last updated 02/20/2023
What works for us may not work for you. This is just one way out of a million options and opinions. Over our many years of goat farming, after many MANY trial and errors, we have found what works best for our farm. Please do your own research and see what works best for your location, your herd, and your goals. We're located in the rainy Pacific Northwest and farm to meet the needs of a wet environment. You need to judge what practices best fit your farm. The Internet is a great place to gather information. But it also requires an effort on your part to judge how good that information is.
Pre-natal Care for our Pregnant Does and Ewes
At 28 days till due date, we give our pregnant does a CD&T shot, hoof trim, sanitary trim, selenium gel and vitamin E. This allows the dam to pass the immunity of clostridia and tetanus to her kids. Vitamin E helps strengthen the uterus. At this time we also start the does on Alfallfa hay to ensure they're getting enough calcium in their diet.
At 21 days out, we drench vitamin E and Fir Meadows PreBirth Late Pregnancy Support herb (or Dr. Christopher's Birth Prep).
At 14 days out, we drench vitamin E, PreBirth herbs, Primrose Oil (help ripen her cervix) and calcium carbonate (helps prevent prolapse). We give another dose of selenium gel. Pregnant does are fed 1 cup grain at evening chores.
At 7 days out, we drench in the morning PreBirth herbs, primrose oil, and calcium carbonate. At evening chores, we drench vitamin E, PreBirth herbs, primrose oil and calcium carbonate. We give another dose of selenium gel. Does are increased to 2 cups of grain fed at evening chores.
Does are fed grain at night to *hopefully* give birth during the daytime. We started this in 2022 and so far, we are 100% daytime births.
Days before a doe's due date, we start feeling ligaments morning and evening. If ligaments are gone, the doe is separated into a birthing stall where we can monitor her on cameras.
After the doe has finished kidding, she gets a bucket of warm molasses water to regain her energy, and fed a banana with her grain. We give the doe an herbal wormer for 3 days straight using Fir Meadow's DwormA and GI Soother.
At 5-7 days, if the kid is not polled (naturally hornless) we will disbudd them.Because these are dairy goats, all our goats will be disbudded.
Since our primary goal is milk production, we seperate kids at 2 weeks of age from dam for 12 hours during the night. After we milk the dam out in the morning, we bottle feed the kids the dam's milk and then reunit dam with her kids for the day.
At 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks old, kids get Toltrazuril 5% (Baycox) to help prevent coccidiosis. Kids are given 1ml per 5 pounds of body weight.
Kids get their first hoof trims at 4 and 8 weeks. Nobody leaves here without a proper pedicure!
Kids are typically weaned at 8 weeks old and are ready for their new homes! By now, they are eating solid foods and drinking water.
If a buck is going to be wethered, we cut at 12 weeks old. This allows time for the urinary tract to develop as much as it can to help prevent Urinary Calculi. We prefer the cutting method around the Farmer's Almanac "Best Days to Castrate" as there is no blood from this procedure and the wether will heal much faster than banding.
We do not give kids CD&T and leave that decision up to the new owners if they'd prefer to vaccinate their kids.
Our goats get fresh water twice a day.
All non-lactating goats get free choice local grass hay daily along with access to pasture grass to graze.
Our milkers are fed Eastern Oregon alfalfa and orchard hay.
When bucks are in rut, they are fed alfalfa/orchard mix to maintain their body weight.
Growing kids are fed an alfalfa/orchard mix.
Lactating does are fed grain on the milk stand in the AM and PM with a grain combination of: barley, oats, alfalfa pellets, field peas, BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds), flaxseed and yeast.
Free Choice Minerials
We offer free choice mineral feeders containing:
1. Sweetlix Magnum Milk loose minerals (fed to milkers only)
2. Duraferm Goat Concept Aide loose minerals
3. ZinPro 40 (zinc)
4. Baking soda.
* Our bucks and wethers DO NOT have access to baking soda due to males needing acid in their urine to prevent urinary calculi
5. Thorvin Kelp
free choice feeders made from 4" PVC pipe
Sweetlix Magnum Milk loose minerals (fed to milkers only)
Duraferm Goat Concept Aide loose minerals
ZinPro 40 (zinc)
Our goats are wormed once a month the day before, on and after a full moon with doTerra On Guard Laundry Detergent. The detergent is free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, and toxins. It contains surfactants, bio-originated enzymes, stabilizers from sustainable, natural-based sources (not petrochemical), and provides a unique, natural-based bio-originated enzyme blend.
Essential oil blend of: wild orange, clove, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary.
We use it at a rate of 0.5 ounces to 8 quarts mixed with warm water.
1 oz for a 5 gal bucket
1 oz is equal to about 8 tsps
1 oz is half the cap of the laundry detergent
1 1/2 tsp for a 1 gal water container
This is safe for pregnant does and ewes.
This method is used as a maintenance and preventative for any stomach parasites.
If you have an acute problem, then more needs to be done.
Soap has been used for centuries by farmers to help control parasites in their livestock. With the advent of modern de-wormers, old practices have died out. It is mentioned in old Agriculture books as a way to control parasites in livestock.
Joel Salatin, who is a very well known author and teaches sustainable agriculture, uses Basic H from Shaklee for his livestock. Brett Schweiger started doing research and found out that doTERRA On Guard laundry detergent has the same type of surfactants in with the added benefit of the essential oils included. Not only that, but Shaklee does not even list all the ingredients for Basic H and we know the ingredients for the On Guard soaps.
How it works.
Soap contains surfactants. These strip grease from fabric, hands, bodies, and even the greasy coating that parasites surround themselves with, to prevent being dissolved by stomach acid. So, your soap eats away at this coating. This allows the stomach acid to reach the stomach parasites and kill them. The essential oils in the soap, work to help support the animals immune system.
The full moon worming is due to 'circalunar' reproductive cycles, especially common in nematodes/helminths including parasitic species. Just like marine worms tend to form reproductive swarms as the moon approaches the fullest, terrestrial ones tend to as well. So that's the best time to wipe out adults and eggs while they're in the lower bowels to breed, so they can easily be eliminated without causing the host problems.
dōTERRA On Guard® Laundry Detergent