Q: How old should I disbudd my kid?

A: For mini breeds I suggest two to three weeks old. For standard breeds it is best to do it at one to two weeks of age.

Q: What should I put on the horn buds after they are disbudded?

A: Nothing! A burn is sterile and therefore does not require any ointment etc to heal properly. Sometimes these products can actually heal the bud and the horns will begin to regrow!

Q: Does it hurt to disbudd kids?

A: The process itself is very quick and after the iron is off the pain is no longer there since it has destroyed the nerves surrounding the buds. It will itch for a few days following but there is no chronic pain. While the iron is on it is painful but again, short lived.

Q: It has been three weeks and it looks like the horns are growing again, help!

A: At four weeks after disbudding the horn buds have developed a grey scab that covers the entire horn bud. This cap begins to rise up giving the appearance of the horn growing as it begins to flake off. It will eventually pop off on its own, or after some help from other goats. There will be pink, smooth skin underneath where hair will begin to grow.

Q: What vaccinations do goats and sheep need and how often?

A: Goats need one vaccine yearly called CD&T. This is a tetanus and enterotoxemia shot. Newborn kids should receive their first dose at the time of disbudding and a second dose 21 days later. After this initial sequence it is only required annually. For does, selenium is recommended before you breed so that the kids have the best chance for growth and vigor once born. Sheep get the vaccine Covexin 8 which protects against 8 different diseases common to sheep. Tetanus is included in this vaccine.

Q: Help, There is a lump where my goat had a shot!

A: The maker of our CD&T vaccination has a 90% chance of developing a granuloma (a tiny bump at the injection site). This is nothing to worry about and will eventually go away after 6-12 months. IF it bothers you, you can massage it daily and this will increase the breakdown. 

Q: How old should I castrate my kids/lambs?

A: This is a personal choice but keep in mind both sheep and goat can breed successfully at only 12 weeks old. This means that those cute little bucks you have will begin to urinate on themselves, mount every moving object in site and make gross noises. New research has shown that waiting to castrate means that the urethra has time to lengthen. Problems with urinary calculi lies 80% in food choices and 20% in time you choose to castrate. 

Q: Which method is better for castration: banding or surgical?

A: This is another personal choice. Banding is bloodless, and requires relatively no after care but has more long term pain involved (12-24 hours). Surgical is quick, but leaves an open wound that must be watched for proper drainage. A vet should surgically castrate under proper anesthesia.

Q: How often should hoofs be trimmed?

A: Every 8-12 weeks. With 8 weeks being recommended in winter and 12 weeks in a dry summer.

Q: What minerals should I use for my goats?

A: The best minerals for any goat is a loose mineral. The brand I recommend but is hard to find is Onyx brand minerals by Cargill. The seance best mineral is SweetLix Meat maker and the third if you can’t find either is Purina Goat minerals. Whatever you do just make sure it is loose minerals only and not a salt block.

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