Goats are a great addition to any small farm. Not only do they provide milk and meat, but they also offer easy-to-manage grazing animals. If you’re thinking of adding goats to your farm, here are a few tips by Dax Cooke to get you started.
Dax Cooke’s Tips For Raising Goats On A Small Farm
Tip 1: Start with a Small Herd
When starting out, it is important, as per Dax Cooke, to start small. Goats are herd animals and do best in groups of two or more, so you should plan on having no less than two goats when you begin your herd. Choose breeds that are well-suited for the climate and terrain of your farm; Boer goats, Nubian goats, Nigerian dwarf goats, LaMancha goats, and Alpine goats are all popular homestead milkers. Make sure the animals have access to fresh water and quality hay or grasses to graze on.
Tip 2: Provide Appropriate Shelter
Goats need appropriate shelter from the elements year-round. A sturdy three-sided shelter should be enough to protect them from the wind and rain, but if you live in a cold climate, adding the fourth wall will help keep them warm. Be sure to provide plenty of clean bedding for your goats, such as straw or wood shavings, as well as adequate ventilation.
Tip 3: Practice Good Health Management
To ensure the good health of your herd, it is important to practice regular preventive health maintenance. Your goats should receive timely vaccinations against common diseases and parasites and also require regular deworming and hoof trimming. You should also quarantine any new animals before introducing them into your existing herd.
Tip 4: Keep the Herd Fenced In
You must have a secure fence around your goat pen to keep them safe and contained. Goats are notorious escape artists, so you should use a multi-faceted approach when constructing your perimeter fence. Electric fencing is an effective option for containing goats, as the shock of an electric wire can be enough to deter even the most determined animals from trying to jump over or dig out of the enclosure.
Tip 5: Get Help When Necessary
Having goats on your small farm can be a rewarding experience, but it does require, as per Dax Cooke, some effort and dedication on your part. When in doubt about any aspect of goat care – from selecting breeds to providing medical attention – don’t hesitate to seek help from experienced farmers or veterinarians. Doing your research ahead of time and having a support system in place will help ensure that you and your goats remain happy and healthy.
Dax Cooke’s Concluding Thoughts
Following these tips will help you raise healthy goats on your small farm. Dax Cooke strongly recommends following all necessary safety precautions when dealing with livestock, such as wearing protective clothing and gloves, observing biosecurity protocols, or enlisting the help of a qualified professional. Doing so will help protect both you and your animals!