I am getting some Nigerian Dwarf Goats after the holidays, what do I n

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by faithnfeathers, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. faithnfeathers

    faithnfeathers New Egg

    Nov 28, 2008
    I want to do the best for them I can. I never knew there was so many kinds of hay. What kind of hay do I get for my goats, and what vaccines do I need and when do they get them? I read some where that they should have a mineral block so I asked the feed store for one and he gave me a pony block. It has copper in it and I read that goats do not need lots of copper as it is bad for them in some way..

    so now I am confused, do they get this kind of mineral block? And I read they like to climb. What do you all have for them to climb on? I am so excited and can`t wait for my little babies to get here.. Is there anything else that I need?

    OH what is probiotics and where do I get that and How do I know when they need them? I have never had goats before. I have chickens, ducks, geese and did have peacocks, 3 dogs and two cats..

    I also read that they really don`t need a lot of grain and some grains are bad for them. What, when and how much grain do I give them? I am getting three little goats and apparently I have to separate the male from the ladies and He needs a friend too. And they say to get another male for him, A whether? Will they fight? Thanks for taking time to read my ga-jillion questions.. [​IMG]

    Peace and blessings,
  2. key west chick

    key west chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    Hi, nigi's are sooo much fun! I have 5. 3 does and 2 wethers. I'm sure you will get lots of advice but this is what my breeder told me. Burmuda hay, free choice. Goats, I've been told, won't lick a mineral block. I give mine Purina goat minerals. Comes in a bag. Just keep a little out for them. Goats need copper, sheep do not. Make sure its for goats. I fed mine a little pelleted feed everyday, just as a treat. I don't give vaccinations anymore but when I did, I gave them CD&T. I worm when they look thin or "off". Maybe 3 times a year. I use Safeguard for goats. Safeguard won't work in some areas. I trim feet every 3 months. Clean water, you won't believe how picky they can be about having clean water. Thats about all I do for mine. Oh, and unless you want to breed them, you should have any buck wethered. Bucks stink!!
  3. griffin45

    griffin45 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2008
    South Central Virgina
    Where do I start... copper is not bad for goats, but it is for sheep. Somewhere we also heard that copper is bad for goats and later found out that it is not. If you get feed labled for goats it has copper in it. If you get feed labled for sheep and goats in does not have copper in it and you have to supplement them with a mineral block. We get our goat blocks from Tractor Supply. Give them free access to hay and limit their feed intake. Watch out for fresh grass in the pasture in spring as they will gorge themselves and could get bloat. They will definatley get scours from green fresh hay and grass if they are not used to it.

    They love to climb as that is what they were designed to do by God. If you have a rock pile, put a fence around it and let them have fun. You will need to trim their hooves if they do not have a lot of rock/cement to walk on.

    I love our little Nigerians. One of them is just a needy for contact as any Nubian and Nubians are like 2 year olds... they have to have attention.

    You do not have to seperate the bucks and the does unless you do not want offspring. Seperate the pregnant does in the last month. I have my kidding pen right next to my regular goat pen. Goats are herd animals and they need their herd!

    The most important bit of advice I can give is to go to www.fiascofarm.com and look at the information that they have. It is so far the best site I have found for how to take care of your goats!

    A whether is a neutered goat. They should not fight, but there is no guarantee.

    Goats also need (in our area anyway) Rabies shots. All goats need to get tetnus shots and you should keep tetnus antitoxin around for injuries.

    I hope this information helps you get started. We spend many hours with our goats learning what is good and what is bad and every single day is a new lesson! Have fun!
  4. Lynn

    Lynn Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2008
    Hi! I love our two little Nigerian doelings! They are SO much fun... so sweet, so loving. They climb in my lap and give kisses. You will love them! Don't worry about copper in any of the minerals or feed you give them. The previous poster was right--it is sheep who can't tolerate high levels of copper. As a matter of fact, I have to supplement my goats, because they live with our sheep, so I have to use sheep minerals (safe for everyone). Selenium is a big issue too--most areas of the country are severely deficient, so you have to be sure they are getting a supplement of some sort. Obviously, high levels can be toxic, but as long as you stay sensible, they'll be fine.

    Too much grain will make them fat--or worse--bloat (bloat can be very dangerous). Really, what is ideal for goats is brush and "browse" (young trees and bushes). But that is hard to accommodate for most people. And you have to know which ones are toxic (mountain laurel, cherry tree family, azaleas, and yew are just some of the most toxic). Pine trees, poplar, and oak (you will read that oak is toxic, but it isn't true. It would take very high levels to become toxic--the tannins are actually good dewormers. My sheep and goats all love acorns and oak leaves and pig out on them without harm). Maple leaves are also good. Camellias are also good and gardenias, magnolias are fine, too. I've heard juniper is good, but mine won't eat it. Of course, they love raspberry and blackberry bushes, rose bushes, kudzu and poison ivy and sweet potato vine! Some say English ivies are poisonous, others say they can eat it just fine.

    They won't bloat on hay. Sheep have problems with too much fresh fescue pasture, but fescue hay is fine. I've heard that bermuda pasture will not cause foundering (bloat). Not sure if it's true. Bermuda hay is fine. Timothy hay is great. Too much alfalfa hay is bad, though, because it is too much protein (will make them fat). Though, they can tolerate higher alfalfa than the sheep can. Some alfalfa is very good for them, though. I give our six (4 sheep and 2 goats) a half a flake of alfalfa hay twice a day and all the timothy/grass hay they want. The best hay is an orchard mix, but it is hard to find.

    I give grain as a treat, or, maybe 1-3 times a week. They each get a handful or so. I also sometimes give them pumpkins (one pumpkin cut up into pieces for all of them), grapes, strawberries, turnip greens, kale, etc. They also love brazil nuts (great source of selenium). One brazil nut provides most of the selenium they need! But nuts are high protein, so I don't know how much they should have in a day. I give them only 1 or 2! I also give carrots, apples, berries, but surprisingly, they don't always like them! I feel a varied diet is the best.

    The most important thing to start off with is knowing what they are used to and mimic it. Any changes should be made gradually... if you want them to eat pasture/browse, but they're used to only hay, let them eat hay in the early part of the day, then introduce the new diet the last part of the day. They can't "overdo" it that way. It usually takes about ten days (I've read) to get them used to new diet/pasture. If you notice diarrhea ("scours"), then cut back. If it seems severe, or they are blowing up like a balloon or frothing at the mouth, it is dangerous!! This is bloat, or also called frothy bloat. People give give different things for this, from mineral or vegetable oil, pepto bismal, ginger, or something you can buy called Bloat Release. Also, massage the rumen (the left side) and belly to get things "moving." The mineral/vegetable oil helps "kill" the foam, and also lubricates the stomach lining.

    "Probiotics" are also given for this, and to help with diet change and when medicating them... they are simply "good" bacteria, much like yoghurt is for us. Helps the good bacteria do its job in the digestive tract. They can be purchased online or at most feedstores, TSC, etc. Sometimes you have to go to the Horse section for them.

    Goats can lick mineral blocks, but some people report that they try to bite it and can actually break their teeth. Mine have mineral blocks, though, and they're fine. If you can do loose minerals, you'll probably be best off, though. Hoegger's goat supply is a great place to buy stuff online. Their website isn't the best organized, but their stuff is great.

    Worms are a big issue... you will read lots and lots of different stuff on the web. My conclusion is that no one really knows for sure what will work 100% of the time! You will have to just keep trying. I guess the good news is that people are doing lots of different things, so that says to me that, though something not be working very well, and I have to try something else, at least it isn't going to be dangerous! That was always my big fear.

    Good luck and have fun!!!

  5. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    You have received a lot of advice. And I haveonly had goat for about 4 months now. What I can tell you is this. Be prepared to fall in love and want more.... I originally got 2 in June, then I got my Nigerian Wether in October and just recently picked up a LaMancha Doe. I am done. Really finished. No more. Until Jasmine (LaMancha) is over a year old, then maybe some babies, maybe.....
  6. Lynn

    Lynn Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2008
    lol, Threeboyschicks, you are so right! We said no more, also... we are now making plans to build a new barn to house more goats and sheep. Try getting some sheep, too... you will fall in love with them, too!

  7. helmstead

    helmstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Can we save this and show it to you after you've bought #5??

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