Preparing for Your First Goats
There are so many different goat raising resources out there. Collected here is what I have found most useful. Raising goats is a learning process - continued research and dedicated learning is key to keeping happy, healthy goats. Hopefully this page here serves as a good place to get you started. 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.
Northwest Oregon Goat Conference
Northwest Oregon Dairy Goat Association hosts an Annual Goat Education Conference in February. A wide variety of classes for goat owners of all kinds! Whether you are a beginner, a 4-H'er, or an advanced goat owner, there is something for everyone!
Local Goat Clubs
Clark County Goat Association - https://ccgoatassociation.wixsite.com/home
SouthWest Washington Dairy Goat Association - https://www.swwdga.com/
Northwest Oregon Dairy Goat Association - https://nwodga.org/
NorthWest All Breed Goat Club - https://northwestallbreedgoatclub.org/
Cascade West Veterinary Hospital
Phone: (360) 338-6758
Valley Veterinary Clinic
Phone: (503) 556-3084
Oregon State Veterinary College
OSU Large Animal Hospital specializes in horses, sheep, cattle, camelids, goats, & pigs. The Clinic also provides mobile vet service.
Phone: (541) 737-2858 M - F / 8am - 5pm
Emergency service is available 24hrs a day - Call (541) 737-2858
Link to more veterinarians - https://nwodga.org/veterinary
A weekly meeting about all things Dairy Goat shows, production, management, breeding, ADGA politics, and youth.
Ringside American Dairy Goat Podcast
Jon and Danielle meet weekly discussing all things "dairy goats" and along the way bringing in friends and guests to discuss topics with.
Dairy Goat Shows
District 7 Dairy Goat Shows (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada)
The link below provides a list of all the dairy goat shows in ADGA District 7.
What to have before bringing your goats home
There are many different options for goat housing; including barns, 3-sided sheds, pallet structures, and more.
Nigerian Dwarfs need a fence that they cannot get through, despite being such small creatures. At Hanson's Hideaway Farm, we use no-climb horse fencing for our babies and field fencing for our adults
Having a hay supplement is very important for ensuring your goats will always have something to eat. We feed locally grown grass hay. While bucks are in rut, we will feed alfalfa and low sugar orchard grass hay. Our milkers get a low sugar orchard grass hay.
Goats love to browse before grazing. Goats love eating weeds, blackberry bushes, and leaves. Maintaining a pasture with a height greater than 4” to 6” decreases the risk of goats consuming parasites with their grass.
There are many different opinions on what to feed goats, so please research and experiment to find what works best for you. Goats need a diet of 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio. Alfalfa is an excellent source of calcium and you could supplement with alfalfa pellets or chaffhaye as a treat. Only our lactating does are fed a grain mix while on the milk stand. Wethers DO NOT need grain. Instead, you can feed your wether alfalfa pellets or chaffhaye with a handful of black oil sunflower seeds.
Our goats have access to fresh water daily.
Free Choice Loose Minerals
Goats need constant access to loose minerals to eat at their leisure in order to maintain proper health. At a minimum, we recommend Duraferm Goat Concept Aid loose minerals or Sweetlix Meat Maker loose minerals. You can also add ZinPro 40 (zinc), Thorvin kelp, baking soda, biotin 100, cobalt block, selenium block, salt lick, and/or salt block with garlic.
Goat Medical Supplies
These are the kinds of things you’ll want to have before you need them.
It’s up to you to decide how much you are comfortable doing on your own. Not all veterinarians have experience with goats, and experience with other species does not usually translate well into caring for goats. Nevertheless, a good goat vet is a great thing to have and find before you need him or her.
Quick Read Rectal Thermometer
Whenever you notice a goat looking "off", a thermometer is the first tool to have on hand! This is essential for diagnosing what could be wrong with a sick goat. Please have more than one on hand. We have six + thermometers in our barn!
101.5 - 103.5 is an ideal range for goats.
Hooves can be trimmed every 4 to 8 weeks depending on how fast the individual goat's hooves grow. On our farm, we use and highly recommend Hoof Boss.
Hoof Boss: https://mybosstools.com/product/basic-goat-hoof-trimmer-set/
How to trim hooves:
Basically a liquid band aid for livestock.
Great for settling the rumen of a stressed or sick goat.
Milk of Magnesia, Vegetable or Mineral Oil, Baking Soda
These are for treating bloat in goats. I recommend getting all three as some are better for some forms of bloat than others.
Used for treating a goat that has eaten something poisonous. Definitely something to have on hand before you need it!
Used to administer any sort of liquid (like dewormers or bloat treatment). Seriously important as there is no other way to force feed something to an unwilling goat.
Our goats are wormed once a week with a DoTerra essential oil blend of: oregano, wild orange, lemongrass and cloves. We worm with Fir Meadows DwormA and GI Soother the day before, on and day after a full moon.
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.
GI Soother: https://www.firmeadowllc.com/store/p811/GI_Soother™_Digestive_System_Support_16_oz.html
Apple Cider Vinegar and Ammonium Chloride
Used for preventing (the ACV) and treating (the ammonium chloride) urinary stones in male goats.
Banamine or Baby Aspirin
A pain killer, fever and swelling reducer.
A boost of B vitamins for sick goats will stimulate and help maintain rumen function.
More about this: http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/articles2/BVitamins06.html
Disposable Needles and Syringes
For administering injectables. We primarily use 3cc or 6cc syringes with 22 guage 3/4' long needles.