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Goat Feed & Deworming

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  • Goat Feed & Deworming

    The tiny farmette that fence-borders the farm where I board my mares has three female goats: 1 alpine and 2 nubians. They're all cute as can be, very friendly and love affection. However, the owners never NEVER feed them. They believe that these three can subsist solely on the little bit of leftover vegetation in the back half of their property (about one acre). Puhleeze....those three buggers ate it all a long time ago.

    Soooo, since they are sweet and their fence is the only fence that divides the properties, me and my fellow borders supplement the goats during the winter with hay and basic feed (COB). However, I don't know if the COB is a proper choice for the girls, although they do love it! What would be better yet not top dollar?

    Also, all three have very big bellies....more so than a "normal" goat belly, so what do you use to do a basic deworming on your goats? Ivermectin? Of course, we'll have to guesstimate their weight, but I'd say that the alpine is about 45 pounds and the nubians about 65.

    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

  • #2
    My vet says the normal dosing for goats is much higher than for horses. Due to their digestive systemit takes a lot more paste to get through. I *think* he said 3x. Ivermectin is a pretty safe drug.

    We have 2 nubians - they would like you to believe they are starving to death. No matter how much forage they have.

    They often have very distended bellies due to their digestive process. (One of ours is also very fat)

    We feed ours regular horse hay - get a feeder though, they prefer to browse, not eat off the ground. And a pelleted feed from blue seal. Once you start graining them they will expect to be fed and eat less forage. Mine really want a sofa and cable TV...


    • Original Poster

      Thanks! Alas, since they're not our goats and I can't get into their space, hay is simply forked out of our Tough Cart over the fence to them. They don't care it's on the ground...it's something to eat!

      We only "supplement" them during the winter because, truly, there is not a leaf left on anything where they reside. The ony time they get grain is when either I or my husband give it to them. The other boarders don't know about that part, just do the hay.

      It's so cute, they quickly learned their names and come running when called. Although they do demand food 99% of the time (of course!), they do like to come to the fence just for between-the-horns scritches.
      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


      • #4
        Thanks for helping these goats! Poor things. I don't think mine could survive without feed on that size of acreage.

        If you don't have access to goat feed, I think some horse feeds are a good alternative. I know there are goat breeders out there that feed soley pelleted horse feeds, although I don't know which makes/formulations. I would think it would be better than nothing! I have one old doe that won't touch goat food, she is looking her best ever on alfalfa, horse pellets, BOSS, goat minerals and beet pulp.

        Ivermectin is widely used, at a higher dose than for sheep and cows. I've read that it is thought to be more efficacious given orally. And of course better to over-dose slightly than under dose. I give it at 1 ml per 34 pounds of weight orally. This is the Ivermectin 1% injectable. Thank goodness Ivomec is cheap.

        Do they have access to some kind of salt lick? Even a horse one would be better than nothing, I've been told the blue ones are better than the red.

        I'd think you are helping them a lot by just giving them hay. Thanks for doing that.


        • Original Poster

          Hmmm, would ivermectin paste like for the horses work with the goaties? I'd have to find a way of adding it to something they'll eat. Hmmm, maybe a ivermectin sandwich?

          Nope, no salt lick. I know that the TSC has the blue ones, so I'll grab one and chuck it over the fence for them.

          I'm hoping to meet these people someday because, while I like all three, I prefer the little alpine, Barley. She's SOOOOOOOO cute and would be very happy in my back yard, eating all the weeds, brambles, etc. and torturing the dogs
          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


          • #6
            You can buy pelleted goat dewormer at the feed store. It's inexpensive.

            The "belly" may not be due to worm load. Goats can look that way naturally, but since I can't see the animals I can't tell you for sure.

            To guard against bloat you can put a pan of baking soda out for them, and they'll self regulate intake. You'll have to replace it if it gets wet.

            Be careful changing feed or forage, you can kill them as sure as you can kill a horse, and more quickly.

            Since you are a quasi-goat person now, you simply must visit this site:


            (don't worry too much about them not getting good nutrition; goats are really efficient. Much more so than horses. I'm sure you're doing just fine.)
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling


            • #7
              Goats need copper...if you are going to provide a salt lick for these goats that aren't yours, get one made specifically for goats NOT sheep or horses, as there isn't enough copper in them.

              Another thing, please avoid feeding them whole corn. You can inadvertently cause a deadly case of bloat if you do. Crushed corn is okay, but the whole corn tends to swell in their rumens and create more gas than their little bellies can handle. Bloat can be fatal and can be fatal very quickly. My goats get NO corn, the risk for bloat isn't worth the very little nutrients they actually get from corn. Mine love beet pulp, and, unlike horses, they can have it dry and actually prefer it dry.

              Also, please remember goats (and cows) have digestive systems that are designed to handle poor quality feed. The hay you give your horses is likely far too rich for their systems and can, again, cause bloat or fatten them. A fat goat is an unhealthy goat, especially the milking breeds, which should be a bit on the bony side (much like dairy cattle).

              Feeding goats is not like feeding horses. Please do some more research before you decide to feed someone else's animals. Very likely they are foraging just fine on the tree branches and dead grasses and weeds in their pasture. That's what they are designed to do.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for the info on bloat and salt lick. I'll be sure the one I buy is a Goat lick

                No worries on the hay. It is no where near rich. It's old...like 4 years old and is just sitting there taking up barn space. It was set aside and forgotten about....not moldy, just unacceptable for the horses.

                EDITED TO ADD "Very likely they are foraging just fine on the tree branches and dead grasses and weeds in their pasture" - that's the problem. There is nothing! It's devoid of anything they can eat.
                <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                • #9
                  My goat is 9 years old. I haven't fed her once during those nine years. She is so fat she waddles. Many people have told me I need to cut down on her food, not sure how I can give her less than zero though.
                  McDowell Racing Stables

                  Home Away From Home


                  • #10
                    Check this site out... its great!



                    • #11
                      My 3 goats get Blue Seal Caprine, a sweet feed also sold as horse feed ( Challenger). It's ( I think) a 14% . I split about 1 1/2 lbs between them 2 X a day. They are "normal" sized goats, Sanaan and Toggenberg. They eat hay with the horse and have their own salt lick. I use a liquid goat wormer. Mine get C D &T vaccine and Rabies shots every year and get their hooves trimmed , as needed. They are just pets, so they don't need as much vet work as milking goats. They do need to be fed unless you have lush pasture and browse year round. They prefer brush and weedy shrubby stuff, so, once they've cleared an area, don't expect them to live off the land.


                      • #12
                        Yes, there is pelleted goat dewormer. Follow container instructions. I buy mine from KV Vet.

                        Yes, goats need baking soda. There is a mineral mix specifically for goats, but they can get along with horse minerals if they are not being used as milkers or meat producers.

                        Very little pelleted feed for them. small amount of COB is okay, but 1-1.5 measuring cup per 100 pound goat a day, with hay, is probably plenty.

                        I have 2 rescued goats. 1 is an alpine 1 is a pygmy. The pygmy bloated at one time and is horribly stretched out. Poor thing. My friend expects her to pop and fizzle like a balloon someday. But she still rears up and pretends to head butt the alpine that has no horns. They do that play butting - sort of like the fake wrestling thing. When the pygmy lays down, she reminds me of an old red hen setting on a nest of eggs. (Pygmy is a buckskin colored goat).

                        I have used Strongid paste... but they didn't like it very much. I tried all sorts of methods to get them to eat it, but they wouldn't. They DO like raisins - but they will NOT eat dewormer paste covered raisins. And, apple tree branches. Dried oak leaves are like potato chips to the goats. YUM.

                        I would be concerned over the goats getting their annual vaccinations. Clostridium is one of the vaccinations given and I don't know if that can be spread to horses. ??? My goats also get rabies vaccinations - same dose as for dogs, but given annually.


                        • #13
                          That clean 4 year old hay would be fine. We dewormed our dairy goats w/ Ivermectin and Panacur however, if these goats you speak of have not been on a regular deworming program they may not respond to pellets. Still, I guess it wouldn't hurt to try and I'd be tempted to follow it up w/ a dose of oral pro-bios.

                          I'd be tempted to make sure there is a bucket a fresh water for the goats. Sounds like the owners arent real swift and probably don't provide that either.

                          And they don't need grain unless they are lactating or being fattened up to butcher. Goats forage on grass, brush and berries. Man gives them protien to keep the milk & meat production up.

                          Covexin 8 is the annual shot gabz metioned. One dose under the skin each year. And yes, if you bring a few carrots, apples and/or assorted vegetables the goats will crown you "Lord of the Goats". When our goats were not being milked they were given all the fruit/vegetable table scraps.

                          Good luck w/ this covert operation!!


                          • #14
                            ChocoMare --

                            The goats may not need to have their hooves trimmed depending up on the footing, but you'll want to check.

                            I don't know how you do that without trespassing, it's "bad" enough that you're caring for them without the owner's knowledge. (not intended as a criticism, you understand)

                            I trim my goats hooves. All you need is either a hoof knife or snips, and I'm sure you have both. Overgrown hooves in a goat don't look like overgrown hooves in a horse. In goats, the hooves grow under and start growing into the soft pad. The toes can get long or not.

                            You lift the leg up like you do a horse, and simply cut or snip the excess hoof wall until it's flush with the soft pad. Do not touch the pad - it is soft tissue like a dog's paw. The toe you just snip a bit back a bit.

                            Sometimes the sides of the hoof does not curl under, it just grows longer. You still cut it back a bit with the hoof knife. If it's curled under the snips work better because you can get under it without risking cutting the soft pad.

                            Goats can founder and get abscesses just like horses. Especially if the hoof cuts into the pad.

                            Most goats don't need much in the way of hoof care because they wear their hooves down naturally. Not like horses, you don't have to worry about balance and bars and all that jazz. But if the ground is not very abrasive and gritty, they may need a bit of trimming. And you'll only have to do it a few times a year.

                            Sorry to be long-winded. Hope that helps.

                            Oh - if they are not used to having their hooves done you may need a helper. Goats can be agile as monkeys when they don't want to do something!
                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling


                            • Original Poster

                              Right now the only one that would need hoof care is little Barley, the alpine. Her left rear is long and curling inward. However, I cannot get to these goats over the fence. There is no gate connecting the farms and it's all 5' hog wire fence with a strand of barbed wire at the top. I'm considering putting a note in their mailbox, giving them my farrier/trimmer's number. She has done goats a million times.

                              We're only feeding them two or three times a week....just to provide them with a little something to get through the winter. They did lose weight and we couldn't bear to hear them screaming for something to eat....which is what started this whole thing in the first place.

                              I won't put them in any health danger, nor overstep my "neighborly" bounds. Just wanted to make sure what I could do wouldn't hurt the three girls.
                              <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                              • #16
                                ChocoMare -

                                Sorry if that came across as critical, it wasn't intended. I've no doubt you're just being a good neighbor. I hope they call your trimmer and have the goats tended to. They can really go lame, even be crippled, when their hooves grow inward like that.

                                Don't forget the baking soda! I'd be curious to know if their tummies look less bloated once you give them a pan of that. I took a look at the pelleted dewormer last night and I paid 12$ but it lasts a long time depending on how many goats you have to deworm. If getting over the fence is not an option (for paste or injectable), the pellet may be your best option.

                                Any chance of a picture or two? Goats are cool.
                                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                -Rudyard Kipling


                                • Original Poster

                                  Oh, no...not to worry J.

                                  I'll dump them some baking soda tonight to see what happens. I'll probably get three upwardly cocked eyeballs at me though saying "Um, is this supposed to be some sort of a joke?!"
                                  <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                                  • #18
                                    I don't think you'll get that look at all. I ran out one time and it was a week before I could refill the mineral bin .... gobble, gobble, gobble. I thought they would knock me down.

                                    So far as the "screaming" goes, it took me a while to figure it out, but the pygmy (her name is Little Goat) "screams" for a few days when she's in season. She's hysterically funny as she looks around for the buck of her dreams / screams. I feel so badly for her. On the other hand, "Big Goat" (the alpine) has no voice. She survived a barn fire and all we can imagine is that she lost it then.

                                    Mine get a handful of sunflower seeds a few times a week. When they first came to live with me, they had dry, dry skin. Very flakey. So I tried the BOSS. Seems to work pretty well. I just mix some in with their feed during the winter. Big Goat tends to shiver from the cold. Could be nerve damage. not sure. My friend gave me an old foal blanket, but she wouldn't keep it on. She looked very cute in it for a day. They have a stall in the barn that is blocked from the horses and can come and go at will. In or out 24/7 with the horses.


                                    • #19
                                      None of mine will eat the pelleted wormer! Wish they would, it'd be much easier.

                                      They also don't touch the goat salt/mineral blocks, but seem to love the horse salt blocks.

                                      Ditto on the baking soday, I don't know if they've ever needed it, but they do enjoy eating it.

                                      Thanks for looking out for these goats Choco.

                                      In my experience our ground cover is not enough for them to look really good on, we must supplement them. I try to feed as little grain as possible, but they do need some or they just don't look as good as I'd like.

                                      IMHO if you are throwing them a bit of hay, or some BOSS and a bit of grain, you will be helping them out a lot but not doing anything that would compromise their health. Throwing in a salt block would be a bonus!


                                      • #20
                                        ooh! A goat thread!

                                        I think those goaties need to make a transition to your house Chocomare! I have five goats as pets and adore them! Goats need as much care as a horse does and I find mine are very picky eaters!!

                                        All of the advice that you have received is very good. Deworming for coccidia is also a regular goat thing. My vet gets me a syrup for that, which I syringe into their mouths. They all receive rabies, tetanus and Caprine Encephalitis vaccinations. I trim their hooves myself with special goat feet trimmers.

                                        I offer "Billy Blocks" to my goats. A special goat mineral available at Tractor Supply.