We strive to have a happy, healthy herd that produces delicious milk & can compete in the showring! I am a member of the American Dairy Goat Association and all of my goats are registered through it. Kids are sold with applications to be registered through this registry. We participate in the Minnesota Board of Animal Health as part of the Federal Scrapie Eradication Program.
Topics discussed below include: Products, Medications, Living Quarters, Feed, Prevention, Kidding Time, Getting Your New Goat from here, Milking & Showing, info sites.
Here are some of the things we do to keep our goats looking and feeling their best:
Hay ranks number one. A loft in the barn comes in handy to store bales for the winter to keep it dry. Never feed moldy hay. I feed a grass/alfalfa mix hay to all of my goats year round. If I were milking I would put them on alfalfa since it has a higher protein content which will help you in higher milk production. Keep in mind you don't want to feed a high protein to bucks/wethers since it can create urinary calculi/stones which can require surgery or result in death a lot of times. All pet goats do fabulous on a plain grass hay as well but if they are pregnant or producing milk try to get a higher quality hay. Bucks here generally only get grain as a treat..again trying to keep them off the high protein so they won't develop stones. I've done different types of feed throughout the years. Currently I am doing a mix of one scoop black oil sunflower seeds/1 scoop Sure Champ goat pellet/2 scoops Purina Noble Goat feed/2 scoops Nutrena Stock & Stable 12%horse sweet feed. I mix that in a metal barrel and repeat until the barrel is full placing a tight cover on top to keep rodents out. In the past I have done straight Purina goat chow which has worked fine & I've also done straight horse sweet feed which also worked great. They really do enjoy the mixture that I've made up though & are looking fantastic on it. Currently I am feeding 8 goats 2 scoops of my grain mix each morning with 2 flakes of hay and at night they get 3 more flakes of just hay. You will want some type of hay rack. My husband built the one in the photo. You can also buy metal one. You will want to put it in a place where the hay won't get wet, there are many plans on the internet of different styles you can make. Fresh clean water is a must in clean buckets. In winter time here with 7 pregnant does & 1 young buck, they drink about 3 to 4 buckets of water daily. I have a heated water bucket which is amazing for northern Minnesota. I highly suggest electricity outlets in your barn if you are planning to build. In summer I have an underground hose from the house to the barn for easy water access..winter I manually fill buckets at a faucet outside of my house & carry or pull them in a sled to the barn. You will want bucket holders of some type to suspend the buckets above butt level--they will always manage to get poop in the buckets otherwise and if you have does ready to kid, you won't want a baby dropped in there to drown. A mineral feeder is great. I put baking soda on one side and goat minerals on the other (goats need copper so free choice goat specific minerals are needed--never feed to sheep though). They will lick at the minerals/baking soda whenever they need it. Why baking soda you ask?--to aid in any stomach upset. Any kind of goat mineral for a farm supply store is going to be good. I'm picky and ship mine from Hoegger goat supply..it's called Golden Blend Minerals and my goats love it. http://hoeggerfarmyard.com/xcart/Golden-Blend-Minerals.html We are big on fresh browse, we have lots of wooded areas here. In the summer I hardly do any hay, the senior goats have several large wooded fenced areas to browse to their hearts content on fresh leaves/pine trees/grass etc.
Kidding time advice, #1 research & keep your closest vet phone numbers handy for those emergency situations! If your doe has been in a hard labor with constant hard contractions and no sign of a kid coming out in an hour, you will want to try to reach in and assess the situation..if you can't get the kids straightened out call your vet! Nigerian Dwarf goats generally are pretty easy kidders but ...there are always a few does who need help. Make sure you do your research before kidding time so you'll have an idea of what you are doing if you do have to reach in! Products I use for kidding: puppy pads, strong blue thick paper towels you can get in the automotive area at any walmart, umbilical cord clamps-I only use if excessive blood-you can also use floss to tie the umbilical cord if you don't have the clamps, triodine-7 or any iodine for dipping naval cords in, latex free gloves-because I don't like to touch that gooey mess with my bare hands, lubricant jelly in case I need to reach in to assess any problems, sterile scissors or disposable scalpel blades for cutting the umbilical cords, a kid-puller which I've never yet used but good to have on hand just in case, & a bulb syringe with a small tip to suction out nasal & mouth airways. Don't be afraid to swing those kids upside down by their hind legs if they come out not breathing or if they sound raspy, the force of swinging will bring that fluid out of their airways. I always have pop bottles & Pritchard nipples on hand (some brands of soda bottles have a different plastic thread on top so make sure the nipples screw on easily beforehand). I have bovi sera & a powdered colostrum powder on hand for those "just in case" situations. Obviously goat milk is the best if you have to bottlefeed but goats fine on whole cows milk or goat specific powders that you mix with water.
All kids are disbudded within the first week of their life as soon as I feel those little horn nubs. Kids get a CD/T vaccination at 4 weeks of age and a 2nd at 8 weeks of age. Bucks will be castrated at 8 to 10 weeks of age if they are not reserved ahead of time. All kids are dewormed with Ivermectin before going to their new homes. Dam raised kids will be completely weaned by 8 weeks of age. Weaning is done in a slow 2 to 3 week process.
For those newbies who have does due to kid fo...r the first time, you can find plenty of videos on youtube.com (just search Pelican Acres) and you will find me aiding in many goat deliveries here throughout the past few years. Here is a good one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4_b3LnGGB0 This was Swiss Miss kidding with twins. The second kid had a rough start but you can see me swinging it upside down & suctioning the mucous out of the mouth & nose to clear the airway..it has a happy ending I am hoping to get a better camera as my early Christmas gift this year that won't be quite so pixely with movement.
GETTING YOUR NEW GOAT:
Prices: does & in-tact registered bucks=$300+ (without papers around $200). Wethers-$50-$75 each. Deposits are required for already born goats. $100 non-refundable to hold each doe & in-tact buck. $25 non-refundable deposit per wether. The animal must be paid in full before leaving our farm. Of course, we highly recommend that you take the opportunity to visit our farm to get your new goat. Delivery may be possible in Minnesota for an additional gas fee. All animals are guaranteed healthy and free of disqualifying faults unless otherwise noted when they leave our farm. Since we cannot control any stress that may occur as the result of shipping; or the animals care or environment once it leaves our farm, we cannot offer any further guarantees.
Milking is an almost impossible thing to do twice daily for me between my work schedule. Some days I'm on day shift which means I'm gone from 5:45am-4:30pm and other days I am gone from 12:15pm to 11:00pm so as you can see it's impossible for me to milk the girls on a regular 12 hour routine unfortunately :( I have been able to do some milking throughout the past years..the Henry Milker is a life saver--LOVE that milking device and highly recommend it. It works so much faster than my hand milking and my hands don't get sore. Never had any problems with it ruining any udders which is what I was initially worried about with the constant stream of milk instead of a pulsating flow. It is truly an amazing product worth getting and price wise is under $150 versus a big milking machine which will cost around $1000+ brand new.
I enjoy trying to make it to a few shows each summer. 2009 resulted in 4 Grand Champion wins and 3 Reserve Champion wins!! Generally that includes a few ADGA sanctioned competitions & occasionally the St. Louis County Fair. We did however participate in the 2010 ADGA Linear Appraisal & has some great final scores all between 80-89! I learned so much! I feel that I really have a great herd to work with. In 2013, I competed at the National Goat Expo in Illinois with a number of first places and top 5 placements. Some of my buyers have shown my stock at National competitions, in 2013 Pelican Acres DSL Maverick won the AGS National Sr. Buck placement, Pelican Acres TLP Dauntless won AGS National Reserve Junior Buck that year. MCH/CH Pelican Acres LPD Fern is a permanent Grand Champion with milk star status pending!
http://www.thegoatspot.net/ Goat forum, ask any questions..great group of people on there. My screen name is pelicanacresMN on there.
http://fiascofarm.com/goats/index.htm This is the 1st site I go to for any info.
If you have any other questions or topics you'd like to discuss, please feel free to contact me. Better yet, set up a day & time to come on over and meet my herd! I really look forward to meeting people and helping out. [email protected] Karen Las (218)757-3246