First things first. This page is just for informational purposes only. I am not a veterinarian or by no means an expert on goats. I'm not making any recommendations as to how to manage YOUR goats, this is just a brief explanation on how *I* manage *my* herd. Also *my way* may (most likely WILL) change over time. So, without further ado: this is how I care for my herd.
All herd members have free access to fresh, clean water, Mineral Supplement (Cargill Onyx), local grass hay, and unlimited browsing within the pasture daily.
Supplements, Disbudding, Tattooing, bottle feeding, etc
Birth to 3 months
Most Susurrare Salix kids will be dam-raised. I do not feel that it is necessary to bottle raise our kids to prevent CAE infection as our entire herd is CAE tested annually. We are careful to purchase animals from CAE & CL free herds, but also have any new animals tested before joining the herd. We have a special Quarantine Pen for all incoming goats for 4 weeks of time alone with one of our wethers. This enables us to test each new animal and to ensure that each new herd member is completely healthy and adjusted to us and our feeding/milking schedule prior to release into the "General Population". Goats LOVE their kids, and kids love their dams, therefore I will not routinely remove a kid from it's dam prior to weaning unless the dam rejects the kid, the kid is showing obvious signs of distress, or the kid is nursing their dam unevenly. On the day of birth, every kid receives BoSe and A,D&E shot. For basic instructions on bottle feeding, please see BOTTLE BABY CARE
days 3 to 14: ALL non-polled kids on our farm are disbudded. I do the procedure myself with a Rhinehart X30 disbudding iron and spray the site with Blue Kote or Alushield to cool and help to keep the site clean for the first week. Bucks are disbudded in a figure 8 pattern to ensure full horn base coverage and to help prevent scurs. All kids receive Vitamin B Complex and pro-bios gel the day of disbudding. On the date of disbudding, all kids will also receive their unique tattoo sequence. For instructions on Tattoo Procedure, please see TATTOOING
around 3 weeks: When we see the kid(s) begin nibbling grain (alongside Dam), we dust the grain with pro-bios to help activate the rumen. All bottle raised kids are ready to leave the farm at this age.
8 weeks: Bucks kids are separated from Does. If the buck is destined to be a wether (as the vast majority of our buck kids are), he is banded & is ready to leave the farm. Retained doe kids remain with their mother until 12 weeks of age. Every kid receives a dose of Replamin to tide them over until they are old enough for their first copper bolus.
2 months: Tattoos are applied (if not given on disbudding day), another hoof trimming, and any dam-raised kid available for sale is ready to head to their new home.
if at any time any of our kids develops scours, they are dosed with Valbazen (for worms), then (2 days later) Sulfadimethoxine (for Cocci) and watched carefully until healthy.
3 months and beyond:
BiMonthly: Hoof Trimming.
In the Spring and Summer Months: Sprayed with Bronco Fly Spray to reduce the fly population.
April - August - Shave the herd down to help with the heat of summer (also to assess conformation & obtain pictures for this website).
January, May, and September Annually: The entire herd receives a Copper Bolus with Copasure.
May & November: All bucks, wethers, and non-breeding animals are given a Bo-Se booster.
at 4 months gestation: Doe receives a injected dose of Bo-Se & Vitamin A,D&E.
New Herd Members: We are careful to purchase animals from CAE & CL free herds, but also have any new animals tested before joining the herd. We have a special Quarantine Pen for all incoming goats for 4 weeks of time alone with one of our wethers. This enables us to test each new animal and to ensure that each new herd member is completely healthy and adjusted to us and our feeding/milking schedule prior to release into the "General Population".
Quarantine Testing (on animals over 1 year old): Biosecurity Screening through Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL - this includes cElisa CAE, CL, and Johnnes Testing).
We feed all does and doe kids a Dairy Goat Pellet, and all bucks, buck kids, and wethers a goat pellet that contains Ammonium Chloride to prevent Urinary Calculi.
We use AgCentral Co-Operative's Dairy Grain #93446 for our does
& #93458 for our bucks & wethers.
LA, Showing, and Milking
As you may have noticed, I generally do not "Set Up" the goats for photos. I feel that candid shots (pasture pics) are far better for really knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each animal.
I have no plans to join the show circuit. The risk of exposure to viruses and diseases is just too great for the reward. Our herd will prove itself through DHIA (Milk Test), LA, and progeny performance.
We milk our does starting at 3 weeks fresh, pulling the kids overnight, milking in the morning, then letting the kids "loose" on their dams for the rest of the day (letting us skip the evening milking until the kids are weaned at 12 weeks old). At 12 weeks fresh the kids are weaned, and the does begin twice-a-day milking for a minimum of 5 months.
One Day Milk Test performed on our farm several times every year beginning in 2014, which enables our does to obtain ADGA Milking awards and prove milking ability. Also, it's very helpful to know the butterfat and protein components of each doe.
What you will receive when you purchase an animal from us.
Papers: All animals that are registered or are purchased as registered breeding animals will go home with ALL paperwork. I will not sell an animal that is not able to be registered in your name immediately upon transport. All members of my herd (excepting wethers) are registered with AGDA (AGS paperwork available on request). In most cases, the Registered Name will agreed upon by both the buyer and myself before transport, and will therefore already be filled out on the paperwork. I am very willing to work with the buyer to name each animal, therefore, if you have a preference for a specific name, please let me know. If the name isn't already taken, is *not* on my short list of names for keeper kids, and is in line with our theme, I am more than willing to allow the buyer to name the animal (this must be arranged BEFORE I submit the registration to ADGA). If the name is NOT filled out, feel free to pick anything you like.
Other Paperwork: If applicable, and arrangements are made in advance: A Health Certificate from our veterinarian will be provided at the expense of the buyer. Service memo(s) will also be provided at the time of transport for registered does that have been purchased bred or exposed (please see below).
Honesty: I will give you the absolute truth about any registered animal I sell, or offer for sale. Be it an uneven udder, a serious personality issue, or an inability to raise kids, you'll know the truth about my reasons for selling.
Help. When you purchase a goat or goats from us, I am available to you. Anytime. Day or night, rain or shine, sleet, snow, or 100 degrees. If you have a question, need training in hoof trimming, disbudding, immunizations, or just need to talk goat, give me a yell via text, email, or facebook - whatever works best for you. I am available - at ANY time, for ANY reason - to help you. If I don't know the answer, I'll do everything in my power to find it.
Adult Does and Does in Milk: If you purchase a doe in milk, please be aware that production will likely decrease due to transport and the stress associated with leaving her herdmates and joining a new herd. Also, personaility shifts are not uncommon when a doe is moved to a new herd. I have purchased does that were "problem animals" in a previous herd (screamers, milkstand jumpers, does that "Hate Humans" turn into absolute darlings here... and vice versa). Keep in mind these are living animals with attachments to thier herdnamtes, or no attachments in some cases. An unhappy doe in my farm may be extremely happy in a larger or smaller herd. Frequently the fact that a doe is clearly unhappy in my farm is a sole reason for selling, and I do my best to find a situation that will benefit both the doe and the buyer. Also of note - my adult does that have freshened at least twice are trained to the milk stand. I use curb chains to train my does not to kick or jump, therefore they are used to, and expect, those chains to be in place while milking. After a few weeks on the stand with these chains in place, they realize nothing bad is happening to them, they accept the process & settle and stop fighting the routine of the milking process. If you purchase a doe in milk and do not choose to use curb chains, or milk from the same postition or in the same manner that I do, be prepared for a confused doe. Goats are very happy with a set routine. Even moving the milkstand a few inches one way or another will cause them frustration and annoyance. So, of course , if they move farms they frequently will attempt to fuss about it. This may result in kicking and jumping on the milkstand. Please be kind to the doe, she just needs to learn the new routine. If you ask, I will happily show you the routine that the doe is used to so that you can attempt to recreate it at your farm.
Bottle Kids: I will never allow a bottle-fed kid to leave our farm until and unless he or she is completely used to the bottle and will happily suck it right down. I do my very best to feed the kid in a mulitude of different fashions (standing up, being held, walking around, etc), but occasionaly a kid will be very particular about how it likes to be fed. I do my best to inform the buyer of any particular peculiarities of the manner of bottle feeding that the kid might have. If the bottle kid you have purchased is refusing the bottle, please first check the temperature of the milk (silightly higher than your skin, the bottle should feel warm in your hand), then attempt feeding in different positions (while holding the kid in the left arm and bottle in right hand, or vice versa, kid standing up, etc). If the kid still refuses to eat, please contact me immediately.
Transport Stress: Transport Stress to the kid or adult can be very common in goats. They are sensitive animals that can go "off" very quickly. Please remember that they have just been taken away from all thier friends and herdmates, placed in a crate & transported via vehicle probably for the first time in thier lives. That would be upsetting to me, too. Normally a goat will bounce back farily quickly without need for medication or help, but occasionally they will have serious side effects from this stress - including, but not limited to: pnuemonia (coughing and non-clear mucous discharge from nose), worm and or cocci bloom (manifesting with scours), & refusal to eat or drink. As a matter of routine I give a dose of Biomycin prior to leaving my farm to combat serious issues caused by transport stress. Please give the animal probiotics several times a day for at least a week following transport to help them overcome stress and adapt to thier new environment. If scouring or refusing to eat, please contact me immediately.
On the date of Transport: The animal will receive a hoof trimming. The transporter and I will visually inspect the animal prior to loading to ensure the animal is in good health. When the animal leaves the farm with a transporter, I will contact you as soon as they depart to let you know they are on their way. Once the animal is loaded for transport, the care and health of the animal are transferred completely to the new owner/transporter. I am not liable for any injury or mistreatment of the animal while in the care of the transporter -- I maintain the right to refuse to allow the animal to be transported up to and including the moment the animal is to be loaded. If this should ever occur, I will contact the buyer immediately to inform them of the reason(s) for my refusal and to offer alternate transport or a full refund of the purchase price.
I am always available after the sale for further questions! Please contact me if you need anything or have any questions.
For more information, please view our Sales Policy.