Goat is a smart animal and have the ability to form a close bond with its owner. To have a goat as a pet, you need many consideration and things to fulfill goat’s need. It is important for goat’s owners to know how to take care of a goat as a pet. So here are some ways to take care of goat as a pet.
1. Make a Comfortable Home
You have to provide your goat large enough space. Give your goat a pasture that is large enough for a shelter and let the goat grazing. You can also give large rocks for your goat to climb on. Get many plants, including grass and weeds on your goat’s pasture. Make sure that they are clean and non-toxic.
Install a strong and high enough fence around the pasture. Goats are smart and can climb to escape. You may need to install at least 6 feet high fence. Your goat will less likely to escape if it has lots of space, foods, shelter, and entertainment. The fence should not only keep the goat in, but also to keep the predators out.
You may also need to give shelter for the goat, to protect it from wind, rain, or heat. You can install at least 3-sided shelter. Place the straw bedding inside so your goat will feel comfortable inside the shelter. You can also give more closed shelter but make sure that it is well ventilated.
You also need to give your goat some entertainment. Bored goat can be troubling since it will be doing something less appropriate to vent it’s boredom. Entertainment could be large rocks to climb on, a ramp, or recycled barrels. Make sure that whatever you placed is safe and free of harmful things, such as protruding nails.
Clean the pasture every day. Scoop out the poop and replace the bedding with fresh hay. Cleaning goat’s shelter will protect your goat from illness. You may need to deep clean the shelter once or twice a year by scrub down all the surfaces.
2. Give Delicious Foods
Give your goat with plenty of plants, such as grass, weeds, brush, vining plants, ivy, thistle, brambles, nettles, and other kind of plants. Goat can even eat prickly plant such as briars. Keep your goat away from harmful plants. Remember that there are also some plants that are harmful and toxic for goats. Make sure that these plants don’t grow in or near your goat’s pasture. Some of the harmful plants for goat are milkweed, delphinium, poppy, daffodil, tomato, rhododendrons, lily, wild cherry, lilac, etc. Beside the plant, you can also give your goat hay and pellets.
Goats don’t need grains in their diet, but they enjoy munching them. You can give it as a supplement to your goat if it doesn’t have enough foods to eat. You can also give it before breeding or to fattening up the goat. You may need to give the goat extra food during winter to help them withstand low temperature. You can also count the amount of food your goat can have per day. Goats normally eat 3-4% of their body weight each day. You may also need to get feeders, since goats don’t like to eat their feed from the ground. It can also keep the food from mold and insects. Make sure that you get wide feeder if you have more than one goat, since the goats may push each other when they are eating and can result in injury.
Beside delicious foods, goat also need to drink fresh water all the times. During winter, you may need to check the water more than twice a day because the water might be freezing.
You can also give vitamins and minerals for your goat. Many goat owners give their goats a salt mix or salt lick.
Watch your goat’s eating and make sure that it is in normal amount. Goats can have bloating because of overeating, eating imbalance foods, or eating poisonous food. If you see that your goat’s belly become bigger and harder, you have to call your vet and let it get examined.
3. Groom Your Goat
Grooming goat regularly can make your goat looks beautiful and also helps to keep them free from parasites.
Brush your goat’s coat daily. You have to use hard brush first so that you can remove caked mud and dirt. After that you can use soft brush to get a shiny coat. Examine your goat’s body, make sure there is no bumps, lumps, or any injury.
Check your goat’s hooves regularly. Make sure there is no damage or something stuck on them, such as rocks. If there is something on your goat’s hooves, you can try to remove it by hand or pick, but make sure not to give more injury to your goat. Keep your goat’s hooves dry. If you notice any foul odors or damages, call your vet immediately. You also need to cut your goat’s hooves regularly. Long hooves can make it hard for your goat’s to run, jump, and climb. Long hooves also have more possibility to get things stuck. Have a professional to show you how to cut your goat’s hooves. If you are not sure you can do it by yourself, just let the professional to do it. Your goat may need to cut it’s hooves every 6-8 weeks.
4. Exercise Your Goat
Goats are active animals. Make sure that your goat gets lots of exercise and activity. That’s why you need to give them some entertainment like rocks for them to climb on. You can also run and play with your goat with toys. If you have small pasture, you can take the goat on a walk.
5. Get Vaccine and Shot
Goats should be given the CDT vaccine that protects them from bacteria called Clostridium perfringens and tetanus. The vaccine need to be administered yearly. If the goats are breeding, they need to be given vaccine booster 30 days before the breeding season. Baby goats should be first vaccinated at 5-6 weeks old and get the vaccine again after 3-4 weeks later. You can also give your goat BoSe shot. It contains Selenium and Vitamin E to keep your goat healthy. It is important for muscle, bone, and reproductive health. The shot usually administered once yearly.
Those are some methods of how to take care of a goat as a pet. To be a good owner for your goat, you not only need to fulfilled your goat’s needs, but also to build a close bond with it.