Nigerian Dwarf Goat - Advice

lugboxer10

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 22, 2014
16
3
74
Long Island, NY
Hi. I have 2 female non-breeding does. About a year old. I have had them for about 2 months. I have a couple questions that I would love advice on.

Housing
Their home is an unheated 8' x 7' (10' high) vented shed that I bought specifically for them in Sears. I usually lock them in at night when it gets dark. They seem to have no problem with this, as they are usually in the shed by the time I go out there to "put them to sleep"

Food
Hay - I been feeding them second cut hay. They have no interest in 1st cut at all. This past weekend I bought a 100lb bale of alfalfa. They still have the second cut. Free choice for all hay.
Grain - I have been giving them Southern States pellets, 1/2 cup per goat almost every day. This weekend I bought a bag of sweet feed. I have been mixing both the last couple of days.
Treats - I use the MannaPro licorice goats treats, which they love. I give them Timothy Hay, but my local feed store doesn't have bales. I buy that in Petco. I give them small animal sun salad, which they love. I also give them dry uncooked oatmeal. (my pig loves this!) They also have a salt lick accessible at all times.

Bedding
I have been using the second cut as bedding. They can sleep on it and eat it. They do not like to lay on the shavings, I just put down a small layer of that underneath the second cut bedding. I am not sure if my local feed store has straw. Should I bee looking for straw elsewhere or is it okay to stay with the second cut? The cost doesn't matter to me.

Water
I give them fresh water at least twice a day. They seem to like to lick the drips from hose better. Sometimes there are little pieces of hay floating in the water, is it true that some goats need their water to be spotless or they won't drink it?

People
The girls I got were only herd animals. 1 was bottle fed, but the other was not. They have gotten much much better since I brought them home. I did take them out on for a walk in Petco this weekend and they did pretty good. Just wondering if the rumor that a non-bottle fed goat will never warm up to people the way a bottle fed goat will, is true.

Leash
I am using a dog harness currently. Is a neck collar better? They certainly aren't ready for me to put a halter or gentle lead on them.

New Goat
I am about to add a new goat to the family. This will be another non-breeding female who is about 8 months now. Is there any special I need to introduce them? Also, this new goat is a bottle fed house trained goat who is all about people. Will the behavior of the new infulence the existing ones? I know that works for dogs, not sure about goats.

I realize this is a VERY long post. I am looking for comments/corrections on what I am currently doing with my girls. I would really appreciate feedback. I live on Long Island in NY, in case anyone is wondering. Thank you!
 

cdover15

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 14, 2011
70
4
33
I don't have answers for all of your questions but I can answer some! I use collars that you can buy for dogs for my pygmy goats. It works fine, goats can be pretty stubborn when you try to walk them though lol.
One of our friendliest goats was raised completely by her mother. Her mother was raised completely by her mother, but we bought her as soon as she was old enough to be away from her mom and she warmed up quickly. Don't be worried that they won't be friendly, if you only have a couple they are super friendly. Food always helps too.

Our goats drink out of their water just fine if it has things in it. Sometimes even with bugs in there. I noticed that they always get a drink as soon as I give them fresh water though, I think they prefer fresh.

Your feeding, housing, and bedding all seem good to me as well!
 

KW Farms

In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 27, 2009
98
5
43
Wapato, WA
Feed sounds good. Alfalfa is great for them. I do want to mention that goats need a loose goat or cattle specific mineral instead of a block. They can't get enough from a block. They have soft tongues that will start burning after licking for awhile and prevent them from getting enough. So the loose minerals that come in a bag are what they need. I use Cargill Onyx Right Now and Sweetlix Meat Maker minerals for mine. The only goat mineral I won't recommend is Purina goat minerals...they have way too much salt.

I haven't noticed any of my goats not drink if their water had a little hay in it. Just keep it as clean as possible.

Bottle raised goats are generally friendlier than dam raised kids.

You can use a harness on them or dog collars work too.

When the new goat arrives, they will butt each other and take a few days to establish a pecking order, but after that, they should get along just fine. It will just take a little time for them to all get used to each other.

Hope this helps. I raise nigerian dwarf goats and love them!
 
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