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And now I have a goat

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  • And now I have a goat

    So....I half lease a barn. I own 2 horses. My friend who has the other half of the barn owns 2 horses, a pony and a mini. Somehow, her mom decided that we needed rodent control so we got 3 cats. Which I thought was enough. But apparently I was wrong Another occupant moved into the barn this weekend. It's a mini goat What the heck do you do with a mini goat? I have never had goats. I know nothing about goats. All I know is that this goat is suposed to keep the mini horse company but the mini horse HATES her So now I have a stall occupied by a goat. What do they eat? Poor Myrtle has been getting grain and hay because frankly I don't know what else to give her. And how do you get the mini to accept her new friend? And is there anything that I need to pay special attention to as far as goat health concerns?

  • #2
    Don't feed her too much! They don't need a lot of food -and the more you feed them the fewer weeds they'll eat.

    They pee a lot. You need a fork with very small tines to clean their stall. They are cute and friendly. They can eat up all your scrap vegetables the horses don't like - ours love clementines. one likes strawberries and tomatoes, the other perfers bananas and cucumbers.

    Ours are a big PITA but they are cute.

    Comment


    • #3
      There is a reason there are always goats to give away on CL.

      They are super, irresistible cute, everyone wants one, until they have some.
      Unless you have uses for goats, just as ornaments, they tend to eventually get your goat.
      If loose, they will play king of the hill on vehicles, if with horses, they eat their tails off.
      That is when they finally lose their homes.

      Most goats like goat company.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
        There is a reason there are always goats to give away on CL.

        They are super, irresistible cute, everyone wants one, until they have some.
        Unless you have uses for goats, just as ornaments, they tend to eventually get your goat.
        If loose, they will play king of the hill on vehicles, if with horses, they eat their tails off.
        That is when they finally lose their homes.

        Most goats like goat company.
        This goat does not like goat company....that is why we have accquired her. She did not fit in with the rest of the herd.

        I really don't care if she munchs a bit on the mini's tail....she does so at her own risk I am mostly worried about over or under feeding her and making sure she is contained. I really do not want her to get loose and become coyote dinner. She seems to cohabitat fine with the mini in the paddock but not in the stall. So....other than being very cute PITAs....what do I need to know about them?

        Comment


        • #5
          They need worming.

          Feed very very little grain but free choice hay.

          You have to watch dogs around goats as some seem to feel a goat is free lunch.

          Feet need trimming every now and then and that's easily done with a pair of hand pruners.

          Need access to salt.

          All I can think of right now. Have fun.
          You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

          Comment


          • #6
            We had a small goat dairy, but that was over 30 years ago.
            Our goats lived in a large draw made into a goat pasture, fenced with hog wire and near the yard with chain link.

            They had access to a big double horse stall on a corner of the barn.
            Goats were fed the prettiest alfalfa and only those milking got a little grain while on the milking table.
            We sold the milk locally.

            We used some goats for foals that needed supplementation or orphans and loaned some to breeders with the ocassional orphan.

            I would ask your local vet about this, or some goat person around there.

            Comment


            • #7
              Congrats! they certainly can be fun

              We use to raise dairy goats for 4-H and we also acquired a dwarf as a pet. Personally I wouldn't feed any grain. We have one older doe left and she is really FAT without any grain and I think the entire time we kept them, in Minnesota, we only ever fed grain once over a really cold winter when we had several young kids.
              My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/Unicorn
              and her blog

              "Ponies are the new black. Welcome to the darkside!" - Manahmanah

              Comment


              • #8
                The mini might not accept the new friend... some get along, most don't. I tried to keep mine with minis for a while, and they terrorized her. She may have a new mini foal moving in with her soon, so we'll have to see if they get along or not. And while my pygmy goat never bothers the horses, they sometimes like to think of her as a football and go racing after her. She's just so short and tempting and, well... plump. Once they get used to her, they usually don't care, but if she goes into their pasture, pretty soon she has a whole herd of horses racing after her until she ducks under the fence.

                Do you know what kind of goat it is? Pygmies are usually a little more cobby, while Nigerians aren't. Pygmies are meat goats while Nigerians are dairy.

                Be VERY careful of overfeeding. Mine does not need grain at all, and she is a little *too* healthy at the moment, erring on the side of fat. It can be kind of hard to tell whether a Pygmy is at a good weight or not because they normally look, as I said, cobby, but you should feel along the spine, and if it's filled in and not bulging, they're at a good weight. If it's caved in around the spine or you can feel bones, then they're underweight. If your goat is a Nigerian, then you should be able to keep track of her weight in a more normal manner by feeling the ribs.

                They need to be wormed (every 4-6 months) and vaccinated. I forget what vaccinations they need, but I'll have to check. They should get their hooves trimmed every 6-8 weeks which can be done easily, as someone else said, with pruners.

                As for food, you want to be feeding a mixture of alfalfa and other hay (grass/timothy). If she needs a little weight, then a handful of grain is fine, but make sure to give in very small quantities.

                Good luck. Goats are a ton of fun. Mine is just like a dog and follows me around everywhere. She will "paw" at people with her hoof for attention and loves jumping on the boxes and mounting block in the ring. I love her to death.

                Comment


                • #9
                  feed goat feed, not horse feed - Same feed store probably

                  The only goat I've been around was fabulous! The perfect pet - cute, affectionate, and only $8 a month to feed! If only I could have figured out that poop wherever you want problem. He was to be a lion's dinner at an exotic animal park, but got rescued. The one problem he did have if he got into horse feed was urinary tract issues - his urine would be bloody. The vet said it was common in goats. Something about crystals caused by some mineral - sorry I can't remember more. He followed his BO person around like a dog, and was a great "watch" animal. Nothing was allowed on the farm without his OK. When he was bored he hung with the horses or the wild deer,but mostly he waited for his beloved BO. If you sat around to chat, or have anything to drink, he was right there. He had the run of the farm, but also a grass run with a flat top house that he could be kept in. Everyone cried when he passed away.

                  Call your local high school Future Farmers of America club - some human kid will be able to help you with everything.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    DO NOT feed them trimmings from shrubs!!!!!!!!

                    It can cause bloat and can kill them.

                    The myth that goats can eat anything is so wrong.

                    I learned this lesson the hard way-my first year with goats, the landscape company dumping the shrub clippings in with the goats. One got bloat.

                    It was simply awful.

                    After we buried her, the goats would circle her grave daily for about a month. Then then would do it weekly.

                    It was so fascinating and sad and interesting all at the same time to watch the behavior.

                    I currently have 4 (lost 2 to old age)...and they do need deworming. Parasites can be a real issue.

                    I don't feed mine grain-they simply graze and have done so for about 10-11 years so far.

                    Be sure you have goat proof fencing-and that means wire, not 3 or 4 board.

                    They can be VERY entertaining!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      you need good fencing, especially with a mini. Keep a pan of plain old baking soda available- it's good for the gut and refill when it's empty. Get the hooves done , as was said- not hard, but your farrier can do it, too. They should get a tetanus booster every year and mine get rabies shots, as well. I feed a goat grain(actually- Blue seal Charger AKA Caprine), but they really don't need any- they're just pets, and free choice hay, plus whatever brush and weeds they decide to clear up. I prefer the larger breeds, as they can't get in to as MUCH trouble as the little guys. Be prepared for a long life. Don't know about the minis, but my old wether lived to be 19 and his aunties 17 and 19!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        The new goat, Myrtle, seems to disagree with your suggestions of a handful of grain She wants whatever is left over in the scoop. She trys very hard to be demanding. The second I walk in the barn, she starts to get very vocal. I think that she has learned from the horses and cats that I am the feed wench I am thinking that all of her talking is just her say "Ummm food wench.....this is an inadequate amount of sweet feed. I demand more. And also, why did the pony in the next stall get better hay? And why can't I just be loose in the barn?" She is constantly reaching through the bars trying to get the pony's hay which came (most likely) from the same bale that her hay came from this morning and trying to exit the stall

                        So far, she only likes me when I am feeding her

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We have a goat at our barn - he's only been there about 6 or 8 weeks, and he's adorable. He lives in a stall, and comes out to play during chore and lesson time - he's awesome! He eats special goat feed (about a small handful at am and pm feeding time). He eats lots of hay.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LMH View Post
                            DO NOT feed them trimmings from shrubs!!!!!!!!

                            It can cause bloat and can kill them.

                            The myth that goats can eat anything is so wrong.
                            Very, very true. Mine nearly got bloat from getting into a little too much Calf Manna. Baking soda and oil came in very handy at that moment. It definitely would be a good idea to allow access to baking soda and salt/minerals.

                            Some horse feeds have similar if not exactly the same ingredients and percentages as goat feeds. Just do pay attention to what you're feeding them and what they eat. Goats may TRY to eat anything (including hairnets, plastic, and other harmful objects....), but it does not mean they can digest it.

                            They can be VERY insistent. Mine starts bleating at me--LOUDLY--the second I arrive and will not stop until I let her out of her stall. When my goat was young, she was so attached to me that she would literally cry (they can bleat so loudly and pathetically it sounds like a baby crying) all night in her stall and whenever I would leave her for periods of time. However, don't get pulled into feeding them too much. It can lead to some very negative health consequences.

                            It's good that you have a girl. They generally have fewer health difficulties and are easier to manage. They smell better, too.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by ontarget View Post
                              Very, very true. Mine nearly got bloat from getting into a little too much Calf Manna. Baking soda and oil came in very handy at that moment. It definitely would be a good idea to allow access to baking soda and salt/minerals.
                              Do you just offer it to her in a bowl? And would horse mineral blocks work?


                              They can be VERY insistent. Mine starts bleating at me--LOUDLY--the second I arrive and will not stop until I let her out of her stall. When my goat was young, she was so attached to me that she would literally cry (they can bleat so loudly and pathetically it sounds like a baby crying) all night in her stall and whenever I would leave her for periods of time. However, don't get pulled into feeding them too much. It can lead to some very negative health consequences.
                              Yep....she starts bleating as soon as I walk in the barn. Since she doesn't seem to like getting pet, I can only assume she is asking for food. I have been feeding her what I feed our mini (one handful of sweet feed and free choice hay) but will get her goat food if that is better for them. Between her and the cats, it is getting really hard to get barn chores done

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                ihave a mineral block available to horse and goats. I have a feed tub that I keep loose, dry baking soda in. I buy a 10?lb bag of Arm & Hammer from Sam's or BJs and just keep it full. They eat as much as they need /want and then I just keep refilling it. I keep it in their resting stall( my dearly departed Arab's old stall) so they are next to the horse. Don't know about the oil. Fresh water at all times. They won't usually eat weeds that are bad for them if they have adequate grass/hay/brush at all times.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The only thing I might added -is ours have radar for rose bushes. Must be their absolute favorite food, if they get out of their pen it is a bee line for them I can't tell you how many bushes I have replaced. Very cute as babies but then thay grow up.
                                  M
                                  Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from behind, or a fool from any direction

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by LMH View Post

                                    Be sure you have goat proof fencing-and that means wire, not 3 or 4 board.

                                    They can be VERY entertaining!
                                    Yep....goat proof fencing needs some work. Today the goat went on an unplanned walkabout And she doesn't like being caught and doesn't lead well once caught. And guess what? She can squeeze through a cattle panel type gate I watched her do it. I guess they are like rodents....if their head fits through....the rest of their body somehow fits through. Darn goat

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