Breeding goats.

There alot of breeders out there, whether they breed fainting goats or other breeds of goats.
Most breeders only breed their does once a year, which is what I do.

However there are breeders who bred back-to-back and make the does kid twice a year. I strongly disagree with that practice. There is no reason a doe needs to be bred back a month after they kid, it is very stressful for them to be nursing a kid(s) while trying to take in enough energy for the ones growing in their womb. I believe people who constently run a buck with their does and premit young does (4-5 months) to be bred are not a breeder, they are a "goat mill".

I start breeding late November through early March. Most of my older, experinced does are breed for late March/April/May kids. My first time does are bred for June/July/August kids because it is warmer out then and less stressful for the first time mom. Plus it spaces the kiddings out so there is not a ton of kids running around all at once. It's easier on me as well.


Vaccinating goats:
There is a wide assortment of vaccines out there and most are labeled for sheep. Only a few are labeled for goats due to the fact they are not as widely raised, however with the advance of goat meat and goat milk, companies are starting to test their vaccines on goats to get them approved for goats. Most of the vaccines I use are "off" label but have been recommened by my vet and other breeders who have used them with sucess.

In case you are wondering, here are the vaccines I use on my goats.

Covexin 8.
Basically a ramped up verison of the CD/T vaccine, with the plus being it doesn't sting or leave a swelling at the injection site. I give the kids their first shot at a month followed by a booster 4 weeks later. The does get their annual shot one week before kidding and younger does/bucks are vaccinated around the same time. Good to do before letting them out on pasture for the first time of the year.


A vaccine for a common cause of abortion in goats. Both cattle and deer shed this disease so if you are on a farm where cattle are/have been or in a heavily deer infested region it would be a good idea to talk to your vet about this vaccine if you have been having trouble with your does aborting. I give both bucks and does their shot two weeks before kidding. Young goats get their first shot around 4-5 months and their second shot 4 weeks later.


This is a vaccine for CL. Years ago when I had pygmies I had a scare with a doe having an abcess. I isolated her and promptly vaccinated the rest of the goats with Case-Bac. The abcess turned out to be an impacted tooth but I'm glad I used it. I've been vaccinating with Case-Bac for years now due to the fact this disease is becoming more widespread. You give the first shot over the ribs SQ with a 20g 3/4 needle and then the second shot 4 weeks later on the oppisite side of the first shot. The only downside is that any goat who is vaccinated with Case-Bac, when tested for CL will come up as a false positive. It can also cause false positives with the Johne's blood test (the fecal test will be accurate however). I feel this is a good vaccine to use but it can sometimes cause abcesses, I've had it only happen twice so far since using it. If you isolate the goat and allow the abcess to burst on it's own and fully heal you should not have any problems. The big fuss on CL is it is unsightly, and can degrade the value of a goat hide. A goat is only contagious with a draining abcess, a doe can't pass it in the womb or through the milk like CAE and Johne's. And a buck can't infect a doe with it through breeding. If you get a goat with CL it is not the end of the world, isolate the goat before the abcess ruptures, vaccinate the rest of herd (have a vet do a test on the puss to make sure it IS CL) and vaccinate any new goats. People have been killing/culling goats with this when it can be managed. It is very hard to have a totally "disease" free herd and instead of killing/culling valuble animals, vaccinate your herd and you can control it. Again, does can't pass it to nursing/unborn kids so as long as she does not have an draining abcess she can still raise her kids and they won't become infected.


Valbazen is a "white" dewormer. It is in the same class as Safe-Guard but is much more powerful. It is a oral dewormer and very easy to use. The only downside is you can't use it on pregnant does. But you can use it right after they give birth, which is what I like to do. Unbred does/bucks and kids can be dewormed with it any time.


It is a clear dewormer in the same class as Ivomec but is stronger and lasts long. The plus is it doesn't sting like Ivomec and can be given SQ or orally. Very safe to use and can be used on pregnant does, bucks, and kids of all ages. Also kills lice.

A clear dewormer in the same class as Dectomax but is not as strong. Stings and is very painful to goats. I use it orally. Can be used on pregnant does, bucks & kids of all ages. Also kills lice. Ivomec Plus kills liver flukes as well and is mainly used in spring and fall.

Hoof care.

I've seen too many goats with horribly overgrown hooves and it pisses me off everytime. Why can't some people take the time to trim their goat's hooves? I have 40+ goats and can do all of them BY MYSELF in a hour or so. I've rescued some goats with hooves so overgrown they looked like elf shoes with the long pointy tips and curled up. You'd be amazed at how well the goats walk after trimming them! Some have been so bad that it took them a week before they could walk normally again and it just sickens me.

However I do understand that sometimes things happen and you can't get out there as soon as you want and during the wet seasons their hooves seem to grow overnight. However I never let my goat's hooves get long and icky. When the hoof wall grows over the sole, it traps dirt and manure and is the perfect breeding ground for bactiera and can cause infections. With my bred does, I keep their feet trimmed up til their last two months of pregnancy. After that I will do their front hooves but not the back because if they struggle to much (I hold their hips between my legs) they could hurt themselves or their kids. The day after they kid they get dewormed and their hooves trimmed. The best way to make sure new owners know how to do it is to show them if they have never done it before. They see how quick and easy it is and that to do routine care is better then to let the hooves overgrown and icky.

I castrate (band) all of my kids myself using the green rubber bands made for banding and the banding pliers. It is fairly easy to do, and I wait until the buckling is at least two months old to make sure he is "mature" enough. Some people castrate at two weeks but I have seen many cases of UC because they where banded to early.

I make sure they get their CD/T shot before banding, I've never lost a kid to tetanus or had to treat for it. As long as the kids are on clean, dry pasture/pen, they should be fine.

Disbudding & Dehorning.
Many people are becoming aware of the benefits of disbudding kids at an early age. Yes it can be painful and there is a small risk of death, but there is the same risk when you have a full grown goat with horns who knows how to use them and beats up on other goats, fencing, and you. Goats don't need horns, and there is no way a fainting goat is going to be able defend themselves from a dog/coyote if they are down in a faint. In fact goats can get their heads stuck in fences due to their horns and be attacked from the outside of the fence. Bucks can really rip up your fencing and each other and can be aggressive to you as well. I hoof trim my goats by putting their neck between my legs, it works great but with the horned goats you can end up with some bad bruises from their horns. Dehorning older does has also worked great for me, you make a notch at the base of their horn, on the inside, and put one of those green castrator bands all the way down against the skull and in the notch. In 4-6 weeks the horns will fall off and will not regrow. If you came and looked at my goats you would not be able to tell the dehorned goats from the disbudded ones, that's how well it works. There can be some blood, but it rarely is anything to worry about. I do the dehorning during the cool months when the flies are gone and i don't do it to does late in their pregnancy. I've had people try it on does they were ready to sell and they where amazed at how their behavior turned around!