Goat Wellness

The following suggestions have been made by IKGA members as practices they use which contribute to goat "wellness". You should evaluate each carefully before applying them on your farm since your situation may be different and not suitable for the practice mentioned. Obviously, there is no guarantee that these practices will ensure goat "wellness".

  • Buy only from breeders with good reputations and farms that are disease free
  • Buy goats that have been very recently wormed
  • Buy goats from breeders that use a similar management style to your own (in as many respects as possible)
  • Buy a goat breed that is known to be robust and parasite resistant (Kiko, for example)
  • During transportation of a new goat to your farm add as little "stress" as possible
  • Remove any known "stress" causes from your farm or fenced area (what these are will take some thought)
  • Isolate new goats for at least two weeks to check for any disease
  • When bringing new goats to your farm be sure to worm them with TWO different types of wormer and disinfect their hooves (don't allow new goats to bring new problems to your farm, if possible)
  • Don't over feed with grain or any commercial feed
  • Check your fences and shelter areas for sharp items that may injure goats
  • Rotate browse areas to minimize worm issues (approximately every three weeks or so)
  • Plant forage plants (if possible) that include Tannin as this is a natural wormer
  • Learn to look for signs of non-ideal health (runny nose, limp, not eating right, off by self unnaturally, etc.)
  • Learn FAMACHA eye-lid examination technique to check for anemia
  • Do periodic fecal counts to evaluate the effectiveness of your overall worming strategy
  • Worm as needed but don't over do it as it will increase resistance to treatment being used
  • Use full and accurate dosages when worming as under-dosage will contribute to parasite resistance
  • Do regular vaccinations (various ones are often used but CDT is probably most often used)
  • Always have goat specific minerals freely available (especially to include adequate amounts of copper)
  • Always have fresh clean drinking water available
  • Check your forage areas for plants poisonous to goats
  • Do not feed moldy hay to your goats
  • Check you shelter area to ensure there are no wet spots that goats must walk in consistently (if possible)
  • Add gravel, concrete, rocks, or some "rough" material for your goats to walk on to naturally wear down hooves
  • Clean out barn or shed area periodically ... some disinfect the area as well ...
  • Have a guard dog (or other appropriate animal) with the goats to protect them from predators
  • Have some shelter to keep the goats out of the rain and severe weather (may not be necessary in very warm areas)

Thanks to all the IKGA members and others who submitted useful ideas for this page