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Alpine Goat Herd Care

Alpine Goat Herd Care
Herd Management

We take our herd management very seriously. We pay strict attention to the condition of each individual goat to make sure they get what they need to be happy and healthy and give us high quality milk.

The mainstay of the girls' diet is 100% dehydrated alfalfa pellets.  This provides the goats with what they need to make sweet milk.  They are offered alfalfa pellets free choice.  On the milk stand, the goats are fed 1-2 pounds of whole oats. I do not feed them any corn or soybeans as I do not want them having genetically modified corn or soy. Our goats are offered free choice, pesticide-free grass hay from our farm as well as free-choice loose minerals.

Our goats are fed whole oats, because to the best of my knowledge, the modern dairy goat can not be kept without feeding a minimal amount of grain. Because they have been selectively bred to be very high producing animals, a grass or browse diet alone does not have enough calories for them to maintain proper condition. They will literally pull all the weight off of their own bodies to put it in the milk pail.  A dairy goat that has the genetics to be a high producer will starve without grain.  There are low producing goats out there that can live without grain, but my girls are bred to produce.  I want healthy goats so they can produce healthy milk.  On a side note, cows can successfully be kept on grass.  But they produce less milk per body weight than dairy goats.

Goat owners may wish to read more detailed information on Feeding Milking Goats.

We manage our pastures to minimize the worm burden on our goats.  But we do worm them pre-breeding and on the day they kid with cydectin.  They are monitored throughout the year and wormed only if a fecal shows they have a severe worm burden.  I do not use an herbal wormer b/c most herbal wormers contain wormwood - which is contraindicated for lactating women.  I therefore do not want to feed it to my lactating goats and then have my own childern drink the milk.

We make every attempt to attend each birth. For years we heat treated colostrum and pasteurized milk. Since our goats have continued to annually test CAE negative, and because they do not leave the farm, we have decided to raise them on their dam's raw milk. If we do not have enough raw milk, they are supplemented with whole cow's milk. Kids are given coccidia prevention until they are 6 months of age.

Routine Care:
All goats have their hooves trimmed once a month and receive Bo-Se (selenium) pre-breeding and pre-kidding.

CAE and CL:
Our adult goats were all raised on CAE prevention. We try to test for CAE every other year, and they have always been negative. Test results are available if you would like to see them. All of our goats are abscess free.

Goat Articles and Information:
CAE in Goats - Why Your Goat Herd Should Be CAE Free
Raising Goats - Raising Goats at Goat Milk Stuff
Coccidia Prevention - An Essential Step to Raising Healthy Goat Kids
Best Goat - What is the Best Goat to Get?
Goat Milk - Do All Goats Give Milk?
A Goat's Digestive System - Efficient Solar Energy Conversion
How to Disbud Goats
Feeding Goats - The Milkers
Alpine Goat Color Patterns

Goat Birth Stories from 2015 Kidding Season (will open in a new tab)
Fallen, Felicity, and Fickle
Jamaica, Jemima, and Jiminy
Sabor, Second, and Sicily
Halley, Hestia, History, and Hooligan
Varsity and Vereena
Tackled, Tebow, and Tickle
San Francisco and Serenade
Hades, Hellion, Hidden, and Honey
Raphael and Renaissance
Baxter and Bedford
Zaria, Zebedee, and Zilch
Zachary, Zeppoli, and Zilla
Sashay and Secretariat
Zap and Zeus
Tapestry, Tetris, and Tipsy
Zacchaeus and Zest
Parsley and Pecan
Paprika and Pepper
Bart and Bert
Zander, Zexy, and Zigar
Hazard and Heidi
Haven and Hester

Goat Birth Stories from 2014 Kidding Season (will open in a new tab)
Castro and Cedar
Vanish and Venice
Saturn and Secret
Rampart and Reluctant
Quality and Quest
Idina and Iliana
Elvis and Esther
Factor and Ferocious
Java and Jericho
Tapioca and Tempest
Yahoo and Yesterday
Happy and Hera
Zea and Zany

Blog Posts (will open in a new tab)
Meet the Goats - Hummingbird
Meet the Goats - Persephone
Meet the Goats - ZuZu
Meet the Goats - Ivy
Meet the Goats - Valley