All About Goat-Care

Raising meat goats and Boer goats presents’ a variety of goat-care and goat health issues and specific goat diseases that must be avoided, or controlled. The following are the primary ones to consider.

All goat herders must be constantly vigilant for signs of disease and subsequent economic losses.

Goat-Care and Disease Symptoms

Some typical signs that one of your goats may not be well are as follows:

1. Look for goats that are well away from the main herd, and possibly not eating, or having an abnormal body posture, such as a head hanging down, as these should be suspect. Goats separate only for illness or kidding.

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

3. Always look at the herd for goats that lag behind or have problems keeping up with the herd.

4. Observe the goats’ feet and legs for signs of swelling.

5. Look for sudden or inexplicable weight loss in animals.

6. Look for signs of swelling underneath the chin, which might indicate internal parasites, or throat which may be goiter.

7. Look for any abnormal gait that could be staggering, limping or abnormal walking that may indicate tetanus.

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

9. 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 care also means understanding basic physiological and biological norms for goats:

  • Rectal temperature is in the range 39 – 40 degrees
  • Pulse rate is in the range 70 -80 beats per minute
  • Respiration is in the range 15 – 30 per minute
  • Rumen Movement 1 – 1.5 per minute
  • Oestrus is 17 – 23 days
  • Gestation period is in the range 143 – 155 days
  • Puberty is just 2 months for bucks
  • Lifespan Bucks – The average is around 8 years but up to 12 years
  • Lifespan Does – The average is around 11-12 years and up to 20 years
  • Growth from Birth to Maturity is 3 years


Parasitic diseases area constant source of threat to commercial goat herds. Most animals including humans are prone to parasites however those afflicting goats, such as intestinal nematodes and tapeworms slow growth, ill thrift and possibly prove fatal.

Coccidia, Ketosis, CAE, intestinal worms and liver fluke have the greatest toll on economic goat meat production and therefore are central to any goat care regimen. The key to keeping these under control is good animal husbandry and paddock rotation. Close monitoring and sampling with subsequent testing of fecal egg count is necessary. This will lead to optimizing your drenching program for maximum efficiency.

All about goat-care and goat disease.

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