Getting Ready For Your New BMR Kids
Looking forward to the
day when your new kids come home is very exciting. But there
are many things that need to be done in order to be ready for the
kids. Here are some suggestions, but also check with other
goat breeders in your area and with your veterinarian for more ideas
Housing: Your goats will need a
shelter that keeps them draft free, dry, and safe. If
your new kids are just
a few weeks old, you might be able to simply
use a dog house or other small protected area. That will allow
them to cuddle together for warmth and keep them out of the wind,
rain, or snow. But the kids are going to get a lot bigger -
fast. As they grow they will need more space. The space
doesn't have to be elaborate. I've seen dog kennels with straw
bales on the outside for insulation used, chicken coops, camper
shells, and prefab storage units. My original goat house was a
travel trailer that had been stripped down and "goat proofed".
My current barns are concrete block with attached feed rooms for
storing hay, grain, and pellets. Some people like to use an
area like this as their milking area also. Be sure to plan
ahead when deciding on your set-up.
I don't lock my goats
into their house - ever. I've heard too many horror stories
about barn fires and the animals being trapped inside. My
goats can come and go from their house as they want. In fact,
during the summer they prefer to sleep outside.
Fencing: I love using 54 inch
high cattle panels. They are 16 feet long, sturdy and easy to
install. However, small kids can fit though them so we line
the bottom with chicken wire to keep them in. After they are a
few months old, they don't fit through anymore. I like the pen
to be as large as possible. Our first pen for two does was a
40 foot by 80 foot area. It was very roomy and we put "toys"
in the area for them to play on - piles of rocks, tree stumps, and
ramps. Goats can live in a smaller area, but I enjoy seeing
them run and play. I've seen three does in a pen that was 25 X
25 and that seemed quite adequate.
Feeding your Kids: Your kids
will be used to using a
Caprine Bucket Feeder style nipple for drinking milk. You
purchase these from Caprine Supply or from us here at BMR. Our
kids are fed pure, raw, goats' milk and we will give you enough milk
to get you home and to transition your kids to what you will be
feeding them. We recommend goat's milk from goats that are
tested free of CAE and Mycoplasma, though pasteurized whole cow milk from
the store will work, too. If goats' milk is available
but the does are not tested, please be sure to fully pasteurize this
milk, otherwise your kids may be infected with these incurable
diseases. We feed approximately 40 oz. of milk per day until
the kids are 8 - 10 weeks old. When you pick up your kids they
will probably be getting fed twice a day - 20 oz. per feeding.
Just ask us to be sure.
In addition to milk,
your kids need to have access to fresh water, plus hay and/or small
alfalfa pellets. I start them out on alfalfa hay and a small
Caprine pellet. Then I change them over to a larger alfalfa
pellet once they have grown enough to be able to handle the larger
size. If you will not be feeding pellets, then just keep the
kids on the alfalfa or an alfalfa/grass hay mixture. They
should also have access to free-choice, loose, goat specific
minerals. I use Sweetlix Caprine Magnum Milk loose
Vaccinating: I give a CD/T
vaccine at 8 weeks and 12 weeks, with a yearly booster after that.
Talk to your veterinarian about how, when, and with what product to
vaccinate with for the best protection in your area. Also ask
your vet if selenium and copper supplementation is necessary in your
Deworming: The severity and type of
parasites that will affect your goats differs from region to region.
Here in the very dry high desert of Arizona we don't have many
parasite problems. Most areas, however, will have both
internal and external parasites to deal with. Cocci in kids,
worms and lice in adults. Talk to your vet about the best way
to manage these problems. Just remember - a cocci or worm
infestation can kill a goat in just a matter of weeks.
Traveling and Arriving Home:
Your kids are very social creatures. Since traveling is
a scary, new thing for them they will probably be most happy to ride
with another goat kid buddy in the same crate as they are.
That way they can snuggle together and feel a bit more comforted
than if they are all alone. Once they are at their new home
they will need reassuring and attention. They are very used to
people being around and will appreciate having you spend time with
them. Make changes to their diet slowly so they don't
get an upset belly. Double check their surroundings to be sure
that they are both goat proof and predator proof. The kids are
used to Livestock Guardian Dogs being around, and we highly
recommend having these wonderful protectors.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles...
by airplane: Airplanes
are fast, so the transportation time is cut down when traveling long
distances. That helps reduce the overall travel stress
somewhat. But it is expensive and scary (to kid, buyer, and
seller). It also takes us over 10 hours to make the roundtrip
to the airport. So it's already a long day for the kids before
they even gets to the airport. We also need to charge for the
airport run to at least cover our costs. The kids will have to
be in separate crates when they fly.
Traveling by livestock hauler:
There are companies that specialize in moving livestock - including
goats and kids. These are not cheap but probably cheaper than
other options. However, your animals will be mixed with other
livestock causing a biosecurity nightmare. We work hard to
have a very healthy, disease free herd, but can't guarantee what
communicable problems the other animals might have. The
circuitous routing can also take days or even weeks longer to get
your new goat to you.
Traveling by car: Most times
buyers decide to make the trip themselves, enjoy a vacation, stay at
the ranch for a day or two, then head home with their new "herd".
Especially for new goat owners it can be a great way to learn about
goat care, see our set-up, do some hands on hoof trimming, feeding,
milking, etc. Plus eat some great gourmet food prepared by a
trained chef and made with lots of ranch grown products.
We only charge $50 per person for the first night's lodging with all meals
included when you are here picking up goats. Longer stays are
an additional $150 per night per person.
Making It Happen
If you have any more
questions about kid care, transportation, or how to put in a
reservation for your new kids, please do not hesitate to call or
Phone: (928) 536-7759