About our Goats!
We love our goats very very much! Each one of them has a distinct personality and a role in the herd!
We do hand breeding so we are able to monitor due dates and to reduce stress on our bucks.
The What and How
Our goats eat a mix of premium hay, straw and browse in summer.
When there is no snow they get plenty of browse on our acreage. We practice pasture rotation and there is a wide variety of vegetation for them.
Dry does get a minimal grain ration which includes black oil sunflower seeds and whole oats. Milkers receive a larger grain ration. The bucks often are too distracted to eat their minerals so they get a small amount of calf manna on a daily basis where we sneak the minerals and kelp!
All the goats have free choice mineral and kelp available. We add a small amount of yeast to the mineral to encourage consumption and optimal rumen function.
We do everything we can to prevent difficult or prolonged births. Several weeks prior to their due date each doe is given raspberry leaves and other herbs to prepare her for giving birth and to boost her immune system.
Our does tend to wait to do the actual pushing till we get home from work. They must like to have us around and we are happy to be a part of this exciting event!
After a couple years of leaving kids on their dams, we realized that that system just doesn't work for us at this time.
We now bottle feed all kids. This way we ensure each kid gets what he or she need and the doe is milked out properly every day.
This also allows us to keep the kids with their dams even when weaning which makes it less stressful for them.
When the kids are around a month old we give them a small handful of grains to nibble at every day. This is not to supplement their diet or as feed in any way but simply to acclimatize their taste buds.
Typically when we are retaining a kid for our herd, we gradually wean them around 16 weeks of age. If they are reserved, we will work with the new owners on their system and needs.