The Hearty Homestead

 

Goat Kids: Dam vs. Bottle-Fed

Although meat and fiber goats are raised by their mothers under normal circumstances, dairy goats are often bottle-fed. Disease control, higher profits, and friendlier goats are the three reasons given for bottle-feeding dairy goats. However, bottle-feeding may not be the right choice for everyone.

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Raising Kids - Dehorning & Wethering

 Goat Dehorning

Dehorning is a touchy subject in the goat world and rightly so. I can honestly understand both sides. There are those who believe that dehorning is cruel and goes against the natural biological makeup of a goat. There are others who believe that a horned goat, even if well behaved, is dangerous and could injure itself, a herd mate, a person or child unintentionally. You add wire goat fencing that horns can be tangled in and you have the risk of strangulation, or other injury.

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Raising Kids - Nutrition, Udder Care and Digestion

Raising Kids

Raising goat kids is fresh in mind these days. Our doe, Eleanor just blessed us with a beautiful buckling which we named Huckleberry. There’s little around the farm that brings us more joy than watching a goat kid hop around the pasture, learn to coordinate its legs and climb on everything it can wobble over to, including us!

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Raising Young Animals - A "How To" Video Series

Whether you raise foals, piglets, goat kids or more, making the decision to raise young animals can be daunting, especially if you've only ever known the family dog or cat.

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Birthing Goat Kids

Every time one of our goats gives birth for the first time it serves as a transition for how we see our goat. Our little girls become big girls and I tend to get emotional about the whole thing. It changes and deepens the relationship, seeing her care for her babies, showing an instinctual side that we’ve never witnessed. It’s very beautiful.

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Putting Together a Goat Birthing Kit

 

For the most part, birth is a natural process for a goat. Most of the time she will take care of everything herself and us humans will only need to do a few things to give nature a boost and some extra reassurance. But, sometimes things don’t go according to plan, so it’s always good to have some back up items in place.

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Preparing the Kidding Stall - Part 2

Cleaning the Area

Clean the stall removing all soiled bedding. The floor of our stalls are cement so we mop with a diluted bleach solution and soapy water. We use a pine pelleted bedding to absorb any moisture, and then apply a fresh, thick layer of clean straw.

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Preparing the Kidding Stall - Part 1

At our farm, we try to do all that we can to ensure a calm and healthy environment for our does to kid. Certainly, goats can give birth in all sorts of conditions, but if we can do something to make it easier or more successful, we try.

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Goats: Preparing for Kids

Preparing for the birth of a goat kid will insure they get off to the right start. Of course, the doe is going to do most of the work in the birthing process, but there are many reasons why a baby goat kid might need your support and preparation.

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Goats: Caring for Pregnant Does - Part 1

One of the most amazing things about raising animals is witnessing the process of birth. Every step of the way presents a new miracle to behold. The hours I spend in the barn with our goats awaiting the arrival of kids has created some of the most cherished memories of my life. It’s true life in the barn. Raw life. And it’s beautiful.

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