Goat Feed – (18% Sweet Feed in cold weather), Oats, Calf Manna, Cracked Corn, De Wormer Herb Mix, GI Soother Herb Mix, Feed Wheat
Dwarf goats such as Dwarf Nigerian are ideal for the small homestead. Full grown they will barely reach 100 lbs. Goats react poorly to any change in diet. Introduce new items or different mix gradually. Provide fresh water and green hay daily.
Gestation time for a doe is 5 months. If females are bred, keep Mom and kids in the pen for two-three days. After that keep Mom and kids separate from other goats and goat families while kids are still nursing. If kids are not polled (that is, if they are born with horn buds), disbud with a commercial debudder. These tools have a small circle at the end and heat up like a branding iron. The heated circle kills the root of the horn so that the horns do not grow. Like branding, this procedure only hurts the goat for a second, and everyone will be much happier and safer with a goat that has no horns.
Goats like to graze but also forage. They will eat the bark off trees and clear out underbrush. If you have room, implement rotational grazing, ideally using portable electric fencing. Provide structures like platforms and tree stumps for them to climb and play on. Trim hooves once or twice a year, or as needed, with a commercial hoof trimmer. Providing several cement patio blocks for goats to walk on may help to keep hooves trimmed naturally.
Goats are social and like to be petted and have their sides and chest scratched. They will enjoy the company of another goat, and also like to free range with other animals like ducks and pigs, in the shade of a light forest cover. Provide a pen with a platform or low structure to keep goat off wet ground. Locate the goat pen inside a larger fenced-in area to keep out coyotes.
The Saga of Goat Milking
As Poirot would say…”Now it begins”. You may recall that we recently purchased a goat milking machine (see the post)with the highest hopes of being able to hitch it up and start getting that wonderful milk from our Emma. But of course the pulsating feature of the milker doesn’t seem to work. Now we are back on the phone trying to fix another glitch in the process. Does anyone see a pattern here? Stay tuned…
Kids July 2016
May 31, 2016 Welcome Katie-Too and Half-n-Half!!
Jan 2016 – Two new goats both Dwarf Nygerian arrived on the 13th. Bella, the all black one, will be a year old in July. Bessie looks like a Jersey cow! She will turn one in Feb.
See the post about loosing Katie to a coyote… post
Dwarf Nubian milk goats – 3 months old (July 2015). Great for milk…think cheese. These are a cross between a Dwarf Nigerian and a Nubian Goat. They weighed about 25 lbs at 3 months. They will grow to about 75 lbs.