Basic checklist before bringing your new kids home.
1. Shelter and secure pen
2.Grain and a rodent proof container to store it in
3.Good quality hay
4. Loose goat mineral and a secure way to offer them
5. Water and food containers
6. Nutri Drench, Probiotic paste, Activated Charcoal gel should be on hand as you just don't know when the goat will need them
7. Time to care for them properly, as well as enjoy the affection they can give.
8. A goat experienced vet
All goats, regardless of breed and size require the same things to keep them healthy and happy...with mini goats though, it takes a little less.
BEFORE you decide that goats are going to be a part of your family, you should have a secure fenced area as well as a shelter for them. Fencing should not be less than 4 feet high and should be heavy enough to withstand weather and little goat bodies rubbing against it. CHICKEN WIRE WILL NOT WORK!
A large dog kennel with a minimum of a 10x10 space will securely accomodate 2 mini goats, add a large dog house for shelter and a secure roof over all and your goats will be happy as long as you can also provide them with "out" time to exercise and browse.
A box stall in a barn or a small shed of their own with access to pasture is an even better setup.
Goats are livestock animals but are very sweet and loving as pets too...they should be treated with the same care and love as you would a beloved dog or cat, they require the same type of vet care as well as the same attention.They do require a yearly CD/T vaccination to protect them from "overeating disease" and tetanus, worming should be done a minimum of twice a year, in the Spring and in the Fall. Their hooves will need trimmed a minimum of every 4-6 weeks.A good brushing is all they need to keep their coat clean and soft. If you do not feel that you have the time to give the type of care and affection that little goats thrive on, this may not be the time to add them to your family. Goats are not like a dog, they need to bond with you to feel safe and secure as well as thrive. Goats in pairs are best as having just one is a lonely existance for a natural herd animal.
Dogs, yours or a neighbors, are a goats #1 predator, secure fencing is a MUST for their protection. DO NOT trust your dog with your new goats until you know for sure exactly how your dog will react to them, goats are very suspicious of any dog, regardless of size. DO NOT allow your dog to be unsupervised with your goats, a goat will run itself to death trying to escape and they have been known to try and run through fences, ending up severely injuring themselves or even breaking their necks.
Hay racks, clean feed pans and water buckets as well as a clean home will ensure your goat stays healthy. I scrub and sanitize water buckets with bleach once a week, hay racks are made to keep hay off the ground/floor, goats are very picky regardless of anything you may have heard about their eating habits. They will not eat hay they have pulled out of a rack, once it's been stepped on it's dirty to them. Care must be taken to avoid feeding spoiled or moldy hay and grain, goats can become very sick and even die if they eat bad food.
A loose mineral, such as Manna Pro goat mineral should be out for them freechoice, goats have very specific nutrition needs that they can't always get from food alone, ALWAYS supply fresh water in a clean 2 gallon bucket...they are small goats and the 2 gallon buckets are the perfect size for them. If you won't drink the water you provide for them, don't expect them to.
Grain should be given minimally and in small amounts, I have used Blue Seal Caprine Challenger with great results but currently feed Kalmbach 16% textured goat. 1/2 to 1 cup twice a day until they are a year old then the amount can be cut by half to keep your pet in good condition. A good quality mixed grass hay should be provided at all times, 1 flake for 2 goats am and pm with pasture will keep them happy, increase the hay if they have no access to browse.
There are a number of common ornamental plants and trees that are very toxic to goats, Azeala, Rhodedendron, Laurel, pitted fruit trees such as cherry, plum, peach. It is a must that if you have these, keep the goats from them.
I am more than glad to help you ensure the health and happiness of your new pets, any questions at all PLEASE contact me.