Goat in the Compound - 5 Tips for Beginners
Goats are small cattle, well suited for domestic maintenance. These are unpretentious and hardy animals. Goats survive well in any climatic conditions and are ready to eat almost any plant food. They are very sociable and bring their owners a lot of positive emotions. And most importantly: these animals are a source of quality milk, meat and wool in the household. What you need to consider before you get a goat in the yard, we will tell in this article.
1. The goat should not be alone!
You cannot buy only one animal. If the goat is alone, it literally goes crazy. She is hyperactive, wrecking, trampling the beds, climbing fences. In fact, this is from loneliness, because goats are herd animals and they need a company. Therefore, they are looking for a company stubbornly and inventively. However, in a herd of goats, calm, controlled and meek, like sheep. 2-3 goats are already a small but completely self-sufficient herd.
The question of whether a goat is needed in the herd is easily solved. If you have got dairy goats, and there is not a single goat nearby, then a goat is needed. If your goats are meat (which do not need offspring and milk), or if there is a pedigree goat in the village, then it’s easier to pay for the visit of the goat for mating.
By the way, when buying goats and goats at the same time, make sure that they do not turn out to be relatives. You need to know who in your village keeps offspring from a local goat. And you can’t buy goats for breeding from him or his sons. In any case, closely related crosses are not allowed. At times, it is easier to bring a goat from a neighboring area on a business trip than to risk from ignorance of local genetics.
2. Choose the “correct” breed
Before you get goats, you need to decide on the purpose and desired product of this enterprise. And there are three of them:
The easiest way to keep goats is for residents of suburbs or villages. This is especially true for dairy breeds. After all, a goat begins to give milk no earlier than a year and a half. And you need to keep it until about 6-8 years. Previously, they part with it only during culling. Thus, in the country it will not work in one summer to get something from a dairy goat. Only meat.
Meat goats can be fed in one summer at the cottage. But the benefits and convenience begin only if there is a pasture nearby. Then all the trouble will be only in a 2-time grazing 2 hours a day. The cost will be appropriate - only your work. In the fall, goats can be slaughtered for meat.
If you take 70-90-day-old kids for fattening, then by the end of the fattening they will give 15-30 kg of delicious, dietary meat, as well as 1-3 kg of internal fat. Goat meat is a delicacy! The main thing is that the goats are neutered. The meat of non-castrated goats smells bad. And from older goats especially.
If you buy non-castrated animals, you will add the simple care of castrating them. This is done very simply. The method is called Castration Elastrator. The kids are carried out in 2.5-3 months - that is, immediately after the purchase. Experienced goat growers replace the elastator with a rubber band from cowards. In fact, this is one and the same. Classical castration of a goat with a scalpel is also very easy. Experienced veterinarians make it through a centimeter incision. Neither blood from the goat, nor frustration from the owners.
Having chosen the direction of their goat breeding, they begin to choose the breed.
The most sought after are always dairy goats. Their choice is quite wide. It:
- Russian white.
Goat milk is the most valuable product, the best substitute for human milk. The protein of goat milk is digested five times faster than cow's milk. It is goat milk that is the product, because of which it is certainly worth keeping goats.
Dairy goats can produce up to 4 liters of milk per day after the first lambing. And after the second and subsequent - up to 5 liters.
If you want mostly down from your goat, it is better to choose from downy breeds. A good downy goat provides valuable wool that is lighter, softer, and also warmer than sheep. Flew with one goat from 400 gr. up to 800 gr. Skins of goats go to fashionable fur coats, while they also give milk, but 2 liters a day.
Down goat You can choose from the breeds:
- Black down;
Goat meat tastes great and looks most like lamb. For breeding meat goats there are breeds:
- Gorky (up to 80 kg);
- Zaanenskaya (up to 110 kg);
- Boer (up to 120 kg).
Zaanenskaya and Gorky breeds are more likely meat and dairy. They give up to 4 liters of milk and grow up to 80-110 kg.
There are also outbred goats, which give 2 liters of milk, grow to 50-60 kg and give a little fluff. As a rule, such goats have good health and are very unpretentious in maintenance. Buy them easier and they are cheaper than thoroughbred. But the effectiveness of such goat breeding will, of course, be much lower.
3. How to check a goat?
It is best to take a goat on a goat farm. There you will not be deceived with age, and the goat will not be a product of closely related crosses. In addition, the animal will be vaccinated.
With an independent purchase on the market or from acquaintances, you need to thoroughly prepare theoretically or bring along a more experienced goat breeder.
In order not to buy an old goat disguised as a young, you need to treat her with a cracker. Young people have strong teeth, and they can easily deal with crackers. An old goat will litter a cracker for a long time.
When buying a dairy goat, you need to carefully look at the udder. On it should be visible from all sides milk veins. The shape of the udder is a bowl or pear. The skin is thin, elastic, hairless. After milking, the udder should fall in folds. If the udder does not fall, then the goat has a fat udder and will not give much milk.
You also need to pay attention to physique. The milk goat, though thin, is strong and wide. The back, chest, pelvis, legs are all wide.
4. Goat house - this is serious
So you have decided on the breed, but before buying an animal, you need to create a habitat for them. Goat house is a rather serious construction.
Goats prefer fresh air. Ventilation should remove dampness and unpleasant odors. But without drafts. Too dry air is also harmful, it has a lot of dust. Dust carries microbes. If there are 2-3 animals in the pen, it is enough to ventilate the room through the windows.
Lack of light reduces milk yield and impairs the appetite of animals. Therefore, the goat house must have window. The more light, the better. But windows can not be done over the sunbed.
The temperature in the house should not fall below 12ºС. Comfortable temperature - + 18 ... + 20ºС. For the winter, it is necessary to insulate the room by plugging the cracks in the walls and windows.
For the maintenance of the goat, goats and kids, as well as for milking and mating, must be reserved separate rooms.
For sleep equip couches 55 cm wide at a height of 0.5 meters. Sleeping on these beds is useful for the prevention of respiratory diseases.
Living space per individual animal - 3.5 square meters. The stall should not be too high, goats do not tolerate loneliness. If they do not see each other, then they lose their appetite and reduce milk yield. But they should not easily jump over the walls. 140-150 cm - that’s it.
Goat House Sex must absorb animal waste, be dry and warm. This simple requirement is not easy to fulfill. The concrete floor is not good. The boards rot quickly, the deep litter on the ground requires annual replacement. But the litter option is cheaper. therefore earth + deep litter.
If possible, it is better to make a multilayer litter. Below - peat or fern for disinfection. Above is straw or sawdust. The top layer is periodically added. During the winter, the layer grows to 70-80 cm.
Good removes unpleasant odor in the goatskin sprinkling of litter with ash. In the spring, goat manure is transported to fields and beds.
Corral walls need to be sanitized regularly. Whitewashing with quicklime diluted in water (1 kg per 10 l) will kill all germs.
Paddock should be next to the barn. The area for walking is not less than 3-4 square meters per animal. In winter, animals also need walking for at least 3 hours a day.
It is advisable to water animals in winter and summer with warm water. This will save their energy on more important processes than heating water. It should be constant access to clean water and salt - lick.
For feeding in the stall should be nursery for hay or grassas well as a feed for feed. Hay should be placed above the feed. Then the hay that goats will drop when they eat will be in the feed, and not on the floor.
5. Get a first-aid kit immediately after buying goats
Any goat grower living away from the veterinarian and pharmacy should have the necessary set of emergency care. Sometimes a call to the doctor is enough to then, according to his instructions, provide first aid to his pets.
Goat Vet First Aid Kit:
- Antibiotics. Always have a bottle of “Farmazin-50” (aka “Tlosin”, “Farmatil”). 1 ml per 10 kg of weight intramuscularly (sometimes in the mouth) once a day for three days in a row (sometimes 1-2 days). A wide range, especially good for acute infectious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and coccidiosis, when you can not hesitate. Also Amoxil, Tylosin, Oflox.
- For the digestive tract. Activated carbon (for poisoning, overeating). Lactic acid (restraining microflora, including pathogenic). Vodka (anti-fermentation, antispasmodic, analgesic, improves digestion, etc.) When tympanum: "Tympanol", "Agrobiobak", a set (lactic acid, tincture of hellebore, ammonia, activated carbon).
- Bottle oxytetracycline (not necessarily the most expensive, it can be simpler). Indispensable for anaplasmosis.
- "Azidine" (powder in a bottle) - indispensable for pyroplasmosis-babesiosis (become infected by a tick bite). There are 2.4 g vials per 800 kg of weight, and 0.24 g per 80 kg of weight. Dilute with water for injection. If not available, can be diluted with boiled chilled water. Dilute the 0.24 g bottle in 8 ml of water - you get a solution that is used at the rate of 1 ml per 10 kg of weight. Subcutaneously. Once.
- Anthelmintics. Oral: emulsions “Albenol”, “Combitrem”, “Ivermectin”, “Valbazen”, “Fenbendazole”, “Moxidectin”.
- Disinsectics (from lice): birch tar, Butox, Bars (dog), Neostamazan.
- Scabies: “Creolin liniment” (1 - creolin / 1-turpentine / 18 - soap or 8 - vegetable oil). Can be replaced with a mixture of 1-creolin / 1-kerosene / milk - 4 parts.
- Vitamins, Minerals: Kalfostonik (probably the best), Forvit, Tricalcium phosphate, sometimes fodder yeast (B vitamins).
- For processing hooves: copper sulfate, Kubatol, ASD fraction.
- Painkillers, antispasmodics etc. "Analgin" - 1-2 duty ampoules. "Noshpa" and its analogues. Xylazine (superficial anesthesia). It is not necessary to buy a bottle. It is enough to have 1-2 ml in a syringe in the refrigerator. Dosage - up to 0.15 ml per 10 kg of weight.
- For wounds and scratches: Vishnevsky ointment or liniment, Fitosept udder ointment (from cracks), hydrogen peroxide, Chlorhexidine, Levomekol ointment.
- For lambing. “Oxytocin”, “Calcium gluconate”, “Caffeine”.
- Probiotics "Agrobiobaci", they are treatment if necessary, and prevention, "Vitacell."
- Feed additives for stunted: “Dolphos”, “Accelerate”, “Katozal” and “ASD fraction” - stimulate metabolism and resistance. In the non-chernozem zone and Siberia, goats often have inflammation of the thyroid gland from iodine deficiency. Sometimes because of this, kids are born without a sucking reflex. For prevention give human or veterinary drugs. There are many, you can choose. Succose goats are required.
- Laxative: Glauber's salt (sodium sulfate), if used in large doses, i.e. from 40 to 80 g per head in 5-10% solutions. Usually, adult goats are given 50-60 g inside, and goats 25 g. The solution is drunk by inserting a bottle over the goat's cheek. For the prevention of constipation, you need to skip the goats and do not bring to dehydration.
- Miscellaneous: milk catheter, castration forceps and gum, syringes (different), bandage.
Minimum set of surgical instruments: scalpel, needles, needle holder, clamp, tweezers, silk, small trocar.
In addition, sometimes you just need to talk to a veterinarian and do vaccinations from:
- Foot and mouth disease;
- Smallpox goats;
Dear readers! We hope our article has brought you practical benefits, and did not "dissuade" the idea of raising goats. Read in our following materials in detail about the feeding of these animals and the content of sucose (pregnant) goats.