If you're considering raising goats, this comprehensive guide has everything you need to know. From setting up their housing and providing proper nutrition to understanding the breeding process and ensuring their health, this guide will be your go-to resource for all things goat-related. Get ready to embark on your goat-raising journey with confidence!
Table of Contents
Choosing the Right Goat
Selecting a breed that is best suited for your intended use and environment will take legwork and it will influence the breed that is most ideal for your situation.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a meat goat, Nigerians are rather small at less than 50 pounds. Therefore, they would not provide a lot of meat, unlike a Boer that can be weigh nearly 350 pounds.
Our article on making income from your goat farm takes a look at each of these intended uses and notes which goats are best for each.
Similarly, if you want to raise goats in an area with a hot climate then accommodations may need to be made to keep your goats cool in extreme heat and prevent heatstroke. Luckily we have put together a guide for this exact instance Guide to Keeping Your Goats Comfortable in the Summer Heat.
Another important consideration is the age and gender of the goat. If you are looking to breed, then you will need at least one buck and one doe. Preferably a female that has successfully carried a pregnancy to term with a healthy baby goat.
If breeding is not on the table, the perhaps you may be looking for a wether which is a castrated male goat as they offer a lot of benefits to the herd.
Lastly, but certainly not least, how many goats are you looking to get and how many goats can your property sustain? Goats are social creatures and need at least one companion, but many recommend two.
While a small pen and pasture can work for your herd, you may need to supplement their food more as the pasture will not be able to sustain them. We have laid out not only how we thought about this but also how we manage our goats in a smaller pen with feed and hay.
Setting Up a Suitable Living Environment
There are a few critical pieces to setting up a goat living area. A shelter that will meet their basic needs in any season is critical and has all the required 6 essential features of a goat shelter is a must.
Here are 5 free to access and affordable to build goat shelters to get your started.
One the living station is set-up it is time to move onto a fence to keep your goats contained, but also keep common predators away. Depending on your geographic region, and the size of your goats the you may need to take additional steps to keep them safe from predators.
We also recommend getting the Essential Supplies Every New Goat Owner Needs before getting goats so you are prepared for any scenario! Trust me, these sneak up on you quicker than you would think once you have goats.
While some farmers would argue that enrichment for goats is not a necessity, I would disagree. When goats are bored and under stimulated, they are more prone to trying to escape, bullying, and being destructive to their environment.
We learned this the hard way as ours damaged various parts of their pen. After that we have put together a list of 29 enrichment items you can add to your pen. Some of which may even be free.
Feeding and Nutrition for Goats
As discussed above, the number of goats you have and the size of your property will determine how much you need to feed them. A walkthrough of the daily feed calculation will help you determine what is best for your situation.
One of the benefits of goats is that they can clear weeds and brush from an area which reduces feed costs. A key consideration with this method is to ensure that none of the most common toxic plants are present as this can be dangerous for consumption.
It is also important to monitor the health of your goats to ensure they are getting all their essential vitamins and minerals.
Health Care and Preventative Measures
After taking all the above steps, there will not be a lot of healthcare aside for a dewormer to prepare for in advance if your goats are already healthy.
You will want to familiarize yourself with the symptoms and treatment for bloat. Which can be done at home without the use of a vet if you have the proper supplies on hand.
Getting goats is an exciting journey! It is so fun to watch explore and interact with the world, and they can provide for you and your family as well as create income.
Due to this it is important to be prepared in advance by determining what goat best suits your needs, preparing an environment with enrichment and provides safety, as well as having all the basics on hand for any emergencies that may come up.
If there are any other topics, you would like to see please leave a comment below.
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