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Goat Care Instructions

Goats are easy-keepers and simple to care for if you have a basic understanding of their needs.



Goats are ruminants, so clean water must be available at all times. In colder months, a heated bucket is helpful to ensure continual access to thawed water.


Access to minerals at all times is important to prevent mineral deficiencies. This can be offered through loose minerals or a mineral block available at local feed stores. 



For goats without access to pasture grazing: In spring and summer months, grass hay is sufficient. Going into colder months, adding alfalfa for extra protein to help keep them warm is suggested. Ruminants are grazers, so many small meals are better than a few large ones. Twice a day feedings are favored over once a day feedings for their digestive system. Goats are very clean and won’t eat food that has urine or feces on it. So feeding off the ground is the best option for less waste.


Each goat needs 2.5-3.5% of body weight. So a 40-lb goat would need 1-1.5 lbs of feed per day. In colder months, they may need more to help keep warm. A goat in good condition will look a bit plump. The rumen makes them appear chubby, not to be confused with being overweight. If your goat appears to be losing weight, you may need to increase their feed.


Free range weeds and forage are always best for a ruminant, so if you have land that needs clearing, let them at it! Miniature fainters are picky eaters but will devour some trees and shrubs and your garden, so beware when leaving them unattended amongst manicured landscaping.


When first going home, sometimes a change in feed can tend to make them have diarrhea. If this happens, take them off any alfalfa and grain. Offer them grass/grass hay only. You can give them a vitamin B complex gel and/or a probiotic gel (we use ProBios). 



Grain should be used sparingly, more as a treat than a meal. Goats can overdose on grains. Keep your grain and any chicken feed secure where they can’t access large amounts accidentally. Whole corn, sweet mix, rolled corn + rolled barley, goat pellets, etc can make your goat your best friend and help tame them. Just feed in small amounts, no more than a 0.5-1 cup a day. Too much grain can cause bloat, diarrhea, and urinary stones (particularly in males) – all conditions that could lead to death if untreated.




Goats need to be dewormed twice annually. Goats will always have some worms in their system. The goal is to keep parasites at bay to avoid anemia and potentially fatal health problems. Alternating products can help cover all different parasites. For our herd, we choose to rotate between Ivermectin and Valbazen. The best suggestion would be checking with your local veterinarian to see what best covers parasites found in your region.


Goats needs a one yearly booster of the CDT vaccine with an injection of 2 cc subcutaneously (under the skin). CDT can be purchased at most feed stores. You might also check with your local vet about buying a single dose or having them administer the shot.



Goats need their hooves trimmed every 4-6 months, depending on their environment. This is very important to avoid deformed hooves and lameness. You can find hoof trimmers at your local feed store or Amazon. Trimming is a simple process. Watch this complete tutorial to learn the process.  Hoof Trimming Instruction Tutorial


Goats are hardy and can endure even extreme temperatures if they have a place to escape from water and wind. If you don’t have a barn, even a small dog shelter works well. With extreme cold temperatures, a heat lamp could be useful, although not mandatory unless they are under about five months old. Keeping them warm will save you on feed costs, since extra calories are required to maintain body temperature. A goat must have access to some shade during the summer to avoid overheating. Do not trim or shave their coats as this causes overheating and sunburn.


Goats are herd animals. They need companions. An only goat is a lonely goat. Goats are very intelligent and social. If you lose a goat, you must replace their companion. A dog will not suffice. Goats can die from loneliness. 


If you purchase a wether, a castration band will be placed on his testicles. The testicles will fall off on their own within 2-6 weeks after banding. If you notice pus or swelling, douse with iodine. Infection is rare, but watch for fever or lethargy. 


If you have a doeling, she will start going into heat around five months old, and continue the cycle approximately every 21 days. She may flag her tail and bah loudly for a day or two. This is normal and can be ignored. Be sure to keep her away from any intact bucks during this time to avoid pregnancy, unless you are planning to breed.


The breed standard for Mini Silky Fainting Goats is no horns. We disbud all babies shortly after birth. Horned adults tend to get their heads caught in fence. Horns also can be dangerous to other goats and the humans that love on them. Your goat may still have scabs from disbudding. These will fall off and heal up on their own and usually cause no problems. Occasionally, however, they rub them off or knock them off a little prematurely – similar to a human pulling a scab off before it’s ready. You may notice some blood. It is just a surface wound where the scab fell off and should heal back up with no problems. If it is a warmer time of year and flies are a problems, you can spray them with Blue-Kote just to keep the flies off.



If you purchased a Mini Silky Fainting Goat or a myotonic goat, chances are at some point your goat will “faint.” While fainting is in the name of the breed (Mini Silky Fainting Goat), fainting is not a requirement. There are varying degrees of fainting as well. This can be as slight as their back legs stiffening up while on the run, to as extreme as falling completely over and lying there for a few seconds before their muscles relax enough to stand back up. Fainting does not hurt the goats. There is no guarantee to the degree that any goat we sell might faint. Also, we have found there is no “sure fire” way to get a goat to faint. Typically it is when they are caught off guard. You can spend all day trying to scare them into fainting with no success, only to toss some hay into their feeder and one will tip over. Fainting can be entertaining, just be sure not to overstress your goat by trying to cause fainting, as this can make them more wild and afraid of humans.

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