Goat Keeping from Birth to Milking

Goat Temp should be 102, always take a herd mates temp to determine if your goats temp is subnormal or high.


  • Bo-Se (selenium, vitamin E injectable) 1cc. per 40 lbs.  Vet Rx
  • CD&T (Vaccination for entero and tetanus) (2cc subq or IM, repeat in 21 days)
  • Lysigin (Vaccination for staph mastitis, will also help with staph dermatitis on the udder) (5cc sub-q, Give initial shots before breeding the doe repeat in 21 days. This is for initial shots on does previously unvaccinated or virgin does pre-breeding.  Then one 5cc shot booster before kidding.
  • CMPK injectable (calcium, mineral) (vet RX) 30 cc sub-q, 15cc in 2 places every 6 hours or one 30cc shot in 2 places sub q for sluggish labor)
  • 200mg Tetracycline (Biomycin etc.) We choose not to use LA200 because it contains a sting carrier in it for cattle.  3.5cc SubQ per 100 pounds.
  • 300,000-unit water based Penicillin Penn/Aqueous 3 cc per 50 pounds SubQ.  Once per day for prevention of wound infection or uterine infection, every 12 hours in an ill goat.


  • Cydectin Cattle Pour on 1cc.per 22 lbs. orally
  • Valbazen liquid 1cc-10 lbs orally
  • Ivermectin Plus Injectable 1cc per 30 lbs orally
  • Ivermectin 1% injected at bottle dosages for lice, mites and nose bots.  Orally for stomach worms and lungworms. 1cc per 50 pounds orally.


  • 400 IU vitamin E capsules from Wal-Mart
  • Iodine-7% Iodine, Chlorhexideen, or equivalent pre surgery scrub to dip navels and cords.
  • Probios (a toothpaste tube type probiotic paste)
  • Lambar nipples, Lambar bucket
  • Corid, Deccox M, Dimethox 40% to be used orally for the control of cocci until they are old enough and eating enough medicated feed to control coccidiosis.

The day the Kids are born…

  • The day they are born give them their Bo-Se Shot.
  • Give 1- 400 unit Vit E Capsule when they are dried off, snip the end
    and give orally.
  • Spray the hooves and navel with Iodine, or dip, using clean iodine each time.
  • With iodine hard to find use chlorhexideen or other pre-surgery cleaner like betadine.
  • Give them probios. You will give them a pea size amount.  Use your finger and swipe it thru their mouth.  Use up one tube on all the kids kept.
  • They need to consume about 20 oz of colostrums within 12 hours.  After which time they can be switched to milk.
  • Bucks, limit to 4 oz a feeding of their colostrum but still getting their 20 ounces in 12 hours.
  • More colostrum of course can be fed, just not less.  And speaking of colostrum, highest quality of colostrum comes from your older does their first 12 hours of milking.
  • Heat treat the colostrum:  In a double boiler heat the colostrum to 135 degrees, start timing for one hour.  Your goal is to keep the colostrum no lower than 135, but no higher than 140 for the whole hour.  Freeze your excess colostrum.

Pasteurizing milk:

  • Heat the milk to 165 degrees.  Stir it and make sure it is 165 degrees for 15 seconds.  Cool and feed.
  • Move to milk that has been warmed to body temp.  Make changes to chilled milk slowly; don’t offer cold milk one day and warm milk the next.
  • Day 3 introduces the lambar buckets.  You should be feeding them at breakfast lunch and dinner and before bed, unless they are tiny.  Where they will need milk offered more often.
  • At day 20, start on Cocci prevention.  Use Corid or your sulfa, dosages in goatkeeping 101 on dairygoatinfo.com once a day for 5 days then repeat every 20 days until well grown and on meat goat pellets that contain their cocci med (decoquinate, rumensin, lasalocid, bovatec).
  • Day 20 Worm with Valbazen 1cc per 10lbs (this is for tapes) Important note is that my babies are not in pens frequented by adults; so adult worms aren’t a worry for me until my kids are older.  If your babies are in with adults than you will have to worm them with your adult wormer, here Cydectin.
  • Worming kids every 3 weeks until weaned and well grown is the best prevention, along with cocci, giving you healthy, robust kids that can be bred their first year.  Do not wait for symptoms of cocci or worms and then use treatment, think prevention always.
  • Day 20 start their water, an easily tipped over bucket so they don’t drown.  Each year kids will drown in water troughs, barns will burn down from heat lamps and goats will be crushed under round bales or  hung from the string around bales of hay.
  • Alfalfa pellets, meat goat pellets, their minerals and hay.  I also move their milk down to 4 times a day. 4- 20oz bottles minimum or as much as they will drink.  Once again make changes slowly.
  • You will also trim feet when 3 weeks old.  It’s a given on management that each month goats feet are trimmed.
  • Goats thrive on consistency.  The same temp milk, the same feed each day, no changes at all, even to preferring the same people milk them.
  • At 45 days old (6 weeks) give round 2 of Corid for 5 more days; Give their CD&T injection.  Worm.
  • At 67 Days (9 weeks) Give CD&T injection.  Switch wormer to Cydectin.
  • At 12 weeks decide if you are ready to wean them. They should be eating 1 lb of grain. Kids should be gaining roughly 10 lbs a month so by breeding age they will be 80-90 lbs.  Worm with Cydectin.  Do not wean kids you expect to breed this year from high calorie, high calcium milk to grass hay and sweet feed and expect them to continue this good rate of growth.  Replace the calcium in the milk with alfalfa.

I give one more CD&T vaccination after 12 weeks old, to seal immunity.  By then I am down to the few doelings I am going to keep. From weaning to 8 months they should be over 90 pounds.  Ready to be bred.

Minimum weights:

  • 1 month, 10 pounds plus their birth weight
  • 2 months, 20 pounds plus their birth weight
  • 3 months, 30 pounds plus their birth weights

If you are lower than this than don’t blame it on slow to mature bloodlines, blame this on your prevention management and your weaning practices….

To early weaning?
Not enough milk?
Weaning from high calorie, high calcium milk to low to no calcium grass hay and pasture?

Now it’s time to breed them…

For arguments sake lets say your doeling was born in March and is now 90+ pounds and you want to breed her in October, to have kids in March.  In September I give all the virgin does I am keeping 5cc SubQ of Lysigin (a vaccination for staph).  I repeat this in 21 days.  Now it’s October 1st and I am going to breed them this coming heat in October.  This is also the time I use any other vaccinations or supplements I give at the farm.  Give the does their Bo-Se 1cc per 40 lbs.  Trim their feet and go through the does one more time for faults, check for extra teats, single orifice in each teat etc.

Bucks 1 month before breeding give their Bo-Se 1cc. per 40lbs. Bo-se can cause a temporary lag in the motility of their sperm, this is temporary.  Worm with Cydectin 1cc per 22 lbs.

First 50 days of being bred don’t DO ANYTHING to them NO Stress or Changes.  Implantation of the eggs into the uterus can be up to 14 days.  Worming with anything, antibiotics, feed through products, can cause a doe to slip the egg and not implant it.  Using wormers if you must for the health of the doe, pick one without a flukecide in it.  Do not use Valbazen or Ivermectin Plus that contain products to kill liver flukes.

At 100 days bred use Ivermectin Plus 1 cc per 30 lbs orally (this is for liver Flukes, lungworm, 4th stage HC.)

At 100 days pregnant stop milking in your milking stock.  With the decrease of calories from coming into the milk room to eat, and the stopping of milking, her udder will firm up.  This will signal the brain to stop milking.  Check her udder out in her stall each day.  Make sure it does not get to full.  If it does than simply ease a little milk out of each side.  At no time should you bring her into the milk room, wash her udder, and stimulate her milk let down reflex.  This floods the brain with Oxytocin and signals her to make more milk.  Just a few squirts out of each side to soften the udder a little bit.  Do teat dip her, and make sure she continues to stand for a few minutes.

Alfalfa pellets are fed in the barn, they are continuous from birth to death as is minerals.  But the move to not going into the milk room, means you do have to at 100 days bred offer them a small bite of grain for the energy and carbs they need to grow the kids.  At 100 days bred the kids are small puppies and will grow in 50 days into the 8-pound kids she will have.  Start slowly increasing her grain until at kidding she is eating what she will on the milk stand.  1 pound in the am and 1 pound in the pm with her alfalfa pellets in her barn.

You will keep your young doelings on the same grain they grew out on until 100 days pregnant, then slowly switch them onto the milk stand grains you have chosen to use.  Here it is simple, whole oats for their energy and carbs and calories, rice bran or black oil sunflower seeds, or oils for fat and soybean meal or a knock off of calf manna for their protein (if you use alfalfa hay with high protein no protein supplementation is needed)  In fact if you have access to excellent quality alfalfa hay, no grain is needed.  Minerals are always in the barn.  Like the older milker paragraph above, you will increase their grain at 100 days bred slowly, up to what they will likely eat on the milk stand, 1 pound in the am and 1 pound in the pm.

Our humidity is high, even in the winter.  We have few to no freezing nights that continue with even ice in the water buckets the next morning.  So the keeping quality of alfalfa is poor.  Feeding alfalfa pellets and our prevention for cocci and worms is key.

Once milking you will of course have to adjust their grain, some heavy milkers will eat twice this much.

120 days bred give CD&T 2cc Sub Q or IM Lysigin shot 5cc SubQ.  This will not only bolster the doe but it will impart powerful immunity into her colostrum for the kids.  A week before kidding give the doe’s a dairy cut.  Shaving the udder, belly etc. to make kidding, but also make milking cleaner.  Be careful letting heavy bred does jump up and down on the milk stands.

Day of Kidding…

Heat treat the colostrum:  In a double boiler heat the colostrum to 135 degrees, start timing for one hour.  Your goal is to keep the colostrum no lower than 135, but no higher than 140 for the whole hour.  Freeze your excess colostrum.

Pasteurizing milk: 

Heat the milk to 165 degrees.  Stir it and make sure it is 165 degrees for 15 seconds.  Cool and feed.
Worm the does with cydectin 1cc per 22lbs.  Have on hand CMPK injectable Vet Rx. This is for hypocalcaemia and sluggish labor.  200 ml Tetracycline antibiotic. This is for a uterine flush. Take some on gloved hand and swipe inside uterine wall. This is for a hard labor when you have to help move kids around, safety precaution.  Making and infusion of tetracycline and sterile water (you can boil water to make it sterile or use distilled) and using your weak kid syringe and tube, you can easily flush the uterus yourself.

300,000 unit penicillin antibiotic 3cc per 50 lbs. Sub Q once a day for 10 days, take temp everyday, if temp goes up 3 cc per 50lbs twice a day. This is if there was a gross out situation during birth (Dead kids, way too much maneuvering of kids to get them out, parts of kids, mummy kids).

Oxytocin to bring down milk, or to help with contractions if calcium doesn’t work.  Never use Oxytocin on and closed uterus.  This is a vet script use wisely.   As little as 1/4 to 1/2 cc works well. Lutelyse 2cc IM.  Another vet RX that will abort your does, recycle your does, open the cervix back up to do a uterine wash, or make your doe come into labor on schedule.

10 days after kidding use Valbazen 1cc per 10 lbs.  This is the only time I tape worm my adult does, milk withdrawal is 3 milkings, 36 hours.  Tapes are of no consequence to the adult goat and being the only worm owners can see with the naked eye, they are the most problem for owners.  I do this one worming since this time also coincides with appraisal and showing and having a lot of new folks at the farm for sales of kids, milkers and milk…so wouldn’t want any tapes in the poop!