK from a healthy herd! They also make cheese with your
milk shares!

PLEASE visit their link and support YOUR LOCAL FARMERS
and your own health!