Goats should be vaccinated against pulpy kidney, blood poisoning, tetanus and black leg. Vaccinate your in – kid Does, two – three weeks before they are due to kid. This should protect your Doe from the above troubles at kidding also the immunity passes through the Doe to the unborn Kid, so that over the period when the Kid has a opening , through the cord, it will be protected from blood poisoning and tetanus. A booster dose needs to be given to the Kids at 6-8 weeks of age or what ever is recommended on the product or by your vet. All stock should be vaccinated once a year.
Goats are subject to the same parasites as sheep and they do cross infect. There are many types of product on the market to cover this problem. Make sure you follow the instruction carefully, as these products must not be used close to shearing.
There are many changing ideas on drenching goats, and many different types of drench. A planned drenching program is very important, but people farm in different circumstances and everyone needs a different program. There is a drench resistance problem in some areas of New Zealand, so it is very important to get it right. Firstly I would ask someone in your area, farming goats what are the main things to look out for.
When you buy in your first goats or adding to your flock you should always quarantine drench these animals. This involves keeping them, if possible, in a shed or separate from anything else for 12hrs and drenching them with whatever is recommended by a Veterinarian or local goat farmer, and hold overnight to drench again after 12 hours. Always weigh your animals if possible and drench to the heaviest, this will help to reduce the risk of drench resistance. It also helps to control worms if you can do a faecal egg count or have one done by your Vet, and this will tell you when it is necessary to drench. This in the long run will save you money and time.
Most people now keep their foot trimming down or if possible not at all. Any hoofed animal cannot function and feed well if the feet are in a bad way, so we need to put them through a foot bath of zinc sulphate at a rate of 10% solution. Anything that has a very overgrown hoof will need to be trimmed before it goes in the bath. If these animals don’t stop limping you will need to repeat the process until they have. There are aerosol sprays available to treat an odd foot problem. Goats with a chronic foot problem should be culled, but only when they are not lame.
When trimming feet try to make sure that you don’t cut them deep enough to make them bleed, as this can be where infection enters. In the summer if your goat’s feet are not attended to they may get fly strike and when they lay down, the strike can transfer to the body. Goats don’t have too many problems with fly strike but it can happen. If you notice animals scratching themselves and jumping about or in the case of Bucks stamping their feet, they will have fly strike. Make sure your Buck is crutched around his pizzle, as this is a target for flies.