Buying Your First Goat. Tips and Tricks.

Doe and Kid

Buying your first farm animal is an incredibly exciting experience. It is not something that should be rushed into and you should have a checklist that should be completed before taking possession of any animals.

When I bought my first goat I was fairy unprepared. My lessons learned can be a leg up for you.

First Lesson.

Fencing! This can not be overstated.

Quality Fencing is key

These creatures will test your fencing and your patience. Invest in some quality fencing and posts. Pretend your building a maximum security prison for these animals and then double it.

They will go under and over.

Also, be sure to check for anything that can cut or snag your animals. You would be surprised on how much damage a nail head can do.

Shelter is also important but a simple run in shed will work in most scenarios. Just make sure it blocks the westerly winds and most goat breeds will be just fine.

Second Lesson.

Have food and water ready before you bring your goats home. Have the hay out and trough filled with water. Make the transition to your farm or homestead as easy on the animal as you possible can. Less stress is better for you and them.

Goats require a quality hay much like that of horses. Finding a source now instead of scrambling around when your herd is starving will save you a headache.

Having a supply of fresh water is key to proper animal care. Find an area that will keep your water shaded to reduce the amount of algae growth and this will also keep the water cooler on hot summer days.

Be sure you also have at least one bag of grain. Adult goats should get grain sparingly but pregnant does and kids will need more in their diet.

Lesson 3.

Have the number for a Veterinarian that works with goats.

It does not hurt to have all your basic medical supplies gathered up and stored away. Well, it will hurt if you do not have any of these things. Below is a basic list of the goat first aid must haves.

  • Dewormer – This should be self explanatory.
  •  Antibiotics – LA200 is a great All Around med
  • Electrolytes
  • CD&T Vaccine – Protects Against Enterotoxemia and Tetanus

That is just a few of the many. I will do a larger workup of goat meds in the future.

Lesson 4.

Goats are herd animals. You have been doing your research so this should not be a surprise. Buying one goat and sticking it out into a big pasture or pen all by itself is recipe for disaster. That goat will be miserable.

Goats need other goats to survive

Your going to have to be prepared to buy no less than two goats when you are first starting out.

 

Lesson 5.

Buy your goats from a reputable breeder.

I have bought some questionable animals and have regretted it.

You can avoid a lot of health issue by selecting goats with great family history. You achieve this by asking lots of questions and visiting the farm to see how the herd is managed. It is also a great idea to take a look at both parents.

The further back you can track your animals lineage the better.

These simple lessons will help you when it comes to making an educated purchase and will help with curbing some of the stresses that can occur when you own these animals.

Lesson 5.

Research! Research! Research!

Read books, blogs, talk with neighbors, and keep learning.

The more knowledgeable you are about goats and the breed you are interested in the more successful you will be.

I suggest Storey’s Guide to Raising Meat Goats by Maggie Sayor. It is a great guide for beginners and seasoned vets alike. It can be found here

Using these 5 little lessons will help alleviate some of the stress that goes into buying your first goats.

I wish you all the best and good luck!

-DJ

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