Hello! Courtney Here!
The thought of bringing your first goats home is exhilarating! I had this same feeling when I brought home my first goats. There are some things you should know before bringing home your cute little fuzz balls.
Here are ten things that I suggest having in place before bringing home your goats:
1. Strong Fencing
This will help keep your goat IN and predator's OUT! There are a number of different fencing options, my personal favorite is Cattel Panels. Cattel Panels are easy to move around and are inexpensive way to set up your first goat pen. START SMALL! I would not let your new goat have the run of the land just yet. You want to give you and your goat plenty of time to bond. Always make sure that your perimeters is secured. Goats can and will get mischievous and find there way to the outside of the pen.
Goats need protection from the elements. A basic shelter such as a three-sided shed or pole barn large enough to get them out of the rain and wind will do. We use dog Igloos in our smaller pens. You can build sturdy shelters out of pallets, or you can or big and build a barn. just know that they will need a place to go if it gets snowy, windy or rainy.
In our shelters we use wood shavings and straw as the bedding. This provides a cozy place to curl up at night. The wood shavings are great to soak up their urine. Be sure to clean out the shelters as this is a place for external parasites' to live. We clean in the Fall and in the Spring or as needed.
4. Hay & Hay Feeder
Hay can be grass or a legume, like clover or alfalfa. Each goat needs about two to four pounds of hay per day, minus what they might forage on pasture. Hay can be fed free choice or twice a day. As or a hay feeder there are so many options but I do suggest staying away from the hay nets as those can kill your goat if they get hung up in to.
5. Water Buckets
Access to fresh, clean water is essential. Get a bucket or several of them for multiple animals and keep it filled and clean! Goats are picky about their water and will not drink it if it is dirty. Dump and clean out your water buckets once a day to ensure that they have fresh water.
6. Minerals & Supplements
Just like human needs to take multi-vitamins to make sure our bodies get all of the required nutrients, goats need loose minerals for the same purpose. Loose minerals should be fed FREE CHOICE. Place in a dry area in a mineral feeder. Copper is essential to your goats health as they can become copper deficient if they are not getting enough. Keep copper Bolus on hand, administer bolus 1-2 times a year. I give Copper once every 6 months.
7. Grooming Supplies
Overgrown hooves is the biggest thing that can cause foot and leg problems such as tendinitis and arthritis. Having hoof trimmers on hand is important. We trim our goats once a month. you can pick up hoof trimmers at your local Farm Supply store or and Amazon. Keep a good brush on hand to keep their coats nice and shiny.
8. Medicine Cabinet
Make sure you are stocked up on common supplies like syringes and needles you can never have enough of those. Stock your medicine cabinet with a thermometer, blood stop powder, antifungal treatments minor wounds, dewormer, electrolytes for dehydration, Nutri-Drench to provide vitamin and minerals to goats recovering from illness, and Pro-Bios to help your sick goats rumen to get back on track. Now these are just the basics. you will want to keep growing your supplies on hand. ALWAYS keep your Veterinarian on speed dial.
My goats love their treats. The most popular are Animal crackers, and Un-Salted Peanuts. Having treats with you will also help with bonding with your goats if they are unsure of you at first.
10. Climbing Structures
Goats love to climb! Providing structures lets them exercise these natural instincts. We use spools, wooden platforms made from pallets, and tires. You will want to avoid placing your climbing structures next to your fences as they will get to having to much fun and jumping out.
I hope this helps you! Just remember to keep your herd HAPPY! Till next time, bye for now!