Don't forget the essentials! This list of 10 must-have supplies for new goat owners will ensure that you're ready for anything. In addition to proper infrasture such as shelter, fencing and food, here are our recommended supplies you will need in the first year for happy and healthy goats.
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Feed dishes are critical if you will be supplementing your goat's diet with pellets or grain. Contrary to their reputation, goats will not eat anything and everything. In fact, they will seldom if at all eat food that has fallen to the ground.
Depending on the number of goats you have and the amount of portion control you are doing we recommend two types of goat feeders.
A feeding trough is a great option if you have a few goats that you want to feed all at once. This is the trough that we use, and it has worked out great for our farm! It is durable and allows our three full grown Nigerian Dwarf goats.
Which really says something because our bucks tend to be very harsh on everything in their pen.
These bowls are great for individual goats and ensuring portion control. One of the downsides of a single feeder for all goats is that they may not receive equal portions.
Water is crucial for any animal to survive. Here are two water buckets for goats that we would recommend. Note the size and age of your goat will impact their ability to reach the water source.
Buckets are a great option if you have a few goats. These are the buckets that we have used, and it has worked out great for our farm!
They are durable, even in cold weather and can sit on the ground or be hung on a hook.
This is perfect if you have kids as they are small enough, they can still reach the water.
For more than a handful of goats we recommend a larger source of water to avoid constant refilling. This bowl holds 15 gallons of water and is durable enough for daily use.
Goats often require hay to supplement their diet if your acreage is not enough to sustain them for grazing alone, or if you experience cold winters.
Keeping hay off the ground is important, as goats will seldom eat food that has come in contact with the ground as it may have touched manure.
This hay feeder keeps the hay off the ground but also has a tray at the bottom to minimize the amount of food waste. This tray is dual purpose and can also be used as a feeding trough.
Mineral is recommended to be given as a free choice supplement for all goats. Goats will self-regulate their intake to ensure they stay healthy and receive all the required vitamins and minerals.
We ensure our goats have access to mineral year-round and we have not had any deficiencies in their diet.
Free choice access to baking soda is recommended for goats. They will self-regulate their intake to keep a balanced rumen. This is important because if they are out of balance, such as by consuming clover (which is a poisonous plant in large quantities), it can lead to a life-threatening illness called bloat.
We did have a close call on our farm with bloat due to changing food too quickly. Ever since we have provided free choice baking soda and we have not had an issue since. Due to the fact that we go through a lot 12 pounds of baking soda every one to two months we recommend buying in large quantities.
Bloat is a serious and life-threatening illness for goats. This fast-acting illness can be fatal in a matter of hours. Due to this we keep bloat medicine on hand at all times so we can be prepared in the event our goats become ill.
This is the lifesaving bloat medicine we used when our goat experienced bloat. It was easy to use and fast acting. Within hours he was back to his normal self.
A thermometer dedicated to your goats is essential to have on hand for a couple of reasons.
Checking a goat's temperature is taking with a rectal thermometer. Due to this it is HIGHLY recommended they have a separate thermometer than your family uses.
Secondly, when a goat is sick the first step we take is to take their temperature. If it is not between 101.5 and 103.5 degree F, then we seek veterinary assistance. If it is in this range and is not obviously another illness such as bloat, we deworm our goats.
This is the Dewormer we use on our farm and it is fast acting and clears the parasites leaving our goats healthy. Regular deworming of goats (every 3 to 6 months) will ensure they stay parasite free and healthy.
If your goats are abnormally hungry and eating their bedding it may be a good time to deworm as this is often a sign of parasites.
When a goat is sick the first step we take is to take their temperature. If it is not between 101.5 and 103.5 degree F then we seek veterinary assistance. If it is in this range and is not obviously another illness such as bloat, we deworm our goats.
Hoof trimmers are essential for any goat owner. Regular trimmings are easy to do with the proper tool to ensure your goats do not experience any discomfort when walking.
If left on their own too long, the hooves can grow and become flaps that will hold dirt and moisture. This is a breeding ground for bacteria and can be harmful to goats.
Brushes are multi-purpose as the keep your goats well-groomed which reduces their likelihood of lice. Brushes are also great to remove any hair that has clumped during shedding. This is important to keep your goats cool in the summer and reduce tangles that can hold bacteria.
For proper care and healthy goats, they require a feeding station, clean source of water, access to minerals and soda, proper medicine, and hygiene supplies. These are the top 10 essential items we recommend any goat owner to have on hand.
We have recommended many tools and supplies we have used and tested ourselves to ensure the products are of good quality.
Raising Goats Guide: A Comprehensive Resource for Beginners: Ready to embark on your goat-raising journey? This comprehensive guide is your go-to resource for all things goat-related. From housing and feeding to breeding and health care, we've got you covered!
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