A healthy goat
Goats are easy to care for. These are the signs of a healthy goat.
Eyes clear and bright. Tearing or cloudy eyes probably mean a pinkeye infection.
Coat smooth and shiny. A dull coat could indicate parasites. Fluffed up coat means the goat is not feeling well.
Appetite good. However, it is normal for a doe in labor to refuse to eat.
Attitude alert. Hunched back and droopy tail mean something is wrong.
Body Temperature: 102.5° F-104° F
Pulse/heart rate: 60 to 80 beats per minute
Respiration rate: 15 to 30 breaths per minute
Puberty: 4 to 12 months
Estrus ("heat") cycle: 18 to 23 days
Length of each "heat": 12 to 36 hours
Gestation (length of pregnancy): 150 days
Breeding season: Pygmy goats may be bred any time of the year. Dairy goats usually go into heat between August and January in the Northern Hemisphere.
Weight: An adult pygmy goat weighs between 50 and 75 pounds. An adult dairy goat doe weighs between 125 and 200 pounds. An adult dairy goat buck weighs between 200 and 300 pounds.
We provide automatic waterers in goat pens, and also leave a bucket of water. In some areas, of the country, its important to make sure the water doesn't freeze, but we don't have that problem.
Although many goat owners feel that a twice daily feeding is best, others feed only once a day and still have perfectly healthy goats. You will have to decide what is practical for your animal and your schedule. Try to keep both food and water where they cannot be soiled by the goat.
The basic food we feed is alfalfa hay. An adult dairy goat doe eats about 1/2 flake a day (about 5 pounds). This is supplemented with a grain mixture that contains 14-16% protein depending on the additional needs of the goat:
Dairy doe in milk: 2-3 pounds
Pygmy doe in milk: 1-2 pounds
Dry doe: 0-1 pounds
Pregnant doe: (last 1-2 months) 1-2 pounds
Wethers: Usually given no grain.