It’s that time of year when many goat owners are choosing which bucks we’ll use for breeding, and I see many bucks for sale or for rent. But, it’s very important not to use just any buck; and to select bucks that will improve your herd and the breed in general.
By choosing a buck that will improve your own herd, you can increase the milk production and dairy conformation qualities of the kids being produced, thereby increasing their value – either in kid sales or milk product sales. Most people looking to purchase goats are looking for either milk production or [...]
Continue reading Choosing Goat Herdsires
A lot of people are surprised to learn that goats naturally grow horns; and, that many consider horns a detriment so they’re frequently removed when the goats are babies – this process is known as “disbudding”. Horns in goats are generally considered detrimental because:
1. Horns get stuck in things, and can cause the goats to injure themselves
2. Goats with horns can hurt each other when they “play” butt each other
3. Horns can hurt people
4. Horns can cause damage to fences, barns, mangers, etc.
5. People generally prefer hornless goats so they’re worth more
6. Horns can break, and a goat can bleed to [...]
Continue reading Disbudding Goats
Colostrum is the first milk that a goat dam produces; and that all goat kids need to drink within the first hours after birth (any newborn mammal needs the mother’s “first milk”) for survival. The colostrum is how the dam passes on the vitamins and antibodies needed for survival specific to her location; and each new kid should receive at least 1 ounce of colostrum per pound of body weight three times daily.
There are basically four sources of colostrum:
Mother – the doe produces colostrum for about the first 24 hours
Colostrum bank (frozen) – do not microwave or overheat to reconstitute [...]
Continue reading Colostrum Banking (or Kid Insurance)
We’d been told at a goat class that if you raise goats, you’ll learn how to tube feed a weak kid – and unfortunately we’re now experienced. At some point Saturday evening or Sunday morning, Jewel Box decided to reject one of her kids, the one we named Dillinger. Saturday was a cold night (hard frost) and by Sunday morning when we realized she wasn’t letting him nurse, he was weak and cold. So, we brought him in, warmed him up, and tried to get him to nurse; but he wouldn’t do that and he wouldn’t take a bottle. It was shocking to see how quickly he went from a bouncing to limp [...]
Continue reading Tube Feeding A Goat Kid