Friday, December 30, 2011

Testing Your Goat For Pregnancy

How to Tell if My Goat is Pregnant
Barrel sized waistline on Brownie
Oh gosh, it would be so nice if you could just have your doe pee on a stick, wait a few moments and you would know if she was with kid. It's never that easy is it? First of all, there is not a goat-pregnancy-test-strip, and even if there were, I don't know even one single goat who will pee on command.

Then how can I tell? 
1. Draw a blood sample and send it to a lab for verification (about $20).
2. Take your goat to your vet, your vet will use a Ultra Sound machine (about $110).
3. Buy your own Ultra Sound machine (about $4,500).

Well how did they know in the old days, before the fancy testing?
Enlarged Udder
In the good old days and even today on thousands of goat herds around the world visual signs let you know if your goat is pregnant. Some of the signs take a little practice and experience but the others are very obvious.
A. If your doe does not go back into heat after being bred, that is a good sign that she is pregnant!
Ligaments on either side of the tail.
B. Your doe's waist line should inflate after 3-4 weeks of becoming pregnant. That is normally the case. I had a sister-in-law who gave birth to my nephew one day, out of the clear blue sky, we never knew she was pregnant; that was because she was a significantly large person to begin with.
C. Watching and touching the Pelvic Ligaments. As the actual delivery date gets closer, these ligaments get loser. Start feeling now so you know what tight ligaments feel like, when they loosen, you'll know.
D. Udder development will begin after 2 or 3 months of being bred. The continuous enlargement of the udder is a good sign.

You may be interested in reading more on this topic, take a look at these:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

YouTube - Milking Goats

New YouTube Record
This is one of the most viewed goat milking YouTube videos on the net. Neighbors Joyce and Jack just hit the 20,000 viewers mark. I am sure it is their  fine performance that did it. Thanks friends, you are great neighbors and I really appreciate you coming to milk when the Henry's are gone for a weekend! If you have not seen this video, it's worth a 1 minute look. 
kids milking goats teach a kid to milk kids learn to milk goats

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Goats Love Pumpkins, Squash and Melons

Rachel's goats chowing down on left over pumpkins.
Don't throw it, feed it! 
There are many great reasons for raising goats, one of my favorite reasons is because I can recycle so much food that would otherwise be dumped. We keep a large plastic container in our kitchen where all of our scraps (no egg shells) are saved for daily delivery to the goats.

Great Supplement
Left over melons, squash and pumpkins make a great supplement to any goat's daily diet. Like with any other feed item, they will stop eating when full.

Rachel's son Josh milking
A Great Source For Free Stuff
Kansas goat owner, Rachel Ducote, says, "after Thanksgiving many pumpkins are forgotten on front porches.  I asked our neighbors for them and received lots of free pumpkins and squash. They make a great treat! Milk production went up!"

You may be interested in reading more on this topic, take a look at these: 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Goat Training and Tricks

Teach Your Goat a Lesson
It's Fun and Very Useful
There are many reasons for you to teach your goat a trick or 2 and to lay the foundation for a simple method of communications between you and your goat. It is not too difficult to teach your goat to come to the milk stand and return to their pen. 
Other Tricks
With some persistence, understanding and a bunch of goat treats, it's possible to teach your goat almost anything. To dance, jump through a hoop or walk a tight rope with a monkey on it's back. 

Basic Rules
1. Start with young goats.
2. Old goats can also learn.
3. Be consistent.
4. Be firm never angry.
5. Use plenty of treats.

For specific instruction and  the best guidance around about training goats, I invite you to visit our friends at Working Goats. Their methods and philosophy of training are kind, loving and with great joy. Please visit their website.

You may be interested in reading more on this topic, take a look at these:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Make Your Own Goat Treats

It's Easy, Fun and Good For Your Goats
There are not too many goat treats out there for sale. When I go to the feed store, there are shelves and shelves of dog and horse treats, seldom can you find goat treats. I like to reward my goats after milking and always use these goat treats.

Goats Love Sugar
Much research has been done on dairy goats and sugar. Milk production has been found to increase after a ration change that included sugar, molasses, sugar cane or sugar beets.

Phoebe's Recipe 
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 cup cracked corn
1 teaspoon baking soda 

Cooking Instructions 
Grease a large cookie sheet. Set aside.
In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in cracked corn. Set candy thermometer in place, and continue cooking. Stir frequently until temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C)
Remove from heat; immediately stir in baking soda; pour at once onto cookie sheet. With 2 forks, lift and pull mixture into rectangle about 14x12 inches; cool. Snap Goat treats into pieces.