From the Homesteaders
Everything from the 1800's
Introduction to Goats
|One of the first things to remember about raising a
goat is "only give them grain when they are on the milking
stand". Otherwise None!!!!!!! These animals are not made to digest
grains unless they are seed heads on the grass that they eat. Grain
makes their intestines run very loose, and it makes the milk very strong
in the does. I love goat cheese, but it has to come from one of my does
or I can't stand the taste.
Lots of pasture and fresh water for my bucks and does during the day...grain for the does (about 1 cupful) for the milkers twice a day when they are milked. No more. We have 9 healthy adult goats and 8 kids. Less problems with births, worms, and its to easy to cure them if you accidentally overworm them with commercial wormers. Just feed them dry hay and yogurt. Yup.
Yogurt. Goats need the proper bacteria in their gut, just like humans. Worming expels the worms, but also destroys the good bacteria, giving the animal diarrhea. Yogurt will stop this and clear up the problem. If you worm your goats with tobacco, you won't have the problem in the first place. Sea salt given loose in a feeding pan will give them all the minerals they need.
First, when you're ready to buy a goat, check out the undercarriage. If her teats are to small for your hand, your going to hate milking, unless you have a milking machine. If she's a young one, check out her Mother. Its a hereditary thing. Make sure the does bag is clean and everything else will usually work out fine. I milk into a stainless steel pan. First time does will need to be put on the stand and given some grain while you work with them underneath. Get them used to the idea that you are going to do this. No nonsense allowed. Now is the time to teach them that their job is to let you milk them. No kicking, twisting or laying down allowed. Once they get that into their head, half the problems are over. They love the extra attention they get. I have many different breeds, Nubians, Sannens, Toggenburgs. They are all great.
One general thing about every animal you will ever own; they all need to be held, touched, and talked to. Otherwise, you will lose the human connection very quickly and they become wild and sometimes mean. We have personal hands on with the boar hogs, roosters, turkeys, rabbits, goats, etc. If we are given an animal and it won't stand for the human touch, we either sell it or butcher it. The liabilities of today are not anything to play around with. We take our animals to petting zoos for birthday parties, local events and to churches and parks when asked. This is simply good animal practice. And, you never have to worry about one of your 'babies' attacking you or someone else. If you go to buy an animal and it acts very wild, you may want to go look at a different one. If the animal is very young, you should be able to change its mind, but an adult animal is usually very set in their ways.