Goat Kids Care and Management:
Introduction to Goat Kids Care and Management:- Goat Farming is one of the oldest and traditional livestock business which had been proven successful since centuries. Goat farm business is expanding worldwide as the population is growing and non-vegetarian lovers are increasing. There are many stall fed intensive commercial goat farming businesses are coming up as this model has huge profits when compared to traditional open grazing. Some people extensively raise goats for meat and some for milk and skin. If you are considering for breeding, then you should have good knowledge of caring goat kids. These kids can be from your farm, or from buying outside. Profits in goat farming or success rate of goat business depends on goat kids care and their management. The following sections are going to touch about mainly about goat kids management and care.
Goat Kids Care and Management: The following steps are all about keeping baby goats/goat kids happy and healthy.
Goat Kids Care – Comfortable Space: Goat kids in the shed require good space to roam around. Ensure the space is dry and warm. Wet and cold may cause diseases. To provide warmth conditions, you can lay the hay on the ground of the goat house. You should also take care of extreme colds, to protect these baby goats from cold, you can provide any heaters or heat lamps. These should be installed in right place so that goat kids won’t get hurt. As part of the daily routine, you should change the ground hay especially when it is wet. Goat kids should be exposed to proper ventilation and air flow in the house/shed.
Goat Kids Care – Naval Cord Care In Newly Born Goat Kids: Well, special attention should be given when mother goat delivers a baby goat.
The following should be followed at the time of newly born goat kids.
- First and Foremost, never try to cut the navel cord and let it break naturally.
- If you find the naval cord is too long after breaking, you can cut it close to baby goat stomach. However, If you are not sure of cutting, and need help, make sure you have veterinary doctor on scene to handle things for you.
- When scissors are used to cut naval card of baby goat to separate from mother goat, make sure all the instruments used are sterilized.
- To prevent newly born baby goats from any infections and make the cord to dry faster, you may dip the cord in iodine. It is better you get the help from your vet to do this.
Goat Kids Care – Baby Goat and Mother Goat Together: After the naval card procedure, make sure the both mother goat and baby goat stay together.
- Keeping them together allows mother goat to clean the baby goat which can aslo increases affection.
- Clean the floor and make it dry after the birth of the kid.
- Your attention is most important immediately after newborn kid. You should provide clean water to mother goat and monitor the baby goat.
Goat Kids Care – Baby Goat Feeding: You should know the fact that feeding goat mother milk is very important.
- The milk of the mother goat is called colostrum and this should be fed first time within 1 hour after the birth.
- Ensure the baby goats are fed with the colostrum at least 4 times a day. You can leave the goat kids with mother daylong so that it can have frequent access to ti mothers milk.
- To prevent any blocks, you can pull couple of streams of milk from the mother goat.
- Initially, baby goat may know feeding habits, so its your responsibility to provide little direction.
- In some cases, goat kids may not drink mother’s colostrum after birth, in this case, provide bottle feeding with mother goat milk (colostrum) or from any other goat.
- Some stores will sell the colostrum, you can buy this from the stores as well. This colostrum requires refrigeration so have one refrigerator in the shed/goat house.
- sometimes mother goat may not show interest to give milk for its kids. in this case also bottle feeding should be carried out.
- If you are with bottle, make sure to use sterilized bottles. Usually these goat kids need 8 to 10 weeks of milk feeding before they start eating/grazing.
- You should analyze the baby goat feeding habits and accordingly should provide the bottle milk.
- You must present at the time when baby goat gets colostrum from its mother to make sure the little one getting enough milk. However, your attention and special care is most desired till the baby goat reaches 2 months of age.
- When bottle feeding, you must stick to feeding schedule to provide enough nutrition for healthy growth of baby goats.
- Usually baby goats require 150 to 160 ml of milk during first 3 days after birth. Kids have to be fed with this amount 4 times a day. From 4th day to 10th day, they should be fed with 300 to 325 ml of milk 4 time/day. At 10 to 15 days old, 450 to 500 ml of milk 3 times/day should be given. For further feeding schedule, talk to your veterinary doctor as they may be supplemented with some other feed apart from the milk.
- Goat kids may stop drinking milk either from the mother or bottle. This means that that baby goat needs solid feed.
- Goat kids usually start weaning at 4 to 5 weeks of age.
- You can introduce pasture or hay to habituate the feeding. If it takes, still you can supplement with reduced amounts of milk.
- Provide clean and fresh water along with grains, hay or pasture. Now you can find your baby goats start taking food themselves instead of drinking milk.
Goat Kids Care – Horn Removal in Goat Kids: For safety precaution, you should remove baby goat horn buds.
- Don’t experiment yourself to remove the horns rather take professional help from veterinary doctor.
- Removing of horns can be done at 10 days of age. This process becomes harder as goat becomes old, hence it is recommended to perform at right stage.
Goat Kids Care – Goat Kids Vaccination: Required vaccination should be carried out in baby goats with the help of veterinary doctor. These vaccinations will boost immune power so that they become disease resistant.
- They require tetanus and clostridium vaccinations around about 4 to 5 weeks age. Overeating disease types ‘C’ & ‘D’ can be prevented by clostridium vaccination.
- Subsequently, they need booster shots of above vaccinations 4 weeks after the initial shots. For vaccination schedule and administering these, consult your veterinary doctor. don’t try to give yourself without knowing the information.
Goat Kids Care – Allow Goat Kids Only on Clean Pasture: Providing clean pasture is upmost priority to prevent baby goats from various diseases.
- Don’t mix-up the goat kids and adult goats on same pasture as there is a possibility that goat kids may eat manure in the pasture along with other plants. This may cause goat kids to fall sick very quickly.
- Keep young goats on separate pasture to avoid eating manures. These manure may result in worms and other parasites.
- If you find any young goat is sick, isolate that animal and seek aid by consulting your veterinary doctor.
- Never mix-up the young goats with other sick adult goats.
Goat Kids Care – Frequent Check-ups: You may need to have veterinary doctor on site to check up the young goats for worms and parasites.
- Carry out De-worming in younger goats in spring and summer or as per your vet.
- Frequent temperature check-ups are needed.
- Use any lice powder to prevent from lice. You can frequently trim the young goat fur.
Goat Kids Care – Young Goat Shelter: As the goat grow, you should provide secured and proper shelter.
- Always keep the shed floor clean and dry. Make sure the bedding of animals are dry and warm.
- Keep the goat house with well ventilation and air flow along with good drainage. Keep changing bedding to avoid any wetness on the floor.
- Shelter should protect the young goats from severe climatic conditions such as extreme colds, heats and floods.
- Fence around the shelter so that young goats cannot jump and this can also provide protection from other predators.
- It is better to make divisions/separators to keep the young goats in the shed.
Goat Kids Care – Young Goats with Feed: As the goats grow, they should be provided with more supplemental feed along with regular grazing.
- Grains, alfalfa hay, green pasture , maize (corn) barley and oats are best choice of feeding your young goats. Avoid any poisonous plants in the field (For example: Moldy grains, Azaleas and Rhododendrons).
Bottom Line of Goat Kids Care: Your attention and care is more important to raise the young goats.