Pet goats

Goat Lamb, Petting Zoo, Goat, Animal

Whilst often characterised as farm or working animals, a small holding of goats can be very rewarding for the owner and is relatively simple so long as some basic principles are followed. A small holding of goats could be an exceptional source of meat and milk for the owner and by raising goats yourself you can be certain that they were raised in a healthy manner. Goats can also maintain your property practically weed free.
Goats are social herd animals and you should aim to allow at least two goats to live together. The best breeds to keep will vary dependent on if your main reason for maintaining them is milk, milk or fibre, or whether you want them primarily as pets.
Male goats are known as bucks and the females does. Goats generally live 10 to 12 years, although there have been instances of goats living around 15 years. You will find over 300 different breeds of goat and they are most closely associated with sheep, with which they can cross breed, although this isn’t recommended. The main products connected with goats are milk, cheese, meat, mohair, and cashmere.
Goat milk is becoming more popular and a huge dairy doe can produce 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of milk each year (On a daily basis two to three quarts). In most regions the milk will need to be pasteurized if you want to market it commercially, even though you can drink untreated milk out of your own goats. You should know there is some research suggesting health risks with consuming un-pasteurized goats milk. Much like the milk there’s increasing demand for goat meat and there are promised to be health benefits when compared to other red meats and chicken. If you intend to sell the meat you will have to comply with the rules a tiny commercial processor has to follow. The rules are less stringent if the meat is intended for your own consumption. Some goat owners find it more practical to outsource the slaughter to a licensed slaughterer. Goats also have been prized for three kinds of fibre, mohair, cashmere and cashgora.
A sterile draft free building is suggested which will protect them from the elements and provides sufficient protection against rodents and other predators. Rodents could introduce disease in addition to eating and fouling food and water supplies. Concerning dimensions there should be sufficient room to allow the goats to stand upright on their hind legs with necks outstretched. If penned separately each goat should have about 4 sq. m. of floor area. If the hens are housed in a group in exactly the same area a minimum of two sq. m. per goat has to be supplied, although more than this minimum is recommended if conflict is to be avoided. Horned and disbudded or hornless goats should be penned separately.
Though they have a reputation for eating almost anything, they won’t thrive unless provided with the right balances in their diet. Whilst they will eat weeds and other vegetation including pasture, they will need access to good quality hay. Legume hays contain more vitamins, minerals and nutrients, although as with other hays the quality can vary dependent on the harvesting, storage and preparation.
Goat Health
There are a range of illnesses that can affect a goat both in a chronic and curable form. Some of these illnesses can be passed to humans and other animals while some illnesses are specific to goats. Two illnesses that can bring sudden death to a goat are coccidiosis and pneumonia. Of most concern to breeders and producers are parasites and worms. A goat that is ridden with worms and parasites and left untreated will probably suffer a rapid decline in health, production and often result in death.

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