What kind of care do goats need?
Are goats hard to take care of?
10 basic requirements goats need for happy, healthy
- 1. Goats need a safe, fenced area. A good fence is as much to keep goats in as
it is to keep predators out! Roaming dogs are the top killer of goats! See
Fencing Requirments for more on fencing.
- 2. They need a shelter to keep them protected from precipitation and heavy
winds. Its a good idea to have the shelter closable to protect them
from predators overnight. See Housing Requirments for more on housing needs.
- 3. Goats are herd animals and don't do well without at least one other goat
as a companion. Intact males (bucks) should not be kept with females but they
still need a companion too! Bucks CAN be kept with other bucks though. You will need a separate fenced area and housing for your bucks.
Wethers (neutered males) can be kept with females or bucks so they make a great, versitile companion animal for the other goats.
- 4. They need fresh water two times a day and good hay or quality pasture to eat. Hay needs
to be fed in a dry location, up, off the ground.
- 5. To keep them healthy, they need loose minerals available "free choice".
Meaning its always out and available for them. Minerals need to be kept dry, so
a strategic location (that they will notice frequently) inside their shelter is
the best location. Loose minerals can be bought at your local feed store.
- 6. Some goats can have issues with parasites. One intestinal worm in
particular, called Barberpole worm, can cause such severe anemia that the goat
can die. Its important to check your goat's eyelids monthly for signs of anemia.
Become familiar with the Famancha method and deworm if the goat is becoming very
anemic and not recovering on their own.
- 7. Goats need their hooves trimmed periodically. How often will depend on the
breed and age of the goat as well as your terrain. If they are wearing down
their hooves naturally due to your terrain (i.e. rocks), you will have to trim
- 8. If you choose to (I recommend it), goats need to be vaccinated with the
CD&T vaccine annually. This can be purchased at your local feed store and done
by you! Here at A Better Way Farm, I do all our vaccinations myself.
- 9. They need you to be involved in their lives. :) Yes, really. The best way
to ensure your goat stays healthy is to lay eyes on them every single day, at
least a couple of times. Observing their behavior, coat condition and appetite
can clue you in when something is not right!
- 10. It is helpful to become familiar with the most common goat health issues so you
will know what signs to be looking out for. Goats are amazing animals!
Would you like to read more about Goats and Goat Care? Check out the