Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

Micah and Robin Kralik                                                    Hanceville, Alabama                                                               256-736-6064
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Health and Nutrition

Here you will find a little info about what I alot of links of Smart Folks to find out what others know.  This is a good place to find out answers to some of your goat health and illness questions.

The Importance of Shelter
If you already have goats, then you know all about their dislike of rain/snow, and getting wet. I swear, they think they will melt.  I MAKE SURE my goats have a trusty roof over their heads as well as 2-3 enclosed sides as a windbreak.  They love me for it.  Good for staving off pneumonia and cold weather health problems like respiratory infections.  Not a guarantee that I won't get any of this, but less likely if I have a good solid shelter....and less likely I'll find surprise baby popscicles. I once had customers who used solar panels for their goat sheds...I loved those guys!!

The MEGA Importance of WORMER
I have always said that the cheapest thing I can give my goats is their wormer.  We live in hot, humid Alabama....where men are men and worms are MUTANTS.  We have VERY resistant worms around here.  I worm my goats every 2-3 months.  I rotate wormers so that the Mutants don't build up a resistance as easily.  We use Ivermec Plus, Cydectin, Valbazen (not on pregnant does) and safeguard for babies under 3 months old.  It is alot cheaper for me to worm on a regular basis for PREVENTION than to check eyelids to see if they are white and THEN try to beat off the worms and anemia with a plethora of wormer, probiotics, and red cell AND maybe a trip to the vet, regardless of what some of the Smart Folks say (don't tell 'em I said that).  Other problems can come from worms, such as scours, off feed, hair loss, etc.  I can only tell you what I do with my goats.....I can't tell you what to do with yours.  I have tried the organic and herbal wormers...they DO NOT work for me.  I am waiting for the worms to get large enough to pin to trees and use as target might not be too long of a wait, but by then they may have developed the "dodging" instinct!!

If you're bored with my ramblings yet, you can always scroll down to the Smart Folks links, or hit your back key to get out of this mess.
The Importance of Grain/Feed/Hay/Alfalfa
You can't just throw your goats into a pasture and expect to get maximum output of milk or meat without adding a little extra to their diets. 
So....I have a nice lush grass filled green pasture with a few bushes here and there...yummy for any goat...right?  Not right. Hence the importance of HAY.  Goats are BROWSERS..they are NOT GRAZERS.  Grazing animals such as horses and cattle love to see those nice grass filled pastures, but my (and most others I've talked to) goats prefer their nature made goodness from bushes, shrubs, weeds, trees, and things up off the ground a little. Sure...they will bramble around nibbling at the grass and the fresh shoots popping up in the Spring, but they really prefer Leaves and such from the higher growing plants.
So....I ONLY have a nice green pasture and not alot of browse?  Hence the importance of HAY.  Hay will make that rumen happy. A Non happy rumen makes a non happy goat, makes an ill goat, makes a dead goat.  I make sure I get a GOOD HAY and not one filled with weeds and possible poisonous plants.  I feed a nice Coastal bermuda and my goats love it.  I could feed alfalfa hay if it was cost feasible and not 9 bucks a bale in my area!!!!. It has alot of Calcium in it, so if I were feeding alfalfa hay I would make sure my grain has ammonium chloride in it if I were feeding it to my bucks.
BE FOREWARNED ~ Goats will eat every stinkin' bit of bark they can reach off just about every stinkin' kind of tree there is.  If you want to keep live trees in your goat better fence them in (the trees that is.....hee hee)
Alfalfa hay has an astronomical price in our, it is VERY rich and sometimes when bought it in the bale there are alot of sticks and stems.  A sudden introduction to rich Alfalfa hay may cause some goats to scour (diarreah SP? I'm not sure I can spell it and wouldn't brag if I were) and get ill.  So, I feed a good dehydrated alfalfa pellet daily. Nothing added...just Dehydrated Alfalfa.. I DO NOT feed the big square Alfalfa blocks like some folks give their horses, goats can choke to death on those.. I get the little pellet sized feed for my goats.  Alfalfa can Increase my milk output by ALOT, and can add weight to meat goats.  If I am feeding alfalfa to my bucks, I make sure I am also feeding some kind of grain with Ammonium Chloride in it to help with the prevention of Urinary Calculi (a deadly thing for bucks).  Ammonium Chloride can also be bought in packages at some livestock stores. Some folks add it to their buck feed in this way.
GRAIN is wonderful, or so the goats tell me....I feed a nice grain, made for goats, with at least 16% protein. They need it, they love it, they love me for it!  I use MEDICATED feed when I am not going to be using the milk.  If I intend to use the milk...I feed a NON MEDICATED feed for at least two weeks before I start using the milk.  Grain helps keep the weight on them, helps them feed their kids, puts hops in their steps, adds shine to their coats and sparkles in their eyes, makes them happy, and makes me happy because I have happy goats.  Goat feed can be purchased at most Farmer Co-ops, Feed Stores, Tractor Supply stores, and the like. I've never seen any at Walmart tho... I mix my alfalfa pellets and grain together AT THE TIME OF FEEDING because it is so humid MOST of the time here that the alfalfa might get moldy in the bottom of the bag or container before I get to it....learned my lesson on that one with ONE BAG and it hasn't happened to me since.  I would NEVER feed a combinative feed for All livestock  because smart folks say it has alot of corn in it (and who knows what else), and the smart folks tell me that alot of corn is not good for goats.  However, I might give a little cracked corn for a "once in a while" treat....but not alot...maybe only a small topdressing on the grain or half a handful as a treat...'cause, you know what the Smart Folks say.
My goats LOVE shredded Beet pulp with molasses in it (nom nom nom).  It is not bad for small amounts...but too much and I start getting beached whales instead of little goats.  It really adds weight around here. Plus, it is really sweet with all that yummy molasses in it...and there is no Intervention for goats addicted to they just have to suffer through the DT's if they don't get molasses every day.
A handful of those Black Oil Sunflower seeds (expensive) each day can really put the shine my goat's coat!
Smart folks tell me that Azalea bushes and horse nettle is poisonous to we keep them away from those temptations.
I use raisins for treats...mine love them. Sometimes I will give them a corn chip or two...rarely...' know...the smart folks and their aversion to corn for goats. I don't even know if corn chips have real corn in them, but I don't want to upset the smart folks, they scare me a little.
Baking Soda ~never used it, never will, never had bloat, knock on wood. same with salt blocks, 'nuff said.
Oh, and my goats DO NOT eat old tires and tin cans...they will however, rip up an ill-gotton feed bag and spread the pieces all over the pasture and barn, or knock the handles off their mineral bucket, or pee in their empty feed dish, or knock the feet out from under me running through my legs.

If you're bored with my ramblings yet, you can always scroll down to the Smart Folks links, or hit your back key to get out of this mess.

The Importance of WATER
What more can I say?!?  Water is the nectar of life. I make sure my goats have FRESH water. Not green water filled with algae, not water filled with poop berries, not water filled with snails, not water filled with leaves, not water filled with hay and grass or dead frogs or dead insects (yes, I have found more than one who met his maker in my water trough, I ain't gonna lie to ya).....just nice fresh water in a clean container. All the time....mine are NEVER without water. I should also add that, if you have young babies, do not fill your water up too high for them to be able to get out....just in case they decide to Hop in..yep...they do that too, accidently (remember our"goats hate to get wet" conversation) but not very often, thank goodness.

The Importance of Minerals
The smart folks say that goats need this, and that, and a percentage of those..and they are right!!!! My goats thrive when they have minerals offered at all times.  In the past I have used loose minerals...but they are so yummy that my goats would eat the heck out of them and I was buying minerals constantly. Even, though I made sure I had a good balanced feed and made sure I used copper bolus and BoSe to help with the Selenium and Copper deficiencies in our State.  Now, I use mineral slows down the progress when they have to chew on it a little, and they don't have top teeth 'cept on the back. The Semi-smart folks sometimes say that hard blocks could cause a chipped tooth and the like....well Semi-smart folks...It doesn't happen here. I can scrape minerals off blocks with my fingernail, which is MUCH weaker than a stinkin' TOOTH and you'd know that if you've ever been BITTEN by a, my mineral blocks are in the barn and not baking away in the hot I think I'll continue to risk it. Its not probable that they wouldn't get a date if they have a chipped tooth.  The prospective "dates" aren't interested in that end anyway.  I always make sure the mineral bucket is higher than the goats behinds...if its not...sure bet they will poop their little berries in it. I have always used minerals from SWEETLIX and I will continue to use them as long as they serve me well.
The Importance of Preventive Medicines
It's hard for me to tell you the importance of preventive medicine because...well...I use I have never had any of the diseases that they prevent.  All my goats get their once yearly CD&T shots, they all get wormer, they all get copper and selenium, they all get their hooves trimmed regularly, all my babies get coccidia prevention series if its warm weather, I spray my stalls with permethrin and/or bleach water, I do not leave old moldy hay around, I clean my water troughs regularly...and my goats?.. they are I will continue to use preventive medicines because I DO NOT want to experience the possible outcomes if I don't. 

If you've made it to here, congrats!! You've gone through all my ramblings and survived!! (you never know when I might add more...ha ha)...let the links begin...and if any porn comes up its NOT MY FAULT and I DIDN'T DO IT and PLEASE LET ME KNOW

Medicines, Supplies, and Supplements we keep handy, in no particular order. and certainly not a complete list

Goat Nutra-drench

Calcium drench

CMPK Injectable



Baking Soda





LA 200
Thiamin (Vitamin B-1)

Vitamin B-complex

A,D, & E paste
Blood Stop Powder
Gauze/ wound wrap
Wound treatment
Bottles and Nipples
7% Iodine

20 Gauge, 1/2 inch needles for little ones, discard after each goat use
18 Gauge, 1 inch for big ones, discard after each goat use
Syringe's in every size, clean after each goat use

Disposable gloves, discard after each goat use

Stomach tubing

Hoof Trimmers, clean after each goat use

Hoof file, clean after each goat use
Hoof brush, clean after each goat use
Hair clippers, clean after each goat use

Fitting Stand

Unwaxed Dental Floss

Leads and Harnesses
Livestock Shampoo
Baby Wipes Clean,
old Towels

Large Dog crate

Vet's phone Numbers
Dam Raising article by Tim Pruitt
Hoof Trimming article with illustrations
Cornell University's list of plants that are poisonous to goats
Photos of Poisonous plants
Diagram of a goat's body
Goat Polio...or Listeriosis?
Scours (Diarreah)
Urinary Calculi (UC)
What is Ammonium Chloride?
What is Mastitis?
What about Abscesses?
Bacterial Pneumonia
Another Pneumonia Article
What is CAE?
External Parasites
Johnes Disease (how do you pronounce this anyway..I've heard folks say "Yonnies" but it looks like plain old John to me.)
Clostridium Perfringes
Caseous Lymphadentitis (CL)
Vaginal Prolapse
Pregnancy Toxemia (Ketosis)
White Muscle Disease
Selenium Deficiency
Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies in goats
Hypocalcemia (Milk Fever)
Milk Goiter
Copper Deficiency and Toxicity
Animal Nutrition handbook at Auburn University
Choosing the right mineral supplement, by  Sweetlix
Nutrient requirements of Sheep and Goats
Copper Nutrition of Sheep and Goats
Beginning Cheese making
Home Cheesemaking from goats milk
Making Goat milk cheese is Easy ~ Dairy Goat Journal



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