Advice from goat owners wanted!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by LRH97, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't get me wrong, I love my poultry. But I really would like to add some fur to all the feathers if you now what I mean. Goats seem like a good place to start. My grandparents and great-grand parent always kept some along with their cows and horses and the rest of their animals. This is a totally new field for me on my own, however. I want them just to enjoy them; as pets. That being said, I have decided on 2-3 Pygmy or Nigerian Dwarf wethers. I have done some homework (more to do of course) but do have some questions.

    1.) Roughly how much would feed cost monthly for two to three small goats? I buy from the local feed store. They carry timothy and alfalfa hay pellets and various grain feeds. I also have local sources for baled fresh hay and the like, which I've read should be their staple along with forage.

    2.) How often to worm?

    3.) Any other vaccines etc. monthly or annually?

    4.) How often to trim hooves?

    5.) What do you use for housing? I've been to several places to pick up birds before who had goats and one place had a nice looking shed, and another had what looked to me like large dog houses.

    6.) Anything else important I should know for starting out?

    That's all for now. I would appreciate any advice anyone can offer me! Thanks in advance.
     
  2. GingerGypsy

    GingerGypsy Out Of The Brooder

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  3. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    As always answers will vary as there is no one way to keep them...


    One unless you are milking or breeding you really don't need grains in their diets, it won't hurt to give them some but it's not a necessity... With that said some people prefer to feed grains as part of their diet, but it should always be done in a limited capacity and there should never be a sudden change of diet, aka feed them hay for a week then switch to grains, they can be deadly...

    I rarely feed my goats any grains, it's a true treat for them not a dietary ration... I also don't feed mine some 'goat diet' pellets, mine get a 'premium' hay, generally a alfalfa/clover/grass mix, I verify it's not too heavy on the alfalfa as I want the grass in the mix and not an alfalfa overload... Other people prefer all grass hay with no alfalfa/clover for goats, but since my pasture has alfalfa and clover, I like to match the hay to what they are used to eating from the pasture, aka no diet changes...

    With that said I feed my two llamas, and five full sized goats about half a small bale of hay a day all combined during the winter and during the summer I don't feed them at all as they pasture fully supports them, all summer long...

    So my feed cost is about $2 a day for two llamas and 5 full sized goats, not much at all... Your feed cost should be about $1/day or less if you can get hay reasonably and keep grains or other commercial feeds to a minimum...

    I worm twice a year, once in the spring, once in the fall...

    I give them a clostridium perfringens types C and D and tetanus (CDT) booster once a year...

    As necessary, and that is rarely with mine, as they keep them warn down normally...

    Mine have a luxury of a access to huge pull barn, it's open 24/7 to the pasture through a vinyl door striped door... The llamas stand guard so I have little worries about predators... Generally all they really need is a 3 sided wind break with a roof

    Read a lot, you will find people take car of them differently and feed them differently and in many cases those different ways are all fine, the biggest thing IMO is never switch up their diets, make any diet changes gradually... Also offer them an appropriate goat salt lick 24/7 and unlimited fresh/new water daily...
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
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  4. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much! This really does help a lot. I read that about only feeding grains as treats. Makes me feel better that I can buy local hay (which I'm sure will be cheaper in the long run) and feed that more rather than constantly run to the feed store for feed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  5. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    One thing to keep in mind is that hay for goats must be of very good quality or they will waste more than they eat. It needs to be fine stemmed, leafy, and free of dust and mold. It is cheaper in the long run to pay a little more and get the good stuff.
     
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  6. calpal212

    calpal212 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You shouldn't feed wethers pellets they should only get good quality grass hay, their hooves need trimmed only about every 4-6 weeks. Good luck!
     
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  7. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Goats are looking like a good possibility in the near future thanks to all of your great advice. Another question came to mind. Are they generally pretty hearty? I don't really want them to be sick often and be calling the vet every time I turn around.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  8. calpal212

    calpal212 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah if you do annual checkups they are usually fine
     
  9. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great! Thanks!
     
  10. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another question. Would you use pelleted goat wormer or an oral one?
     

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