D and L Meadows

This page is intended for new goat owners. For experienced goat owners this page contains nothing new.

Bringing your Goat Home

You will be bringing your goat home either on the bottle or weaned.  There is no price difference between a kid on the bottle or weaned. Your goat might be under stress due to traveling and strange surroundings and might develop a slight fever at arrival at the new home. For the first few days the kid might cry because it misses his or her buddies.  If your goat kid is already weaned, you might want to give them a bottle with just water for comfort and bonding.  This help bond to your new goat.

Bottle Feeding

We will supply you with some goats milk from the doe. It should last a couple of days so that you can switch over to a milk replacer. We found that Land O Lakes Does' Match is a good product. When arriving at home, for the first day have 1/4 of milk replacer, and 3/4 goats milk. Day 2, switch to 50-50% Day 3, 3/4 milk replacer and 1/4 of goats milk and Day 4 100% milk replacer. During this process, you need to watch the fecal of the kid. Make sure it does not get diarrhea. If diarrhea occurs, go back to the previous mixed or the whole goats milk. Contact us if diarrhea occurs.

If you live near Williamsburg, you can buy from us the doe's milk for the kid that you bought. Feeding goats milk is the best for the kid.

If your goat kid is only 1 week old, they need four to five bottle feedings a day. Check your work schedule if you can commit to that number of feedings. As they get older, the number of bottle feedings goes to twice a day with increased volume. Usually at 3 weeks of age, they should be able to drink one cup in one feeding. 

At 8 weeks of age you can wean your goat. The best way is to reduce the amount of milk you give them. It should take about a week or so to wean them off from the milk. If you stop abruptly feeding them, they will cry for a couple of days for the milk, and it is not worth to stress them. This is the schedule we use:

Age Number of Feedings Amount
1 week 4-5 times a day 1/2 - 3/4 cups
3 weeks 3 times a day 1 - 1 1/4 cups
6 weeks 2 times a day 1 1/2 cups
8 weeks  Begin weaning Slowly lower amount

Feeding

 Start having fresh water available to them at five weeks. Sometimes they will fill up on water and will not be interested in the bottle. Take the water away and try again in a week.  You can offer them a little grain at five weeks of age, but they usually are not much interested.  When they do start to eat grain only give them up to a 1 1/2 cups twice per day.  You want to have hay available for them to nibble on whenever they like. They usually start nibbling on hay when they are around three weeks. 

Health

  • Wethers and bucklings are prone for urinary stones. Urinary stones are deadly. Prevention is the key. Male goats should eat only goat feed that is prepared for them according to the correct Calcium and Phosphorus ratio. We feed our bucks Southern State 17% Goat Feed. If you buy a different brand, make sure it states that it is for bucks. Keep the wether or buckling from eating doe grain or even worse chicken food since that causes an imbalance of Calcium and Phosphorus ratio which might result in urinary stones.
    Also adding Ammonium Chloride to the water does help prevent stone formation. Usually you can buy Ammonium Chloride at the local feed store. We buy the Ammonium Chloride from Bethel Feed.
  • CD&T shots are given at 3 weeks of age and a booster shot is given 3 to 4 weeks later, and then yearly.
  • Before your goat leaves the farm, request a fecal check. Coccidiosis is on every farm. Your kid might have some coccidiosis when you purchase him or her. Coccidiosis might become a problem when the goat is stressed. Traveling and strange surroundings might cause the coccidiosis to flourish due to the immune system being down. The first 6 months goat kids are susceptible to coccidiosis. It is advised to do a fecal exam a week after you purchase your goat. You can either learn it your self or have a veterinarian do it. Fiasco Farm is a very informative website on how to run a fecal exam. If your goat does have coccidiosis, it needs to be treated right away. Coccidiosis is a silent killer.
  • Your goats will eventually get worms and most likely barber worms. It is a good practice to deworm your goat with every season change. We use safe-guard since in our area the worms are not yet resistant to this medicine. If possible, pasture rotation helps reduce the worms. If deer gets on the pasture of your goats, you might want to give your goats more often vermectin since Meningeal worm (brain worms) can kill your goat.
  • Hoof trimming is another maintenance that needs to be done regularly. We hoof trim our goats every month.
  • Goats do need minerals. There are two options, one is the licking block and the other is the loose minerals. In the past we tried the licking block but had no good results since some goats refused to lick it. With loose minerals, all the our goats eat from it. Beside free choice goat minerals, we also give them twice a year copper bolus.
  • If goats eat certain weeds, they might have that bloated look. We give the does free choice of baking soda which helps to balance the pH in their stomach. Note, do not feed buck or wethers baking soda since that can cause formation of urinary stones.
Last update: Saturday, March 17, 2018