Spine .72"Agriculture/Natureg Easier!Making EverythinRealize the joy and benefitsof raising and caring for goats Goats 101 — get the basics on goat breeds, goat terminology, goatbehavior, and choosing the best type of goat to suit your needs Bring your goats home — learn how to purchase goats, prepareto transport them home, and get the gear you need to care forthem Goat health and breeding — get the lowdown on what you needto keep your goats healthy, from testing and immunizations tocommon goat health problems Live self-sufficiently and make money from your goats — learnabout working in partnership with your goats to provide sustenance for your family and to make money from milk or meatOpen the book and find: The benefits of owning goats ascompanions or helpers What to expect from your goats Tips for keeping your goats safeand healthy A rundown of goat breeding,pregnancy, and kidding How to get your property readyfor a goat An explanation of diseases towatch for Tips for constructing a simpleshelter What and how to feed your goatRaising GoatsInterest in raising goats is on the increase as people becomemore concerned about where their food comes from, what isin it, and how it is produced. Goats have become more thanjust a source for food — they make great companions andhelpers, too. This helpful and friendly guide introduces youto all aspects of owning and caring for goats so that you, too,can benefit from raising these popular animals. staoGgRaisin Training techniques to keep yourherd in orderLearn to: Choose the right kind of goat for youGo to for videos, step-by-step photos,how-to articles, or to shop! Prepare your homestead and buildshelters Properly handle, feed, and care for yourgoats Raise goats for milk, meat, or as afamily pet 19.99 US / 23.99 CN / 14.99 UKCheryl K. Smith has raised a small herd of dairy goats under the herdname Mystic Acres since 1998. She published Ruminations: The NigerianDwarf and Mini Dairy Goat magazine and Goat Health Care. She writes ablog ( and is an expert on goats 978-0-470-56899-6Cheryl K. SmithSmithExpert on goat management andhealth care at

Spine .72"Get More and Do More at Start with FREE Cheat SheetsCheat Sheets include Checklists Charts Common Instructions And Other Good Stuff!To access the Cheat Sheet created specifically for this book, go Smart at makes your life easier with 1,000sof answers on everything from removing wallpaperto using the latest version of Windows.Check out our Videos Illustrated Articles Step-by-Step InstructionsPlus, each month you can win valuable prizes by enteringour sweepstakes. *Want a weekly dose of Dummies? Sign up for Newsletters on Digital Photography Microsoft Windows & Office Personal Finance & Investing Health & Wellness Computing, iPods & Cell Phones eBay Internet Food, Home & GardenFind out “HOW” at*Sweepstakes not currently available in all countries; visit for official rules.

RaisingGoatsFORDUMmIES‰by Cheryl K. Smith01 568996-ffirs.indd i1/21/10 8:23 PM

Raising Goats For Dummies Published byWiley Publishing, Inc.111 River St.Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774www.wiley.comCopyright 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, IndianaPublished by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, IndianaPublished simultaneously in CanadaNo part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form orby any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior writtenpermission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to theCopyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600.Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley& Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201) 748-6008, or online at Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for theRest of Us!, The Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way,, Making EverythingEasier, and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission.All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associatedwith any product or vendor mentioned in this book.LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: THE PUBLISHER AND THE AUTHOR MAKE NOREPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OFTHE CONTENTS OF THIS WORK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WARRANTY MAY BECREATED OR EXTENDED BY SALES OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS. THE ADVICE AND STRATEGIESCONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY SITUATION. THIS WORK IS SOLD WITH THEUNDERSTANDING THAT THE PUBLISHER IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, OROTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. IF PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OFA COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL PERSON SHOULD BE SOUGHT. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR THEAUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES ARISING HEREFROM. THE FACT THAT AN ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE IS REFERRED TO IN THIS WORK AS A CITATION AND/OR A POTENTIAL SOURCEOF FURTHER INFORMATION DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE AUTHOR OR THE PUBLISHER ENDORSESTHE INFORMATION THE ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE MAY PROVIDE OR RECOMMENDATIONS ITMAY MAKE. FURTHER, READERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT INTERNET WEBSITES LISTED IN THISWORK MAY HAVE CHANGED OR DISAPPEARED BETWEEN WHEN THIS WORK WAS WRITTEN ANDWHEN IT IS READ.For general information on our other products and services, please contact our Customer CareDepartment within the U.S. at 877-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.For technical support, please visit also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print maynot be available in electronic books.Library of Congress Control Number: 2010920649ISBN: 978-0-470-56899-6Manufactured in the United States of America10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 101 568996-ffirs.indd ii1/21/10 8:23 PM

About the AuthorCheryl K. Smith has raised goats since 1998 when she got two NigerianDwarves. She published Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini DairyGoat Magazine from 2001 through 2007 and published the book Goat HealthCare (Karmadillo Press) in 2009. She has written for Dairy Goat Journal,Countryside, and other magazines. Cheryl served as legal counsel for theAmerican Goat Society (AGS) from 2003 to 2005 and on their board of directors from 2005 to 2009. She has also served on the boards of the AmericanNigerian Dwarf Dairy Association (ANDDA), the Northwest Nigerian DwarfDairy Goat Association (NNDDGA) and the Northwest Dairy Goat HerdImprovement Association (NDGHIA). She volunteers as a goat expert Cheryl lives in the community of Low Pass, located in thecoast range of Oregon, with her herd of experimental miniature dairy goats,Mystic Acres Oberians.01 568996-ffirs.indd iii1/21/10 8:23 PM

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DedicationThis book is dedicated to Bob Kimball, who made it possible for me to focuson writing it. He built the structures in the book and helped me translate thesteps into writing. But mostly he kept the farm going and the goats fed andhappy while I gave most of my attention to this project. I couldn’t have doneit without him.Author’s AcknowledgmentsI would never have gotten goats had it not been for Simone Delaty, whoshowed me her goats and shared her goat cheese with me one evening in1988 on her farm in Wellman, Iowa. Farming was already in my blood (bothparents came from Iowa farms), but that event led me to the path I would ultimately take.I have been fortunate during my years as a goat owner to have a great community of other goat owners who shared their knowledge and experiencewith me. My number-one mentor, Stacy Morris, deserves a special thank-youfor always being willing to share her wisdom. Stacy also served as the technical editor for the book, and I appreciate her time and expertise.I also want to give a special thank-you to my acquisitions editor, Erin CalliganMooney, for finding me to write this book and working with me on the preliminary proposal. Thanks to Barbara Frake and Kathryn Born for the illustrations that so aptly show you what the text describes. Last but not least,thanks to Traci Cumbay, my project editor, for guiding me through the process. We made a great team!01 568996-ffirs.indd v1/21/10 8:23 PM

Publisher’s AcknowledgmentsWe’re proud of this book; please send us your comments at other comments, please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at 877-762-2974,outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:Acquisitions, Editorial, andMedia DevelopmentComposition ServicesProject Coordinator: Katherine CrockerProject Editor: Traci CumbaySpecial Art: Barbara Frake, Kathryn BornAcquisitions Editor: Erin Calligan MooneyProofreaders: Evelyn C. Gibson, Jessica KramerCopy Editor: Traci CumbayIndexer: Glassman Indexing ServicesAssistant Editor: Erin Calligan MooneySpecial Help: Emily Nolan and Patty SantelliEditorial Program Coordinator: Joe NiesenTechnical Editor: Stacy MorrisEditorial Manager: Jennifer EhrlichEditorial Supervisor and Reprint Editor:Carmen KrikorianEditorial Assistant: David LuttonArt Coordinator: Alicia B. SouthCover Photos: David BuffingtonCartoons: Rich Tennant,( and Editorial for Consumer DummiesDiane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer DummiesKristin Ferguson-Wagstaffe, Product Development Director, Consumer DummiesEnsley Eikenburg, Associate Publisher, TravelKelly Regan, Editorial Director, TravelPublishing for Technology DummiesAndy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher, Dummies Technology/General UserComposition ServicesDebbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services01 568996-ffirs.indd vi1/21/10 8:23 PM

Contents at a GlanceIntroduction . 1Part I: Getting Acquainted with Goats. 7Chapter 1: Discovering the Joys of Raising Goats . 9Chapter 2: Glimpsing Vital Goat Statistics . 21Chapter 3: Knowing Your Capra Aegagrus Hircus (Goat, That Is) . 35Chapter 4: Getting Your Property Ready for a Goat. 53Part II: Bringing Your Goats Home . 67Chapter 5: Home Sweet Homestead: Sheltering Your Goats . 69Chapter 6: Dinner Time: What and How to Feed Your Goats . 83Chapter 7: Getting Your Goats: Choosing, Buying, and Bringing Goats Home . 103Chapter 8: Working with Your Goats . 117Chapter 9: Handling Routine Care and Important One-Time Tasks . 137Part III: Glimpsing Goat Health and Breeding. 159Chapter 10: Outlining Basic Health Care Requirements . 161Chapter 11: Addressing Common Health Problems and Ailments . 181Chapter 12: Breeding and Looking After Pregnant Goats . 203Chapter 13: Now Comes the Fun Part: Kids! . 219Part IV: Living Sustainably and MakingMoney from Your Goats . 239Chapter 14: Discovering Goat Milk: How to Get, Use, and Sell It . 241Chapter 15: Goat Meat: From Breeding to Selling and Beyond . 255Chapter 16: Further Benefits of Goats: Fiber, Breeding, WeedControl, and More . 271Part V: The Part of Tens . 291Chapter 17: Ten Common Mistakes First-Time Goat Owners Make . 293Chapter 18: Ten Tips for Showing Your Goat. 299Chapter 19: Ten Misconceptions about Goats . 305Appendix: Goat-Milk Recipes . 311Index . 32502 568996-ftoc.indd vii1/21/10 8:24 PM

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Table of ContentsIntroduction . 1Part I: Getting Acquainted with Goats . 7Chapter 1: Discovering the Joys of Raising Goats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9Finding Goat Basics . 9Glimpsing the Benefits of Owning Goats . 10Becoming more self-sufficient . 11Using goats for companions or helpers . 14Raising goats as a 4-H project . 16Determining Whether Goats Are for You . 16Devoting time and effort . 17Deciding which goats are right for your situation . 17Finding out about local ordinances . 18Knowing your neighbors . 19Chapter 2: Glimpsing Vital Goat Statistics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21Doe, a Goat, a Female Goat . 21Taking a Look at Goat Anatomy. 22Parts of the body. 22The digestive system . 23Hooves. 25Teeth. 26Beards . 27Wattles . 27Eyes. 27Signs of a Healthy Goat . 28Noticing posture . 28Identifying the meaning of goat cries . 29Determining normal temperature . 30Using ruminations as a health indicator . 31Taking a goat’s pulse . 32Counting respirations. 32Recognizing life expectancy . 32Using a Goat Scorecard to Evaluate a Goat . 3302 568996-ftoc.indd ix1/21/10 8:24 PM

xRaising Goats For DummiesChapter 3: Knowing Your Capra Aegagrus Hircus (Goat, That Is). . . .35Looking Into Dairy Goats . 35Standard dairy goat breeds . 36Miniature breeds . 40Discovering Meat Goats . 45Boer . 45Tennessee fainting goat . 46Kiko . 47Spanish goat . 48Newer crossbreeds . 49Investigating Fiber Goats . 49Angora . 49Cashmere . 51Miniature fiber goats . 51Chapter 4: Getting Your Property Ready for a Goat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53Figuring Out How Many Goats You Can Support . 53Making Sure Fencing Is Adequate . 54Running through types of fencing . 55Planning for gates . 56Protecting Your Plants . 57Considering which trees to protect. 57Making trees goat-proof . 57Protecting Your Herd . 59Putting hazards out of reach . 59Avoiding tethering . 60Providing a safe place to bunk down . 61Considering local predators . 61Using guardian animals for security . 62Removing poisonous plants . 65Part II: Bringing Your Goats Home . 67Chapter 5: Home Sweet Homestead: Sheltering Your Goats . . . . . . . .69Outlining Shelter Types . 69Using an existing building . 70Building a shelter . 71Providing a Safe, Cozy Place for Goats to Bunk . 72Building a sleeping shelf in an existing barn . 73Using and maintaining bedding. 76Keeping Your Goats and Their Living Space Clean . 78Controlling flies and other bugs. 78Feed storage and ratproofing . 7902 568996-ftoc.indd x1/21/10 8:24 PM

Table of ContentsxiChapter 6: Dinner Time: What and How to Feed Your Goats . . . . . . . .83Goats Don’t Eat Tin Cans: What and How to Feed . 83Understanding the two types of feed . 84Feeding hay and alfalfa . 84Using chaffhaye instead of hay and alfalfa . 85Feeding grain . 85Following a feeding schedule . 87Choosing organic — or not. 87Minerals are a must . 88Supplemental feeds . 88Using Body-Condition Scoring to Fine-Tune Feeding . 90Feeding for Special Cases . 92Pregnancy . 92Milking does. 93Kids . 93Old goats . 93Getting the Basic Supplies . 93Bowls . 94Buckets . 94Water supply . 95Mineral feeder . 96Hay feeder . 96Storing feed . 97Building a Simple Hay Feeder . 98Building a Mineral Block Holder . 99Chapter 7: Getting Your Goats: Choosing, Buying,and Bringing Goats Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103Choosing the Right Goats for Your Needs. 103Goats need company . 104Size matters . 104Horns can hurt . 104Registered or unregistered . 105Looks count: The basics of conformation . 105Finding Sources for Goats . 106Visiting local feed stores . 107Reading the agriculture paper or thrifties . 107Checking out Craigslist . 107Surfing breeders’ Web sites . 108Joining registries and goat clubs . 108Going where goat people congregate . 109Making Sure You Get a Healthy Goat . 109Asking questions . 109Examining the goats . 110Observing the home herd . 11102 568996-ftoc.indd xi1/21/10 8:24 PM

xiiRaising Goats For DummiesProtecting Yourself with a Contract . 111Bringing Your Goats Home . 113Transporting your goats . 113Quarantining new goats . 114Watching for signs of stress . 115Chapter 8: Working with Your Goats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117Identifying Normal Goat Behavior . 117Establishing a “pecking” order . 118Biting, butting, and mounting. 119Conducting Basic Training with Your Goats . 121Collars are not just decorations . 121Handling goats regularly . 122Walking goats on a lead . 123Teaching basic manners . 124Moving Up to Advanced Goat Training. 125Teaching tricks with a clicker . 125Using an obstacle course . 126Housebreaking . 126Preparing goats for packing . 127Training goats to pull a cart . 129Supervising Your Herd . 131Meeting their social needs . 131Evaluating the time you have to be home . 132Finding and training a reliable helper . 132Maintaining Physical Fitness . 133Walking with your goats . 134Furnishing your yard or pasture with toys . 134Taking Your Goats to Schools or Nursing Homes . 135Chapter 9: Handling Routine Care and ImportantOne-Time Tasks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137Grooming Your Goats . 137Brushing . 138Bathing . 138Clipping . 138Specialized clipping . 140Caring for Hooves . 140Preparing to trim. 141Trimming the hooves . 141Dealing with Horns . 145Horned or not? . 145The case for no horns on goats . 146When to disbud . 146How to disbud . 146Preventing and dealing with scurs . 15002 568996-ftoc.indd xii1/21/10 8:24 PM

Table of ContentsxiiiCastrating Your Bucks . 151The problem of poor Elmer, or why to castrate . 152Knowing when to castrate . 152Choosing a castration method . 153Identifying Your Goats: Microchipping and Tattooing . 155Choosing a method . 155Tattooing your goat . 156Microchipping your goat . 157Part III: Glimpsing Goat Health and Breeding . 159Chapter 10: Outlining Basic Health Care Requirements . . . . . . . . . . .161Recognizing Signs of Illness. 161Working with a Veterinarian . 162Finding a vet .

About the Author Cheryl K. Smith has raised goats since 1998 when she got two Nigerian Dwarves. She published Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Dairy Goat Magazine from 2001 through 2007 and published the book Goat Health Care (Karmadillo Press) in 2009. She has written for Dairy Goat Journal,