Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pasture for Goats

Using pasture as a nutrient source for goats makes good sense and tends to save money on your feed bill. Here in Palmer, Alaska we pay as much as $50 for a bale of hay.

A mature pasture, that has about 3-4 inches of growth is preferred but only meets the nutritional requirements of dry and early pregnant does. Does in early lactation, and young goats will have to have their feed ration supplemented. 

Fencing for goat pastures is essential in keeping the plants healthy. The photo on the right shows a mobile grazer I built for controlled grazing. As the goats run out of pasture inside the enclosed area, they simply push the pen to "greener grass".

Other Henry Milker tips you may enjoy: 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

How to Build an Electric Fence Tester

Build Your Own Electric Fence Tester

Electric fence testing has always been a challenge for me. The expensive meters work great but they are too expensive for me and I always misplace it and can never find one when I need it. The cheaper testers are cheap and I can never get them to work. By the way, the cheaper testers I can always find in my shop. I'm tired of being shocked when trying to test a fence. When I install new fencing or add on to existing, I just want to know if it works. I went to work in my shop, using stuff I had on hand and built a tester using some wire, a spark plug, an alligator clip, some PVC pipe, fittings and tape. It works every single time! You can get fully illustrated, step-by-step plans to build this by visiting the Henry Milker site. 

Many More Goat Tips and Fun Stories
Do goats chew their cud?
Goats Grazing 

Feeding Hay 
Feeding Scraps 
How To Build a Hanging Hay Feeder
Proper Feeding of Goats
Making Your Own Goat Treats
Does You Goat Have Bad Breath?

Friday, June 26, 2015

What's So Good About Goat Milk?

Fresh milk after using his Henry Milker!
Not trying to tell you to switch to goat milk, just saying...

Store Bought Goat Milk
First let me say, if you have only tasted goat milk from the store, you have not lived! Goat milk bought in a store has a very goaty taste that I do not even like. It has been processed differently than fresh, raw goat milk. Most often goat milk from the store has been pasteurized (it is not even necessary).  When pasteurized, the freshness of the milk is always compromised. The fresh taste is also diminished because of the time it takes to process, handle, package, and deliver the milk to the store.

Better For You
About 70% of the milk consumed by humans worldwide is supplied by goats. That is mainly because goats are easier to keep than cows and also because it is better for you. Some reasons why goat milk is better:
  • triggers fewer milk allergies
  • acceptable to many people with lactose intolerance
  • more nutritious
  • produced more naturally
  • great tasting
  • available raw (especially if you have your own goat)
  • supplies more vitamins and minerals than cow milk.
More Goat Tips and Fun Stories
Proper Care of Goat Milk
How to Build a Milking Stand 
Buying a Goat For Milk
The Henry Milker: How Does Goat Milk Taste
Does Your Goat Milk Taste Like Your Goat? 
How to make Goat Cheese?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Shiloh Hill a Heavenly Place


At Shiloh Hill, James and Catherine Crawford raise American Alpine and Boer goats. I have to say their goats are amazing. A few years ago, the couple dreamed of raising a quality herd and now in 2015, have accomplished just that.

The Crawford's invested in Alpines to have milk and cheese. They do not show their goats, though they come from show quality genetics. To the left, James is using the Henry Milker 2 to finish the milking chores. The folks from Shiloh Hill were kind enough to write an article on their website about their experiences with the Henry Milker.

James and Catherine have goats for sale and you can see some along with many other great photos like the one to the right. I would bet that the largest animal with the white nose might not be for sale.

The Crawfords are the perfect example of what makes our great country a place where dreams do come true. Well done James and Catherine.

Other shorts you may enjoy:  
 How to Build a Milking Stand 
Buying a Goat For Milk
The Henry Milker: How Does Goat Milk Taste
Does Your Goat Milk Taste Like Your Goat? 
How to make Goat Cheese?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Goat Barns That Work

Goat Barns that work provide good protection from wind, rain and snow. Yes, I know, there is a big dog in one of the stalls. All of my goat feeders are on the outside to avoid waste.

Other shorts you may enjoy: 
How To Build a Hanging Hay Feeder
Heated Water Bucket - How to Build
Don't dump your livestock tank heater
Goat Water System
How to Build a Milking Stand
My goat is getting shocked at the trough

Monday, April 6, 2015

Is My Goat Sick ?

You gotta listen to your goat!

Goats make different sounds

1. Bleating persistently
  • May be hungry
  • May be thirsty
2. Occasional bleating, twitching of the tail
  • May be in "heat"
3. A sick goat cries, often making moans. Stressed calls are also common. 
  • May be sick

If you believe your goat is sick, you may want to take the goats temperature. A goat's normal temperature is around 102°–103° Fahrenheit, depending on the individual goat.


Other short stories you may interested in reading
Vaccination a must for all goats
Preventing Mastitus
Does your goat suffer from CAE

Friday, January 2, 2015

How Much Grain Should I feed My Goat?

Grain (concentrate) is low in fiber and higher in energy than hay (roughage). Concentrates come from the seeds of a plant. Examples of concentrates include corn, wheat, oats or barley.

Don’t feed your goat too much grain!

  • Too much grain can cause an acidic condition in the goat’s rumen called acidosis.
  • Too much grain to a pregnant doe during the first 100 days of gestation can result in kids that are too large-boned to be delivered.

Mature goats should get about 1 pound of grain each day.
  • One pound of grain each day is for a 100-pound goat.
  • A 200-pound goat should get 2 pounds of grain daily.
Pregnant does, in the last 50 days of gestation should get about one and a half pounds of grain each day.
  • 1.5 pound of grain each day is for a 100-pound pregnant goat.
  • A 200-pound pregnant goat should get 3 pounds of grain daily.
When making changes to a goat’s diet, do it very slowly.
  • Any change in feeding amounts or practices should take a full week of gradual daily changes.
Other short articles that you may be interested in reading
How To Build a Hanging Hay Feeder
Goats Grazing 
Feeding Hay 
Feeding Scraps 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Vaccination - A must for all goats!

Enterotoxemia is not a nice disease. 
  • It is pronounced [en-tuh-roh-tok-see-mee-uh] and is easier to prevent than pronounce. 
  • It can kill your goat in a matter of days with little chance of recovery, even with immediate treatment. 
  • The good news is, it can be prevented with a regular vaccination and proper feeding practices.

Enterotoxemia is caused by 2 strains of bacteria called Clostridium perfringens [Clostridium per·frin·gens] and are termed types C and D. 
  • These type C and D organisms are normally present in small amounts in the small and large intestine of all goats and do not cause problems unless the numbers of organisms increase dramatically. 
  • What appears to trigger the increase in numbers and the cause of the disease is a change in the diet of the animal. 
  • Most commonly, the change that triggers disease is an increase in the amount of grain, protein supplement or milk replacer for kids.  
How do you prevent this disease?

1. Proper feeding practices. 
  • Do not change the type of grain you are feeding immediately. If you change the amount, change it gradually, over a 1 week period of time.
2. Vaccinate with Clostridium perfringens type C + D
  •  This is the vaccine that everyone raising goats should use. 
  • Adult goats should receive vaccine once every year.
  • Keeping the mothers vaccinated is the best way to protect newborn animals against this disease Bacterial toxins are transferred to the newborns in the colostrum (first milk).
  • Growing babies get vaccinated at 10 weeks.  
Other shorts you may enjoy: 
Does Your Goat Suffer From CAE?
How to take a goats Temperature
How To Build a Hanging Hay Feeder 
Proper Feeding of Goats
A Clean Goat is a Healthy Goat 
Does You Goat Have Bad Breath?  
How to Build a Milking Stand
Feeding a Pregnant Doe
Newborn Goats Gotta Have It- Colostrum 
How to Build a Milking Stand 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Shocking Truth

My goats, cows and horses seem to be getting shocked when drinking from the water trough and will only lick at the water.
Tongue shocking while drinking is a very common occurrence. Livestock water troughs with tank heaters or troughs situated close to your electric fence are the most common scenarios. Both of these problems are fairly easy to fix. 

It might be that you animals are being shocked with "stray voltage". Cows, horses and goats specifically, are very acute to electric shock or even if there is electricity flowing down a wire, before they ever touch it.

Electric Fencing
First of all, electric fencing is used to keep animals away from stuff. I would say in all instances that it would not be anyone's intention to keep your animals away from the water trough. The best solution for stray voltage from your electric fence is to move your water trough completely away from the electric fencing. If that is not possible, install a ground rod near the water trough in a place that is most often wet. You will need to attach a ground wire to the rod you pounded in the ground (soil) and attach the other end of the wire to the ground post on your electric fence energizer. this should take care of your "stray voltage" from the electrical fence.

Tank Heater
Tank heaters almost never short out while under the water. If this were to happen, the breaker would most certainly trip and cut the power almost immediately. What does happen fairly often is that "stray voltage" is carried through the ground wire and into the trough, as the animal drinks, the circuit is completed and a slight shock occurs at the tongue. Purchase a 3-pronk to 2-prong adapter from any hardware store. Plug the tank heater into the adapter and the adapter into the electric source. Pound a ground rod into the soil close to the plug. Firmly attach a ground wire to the ground rod and the other end to the eyelet on the adapter. There you have it, you have stopped the "stray voltage" and provided a great ground for your tank heater.

Other shorts you may enjoy: 
How To Build a Hanging Hay Feeder
Heated Water Bucket - How to Build
Don't dump your livestock tank heater
Goat Water System
How to Build a Milking Stand