If I could tell everyone one thing before getting any goats (minimum two due to them being herd animals), is the same as in so many other things–buyer beware.
Research what goats need to live healthy and happy and decide if you can provide those things. They should not just be stuck out in a field.
Unlike cattle, goats need their hooves trimmed regularly. They are designed for living on rockier areas that grind down their hooves; pastures just can’t keep up with their growth.
Goats need extra copper. I struggle so much around making sure they all get enough that I honestly can’t figure out where they would get enough copper from in their natural environment. The amount of copper in goat feed and goat minerals is enough to kill a sheep.
Goats are herd animals and need a buddy–preferably a goat buddy. They will cry, loudly, if kept alone. They will also get into trouble trying desperately to escape their solitude to find a friend.
But the number one thing to know before getting into goats–research the breeder you’re buying from! News flash! Breeders may not tell you the entire history of an animal or its parents. I forgot this most important rule when I first got goats.
I made the wise decision of buying does that had already given birth so at least one of us would know what to expect when the time came. Unfortunately, I listened to the wrong advise of a breeder regarding breeding horned goats to polled (naturally hornless goats). She said you can’t breed polled to polled because you would get hermaphrodites. She made it sound like you would get hermaphrodites with every breeding; in actuality, the number is closer to 7%.
Another breeder I bought from sold me an 8-year-old doe because I was looking for a polled doe. I did not know enough to ask about her breeding history–how often she had kidded, how easily she became pregnant, and how long ago she had last kidded. I’ve learned since that she likely has a cyst on her ovary because she has only become pregnant 1 time after 5 months of being with the buck (not the buck’s problem), lost that kid, and never became pregnant again. Her heat symptoms are obvious and regular so the vet said it was likely a cyst. It’s probably treatable, but she’s getting old so I’m kind of leaning toward not trying with her.
Okay, that’s more than one thing to know, but the bottom line is: do your research on your chosen breeders as well as your chosen pet/livestock.
#blogboost Day 5