If you are new to the world of goats and are getting ready to dive into being a first-time goat owner you need to have some goat supplies on hand to set yourself up to success. Below we’ll break up our list of must-have goat supplies into categories so it’s easier to go through.
Goats are fabulous for small farms, or homesteads if you don’t have the room for a milk cow or even just as pets. But before you get your new goats you’re going to need some basic goat equipment beyond fencing and housing for your new herd:
Goat Supplies: General Care
Depending on whether you have full-size goats or Nigerian Dwarf (or another dwarf breed of goats) will really help decide on the type of feeder you use. We raise Nigerian Dwarf goats so it’s really important to have short feeders for our herd.
Here are some great goat feeder options for your herd:
Water buckets and throughs:
Fresh water is very important, goats are very picky so make sure you use a bucket or through that is easy to dump, clean, and refill. I like to use rubber buckets for stalls and a large but short-through so my short Nigerian Dwarf girls and their kids can easily drink- this will not be a big deal if you have a full-size breed.
Goats like warm water in the winter (one of the reasons I love using rubber is it’s easy to break the ice in and refill) and nice cool water on hot days.
Here are some great options for your goat supplies:
Every goat owner has their own opinion on what goats need, but the general rule of thumb is as much forage as you can offer them (it should be noted that goats are browsers much like deer and like to browse for choice leaves instead of grazing, I’ve heard goat owners say their herds won’t eat grass- personally I have never had that problem my girls eat the grass in their pasture.)
Be aware if you have trees in your goat pasture that you want to keep protect them by staking fencing away from the trunk so your goats can’t eat the bark off the tree (a favorite with goats).
Hay: In most if not all cases good quality hay is an absolute must goat supplies to have on hand. Especially if you are raising dairy goats in the winter. Goats are notorious for being very picking on what type of hay they will eat so you may need to try a few varieties.
Grass hay, such as timothy, orchard, brome, and bluegrass, is suitable maintenance hay for goats. If your raising dairy goats however it’s recommended to feed alfalfa hay while they are in milk.
Grain: Generally you shouldn’t need to supplement with grain, especially for bucks. It’s generally recommended not to feed Bucks grain at all.
I feed my Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats goat chow from a local mill while they are on the milk stand. Once they are dried up for the season I stop feeding them this all together until they are back in milk.
Mineral: Goats need constant access to a high-quality mineral, you can find this specially made for goats at any of your local farm supplies or it can be ordered online.
I use a loose mineral that contains copper that is specially made just for goats to help prevent copper deficiency and meet all their nutritional needs. You’ll need a mineral feeder to give this to your herd, this can be as simple as a bucket, or a DIY project or you can buy something.
If you are planning to raise sheep & goats together you’ll need to buy a mineral that doesn’t have copper in it and give your goats only a copper supplement.
Some other great things to have among your goat supplies for your herd are:
- Baking Soda (baking soda can be offered free choice as a way to prevent bloat in your herd, offer it the same way you would their mineral).
- Kelp (kelp is optional but something I feed my herd kelp free choice and they love it.)
- Diatomaceous Earth (not everyone agrees with the use of this, so do your own diatomaceous earth research and make up your own mind if you want to use it for your flock. I choose to mix a small amount in my herd’s food while milking).
- Goat treats
Goat Supplies: Dairy Goats
If you plan on raising goats for milk AKA dairy goats you’ll need a few more goat supplies on hand:
- milk stand
- stainless steel seamless bucket or pail with a lid
- glass gallon or half-gallon jars
- milk machine (optional)
Check out our entire list of milking supplies you should have.
Goat Supplies: Tools
Hoof Trimmers: this is something you always want in your goat supplies. You can find them at your local farm supply or online. Keep them clean and sharp for trimming your herds hoofs. You can get just the trimmer, or you can buy a hoof-trimming kit. Either option will work.
Clippers: clippers are a great thing to have in your goat supplies to give your herd their spring clips when the hot weather begins to arrive (or before they kid). Clipping your goat’s coats also helps to prevent lice.
Rectal Thermometer: This is a really important item to have your goat supplies, you can tell so much about what is going on with your goat by checking their temperature.
Grooming Brush: Regular grooming is a way to eliminate or prevent lice in your goats.
Drencher: A 20 or 30 ml drencher is indispensable for administering drugs or dewormers orally to goats.
Goat Supplies: Health Care Supplies & Essential Oils
20 & 22 Gauge Needles: 20 and 22 gauge needles (the larger the gauge, the finer the needle) in 3/4″ to 1″ lengths usually handle any injections that they need. The larger 20 gauge needle should be used for thicker injectables.
Syringes: Luer lock 3 ml and 6 ml syringes will cover most needed injections. These smaller syringes are appropriate for dosages sized for Nigerian Dwarf goats.
Blood Stop Powder: This is important to have among your goat supplies, you can use this if you accidentally cut to deep trimming hooves.
Nutridrench: This is another great thing to have among your goat supplies, it gives your goats a quick energy boost to stressed goats. It’s filled with vitamins and minerals to help a sick goat recover. The recommended dosage is on the back of the bottle including how much to give to goats going into the show ring.
Activated Charcoal: This is used to absorb toxins when a goat has consumed something poisonous. It’s really important to have this in your goat supplies because you may not have time to go get it.
Baby Asprin: Baby aspirin is to be given to goats to relieve pain, lower a high fever, or reduce inflammation. To administer baby aspirin, simply dissolve it in warm water and give it as an oral drench. Make sure to use real aspirin. Ibuprofen and Tylenol should NOT be used for goats.
Milk of Magnesia: This acts as a laxative used to relieve constipation, a toxic reaction, or other indigestion from overeating or improper feeding. Make sure your goats are well hydrated while using this, you can use it with the electrolyte mix if you need to.
Probios or Probiotics: These are two name brands for probiotic products that you should include in your goat supplies. These products reintroduce beneficial organisms to the goat’s rumen, aid digestion, and help maintain proper rumen function.
It’s recommended that you give your goats one of these products after any antibiotic treatment or treatment for diarrhea, (you can also give it to your herd in any situation which causes the goat stress.
Vegetable Oil/Corn Oil: It can also be used to ease constipation or bloat in your goat. Don’t use Mineral oil however, is NOT suitable because it has no taste and goats may aspirate it into their lungs.
Vitamin B Complex: This complex is used to encourage the appetite of goats that are not eating well. This is administered subcutaneously (aka SQ) AKA an injection just under the skin, and can be found in most farm stores or online.
Before you go, check these out!