Please ask yourself these questions before purchasing your first goats.
Have you owned goats before? Do you know that goats are herd animals and that you will need at least two? Have you taken time to think about the care and time it takes to own a goat? Did you know that they need to be dewormed and have their feet trimmed? Are you willing to go outside when it's 20 below zero to feed and water them?
Is your fencing strong enough to keep goats in and secure enough to keep predators out including dogs?
Do you have shelter for your goats? Goats need shelter from rain, wind and cold. Does who are kidding need extra care in keeping them and their newborn kids warm and dry.
Do you have a veterinarian that is familiar with goats? Start looking for a veterinarian before you have an emergency. Not every vet will care for goats or livestock. Get a vet lined up before you have an emergency.
What type of goat do you want? Pets? Home dairy? Show? or maybe all of the above?
Do you have a source for good quality, mold free hay?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions then you may not be ready to purchase a goat.
A few things to consider when purchasing a goat...
Does the breeder test for CAE, CL or Johnes...yes, these diseases are VERY real...and don't just take their word for it...ask to see RESULTS.
Does the breeder practice coccidia prevention?
Do any of the goats have runny noses?
Do you hear excessive coughing in the herd?
What condition are the goat's hooves in? Are they overgrown, foot rot present?
Are the pens clean or do they reak of ammonia? Do your eyes burn when you walk in the barn?
Run your hands over the goat you intend to purchase....any large bumps or lumps? Any hair missing?
Shiny coats usually indicate healthy goats, don't purchase an excessively over or under weight goat or a goat with manure plastered all over it's but.
Check to make sure your prospective purchase has two teats....either a buck or a doe.....goat's are not cows..only TWO should be present.
If you're buying a breeding buck check to make sure there are TWO testes....if you can only find one move on.
A respectable breeder will point out the flaws, if any, on your purchase, will not sell a breeding animal with more than two teats or less than two testicles.
Lastly, please quarantine your new purchase from your existing herd for at least a month, no matter where you purchase from.