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A Beginner’s Guide to Caring for Goats
Your goats need the majority of their diet to be natural raw forage from shrubs, woody plants, hay, tree bark and more. The raw food they eat will most likely not provide them with all the nutrients they need to maintain perfect health. It may be necessary for you to supplement their diet with a coarse grain such as goat feed, corn or another good grain product.
If you feed your goats a diet that contains almost all grains, they will develop kidney problems that can be fatal. They may also have a bloated stomach or become very fat. A goat should have a balanced diet that contains between 75% and 80% of their dietary intake from plants that provide natural raw foods.
You may have heard that a goat can eat anything, or that a goat will eat anything. This is not true. Many natural herbs can either make your pet very sick, or in some cases cause premature death for the pet. Plants that will make your goats sick.
• Wild cherry
• Black walnut
• Sheep Laurel and Mountain Laurel
• Ponderosa pine
• Mesquite pod
Keep plenty of fresh water available to your animals at all times. The amount of water they need will vary depending on the moisture content of the food they eat. In the winter months, if you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing for long periods of time, you’ll want to get an immersion heater to place in the water bowl so the animals’ water doesn’t freeze solid.
Shelter is a must for your pets. They need a dry place where they can get out of the rain and where they can sleep without getting wet. Their shelter should provide them with a way out of the cold winds that blow in winter and provide them with safety from natural predators.
Most goat owners put a thick layer of straw or hay inside their shelters so that their animals have adequate protection from the cold and dampness of the soil. If you want, you can put a wooden floor in your shed.
A large dog house is also a good housing option for a goat. The animal will enter the structure and they will also climb the structure. Many owners buy small igloo dog houses and place them inside their room so that their little animals can go inside.
You will need to learn to trim your goats hooves. You can put stones or concrete blocks in the pen with the animal to help them maintain their hooves naturally, but occasionally you need to insulate their hooves and trim the excess ones.
You need to install fences that the animal cannot squeeze and cannot lift to get under. Goats are known for sticking their heads through the fence and often hanging their horns on the fence.
You need strong fences with secure gates to keep these animals out. They will often push against the fence as if they are scratching their sides on the fence, so it is very important that the fencing material is properly secured to the fence posts.
Signs that your goat is sick
No matter how well you take care of your pets, there will be times when they get sick. The best way to determine if you have a sick pet is to pay attention to their normal behaviors. Then, when one of the animals starts to act differently than it usually does, you will quickly notice the difference.
Some signs of disease in goats are:
• When not chewed
• When they refuse to get up
• When they don’t eat as usual
• When their poop is hard or runny instead of pelleting properly
• Walk and cry more than normal
• They stop drinking
• They start grinding their teeth
• They have a limp
• They are shocking
• Their udders are hot to the touch
• They are coughing
• Their eyelids or gums are ale-colored
• They have a runny nose
These animals have great personalities and will entertain you for hours. They will help keep the property clear of bushes and weeds, and the young ones will bring a fair price when you sell them. Caring for animals isn’t really that hard to do, and the rewards far outweigh any problems the care presents.
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#Beginners #Guide #Caring #Goats