Nigerian Dwarf Goats LIFE SPAN TYPICALLY 10-14 YEARS HEIGHT TYPICALLY 17-23 INCHES WEIGHT usually 50-75LBS (SOME BUCKS CAN BE MORE) FEMALES ARE DOES. MALES ARE BUCKS. CASTERATED MALES ARE WETHERS. (THEY MAKE THE BEST PETS) Polled means naturally hornless (not disbudded) it is a dominate gene
This information is for reference but please do not use this instead of seeking advice from your veternarian. These charts are from a facebook group called "Goat Emergency Team" and I have found them to be very helpful. Use a vet you trust that is familiar with goats.
Learning the information on this assessment can help you look for anything that just doesn't "seem normal". Trust your instincts if something doesn't seem right with an animal then something is probably wrong. Goats are a herd animal and can hide illness and injury very well. Investigate if you see a goat standing with is tail down or hunched or standing away from the other goats. Be observant!
NEVERFEED A GOAT WITH A LOW BODY TEMPERATURE! NORMAL TEMPERATURE IS 101.5-103.5
Nearly all goats have coccidia in their intestines. It is often triggered to strike in times of stress...examples are weaning and rehoming. It is not just caused by dirty living conditions. It is one of the most common causes of diarrhea in young goats and can be very harmful or even fatal if left untreated, it is also highly contagious. DO NOT IGNORE DIARRHEA OR PUT OFF TREATMENT. Cocci is species specific and won't transfer to and from other animals, examples are dogs, cats or chickens. Coccidia is not treated with the deworming medications it must have a treatment specific for coccidia. I personally have had the best luck with Albon and Toltrazuril. I never use Corid, it is not effective in the drinking water because you don't actually know how much each goat is getting and it also is known to cause problems depleting the goat of essential vitamin B (thiamine). If you choose to use it you must give vit B injections after treatment.
WORMS AND TREATMENTS
If you own goats you must learn about all the different worms they are susceptible to. Goats are known to be wormy animals. Learning to check the FAMACHA will give you an idea how infected the goat is with the barber pole worm (Haemonchs contortus) between fecal tests. This is a very dangerous worm and can cause death unless you treat for it specifically with the correct dewormer. This worm attaches to the membrane in the stomach and feeds on blood; that is why you check the eyes mucus membrane color. The worm itself it striped red and white and that is how it came by the name barber pole worm. Unfortunately it is quickly becoming immune to the current dewormers on the market. If you are not familiar with this worm please do your research and educate yourself. I try to check the eyelid color every 1-2 weeks in my herd. There are helpful videos on youtube to learn how to check it. If you see diarrhea then you need to investigate, DON'T ignore it. The most common reasons for diarrhea are coccidia or worms! I advise doing a fecal with your vet or other service so you know what worms to treat for and if you need to treat for coccidia instead. If you treat for worms not knowing what kind you need to kill it can quickly cause you to have a resistance to the dewormers. We have been happy with a company called MeadowMist Lab Services, they are cheaper and we get more detailed worm/cocci reports than we get from our vet, but they can take several days to get your results back. You will not be able to look at the goats poop and see worms other than possibly tape worms. These worms eggs look like white rice and are easy to spot if the worm is shedding.
ANTIBIOTICS, FEVER REDUCERS AND PAIN RELIEF
I use Covexine 8 for my CDT and I do always give it to my pregnant does aprox 30 days before delivery so the babies are covered for the first few weeks
These are a few things to watch for that can be fatal very quickly if left untreated.
ALWAYS HAVE A GOOD QUALITY FREE CHOICE GOAT MINERAL AVAILABLE. DO NOT GET MINERALS FOR ALL STOCK OR SAFE FOR SHEEP, GOATS ARE A COPPER DEFICIENT ANIMAL AND NEED THE EXTRA COPPER IN THE GOAT MINERALS. THE EARLIEST SIGNS OF COPPER DEFICIENCY ARE A FADED COAT, FISH TALE (BALDING TAIL TIP) AND LOSING HAIR ON THE FACE, ESPECIALLY AROUND THE EYES OR BRIDGE OF THE NOSE. A BLACK GOAT TURNS A RUSTY COLOR; RED GOATS TURN CREAM; AND CREAM GOATS TURN WHITE. IF NECESSARY YOU ALSO GIVE A COPPER BOLLUS TO HELP CORRECT IT.
GIVE CDT VACCINE TO BABIES AND THEN 2-3 WEEKS LATER GIVE THEM A BOOSTER. AFTER THAT THEN THEY JUST NEED IT 1 TIME PER YEAR. THE DOSE IS 2ML PER ANIMAL SUB Q NO MATTER THE AGE OR WEIGHT.
ML AND CC IS THE SAME MEASUREMENT...SO 1 CC=1ML WHEN GIVIING MEDICATIONS.
DON'T CASTRATE THE MALES BEFORE 12 WEEKS BECAUSE IT CAN MAKE THEM MORE PRONE TO HAVE URINARY BLOCKAGES. AS THE YOUNG MALES GROW IT GIVES THEM TIME FOR THEIR URITHRA TO GROW AND DEVELOPE AND BE LESS LIKELY TO CLOG WITH STONES. THIS CAN QUICKLY BECOME FATAL! ALWAYS WATCH YOUR MALES TO MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT GET BLOCKED. WE HAVE GOOD LUCK WITH THE ADDITION OF AMONIUM CHLOLRIDE TO THE DIET; THIS HELPS TO ACIDFY THE URINE AND MAKE THE CRYSTAL COMPONENTS MORE SOLUBLE. THE GOAT WILL BE MORE LIKELY TO URINATE THEM OUT THAN FORM STONES. AMONIUM CHLORIDE CAN BE ADDED TO THE INDIVIDUAL BUCK'S/WETHERS FEED. I DON'T RECCOMEND GIVING GRAIN TO WETHERS BUT IF YOU DO AMONIUM CHLORIDE IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON AND ONLINE VET STORES SUCH AS VALLEY VET OR JEFFERS. A GOOD ALTERNATIVE TO GRAIN IS ANIMAL CRACKERS OR FIG NEWTONS, MINE LOVE THEM. I DO NOT FEED MY MALES ALFALFA PELLOTS OR HAY (IT HAS TOO MUCH CALCIUM FOR THEM) ONLY BROME/ORCHARD GRASS MIXES AND THEY DO GREAT FOR US.
GOATS REALLY CAN'TEAT ANYTHING! THEIR ARE MANY PLANTS THAT ARE POISEN FOR THEM. HERE IS A PARTIAL LIST OF COMMON PLANTS: LILAC, AZALIA, HONEYSUCKLE, LEAVES AND BARK FROM STONE FRUIT TREES, ELDERBERRY, MILKWEED, BOXWOOD, RED MAPLE LEAVES, POTATOE, AND TOMATOE. PLEASE DO A SEARCH OF POISEN PLANTS AND MAKE SURE YOUR GOATS DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THEM.
Free choice loose minerals must be available at all times
My favorite minerals are Purina Goat Minerals from Tractor Supply. It has the extra copper that they need and it's in the form of chelated copper which I have read is very easy for them to absorb. I also like New Country Organics Goat Minerals. It has a lot of kelp and is very beneficial to goats. You can find these on their website or on Amazon. The pictures below show how shiny and healthy the coats are on my goats using these minerals. I mostly notice they shine on the black coats, I think it just shows up better on them but they all look great using these minerals. I did not put anything on them to make them look shiny, and I am not seeing the signs of copper deficiency that I had been fighting before. Even with giving a copper bolus I still noticed fish tail and rusty looking hair with other minerals. The changes have been very noticeable using the minerals mentioned above.
Don't help pull the afterbirth out of the doe after she kids. Let it come out naturally on it's own. You can cause the doe to bleed to death by "helping" pulling on it.