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Angora Goats from Brambles Special BreedsDiet and Feeding
A good supply of straw and hay should be available to your goats on a daily basis along with concentrates usually goat mix (Spillers provides a very good goat feed which provides a good variety of mix.
This is a special order bought from countrywide stores). Plus Lambs creep, a mixture of each with around half a pound twice a day for each goat.
Other foods they enjoy are sugar beet / seaweed / pea straw / barley straw.

They need a draught free shelter with a straw bed to sleep on in the winter. They like to sleep on raised areas such as straw bales or wooden platforms as it keeps them off the cold and often damp floor, therefore their bedding needs to be kept as dry as possible and so removal of the wet, soiled straw needs to be done regularly.

On the coldest winter nights, they should be shut in to protect them from frost and cold wind but on milder winter nights I leave their door open a little so they can go outside if they choose. By day, I give them the same option of going out or staying in except on really wet, cold or windy days, when I keep them in.  I give them access to the outside whenever I can as I think the fresh air is healthier for them.

There is a lot of work to do in preparing for having animals on your land as we didn't have any paddocks setup or housing and they do need to be protected from the bad weather. Also the food they eat has to be stored in a safe dry place away from the goats otherwise they will just eat away at it until it's gone.

You do need to be aware that there are plants that are poisonous if eaten for example ragwort and Rhododendrons. Therefore a trip around your grounds is well worth it just to know what they are likely to nibble at. A list of poisonous plants and what to look for is available upon request.

Minerals and Vitamins
Always provide a mineral lick containing copper and salt lick which should be available to them at all times. These are in square blocks which can be hung through the hole by string. The blocks need to be kept in a dry place.

Fresh clean water is also a must. Remember to clean out buckets and water sources regularly.
There are plants that are dangerous, such as Ragwort & Bracken/Rhododendrons plus Evergreens.

If your goat seems unwell try giving them willow branches and leaves as this contains a natural pain killer.

Worming
Oramec and Noromectin are the most commonly used. You can use a syringe with correct dosage taken from the directions on the product. Do not worm your kid goat until completely weaned from mum.

Usually worm every 3 months unless you suffer from goats scouring. You cannot over worm your goat so if they look thin and eating poorly worming usually sorts them out over a couple of days. If no improvement, take advice from your vet.

Worm kids after they have weaned from their mother. Worm them regularly in the first year as they are very susceptible to worms.

Scouring
Dehydration can occur as a result of diarrhoea, which can lead to deterioration in the animal. Always keep electrolyte sachets available and syringe into the goat's mouth, quantities should be referred to the directions on the package.
Kaolin can also be given to help dry them up (I will give a doe around 5ml & a kid 2-3mls syringed into their mouths) glucose powder (which can be bought from Countrywide Stores) diluted in warm water also helps. If in any doubt always consult your vet.
Glucose diluted into warm water for energy.

Vaccinations
Does need pre-kidding injections 6 weeks before due date, the vaccine is Lambivac of which they each have 2mls.
The kids require the same at 8 weeks old.

Clostridial diseases
You will need to vaccinate your animals with Lambivac from your vets and the doe's need 2mls 6 weeks before kidding and the kids need another injection around 6 weeks old.

Coccidiosis
I have recently been recommended using Cider Vinegar using 25ml per litre of water into their drinking water

Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract caused by microscopic organisms called coccidia. The disease spreads from one animal to another by contact with infected faeces. It is most severe in young or weak animals and often causes bloody diarrhoea.
The symptoms of coccidiosis range from loss of appetite and slight, short-lived diarrhoea to severe cases involving great amounts of dark and bloody diarrhoea and, in some cases, death. The severity of symptoms depends upon the number of parasites invading the intestines.
For more information on this virus please visit this website - www.goatworld.com/articles/coccidiosis/goatcoccidia.

Shearing and foot trimming
Foot trimming needs to be carries out on a regular basis especially if your goats are on damp pasture. Generally every six weeks will keep their feet in order. I usually keep a spray can of antibiotic available if they have any signs of foot rot, or lameness. This "blue spray" placed on the affected area works really well, try to do this everyday until lameness or infection has stopped.

We have learnt to shear the goats ourselves, by using a headgate which keeps the animals head in place and using horse clippers we keep the goat in a standing position and working from the centre of their back in a downward movement the fleece is taken off.

Remember to keep the goats in a warm dry place if shearing in the middle of winter. We sometimes use a goat coat or an old jumper with the sleeves cut off (just for a few days) if it's particularly cold.  

Always make sure the fleeces are clear of hay and straw seeds and any other debris before shearing and store your fleeces in a dry paper sack (you use empty feed sacks turned inside out). Try not to pull at the fleeces as these damages the staples (ringlets), so a lot of patience is needed if you want to get the best value from your fleeces. Kid fleece especially is of high value.

You can be a member of the British Mohair Marketing Board who will advise you on their requirements if you wish to sell your fleeces to them at current market price. There are alternatives available such as Woolcount/Wonderwool based in Wales and they do have a website with very useful information.
 
Lice Control
After Sheering always use an anti-lice spray, our recommendation is "Frontline" which is used on household pets but is expensive. This is sprayed along the centre of the back, under the chin and down the chest in-between the horns and rub this around using disposable gloves. This has always worked for me and if you see them itching at other times do it again. Frontline can be obtained from your vets.

Signs of illness in Goats
An experienced goat keep will be able to recognise when their goat is ill because their characters are such that if they don't coming running to you or making a lot of chatter waiting to be fed, then you will know something's wrong.

Signs of illness are things such as the goat's eyes will narrow and the tail will be down plus they usually stand alone or sit down for long periods of time. Therefore it is important to understand your goat's habits and notice if this happens. Taking their temperature will often help which will be 102/103 degrees Fahrenheit (plus or minus a half degree). If you're not happy to do this yourself then ask your vet? Branches and leaves from the willow tree have natural asprin content so they will benefit from eating this.

If they are sitting down and not interested in eating you need to take a look at them and see if the goat is scouring (diarrhoea) or has a foot problem. Also look for signs of bloat which happens sometimes if they have overeaten and their stomach will be enlarged usually on one side.

I have given my goats Bicarbonate of Soda syringed into the mouth in warm water (around 5-10mls). Also when unwell I put 5-10mls of glucose into their drink to help pep them up a bit, which they like. If unsure it is always advisable to contact your vet for advice.

I suggest you also look into purchasing a book related to your animal as there's always plenty of information to be had in a good book.
 
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