The following information is just an overview of how our animals are cared for, I am not a veterinarian and therefore disclaim all liability in regards to the effectiveness of these treatments.
All of our goats tested negative for CAE and CL in June 2008! We tested for CAE October 2009 and June 2010; all goats were once again negative!
We are working towards making our own herbal remedies for the goats to boost their immune systems and encourage overall good health. We may offer these remedies to other goat owners in the future. . . . but for now, we'll be using them in our herd.
We use Rescue Remedy and Bach Flowers extensively with our goats and other animals (humans too!) My mom is a Registered Bach Flower Practitioner (the only one in the state of Oregon!) - She is a big help when deciding which flowers to give the goaties. One remedy we have noticed is very common with all goats is Rock Water. This remedy is particularly helpful when moving animals to new homes or taking them to shows. Goats do not like change very much and this remedy helps them to transition a little more smoothly. :)
If you have any questions about using Bach Flowers with goats, please don't hesitate to contact us!
General Care & Feeding: All of our goats (young/dry does and bucks) receive daily a 14-16% grain. Dry and younger does typically receive 1/2 - 1 cup of grain. Our buck receives 1/2 cup daily. During breeding season, he is fed up to one pound of grain depending on his conditioning. These amounts are given in the morning feeding.
Milking does receive a 16-18% protein blend of barley, oats, dairy pellets, alfalfa pellets, black oil sunflower seeds, corn, and a touch of beet pulp. We've found this grain makes for delicious milk, and lots of it too! Sometimes we will add a bit of molasses. Lactating does receive anywhere from 1.5-4 cups of grain depending on milk production and stage of lactation. Milkers are fed on the milking stand while being milked (whether that be once or twice a day milking).
Our goats receive free-choice, 2nd cutting eastern Oregon and/or 2nd cutting local timothy/orchard mix hay. Premium alfalfa hay or pellets are offered once a day, usually in the evening feeding. Lactating does are allowed at least 1/2 pound of premium alfalfa hay and/or pellets each day.
We allow our goats to determine the amounts that we feed. If we notice a difference in growth, weight, etc. . . . diets are adjusted accordingly. Each animal receives all the nutrition it needs for optimum health and production.
Fresh, clean water is always available, we occasionally add a large splash of apple cider vinegar with "the mother" in it. At this time, we offer Sweetlix goat minerals along with baking soda, Atlantic sea kelp, and humates; these are left out free-choice in mineral feeders.
Health Care & Management: We live in a selenium and copper deficient area so we supplement selenium and vitamin E with Bo-Se or an oral gel given twice yearly. Copasure is administered twice yearly by bolus.
We de-worm our goats 2-3 times yearly. We typically use Ivomec, Valbazen, Cydectin, sometimes Safe-Guard. We repeat the dosing in 21 days, to prevent re-infestation.
Lactating does that are providing milk for our family's consumption are given an herbal de-worming blend. Does are de-wormed 2 days after kidding and then 21 days later. Fecal samples are taken to the veterinarian at least once a year, if there is an internal parasite problem found, we treat accordingly. I am working to create the "perfect" herbal de-wormer for dry does/bucks and lactating does.
Breeding: We typically count out when a doe is due to cycle and put her in with our buck several days before. We find that our buck is much happier being allowed to live with "his girls". He remains more calm, eats better, and it also ensures that our does are bred! Since I am very observant with the goats, I always have a due date for any breeding.
Kidding: We try to be present for every birth to assist the doe, if necessary. After birth, we wipe off the kid's nose and mouth and place the kid in front of mom for her to finish cleaning them up. After she has cleaned them some more, we dip navel cords in 7% Iodine and help the kids get to nursing. If a kid seems particularly slow finding the teat, then I milk some colostrum out and give them their first meal by syringe or bottle.
After the doe has finished kidding, she gets a bucket of very warm water with molasses in it, fresh hay/alfalfa, and a little grain if she is interested in that. We never leave the doe and kids until all babies have nursed and momma looks happy and content. I come back to check after a couple hours or so to see if she has passed her placenta. After the doe has passed her placenta, I move her to a clean, freshly-bedded stall and clean the other stall right away.
Kid Care: Most of our kids are dam-raised, but for the most part remain quite friendly with daily human contact. Occasionally, we supplement or pull a kid for bottle-feeding, if they are not thriving as well as their siblings. Kids are disbudded using an electric disbudding iron, when they are one-three weeks of age.
We usually leave the doe and her kids in a stall for about 3 days to one week. After this, we let them come out with some of the other goats - only when someone is there to supervise. They are put in a stall for the night so they can get "special treatment." Stalls are cleaned at least once every other day. When the babies are about 3 weeks old, they are let out to live with all the other goats.
We deworm babies (if needed, it usually is not) at 8 weeks of age, using Valbazen at the rate of 1ml per 25 lbs. as recommended by Onion Creek Farms.
We practice "coccidia prevention" by keeping bedding, shelters, and pens as clean as possible. I do not like medicating kids unless they have the beginning signs of a possible coccidia problem. Should this happen, we treat them with a five to seven day course of Di-Methox 12.5% - we give this medication orally at 1cc per 5 lbs. the first day and 1cc per 10 lbs. the following days.
Vaccinations: We no longer vaccinate our goats for CD & T. We did a lot of research on vaccinations before deciding this method is best for us. I believe they are much healthier without the vaccines. If you desire your kid(s) to be vaccinated, we will gladly do so.
We prefer preventative health care in the form of homeopathics. Unlike Western Medicine which, in the majority of cases, only mask the symptoms, homeopathic remedies treat from within, curing completely. We're looking into using nosodes as a method of vaccinating. It's a work in progress and I will update this as we learn more and are able to apply it in the herd. A very good source of information in this form of medicine is the book, "Goats: Homeopathic Medicine" written by Dr. George Macleod" We have found this book very interesting, simple to understand, and informative. This book is featured in "Hoegger's Goat Supply" catalog and can be purchased through them.
Hoof Trimming: Our goat's hooves are trimmed every 8-12 weeks using "Shear Magic" trimmers. Concrete blocks and/or sidewalks are in the goat's pens. Goats will naturally wear their hooves down with the blocks, making trimming much easier for us! :)
Milking: We routinely milk our does to provide our families and friends with fresh goat's milk to make yogurt, cheese, soap, and other goodies. Since most of our kids are dam-raised, we typically separate kids from their dam's at night and milk the does out in the morning. We do not separate kids until they are at least three weeks of age. After milking, the does are let out to roam with their kids for the day.
We clip all of our does' udders and maintain a clean, sanitary milking station. Our milking is done by hand, for the most part. Should we have an uncooperative milker, I do have an Udderly EZ Milking Machine to make the process much easier for both the doe and myself. :) This is rarely used but still very handy to have around.
Barn Management: We have tried many different methods in barn cleaning and management and have found this to be the most effective. In the summer months, when it is warm, our barn floor is for the most part, bare. It helps keep the smell & clean-up down and there is no need for bedding, since the weather is nice and the goats are outside most of the time. The barn is cleaned at least once a week.
In colder months, we allow hay to fall in various sleeping areas and stalls. This gives a nice place for the goats to bed down. Occasionally we add extra straw for added warmth, but usually the fallen hay provides plenty of bedding (I'm sure you fellow goat owners know how wasteful our precious goats can be!! :) The barn is "spot-cleaned" every day and stripped at least once a week. I can't stand a dirty barn.
In the winter, when rain is quite prevalent, we put down a generous layer of agricultural lime or baking soda followed by cedar or pine shavings, in the outside areas so the goats have dry areas to walk on. It never gets bad, but we put it down anyways. The goats appreciate it and it does smell very good. :)
Below are some records I put together for use in managing goats. They are made available for use by other goat owners; not to be copied and/or distributed.
SiblingArts Studio - Bach Flowers, Arts/Crafts, Classes, and more! Owned by my mom and her sisters
Etsy - A place to buy and sell everything handmade! Check out my store!
GoatFarmCentral - Another "goat forum" for chatting about goats
Goat Spot - A place to chat about goats, ask questions, and share stories/pictures
Fiasco Farm - Lots of wonderful goat information
Cornerstone Farm - Helpful information in regards to kidding ~ They have a gorgeous herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats too! :)
Fir Meadow Herbal Products - Awesome herbal products!
Stackyard - Agricultural Links
FAMACHA Monitoring System - Super helpful guide in monitoring your goats for parasites
Goat Pregnancy Calculator - 145 Gestation Interactive Calculator. Super easy to use! This is how we calculate due dates for our does. I always add one day to the calculation.
|Jeffer's Livestock - Where we buy the majority of goat supplies||Valley Vet Supply - Animal supplies|
|Hoegger's Goat Supply||PBS Animal Health - We have yet to purchase from them, but I hear good things|
Website Design and Maintenance:
Interested in having a website designed and/or maintained? I work hard and offer reasonable rates. Appearance is very important to me and I try my very best to have your site both attractive, functional, and easy to navigate.
Basic Website Design
Up to 30 graphics and/or photos provided by you
1-5 pages $50
6-10 pages $100
11-20 pages $150
21+ pages please ask
Maintenance fees are $10 per 1/2 hour or $15 per hour
Detailed, extended pedigrees $10 for the first, $7 for each additional.
If you would just like some help walking you through designing your own website, I can do that too! $15 per hour.
I am more than willing to consider partial or full trades for website design and/or maintenance! Just about all of the websites I have built were made possible through trading. :) Let me know what you have and we'll work something out! ;)
In addition to designing/maintaining our own website, please visit some of the links below to get an idea of other work:
|SiblingArts Studio (designed and maintain)|
|Red Cedar Ranch (designed and maintain)|