Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
eSTIMATED ANNUAL EXPENSES PER DOE
Estimated Annual Expenses Per Doe
This does not include water, bedding, electricity, marketing, etc.
Kid Care Basics
Buy before Pickup
- Hay feeder: Don't feed from the ground. I'm currently loving the X-Tuff Single Sided Hay Feeder from Premier1supplies.com. Caprine Supply has a poly feeder that also works very well. Be sure to hang it high enough that the kids can't jump in the top.
- Water - I use a flat-sided bucked that I clean and fill daily. I use a carabiner to attach it to the pen wall. It needs to be attached high enough so that the goats can't poop in it. Do not lower it down to kid height until they are strong enough to climb out (and not drown).
- Minerals - Loose or block is fine. I use Sweetlix Meat-Maker Loose Minerals - I buy them from my feed store. If you can't find Sweetlix, you can substitute other quality GOAT minerals. DO NOT feed goat AND sheep minerals. Tractor Supply has several acceptable minerals: Manna Pro Goat Minerals, Purina Goat Minerals, DuMOR Goat Block.
- Baking Soda - in case of acidosis - can be fed in the same feeder as minerals. I don't typically offer baking soda. Acidosis is easily prevented if you keep the feed consistent (same type of hay, etc.).
- Mineral feeder - Fortiflex two-compartment mineral feeder - Tractor Supply or Jeffer's
- Medium shavings for bedding, if needed
- Large doghouse - preferred if for two goats housed together - or two separate medium doghouses. I prefer igloo style because they provide the most shelter
- Secure pen to lock them in at night, the pen should have a cover over the top to provide additional shelter from sun and rain, it should be no smaller than 5 x 10 for one goat or 5 x 15 for two goats
- Larger secure area for them to roam in. It must be secure from domestic dogs as well as coyotes. The fencing should be designed either for goats or horses.
- Collars - for safety use plastic chain collars from Caprine Supply for wearing daily in the pen.
- Transporting - use a Medium or Large airline-approved dog kennel for transporting. Kids should ALWAYS be transported inside your vehicle. A towel can be used to soak up any urine if inside the vehicle, Hay if used in bed of a truck. ONLY mature animals should be transported in the open bed of a truck, and only for short distances.
- Hay - DO NOT change your goat's feed without first slowly transitioning to the new feed. I always use alfalfa or alfalfa/orchard blend.
- Other Feed - I introduce Purina Noble Goat Grower Medicated Pellets at approximately 2-3 week of age. These are fed to the family unit in a rubber bowl that all can access. This is how I get ahead of any coccidiosis infections and promote strong growth in the kids.
What to Expect
Nigerian dwarf kids are very small. An 8-week-old kid is approximately the size of a cat. A four-week-old kid is the size of a kitten.
- They are babies, act accordingly. Be soothing, don't chase them or let your kids chase them. Don't startle them.
- Protect them from cold, wet, and drafts.
- Protect them from your other animals. They will be terrified of your dogs, which is very likely to trigger your dog's prey drive.
- Your kid WILL BE stressed. These are herd animals and they have been removed from their herd. Hopefully your kid is accompanied by a littermate or at least by another kid from the same herd, although that is not always possible.
- Kids that are stressed may develop coccidiosis. All goats have some cocci in their systems. In well managed herds, this is under control. However, cocci blooms during times of stress. A key symptom is diarrhea.
- Cocci can be prevented through regular use of a coccidiostat, such as Monensin (Rumensin). I feed my kids Purina Noble Goat Grower Medicated as a preventative.
- It is also essential to clean the pen daily and feed them above the ground. Cocci is transmitted through fecal matter.
- You can also provide Rumensin in their loose minerals. I've used Sweetlix Meat Maker® 16:8 R960 Mineral.
- If your kids develop scours (diarrhea), contact your vet immediately.
- Your kid is likely to have a bump in his armpit. That is a normal reaction to the CD/T Vaccine. It will go away over time.
basic goat handling
taming a scared goat
Don't play with your goats!
why you need more than one goat
Kids and diarrhea
introducing new kids to your herd