GOAT CARE SCHEDULE & RECORD DATES
Published Feb 5, 2021
Goats are a huge benefit to any farm or homestead wanting to move towards a more regenerative, sustainable operation and as complex as their care may be at times, you don't need to know everything before getting your first goats. You certainly don't need to know everything overnight and honestly after getting goats myself I can say the best way to learn about their care is to care for them firsthand. You just need a basic idea of their daily, weekly, monthly, and annual needs and the rest will come as you go. I can say with confidence the very best and easiest way to do that is to organize your care/maintenance info on a sheet which can be quickly referenced at your convenience. Then the important vaccination or monthly hoof-trim dates need to be recorded in a calendar you frequently view to stay on-top of their care, so you don't forget or let the dates pass by. For this, I have created two downloadable templates below for you which will help you organize your care schedule and dates of which you perform their care and maintenance. I'll go over these templates more in detail in the following paragraphs! And those wanting goats or new to goats, I'll list a couple important tips below I think will help you tremendously when it comes to educating yourself on the proper care of your new goats.
1) I highly suggest creating yourself a goat care binder that has a compilation of emergency protocols, any blood-testing results from your herd, your own personal goat care schedule and some sort of log paper for each goat that you can document vaccination, medication , breed dates and more. For those just getting started I created a downloadable Goat Care Schedule template so you can print out for your goat care binder to fill in depending on your individual care practices. Please feel free to reference my personal schedule posted below and take whatever or all the info from it that you need! I also include a downloadable Goat Care Record Date Log template so you can fill one out for each goat and keep track of when you last vaccinated them, different treatments, breed dates etc. Both are downloadable below.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a veterinarian, nor do I recommend, guarantee nor accept liability for any of the treatments/supplements listed on my personal schedule. I'm sharing ours simply so you can reference what we do and how we organize it and if you do choose to take information from it, you may do so at your own discretion.
2) If you aren't already, get on yourself on facebook and join a few goat groups, there are a ton out there, a few of my favorites are "GOAT VET, GOAT EMERGENCY TEAM, GOAT TIPS & TRICKS, GOAT HEALTH & EMERGENCIES" jump on facebook a few nights a week if you can for 15-30 minutes JUST to read through the goat group posts that show up on your feed, read the nitty gritty details in the comment sections, especially pay close attention to what the admins are suggesting for treatment, look at those hard to view pictures (even the gory ones), and SAVE the info-graphics/pictorials they post on emergency treatment protocols so you can PRINT THEM for your Goat Care binder for those emergency situations! That is probably my biggest advice! Educate yourelf and prepare yourself for the unexpected!
The care and husbandry of goats will be everything you hope it to be but lets be real it can also often times be SO. MUCH. MOREEE...... work than you ever really imaged when you saw those fluffy little goat babies binking all over your social media feed! (That's how they get ya, it's all apart of their plan to take over the world...) LOL! The SO MUCH MORE part though, is what no one really talks about! Goats bring endless hours of entertainment, brush-clearing and unconditional love but in my opinion and the opinion of many others who also show all aspects of homesteading not just the frilly parts.... feel that goats in return require endless hours of attention, care and maintenance compared to other hobby farm animals, especially poultry. Which is what everyone seems to compare the care of goats to (poultry) but they are quite a bit more complex than the average chicken is. Of course, you can choose to give your goats as much or as little attention, love and care as you see fit but I strongly feel that every animal you choose to bring to your farm to live, deserves to be cared for in the highest regard possible. I have seen some pretty poorly cared for goats that don't get their hooves trimmed, arn't fed free-choice minerals and don't have regular access to quality forage and I can tell you that the consequences of that bad husbandry is that they are nearly infertile, their body condition is considered very poor, they lack energy and hardly play focusing most of their time on finding something to eat on their land... unfortunately they can only give as much as you are willing to give to them. My hope is that with this article and templates I've created that it will help you properly care for your goats and to stay on-top of their maintenance!
Animals in our care depend on us to provide them with proper daily nutrition, monthly care/maintenance, yearly health exams etc. and as farmers and homesteaders it is our duty to provide each animal we take on with that specialized care and attention. In return, these animals will provide us with years of worry-free farming (not having to deal with herd death, lame-ness and disease), they will provide us with gorgeous healthy off-spring to add to our herd or sell for farm-income, and they will provide ample resources to us via their nutritious milk and rich manure..their benefits and blessings are endless! (Have you had a chance to read my article all about how to amend your garden soil and mulch your beds with goat manure and hay? Read it here LINK TO ARTICLE)
I hope both the GOAT CARE SCHEDULE and the COAT CARE RECORD DATES Log templates help you tremendously not only in the care of your herd but also in your confidence in caring for them! Just also know I'm always here to help you, message or email me at anytime and please feel free to reference my "GOAT CARE SCHEDULE" highlights on INSTAGRAM for tips and to see inside our goat care binder!
But also, if you happen to be an advanced goat keeper and would like a more advanced record keeping book, one that goes in super detail, I did find a pretty incredible one on Amazon that is very detailed for those into tracking breeding lines, blood testing, pregnancy/labor details, specialized categories and tracking of all sorts and so much more. I'll link it for you here: GOAT RECORD KEEPING BOOK
As always, BEST OF LUCK and Happy Homesteading!