SIMPLE GOAT DUE-DATE ESTIMATOR: To determine the due date, take breeding date and subtract the number indicated in the table. For example, if bred July 4, the doe will kid December 1. If bred November 10, doe will be due April 9. Do bred February 18? Look for "Bred in February" and then look across to when she is due "July" and subtract the minus number "0" from the date number "18" when she was bred. So, doe is due July 18. This is based on 150 days.
Bred in July---------------due in December - 3
Bred in August-------------due in January -3
Bred in September----------due in February - 3
Bred in October------------due in March - 1
Bred in November-----------due in April - 1
Bred in December-----------due in May - 1
Bred in January------------due in June - 1
Bred in February-----------due in July -0
Bred in March--------------due in August - 3
Bred in April--------------due in September - 3
Bred in May----------------due in October -3
Bred in June---------------due in November - 3
Male goats, called Bucks, usually have a beard. Females are called does and both female and male young goats are called kids.
The language of a goat is called bleating. Goat Keepers have found there are many variations of bleating that are understood. For instance, there is a joyful bleating with which a goat will greet you when you enter the stable or the bleating with which a mother calls her kid, or a rattling noise through the nose threat serves as a warning to the herd or, if necessary, also a signal for flight. When in great pain, the goat complains with a groan.
To the human being, the goat seems uncommonly curious and is continuously alert with strangers and when unusual circumstances arise. Goats have also proven to assess dangerous situations quickly and use them to their advantage. They are daring climbers and jumpers and can overcome rock barriers as well as the walls of box stalls and prefer to get to a high place where they can observe their surroundings.
The goat is typically very sociable and is not happy as a loner. Within the herd there is a firm ranking order in which a lead doe and a lead buck share the duties of leader. When new goats come into the herd, or goats from one stock are joined to another group, the ranking order is established by dueling. The rivals fight, forehead against forehead, and very seldom is either one injured.
GOT TIP-CONSULT YOUR VET, THIS IS A TIP FROM A GOATKEEPER. USING PROBIOTIC PASTE-IF YOU GIVE LARGE DOESES OF ANTIBIOTICS FOR SEVERAL DAYS YOU MAY" KILL OFF" THE "GOOD" BACTERIA IN THE GOAT'S "STOMACH" WHICH AIDS IN THE DIGESTIVE PROCESS. IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO GIVE PROBIOTIC PASTE, NATURAL YOGURT OR BUTTERMILK TO REACTIVATE THESE BACTERIA.
The purchase of a meat goat should NEVER be a spontaneous decision. Careful planning and research before purchase will assure that you obtain a high quality animal(s). Once you have decided to purchase a goat and have your fences and shelters constructed, it's time to go goat shopping.
A good place to start is by contacting the SCMGa for a list of reputable breeders. Take a few days and visit as many goat breeders as possible. When you go to a farm, trust your first impressions. If it looks dirty and unkept chances are the goats are also unkept. Ask to see breeding records as well as records of vaccinations and worming. Registered goat should be tattooed. Check the tattoo against the papers to be sure you have the correct papers. If you plan to breed, ask about birthing problems of mother and grandmothers on both buck and does side of the family. You want goats with a long family history of easy births. Easy Birthing is especially important in the miniature breeds.
Generally speaking, auctions are places to sell, not to buy. The probability of getting decent quality, healthy goats at auctions is not great, as similar with many traders, unfortunately. If you are lacking in goat buying experience, I strongly urge you to obtain an advisor, consultant, order buyer, a successful goat producer, etc.
Seven Important Questions to Ask When Looking at Goats
- Is the goat going to fit my purpose?
- Is the farm where you are looking using their goats for the same purpose that you intend?
- Is the goat in good health and conformationally sound? Is it being sold with a health certificate? Will buyer or seller pay for health certificate?
- What is your first impression of the farm? Is it clean and do the animals appear to be well cared for>
What guarantees are offered?
- If breeding stock, are any future breeding or semen included in the selling price?
- Is the seller knowledgeable and willing to continue to answer your questions after the sale?
Balanced and well blended with overall appearance of conditioning. Deep bodied. Healthy, smooth, glossy coat. Bright, alert eyes and ears.
Medium in length, muzzle broad and large with open nostrils, jaw strong and even, and forehead wide. Ears appropriate to breed. Even bite with neither under or over bite.
Strong, muscular neck, short to medium in length and thick at base that blends well into shoulders and brisket.
Strong and well muscled with even covering of firm flesh. Shoulder blades set smoothly against chest wall and withers. Loose poorly attached shoulders are a common fault and should be checked closely.
Wide chest with deep, full heart girth, full at elbow with long, well sprung ribs wide apart. Narrow, shallow heart girth and chest leaves little room for heart and lungs so is a serious fault.
Broad and strong with even covering of smooth, firm flesh. Topline strong, straight and nearly level.
Long, broad, and slightly sloping with smooth, even covering of firm flesh. Hips wide apart and level with back. Thurls wide apart and nearly level from thurl to thurl. Pins wide apart and lower than hips. Tail head lightly above and nearly set between pin bones. Tail symmetrical with body.
Legs and Feet:
Forelegs should be medium in length, strong, well muscled, wide apart, squarely set and straight. Bones clean, strong and of adequate density to support weight. Feet sound, short. Wide, and straight with deep heel and level sole. Hind legs should be medium in length, wide apart and nearly straight when viewed from the rear. Nearly perpendicular from hock to pastern when view from the side. Hocks wide apart when viewed from the rear and showing correct angulation when viewed from the side. Bones clean, strong and of adequate density to support weight. Pasterns strong and springy. Feet sound, short, wide and straight with deep heel and level sole.
Male testicles normal, equal in size and both descended. Females should have two single, normal teats devoid of multiple orifices and free of deformities. Udder should be balanced, firm yet elastic. High wide attachment in the rear and well forward with wide attachment and no pockets in front.
You should avoid goats that show any of the following faults:
- Extra or deformed teats
- Hard or lumpy udder
- Crooked face
- Overshot or undershot jaws
- Crooked or malformed feet and legs
- Goats with any sign of past or present abscesses
Prepared by: Roy Hollingsworth-Area County Extension Agent
Hampton County Extension Office.
Grades for Slaughter Animals
Meat goat grade standards F.W. Drinkwater, T.A. Gipson, D.D. Johnson, P.P. Graham and B. Shankle
Prime- Slaughter kids have minimum requirements for the Prime grade will exhibit superior meat type conformation and possess a high degree of finish. Prime slaughter kids are smooth over the top and the backbone is well covered and smooth when the hand is pressed down the back. Prime grade kids will have the appearance of being thickly muscled throughout the body and particularly well muscled in the rear legs and loin. Prime kids shall be at least moderately wide over the back, line and rump. Shoulders and hips should be smooth in appearance. The over all appearance of Prime slaughter kids is one of very good overall health and give indications of very high level of nutrition.
Choice- Slaughter kids meeting the minimum requirements for the Choice grade will exhibit at least average meat type conformation. Choice kids will possess a moderate amount of finish over the back, loin and rump. Choice kids, when handled, will express at least average muscling in the leg and loin. They should also express at least some thickness of the brisket. When handled the backbone of Choice kids will be only moderately prominent to the touch. The overall appearance of Choice slaughter kids shall be one of good overall health and give indication of an adequate level of nutrition. Choice slaughter kids will have a muscling score of at least slightly thick throughout their body. They will express average or better width through the loin, back and rump. The shoulder and hip will be moderately smooth.