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Bringing Your Goats Home

Your First Few Days Home

You finally decided to get and are bringing goats home. You’ve got all your essentials to make sure they’ll be happy and healthy from this article. There are some things you need to be on the lookout for when you first get them home.

Stress = Lower Immunity

Remember, you have just uprooted them from their home and another herd. It’s a stressful time for them. Stress puts a physical strain on any animal and goats are no different. When goats are stressed, however, it lowers their immunity and makes them unable to handle their parasite loads well. (This is referred to as a “parasite bloom”.)

Therefore, if you are using conventional deworming medications with your goats, this would be a time to administer a dosage to them of both a “white” and a “clear” dewormer. If you need to know dosages for these, you can find them here.

Or, if you are treating herbally, I would recommend using Fir Meadow herbals Herbiotics, DWA, and GI Soother at double the label dosage 2x daily for a week after bringing goats home.

Whether you are administering the conventional dewormer or the herbal protocol, make sure to give them a clove of garlic a day to eat. This helps to boost immunity.

Specifically Watch For…

When bringing goats home, things such as lethargy, not wanting to eat grain, or being bullied by other goats and not trying to escape the advances of the others. It’s normal for the queen to keep everyone in their level, but excessively is a sign of something being wrong.

These are indicators of illness or that the new goat isn’t fitting in.

Also, know what plants (like oleanders and wild cherry) and weeds (like wild mint) are poisonous to goats and make sure they cannot (even accidentally) gain access to them. You should seriously consider removing any plant on your property that they could accidentally get into that would poison them.

Baby goat

A Word on Integrating New Goats

If you already have a herd and want to introduce new goats, you should not just throw them in together.

  1. You should always isolate for 30 days no matter who you got the goat from. Even the best intentioned sellers can have a disease or illness in the herd that they may not have immediately identified. You want to protect your existing herd. How terrible would it be to introduce a new animal and also a pathogen onto your farm?
  2. The new goat(s) should be put in a pen or fenced area where the new herd can see it, but not be able to actually “touch”. This will allow them to get to know each other safely, even while in quarantine.

Should You Get a Buck?

The above information is really for a herd of does. Then there is the question of bringing home a buck. Unless he is a wether, he will need to be kept separately, even out of breeding season (f0r larger breeds).

Accessibility to a buck is necessary for those who are wanting to keep dairy goats in order to keep their girls in milk.

Keeping a buck requires a separate area with adequate shelter and a companion. They are herd animals and live better with a companion. You can keep either a wether with him (preferable) or a livestock guardian dog (not the best, but I have seen it work).

You will need to keep ammonium chloride to put in his grain (if you choose to feed him grain) to prevent calculi buildup.

Also, be aware that they really stink in rut… however, you will adapt to it and it won’t be as offensive as it is in the beginning. 

DON’T play with a buck. It may be cute but you will regret it later if they see you as a part of their herd.

Hopefully, these have helped you understand what you need to watch out for when bringing your new goat home.

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