How To Choose A Goat
How To Choose A Goat
The first thing to consider when you are aiming to keep goats is to ask yourself: ‘what do you want the goat to produce?’
Goats are kept for their milk, meat, fibre and companionship, or as a pet. Bear in mind that goats need company and you may have to acquire more than the one goat.
Different breeds are good producers of different things.
For instance, Angoras produce fibres, Boers produce meat, Pygmies are great pets and Saanens can produce the highest milk yields.
There are other breeds that can be dual purpose, where they can produce more than one product.
Yet others produce intermediate amounts of something.
To find information on different goat breeds, research the internet, read books, talk to other goat keepers, breeders and veterinarians.
Go to goat shows. If possible, visit farms where goats are bred and farmed. Spend time with the goats themselves.
The contacts that you make will also come in handy when you have chosen which breed to buy.
Next you will want to find the goats that are for sale. Talk to the same people as above. Also look in at your local feed store.
They usually have a bulletin board with information on local sales.
When you have made a list of goats for sale, you will want to find out information on the individual(s).
If this is your first goat, get someone with more knowledge and experience to go with you and help you out.
You should also look into the breeder. You only want to buy goats from reputable breeders.
Normally goats are disbudded at one to two weeks of age. You should make sure that this was done.
You are looking for healthy goats that have received all the necessary vaccines and have been de-wormed recently.
If there are concerns over certain diseases in the area, you can ask for a negative result for tests. One such test is CAE - Caprine Arthritis-Encephalitis.
If you are planning on showing the goat, this process may be a little more involved.
First, you should look into show rules on the site of the goat breed association, or society related to the breed you want to purchase. They usually will have at least a list of desirable traits for your goat.
Then you will need to compare the goat you are considering for purchase, with the ideal traits list.
5th March 2016
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