GOAT CARE TIP SHEET
FENCING: Good Fencing is SOOO important to your goats’ safety!
Recommended 4’ to 5’ or higher field fence, no climb, 4’ can work but recommend hot wire across top. Chain link or stiff wire w/ wood frame work also works. Hot wire alone is NOT sufficient to keep goats in or predators out. It works very well on top and at bottom of fence as additional reinforcement. Fence must be flush to ground or recessed in and pulled taught to prevent dogs/coyotes from digging under. DOMESTIC DOGS ARE A BIG THREAT. SOME CAN AND WILL KILL GOATS. DO NOT LET DOGS CHASE GOATS –EVEN IN PLAY. DOGS SHOULD NEVER BE IN SAME ENCLOSURE AS GOATS
•NEVER STAKE OUT A GOAT!!
--They are completely vulnerable to dogs and other predators even if they are staked in a fenced area—they cannot run away if a dog decides to spend the afternoon digging under to get them
--It only takes a few minutes for a goat to get twisted in the rope, chain, etc. and have it pulled sooooo tight around their leg or foot that it cuts off their circulation
--They can hang themselves—there are a million different ways….Collars not recommended either
--It is unnatural for goats to be tied. They are browsers and like to run from plant to plant and stay on the move. They do not eat as well when they are staked—nibbling here and there but mostly waiting, and crying, for someone to return and un-stake them.
--Goats are herd animals—they should never be pasuted alone no matter how socialized to people they are. When you go in your house at night—a lone goat has no friend to cuddle up with—which they like to do to feel safe and secure.
--We only adopt our goats in pairs unless they are going to a home where there are already goats. The exception is a horse home. Goats and horses, as a general rule, get along well and horses, also a herd animal , need a friend too when they are alone!
Feeding errors account for more than 90% of goat diseases and deaths. Goats love pasture grass but should have woody plants as often as possible (daily if possible) such as blackberry, salmonberry, apple tree trimmings, alders, etc. They also like weeds such as dandelions, blackberries, thistle, salmonberry, alder, but also eat grass. Grass alone is not the ideal goat diet-- If you do not have pasture for your goats –they can do well on good quality grass if supplemented with woody plant life. Evening Nightshade is very poisonous.
--MOST IMPORTANT: To prevent occurrence of urinary calculii(fatal), wethers (castrated males) should not have ANY grain or alfalfa and must have access to mineralized salt at all times. They will do just fine on good quality grass hay. This has been confirmed by vet hospitals and vets in the area. PLEASE adhere to this. We are getting more and more inquiries for people wanting to adopt goats who have lost their wethers to Urinary Calculii
--VERY IMPORTANT: Rhododendrons are extremely poisonous to goats!—as are azaleas and many other ornamental shrubs and plants including flowers and bulbs. Even a few Rhododendron leaves can kill a goat. This includes dried and old leaves. To be safe--make sure your children, neighbors, and children’s friends know NOT to feed your goats anything over the fence. If you go to the web and type in Goats and Poisonous in search field you can get a complete listing of poisonous plants. Goat supply houses sell an antitoxin paste containing activated charcoal to neutralize poison until seen by a vet. You must catch it early—Milk of Magnesia, large does can help too if you catch it early.
--Goats & Trees: Goats love to rest under trees but young saplings are at risk of getting debarked so if there are young trees in your pastures that you want to see grow up—fence them off --and do it well
• Goats require a dry, ventilated shelter. A stall where they can be locked in at night is best but a three-sided enclosure is fine unless you live in a high predator area-then you would need to be able to close them in. Straw or pine shavings can be used as bedding—as long as it stays dry. For their safety--It is always best to lock them in at night
•They like to climb and play on things—an old picnic table, stumps or anything else they can jump up on provides hours of fun and entertainment for the goats AND you! Collars not recommended as they can easily get hung up with all of their jumping and other acrobatics
•One inexpensive annual vaccine for tetanus called CDT available at feed stores or vet. One to two times per year. Tetanus lives in the soil so if cut (ie: during hoof trimming) be sure to give them the vaccine right away if they have not had it. Can give under the skin
•Hoof Care—different goat’s feet grow at different rates so it is hard to say exactly how often to trim their hooves. Four times per year is an average. You can do it yourself with a good pair of garden snippers. We always show everyone who adopts our goats how to trim their hooves. Good diagrams and instructions on the web also
•SALT/minerals—Loose mineralized salt is better than traditional salt block and must be available at all times especially if you own wethers (castrated males) It is softer than the standard horse/cattle salt blocks making it easier for them to get what they need from it. You can purchase loose salt from goat supply houses and many feed stores.
•BAKING SODA---a small container of baking soda can help with their digestion as needed. They should have free choice of this at all times, just like the salt block
•WORMING—Horse paste wormer—Ivermectin—can alternate with Panacur (Safeguard) Most vets recommend doubling the dose. It won’t hurt them. Worm every 6 to eight weeks is the ideal. If heavy parasite load is suspected—worm five days in a row with Safeguard, doubling dose. Worm again once in ten-14 days. Next time-----alternate Ivermectin as it kills different bugs. Please consult vet—there are many different opinions on this
•SELENIUM—Our area is selenium deficient. Goats should get injection of VitaminE/Selenium and Vitamin A/D once per year. Average 100 lb goat gets 1.5 cc’s under skin
•Limping—overgrown feet or hoof rot from standing in wet/ mucky areas. Hoof rot usually easily remedied with ThrushBuster (available at feed stores) or 2 c. rubbing alcohol with 3 T terramycin powder. Please consult vet or there is also good info on internet regarding hoof rot/hoof scald and various treatments
•Bloat—putting goats on lush spring pasture if they are not used to it can cause fatal bloat. If they raid the grain bin they can also bloat. If you keep grain on your property—keep it in a separate building or locked enclosure. Any dramatic change of feed can cause bloat
•Pneumonia—there are several kinds but the basic things to watch for are yellow/green nasal discharge, off feed, depressed, rattly cough and fever; (101.5 to 103.5 is normal) Antibiotics needed right away if feverish
•Poisoning—wailing and laying down/getting up; foaming at mouth or green discharge, vomiting. Vet is needed immediately
•Urine blockage (Urinary Calculii)—this is important if you have a wether (castrated male)—it is fatal and believed to be caused by alfalfa and/or grain in their diet. Wethers should not have alfalfa or grain and always have salt so they drink plenty of water to keep them flushed out
•Lice— Injectible ivermectin (it stings and is expensive), poultry dusting powder or Corral horse dust
•Activated charcoal—for TEMPORARY relief of poisoning—can be purchased via some goat supply houses in paste form
•For TEMPORARY relief poisoning: 6 T. Milk of Magnesia, 1 T baking Soda, 1 t. ginger (the spice) administer orally with syringe or mix with black tea
•VETS are the answer: (some that we know of….)
--Snoqualmie Valley , Fall City---Dr. Terry 425-222-7220
Dr. Dave Smith—Ravensdale—253-833-5977
Plateau Vet, Enumclaw (Dr. Pete) Advance appt needed 360-825-1919
Country Animal Vet, Enumclaw—360-825-2061
Woodinville Vet Hospital , Dr. Kennedy,425-481-1184 (?)
Pilchuck Animal Hospital—Snohomish 425-489-8475
Carosel Vet—MOBILE VET—253-217-3210
Goats are intelligent, curious, fun, and easy to care for. They can provide you years of entertainment and affection The information in this tip sheet is based on our own experiences and is simply an overview of what we feel are pertinent points—we recommend always that you research for additional information however we do have certain policies listed on this sheet that must be adhered to before we will adopt out our rescued goats. 99% of our goats have been rescued from auctions or slaughterhouses where they were being sold for meat. Many have had a rough road in life and our goal is to provide them, and ALL rescued goats, permanent homes where they are safe, healthy and happy. Thank you for caring!
Puget Sound Goat Rescue
TERMS OF ADOPTION:
Adopter agrees to Puget Sound Goat Rescue doing an on-site follow-up visit within 30 days of adoption if needed. Puget Sound Goat Rescue reserves the right to re-claim any adopted goat or goats that are being neglected, abused, housed in inadequate enclosures or fencing, or are being staked out.
Should home situation change and adopters must move or can no longer properly care for their goats—they MUST be returned to Puget Sound Goat Rescue for re-homing.
Goats are herd animals. Should a situation arise where there is only ONE goat on your premises due to death of its companion goat or horse—adopter agrees to provide another goat or horse companion for any lone goat. Or return lone goat to Puget Sound Goat Rescue
Adopter agrees to provide veterinary care when needed and adhere to a worming and vaccination program as outlined in GoatCareTip Sheet.
I have read and agree to all :
Who We Are
Puget Sound Goat Rescue is dedicated to the rescue and adoption of pet goats. We rescue most of our goats from local slaughterhouses where they are killed for human consumption. The goats we rescue are friendly and love people. We do not know how or why they end up at slaugherhouses--often via auction houses or have been sold to people who then resell them to the slaughterhouse. We DO know that they are sweet, kind and many have been botle raised by people. They make wonderful barnyard pets!
Adopting a friend
To adopt you MUST have a completely fenced area that is DOG PROOF. Tethering or tying out is strictly prohibited. Please do not try to adopt goats unless you have fencing that is adequate. Split rail, barbed wire or traditional hot wire is not sufficient. High tensile New Zealand hot wire will work for larger goats if maintained
Come Visit Us!
By appointment ONLY. We are located in Maple Valley just off of highway 18. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Barbara at 425-444-6591
Puget Sound Goat Rescue Maple Valley, WA 98038