Unfortunately, goats often suffer from various worms and parasites. It is good to give our goats dewormer often (ask your veterinarian for advice). At specialty stores, you can find granulated goat deworming products that kill the main gastrointestinal parasites most often found on goats. Contemporary worm medications are very safe for goats and humans.
You should also vaccinate your goats once a year, always after consulting your veterinarian.
In addition, we must regularly check the welfare of our goats. Diarrhea is a common symptom of a goat disease. Isolation from the herd, not chewing, not drinking water, having watery eyes, sleeping all day and not being able to get up are also some of the signs that something is wrong. For any of these cases, we always need to have the phone number of the local licensed veterinarian.
The veterinarian will usually ask you if the goat’s body temperature is normal, before deciding whether to visit your farm or not. Keep in mind that the normal body temperature for goats is 101.3-103.5 °F (38.5-39.7 °C).
Breeders should also cut goat’s hooves (with a hook cutter) to prevent infections. We have to check your hooves every week, but cutting should take place regularly every 2 months. Finally, some breeders wash and brush their goats at least once a year, preferably before the summer heat, with a special shampoo
Goats are intelligent and friendly animals with a strong personality. If you are thinking of acquiring a goat, you should know how to care for it without giving up at the first sign of difficulty. Below, we’ll indicate the main aspects you should take into account when deciding to adopt one of these animals.
Things You Must Know to Care for Goats
Taking care of goats can be a fun activity. People think about getting goats for their milk, but also for entertainment and company. Many people even want them for their help in pulling weeds.
However, before you have a goat, it is important to know how to keep it healthy. Here are four things you should know:
What You Should Know to Care for Goats: Physiology
Adult females of medium to large breeds – including alpine, Majorca, Malagueña, Murcia-Granada, Palm or Pyrenaica – usually weigh between 60 and 80 kilos. Adult males of the same breeds weigh between 80 and 100 kilos. Other smaller breeds, such as the serrana, the verata and the retinta, weigh about 45 kilos.
Goats can live from 12 to 14 years.
It should be noted that a female can be milked up to twice a day. Goat milk is very popular and its composition is slightly different from cow’s milk.
Clean the umbilical cord. It will naturally detach from the kid and the mother, but newly lost strings can develop infections and need extra care.
Never cut the cord between mother and newborn. Let it break naturally. Only try to trim it if it is more than 10 cm after breaking.
If you are unsure what to do, call your veterinarian for help during delivery.
If the string is still quite long, cut it so that it brings it closer to the puppy’s belly.
Trim until it is about 4 inches long.
Always use sterile instruments. All instruments, such as scissors, must be sharpened to make the cut.
Dip the cord in povidone iodine. It prevents infections and helps make the cord dry much faster.
The string should fall off the kid within three weeks.
Leave the little kid with the mother. After helping her trim the umbilical cord, leave the kid with her. The goat will want to lick the calf to clean it.
Letting the mother clean the baby will strengthen the bond between the two animals.
Creating a bond between the mother goat and the newborn is very important.
Stay with the mother and the newborn kid. Help keep the birthing area clean and keep an eye on the puppy.
A few moments after the baby kids are born, the placenta will be expelled. Let the mother eat as much of the placenta as she wants before discarding the rest.
Allow the kid to drink its mother’s milk. The first milk, or colostrum, is very important, as it contains important antibodies necessary for the baby’s survival.
The puppy needs to feed for the first time within an hour of birth.
Little kids should be fed four or five times a day.
Take a few squirts of milk from the goat to make sure the liquid is not blocked.
Watch the goat to see if it is drinking the milk. If he’s having trouble finding a place to feed, lead the way.
If the kid is not suckling from the mother, give him colostrum using a bottle. The milk doesn’t have to be his mother’s; it may come from another dairy goat.
You can also buy ready-made colostrum in stores. It needs to be kept in the fridge.
Decide if you are going to feed the puppies using a bottle. You may prefer to feed the goat this way rather than let it feed from the mother. That way, when he grows up, he’ll be a more docile and friendly adult.
If you are going to let the mother feed the baby, monitor him and see if he is getting the milk without difficulty. Sometimes the mother doesn’t want to feed the little kids. In that case, you will be required to give the bottle.
If you decide to let the mother feed the puppies, try to spend some time with her and the kids. This will help them grow accustomed to people.
Whichever you choose, the kid will need milk for at least eight weeks.
Always sterilize bottles and all other feeding equipment.
If you are bottle-feeding, you can get the milk from the mother, from another dairy goat, or buy it from a farm supply store.
Drastic changes in the lifestyle or diet of these animals can affect their mood and stool solidity.
If the veterinarian recommends a special powder with milk in the bottle, do not give the product in one large dose. Feed half at a time for two days, see how the kids react and then feed the full amount.