Goats need hay or some type of adequate roughage to be successful and thrive as this is their main source of nutrients. There are all different types and sources where you can obtain hay and/or roughage, but you must be careful when selecting it, as it is not all created equal. If hay is not properly baled or "put up" at the correct time of the year, the result may be molding of the hay and/or too much dust in the hay which may lead to respiratory issues in your livestock. Since goats are able to process hay/roughage much differently than other types of livestock it is important to understand how this process works. In short, goats are ruminant animals like cattle. Their stomachs contain 4 different chambers to process food, whereas humans only have one. I found two great articles online regarding goats and their feeding requirements. Since I can only include one to use as a direct link below, I will list the other one as follows:
We provide our goats with a ration of grain everyday. We have chosen to use Kent brand, Home Fresh 18 Dairy goat for its nutritional benefits, proper calcium to phosphorus ratio, added ammonium chloride to prevent urinary calculi, and prebiotics. We also use this because it can be feed through all stages of life, including to lactating and pregnant goats. This feed is more formulated towards the dairy goat and has a crude protein analysis of 18%. This particular feed is not in local feed stores, but you may be able to order it from your local co-op. You may read more information on this particular grain at the link provided below.
I am providing a link to the pair hoof trimmers we have found to be excellent to use with our goats. I have recommended these to other people and they have loved them as well. A great pair of hoof trimmers can make hoof trimming that much easier on you and the goat.
There are several of these on the market. We have an electric plug in from L&H Branding with a cast iron tip. It seems to do the job well. These get VERY hot, so please be careful when using this tool. We put our disbudding iron in a small bucket with large gravel pieces in the bottom, while waiting for the iron to heat up and during use. This has worked great!
A bander is used to castrate male goats. We use the Producer's Pride Castrator Premium Bander that can be found at your local feed store. You will also need castrating bands and we have chosen to use Producer's Pride Castrating Bands. These are what people refer to as "green Cheerios." The green color is in reference to the size of the castrating band itself and is the color used for smaller goats. We have found both products work well. You can find more information on both of these products through the link I have provided below.
If you plan on breeding and selling Nigerians you will need a tattoo kit similar to the one in link I have provided below. A tip for getting the tattoo to absorb better is to use a toothbrush. After applying the ink the first time, rub in vigorously, then tattoo the goat, apply more ink and rub in vigorously with the toothbrush a second time. Do this especially for goats with dark colors on the ears.
Goats need a consistent supply of fresh, clean water to grow and stay healthy and do their best during milk production. Pregnant and lactating goats, in particular, require the most water intake as do all goats when the weather is hot and dry. As a general rule, a single goat will require between a half-gallon to four gallons per day. Water intake will depend on the amount and type of forage and/or roughage they have available to eat such as lush green grass, hay or silage.
Goats need mineral free choice at all times. We have chosen to use the Kent brand of mineral as it is specifically formulated for goats and for its cost/value ratio as compared to others on the market. This particular mineral is not sold in local feed stores near us, so we get it from our local co-op. For more information on this particular mineral please click on the link below.
We disease test our herd through WADDL in Washington State. This report is available to see upon request for any potential buyer. Below is a link directly to their website if anyone is interested in the process and/or fees associated with this.
Our herd tested NEGATIVE for CAE, CL, and Johne's as of 4/14/2020.