Hints and Tips
Safe zones for young puppies in the pasture are a necessity. Here is a picture of a zone we currently have in the pasture. The small dog house provides shelter away from the goats and the feeder insures a constant food supply. We are now building creep panels that work for kids' creep pens and puppy pens. Puppies can scoot through, yet it keeps all but the smallest kids out. (back) Fencing (for a good look at the creep panel)
Ever had trouble with a goat getting it's head in the fence again and again and again...? Just duct tape a piece of PVC pipe, broom handle or stick to the base of the horns. With the pipe in place, the goat will not be able to get her head through the fence and you won't have to get her out. Place the pipe behind the base of the horns and run the tape around in a figure eight pattern. Wrap at least five or six layers to give enough strength to hold the stick. By the time the pipe falls off (tape wears through as seen in the last photo), the goat will usually not stick her head in again.
The simple child's swimming pool is by far the best whelping box we have ever tried. It is watertight, so any spilled water, urine or anything else wet does not damage the floor if in the house. The dam cannot dig through the bottom and create a hole for puppies to roll into. Since it is plastic, it is easily cleaned and wiped down daily and does not absorb liquids. It will also disinfect easily. Side walls are high enough to keep puppies inside for a reasonable time. (back)
Ever had a pregnant doe going into ketosis? Had a sick/injured goat that just doesn't feel like eating? Try something an Oklahoma veterinarian came up with -- feed the goat creamed corn. I was more than skeptical before trying this! Why would any creature feeling badly anyway eat this stuff? However, in using creamed corn for many years now, only one doe refused to eat it. They LOVE it, even better when it is warm.
When kids are born, they sometimes have small problems with ears being folded horizontally. This is NOT problem (unlike vertically folded ears), however, it is considered unsightly by some. At times, the ears can be thoroughly dried and will then hang correctly. If the end of the ear is still flipped up and may even be attached by a small bit of skin, you can correct this in a couple of ways. People will "pop" the ends of the ears to break this attachment, but this can result in a tear in the ear. OUCH! We like to fix it with a little more passive method. We tape a penny to the end of the ear with several small strips of duct tape and allow the weight of the penny to slowly pull down the tip. When the tape falls off (and the penny), the ear is generally straight. There may still be a visible line where the crease was, but that is better than a tear/hole.
Got problems with your LDG (livestock guardian dog) puppy pulling on ears or tails? Playing with his charges is NOT acceptable, but puppies are puppies! You cannot be there to reprimand him all the time, so here is a solution that may work. Take a jar and fill half full of Vaseline. Fill the jar with BenGay and mix thoroughly. Smear on the ears/tail of his favourite "playmate" (if more than one is a target, do all of them). If there are scratches, this may sting a bit. When puppy grabs his goat again and gets a mouthful of the mixture, that is usually the end of the problem! We cannot take credit for this idea......One of our clients came up with it!!!!
Have you ever had trouble with the small rubber bands breaking and coming off kids "before the deed was done"? To prevent the rubber from breaking down due to heat/ect, place the bands in the freezer when storing. They will remain just as good as when you purchased them.
Manufactured metal feeders can be very expensive, nice but expensive! Make very good wooden feeders yourself with plans you can get for free from Premier . They are easily customized to fit your needs - one sided, two sided, roof or varying lengths. Most of the feeders shown in the pictures have been made from scraps, especially the roof, so the cost per feeder has been very low!
You can easily build an inexpensive shed for several goats out of three sheets of plywood, a 2X6 and some scrap 2X4's. It is rather interesting how many goats can fit into this shed when the weather is inclement! We have not roofed this shed yet (shingles or metal), but these pictures show the basic idea. There are more pictures of the sheds with goats on Residents.