To be an excellent goat owner and caregiver, you have to know that there is more to taking care of a goat than just offering good food, water, and shelter. There are a whole lot of other activities involved which are quite interesting to carry out. These other activities offer your goat comfort and also help to ward off diseases and parasites that cause health problems for your goats.
Grooming your goat is one of the other activities, and it also helps you develop observation skills as you would need to monitor and notice every slight change or progress in your goat’s health. Grooming your goat often also helps to build a bond between you and your goat. It gives your goat a warm feeling of love and care.
Grooming Your Goat For The First Time
The time you spend grooming your goat has to be the best way to pass time with your goat, second to feeding, of course.
Grooming involves a bunch of routines that are enjoyable and also beneficial for the healthy and productive life of your goat. These grooming practices include;
You should brush your goat regularly to get out the dirt or dandruff. There are different grooming brushes available for you to use whichever way it applies to your routine. The hard brush is for brushing off the mud from the surface, the soft comb is used to evenly spread out oil on your goat’s coat, while the curry comb is for thumbing hidden dirt up to the surface. The use of the curry comb also gives the massaging effect to your goat, relaxing it. Be sure to use your hands to feel your goat’s body to know if it has any lumps or bumps that might be due to parasitic infections. If there are, you should comb these parts gently and carefully. You should always brush in the direction of your goat’s coat, along its neck, down its back and sides. Don’t neglect its chest, legs, and abdomen.
This helps to get rid of lice and external parasites that could cause harm to your goat. Goats don’t exactly like to bathe and so it is recommended that you use warm water for them, if you want to give them luxury. If you don’t have access to warm water, they can survive room temperature water just fine. Avoid bathing them in the cold weather so they don’t catch a cold. Wet your goat, lather it up with animal shampoo, and give it a good old scrubbing (make sure to use a collar for your goat when you are bathing it and be extremely careful if it is a baby goat), rinse your goat and leave it to dry naturally. You can only blow-dry your goat when you want to clip it immediately after bathing it. Bathing your goat helps to make clipping easier and keeps your blade sharp for a longer time.
This is the part where you cut short your goat’s hair. It helps your goat feel comfortable and at ease. During the winter, you should avoid clipping your goat as their hair keeps them warm. You can clip your goat’s hair during the warmer seasons to help your goat stay cool and give the sun access to its skin, warding off external parasites. You should consider clipping your goat’s tail area before the kidding period. This is to prevent fluid and blood from sticking to its tail and coat around the tail before, during, and after the kidding period. You should also clip the udder and the belly to prevent the hair from falling into the milk when you are milking your goat. To clip the tail, clip the sides of it and across the ends of it. Also, clip the inside top of its back legs and the vulva area. Whenever you clip, you should use a sharp blade to avoid stressing out your goat.
You should do this often to allow your goats to walk around comfortably. Overgrown hooves prevent your goat from walking comfortably which makes it resign to not moving around much. This resignation can cause your goat to develop joint problems.
If you don’t know how to go about any of these practices, you should involve an expert so you don’t make a mess of things or even harm your goat.
How often do I groom my goat? As for brushing, you should look forward to brushing down your goat every day. This helps to avoid the contamination of milk in dairy goats during the milking process. In any other type of goat, brushing helps to give them a neat appearance. Long-haired breeds of goats always get their hair tangled when they go out grazing in tall bushes and so regular brushing would help them look neat and this is easier than having to brush their very tangled hair later. Brushing can also be quite therapeutic for you and also your goat and it can help build a bond between you and your goat, if your goat is interested, that is.
In the summertime, you should clip your goat’s hair to keep it cool if you notice that it does not shed in time. You might not need to clip short-haired goats because, oh well, you don’t want to leave them looking naked. Clipping depends on the breed of goats you have. Always remember to clip when the new winter undercoat starts to grow.
Goats are known to dislike water but you as a goat owner may want to maintain good hygiene for your goat by bathing it. This should happen as often as you deem fit. It all depends on the environment your goat inhabits.
Hoof trimming in goats should be done in 6-8 weeks after the first trimming. This also depends on the environment, as your goat’s hooves would grow faster in soft terrain than in rocky terrain.
Grooming Supplies And Must-haves
There are a few items you must have to properly groom your goat.
This stand helps to hold your goat still while you trim their hooves.
Clippers are meant for giving your goat a haircut. It makes the job faster and smoother.
The scissors help to reach places where the clipper cannot get to or miss on the body of your goat.
Soap/ Animal shampoo
You can use soap to eliminate the germs and dirt in your goat’s coat, it can also be used to whiten the coat of your goat for a white goat. Whatever soap you use, be sure to use it a little at a time.
Like humans, your goat can catch a cold when you don’t dry them off after bathing them. You should use a towel to dry it off by rubbing it down.
Brushes and combs
There are different grooming brushes and combs used for brushing and combing or even massaging your goat’s body.
Hoof trimmers are meant for clipping the hooves of your goat. Giving it a perfect pedicure or manicure.
This gives the trimmed hoof a smooth finish, removing every rough edge and the chances of it catching on a loose thread or something that could be quite frustrating to get off its hoof.
This is just a plastic bath where you can ensure the proper washing of your goat’s hooves.
A bath mitt to give your goat some good scrubbing.
Goat Hoof Trimming
This is a very important part of grooming your goat. Just like you, your goat also needs a manicure and pedicure. This process should be carried out every 6-8 weeks after the first major trimming. How fast your goat’s hooves grow out depends on some factors like how active your goat is, the terrain of the environment, the weather condition, and their diet.
Hoof trimming is for the comfort of your goat, giving it the ease to move around without difficulty. Overgrown hooves could lead to health issues such as foot rot and joint problems from lack of use which would eventually result in lameness. When you trim your goat’s hooves, you should always remove the dirt and every foreign material sticking to it. Overgrown hooves house diseases and pathogens that are detrimental to the health of your goat.
It is advisable to trim after your goat has visited a wet pasture, as a result of rainfall or snowfall. Its hooves are softer and easier to trim.
Goat Brush Types
There are various brushes you can use for your goat.
- Mini wide range brush
- Natural fiber grooming brush
- Self-cleaning slicker brush
- Pocket brush
- Pigface brush
- Fashion brush
- Copper bristle brush
- Mini fluffer comb and lots more.
Our Two Choices Of Brush For Every Budget.
Bamboo Groom Palm-Held Brush For Pets.
The Alcott Bamboo Groom Palm-held Brush for Pets is durable and also easy to hold. It was designed with a grip support pad which helps to keep discomfort quite far from you during use. It does the job of removing surface debris and loose hair from your goat just fine. It can also be used on long-haired goats and it also helps to relax your goat.
- It is ergonomic
- It has a water-resistant finish
- It is suitable for all pet sizes.
- Bamboo construction may damage easily.
Tough 1 Great Grips Flex Finishing Brush.
The Tough 1 Great Grips Flex Finishing brush has a hand strap that can be adjusted to the comfort of the user. It has a flexible joint that allows the brush to fold into the contours of your goat. This way, you don’t miss any spots.
- It is adjustable
- It promotes comfort while in use
- It has flexible joints for ease of use.
- Bristles may be too hard for kids
Proper Goat Restraint
Usually, the best restraint is no restraint at all. This means it is better to train your goats on how to stay still without restraint from the start. They get used to it as they grow older, making your work easier.
To hold your goat still for medication or grooming, grab it by the skin beneath its chin, raise its head and hold it against anything solid. Be careful not to hold it too hard to avoid wounding it. In this position, you can easily restrain it with the appropriate instrument. Never restrain a goat by the neck to avoid the dangers of suffocation.
Goat grooming can be very interesting when you do it right.