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Weighing Goats

Managing Goat Nutrition What You Need To Know A Simple Guide

 

By Felicity

 

Whether you are keeping Boar, Lamancha, Nubian, Pygmy, Spanish or any other breed of goats you need to monitor your herd's health. As a goat farmer who keeps goats, or if you are keeping goats as pets, your preventative health care programme for goats, needs to include a weight monitoring schedule and system.

 

In order to monitor your goat's weight and to ensure that it is normal, record the details in your database and software. Comparing your goat's weight over a period of time will give you a good indication as to whether there are any health issues. You will be able to monitor a young kid growth, whether a young doe is big enough to breed, or if a pregnant doe is getting enough to eat. Loss of weight is often the first sign that something is wrong.

 

An easy way to weigh the goat is to hold the kid while you stand on a bathroom scale. Then weigh yourself without the kid. Subtract the second number from the first; the difference will be the kid's weight. If you raise dairy goats, use a dairy scale to weigh kids. Place a kid in a grocery bag with handles and hang the bag from the scale. Be sure to keep the kid's head outside the bag so it can breathe.

 

For larger goats that are too heavy to lift, you can still monitor their weight through estimation. Even though this will not be accurate, it will help you to indentify if the animal is gaining or losing weight. A good way to estimate a goat's weight is by measuring the goat's heart girth. This is the distance around the goat's middle, just behind its front legs and over its heart. It is best to measure a goat after it has been sheered so that its long hair doesn't influence your estimate. Watch the goat and ensure that the goat is standing on a level surface, with its legs solidly beneath it. Record the details in your software.

 

A dressmaker's tape measure can be used or you can obtain a weigh tape from a good goat supply catalogue. The weigh tape will automatically help you to convert the heart girth you have measured to estimate a realistic weight, whereas some calculations will be needed with the dressmaker's tape.

 

The type of breed that you have will also influence the rate of growth, as will the normal size of your goat breed, when they reach maturity. So take these factors into consideration when estimating. You may of course have more substantive weighing equipment on your farm or small holding that you use for other animals, or can adapt milk or other weighing equipment, to meet your needs of monitoring the weight of your goats.

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  External links:
American Dairy Goat Association
American Goat Society
Australian Miniature Goat Association Inc
British Goat Society
Dairy Goat Society of Australia
DEFRA
Give A Goat - Oxfam
Goat Farm India
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IM Goats
National Pygmy Goat Association
Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association
Pygmy Goat Club
Welfare of Goats During Transport
 
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