Bringing home your first couple goats is an exciting and rewarding endeavor. Whether you’re starting a small hobby farm, aiming for sustainable living, or simply want to enjoy the companionship of these charming creatures, raising goats can be a rewarding experience. But before you welcome these caprine friends into your life, there’s a crucial step that sets the foundation for a harmonious relationship – preparation.
This article explores the items you need before you bring home your first goats. By setting the stage for their arrival with care and consideration, you’re taking the first step towards a fulfilling journey as a goat guardian.
Proper nutrition and hydration are essential to your goats’ health. While most people know that goats need feed and water, many overlook the importance of choosing the right feed buckets. There are two primary considerations.
The first is portion control. Goats are selective eaters, often preferring certain parts of their feed over others. Using feed buckets allows you to control the portions of food each goat receives, ensuring that they get a balanced diet. This has the added benefit of preventing overeating and feed waste.
This is also true with baby goats (kids). If feeding them milk or special formula, you will need to use a specialized caprine feeder with nipples that are specific for kids.
The second consideration is that the right feed bucket minimizes feed contamination. Placing feed in buckets helps keep their food clean. This is particularly important for maintaining the health of your goats.
When selecting feed buckets, opt for durable, easy-to-clean options. Plastic or metal buckets are popular choices due to their longevity. Additionally, consider buckets with secure fastening mechanisms to prevent goats from knocking them over.
Hay is a staple in a goat’s diet, but goats love it so much that they’ll lay and trample on it. Once that hay hits the ground, they aren’t going to eat it. If they do, then it can lead to health issues. Introducing a hay feeder is a crucial step toward ensuring your goats receive the nourishment they need. It minimizes waste and prevents them from making a mess.
This essential item gives you control over how much hay your goats eat. This prevents them from overeating and guarantees that they have a steady supply of forage throughout the day. It also encourages goats to graze in the same way they would out in the wild. Rather than consuming large quantities of hay all at once, they can nibble throughout the day. This is much healthier for their digestion.
Consider durability and how easy it is to clean. The most popular feeders are wall-mounted, ground, and hanging feeders. Choose the one that aligns with your unique needs.
Here are some other essential items that will keep your goats happy and healthy.
- Secure Shelter and Fencing: Before welcoming goats into your life, ensure you have a secure shelter ready to protect them from harsh weather conditions.
- Shelter Bedding: Provide comfortable bedding in the shelter to keep your goats warm and dry. Straw or wood shavings are commonly used bedding materials.
- Grooming and Health Supplies: Stock up on grooming tools such as brushes, hoof trimmers, and shears. You’ll also need basic medical supplies like antiseptics, wound dressings, and dewormers.
- Goat-Specific Minerals: Stock up on salt, calcium, phosphorus, and trace minerals. Ensure you have a mineral feeder to keep these essential minerals available at all times.
- Identification Tags: Consider using ear tags or collars with ID tags so you can keep track of your goats. This is especially important if you have multiple goats.
Goats Requires Patience
Although this isn’t a physical item, patience is one of the essential qualities when raising goats. Goats have unique personalities, and understanding their behavior takes time. Be prepared for challenges, but remember that the rewards of goat keeping are well worth the effort.
Bringing home your first goats is an exciting journey that requires careful planning and preparation. By having these essential items, you’ll be well on your way to providing a comfortable and enriching life for your new goat companions.