NATURAL GOAT CARE

We try to raise our goats as naturally as possible for domesticated goats. Because really, when you think about it. It's not very natural to close a goat up in a barn at night, keep bucks and does separate and feed them out of plastic dishes. Even feeding hay and grains is basically unnatural to a wild goat!


Our main goal is preventing problems before they happen. We feel we can do this three ways . First - we know our goats. We've come to know their shape, their habits, the way they walk- even the look in their eyes. When something isn't right - we can tell.

 The second way is Instead of relying on vaccinations, we feel it is wiser, and better for our goats, to work on building a strong immune system. We do this through minerals, herbs and good food.

The third way, is keeping our herd closed! We feel like we have a big enough gene pool to choose from -- to never have to bring in any other goats from outside ( if you're considering buying goats from us - ignore this part:) With 3 good bucks - hopefully there are plenty of winning combinations!



One big goal we have is to build a herd that has excellent parasite resistance. We don't chemically worm our goats but we do keep them on an herbal parasite formula regime. So far this has worked for us we are happy to say!

More about this below!


Not grazing wet grass helps to keep the parasite population down as the worms like to travel to the top of the grass when it's wet! Wise Old Fanny is the one who taught us this- we wondered why she never grazed in the mornings and always waited til the grass dried. Around 2pm all the goats will mosey out to the pasture and munch on all kinds of grasses, wildflowers, blackberries, brush and trees. 

On wet days and when the first spring grass starts coming in, we like to keep them in the barn, filling up on hay, before they go out to graze the fresh grass.



Actually, As far as we can tell, getting goats to mow your lawn, is not a good idea! Unless you are confining them in a fenced in enclosure with nothing else to eat; goats will eat everything but grass!

Here is our typical feed regime:

( with added UPDATES!)


First thing-

Peanut hay- though I don't suggest getting your goats hooked on this delicacy- it does supply more nutrient value than coastal or Bermuda hay.

Actually, goats are known to do better on leafy hats than long stemmed grass hats. ( alfalfa or peanut)

Fortunately we have found a supplier that does not spray Roundup!


Soaked barley and sunflower seeds 

All of our grains except for the sf seeds come from Hiland Naturals and are non- GMO verified. We soak the grains according the Pat Colbey's method-with a few changes. To about 3 qt. black oil sunflower seeds (boss) and 1 qt. Barley, we add 2 Tbsp. Copper Sulphate and a big splash of organic ACV. 

This is to me one of the most unnatural products we use ( copper sulphate) but it is the ingredient that is used in every bag of goat feed or goat minerals. So until we are able to grow enough copper supplementing plants, we will have to do this. See the list of essential goat minerals and supplements for more on goats and copper.


UPDATE!

We no longer use copper sulphate - yay! I have been using Ultra Cruz Copper rods for goats. It is only copper - no chemicals. Since they are for the larger size goats, I give 1/2 the adult size for adults and 1/2the kids size for kids. These can be found on Amazon. They get this once every 6 months more of less. I just watch their eye lids and coats. More about how we give it - later.


We have also switched the bulk of their feed to 2 products from Resaca Farms in Georgia. A family operated farm that grows and mixes non-GMO feeds.


We buy a Alfalfa/Sunflower meal pellet called V3. This pellet is non grain based so can be used for meat producers and dairies that want to supplement with some sort of feed - but still have a product they can call "grass fed". 


Only milkers or Moms get grain on the milkstand 1x a day - this is only whole barley.


in addition to the above, each day, everyone gets fresh:  

Black oil sunflower seeds

Fertrell's Goat balancer 

Redmond Conditioner

Redmond NATURAL mineral salt

Thorvin Kelp

(They love it and it seemed to make a difference in their looks and energy!)

Chaffhaye 

(This is the most fun thing you can feed your goats!! They will love you for it!!

Full of good things to keep their rumen healthy-- UPDATE! We are in Florida where it gets too warm in the barn to store Chaffhaye - as it can mold. So here we only feed it from around Decemeber - March. Besides, since we are never under snow or completely without green stuff growing, they don't need it as much except for those months... Yeah- not as much fun for me or the goats-- but better safe than sorry! 

I hope to write more about the benefits of Redmond Products, Thorvin Kelp and Chaffhaye in the near future! 

 I highly recommend Redmond Agriculture products! Not only are the products superior, the service and willingness to help with questions is unsurpassed! ( I do not get any free products for saying that!:) seriously - these people know animals and have been very helpful!!

Depending on what is in season, they all get fresh produce - collards, kale, chicory, comfrey, plantain and many other goodies that are grown in the garden. We try not to let them out on wet grass so this helps to keep them full of green stuff when the grass isn't available- in the winter time also. 




 In addition to feeds, hay and supplements like minerals etc. we also keep a big supply of powdered herbs on hand ( for people and goats!) We use powders so that they can be mixed with honey and made into goat addicting herb balls!


Some of the herbs I would consider "must haves" are:


Raspberry leaves ( this is the only herb that we buy in a cut/sifted form. It is an overall great tonic herb, but it's main use for us is for strengthening the uterus before and after kidding. The girls fight over it!!


Slippery Elm - great for tummy troubles of any kind! If the patient won't eat herb balls - it can be made into a slurry - with kefir, yogurt or probios and drenched with a drench gun or syringe.


 

More to come!

These pages are not finished yet! More to come.... 

please feel free to email us through the contact page for more information.