We’ve talked about the pros and cons of keeping goats, but there are a few tips I can give you so you don’t have to learn some things by way of surprise. By knowing these things now, you won’t be shocked when they happen later. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you keep goats on your farm.
They Like To Have Company
I may have mentioned this before but I’ll tell you again: goats like to stay in herds so you should never keep a lone goat. Being with other goats allow them to feel safe and protected, even though there’s no real harm. Goats are fairly social animals so it can greatly affect their mental health when you decide to keep just one on the farm without any company.
They Get Distressed Easily
When you first bring them onto a farm, your goats will get distressed easily, even when you think that there’s no problem. That’s why you should make things as convenient for them as possible; place their food and water within reach and don’t keep any obstacles in the fence. Never bind them to a post because that can affect their health. Instead, stick to good fencing and let them roam free in it.
Be Careful With Billy Goats
When you see your Billy goats in a rut, you should be careful to leave them be since they’re very dangerous in such a situation. In addition, if you want to avoid a rut, you should think twice about keeping Billy goats on your farm in the first place. For breeding, you can always borrow bucks from neighboring farmers and communities when they’re needed.
Never Underestimate the Importance of Good Fencing
During the first couple of weeks, goats may appear as the most innocent creatures you’ve seen but this is far from the truth. They’re very active so they love to roam around and explore new areas. For this reason, I always tell farmers that you shouldn’t buy goats before you’ve built a proper fence that keeps them inside.
Make sure that it’s tall enough since they can easily jump over short fences and that it doesn’t have holes, goats have a strange ability to figure out how latches work. Because of this, they can open fence doors with their tongues. If you’re not sure how to set up proper fencing, don’t risk doing a DIY since goats can easily knock down weak fences. Instead, call in a professional to do it.
Your Goat Isn’t ‘Fat’
You shouldn’t cut down on your goat’s feed just because it appears to be pot-bellied. Goats are ruminants so a bigger rumen doesn’t necessarily mean they are getting fat, it could simply indicate good digestion. As long as they’re running and exercising well you shouldn’t be worried.
When you keep these things in mind, you’ll know how to react and prepare yourself for keeping goats on the farm. They are much easier to handle once you’ve experienced a couple of firsts, but I can’t guarantee that they won’t give you a hard time. Happy Farming!