We all know that I love my goats. Probably more than most people. They are seriously the coolest creatures on our farm. But there are some very common mistakes with goats that I would love to clear up today. I’ve talked before about goats not being beginner livestock and I will say it again and again. Before you get into goats, lets learn somethings about them.
Before we get too far into this, I have a great course on the basics of goat care. I call it Goat Crash Course: Goat 101. In this course, I explain things like types of shelter, types of feeds and hays, basic assessments and so much more! Check it out!
Most Common Mistakes With Goats
Goats Are Easy To Take Care Of
They are NOT the easiest thing to take care of. In fact, far from it! Out of all of my animals, the chickens are the easiest not the goats. We are constantly battling worms in the summer. Getting them through winter tends to be iffy if they had a ton of worms in the summer. Spring is kidding season. I think the only “safe” season is fall but we are still dealing with bucks in rut, worms, and feed.
We are currently battling coccidia with our kids and are trying like hell to keep everyone healthy. But unfortunately, summer in Georgia is a goat killer. Between the heat, worms, forage issues? It’s stressful. One of the ways that we combat the worms is by only worming when necessary. That includes coccidia. But summer is a scary time for us.
You Can Get One Goat
Goats are herd and prey animals. In order to feel safe and happy, they need other goats to hang out with. Without having a companion, they will get depressed, lonely, and will not thrive. Do yourself a favor and get two.
When we lost V and Bella was our only goat for two days, she literally Houdinied us every couple of hours. I don’t even remember how many times she took off. Finally, we had to tether her because she wouldn’t stay in the pin. As soon as we got Midas in with her? She never broke out again **knocks on all the wood**
Goats Can Eat Anything
No. Just no. I saw a post on Marketplace a couple days ago for last years hay. Good for mulching, raised beds, or goats…. Excuse me? I can promise you, if you feed that kind of hay to your goats, they will die. Period. Moldy, old, dirty, hay will kill your goat. They really need horse quality hay because they can get sick so easily. Let’s not mention that they cannot eat a tin can.
When we got Oakley and Bailey, then Spike, Jade, and Sapphire, they got into mountain laurel. Thankfully, we were able to pull them through but it was touch and go for a minute. There are tons of toxic plants to them, and usually they are good about not eating it. But they are very curious creatures.
Goats Are Stupid
These creatures are more intelligent than dogs. They are also incredibly curious, which gets them into a ton of trouble. Champ knows how to get into pasture two, where she doesn’t belong. We have tried various ways to keep her out but none of them work. So she ends up in pasture two. A lot.
All of the goats know that if they scream loud enough, for long enough, they will get extra grain and alfalfa in the mornings. So no, they are not stupid.
No Fence Will Hold A Goat
This is borderline when it comes to goats. I have noticed that if they are kept fat and happy they will probably not try to escape. BUT if they want something on the other side of the fence? They are going to go get it. We manage to keep two bucks from the girls simply by making sure that the fence is secure and they have a buddy.
There are some goats that cannot be contained without resorting to tethering. While that is not ideal, especially if you have high predator loads. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. We had to tether Bella until she became more comfortable with us. We also had to tether Midas because he was so stressed out when we brought him home.
There are many, many more mistakes with goats but those are the biggest ones that I feel need to be addressed. I know that I have a ton of different posts about goats and sound like a broken record, but these really are important.
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