Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yearly General Management Activities

This is a calendar recommending general management activities for meat goats related to the time of year. It comes from the Meat Goat News.

  • January
    • Evaluate range and forage conditions
    • Monitor body condition of does and supplement if necessary
    • Prepare for kidding
  • February
    • Sort pregnant from open does
    • Begin feeding pregnant does
    • Evaluate does and bucks, sell unsound or inferior animals
  • March
    • Begin kidding, check teat for milk flow, and identify kids
    • Separate singles from twins
    • If possible, pen individuals with their kids
    • Feed does to maintain milk production
  • April
    • Finish kidding
    • Continue to supplement lactating does
  • May
    • Consider weaning small, stunted kids
    • Discontinue supplemental feeding to does
    • Monitor internal parasites through fecal samples
  • June
    • Begin looking for replacement bucks with good conformation, structural correctness, muscling and a high weight for age
  • July
    • Continue selecting replacement bucks
    • Monitor internal parasites through fecal samples
  • August
    • Treat for internal and external parasites
    • Wean kids and supplement replacement does and bucks with high protein (%16) high energy feed
    • Select replacement does and bucks
    • Evaluate does and bucks
    • Sell unsound and inferior animals
    • Criteria for culling
      • Barren females - missed two seasons in a row
      • Bad teat or udders - too big or too small
      • Bad mouths
      • Structural defects - bad feet, legs, or back
      • Bad testicles - too small or infected (epididymides)
      • Unthriftiness - due to old age or disease
  • September
    • Begin flushing does and bucks
    • Flush with fresh green pasture or 1/2 lb. fead/head/day for 2-3 weeks before and after buck turnout
    • Treat for lice if necessary
  • October
    • Turn out bucks with does; breeding ratio of one buck per 20-25 does depending on pasture size and conditions
    • Continue to flush does for 2-3 weeks after buck turnout
  • November
    • Evaluate range and forage conditions
    • Determine does' body condition and plan winter supplemental feeding program
    • Monitor internal parasite through fecal samples. If heavy, treat after hard freeze
  • December
    • Remove bucks and feed to regain body condition
    • Watch body condition of does and supplement feed if needed
    • Check for lice and use pour-on lice treatment if needed

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