Herd Management & Other Things We Have Learned Along the Way

 

  • Rotational grazing and avoiding overstocking are extremely beneficial in meat goat production. In order to maintain a healthy herd, parasite exposure should be kept to a minimum. Most of the parasites live in the lower few inches of available forage.
  • Parasite resistant goats are all around healthier goats. They maintain stronger immune systems that ward off many other common problems.
  • We have learned goats multiply, faster than fences are built.
  • Parasites are treated only as needed. We use Famacha scores, fecal egg count and observation of coat & body condition. The movement of a goat may also indicate a heavier parasite load, loss of red blood cells & loss of energy.  Check the goats that are moving more slowly & following the tail end of the mob.
  • Goats that don't possess reasonable parasite resistance are culled.
  • Valbazen is very strong and should not be used on pregnant does nor close to cycle.
  • Our priorities are superior motherability, weaning ratio, rate of gain, and improved carcass.
  • Main culling factors are poor parasite tolerance/resistance, inadequate milk production and hoof problems.
  • Free choice mineral is provided at all times.
  • Our winter time supplemental hay is Caucasian Blue Stem, CP 12%
  • The majority of the doe herd is on brush and forage year round, supplemented with some hay during extreme weather. Durring winter months when forage quality is poor, we supplement with Mix 30 liquid feed.
  • Winter pregnant does are supplemented around 2 weeks prior to kidding and approximately 30 days after parturition.
  •  
  • Our kidding season begins around mid January and is completed by mid March. It is a little more labor intense kidding in the winter months, but we have seen a much improved kid crop over late spring kids.
  • Adhere to appropriate withdraw times for any dewormers or medications in order to produce a safe product for the consumer.
  •  

  • Participation in forage based performance tests is a tool to test the strength/weakness of particular genetics. This allows the animals to be compared on a common management field. 

  • On farm performance data is an important tool to evaluate an animal within your own operation.

Management Forms

Below are some forms I use to keep data on our animals. If you find anything that would be useful to you, please feel free to copy any of the information below.