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VACTF Manual: Chapter 6: Animal Care Practices


Female - Doe
Male - Buck
Castrated male - Wether
Young animal, either sex - Kid

Basic Animal Care Standards

NOTE: Feed and water requirements will vary considerably depending on the age of the animal, its size, amount of exercise or work that it performs, and physiologic status (e.g. whether pregnant or lactating, climate, etc.)

Remember that The Department of Agriculture must be consulted before any enforcement action is taken involving livestock or poultry (Title 13, Section 354 (3) (a))

  • It is recommended that fresh, clean water be available at all times.

  • Should have good quality forage or mixed ration available or be able to graze adequate pasture. Supplemental grain should be provided if needed to meet the additional nutritional demands of lactation, gestation, growth, cold weather or to compensate for poor forage or pasture quality.

  • Salt block should be available - either white salt or trace mineralized salt (red block).

  • Should be provided with shelter that affords them protection from heavy rain, snow, and high wind. The shelter should also provide sufficient shade in the summer. (NOTE: According to Title 13, Section 365 (Shelter of Animals) "... all livestock... must be provided with... adequate natural shelter or a three-sided, roofed building with exposure out of the prevailing wind and of sufficient size to adequately accommodate all livestock maintained out-of-doors...")

  • Sanitary conditions should be maintained (that is, dry, clean bedding). Kids are especially susceptible to unsanitary conditions.

Additional recommendations

  • Should have hooves trimmed at least once a year.

  • Should be vaccinated for rabies, tetanus, and other diseases once a year.

  • Should be dewormed 2-4 times a year to prevent disease.

Signs of neglect/cruelty - what to look for

Appearance of animal: excessive hoof length (look to see if sides of hoof have overgrown and curled under the bottom of hoof); limping; animal "walking" on knees; very thin (normally should feel slight padding over bony areas.)

Housing Conditions: too many animals to permit free movement; lack of food, water, and shelter; overcrowding (insufficient manger space for the number of goats, a condition which causes the weakest goats to be excluded from the food source); wet conditions with no dry bedding or dry areas to lie down; filth.

Behavior: dull, minimally responsive, not interested in surroundings (well-cared for goats are very friendly and curious); drooping head; significant hair loss with biting at themselves and rubbing on objects to relieve itching from lice or mange; if overcrowded, and bucks are present, can butt each other.

If any of the elements above are present, arrange to have a veterinarian examine animals.

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