Goat on the way...first time owner needs advice

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bassfishrman, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. bassfishrman

    bassfishrman In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2007
    I will be getting my first goat in 3 weeks. It is a Dwarf Nigerian kid that is 3 months old (female). Here are my questions:

    I understand I need more than 1 goat. Can I buy any other type/age goat and put with this one?

    The one I am getting did not have its horns removed. Will this be a problem?

    Regarding feeding, I have 1/4 acre that is planted in wheat/rye mixture. Is it OK to let the goat graze as much as it chooses? Will I need to feed it hay also?

    With it being a kid (about 30 lbs), will I need to lock it up at night to protect it from predators?

    Will it be OK around my 23 chickens?

    Sorry for all the questions...just want to be sure I do things right.
  2. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Songster

    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    Ok I'm not an expert, got my goats at the end of summer, but here goes...

    -You need to find another goat! If she is anything like ours she will holler until her voice goes hoarse until you get her a friend. Wethers are cheap, but it would only be a pet, so another doe is better in my opinion. I thought I had to get one the same size/age to be her friend, not so. Any calm doe you can handle should be fine with her once the introduction is over. (If I had it over again I would have bought a bred 2 yr old to keep my new doeling company. This way you get milk soon, and she has been through a kidding before.)
    -About the horns make sure you have tiny fence, like 2x4 wire, so she can't get stuck once they grow. Some say don't mix horned w/ dehorned, but I've seen groups do ok with a mix. Helps if they are all about the same size when they do their tussle for pecking order, otherwise the hornless goat would obviously be at a disadvantage.
    -I've been told to always have hay available even though they have browse, keep alfalfa/grass mix around. That said your pasture sounds really nice, so she may not go for it.
    -Since she is a baby plan on giving 1/2-1c goat chow each night, this way she will get all of the protein she needs to grow...not sure but 30#s @3mo seems big for a dwarf, might want to hop on the bathroom scale to get a better guess on her weight.
    -Go pick up Iver horse paste wormer. Give her 3x the horse wt dose 2 weeks after you get her then in 2 weeks again. (If you have a different take on worming sorry for butting in.)
    -I lock up my girls each night in their smaller chainlink (6' walls) enclosure with their shed to sleep in. If you have coyotes, who doesn't, I would suggest securing her for the night.
    -My girls run with my ducks...they looked at them weird and were actually afraid of them for the first few days. Now they don't care.

    Phew, sorry for the book! [​IMG]
  3. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN

    Eventually, yes, you'll need another goat. If she's at all skitish, she'll bond really well to you by herself...but she will be lonely. I highly recommend a goat of similar age and size when you find a companion for her.

    I love horned goats. You shouldn't have any issues except that the horns can do more damage to your fencing, so be prepared for repairs down the road. Horned miniature goats also shouldn't be kept in field fencing (the big squares) because they can get their heads stuck.

    This time of year, that browse will be fine. Watch it in spring and fall, goats can founder just like a horse. You might want to have a dry lot partitioned off for those times. Still offer hay, alfalfa would be a good choice.

    Yes, you'll need to protect it from predators, night and day (dogs by day, cyotes etc by night).

    Yup, chickens and goats mix well - I'm sure you've heard it before but I'll restate it...please don't let the goat have access to the chicken feed.

    Lastly...PICS? lol!
  4. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    You have the advice you need. Just wanted to say congrats and also say pictures, we like pictures.

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