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12/28/01

One of my goats has a swelling under the jaw. How can I tell what it is?

One of my goats has a cloudy eye. What should I do?

The vet says that we have coccidiosis in our herd. What should we do?

We have a baby goat with diarrhea. What should we do?

How do you milk a goat?

How much food do you give a milking doe?

What do you do about double teats?

How do you "dry up" a goat?

How do you make a goat stop making all that noise when it is being weaned?

Where can I buy Rennit tablets, called for in the recipes for making cheese?

How do I know if my goat is anemic?

My doe’s sides are sunken in and she looks rather skinny. How do I know that her weight is correct?

What kind of milk should I feed my new baby goat?

How on earth do you do serious work on a goat's udder? They always kick when I try it.

How do you register a goat?

My very pregnant doe has a huge udder; should I milk her before she delivers?

One of our goats has a small twisted horn from a failed dehorning. What can I do?

How do you get weak babies to nurse?

Our doe has bald areas with a little dandruff along the back. There don't appear to be any sores. Lice treatment does no good. Is there something else we could try?

Can you run goats with other animals?

When can you let a newly freshened doe and her babies out with the rest of the herd?

Should goats wear halters or collars?

How long do goats live?

How can you tell how old a goat is?

Can you help us with commercial goat production?

How can you teach a goat to not eat wooden fencing?

What do you know about artificial insemination in goats?

What is the proper way to hang a heat lamp?

What is the proper age to band a male kid?

When should you wean baby goats?

Do you have to milk a goat, or can you just enjoy them without all that extra work?

How do you give shots?

How can I teach my billy to stop butting me? It's getting out of hand.

What are the signs of heat in a doe?

Mom wants to kill her newborn baby; what can I do?

My goat doesn’t have any teeth in the front of her upper jaw, what’s wrong?


One of my goats has a swelling under the jaw. How can I tell what it is?

One option is "milk throat" a swelling which occurs in suckling kids, usually ones which are nursing rather heavily off a good producing Mom. It goes away when they stop nursing.

If it is goiter (iodine deficiency) it will be down lower, nearer what would be the equivalent of the Adam's apple in humans. You would be able to feel it as a rather solid mass. If it is a goiter, you would best seek help from a vet.

Another scenario is "bottle jaw" which is a significant swelling below the chin and sometimes down front of the throat. This is an indication of fairly significant worm (internal parasite) infestation. The treatment is a good solid dose of worm medicine, perhaps exceeding the normal recommended dose a little and repeated 2 or 3 times until symptoms disappear. The only sure diagnosis is a fecal sample.

The other possibility is an abscess, which takes a little experience to diagnose, but it will show changes over time and probably some solidifying in parts of it and maybe erupting into something that bursts on its own, spreading organisms all over the place. Sometimes it is really hard to tell the difference between bottle jaw and a large abscess; but the abscess will eventually show changes in size or shape and possibly burst. Abscesses in this area can be rather dangerous and lead to difficult breathing or reduced blood flow.

One of my goats has a cloudy eye. What should I do?
There are several causes of cloudy eyes ("opacity", "catarracts"). It can be caused by any number of "systemic" illnesses, such as the various organisms that also cause diarrhea, diabetes, etc. Also, deficiencies such as Vitamin A can lead to cloudiness. The most common cause, however, is trauma of some sort. For a discussion of this topic, click here.

The vet says that we have coccidiosis in our herd. What should we do?

Click here

We have a baby goat with diarrhea. What should we do?

Click here

How do you milk a goat

To find out, click here

How much food do you give a milking doe?

[First, remember that a pound of milk weighs roughly one pound; so when you see amount of milk given in pounds, just convert that to "pints" which is much easier for us "normal" people to remember.]

Give one-half pound of grain per pint (pound) of milk produced, up to 2 or 2.5 pounds, and 2 - 2.5 lb of hay per 100 pounds of the doe's body weight, twice a day.

What do you do about double teats?

Click here

How do you "dry up" a goat?

You simply STOP milking or remove the kids from her. Read more here and scroll down to drying up.

How do you make a goat stop making all that noise when it is being weaned?

I have never looked into silencing goats. But I suppose that if you were to find a really, really skilled vet and had deep enough pockets, you could get together to make a silent goat. But even if I knew the answer I don't think I'd tell anyone, because what you have is a people problem and not a goat problem.

Some goats, especially Nubians, will scream at you when they see you at a distance. I think they associate it with feeding and/or milking. Is this the situation you are describing? Does she stop after she's had dinner (breakfast, or whatever)? You might try altering the feed routine or schedule. We have one who did it for several years but doesn't do it any more and I don't know why. Try NOT giving feed every time you go out. We are supposed to be smarter than them, right? See if there are any times that they see you and she doesn't scream. Then, try to figure out what the difference is. There's nothing wrong with being the odd one in the neighborhood.

If it is a case of still being in the weaning process, that is a different situation. All weaned animals (that I know of) will scream and scream for about 3 days or until they can't make any more noise. We raise cattle, sheep and goats and have become rather used to it.

You and your neighbors need to know something about rural life. The noise of animals (not dogs!) is just a normal part of living in the country. I don't think that you are raising goats in the city, are you? I have to tell the story of our neighbor lady who used to get terribly upset every time we weaned a calf. Once, we had one that was especially noisy and she worked herself up into such a stew that she actually had a massive heart attack and died right then and there. I hope your neighbors aren't getting that upset.

Alternatives:

--Bring her in the house to live.

--Move into the barn with her.

--Loan her to a "friend" that you really dislike.

--Go away on vacation for 3 weeks and ask the complaining neighbor to feed her for you.

--Stop feeding her and she'll get too weak to scream.

--Be thankful that you only have one that makes noise.

Where can I buy Rennit tablets, called for in the recipes for making cheese?

You can find Junket brand Rennit tablets in the gelatin section of most larger supermarkets.
How do I know if my goat is anemic?

The best way, of course, is to have a thorough blood test. Short of that, a lot can be learned by observing the mucous membranes. The gums are the least reliable place to check. Some very healthy normal goats just tend to have off-color or pale gums. It is better to check the inside of the eyelids and/or the inside of the vulva. Some people say that the "whites" of the eyes can be used to diagnose anemia, but I feel that too many other maladies can distort the findings.

My doe’s sides are sunken in and she looks rather skinny. How do I know that her weight is correct?

Feel along the mid-line of her spine from front to back. You should be able to feel the ridges caused by the individual vertebrae. If you do not feel any bumps, she is too fat. If the center of the spine feels sharp to the touch and the bumps are pronounced, dropping off rapidly on each side, then she is too thin. Also, you will be able to feel fat in the armpit (axilla) area if the doe is overweight.
What kind of milk should I feed my new baby goat?

Baby goats should be raised on whole goat milk (fresh or frozen). . .PERIOD.

In an emergency, for a short period of time, they can be fed:

1 Powdered goat milk - These products are hard to find. Two kinds are available at Pipestone [see Links page]. The owner should be aware that animals raised on powdered milk formulas have a greater chance of getting diarrhea and, therefore, of dying. Nevertheless, this is the very best option if whole goat milk is not available. You can wean the kids as early as 6 or 8 weeks, but we prefer to have them on milk a little longer. Many people raise babies very succesfully on this substitute.

2 Evaporated milk - As found in the grocery store. Use "as is", but only for first two or three days. Best bet for unexpected emergency if no colostrum available.

3 Powdered lambs’ milk - Use diluted with 10 - 20% water since it is a little too rich for goats; increased chance of diarrhea.

4 Fresh whole cows’ milk - Must be supplemented with powdered lamb or powdered goat milk. Cows milk does NOT have enough fat and nutrition for goats. Not a good choice.

5 Powdered calf replacer, supplemented with lamb replacer or some form of nutrients. Definitely not adequate for goats as is.

6 Canned goat milk (grocery store); expensive. Be careful because some is condensed and will need dilution with water.

7 Any colostrum, such as cow colostrum, can be used for kids.

8 Blends of the above.

(With any of these substitutes, you should feed smaller amounts and more frequently than normal.)

How on earth do you do serious work on a goat's udder? They always kick when I try it.

Put her on the milk stand with feed available in the tray. Stand behind her facing forward. Put your knee between her back legs and with your thigh lift the leg on the side of the udder that you want to work on off the ground. Position your leg a little in front of hers and you will find that with a little fine tuning you can do about anything you want to the udder without her being able to kick at all.
How do you register a goat?

Registration is handled by the various breed assocaitions. A fairly comprehensive list of these can be found at Cybergoat.com

My very pregnant doe has a huge udder; should I milk her before she delivers?

No. Resist the urge; wait for delivery so that the colostrum will be available for the babies.

One of our goats has a small twisted horn from a failed dehorning. What can I do?

This is usually a situation that is best handled by a vet who has considerable experience with this procedure. It is possible the cut off the horn near the base with a Dremel® tool. Wear eye protection. Securely restrain the animal in a milk stand. Stand over the goat facing forward. Make the cut slowly so that the blood vessels will be cauterized by the heat created by the cutting wheel. A damaged horn can be shortened with a hack saw, but be prepared to see a lot of bleeding.

How do you get weak babies to nurse?

This and other topics regarding weak babies is covered on our Weak babies page.

Our doe has bald areas with a little dandruff along the back. There don't appear to be any sores. Lice treatment does no good. Is there something else we could try?

We have found that this common collection of symptoms responds well to a single application of lime sulfur (garden fungicide, dormant fruit) spray, mixed at the rate of 4 teaspoons per gallon of water. Proper precautions should be taken if the doe is milking.

Can you run goats with other animals?

Yes. They do very well with horses, donkeys, cattle, sheep, llamas. Dogs can be very dangerous, especially in groups. Chickens, pigeons and other birds can drop feces in water sources, but get along well with goats. We recommend that goats not be allowed to mix with pigs; some pig diseases can be dangerous to goats and pigs may cause severe injury to baby goats.

When can you let a newly freshened doe and her babies out with the rest of the herd?

Depending on the weather, they should be kept in a maternity stall about 36 to 48 hours so that their progress can be monitored and they have an opportunity to "bond." If the weather is cold or wet, they can be put back in at night for a few more days.
Should goats wear halters or collars?

Yes. We prefer the heavy mesh collars that are made for dogs. A variety of collars are used by people who show goats; the plastic chains are very attractive. It is important that you have some way to get ahold of them in case of emergency.
How long do goats live?

By age ten, continued breeding may endanger their health. At age 13, you may begin to notice some arthritis, senility and loose teeth. At age 15, a goat is beginning to live "on borrowed time." There are reports of goats living to age 20. Females are fully capable of having heats and concieving throughout life, no matter how old; past a reasonable age they should be protected from breeding.
How can you tell how old a goat is?

Goats lose a pair of baby teeth each year beginning in the front center. Therefore, if the two front center teeth and new (and somewhat larger), the goat is at least one year old. If there are three pairs of new teeth, the goat is three years old. [This rule is subject to some variation.]
Can you help us with commercial goat production?

No. I will be trying to find some good links eventually. For now, check with ADGA in our Links page.
How can you teach a goat to not eat wooden fencing?

Make a slurry out of cayenne peppers and spread it on the wood.[Thanks, Jenni]
What do you know about artificial insemination in goats?

Absolutely nothing!
What is the proper way to hang a heat lamp?

Use only STRONG wire (NEVER twine) to secure the lamp to a strong part of the structure. Make another wire hanger to support the cord independently. Follow proper codes in selecting extension cords. Keep the lamp away from any combustible material. Check bedding materials daily to see if they are dried out and/or warm. [Don't lower the lamp too close to the floor.]
What is the proper age to band a male kid?

It depends more on the size of the testicles and how for they have "dropped." You need to make sure they have descended well from the abdomen and are large enough to stay below the bands when the elastrator tool is released. If one of more of the testicles remains in the abdomen, the animal will not be fertile, but will demonstrate all the normal intact male behaviors. On the other hand, the larger the testicles, the more pain that the kid will experience--this can be severe.
When should you wean baby goats

Anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. If being bottle fed with powdered kid replacer, they can be weaned at 6 or 8 weeks providing they are eating hay and grain real well. If bottle fed with whole milk, probably as early as 8 weeks or as late as 4 months, again, if eating well. If they are being raised on the doe, we prefer to wean at 14 weeks, because that's the way we've always done it. They can stay on the moms until 6 months, if you'd like. Always make sure that the doe is dried up 60 days before the following delivery.

Do you have tomilk a goat, or can you just enjoy them without all that extra work?

Rest easy! Yes, you can have goats without having to milk. You can raise whethers (neutered males), which usually make excellent pets, although some may grow rather large. Or you can just refrain from breeding the females. If they're not bred and hence don't produce babies they will not form an udder and not produce milk. The females will continue to have heats through the fall and winter months. If you acquire a doe which is "in milk," you can (having established the health of the udder first), simply not milk her and the udder will eventually "dry up" after some initial enlargement. Then, she will not produce milk again until she is bred. It may take a few weeks for the udder to shrink down.

How do you give shots?

The beginner will probably be giving only two kinds of shots: IM (intermuscular) and SQ (subcutaneous). An IM shot is for most antibiotics and vitamins, but there are exceptions. Find a nice meaty place on the butt (upper rear part of thigh). Using a 1"x20 needle for adults or a 1/2 - 3/4" x 20 needle for kids, briskly insert the needle deep into the muscle without hitting the bone. Pull back on the plunger. If you see blood coming into the syringe, select another site. If not, slowly press the plunger to place the medicine into the muscle. Hold the syringe so that the plunger is higher than the needle so that any air trapped in the syringe is not injected. Wait a few seconds and then withdraw the needle. Rubbing the area may help absorption. Keep watch of the patient for about 30 minutes in case of anaphylactic reaction. Subcutaneous shots are for most vaccines and some antibiotics. For an SQ injection, select an area on the lower neck, shoulder, upper back or armpit and pull the skin outward to form a "tent." If the skin doesn't pull loose, select another site. Holding the syringe fairly level with the surface insert the needle only far enough so that the end is in the center of the tented area. May sure that you are in the pocket and have not penetrated the thin membranes that cover the muscles and bones. Withdrawing the needle is not so important here, but it's a good habit to get into anyhow. Inject the medicine into the "tent" and withdraw the needle. Make sure that the syringe has emptied before the needle is withdrawn so that the medicine is not injected into the skin itself. Once again, watch for anaphylaxis.

How can I teach my billy to stop butting me? It's getting out of hand.

For some comments on dealing with some of the problems of the buck, go to our Behavior   page.
What are the signs of heat in a doe?

Click here.
Mom wants to kill her newborn baby; what can I do?

Click here.
My goat doesn’t have any teeth in the front of her upper jaw, what’s wrong?

Nothing. Goats don't have any upper teeth in front; just a hard pad.



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