Presentation on theme: "This presentation was originally given at a meeting of the Midwest Goat Producers Association in Flora, Illinois, on April 20, 2007."— Presentation transcript:
This presentation was originally given at a meeting of the Midwest Goat Producers Association in Flora, Illinois, on April 20, 2007.
Goat Management Basics MIDWEST GOAT PRODUCERS April 20, 2007 Flora, Illinois SUSAN SCHOENIAN Sheep & Goat Specialist W. Maryland Research & Education Center Univ. of Maryland Cooperative Extension
Katahdin sheep Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test
Small Ruminant Web-Based Information Sources 1)Maryland Small Ruminant Page 2)Maryland Sheep and Goat (Quarterly) Newsletter 3)Hair Sheep Virginia State University 4)Shepherds Notebook Blog 5)Meat Goat Performance Test Blog 6)Sheep )Sheep 201: A Beginners Guide to Raising Sheep 8)National Resource on Sheep & Goat Marketing (.us)
Showing seedstock Show Wethers The U.S. Goat Industry Fiber Dairy Pets Know where you fit. Land management MEAT PRODUCTION large and small producers commercial and hobby
What is management? The act of managing something. The supervising or directing of an enterprise/business. Effective utilization and coordination of resources such as capital, plant, materials, and labor to achieve defined objectives with maximum efficiency.
Define your objectives Your management practices will be dictated largely by the goals and objectives of your goat enterprise. 1)Why are you raising goats? Business (profit), hobby, show, pets, brush control 2)What product are you producing? Meat goats, goat meat, dairy products, fiber, pets, breeding stock, wethers, show animals, land management. 3)What and who is your market? Other breeders, 4-H and FFA members, consumers, restaurant owners, meat processors, stockyards.
Goat management covers many different aspects of raising and caring for goats. Feeding Health management Breeding Processing kids Facilities Kiko kids Many Rocks Farm
What is the best type of goat? The one that fits your system, matches your resources, and makes you the most money. There is as much difference within breeds as between breeds. There are relatively few reasons not to crossbreed goats... and fewer reasons to inbreed goats. From a commercial standpoint, the best goat is one that performs the best, not necessarily looks the best –This is especially true for does and the bucks used to produce replacement females. A Boer goat... no. A purebred goat... no. A registered goat... no. An expensive goat... no. A free or cheap goat... no.
How many goats can I raise? It depends on your management system and resources. –Land Quantity Quality, type –Labor Quantity Distribution Management ability –Capital Own Borrowed Boer x Kiko
How many goats can I raise? Goats can be raised in different production environments. –All confinement/dry lot –All pasture/range Combination of both There is no one best way to raise goats! Kiko buck - Many Rocks Farm
How many goats can one acre support? It depends on –Time of the year –Rainfall, amt./distribution –How much you supplement? –Whether you graze year- round? –How intensively you manage your pastures? Fertility Rest/rotation As a general rule of thumb, 1-2 acres will support 1,000 lbs. of grazing livestock.
What do I feed my goats? Ideally, roughage (pasture, range, browse, and/or hay) should comprise the majority of the diet for your goats. Goats are ruminants. Goats are selective grazers. They prefer browsing to grazing when given the opportunity. Forage diets tend to cause fewer digestive problems. Browse diets cause fewer parasite problems.
When should I supplement my goats? Provide supplemental feed when the forage is deficient in nutrients and/or it is economically justified. –Free choice minerals –Last 1/3 of pregnancy –First 6-8 weeks of lactation –Creep feeding and/or supplemental feeding of kids to increase growth, condition, and worm tolerance. –Flush does in poor condition for breeding. –Poor quality pasture –During drought or wet conditions.
What type of fencing is the most appropriate for goats? Goat-proof and predator- proof. Perimeter –5-7 strand high tensile electric –Woven wire with offset wires Interior –Same as perimeter –Semi-permanent electric –Portable Electric netting Polywire
How else can I do to control predators? Common sense –Carcass removal –Good neighbor relations Management –When and where do you kid? Livestock guardians –Guardian dogs –Donkeys (standard size) –Llamas (not alpacas) Lethal control –Shooting, trapping, denning, livestock protection collar, M- 44 cyanide injector **contact APHIS WS
What type of housing do I need to raise goats? Depends when you kid. –Spring, fall - minimal –Winter - maximum Need facilities to work goats. Need a place to store feed and equipment. Need a place to keep bucks when they are not being used. Shelter areas in pasture. Housing is also for convenience and comfort of people.
How often and when should I breed my goats? Annual kidding Age of puberty averages 7 to 10 months (affected by breed, season, and nutrition). Can breed doelings when they reach 2/3 of their mature weight. Goats are seasonal in their breeding habits. –Seasonality is affected by breed and individual. –There are pros and cons to different kidding seasons: winter, spring, and fall.
How often and when should I breed my goats? Accelerated kidding. Pregnancy lasts approximately 5 months, so more than one kid crop per year is possible. Is it practical, profitable? Twice per year 3 times in 2 years –Star system (Cornell) 5 times in 3 years Opportunistic/continuous (keep buck in all the time)
How many babies do goats usually have? Ranges from 1 to 5 –Twins most common. –Triplets frequent. –Yearlings often have 1 baby. –4-5 babies is rare –Tend to be more prolific than traditional sheep. Reproductive rate is affected by breed, age, season, and nutrition. Genetics of reproduction –Number of offspring determined primarily by doe (number of eggs ovulated sets upper potential) –Sex of offspring determined primarily by buck (Y). In long run, will be 50:50.
Should I castrate my buck kids? Yes, if... You dont sell or cannot separate buck kids from their dams and female siblings by the time they are three months old. You are selling for kids for market projects or as pets. Your market discounts intact males. You want better growth rates in the late summer and fall. Otherwise dont!
Should I disbud my kids? For dairy purposes For pets Wethers for show ??? (depends on rules of show) As a personal preference –While individual goats can be restrained by the horns, disbudded goats are easier to work in a handling system, safer to handle, and less destructive to people, other animals, fencing, feeders, and equipment. Disbudding is stressful to the goat. Most meat goat producers do not disbud.
Should I creep feed my kids? Maybe, if... Milk production is a limiting factor. You have lots of multiple births. To go along with an early weaning program. Pasture is a limited resource. To get kids to grow faster. To improve fleshing and body condition of goats (grade and price). To improve resistance to parasites. To feed a coccidiostat. Only if its economical.
When should I wean the kids? Early (60-90 days) Remove lactation stress from does to breed back earlier. Put weaned kids on better pasture or save pasture for more does. So you dont have to castrate buck kids. Focus internal parasite control on more susceptible kids. Mastitis risk Late (4-6 months) More natural Less stressful Less risk of mastitis More economical pasture gains. Pasture-raised kids are more vulnerable to parasites and predators. Need to sell, separate castrate males by 3 months of age. Many does will rebreed while they are lactating.
What are the most common health problems with goats? Internal parasites - worms Stomach worms barber pole worm Coccidia –Tapeworms –Lung worms –Liver flukes –Meningeal worm Hoof problems –Foot rot –Foot scald Respiratory pneumonia Digestive scours, acidosis, bloat
How do I control internal parasites? Pasture rest/rotation Multi-species grazing Zero grazing Browsing Manage grazing height Alternative forages Genetic selection (within and between breeds) Selective deworming Not everyone, not every month Proper drug use Fecal testing to determine effectiveness of drugs drug resistance is a major issue
What about coccidia? **can be a serious problems in kid goats** Single-cell protozoa that damage lining of small intestines and cause diarrhea in kids. Species and site-specific. Prevention –Good sanitation –Proper stocking/penning rates –Use of coccidiostats in water, feed, or mineral. Bovatec®, Rumensin® and Deccox® Corid Treat with Corid or sulfa drugs ***Rumensin®, Bovatec®, and Deccox® are toxic to horses, donkeys, and mules.***
Hoof care Frequency of hoof trimming varies among goats, people, and farms. Restraint: lift hoof while goat is standing on table, platform, or ground. Harder to tip goats on rump. There are tilt tables available Dont buy goats with foot rot. Foot scald can occur seasonally when it is wet.
Digestive problems There are many different causes of diarrhea (scours) in goats. –Infectious bacterial, viral, protozoa –Non-infectious nutrition, management, stress Most digestive problems (bloat, acidosis) are caused by diet changes, usually sudden. Know what youre dealing with and treat symptoms.