Irvine Mesa Charros 4-H Club
We raise two different types of goats.
- Dairy Goats are raised for goat milk. They
make good companions, go to petting zoos, and we show them at fairs.
- Pygmy Goats are raised
primarily for show. Like dairy goats, they are good companions, and
they go to shows, fairs, and petting zoos.
It's breeding season. See these web pages for advice:
- Goat Breeding
- Artificial Insemination
- Predicting your goat's due date
Female goats are called does. Male goats are called bucks. We primarily raise does because
they are easier to manage, they don't have an offensive odor (unlike bucks),
and there are more shows for does. A male goat that has been neutered is known as a
wether. We usually don't keep dairy goat wethers, but some kids raise and show pygmy
Other domesticated goats include Boer goats
that are starting to be raised for meat, Cashmere goats
that are raised for cashmere and Nigerian Dwarf goats. Domesticated goats differ
from wild goats such as Mountain goats.
Why raising goats is fun
Goats are fun because they all have different personalities and have
different little habits that can be amusing or interesting. Goats are
very affectionate and especially during the summer, when they are too
hot to be active, they like to just hang around people and get a good
scratch. Most goats' favorite scratchy spot is around their shoulder
but some even liked to be scratched in between their toes. It is very
rewarding to see a goat you have raised from a baby grow up and have
kids and grandkids of her own. With goats that doesn't have too take
too long, maybe about 3 or 4 years at most, because they are able to
breed when they are just a year old. It's also neat to learn how to
milk or trim hooves and other things that you wouldn't ordinarily be
able to do.
A healthy goat
Goats are easy to care for. These are the signs of a healthy goat.
- Eyes clear and bright. Tearing or cloudy eyes probably mean a pinkeye infection.
- Coat smooth and shiny. A dull coat could indicate parasites. Fluffed up coat means
the goat is not feeling well.
- Appetite good. However, it is normal for a doe in labor to refuse to eat.
- Attitude alert. Hunched back and droopy tail mean something is wrong.
- Body Temperature: 102.5° F-104° F
- Pulse/heart rate: 60 to 80 beats per minute
- Respiration rate: 15 to 30 breaths per minute
- Puberty: 4 to 12 months
- Estrus ("heat") cycle: 18 to 23 days
- Length of each "heat": 12 to 36 hours
- Gestation (length of pregnancy): 150 days
- Breeding season: Pygmy goats may be bred any time of the year. Dairy goats
usually go into heat between August and January in the Northern Hemisphere.
- Weight: An adult pygmy goat weighs between 50 and 75 pounds. An adult dairy goat
doe weighs between 125 and 200 pounds. An adult dairy goat buck weighs between 200
and 300 pounds.
We provide automatic waterers in goat pens, and also leave a
bucket of water. In some areas, of the country, its important to make sure the
water doesn't freeze, but we don't have that problem.
Although many goat owners feel that a twice daily feeding is best, others feed only once a
day and still have perfectly healthy goats. You will have to decide what is practical for
your animal and your schedule. Try to keep both food and water where they cannot be
soiled by the goat.
The basic food we feed is alfalfa hay. An adult dairy goat doe eats about 1/2 flake a day
(about 5 pounds). This is supplemented with a grain mixture that contains 14-16% protein
depending on the additional needs of the goat:
We also provide either a loose mineral mix or a mineral brick. Since
alfalfa hay is high in calcium, we make sure the mineral mix is high
in phosphorous and low in calcium to maintain the proper
- Dairy doe in milk: 2-3 pounds
- Pygmy doe in milk: 1-2 pounds
- Dry doe: 0-1 pounds
- Pregnant doe: (last 1-2 months) 1-2 pounds
- Wethers: Usually given no grain.
Although this diet works for us, we suggest you consult with a local
goat breeder or veterinarian who is more familiar with the nutritional
needs of your goats and the nutritional value of the feed in your
More Goat Information
- Information of Goat Milk, Goat Milk Ice Cream, Goat Cheese, Goat Cheese Recipes, and Goat Milke Soap. See Goat Milk, Goat Cheese, Goat Soap
- how to raise goats, raising goats, raising pygmy goats, raising dairy goats, raising boer goats, goat raising: Start with Raising Goats and also see
Care of newborn goats
- goat breeds, types of goats. See Dairy Goats ,Pygmy Goats ,
Boer goats, Cashmere goats, Nigerian Dwarf goats.
- milk goats, raising goats for milk, goat milking, goat dairy, See See Dairy Goats
- raising boer goats: See Boer goats
- dairy goat breeds: See Dairy Goats
- goats milk: See Dairy Goats
- breeding goats: See Advice from Goat Breeders
- difference between goat and sheep, difference between lamb and goats:
See Difference between sheep and goats
- pygmy goat information: Information on Pygmy Goats
- dairy goat information: Information on Dairy Goats
- Bird Watching
Forward to Page 3: Dairy Goats
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