Except in extremely special circumstances, we will not sell "just one" kid to anyone unless they already have goats (or sheep or other appropriate herd animals). Goats are herd animals and need companionship to be happy. They help keep each other warm in the winter and they are much quieter and happier if they are kept in pairs or more. They also provide more entertainment for you because of all their playing together (they will play even when they are adults). We realize that we may lose some sales due to this rule, but we feel that it's our responsibility that all of our goat kids be placed in appropriate homes where all of their needs will be met, and companionship is one of those needs.
We check our does every few hours when they get close to kidding so that we can be there for the birth. We like to be present to assist if necessary and also to help clean the kids and establish an immediate bond with them. Navels are iodined immediately to help avoid the possibility of infections such as navel ill. All of our kids are dam raised unless there is a reason that they need to be bottlefed. We wean kids between the ages of 10 to 12 weeks. We spend time with them every day to get them used to people and being handled. Some kids are tame almost immediately after birth, others are skittish until they are weaned. Kids tame down very quickly once they are weaned and they figure out who feeds them. Most skittish adults can even be tamed, it just takes more time. Goats make excellent and affectionate pets once they have established trust with their owner.
Our buck kids are are neutered (wethered) before being sold. The reason we do this is because wethers make excellent, loving pets, while adult bucks do not. We will leave a buck kid intact if someone wants one for breeding purposes, however the buckling would have to be paid for in full before he reaches the age that we would wether him, due to the fact that we don't want to end up with a lot of extra bucks around if the buyer would change his or her mind.
Goats are very affordable pets if you can provide for a few basic needs. Good fencing is a must, and is the biggest challenge with goatkeeping. If they get out of their enclosure, they usually won't go far, but they may jump on things that you don't want them to, and they love to eat flowers and shrubbery. They need to have some kind of shelter available that will keep them dry and out of the wind. If you can give them something in their enclosure to climb on, they will provide you with a lot of entertainment with their jumping, running, climbing, and head-butting. They love to find the highest spot in the pen and then play "king of the mountain" with their companions. Goats make great weed-eaters and do an excellent job keeping fence rows clean. We feed our goats good quality hay in the winter and they are on pasture all summer. Our goats also enjoy a small amount of grain daily, and we keep salt blocks, loose minerals, and fresh water available at all times. Baking soda left out for them is an easy way to help prevent bloat. They also enjoy protein blocks, but they eat it like candy so we only offer it occasionally. They love treats such as fruits, veggies, animal crackers, horse treats, etc. These things are fine in moderation but be careful not to overfeed....the main diet should come from pasture or hay.
We have found that goats are very easy to care for. We worm them approximately every 6 weeks when they are on pasture. We use either Ivomec or a paste wormer such as Safeguard or Panacur. Goats need their hooves trimmed occasionally, especially if they are in a small area with no hard ground that will wear them down naturally.
DISBUDDING: We purchased a disbudding iron in March of 2007 and kids will now be disbudded. Disbudding is a process where the horn buds are burned very quickly with very high heat, killing the tissue so that the horns won't grow. Disbudding is bloodless and MUCH less traumatic and dangerous for goats than dehorning is, it takes only a few seconds but must be done within the first few days after birth. Occasionally disbudded goats will grow scurs, which are partial horns and are often a bit loose and may fall off, and while they don't look attractive, they are harmless and can usually be ignored. Scurs are more likely to grow on intact bucks than on wethers or does. We can not guarantee that our disbudded goats will never grow scurs. Any goat we sell with horns will be sold with the understanding that the buyer will not have the goat dehorned. We feel that dehorning is too risky and painful for the goats. Disbudding is a much better option.
Feel free to email any time with questions or comments. We love talking about goats!