Seasonal Summary of Goat Care

WINTER

Monthly foot trimming (described below)

Worming all goats

Vaccinate all goats for tetanus

Prepare your nanny goats for kidding

Vaccinate nannies with Lambivac 4-6 wks prior to kidding

Increase hard food in last 6 wks of pregnancy

SPRING

Monthly foot trimming

Prepare for kidding - suggested equipment list:

Vet's telephone number! Lambing ropes x 3, lube, soap, bucket, towel, arm length gloves, glucose powder, Ketosaid, stomach tube, access to colostrum, feeding bottles, lamb feeder syringe with tube (to administer colostrum), calcium borogluconate injection, iodine antiseptic, sterile cotton (to tie off umbilicus if necessary), fleecy kid jumpers

Clean bedding in kidding pen

Good quality food & hay in stock

Worming nannies & kids from 4 weeks old

Vaccination with Lambivac for kids at 4-6wks & repeat 1 month

De-louse (article on delousing here)

Milk goats post kidding if desired

Consider weaning regime depending on whether milking is a priority


SUMMER

Monthly foot trimming

Worming for kids

Consider weaning regime depending on whether milking is a priority

Prepare goats for show...halter train, restrain/tie up,

Show box... White coat, bucket, brushes, comb, hoof wax/oil, halter/leadrope

Prepare nannies for mating - feeding/weight/health assessment

Prepare food stocks for winter (hay)


AUTUMN

Monthly foot trimming

Worming all goats

Mate nanny with billy

Maintain normal body weight post mating (extra food should not be necessary unless browsing food is scarce)

Prepare food stocks for winter (veg - carrots/turnips)

Prepare field shelter - sufficient for number of goats with fresh bedding

NOTE

Please consult an experienced goat keeper to discuss routine treatments such as worming regimes and foot care and in the first instance always discuss worming, vaccination and parasite control protocols with your Veterinary Surgeon, as most of these medicines are prescription only. The vet will advise on which product is most appropriate for the age of the goat, the land on which it is kept and the goats health status.


Edible & Poisonous Foods for Goats

Reading through all the old, and the newer, goat books we have accumulated over the years, can make for worrying reading. Listed are just some of the main / more common plants which seem to occur in the literature. Some are immediately toxic, no matter the state or quantity, whereas others can be tolerated in small amounts, although still not recommended. Some actually become toxic due to conditions they are growing in, for example, drought causes levels of nitrates in some plants to accumulate to toxic levels. A goat out grazing with sufficient availability naturally should choose only the safe forage, and poisoning is more common in housed situations where forage is brought in and / or dried, accidentally containing something the goat may not realise is harmful to them. Goats are also curious creatures, which unfortunately can lead to their undoing in many situations. Overall, if your goat is unwell, veterinary attention should be sought. 

EDIBLE
  • Acorns (in moderation)
  • Agapanthas
  • Althea
  • Angel Wing Bigoneas
  • Apple
  • Arborvita
  • Avocado*- Mexican Avocado leaves/trees such Pinkerton might not be (*note-South American Avocado leaves ARE poisonous)
  • Bamboo
  • Banana, entire plant, fruit & peel
  • Barkcloth fig (ficus natalensis)
  • Bay Tree Leaves green and dried
  • Bean (all parts)
  • Beets, leaves and root
  • Blackberry bushes (all parts)
  • Black Locus (we had quite a few of these until our goats ate them all)
  • Bramble
  • Broccoli (all parts)
  • Buckbrush (aka coralberry or indian currant)
  • Cabbage
  • Camellias
  • Cantaloupe: fruit, seeds and peel
  • Collard Greens
  • Carrots
  • Catnip
  • Cedar Needles (leaves) & Bark
  • Celery
  • Citrus
  • Clover
  • Comfrey
  • Corn husks & silk
  • Cottonwood
  • Coyote Bush (Baccharis)
  • Dandelion
  • Douglas Fir
  • Dogwood
  • Elm
  • English Ivy (we feed lvy trimming all the time; they love it)
  • Fava Bean pods
  • Fern
  • Fescue grass
  • Ficus
  • Garlic
  • Ginger Root
  • Grape, entire plants
  • Grape Vine
  • Grapefruit, fruit & peel
  • Greenbrier
  • Hay Plant
  • Heavenly Bamboo
  • Hemlock Trees (which are not the same as the poisonous hemlock, an herbaceous species of plant which is in the carrot family that bears the scientific name “Conium maculatum")
  • Hibiscus
  • Honeysuckle, entire plant (goats love honeysuckle)
  • Hyssop
  • Ivy
  • Jackfruit leaves
  • Jade
  • Jambolan leaves
  • Japanese Elm
  • Japanese Knotweed aka: polygonum cuspidatum aka: fallopia japonica.
  • Japanese Magnolias (blooms/leaves)
  • Johoba
  • Kudzu
  • Lantana - appears on both lists
  • Lilac bark /branches
  • Lupine - appears on both lists: Seeds are the part of the plant that are the greatest problem.
  • Magnolia Leaves green and dried
  • Mango leaves
  • Manzanita (Arctostaphylos)
  • Maple Trees, leaves & bark - (goats will readily strip the bark and kill the tree) 
NOT Red Maples (Red Maples can be toxic)
  • Marijuana-in moderation
  • Mesquite
  • Mint
  • Mock Orange
  • Monkeyflower (Mimulus)
  • Mountain Ash (excellent goat forage tree)
  • Morning Glory
  • Moss
  • Mulberry (entire plant)
  • Mullein
  • Mustard
  • Nettles
  • EDIBLE CONTINUED

  • Hyssop
  • Ivy
  • Jackfruit leaves
  • Jade
  • Jambolan leaves
  • Japanese Elm
  • Japanese Knotweed aka: polygonum cuspidatum aka: fallopia japonica.
  • Japanese Magnolias (blooms/leaves)
  • Johoba
  • Kudzu
  • Lantana - appears on both lists
  • Lilac bark /branches
  • Lupine - appears on both lists: Seeds are the part of the plant that are the greatest problem.
  • Magnolia Leaves green and dried
  • Mango leaves
  • Manzanita (Arctostaphylos)
  • Maple Trees, leaves & bark - (goats will readily strip the bark and kill the tree) 
NOT Red Maples (Red Maples can be toxic)
  • Marijuana-in moderation
  • Mesquite
  • Mint
  • Mock Orange
  • Monkeyflower (Mimulus)
  • Mountain Ash (excellent goat forage tree)
  • Morning Glory
  • Moss
  • Mulberry (entire plant)
  • Mullein
  • Mustard
  • Nettles
  • Nightshade - (although small quantities are believed to be acceptable, even enjoyable!)
  • Lemon Grass
  • Oak Tree Leaves
  • Okara- pulp left over after making Soymilk
  • Onion
  • Orange, fruit & peel
  • Paloverde - needles & seed pods
  • Patterson's Curse
  • Pea Pods
  • Peanuts, including the shells
  • Pear
  • Pencil cactus
  • Peppers
  • Pepper plants
  • Photinia
  • Pine Trees 
  • Plum, all
  • PrivetPumpkin
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Oak
  • Poison Sumac, the vine
  • Pomegranates
  • Poplar Trees
  • Potatoes
  • Raisins
  • Raspberry, entire plant (goats loves raspberry)
  • Red-tips
  • Rose, all, entire plant (goats loves roses)
  • Rhubarb Leaves
  • Salvation Jane
  • Sassafras
  • Silver Berry
  • Southern Bayberry (myrica cerifera)
  • Spruce trees
  • Sumac, the tree
  • Sunflowers
  • St. John's Wort (can cause sun sensitivity in light skinned goats)
  • Strawberry
  • Sweet Gum Trees
  • Sweet potato leaves
  • Tomatoes (cherry tomatoes make wonderful treats)
  • Tomato plants- in moderation 
  • Tree of Heaven
  • Turnips
  • Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)
  • Yarrow
  • Yellow Locus
  • Yucca
  • Vetch
  • Virginia Creeper
  • Wandering Jew
  • Watermelon
  • Wax Myrtle (myrica cerifera)
  • Weeping Willow
  • Wild Rose, entire plant (goats loves roses)
  • Wild Tobacco
  • POISONOUS
    •African Rue
  • Andromeda (related to foxglove)
  • Avocado- South American Avocado leaves/tree such as Haas or crosses with Haas
  • Avocado- Fuarte (definitely)
  • Azalea
  • Brouwer's Beauty Andromeda
  • Boxwood
  • Burning Bush berries
  • Calotropis
  • Cassava (manioc)
  • China Berry Trees, all parts
  • Choke Cherries, wilting especially
  • Choke Cherry Leaves in abundance
  • Datura
  • Dog Hobble
  • Dumb Cane (diffenbachia) (Houseplant)
  • Euonymus Bush berries
  • False Tansy
  • "Fiddleneck"- know by this common name in CA. It is a fuzzy looking, 12" to 15" plant, with small yellow blossoms, shaped on a stem shaped like the neck of a fiddle.
  • Flixweed
  • Fusha
  • Holly Trees/Bushes
  • Ilysanthes floribunda
  • Japanese pieris (extremely toxic)
  • Japanese Yew
  • Lantana - appears on both lists
  • Larkspur- a ferny, flowering plant in shades of blue, pink and white.
  • Lasiandra
  • Lilacs
  • Lily of the Valley (Pieris Japonica)
  • Lupine - appears on both lists: Seeds are the part of the plant that are the greatest problem.
  • Madreselva (Spain) patologia renal
  • Maya-Maya
  • Monkhood
  • Milkweed
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Nightshade- appears on both lists
  • Oleander
  • Pieris Japonica (extreamly toxic)
  • Red Maples
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Tu Tu (the Maori name for Coriaria arborea)
  • Wild Cherry, -wilted- leaves (fresh and fully dried are not poisonous)
  • Yew

  • Foot Trimming

    To carry out foot trimming procedures you will require:

    • A pair of hoof trimming shears and a knife with a short blade (7.5 cm. is sufficient). Each of the tools should be kept clean & very sharp.
    • A pair of gloves to protect your hands when trimming the feet (from accidental cuts).
    • An antibiotic spray, obtained from your vet, to spray the hoof should you cause accidental bleeding of the foot.

    Start by trimming a front foot, lifting it close to the goat's side and with as minimum a lift as possible.

    • Clean off any excess dirt and other material from the base of the hoof with the pointed end of the trimming shears. 
    • Remove any horn, which may be growing over the foot with the trimming shears. Cut the horn level with the sole all the way round.
    • Level the heels with the sharp knife, lowering them if necessary, but removing a little at a time.
    • Carefully pare the sole using the sharp knife to match the new heel level. Remove a little at a time and stop if the sole begins to become pink. Work from the heel towards the toe.

    Foot prior to trimming

    Inner hoof has been trimmed

    Completed trimming