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Read About Goat Care

Goat care can be interesting and entertaining, although occasionally challenging. Goats can be raised for show or milk production, or simply as pets. Since goats are herd animals, they should be kept in pairs or small herds rather than individually. Common types of goats kept for show or as pets are dairy goats and pygmy goats. Goat care includes providing sufficient food and water, as well as the appropriate housing for your goats.

Goats eat Imagemainly hay, along with a grain mixture. The hay should be high quality alfalfa or other nutritious hay, such as clover, to ensure the goats are receiving proper nutrients. Plain grass hay tends to be much lower in protein; this needs to be taken into account in supplementing your goats’ diet if grass hay is the primary feed. Depending on their diet, goats may also need calcium and phosphorous supplements. Alfalfa hay and grain diets often provide enough of these important minerals, but supplements may still be needed for pregnant or lactating does. Goats need a constant supply of fresh water available at all times.

Goats need a secure and stress-free structure for housing, which allows fresh air to flow but protects them from the elements. Ideally, each goat should have a minimum of around 15 to 20 square feet of space. The barn itself should have sufficient airflow to allow the goats to receive fresh air, and a solid roof to keep them dry in inclement weather. Goats usually like to sleep on small elevated platforms, and young goats often play on the floor below these sleeping niches during the day. A packed clay floor is usually better than concrete, which retains cold inImage the winter, or wood, which absorbs urine and waste and can rot. Outside exercise areas should allow the goats sufficient room to run and graze, but be securely fenced for safety.

Goat care includes appropriate vaccinations and health care for your pets. Most goats should receive an annual tetanus toxoid vaccination, as well as de-worming twice a year. Depending on the minerals present in hay in your area, your goats may also need selenium and vitamin E injections annually. Check with your veterinarian for recommendations on these supplements, as well as other vaccinations that may be advised in your geographic region.

Goats are docile and social animals, although occasionally mischievous. While they have a reputation for eating nearly anything they can find, some goats are picky eaters and will only chew on the freshest of hay. Whether for show, production, or companionship, proper goat care includes feeding and housing your goats appropriately, and taking care of their medical needs.