This presentation was originally given at a meeting of the Midwest Goat Producers Association in Flora, Illinois, on April 20, 2007. Goat Management Basics. MIDWEST GOAT PRODUCERS April 20, 2007 Flora, Illinois SUSAN SCHOENIAN Sheep & Goat Specialist W. Maryland Research & Education Center
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MIDWEST GOAT PRODUCERS
April 20, 2007
Sheep & Goat Specialist
W. Maryland Research & Education Center
Univ. of Maryland Cooperative Extension
Katahdin sheep Midwest Goat Producers Association in Flora, Illinois, on April 20, 2007.www.baalands.com
Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test http://mdgoattest.blogspot.com
large and small producerscommercial and hobby
Know where you fit.
The act of managing something. Midwest Goat Producers Association in Flora, Illinois, on April 20, 2007.
The supervising or directing of an enterprise/business.
Effective utilization and coordination of resources such as capital, plant, materials, and labor to achieve defined objectives with maximum efficiency.What is management?
Your management practices will be dictated largely by the goals and objectives of your goat enterprise.
Why are you raising goats?Business (profit), hobby, show, pets, brush control
What product are you producing?Meat goats, goat meat, dairy products, fiber, pets, breeding stock, wethers, show animals, land management.
What and who is your market?Other breeders, 4-H and FFA members, consumers, restaurant owners, meat processors, stockyards.Define your objectives
Feeding goals and objectives of your goat enterprise.
FacilitiesGoat management covers many different aspects of raising and caring for goats.
Kiko kids Many Rocks Farm
The one that fits your system, matches your resources, and makes you the most money.
There is as much difference within breeds as between breeds.
There are relatively few reasons not to crossbreed goats . . . and fewer reasons to inbreed goats.
From a commercial standpoint, the best goat is one that performs the best, not necessarily looks the best
This is especially true for does and the bucks used to produce replacement females.
A Boer goat . . . no.
A purebred goat . . . no.
A registered goat . . . no.
An expensive goat . . . no.
A free or cheap goat . . . no.What is the best type of goat?
It depends on your management system and resources. makes you the most money.
BorrowedHow many goats can I raise?
Boer x Kiko
Goats can be raised in different production environments. makes you the most money.
All confinement/dry lot
Combination of bothHow many goats can I raise?
Kiko buck - Many Rocks Farm
It depends on makes you the most money.
Time of the year
How much you supplement?
Whether you graze year-round?
How intensively you manage your pastures?
Rest/rotationHow many goats can one acre support?
As a general rule of thumb, 1-2 acres will support 1,000 lbs. of grazing livestock.
Ideally, roughage (pasture, range, browse, and/or hay) should comprise the majority of the diet for your goats.
Goats are ruminants.
Goats are selective grazers. They prefer browsing to grazing when given the opportunity.
Forage diets tend to cause fewer digestive problems.
Browse diets cause fewer parasite problems.What do I feed my goats?
Provide supplemental feed when the forage is deficient in nutrients and/or it is economically justified.
Free choice minerals
Last 1/3 of pregnancy
First 6-8 weeks of lactation
Creep feeding and/or supplemental feeding of kids to increase growth, condition, and worm tolerance.
Flush does in poor condition for breeding.
Poor quality pasture
During drought or wet conditions.When should I supplement my goats?
Goat-proof and predator-proof. nutrients
5-7 strand high tensile electric
Woven wire with offset wires
Same as perimeter
PolywireWhat type of fencing is the most appropriate for goats?
Common sense nutrients
Good neighbor relations
When and where do you kid?
Donkeys (standard size)
Llamas (not alpacas)
Shooting, trapping, denning, livestock protection collar, M-44 cyanide injector**contact APHIS WSHow else can I do to control predators?
Depends when you kid. nutrients
Spring, fall - minimal
Winter - maximum
Need facilities to work goats.
Need a place to store feed and equipment.
Need a place to keep bucks when they are not being used.
Shelter areas in pasture.
Housing is also for convenience and comfort of people.What type of housing do I need to raise goats?
Annual kidding nutrients
Age of puberty averages 7 to 10 months (affected by breed, season, and nutrition).
Can breed doelings when they reach 2/3 of their mature weight.
Goats are seasonal in their breeding habits.
Seasonality is affected by breed and individual.
There are pros and cons to different kidding seasons: winter, spring, and fall.How often and when should I breed my goats?
Accelerated kidding.Pregnancy lasts approximately 5 months, so more than one kid crop per year is possible.Is it practical, profitable?
Ranges from 1 to 5 nutrients
Twins most common.
Yearlings often have 1 baby.
4-5 babies is rare
Tend to be more prolific than traditional sheep.
Reproductive rate is affected by breed, age, season, and nutrition.
Genetics of reproduction
Number of offspring determined primarily by doe (number of eggs ovulated sets upper potential)
Sex of offspring determined primarily by buck (Y). In long run, will be 50:50.How many babies do goats usually have?
Yes, if . . . nutrients
You don’t sell or cannot separate buck kids from their dams and female siblings by the time they are three months old.
You are selling for kids for market projects or as pets.
Your market discounts intact males.
You want better growth rates in the late summer and fall.
Otherwise don’t!Should I castrate my buck kids?
For dairy purposes nutrients
Wethers for show ??? (depends on rules of show)
As a personal preference
While individual goats can be restrained by the horns, disbudded goats are easier to work in a handling system, safer to handle, and less destructive to people, other animals, fencing, feeders, and equipment.
Disbudding is stressful to the goat.
Most meat goat producers do not disbud.Should I disbud my kids?
Maybe, if . . . nutrients
Milk production is a limiting factor.
You have lots of multiple births.
To go along with an early weaning program.
Pasture is a limited resource.
To get kids to grow faster.
To improve fleshing and body condition of goats (grade and price).
To improve resistance to parasites.
To feed a coccidiostat.
Only if it’s economical.Should I creep feed my kids?
Early (60-90 days) nutrients
Remove lactation stress from does to breed back earlier.
Put weaned kids on better pasture or save pasture for more does.
So you don’t have to castrate buck kids.
Focus internal parasite control on more susceptible kids.
Late (4-6 months)
Less risk of mastitis
More economical pasture gains.
Pasture-raised kids are more vulnerable to parasites and predators.
Need to sell, separate castrate males by 3 months of age.
Many does will rebreed while they are lactating.When should I wean the kids?
Internal parasites - worms nutrients
Stomach wormsbarber pole worm
Digestivescours, acidosis, bloatWhat are the most common health problems with goats?
Pasture rest/rotation nutrients
Manage grazing height
Genetic selection (within and between breeds)
Selective dewormingNot everyone, not every month
Proper drug use
Fecal testing to determine effectiveness of drugsdrug resistance is a major issueHow do I control internal parasites?
The FAMACHA© system should be used as part of an integrated parasite management program that employs other best management practices.
Single-cell protozoa that damage lining of small intestines and cause diarrhea in kids.
Species and site-specific.
Proper stocking/penning rates
Use of coccidiostats in water, feed, or mineral.
Bovatec®, Rumensin® and Deccox®
Treat with Corid or sulfa drugsWhat about coccidia?**can be a serious problems in kid goats**
***Rumensin®, Bovatec®, and Deccox® are toxic to horses, donkeys, and mules.***
Restraint: lift hoof while goat is standing on table, platform, or ground.Harder to tip goats on rump.There are tilt tables available
Don’t buy goats with foot rot.
Foot scald can occur seasonally when it is wet.Hoof care
Infectiousbacterial, viral, protozoa
Non-infectiousnutrition, management, stress
Most digestive problems (bloat, acidosis) are caused by diet changes, usually sudden.
Know what you’re dealing with and treat symptoms.Digestive problems
Nutri-drench (corn oil + karo syrup + molasses)
Baking sodaTreating digestive problems
Often occurs as a secondary infection associated with ketosis, milk fever, bloat, acidosis, etc.
StressRespiratory symptomscoughing, nasal discharge, congestion, wheezing, sneezing, fever
Normal body temperature is 102-103°F.
Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) goats.
Internal and lymph node abscesses
Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis (CAE)
Colostrum is primary mode of transmissionOther Diseases of Concern
Johne’s Disease goats.
More common than we think?
Regulatory issueUSDA ID requirements
neurological, wastingOther Diseases of Concern
Is she done yet?