Have you decided to adopt some Nigerian Dwarf goats? These guys are not only fun and cute, they’re also great milk producers. They are also quite rugged, and can adapt to many different climates. A local Mt. Airy, MD vet offers some goat care tips in this article.
Your goats will need room to run and play. We recommend giving each goat at least 135 square feet. As for shelters, you’ll need 20 feet for each 2 goats. Keep males and females separate. You’ll need to make sure your goats have free access to both shaded and sunny areas. Be sure to use good fencing! Also, inspect your land and remove any toxic plants, such as ivy and laurel. Goats are very playful and curious, so add some fun toys, as well as things for them to climb.
Goats can be stubborn. However, it may be helpful for you to know that they hate getting wet. A squirt bottle or hose can be a handy training aid. You might not be able to teach your goat tricks, but you should at least be able to break some bad habits, such as rushing out the gate too quickly.
Collars can actually be dangerous for goats. For one thing, they can easily get stuck on things. Also, because of the way goats are built, it’s easy for collars to cut off blood flow. Try to limit the use of collars.
If you have good pasturage, Billy will be able to get many of his nutrients from grazing. If you don’t have good pasturage, you’ll need to provide alfalfa hay. Each goat will eat about 3 to 5 pounds of hay per day. Some goats, such as nursing mamas, also need grain, as well as vitamins and minerals. Your vet may also recommend offering iodized salt. Just like any other animal, your goats will require plenty of fresh water. You may want to set out extra water stations in hot weather, to prevent dehydration. Ask your vet for more information.
Your goats will need regular veterinary care. In addition to vaccinations, worming, and tetanus shots, they will need thorough exams. You may also need to get Billy’s hooves trimmed. Follow your vet’s recommendations for appointments.
Do you have questions about goat care? Contact us, your Mt. Airy, MD veterinary clinic, anytime!