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Goats

 

What behaviors should we consider for goats?
Goats are a prey animal and have a flight response. Therefore move quietly and slowly around them.  They are a herd animal, and move in “wave” or “flow” patterns away from  threats. To move a large number of goats, move them down alleyways, make sure all gates are closed and the animals cannot escape.  Goats tend to move away from approaching humans in a confined area, which creates a risk of panic.They will also panic if separated from the herd, and may leap into solid objects (fence, wall, you) in an effort to escape.  Males can be aggressive use caution and never turn your back on them. 

Goat behavior
Small goat herd

What environmental conditions should we consider for goats?
Provide fresh water and food, good ventilation; clean bedding free of dust and ammonia.

Comfortable Goats
Comfortalbe show goats

What is the proper way to hold or restrain a goat?
Most goats at shows have been collar broke and taught to lead.  If they get loose; crowd the goat against a wall with your arms outstretched. Use caution as the can leap into you or rear up and injure you.  Place one hand in front of the animal under the chin and one at the base of the tail.  The tail can be used as a “go button” and lifting the chin up the animal will stop.  Goats can also be lead with one hand under the chin and the other hand placed behind the ears, lifting the chin to stop, and placing one’s body in front of the animal to prevent forward movement. 

goat handling
Well trained goat stands quietly

What should we look for to identify a sick goat?
Observe the goat in the trailer looking for panting, droopy ears and overall dullness suggestive of heat stress.  If the animal has a blanket on it have the exhibitor remove the clothing for the examination.  Check the face; lips, mouth, nose, eyes, and ears for any lesions, discharge or abnormalities.   Run your hands across the animal, checking the lymph nodes and looking for any lumps and or abscess.  Part the hair in various places looking for parasites and fungus.  Run your hands down each leg and hoof checking for heat, swelling, lesions or abscesses.  Check  for diarrhea and the genitalia for swelling, discharge or abnormalities.  Change your gloves or wash your hands before moving onto another group of commingled animals.

chek goats mouth
Examine goats to check for illness