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Handling of Goats: Efficient Handling of 20 Goats

Handling of Goats: A Guide to Proper Care and Management

Goats, with their unique characteristics and playful nature, are a valuable addition to farms and homesteads. Handling these charming creatures requires a blend of patience, understanding, and proper techniques. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the art of goat handling, covering topics ranging from castration to hoof care. So, let’s jump right in and explore the world of goat care.

Introduction to Handling of Goats

Goats, known for their curious and independent nature, can be a delight to work with. Whether you’re a seasoned farmer or a newbie, understanding the basics of goat handling is crucial for the well-being of both the animals and yourself. From ensuring their comfort to effectively managing their behaviors, this article will guide you through the entire process.

Ideal Methods for Handling

When it comes to handling goats, a gentle approach yields the best results. Goats respond well to consistent routines and positive interactions. They can be trained to come when called, especially during feeding times or milking sessions. However, it’s important to avoid holding them by their horns or ears, as this can cause discomfort and stress. Using neck or head collars is preferable, as it minimizes distress and allows for smoother handling.

Handling of Goats
Handling of Goats

Castration of Bucks

Castration is a common practise in goat farming, primarily aimed at improving the quality of meat and overall growth. It’s usually done when bucks are 2 to 4 weeks old, although it can be successful at later stages too. The Burdizzo’s castrator is a widely used tool for this procedure. Careful attention must be paid to passing the spermatic cord of each testis in two places, ensuring they are half an inch apart. The testis should be held by hand in a way that prevents it from getting near the hinge of the castrator. While some swelling may occur after castration, it typically subsides within 2 to 3 days.

Advantages of Castration

Castrating goats offer several advantages, benefiting both the animals and the farmers. Firstly, the meat’s palatability increases, making it more appealing to consumers. Additionally, castrated goats experience a rapid increase in body weight, resulting in higher market value. The quality of their skin also improves, adding to their overall appeal. From a financial standpoint, the profit derived from castrated goats is consistently higher, making castration a smart choice for goat farmers.

Dehorning Techniques

Dehorning is a practice undertaken to manage horned and polled (hornless) goats in the same space. Ideally done within the first week of birth, dehorning prevents potential injuries to other goats and handlers. Caustic potash is often used for this procedure. By removing horns early on, goat owners ensure a safer environment for all animals involved.

Care of Goat Feet

Overgrown hooves can be a significant source of discomfort for goats. Neglecting proper hoof care can lead to deformities and arthritis in their later years. To prevent these issues, it’s essential to trim the hooves regularly when they become overgrown. This simple practice goes a long way in maintaining the overall health and well-being of the goats.

Marking Goats

Marking goats is a crucial step in goat management, aiding in identification and record-keeping. There are three common methods for marking goats: ear-tattooing, ear-tagging, and ear-notching. These procedures should be carried out within the first week after kidding to ensure accurate identification and easy tracking.


In conclusion, the art of handling goats requires a blend of patience, knowledge, and compassion. By following the proper techniques for castration, dehorning, hoof care, and marking, you can ensure the well-being of your goats and create a safer, more efficient farming environment. Remember, happy and healthy goats contribute to a successful and rewarding farming experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is castration necessary for all goats?
    Castration is a common practice, especially for meat production, but its necessity depends on your specific farming goals.
  2. What’s the best way to train goats to come when called?
    Consistent feeding times and positive reinforcement are effective methods to train goats to respond to their names.
  3. Are there any risks associated with dehorning goats?
    Dehorning, if not done correctly, can lead to infection or injury. It’s essential to follow proper techniques and care.
  4. How often should I trim my goat’s hooves?
    Hooves should be trimmed approximately every 4-6 weeks, depending on the rate of growth and the goat’s activity level.
  5. Can ear markings cause discomfort to goats?
    When done correctly, ear markings cause minimal discomfort and are essential for identification and management purposes.

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