Basic Goat Care

Our goal is for every goat placement to be successful for both goats and humans. The best way to make that a reality is preparation & planning. We care deeply about the members of our herd and want to ensure that they will be safe, happy and healthy wherever they go. We enjoy staying in touch with our buyers, so please feel free to connect with us on Facebook or stay in touch via email. We love updates and if an issue arises, please contact us as soon as possible. Check out the Links page of our website for a number of valuable resources.

General Health/Care

Probably the single most important thing you can do for the health of your goats, and your sanity, is to find, and establish a relationship with, a veterinarian (ideally before you even bring goats home). It can be very challenging to find a vet who is familiar with goats- if you are unable to locate one, the next best thing is to find a vet who is willing to admit their lack of knowledge but is willing to find answers for you. It is also important to create a 'goat network' of experienced owners who can give you guidance. If you do not have other goat owners or a goat club near you, join an online forum or a Facebook group for goat owners. While it is important to have this network, it is NOT a substitute for veterinary care. Read as many goat care books and websites as you can. You must always understand that everyone has their own opinions and practices when it comes to managing goats. You have to do your own research, try things and decide what makes sense & works for you. This sheet is intended to just hit the some of the most important points and give you some information about our management.

Companions: Almost invariably goats will require the company of other goats, though some do bond well with horses. A single goat will be very unhappy, very difficult to contain and likely very noisy. We will not sell a goat if we know that it will be kept alone.

Dogs: Our goats are not experienced with dogs and consider them predators. All dog/goat introductions must be gradual and closely monitored if the dog is not known to be safe around goats.

Collars: Our adult goats do wear collars, but we try to only use collars with break-away snaps.

Diseases: Some of the most important diseases in goats are CAE, CL and Johnes. We strongly advise that you start your herd, no matter what size, with goats who are free from these diseases. We also care that goats purchased from us will not be exposed to these diseases.


Good fences are crucial! You must keep the goats in and the predators out (keep in mind that domestic dogs are one of the main predators). There are many fencing options that may be appropriate, but a single or double strand of electric will NOT be sufficient. Our fencing is a combination of welded wire, cattle panels and field fence, topped with electric. We will be transitioning our perimeter fencing for the does to woven sheep and goat fence or 7 strand high tensile as we have seen that the goats do to welded wire. Our buck fencing is mostly cattle panels.

We feel strongly that does and bucks should not be housed together. Our goal is to attend every birth so we may assist as needed. To do so, we need to know an exact breeding date. We also do not want any unnecessary stress or injury to pregnant does or kids. There are differing views on whether or not the buck scent transfers over to the milk if they are housed nearby. For all of the above reasons, our bucks are housed a couple hundred feet away from our does.

Goats are not like horses or cows- they want nothing to do with being out in rain & snow, and must have a shelter option at all times. Shelters must be dry and draft-free, but have adequate ventilation.

Never stake out a goat!

Goats love to play and climb- spools, picnic tables, stumps, etc are welcome toys.


Fresh water at all times, hay available as much of the day as possible (beware of mold in all types of feed!), grain as needed- we try to adjust feed quantities by weight to keep goats from becoming overweight. When determining what to feed, keep in mind the Calcium:Phosphorus ratio of all foodstuffs for all goats must be correct (~2:1).

All feed changes must be gradual to avoid illness. Every goat should have access to a good quality, free-choice, loose mineral at all times. We try to also keep baking soda available at all times for the does and periodically for the boys. Because the does are on a more grain-based diet, we want them to be able to have access all the time in case their rumen gets too acidic.

Goats prefer weeds and browse to grass, but enjoy eating grass as well. If your goat does not have access to browse in their pasture, they appreciate fresh cuttings brought to them- be sure they are not toxic. A favorite in our herd is pine boughs.

Bucks and wethers: You must be aware of urinary calculi!!! Some of the prevention methods are: feeding minerals with ammonium chloride, apple cider vinegar in water, and watching CA:P ratios for their total intake.

Goats won't eat contaminated feed (for most goats contaminated means it has touched the ground). Hay removed from the feeder becomes bedding almost immediately.


We do not believe in routine chemical deworming. Goats who are dewormed incorrectly will have parasites who develop resistance to the medications being used. Once the parasites are resistant to all dewormers, there are no options left. We are still searching for our ideal solution, but we have been using an herbal dewormer from Land of Havilah and supplementing with chemical dewormers as necessary. We have the equipment and experience to run our own fecal egg counts at home to monitor our herd. We use this, along with FAMACHA and body condition in determining individual needs for deworming.

Parasite prevention is important. Do not overgraze so goats are eating too close to the ground and use elevated feeders to try to keep them from pooping or walking in their feeders.


Spend the time to observe your goats' behavior every day. Some things to watch for: slow to rise or move; stumbling/wobbly; off feed; standing away from the herd; hunched posture; foaming; distended & hard abdomen- left side- bloat; teeth grinding (though some Nubians will do this when impatient for food or feel upset; if it continues after they are fed or they do not eat, then it is an issue); head tilted, hanging or 'star gazing'; diarrhea.

If you notice your goat seems ill, the first step is always to check the color of their mucous membranes (pull down on lower eyelid to check color) and take their temperature.

Normal Vitals

Temperature: 101.5-104
Respirations- Adult: 12-20 / minute; Kids: 20-40 / minute
Heart Rate: 70-80 beats/minute
Ruminations: 1-1.5 / minute

Learn the major toxic plants. If a goat has enough appropriate food to eat, they will avoid toxic plants for the most part. Be sure any decorative plants you have planted are not toxic, or the goats cannot access the plants.

Hoof Care

Hooves must be trimmed on a regular basis (our goal is every 6 weeks, but varies by goat) and you must become comfortable with trimming. There are many online resources that will help you learn or find an experienced owner to help.


We vaccinate for CD/T and Rabies. We encourage you to read about the CD/T vaccine and make your own choice. We choose to give it to avoid a case of tetanus should a goat injure themselves. We give the CD/T vaccine behind the left elbow. There is often a lump present for a long time after the vaccination, so we like to give it in the same location so we, and you, know what the lump is from.

Medicine Cabinet

Some of the major basics to keep on hand: Thermometer, Probios, Baking Soda, Activated Charcoal, Fortified Vitamin B Complex, LA200, Banamine (vet or prescription only). We also keep chewable Vitamin C on hand for anytime someone feels off or as a treat.


There are many more considerations, medications and important bits of information if you decide to breed. Please do your research and be prepared before you breed.

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