Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds…Proverbs 27:23
We raise our goats with lots of care, and do our best to provide everything they need to thrive in their environment. We try to be in tune with our goats holistically and carefully watch for any signs of illness. We trim hooves as needed to avoid overgrowth. Goats are provided shelter from the elements.
We give a CDT vaccine & disbud all kids unless otherwise requested by our buyers.
We don’t routinely use conventional worming drugs, but we will use them when needed. Our priority is to prevent heavy parasite loads by changing water daily to ensure no manure is being ingested, using above-the-ground feeders and offering specific herbs to help the animals to build natural immunity. We also try to breed for strong parasite resistance and tolerance.
We are FAMACHA certified to diagnose anemia levels to help detect barber pole worm infestations with the goal of selective treatment, avoiding unnecessary worming which can lead to drug resistance. See our resources page to learn more about FAMACHA certification. We recommend it!
Animals lacking vigor or the ability to lead a healthy, normal life will be treated well and cared for until humanely culled or retained as a non-breeding pet. We don’t want to reproduce or sell weak genetics. We respect the life of every animal and treat every one with kindness and consideration for their best future.
A righteous man regards the life of his animal,Proverbs 12:10
But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
We use a spreadsheet in Apple Numbers (see an example on our Goat Health page)to keep track of vaccinations, hoof trimmings, illness, etc. Each individual goat has their own health profile, and we also have a General Journal for herd management recording. We believe good record keeping is important.
When the hay is removed and the tender grass shows itself, and the herbs of the mountains are gathered in…you shall have enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household…”Proverbs 27:25 & 27a
Feed and Mineral
We provide Payback goat mineral free-choice. Their main feed is high quality hay in raised feeders, usually a mix of alfalfa and grass. They also have green foliage growing in their living area in addition to the herbs we offer for health and parasite prevention as we believe a diet of various plants and herbs is important for maintaining goat health, being careful to avoid poisonous plants. We feed a little goat grain at times to help with body condition during weaning and milking, but their main feed is hay and occasionally Timothy or Alfalfa pellets if the hay quality is lower than desired. We supplement at times with Selenium and Vitamin E oral paste and copper bolus as needed, and sometimes add ground flax to their grains.
In future, we hope to incorporate condensed tannin(CT) crop plants into our goat’s diet to naturally help prevent worms and GI parasites. The two that will grow in our region are Sainfoin and Birdsfoot Trefoil.
Showing is not one of our aspirations. We have attended the local show in Big Timber for the past few years, but mostly for community and a good time. Though it is our goal to breed high quality show lines worthy of GCH statuses, these designations will only be earned by goats we sell to showing homes. No doubt many of our goats will go unnoticed and live outside of the spotlight as common homestead milkers, unrecognized for their actual potential. But we think quality is important even for the humblest of little goat farms. We hope to keep the Nigerian breed pure and true to it’s best features by selecting breeding stock of the finest genetics so it can only improve. Our goats aren’t perfect, but we work towards our goals with each breeding and try to improve each line where it’s lacking.
Our goal is to breed sturdy does that will milk well for many years, have easy to hand milk udders, and also be competitive in show for the same reasons. We are learning more every day about what truly makes an excellent dairy goat.
We hope to participate in Linear Appraisal in the future as one of our goals in moving our herd forward.
We participated in DHIA milk testing for the first time in 2021 as Owner Samplers on the AR plan. It’s was so exciting to see the reports for each test on the components and changes throughout lactation and to know how many pounds of milk our does produced. They really held their own as first fresheners and we can’t wait to find out if ADGA accepted their records to officially be designated 1*M! We worked hard for it.
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