new baby goat

casi(5)June 10, 2008


My daughter bought her new Step-dad a baby goat for Father's day. We put her in a chain link fence pen and she did just fine, but we moved her into our barn cause it was going to rain, blocking the door with a piece of cattle panel. She disappeared within a couple of hours...don't know how but she must have gotten thru the larger part of the panel or climbed out. I thought she was gone for sure. I don't know what kind she is but as a baby, she isn't much bigger than my mini-schnauzer. A day later she showed up at the front door! I guess she got lonely, so she is back in the pen. Will this keep her in? I have researched and found that we shouldn't have bought just one, but I did read an earlier posting on this web site about someone who bought a goat to be a companion to a blind horse. I have 4 horses. Will that be enough company for her or do i need to go buy another goat? I also have 2 dog companions as well as 3 hunting dogs in pens and a cat that she seemed to get along with!

I read somewhere that you shouldn't feed too much grain and then another really good goat site said to feed 3 cups to a kid?????? Anyone can help me?

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Casi, you didn't mention what kind of goat it is. If she is a pygmy or mini, they are pretty small to be in with horses. The chain link enclosure will hold her but she will be able to squeeze through cattle panels, as you found out. You would have to put some other type of wire on the panel, such as chicken wire or hardware cloth, so it can't get through. Dogs don't make great companions for goats until they have all gotten to know each other. It sometimes takes months. I wouldn't trust a dog with a new goat, especially a small goat.
As for the grain. Do you have any idea what it was eating before you brought it home? If you start an animal on grain, it has to be done slowly or it will get diarrhea. Unless you are feeding it exactly what it had from the previous owner, changing the feed will cause some problems. So, you have to start slowly with 1/2 cup for a couple of days then increase it slowly. Is is eating alfalfa or grass hay? I would start with grass hay if it has never been on anything or an upset stomach will occur. Check with the former owners and maybe they can give you an idea of what it was eating.
Goats are herd animals and need companionship. I don't know if I would jump in and get another goat until you get this one settled and figured out.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 12:36PM
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Thanks Bonnie. First of all, I don't know what kind of goat it is. Like I said, my daughter bought it at an auction. It all happened so fast....I was protesting as she was bidding! As I am remembering, her mother wasn't much bigger than my labrador retreiver. We think she came from the Amish as we have a settlement in the area. We have had an eventful morning here as it began raining at dawn. My husband made a makeshift house for her last night out of some lumber and bricks, but everytime I went to check on her, she had knocked it down. Anyway, we had offered her some horse grain the first day we got her and she took it, so this morning while it was raining so hard I took her into my tack room and offered a cupful of sweet feed. She picked out the corn and the oats. She was very glad to see me this morning, but after I got her inside she acted timid, finally allowing me to pet her. When I pick her up and hold her she is very good and is almost cuddly, so I think she has been fooled with some. I eventually put her on a long lead line and with coaxing she would follow me around the yard, so I'm getting her used to being on a line. Today my husband constructed a permenent shelter (big enough for 2 if need be) and expanded her enclosure. The pen is out in my horse pasture just inside the gate. While we were working on her pen I tied her to the hay rack and she quickly played "queen of the mountain"! The 4 horses soon came to check her out, which was pretty interesting. They are used to dogs so they aren't particularly aggressive. She ate some of the grass hay while all this was going on. When we finished our project I placed some fresh hay under her shelter, to eat if she wanted or hopefully as bedding as there is no bottom to the shelter. We will probably try to hold off, like you said and see if we can get her settled down before we go shopping for another one. I was in hopes that my schnauzer would take up with her, but he is pretty jealous natured and wanted to chase her if she ran.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 2:57PM
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Casi, sounds like you are fairing better with the new housing arrangements. It is good she is eating hay and playing on the bales. I would suggest you buy a book about goats at your local feed store. Most of them are very good and basic and cover goats needs, illnesses and habits. They do need vaccinations and hoof trimming and the book will cover all of that plus diseases they may have.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 7:15PM
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