Goat Care and Disease

What is normal for a goat? Goat care means understand the basic physiological and biological norms for goats these include:

  • Rectal temperature – 39 – 40 degrees
  • Pulse Rate – 70 – 80 beast per minute
  • Respiration – 15 – 30 per minute
  • Rumen Movement – 1 – 1.5 per minute
  • Oestrus is 17 – 23 days
  • Gestation period is 143 – 155 days
  • Puberty is approximately 2 months (8 weeks) for bucks, older for does
  • Lifespan for Bucks – the average is around 8 years
  • Lifespan for Does – the average is around 11 – 12 years
  • Growth from Birth to maturity is approximately 3 years.

General observation is the best tool and this should include:

Watching for goats with the head hanging down this could be an indication to illness

Goats separate to the rest of the herd could indicate illness or kidding.

Always observe faeces, if the droppings are clumping together or the goat is scouring (diarrhea) or the droppings are very hard then something may be wrong.

Look for sudden or inexplicable weight loss in animals

Look for signs of swelling underneath the chin, which might indicate internal parasites or lack of specific vitamins or minerals

Look for any abnormal gait that could be staggering limping or abnormal walking

Look for any dull and rough coats that may indicate underlying disease or deficiencies

Look for abnormal discharges such as blood, mucus and pus from the mouth, eyes, ears or vulva or any other part of the goat’s body.


Goat Digestive Physiology

Goats, like cattle and sheep are ruminants, which basically means they have a four chambered stomach. The four chambers are the rumen (approximately 30% of the stomach mass), the reticulum, the omasum and the abomasum (approximately 70% of the stomach mass).

The digestive process starts with taking food into their mouths. The food is ground, chewed and mixed with saliva in the mouth. The “cud” enters the oesophagus and with muscular movement pushed down to the rumen. The microbes in the rumen break down the food from there it passes to the omasum where water and volatile fatty acids are absorbed. From there it passes to the abdomen where the “cud” (food) is digested by hydrochloric acid, as it does in humans.

From the abomasum, the end products move through the small intestine and then the large intestine where they are excreted as dung.

(Sourced from Farming Meat Goats by Barbara Vincent)


Facebook Like Box provided by technology news