It's important for every goat owner to know what their goats need to thrive and to know how your goats will tell you when they're not getting what they need. You can't just ask someone what they do and copy it. This course will NOT lay out a one-size-fits-all supplementation plan for everyone's herd. That's because what works in one herd could cause goats to die in another herd -- and it has happened. Now, before I scare you off, let me quickly say that figuring out how to supplement your goats is not hard. Your goats will tell you what they need. You just need to have the information so that you can understand what they're telling you. Do you know what your goats are telling you when ...
You may think that there are drugs to treat these problems, and there are for some of them, but as a very wise old veterinarian once told me, drugs force the appearance of wellness in a sick animal. Even if the drugs cause the symptoms to disappear for awhile, you still have a goat that is not producing at its optimal level. That old vet also told me, "I've seen people go broke successfully treating sick animals." So, what's the answer?
Proper nutrition and supplementation
If you get nutrition right, everything else falls into place. If you get it wrong, you will have a world of heartache. All of the problems listed above are caused by a variety of nutritional deficiencies in either copper, selenium, calcium, or zinc. And that's just the beginning. Feeding choices, such as rotational grazing, browsing, hay, and grain choices affect your goats' health, as well as water and which minerals you provide and how you provide them.
In this course, you'll learn:
Who provides copper supplements for goats in the wild?
The problem with that question is that domesticated goats in most parts of North America are not living in a natural environment. Once we put up fences, we've stopped them from being able to look for what they need. Unfortunately for most of us, goats' natural environment is a desert or the mountains. Goats never lived in the wild on the prairie. We don't have an abundance of evergreens and browse for them to eat year-round. We don't have exposed mineral deposits in rocks that they can lick. Plus, many of us are giving them water to drink that was pumped up from a hundred feet below the ground, which is high in minerals that throw everything off balance.
In 2002, Deborah and her family moved to 32 aces on a creek in the middle of nowhere to grow their own food organically. With the help of goats, sheep, pigs, and poultry, they produce 100% of their meat, eggs, and dairy products, as well as a large percentage of their vegetables, fruit, and herbs. Deborah is the author of three books, Homegrown and Handmade, Ecothrifty, and Raising Goats Naturally, as well as the ebook Just Kidding. She also teaches sustainable agriculture courses online for the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. She has been teaching Raising Dairy Goats Sustainably since 2013 and Pastured Poultry since 2015.