We get constant inquiries about our barns; how we did our floors & how we keep them so clean!! Every barn has a minimum of 4.5 inches of 2B limestone. Then on top of that, at least one inch of 2A modified limestone. Thirdly, just layers of Agricultural lime. The ag lime will harden over time to look like cement. Dry floors help to keep flies down, keeps animals dry, and helps to keep worms and parasites at bay. Every barn is cleaned weekly. After the first 4 steps, we add a thin layer of ag lime of keep the floors dry and then our bedding. Our bedding of choice is first cut hay. Our goats are too snooty to eat it and everytime we buy straw we get mites, which are brought in by field mice.
- Babies from birth have a 18% pelleted goat feed available at all times; it contains ammonium chloride, decoquinate and opti-ferm XL. At 8 weeks of age they will be eating up to 1.5 cups twice daily.
- Adult bucks get the same feed at a rate of 1.5 cups twice daily.
- Adult does currently in milk are fed a 16% dairy goat pelleted mix twice daily while they are being milked. We do not measure it, they are permitted to eat as much as they want while they are being milked.
- Sweetlix loose minerals, baking soda, & selenium 90 loose salt are kept out free choice in every barn and pen. Magnum Milk is used in the milking barn only & Meat Maker in the other barns.
- From birth to 5 weeks of age, babies are kept inside the milk room in large pens with pine bedding; bedding is changed daily. At 5-6 weeks of age babies move to another barn where we have pens that are strictly for kids. We keep babies separated from the adults so they are not exposed to worms and parasites from them. Boot covers are worn or shoes are changed to enter their pens. These pens have large litter pans full of bedding. The pans are dumped and changed daily and their pens are swept of all goat berries and agricultural lime is used on any wet spots. The ag lime keeps things very dry which helps to kill any bacterias, worms or cocci that may have made their way to the baby pens. This method works very well for us because babies are isolated from the adults who are shedding the worms and coccidia. Babies are very susceptible to them and our management style gives them an opportunity to grow and get strong without having to battle these issues at a young age. Our personal keeper kids are not turned out with the adults until 5-6 months of age.
- On a daily basis, all goats are looked at several times and if anything is off at all, they will be evaluated and if necessary we come up with a treatment plan. Doing this daily enables us to notice a minor issue that could become a big problem if left untreated.
- We live in a very copper deficient area of the United States, so we copper bolus(COWP) all goats 6 months and older roughly every six months or as needed.
- Goats are all given a CDT vaccine once a year.
- All goats 6 months and over are tested once a year for CAE, CL & Johnes through WADDL. We have never had any of these diseases on our farm. Test results are published on our website.
- Hooves are trimmed on all goats every 8 weeks or more often if individual cases warrant. We have a lot of natural rock formations, so our goats' hooves are worn down naturally in the most active goats.
- We typically pen breed 6 does per month, year-round. If we see a doe in heat or being bred, we mark it on our breeding sheets. On the first day of the month the does from the previous month are removed from the buck and are taken to the doe barn and then 6 other does are taken to the buck barn to be bred.
- Once monthly, we perform our own ultrasounds. Does that are approximately 30 days post-bred are taken to the milk room and placed on the milk stand so that we can check her pregnancy status and the results are recorded on our breeding sheets. Knowing if a doe is bred or open is an enormous help to us in our breeding program; as is knowing how many fetuses so we can feed her properly during her pregnancy.
- Does are given a CDT vaccination 30 days prior to kidding to give immunity to their kids through their colostrum. Babies are vaccinated at 4 & 8 weeks of age.
- Just prior to kidding, we always dose our mamas with a boost of calcium gluconate 23% (20cc per side; SQ in the shoulder area) or CMPK. We’ve never experienced a doe with milk fever, but it’s a very serious complication that can arise soon after kidding due to the sudden demand for milk production.
- Newborns receive Vitamin E & Selenium Gel
- Newborn navels are painted with betadine to prevent infection and to quickly dry it up
- Typically we disbud bucklings by 7 days old and doelings by 14 days old.
- CDT shots are given to kids at 4 & 8 weeks of age.
- Kids are bottle fed warm colostrum the first 24 hours; its measured so we are sure they are getting an adequate amount; the first 6 hours is the most critical. After that the babies are fed warm, raw goats milk for 12 weeks minimum, but our keepers are usually fed until 16 weeks of age.
- We use small, disposable pop bottles to feed the babies. If they are very small, they may be fed with a tiny Pritchard nipple for a couple days before being switched to our regular grey caprine nipples we use from Caprine Supply.
- We feed up to 12oz, 3x daily; 7am, 1pm & 7pm. At 5 weeks of age, we eliminate the 1pm meal, but continue the others until weaning. Weaning is always done very slowly and gradually so that we do not stress them out and bring on a possible coccidia bloom. Their bottles are like a pacifier for them.
- Kids have loose minerals, 2nd cut grass hay & 18% pelleted goat feed available at all times from birth. From the moment of birth, we are trying to get their rumen development started; this can only happen with hay, browse and grains. A healthy rumen equals a healthy goat.
PENS FOR 5 TO 12 WEEK OLDS