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Tips-n-Tricks

A collection of stuff that works for us.
No way to be sure that they'll work for you but...
Most of the products listed are available from a local store or vet.
If you have any goat tips that you would like to share with other visitors to this site please email

We'll include it in our next update.

BUCK SMELL -- A good product for removing buck smell from your skin (and maybe clothes) is FAST ORANGE HAND CLEANER. It's a natural citrus cleaning cream that is scrubbed into dirty (smelly) skin and washed off with plain soap.

From Linda in Alaska... What do you use to remove buck smell and stains from a doe in extremely cold weather?
I got desperate and tried a damp sponge with Listerine... The next day, fresh ground Coffee (Vanilla Nut Cream)... I rubbed about 1/4 pound into her coat... That seemed to work great!!! Of course now every time I get close to her, I have this insatiable craving for a donut!!! *laughing* Just thought I'd pass this on to you in case you ever had the need to remove buck odor from an animal in colder weather.
Linda http://www.alaska.net/~happyhen/

EXTERNAL PARASITES -- Seem that lice, fleas, etc., are allergic to SEVIN dust.
We also sprinkle a little diatomaceous earth on the pen floors after we clean them.

INTERNAL PARASITES -- Monitor your goats' worm loads through casual visual inspection and by performing monthly fecal egg counts.
If a goat's coat looks rougher than usual check the eyelids and vulva (assuming it's not a buck * grin*). If the membranes are light pink or white you've got some kind of anemia problem - probably internal parasites.
Rotation of medications is no longer recommended. Use your fecal egg counts to determine the effectiveness of your wormer - if the egg count doesn't fall by at least 90% within 48 hours you need to change wormers. Consult your vet for the most effective wormer in your area. We use Cydectin orally at the rate of 1cc for every 16 pounds of goat.
Never under-dose with analthemics... all you do is help the succeding generations of worms develop resistance to the wormer. Check with breeders in your area to find out what dose level works.
Practice rotational grazing - every three months or so move the goats to a "clean" grazing area (no goats have been on it for 3 months).
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) - We have tested DE by adding 1 pound of DE to each 50 pounds of feed for the last 18 months. The egg count has been reduced by about 25% except for coccidia (they don't seem as bothered by the DE as the other worms). This is purely anecdotal information.
WARNING!!! - We noted an increase in aspiration pneumonia over the 18 month period. We cannot prove that the DE is responsible but we have discontinued adding it to the feed.

HOOF TRIMMING -- Hooves are easier to trim when they are damp from morning dew or from a rain storm. If your hoof shears need sharpened or replaced they'll work better on dry hooves.

KIDDING "MESS" -- Getting ready for a show is a good time to trim the hair on a doe's tail; one week before kidding is another.

HOW MUCH TO FEED -- This is a tough one because all goats are not alike. These are the guidelines we developed for our Boers. We have no browse for our goats and they are confined to just a few acres of coastal grass. If your goats have ready access to lots of browse and miles of grass you may be able to suppliment them very little or not at all.
First Choice Is Hay The majority of a confined goat's diet should be a good quality hay - not grain or pelleted feed.
Nursing Kids They are allowed access to supplimental feed all the time. This method of feeding is called "free-choice". The feed must be in an area that is easy for the kids to get to but that their dams cannot reach (the dams will over-eat). A home-made creep feeder can be made from sections of 2X2 or 4x4 stock panel with pieces of bar cut and bent out of the way to make a door for the little critters.
Weaned Kids (up to 6 months) Since they are isolated from their dams they can now have free-choice in feed troughs.
Adult Does - Not Pregnant These girls get 1.4 pounds of feed twice a day during the winter and 1/4 pound twice a day during the summer just to keep them thinking we are good guys.
Pregnant Does We start does on 1.4 pounds twice a day 21 days before they are bred and continue until the kids are weaned.
Adult Bucks Just like the old joke about how what to feed a 300-pound gorilla -- "However much they want". Actually, It depends on his access to graze and browse but he should get enough suppliment to keep him healthy but not fat. This is about 2.3 pounds twice a day for a 300 pound animal that is kept in a pen with limited excercise. The standard, according to the Purena folks, is to feed 3.5% of the goats body weight every day - THAT WOULD BE OVER 10 POUNDS A DAY for our 300-pound bucks!!! Sorry, Purena, That's too much - The bucks probably wouldn't survive the first month because they would be too fat stand up.
Don't forget - bucks get lazy when they aren't breeding and put on fat real fast. Make sure you give them plenty of exercise. One friend pulls her buck around behind the riding lawn mower.
You can build another form of excercise - divide your buck's pen in half with a fence. Build sturdy stairs over the middle of the divider fence. Put his water on one side of the fence and his feed and salt block on the other. He'll end up going back and forth over the steps several times a day.

HOW MANY GOATS PER ACRE -- With constant close observation of parasite loads and plenty of supplimental feeding we have seen successful operations with as many as 30 goats per acre. Just make sure that you are ready for goats to become your full-time job before you try this at home.


 

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