BASIC NEEDS OF A GOAT
A goat should have access to adequate shelter at all times. It should be housed at night all the year round and also in bad weather. These animals suffer acutely in wind, incessant rain, flies and hot sunshine.
The house should have a suitably situated window, adequate ventilation but free from draughts. There must be a hay rack high enough for the goat to reach in comfort but not less than three feet so that the hay will not be soiled by the goat. There must be a daily suppy of fresh clean water. These animals will starve to death rather than eat food trampled underfoot and they will become dehydrated rather than drink fouled water.
Each animal should have at least four by four feet of floor space and horned and hornless goats must NEVER be penned together. Since goats are very active animals they should never be tied when housed.
There must be adequate dry bedding of either straw, shavings or other suitable material.
Providing that FRESH, CLEAN pasture and browsings are available a goat can maintain itself without discomfort from May until August. After that palatable hay must be added to the diet and later an adequate supply of fresh foods, roots, kale, vegetable trimmings and other clean household scraps etc. If housed a daily ration of 4 to 5lbs of hay and the equivalent of 10lbs of kale must be fed daily. Ideally some concentrates should be fed in winter, crushed oats being the most suitable of the cheaper foods.
Mineral licks must be available at all times.
Kids must have milk for at least four months and longer if they are not fed supplementary concentrates. Most calf milk substitutes are suitable for kids.
The best method is adequate fencing to allow free grazing.
The worst method of controlling goats is tethering since this is seldom done properly. A light chain not less than 10ft long with at least two swivels and a light strong leather collar must be used. This must be moved at least twice daily. The goats must have access to shelter when tethered if the owner cannot move it when the weather turns, and it must have a supply of clean water too. If tethering is practised during the day the goat must be free in its house at night. It is most important that the goat must be tethered on suitable grazing being moved twice daily. It is not advisable to tether goats when browsing due to the danger of entanglement.
When in milk the goat should either suckle a kid or have the milk removed from the udder at least once daily and twice for the first six weeks after kidding.
The feet must be adequately trimmed.
It is recommended that a dressing of louse powder should be applied if necessary.
Goats should be dosed regularly for worms with a suitable preparation as recommended for sheep.
If a goat is sick or injured the law requires that it shall have skilled attention.
The sale of young kids in open market is not recommended.
Kids should never be tethered.
If a person cannot or will not provide at least the above maintenance for their goat they should not keep such animals.