Goats – Basic Care

 Goats were created on the 6th day of creation.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so.

 Genesis 1:24


My goat Bucky in his shelter


Goat Care


Info on goats:

Goats can be great pets.  Goats also help cut back on the weeds but there is more to keeping goats then just putting them out in a pasture to eat weeds.  Goats live to be 8-12 years old and sometimes longer.  Goats are smart and can be trained to do tricks.  Goats can be taught to walk on a leash and can be trained to do an agility or obstacle course just like a dog.  I have trained some of my goats to do agility.  I have trained them to do a balance beam, tunnel, teeter-totter, and a jump. It is very fun to show off your goat’s tricks to friends and family and I have heard of competitions where you can compete but I have yet to do this.  There are many breeds of goats out there and just like dogs there are purebreds and mixed breeds.  Also there are registered goats just such as  American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA),  International Dairy Goat Registry (IDGR),  American Goat Society (AGS), etcetera.  I am not going to cover goat breeds here, I am just going to cover general information on goats.  I will list some of the most common breed of goats for you so you can go and research what kind of a breed you would like to own.

Alpine, Boer, LaMancha, Nigerian Dwarf, Nubian, Pygmy, Saanen.


Choosing a goat: Bucks, Wethers, or Does:

There are some things you need to know before getting a goat.  Bucks are male goats, Wethers are castrated/banded bucks, Does are females, and baby goats are called Kids.  If you want a pet goat you will NOT want to choose a buck.  The reason is because they have a very unpleasant odor and it clings to your clothing and skin when you pet them.  Bucks are just stinky, although they can be just as loving and sweet as a does, the last thing you want is a buck brushing up against you.  Now wethers (castrated/banded bucks) are a different story and a much better choice then a buck.  Wethers do not have that terrible odor thus making them a much better pet than a buck.  Does also make great pets.  Does do not have to be milked unless they are in milk from having kids.  A doe only has milk when she has babies.  So if you want milk and you can handle the responsibility of milking twice a day (morning and evening) then you will first have to breed your doe and five months later you will have kids.  Then as the kids get older and mom starts to wean them she will have extra milk for you.  You can continue to milk the mom for several months.  When her body is ready to have a brake or you no longer want the milk you start decreasing the amount of milk by slowly milking less milk out of her.  Soon your doe will no longer have milk.


Bottle Fed Kids and Dehorned Goats: Bottle fedding a pygmy goat

Lets get back to talking about choosing a goat, so now I hope you know your best choice is a wether or doe and NOT a buck.  But you don’t just want any doe or wether and I’ll tell you why.  Goats can sometimes be very unsociable with people because they are terrified of them.  Your best pet goat will be a goat that has been bottle fed by a person.  Because they were bottle fed they think people are their mommies and they will run to greet you and even follow you all around the yard.  Sometimes you can find a goat that was not bottle fed that will be friendly.  It all depends on the mom of the kids and how much the breeder handles the kids.  If the mom is a friendly goat she will not hide her kids from people and the mom will not show fear of people so the kids will follow her actions.  But there is nothing like a bottle fed kid.  Next thing to think about is horns.  Goats have horns and if they are not removed at an early age (1-2 weeks old) your goat will have horns too.  It is better to get a goat with no horns if you want a pet goat.  Most goats that are people friendly will not use their horns against you but horns are not a good idea if you have small kids.  A goat’s head is right at the same level as your Child’s head and the goat can very easily hit your child in the face with it’s horns on accident.  Also a goat will sometimes compete for food or treats that you may be feeding and the last thing you want are goats fighting around you with horns.  There have been a few times when I have been feeding grain to a goat and another will sneak up and accidently hit me and trying to scare off another goat.  An additional thing to consider is your goats will be much safer without horns if a squabble arises among themselves.  A downside to your goat not having horns, is it’s the only way your goat has to defend itself against predators, such as dogs.  My last thought about horns is, if you place a goat with horns with a goat that does not have horns, your horned goat can injure or even kill your hornless goat.  So never place a horned and dehorned goat together unless your horned goat is not aggressive.  Sometimes a horned and dehorned goat will get along fine in a large pen because you can feed them apart but if you put them in a small pen it could mean death to the dehorned goat.  I would highly recommend that you just don’t take chances and only get goats that are dehorned or only get goats that have horns and don’t mix them.  So now you have some info on choosing a goat and if you still can’t decide on what you want my personal opinion is a Doe or Wether that has been bottle fed and dehorned.


Can goats live alone or do they need other goats? Clover & Fern together

Goats are a herding animal meaning they like to live in groups.  You can keep only one goat, but I recommend you keep at least two goats.  If you plan on only keeping one goat make sure you have plenty of time to give to your goat so he or she will not become lonely.  Sometimes a goat will be content to live with other animals such as horses, cows, sheep, pigs, and on rear occasions a dog that does not chase the goat but likes the goat.  Use caution on introducing a goat to other animals as sometimes it does not work and your goat could be injured or killed.



4 Dangers to goats: 

1. Water troughs Large bath tub used as a horse water trough

Horse water troughs are a big danger to baby goats as they may jump in and sometimes drown.  If a water trough’s water level is over your goat’s head then you need to have it fenced off from your goat.

2. Dogs A Dog

Dogs are one of the greatest dangers to goat.  All the time dogs get into goat pens or into a yard that has goats and chase and attack the goats.  Make sure you do not have a dog on your property that would chase a goat because, chances are, if a dog will chase a goat, the dog will bite/attack a goat.  If you keep a dog like this on your property, eventually the dog will get to the goat causing injury or death to your goat.

3. Items in the yard WireNails in a board

Goats can get tangled up in wire.  Goats can get their heads caught in fencing and other places.  Nails in boards are a danger because goats can get cut and if they step on a nail it can puncture the hoof, especially in kids because their hoofs are softer.  Keep your yard clean and safe.

4. Horses P1010750

Horses can very easily injure or kill a goat.  When your goat first goes home with you make sure you keep the goat separated from the horse.  You can let your horse smell the goat but make sure you are holding the goat in your arms.  Give your horse a few days to adjust to the noise of the goat.  Then when you feel your horse has become more accustomed to the goat put a leash on your goat and carry it in your arms to the horse so the horse can smell the goat again.  Make sure your horse is in it’s pen and not roaming free. Then take a few steps back so the goat is out of reach of the horse and put the goat on the ground.  If the horse is calm let the goat slowly approach the horse.  Use your judgment on how close to let the goat get to the horse.  After a few days your horse should be adjusted to the goat and soon you will be able to let the goat roam free with the horse but only under supervision and never let the goat be with the horse when the horse is eating.  When you are completely comfortable with your horse’s behavior towards the goat then you can leave them together.  For my goats I pen them up every night to feed them, then in the morning I feed them again.  After the morning feeding I let them out of the pen for the day.  This way the goat gets the food it needs and it is not pestering the horse and trying to get the horse food all the time.



 Dirty Water  Clean Water

Goats should have fresh water at all times.  If you let the water become dirty, goats sometimes are very picky and will not drink or only drink very little and can become dehydrated.  Make sure they can reach their head into the trough to get the water.  In the summer make sure that the water does not become hot or warm, keep it in the shade.  In the winter depending on where you live, the water will freeze so make sure it melts fast enough so the goat has water available a short time after morning.



 Alfalfa Hay p2  Orchard Hay

Alfalfa should only be fed to pregnant or breeding does this includes lactating does and growing kids, as they need the extra protein and calcium.  Kids can be fed alfalfa for the first 4-6 months and then start to ad in some Orchard hay so they are eating about 50% of alfalfa and 50% orchard.  When the kids are a year old feed even less Alfalfa and add more Orchard hay and grain as needed into the goats.  Bucks and Wethers (castrated bucks) should only be fed alfalfa as young kids because alfalfa can cause urinary tract infections in males.  If goats are fed too much alfalfa when they do not need it they can develop calcium stones and does can have internal problems with their female organs.  Feed Orchard hay, and make sure it is a good quality. It should look dark green, be long and thin hay with no hard stems.  Goats are a grazing animal and should be fed twice a day.  If your goat is not fat then give him/her a generous amount of Orchard hay.  Do not feed to much because you do not want your goat looking like it has a huge pot belly stomach.  If you have a piggy goat then adjust their feed by cutting back on it, but remember to still feed them twice a day.  Note: When goats eat and are full the left side of the goat’s body will be bigger.  This is because all the food enters this stomach on the left side.




 Goat Grain  Grain in a goat proof container

Buy a bag of goat grain with 14% protein in it or more.  Make sure it is made for goats only!  Do NOT buy a grain for sheep, cows, or horses.  Only feed grain to bucks/wethers if they are thin, usually they need it more in the winter than summer.  For does feed a small amount of grain 1-2 times a day if they are not fat.  Use your judgment on how much to feed but use caution not to feed too much or your goat can get diarrhea.  If your goat has never had grain before slowly add it into their diet and increase slowly or they may get diarrhea.  Diarrhea can be life threatening to a goat as they will become dehydrated quickly.  If you have a pasture for your goats to eat in, they will not need as much feed.  Always keep grain in a goat proof container!  If a goat gets into a bag of grain it will eat so much that it may become bloated and die.  So keep grain out of reach!  I like to use containers with a screw lid so if the goat gets into my feed shed they will be unable to dump the container and pop the lid off.



 Goat Lose trace mineral salt  Goat mineral salt

Goats need salt.  If you do not give them salt you could have some big problems with vitamin deficiencies especially in kids!  Only feed them a salt that is made specifically for goats and goats only.  I feed a loose mineral salt (see photos).  Make sure the salt has vitamin E and selenium in it.  You can feed it to your goat free choice in a small dish that is sheltered from rain, preferably off the ground so debris stays out of the dish.  Or you can also feed it to them in their grain.



 Jerry, one of our kids

Goats love to climb and will enjoy things to jump up on.  Wood picnic tables make a great jungle gym because it has different levels.  You could also, very easily make something for the goat to play on.  Make sure you do not put it near a fence or the goat will jump onto the object and go over the fence.



 Goat shelter back view Goat shelter front view

A good shelter is very important.  Goats need shelter from rain, wind, hot weather, and cold weather.  It is hard to make a shelter that is good for hot weather and cold weather.  I suggest you make two shelters attached to each other, a more open shelter for summer to allow air flow and an enclosed shelter for winter.  You can also make a shelter that has a removable panel that can be removed for the summer and closed in the winter.  Make sure you do not put the shelter too close to the fence or the goat will jump onto the shelter and go right over the fence.  If your shelter is too tall for the goat to jump up onto then you can place it as close to the fence as you would like.



 Cattle Fencing

Remember that goats can climb and jump, keep this in mind when making a pen.  I recommend that you make the pen a minimum of 5 feet tall.  We use chain link fencing for our goats.  If you are getting a goat that has horns then you may still use chain link fencing but make sure you use top rail and put the wire around at the bottom.  All this will help prevent your goat from mangle it with their horns or squeezing under the fence.  Also be sure to use plenty of tie wires.  Do NOT use flimsy cattle fencing because the goats will bend it down and then jump over it.  Also do not use fencing with large holes in it.  Goats can get their heads stuck in the holes.  This can be especially a big problem with goats that have horns because it will be much harder for them to get their heads out.



Before you bring your goat home with you, you should find a good vet that does goats.  Don’t wait for a problem to arise and then find a vet.  A good goat vet can be hard to find but you need one that does goats on a regular basis.  If you can’t find a vet that treats goats try calling an Equine vet to get a referral; also talk to other goat owners.


Hoof care:

 Burgon & Ball hoof p1 trimmers  Burgon & Ball hoof trimmers p2

Hoofs need to be trimmed about every 2-4 months.  The hoof should not be curled over; if it is then it needs to be trimmed.  Trim the outside part of the hoof so that it is level with the rest of the hoof.  I use lamb footrot shears made by Burgon & Ball.



Goats should be vaccinated at 3-4 months old with Clostridium Perfringens Types C & D with Tetanus Toxoid.  For adult pygmy goats administer half of what the dosage says because usually the printed amount is for a larger goat and not for small pygmies.  When vaccinating a goat that has never been vaccinated, vaccinate them again in 3-4 weeks, after that they only need to be vaccinated once every year.  Inject the vaccine into a back leg in the muscle.  When the needle is in, pull back on the syringe.  If blood sucks up in the syringe do NOT inject.  Pull the needle out and try again.  You do NOT want to inject into the blood stream.



 Goats should be dusted at least once a year when the weather turns cold.  This is usually the time when goats get parasites.  Ask your vet what product you should dust them with.



Your goat should be wormed every 6 months with a goat de-wormer.  Never use a wormer on a goat that is for other animals like horses!

64 Responses to Goats – Basic Care

  1. admin says:

    Hi CrazyAnimalLover,
    A “billy” goat is a male goat and not a breed as we are sure you probably already figured out. If the goat is only 3 1/2 weeks old it needs goats milk or it may die. Goats don’t wean at 3 1/2 weeks! You need a vet ASAP! We don’t have pigs but we always keep our animals separated during feeding times. We would recommend contacting a vet ASAP that is familiar with goats and pigs. Obviously the person that had the little goat does not know very much and the best person to help you out is going to be a vet. We do NOT recommend you castrate him but have the vet do it but only after you know he is healthy.

  2. CrazyAnimalLover says:

    This site was very helpful; however, I still have a few questions. Everyone knows I love animals of all sorts and will take good care of them, so I was recently given a 3 1/2 week old billy goat. I’m not sure his breed. The guy insisted “billy” was his breed. He is very loving and sweet and getting to where he trusts me more and more. (We’ve only had him a few days.) It is my first time ever raising a goat. After everything I’ve read, I’m thinking the the best idea would be to have him castrated. My question is how old does he need to be to do this? We don’t have very much land, but he gets along well with our baby pot belly pig. They are so funny trying to play together. Will it be okay to put them in a pen together so they will have each other’s company? We were not expecting a goat (or a baby pot belly pig haha) so did not already have a pen built. We bought 4X4 wooden posts and chain link fencing to put them in. We plan to bury the wire because of the pig digging and plan to have the fence 5ft tall. Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance!

  3. admin says:

    Dear Beth Allen,
    There is not much that can be done to block the smell of a goat with a fence. If the people only have does and keep the pens clean there should not be too much smell from just 4 goats. Now if they own a buck yes it will be a bit smelly.

  4. BETH ALLEN says:

    I’m trying to find out if a vinyl 6″ fence would block the smell of 4 goats on a property a couple of doors down from us.

  5. admin says:

    Hello ThatsSoNinjaTeila,
    Every vet has different prices. Our vets here, near us in CA, cost about $50.00 to come out to a farm and then charge about $60.00 to examine each goat. Blood work and other test can range from $20 and up depending on what they are testing for. We have been very blessed with our goats being so healthy and have not had too many costly vet bills.

  6. ThatsSoNinjaTeila says:

    I was wondering how much money would i cost for Veterinary work for like around 10 of these little cuties? :3

  7. admin says:

    Hi Deb B,
    Sorry to hear that :(. Have you read over our care info on goats “Feeding Goats Alfalfa”? The only thing that is going to make your wether happy is to get another goat. You will want to find one around his size and one that is friendly with people and has horns. For now all you can do for your wether is spend time with him daily. If you have other animals you may consider putting them in separate pens side by side. Often a goat will enjoy the company a of another animal if they can’t have a goat as a companion (a chicken, horse, or sheep is better than nothing). Hope you can find a new friend for him soon.

  8. Deb B says:

    I had two Wethers with horns until yesterday, when unfortunately i had to put one down due to stones in the urinary tract.
    Now my only goat is crying ALL the time and keeps going over to his little house and looking in – which is where my sick goat had been lying.
    It is breaking my heart and i cannot hang out with him all day. I really need some advice on what to do for him.
    He is roughly 7 years old and is a big boy

  9. admin says:

    Hi Tatyana,
    Goats are a grazing animal so it’s not a bad thing to free feed as long as no one is getting fat and hay is not being blown away and wasted.

    If you want to feed twice a day you will need to feed about every 12 hours. You will need to place food in 5 places that are about 6 feet apart so no one hogs the food. Our pygmy goats eat about 1/4-1/3 of a flake each feeding. If they eat all the food up really fast like within 15 minutes we’ll give our goats a little more food. If they have food left over at next feeding we’ll feed less. If you have a goat that your other goat pick on you will have to place that goat in a separate pen to eat.

  10. Tatyana says:

    Hello, I just read on your website that you feed your Pygmys 2 times daily. I have had Pygmys for the last 3 years and have free fed them. I would like to do what you do in regards to feeding how do I transition from free feeding to the 2 times a day schedule? I have 5 goats. Do I need to segregate them at feeding time somehow? I do feed them Orchard hay, have goat minerals and baking soda out for them and of course clean water everywhere. How much will each goat get of the hay? Please help. Thank you so much.

  11. admin says:

    Hello Getting goats,
    If your goat eats one call your vet. We would recommend you keep your goats in a large pen that does not have any poisonous plants near the pen.

  12. Getting goats says:

    We are getting goats. I have been able to find lists of poisonous plants, but I do not know what to do if a goat gets one we missed. Thank you.

  13. admin says:

    Hello Lluís,
    At all times the goats should be kept in a fenced in yard to keep them safe. You could allow them into a larger area as long as it is fenced in. The goats can be easily trained to come back from the pasture to a smaller pen for bed time. Remember that goats can easily bloat and die if they are not use to being set free to graze. Also you would want to have a vet if possible come and take a look at what kind of plants the goats will be eating to make sure there are not any plants that are toxic to goats.

  14. Lluis says:

    I am considering keeping two or three goats in our property (12 acres).
    I have a well fenced area (about 2500 square feet), with a pen, running
    water, and so on. My intention would be to keep them in that enclosure
    during the week, and let them roam in the weekend to clean the brush.

    Do you think that’s feasible ?, and would I be able to turn them loose
    (I only have distant neighbors), and expect them to return to the pen
    at dusk, as I do with my chickens ?



  15. admin says:

    Hello George,
    Goats leave droppings all over their yard; they just go wherever they are standing. The best way to control their droppings is to keep them in a large pen away from patios and other areas you don’t want them leaving droppings. Some goats can be house trained and only go outside but it is very time consuming to train them and not all goats get it. Also training them to only use one spot in the yard would also be very difficult but younger goats are a little easier to train but again not all goats get it. The best recommendation I have for you is build them a big pen or fence off part of your yard.

  16. george says:

    I have 2 goats in the backyard, and I find it hard to control their dropping, anyone that have similar problem advice me the right way to do to toilet train them

  17. admin says:

    Linda, you are very welcome and we are glad you found it helpful.

  18. Linda says:

    Thank you so much for all the great info!

  19. admin says:

    Hello again Linda,
    Not sure why your goats suddenly are not eating like they use to. Keep an eye on them and if they lose weight, stop drinking, or act sick in anyway contact your vet ASAP.

    As for breeding your goats, you want a stud that is not too big for your girls. When selecting a stud, find an assassination for your goat’s breed on the web, they should have a list of breeders with contact info. Some breeders offer stud services. If you are NOT looking for a show quality stud you can just look around in classified ads on the web and in news papers. You want a stud that has been tested negative for disease (use Google to learn more about the different goat disease that vets recommend you test for).

  20. Linda says:

    Could be, but they are getting the same hay & feed for the past 18 months, and it’s just been recently that they have started eating a lot less. They seem otherwise very healthy & happy.
    Also, I’ve decided to mate them (for the 1st time) and I don’t have a clue how to find a suitable stud in southern NJ. Any ideas/suggestions?

  21. admin says:

    Hi Linda,
    Could it be that you are feeding them too much and they are just picking out their favorite parts of the hay? Often when you feed goats hays like Alfalfa they pick out the leaves and don’t eat all the stems because the leaves are tastier.

  22. Linda says:

    I have 2 Pygora does that are now 1 1/2 years old & I have noticed that they are eating a lot less than when they are younger. Can you tell me if this is normal? Thanks!

  23. admin says:

    Hello Rachelle,
    You may not notice any signs at first, but if there is a big problem with stones in the urinary tract, eventually the goat will have a hard time urinating. It can get so bad that the goat will lie down and not want to eat or drink and they may call out like they are in pain. I would not worry about the does as they need the extra calcium in the alfalfa when pregnant or lactating. If the buck has been on the alfalfa a long time, like over 6 months, you can call your veterinarian and see if they recommend he be checked.

  24. Rachelle says:

    I have 2 pregnant pygmy goats due anytime now and a pygmy buck. I thought hay was hay! We have been feeding them all they want alfalfa hay! What are signs of calcium stones and urinary tract infection? We are going to change their hay soon!


  25. admin says:

    Thank you for your comment and I am glad you enjoyed the info on my site. :)

  26. Susan Calabrese says:

    I just wanted to let you know I enjoyed your information on caring for goats. My Dear Friend lives in the country and our two horses, 2 gentle (goat loving) dogs, chickens, a bunny and two does mama and daughter. My friend has been talking about making them something bigger for them to climb on for sometime now and currently she is using a few car/tractor tires. I decided to design and make them something as a surprise but wanted to research the best (Jungle Gyms) first. I would hate to make something that was dangerous for them. That’s how I came across your page. I learned a lot from you and look forward to telling my friend what I learned …. I live in the city and she likes to tease me about that. Now with your help I can show here even city folk can know about goats 😀 Thanks again 😀

  27. admin says:

    Hello Nicolle,
    Pygmy goats are a small breed, so yes they do eat less compared to larger breeds like the Boer and Nubian. The terms bill and nanny are used when talking about the gender of a goat and not a breed. With the amount of land that you have, you would need a large herd of goats to control the weeds. I would not recommend that you jump in to buying a lot of goats until you have had hands on experience with a few. You may be able to find someone that has a herd of sheep or goats that would like to graze on your land for a time. If you want a small cute pet buy a Pygmy or a Nigerian Dwarf goat. If you want a goat that will eat lots of weeds buy a large breed goat. Hope this will help you and thanks for your question :)

  28. nicolle says:

    my husband and i are very interested in getting goats (we now own 47 acres of land) but he really wants a billy goat, and i would prefer pygmy goats ((we have two young children, 18 months and 4 years old~ as well as two dogs, boxers–after reading many articles on goats, a billy or two doesnt seem like what we need at our home)) my husband thinks that a larger (billy) will eat more weeds\brush from our land (something we are looking forward to) ~~ is it true that billy’s or nannies eat more than pygmy’s? thank you again for your help and great advice on this page!

  29. Terri says:

    That’s good to know.. He has lots of company in he yard..7 ducks, 1 goose,1 potbellied pig,2 cats and 4 small dogs, when they aren’t in the house..the dogs that is..:) I’m in Texas..I’ve spoken to the breeder that I bought theses guys from..I thought since I had been up front with her from the start she would give me a discount on a new one, but that wasn’t the case..My problems with honey started a few weeks after I got him home..I told them what was going on and kept them informed on his condition all the way through till I had to put him down..she sent me pictures of new babies and when I asked how much she told me $150.00…which is more than I paid for the ones I had..She told me that I had done more for honey than anyone else would have, so it’s not like she doesn’t know that I love and care fo my pets. I guess I’ll keep my eyes open for a wether..I may still go check out what that lady has if it ever stops raining here..Thanks for all your help..Best wishes, Terri

  30. admin says:

    Yes, he is going to cry out for his friend but it sounds like he is not too upset to the point that it is affecting his health. Having other animals and you around him will help a lot. As long as he is not crying out so much that it affects his voice he should be fine for a while. If he is eating and drinking he is okay. Another thing to look for is diarrhea. Just make sure his stools stay normal.

    Do you live in California? I have some friends here that raise goats and they have some for sale right now.

  31. Terri says:

    Thanks for your help. I feed my babies purina goat feed that has the stuff in it that helps prevent urinary calculi.. I only give a half a cup in the morning and a half a cup in the evening..they have run of my yard all the way around my house with lots of greens to eat..they also free fed on hay and rat all the brown leaves that fall. Oreoh knows his friend is gone and cries out for him regularly, but he’s still eatting and plays with me and my small dogs. Last night he was out front till after 10..normally he would go in the shed and get up on the 4 wheeler and go to sleep right at dark..honey liked to sleep in the lawnmower seat..:) so you think he will be ok for a bit? What do I watch for? I hate to hear him cry for his friend and I don’t want him stressed..Thanks

  32. admin says:

    Hello Terri,
    So sorry for your loss :( I don’t have a straight answer for you but here are some things to think about. I think maybe you should keep looking for another goat. You could buy one of the goats, for the time being, until you can find what you are looking for so your goat will not be lonely. If your goat is not too upset and lonely I would wait until you find a younger goat that is not a buck. Bucks are very smelly, a doe or a wether would be a better choice. Another thing to consider is you don’t know how healthy these goats are and you always run the risk of infecting your goat by bring a new one onto your property. Buying a goat once would be less risky than buying twice. You should quarantine any new goats you buy for at least two weeks. If your goat is dehorned make sure you DO NOT get a horned goat. I would recommend looking at the bucks and doe to see if they look healthy and if they have been cared for properly.

    What are you feeding your goat and what did the original owner feed him?

    If wethers, or even bucks, are fed too much alfalfa and/or grain they can develop calcium stones and urinary tract infections thus causing a blockage.

    I hope this info will help you make the right decision. Take a little bit of time after you have seen the new goats for sale. Don’t rush into buying a new goat give it a day or two before you make a decision.

  33. Terri says:

    I have a pygmy whether. I had two until this past weekend. I had to have my little honey put down.. He had some kind of blockage..either stones or scar tissue from being banded. Both my babies were born in November of last year.. I got them mid January..they came already banded..Honey had 3 surgeries in his short 7 months of life and they all closed up on him. Now Oreoh is all alone and needs a friend.. I found a 6 year old doe and 2 6 month old bucks. Will my whether get along ok with the buck or should I get the older doe? Not sure what to do..Oreoh is only 7 1/2 months old. I need some advice.. I’m suppose to go see the goats tomorrow..I really don’t want an older goat, but not sure about a buck either..Thx

  34. admin says:

    What kind of goat do you have?

  35. Habssojchoajhcdjcdjx says:

    I have a goat

  36. admin says:

    Hi Cheryl,
    You would have to call to find out what her most current rates are. I she charges a farm call and then a fee to examine each animal. Here is the Number 909-982-4442. She works out of Upland CA and covers the High Desert too.

  37. How much does your vet charge to come up? I live in Lucerne Valley. I raise and breed nubian and boer goats and the few vets that do work on goats charge $130.00 plus just to come up. I’m also a dog groomer of 30 years now semi retired. starting up a grooming school hopefully this spring. If you come across anyone that wants to learn dog grooming please let me know. My cost is 1/4 of what they charge anywhere.

  38. admin says:

    @Rrandon R

    You should build a pen for the goat before you bring one home. They will eat your lawn but maybe not destroy it. Over a period of time you may holes in your lawn. Goats will eat roots too unlike a horse that usually just eats the top of a plant. Make sure you build a 5 ft. pen for the goat as some goats can really jump.

  39. Brandon R says:

    Can you keep a myotonic goat in your backyard (it has a chainlink fence around it) or will it eat all the grass down to the dirt (like a horse does) and destroy your lawn or are they like having a dog i am very interested in getting one i think they are so cute and are they good around children i have a ten year old son.

  40. admin says:

    I use Dr. Margo Machen. She is based out of Upland CA but serves a large surrounding area including the High Desert. Margo R. Machen, DVM, Ph.D. Advanced equine & small ruminant veterinary services. They provide veterinary service for all your equine, goat and llama needs. I have been very pleased with her. She has saved the lives of some of my goats.

  41. Chris says:

    Excellent guide ! I’ve had my 2 goats for a couple months now and have been looking for some of this information precisely. I also live in Apple Valley and was wondering what Vet you use?

  42. admin says:

    I would suggest you call the vet and see what they say. Did she lose any blood? I would make her as comfortable as possible in a separate pen from other animals unless she is still nursing from a doe. Dogs are one of the biggest threats to goats, I am sorry this happened :(. If you need any more help you can email me directly at Contact@GodsC.com.

  43. sara b says:

    my goat was attacked by a neighbors dog. she is two months old. her head was caught in the fence and pulled on by the dogs. she was fine this morning but now keeps her head down and acts like she wants to keep her head against the fence-she wont raise her head much. her eyes look dazed. her head above each eye looks swollen. any ideas??? please respond quickly as I will be monitoring this site frequently.

    i fear she has some swelling of the head/brain from the trauma.

  44. admin says:

    Here is a place with a list of toxic plants http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/goatlist.html. I ordered the book that this site mentioned call Goat Medicine by Mary C Smith, David M Sherman on 4/22/10 but have not yet received it. I am hoping it will have a list too. As for my goats I do let them eat the weeds in my yard but I feed them orchard hay too. I would not let your goat eat plants around your house, only the weeds. If your goat shows any signs of diarrhea get him away from the weeds. Remember changing a goat’s diet suddenly my cause diarrhea.

  45. Sarah says:

    Hi there, I have another goat question. Since you and I live close by each other I figured you’d know for sure… Can I let my little guy graze freely in the yard? We have a lot of weeds but I’m nervous because I don’t know if any of these desert weeds are poisonous to them. I read that those fuzzy ones with the yellow flowers are poisonous to goats. I do have those in my yard… Do you find that goats will eat them or do they have an instinct not to eat them? Do you think it would be okay to let him free roam in the yard and not worry about what weeds he’s eating? I realize he might sample and eat some trees/shrubs but that’s okay. I just don’t want him to eat weeds he can get sick eating….

  46. Geri says:

    Thanks for all the info. We have a Pygmy and a Myotonic goat (fainting).

  47. Billy Goat says:

    We are still looking for the right goat. I am out of work so we won’t buy a couple until I do get back to work.

  48. joanne says:

    thank u,for all the info,it is very helpful…

  49. admin says:

    I am glad this was helpful to you.

  50. Billy Goat says:

    Very interesting and helpful. We just bought a home with a 1/2 acer of land and thought we would raise goats. Thank you for the information and tips,

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