I've added the link above (in red) for anyone who is new to owning goats. We all do things a little different, but this article will help the new goat owner getting started. If after you have read this article, and the info I've shared below, you still have questions, please send me an email and I will try to answer your question for you.

Below is our herd management routine:

The first thing to address when looking at a herd's management is their nutritional needs. A good quality hay and grain for those in milk or growing. If we aren't feeding alfalfa hay we supplement our does, as they get close to freshening, with Chaffhaye.  Alfalfa or Chaffhaye will supply a doe with the needed calcium her body will require to produce milk. We prefer to feed a complete goat feed to kids until 6-8 months old. We breed our young does to freshen as yearlings and feel the grain contributes to them reaching a desirable breeding weight of 40-45 lbs and helps them to continue growing while pregnant. We find the birth of large kids to be due to genetics rather than the feeding of grain during pregnancy.  Does are slowly introduced to grain a couple of weeks before kidding. They will continue on grain until they are dried off. Loose minerals should always be available to your goats. We add granulated kelp to our loose minerals, this prevents an iodine deficiency which can cause goiters. Does should also have baking soda available at all times.

Our kids receive their first CD&T vaccine at 4 weeks along with cocci prevention. We use Toltrazuril once a month until weaned.  Kids will be wormed with Ivermectin at 8 weeks and will also receive their 2nd CD&T vaccine. We now give all of our kids that we are keeping in the herd a BoSe shot at about 3 months old.

 

In the fall everyone gets a CD&T booster, BoSe,  Copper, and wormed. This gets everyone ready for the breeding season. Hooves are trimmed about every eight weeks. Bred does receive another CD&T and BoSe injection three weeks before kidding. Does are wormed again the day after kidding. Copper is given twice a year here, or as needed. 

Our herd is tested annually for CAE. We have tested for CAE, Johnes and CL in years past. We always test any new goat joining the herd for all three diseases, before they are introduced to the herd. Our herd is and always has been negative for all three.

This routine has worked well for us, but please keep in mind that management will be different in other areas of the country. We always suggest that you work with a local vet in determining your herd's specific needs. Always make sure that you know where emergency vet care is available after hours.

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