Goat Rearing

Guide To Rearing Your Kid Goat 

kid rearing-302Selection of the Kid Goat

Kids can be located via Trade Me, breeders, web-sites, local contacts or by asking around. If possible buy from the farm of birth.
The kid should be chosen no earlier than 3 days after birth but preferably 5 days after birth, this allows the kid to have its mother’s colostrum, which gives protection against diseases and is high in both vitamins and minerals.
On occasion kids have been rejected by their mother or are one of triplets, in which case one is removed from its mother as she is not able to adequately feed 3 of them. In these cases the kid may not have received colostrum.
The healthy kid should have a dry small navel, lively movements, and clear bright eyes.
If a buck (male) is chosen he should be wethered with a rubber ring from 1 week old, otherwise he will become smelly and possibly aggressive as he reaches maturity. Ensure both testicles are down before releasing the ring.
If kids are to be dehorned, they should be debudded by a vet at 2 weeks of age.  Failure to do this at the correct age often results in horn re-growth. Dehorning adult goats is often very unsatisfactory.
Take note of your kid goat’s date of birth as this is required on your entry form.
Basic rearing needs
  • 2 x 10kg bags of milk powder
  • 2 x lamb teats (it pays to have a spare in case they are chewed)
  • Or complete bottle and teat (plus spare teat)
  • Pellets or meal
  • Collar and lead
  • Brush
  • Drench
  • Vaccine
  • Cover (optional)
Lamb milk powders are specially formulated to meet the needs of your kid goat. Lamb/goat teats that can be screwed onto a coke or water bottle or complete lamb/goat feeding bottles are available from Franklin Vets.
Mixing and feeding instructions are clearly written on the bag. Avoid sudden changes in the type (brand), quantity or temperature of milk or milk powder. For best results milk feed your goat until Ag day.
When feeding your kid in the first 5 days, watch that its tummy doesn’t get over distended. As a guide feed 20% of body weight daily split into 5 small feeds. Example 3kg kid needs 600ml per day fed at 120 ml per feed. Thoroughly clean bottles and teats after each feed.
Supplement the milk with a lamb or multifeed pellet and keep moving your goat so that it has access to fresh grass everyday. Your goat (depending on how old) should be around 10kg by Ag day.
Scours - If your kid goat scours,
  • Alternate between 120ml milk and 120ml of good quality electrolyte such as Diarrest® or Revive®.  This should be done over 6 feeds a day, leaving 30 minutes at least between feeds.   As the scouring improves, electrolyte feeds can be slowly replaced with milk feeds over a period of 2-3 days.
  • If the kid will not suckle tube feeding will be necessary
  • Keep it in a clean, dry draft free environment and keep warm (hot water bottles are great) or a lamb cover
Vaccination and drenching
If the mother of your kid goat was not vaccinated with a 5 in 1 one month prior to kidding or if you do not know if it was vaccinated, the kid should be vaccinated with a lamb vaccine or PK/Antitet from 1 week old.
If the goat has come from a vaccinated mother and has had adequate colostrum in the first day of its life it will have protection for about 3 months.
Your kid should also be vaccinated with a 5 in 1 vaccine at weaning (3 months) and then given a booster shot 1 month later and thereafter once a year. This vaccine prevents pulpy kidney disease, tetanus, black disease, malignant oedema and blackleg.
Drench at about 6 weeks old and again at 10 weeks. An oral lamb drench is suitable for goats.
Housing requirements
A dry draft free house or kennel is required. You may even want to make a cover for your kid goat. It will grow better if it is not using energy to keep warm. A dog cover is ideal while it is small.
Daily care
  • Regular feeding
  • Wash its face to remove any milk residue
  • Walk it on a lead and play with it
  • Brush it a least once a day
  • Practice calling your goat before each feed
  • Hooves should be trimmed and clean
  • Hair around the hooves should be clipped
  • Make sure your pets face and ears are clean
  • Trim long hair under its tail
  • Brush it often to get a nice finish on the coat and remove loose hair
  • Ensure the collar is loosened regularly so it is not too tight otherwise it will wear the hair off around its neck
Lice control
Lice are a common problem. Lice treatment are available from Franklin Vets.
It also helps brushing the kid daily to remove the dead lice eggs. If your kid gets lice you also need to isolate it from other goats.
Poisonous Plants
Goats have a love of garden plants; however they are unfortunately not able to determine which ones are poisonous. Many plants that are potentially poisonous or have poisonous parts are found in our gardens at home.
Here are some examples: 
Box (Buxus) and its relations such as the Allegheny spurge used for ground cover, many plants in the forget-me-not family which have harsh bristly leaves, bracken, members of the erica or rhododendron family, camelia, dahpne, azalea, daffodil, delphinium ferns, snowflake and snowdrop, hyacinths, hemlock, cress, red maple, oak, oleander, arums, ivy and five finger, swan plant, heathers and rhododendrons, lilies, poppies, clematis, cyclamen, poinsettia, hemlock, titoki, fox-gloves and snapdragons and rhubarb leaves. Many species in the large legume or pea family and the rose, peach and apple family are poisonous to some extent.
General ribbons are presented in three age groups – Junior, Intermediate and Senior; and then an overall winner in the following categories.  Check details with your school.
  • Rearing and condition of the kid goat
  • Calling – kid goat needs to come directly to you when called from a minimum distance of 4-5 metres (this distance will vary depending on the judge) and the child must be able to hook its lead back on.
  • Leading – kid goat needs to walk through the course without dragging or pushing.
  • Best Pet – bond between the kid goat and the child, observed throughout the day.
NOTE; You should know the breed, age and general feeding requirements (how many times a day it is being fed) of the goat as some judges will ask.
Tips for success
  • The child should always feed the goat, mum or dad can assist younger children if needed.
  • Give your goat a treat when leading and calling. Use the pellets or they often like raisins and bread (save the crusts and stale bread). Even a hug, pat and a few kind words are beneficial.
  • Spend lots of time with your goat so you build a bond and it will come when called.
  • Set a course up at home and walk your goat daily. Make sure you include a small fence post or piece of wood so the goat gets used to stepping over it. They must not touch the wood. Some judges at Franklin Group Day believe a well trained goat will walk any course with you if you have put in the time, so have on occasion in the past made the animals walk it backwards. The point being, walk your goat anywhere around your property, the more the better.
  • Wash your goat on or before Ag day and take a bucket, brushes, an old towel to clean it if it is dirty when you arrive.  Take its food and water requirements for the day.
Good Luck and most important of all ………..enjoy