Monday, December 26, 2011

Give the Gift of Good health for Your goat

Give your goat the gift of good health by learning how to perform a 4-Point Circular Health Check. An important part of properly caring for your goats is being able to distinguish when they're unhealthy and need some extra care. Many ailments can be caught and then treated by performing a simple visual inspection of your animal with the Circular Health Check about once a week. The Circular Health check starts at the top of the goat and goes all the way around. 

Eyes — A goat's eyes should be bright and clear. If they're watery, runny, red, or filled with mucus, there could be problems.
Nose — The nose should be soft, wet. Watch out for any discharge or a dry or cracked nose.
Ears — Be on the lookout for mites, excessive buildup of dust or dirt or other mangy looking things.
Mouth — A goat's mouth can have problems similar to a human's mouth. Their gums should be pinkish, not red, inflamed, or bleeding. You may also be able to smell an infection on their breath. Although a goat's breath will smell like the grains, flowers, or other feed they are eating, a particularly rotten smell may call for a deeper inspection. Checking out a goat's mouth is very necessary because of the things they eat or chew on that can puncture their gums and cause an infection.

Hair — Working your way back along the body, inspect your goat's skin and hair. The skin should be bright and pliable. Hair should look healthy and shiny, not dry and brittle. Any sections of missing hair could have been rubbed off by the goat because of itchy external parasites. Missing or thinning hair could also be a sign of mineral deficiency.
Tail — Check a goat's tail for hair loss and make sure it isn't infected.

Anus — Make sure you're checking under the tail at your goat's anus. Dry fecal matter could mean diarrhea. The feces should be normal round pellets and not loose or runny.
Specific cautions:
Rectal or vaginal prolapse — Prolapse is when the inner organs get out of place and begin to fall out of the anus or the vagina. If a doe has had a difficult time having a kid, be particularly aware of vaginal prolapse. Always call a vet if you see signs of a prolapse! Also watch for infections resulting in discharge from the vagina. Reproductive tract infections could cause fertility issues down the road.
Mastitis — Mastitis is an infection inside of the mammary gland and is generally the result of unsanitary bedding and/or milking procedures. The teats will be red and sore. Your goats may also have clotted material coming out in the milk. Even if you're not milking your goats, mastitis is something to be aware of, as untreated mastitis can result in loss if udder function.
Urinary Calculi — Male goats are more likely to have urination problems, so watch them to see if they are straining to urinate. This is likely a sign of urinary calculi, stones in the urinary tract. If a goat is straining to urinate, get a veterinarian immediately!! This is an emergency!!

Legs — Legs should be straight and free of bony growths or blemishes. The animal should move with an easy, normal gait.
Hooves — Goats' hooves should be pliable and strong and not brittle or cracked. Also check their toes, which may need a trimming. If your goats are primarily on soft surfaces they may need a trim once a month.

Always be aware of the way your goats are moving and acting. If they're less lively than normal and keeping their heads down, it is a sign they're not feeling 100 percent.

After you've gotten used to doing regular visual checks on your goats, it will become second nature. You'll become used to your animal's normal appearance and should ask yourself if anything looks different. If you do identify a problem with your goat, be sure to speak with your veterinarian right away to avoid any further problems.

A library of past issues of Better Animal E—zines and an introductory video is maintained and can be accessed by clicking here. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pygmy Goats

Goat Breeds — An Online Goat Resource

Anyone who raises goats or is considering having goats, has a specific reason or expectation in mind from the venture. Different breeds of goats are raised for various purposes, such as for their meat or milk, or as work animals. Some are raised for the fiber used from their coats in the manufacture of cashmere or mohair clothing and accessories. Goat breeds have different characteristics, as well, and some people find a goat makes a lively and delightful pet. Before beginning a goat raising project or looking for a pet, first decide what results are desired, and then it will be possible to find the breed best suited for that particular situation.

Pygmy Goats

Pygmy goats are small domestic goats whose ancestors were originally from the Cameroon Valley of West Africa. The African goats were bred with Swedish goats and became a popular attraction in European zoos. Imported to the United States in 1959, this new breed of goat soon became highly desired as pets and as attractions in American petting zoos.
Pygmy goats are usually 16 to 23 inches tall. Females can weigh anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds, and males usually weigh between 60 to 86 pounds. Unlike other goat breeds, pygmies are characterized by very short legs, broad faces and stocky bodies. Their coats can be black, caramel, solid black, grey agouti, black agouti and brown agouti. Agouti is a term that refers to the pattern of white intermingled with another color. Goats that have agouti markings also have solid-colored marks on their legs. These marks are known as stockings. These stockings are black on the grey and black agouti goats, and they are brown on the brown agoutis.
Unlike most dairy goats, pygmies are able to breed several times throughout the year, and they can have anywhere from one to four kids at a time. The typical gestation period is about five months. Because of their frequent breeding abilities, pygmies are able to produce milk throughout the year. Young goats can go into heat when they are only two months old, so females are separated from males at an early age. If a male goat is going to be kept as a pet, he is usually neutered while he is still quite young.
Although pygmies can be used to provide milk, they are primarily kept as pets and used in petting zoos. Pygmies are known for their gentle nature and high intelligence, and they are very easy to care for. For the most part, they are also very healthy animals, and they are able to resist many different diseases. Pygmies can easily adapt to any climate, and they do not require a lot of space. If goats are kept as part of a herd, they do best in their own barn. Some owners even keep their pet goats inside with them, and others use a large dog house to shelter their pygmy.
Pygmy goats do need to be kept in a secure area because they are easily preyed upon by other animals. Their short legs are not good for running far, so pet dogs should not be allowed to chase them. Like most herd animals, pygmies hate to be alone, and they do best when they are raised with a companion. The companion can be another goat, or it can even be a dog or cat. Pygmies typically graze on grass and other plants outside, and they also like to eat hay. Some owners feed their goats special goat feed, but food that is meant for other animals or humans should not be used. Pygmies also need fresh, clean water, and they have been known to refuse water that is dirty or stale.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Does Ultra-Sounded 12/20/11

Now accepting deposits on 2012 kiddings.

Ulta-Sounded Pregnant - E- mail for deposit form

  1. Fir Meadow Yesica bred to Fir Meadow Born In The USA 
  2. Desert Willow She's Got Finesse II - Bred to Proverbial Pygmies Pursuit
  3. Bowler Farms Amelia bred to Fir Meadow Born in The USA
  4. Little Eden's Sweet Ghirardelli bred to B/C Pygmies Barney
  5. Bowler Farms Kisseybaby bred to Proverbial Pygmies Pursuit
  6. Hammork Family Farm Snickerdoodle bred to Proverbial Pygmies Pursuit
  7. Amber Waves A Simple Wish bred to Desert Suns A Major Affair
  8. Twilight Ranch Cover-girl bred to Hindsquarters Farm Austin 
  9. Proverbial Pygmies Amelia bred to Proverbial Pygmies Pursuit
  10. Amber Waves Winter Solstice bred to Desert Suns A Major Affair
  11. Jamba's Pygmies Felicity bred to Jamba's Pygmies Little Saint Nick

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Beginning With Goats

Missouri Beginning Farming: Goats Require Minimal Investment But ...
There are several major benefits to raising meat goats according to Dr. Jodie Pennington, ...Raising goats requires minimal costs for facilities and investment. ...

Amber Waves Bill Durham - SOLD

Amber Waves Bill Durham and Amber Waves Diva (Great Pyrenees Livestock Puppy)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Minerals For Goats

Minerals for Meat Goats

Expert Author Ken Ziemer
Meat goats need to have certain minerals in order to stay healthy, to grow normally, to reproduce, and to have normal offspring. Minerals required by goats can be grouped into two categories based on the amounts needed in the diet. Macro minerals are needed in small quantities and trace mineral are needed in very small quantities. An article, by Dr. Steve Hart, on the Langston University website, lists seven macro minerals and eight trace mineral that are required by goats. Meat goat producers do not really need to know what these minerals are and how much is needed by goats since the major feed manufactures produce mineral supplements for goats, cattle, and sheep that contain all of the needed minerals at recommended levels for the areas in which these supplements are sold (the levels needed for some minerals depend on mineral levels in the soils at the location.) If fed free choice, goats will eat the right amounts to meet their mineral needs. These amounts will vary depending on the forages and feeds available to the goats. We prefer to use loose minerals because they are easier for the goats to eat and if fed in a properly designed mineral feeder will cause less contamination with goat manure. Goats like to paw at mineral blocks with their feet, and their feet are always full of goat manure. Goat manure is contaminated with internal parasite larva and eggs.

While good mineral supplements are very expensive per pound, goats will only need and eat very small amounts of them. It does not cost very much to feed a high-phosphorus, loose cattle mineral to goats free choice. We have been doing this for forty-five years with very good results. The mineral requirements of cattle and goats are the same, but cattle minerals are much less expensive than goat minerals. Do not use sheep minerals for goats because sheep minerals do not have enough copper for goats. The amount of copper needed by goats and cattle would be toxic to sheep.
The ratio of calcium (Ca) to phosphorus (P) in the diet of a goat is very important. It needs to be two parts calcium to one part phosphorus. This is a Ca to P ratio of 2 to 1. Remember this ratio is for the goat's total diet, not for the mineral supplement. Limestone is the main source of calcium for feed manufactures. Since limestone is cheaper than other feed ingredients and most grains and protein supplements have a lower than 2 to 1 ratio of Ca to P, most manufactured feeds have their Ca to P ratios adjusted to 2 to 1 by adding limestone. Thus manufactured feeds are neutral for Ca to P ratio. If a goats entire diet consists of manufactured feed (not a good way to feed goats) one might feed a mineral supplement with a 2 to 1 ratio, but check the feed label first because the feed may already have all the minerals that goats need added to it.

Most legumes (alfalfa, white clover, red clover, and lespedeza) have six to one, calcium to phosphorous ratios. Most grasses have two to one ratios. Legumes remove nitrogen from the air and add it to the soil. Thus legumes are high in protein and so are grasses growing with legumes. It is good to have legumes in pastures and hay, but goats fed legumes need a high phosphorous mineral supplement. Cattle, which are natural grazers, can tolerate higher calcium to phosphorous ratios than goats which are natural browsers. Goats will not eat white clover unless they have a high phosphorous mineral supplement free choice. We use a high phosphorous cattle mineral that is twelve percent calcium and twelve percent phosphorous (a 1 to 1 ratio.) We feed it free choice allowing the goats to balance their own Ca to P ratios. How much they eat depends on the types of forages they are eating.
It is reported that too much phosphorous relative to the calcium in the diet of goats can cause renal calculi (kidney stones.) In wethers and bucks these stones get lodged in the urethra often causing death. Our experience with feeding a high phosphorous mineral free choice for forty-five years has been that, as long as the goats have plenty of good quality forages free choice, plenty of clean water, and we do not feed any concentrate feeds containing less than eighteen percent fiber, our goats do not have any problems with renal calculi.

Ken Ziemer, author, has a bachelor's degree in agriculture. He started raising goats in 1962. His wife Candy was raised on a dairy goat farm and has worked with goats all her life. They have farmed and raised goats in Arkansas since 1967.hey are breeding Boer goats for hardiness, fertility, resistance to internal parasites, and efficient meat production on pastures. For more information on feeding meat goats check out their website, Critter Ridge Hardy Boer Meat Goats.

Article Source:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Brown Agouti Male Born 12/14/11 - For Sale (Just in time for Xmas)Amber Waves

Amber Waves Coming Home  (Pending)
DOB: 12/14/11 - Brown Agouti Buck
Sire: B/C Pygmies Barney
Dam: Bowler Farms Luchia

This guy is extremely flashy!  Lots of personality.  Can go as a bottle baby or when completely weaned.  His color is rare.  Partial belly band.

Double click on pedigree to enlarge.

Double Click to Enlarge

E-mail for more information or call   Jim's Cell  (951) 233-4231

A GIGGLE with the GOATS Jingle Bells Holiday Performance

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sydell has great goat products! Check them out and order a free catalog.

Love their products we have several feeders and two stanchions from them!
Check out our Holiday Special online at

We are proud of our quality and workmanship and that our products are made in the USA right here in Burbank, SD

FROM DEC. 11-31, 2011
Order between $250-$499, the freight will only be $50.00
Order between $500-$1499, the freight will only be $80.00
Order over $1500, the freight will only be $120.00

Even though our website will show a freight charge, we will adjust the freight according to your order size. This is for delivery within the continental U.S. only. Just click "ADD TO CART" on this Holiday Special and we will take it from there. No other discounts, specials or gift certificates apply.

Happy Holidays

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Better Animals - Electronic Newsletter - Goat - November 2011

GOAT TIPS    Source | Nutrition for Every Goat Lifestyle

Goats are increasing in popularity as backyard pets. Their affectionate and curious nature quickly allows them to become part of the family. For hobby goats, Purina® Goat Chow® feed makes an excellent feed when fed along with quality hay or pasture. The amount of Purina® Goat Chow® feed can be varied depending on overall body condition to maintain goats in excellent health. And to give your goats a nutritious treat, provide Purina® Goat Chow® Mineral free choice.

When raising show goats, besides growth performance, you also want animals to look their very best. Purina® Show Chow® Goat Ration provides not only the protein and energy needed to build muscle mass, its high fat formula with Availa 4® minerals and Tasco® provides nutrients needed for a shiny hair coat. The complete pelleted formula means nothing else needs to be added.

The objective with meat goats is to allow them to grow and build muscle as quickly as possible. A complete pelleted feed like Purina® Meat Goat 16% will provide all of the energy and protein needed for optimum muscle growth. The high-fiber complete pellet makes it a convenient feed for dry-lot situations. The inclusion of ammonium chloride helps minimize the incidence of urinary calculi (also known as water belly).

Goats raised in a confined or wet environment, are more likely to suffer from coccidiosis. Feeding a goat feed medicated with Deccox or Rumensin may help prevent coccidiosis.

Lactating dairy goats require extra protein, energy, minerals and vitamins to support milk production. An excellent dairy goat feeding program will be Purina® Goat Chow® goat ration fed along with long stemmed high-quality hay or pasture. Feed 1 lb of Purina® Goat Chow® goat ration for every three pounds of milk produced, along with access to plenty of high quality forage.

For kid goats, Purina® Goat Chow® goat ration makes an excellent creep feed. Provide Goat Chow® goat ration free choice in a creep feeder starting at two weeks of age. For young kids from 4 weeks to 4 months of age, feed measured amounts of Goat Chow® goat ration, up to 1.5% of body weight. Feed with good quality roughage to all goats after weaning.

Goats are excellent at utilizing brush and browse that other animals will not consume. When goats are grazing pasture or brush, Purina® Goat Chow® Mineral makes an excellent supplement. Goat Chow® Mineral fed free choice will provide the extra minerals and vitamins plus salt to help stimulate water intake. It's highly palatable and gives goats the mineral supplementation they need, when they need it.

Animals become infected by grazing on pastures seeded with droppings from infected goats. The first signs of infection are lethargy and rough hair coat. Animals that lose weight, have a poor appetite and in many cases diarrhea, may already be in various stages of anemia (pale lips, tongue and mucous membrane of the eyes) as a result of parasite infection. Preventative treatment for worms is easy. Your veterinarian can recommend a worming schedule that is best for your goats and the area you live. Young kids and adults should be grazed on separate pastures and newly purchased animals should be treated for parasites and quarantined from the herd for at least two weeks.

Back to top
GET TO KNOW | Purina® Goat Chow® Goat Mineral

To best meet your goat's nutritional needs and to avoid potential toxicities, always use a goat-specific mineral supplement. Purina® Goat Mineral is a uniquely formulated mineral supplement that provides a concentrated source of salt, trace minerals, and vitamins. It is rich in nutrients that are essential for proper development and the well-being of goats of all ages and breeds. Additionally, giving your goat Purina® Goat Mineral stimulates water intake and helps minimize the risk of urinary calculi.
  • Copper and zinc—for supple skin and a healthy coat
  • Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D—for strong bone and hoof development and excellent milk production
  • Potassium, sodium, sulfur, iron, cobalt, iodine and manganese—for overall good health
  • Vitamin E and selenium—for strong muscle development and healthy immune system maintenance
  • Coarse particle—for less waste and dust
Remember that feed consumption will vary with life stage, environment and activity. Also, be sure adequate amounts of fresh, clean water are always available. This product is available regionally, so please check with your local Purina dealer for ordering details.

Note: This product contains copper and should not be fed to sheep.
*with added vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients 

Please do not reply to this email. Contact Us
Better Animals®
10715 Kahlmeyer Dr.
St. Louis, MO  63132

Friday, December 2, 2011

Beyond chickens and bees: Urban farmers try goats

Beyond chickens and bees: Urban farmers try goats
USA Today
Successful efforts to legalize chickens in cities such as Chicago and New York paved the way, with ducks and bees gaining ground in many places too. But goats? It's been two hooves forward, one hoof back as the idea has spread to more cities. ...
See all stories on this topic »

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Amber Waves Will Be Open For Visitors - November 25-27, 2011 - Regular Hours

Click the above link to book an appointment to visit Amber Waves Pygmy Goats.

Welcome Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox as one of our newest pygmy goat customers at Amber Waves Pygmy Goats.

Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green
Welcome Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox as one of our newest pygmy goat customers at Amber Waves Pygmy Goats.

Megan Denise Fox (born May 16, 1986) is an American actress and model. She began her acting career in 2001 with several minor television and film roles, and played a regular role on Hope & Faith. In 2004, she launched her film career with a role in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. In 2007, she was cast as Mikaela Banes, the love interest of Shia LaBeouf's character, in the blockbuster film Transformers, which became her breakout role. Fox reprised her role in the 2009 sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Later in 2009, she starred as the titular lead character in the film Jennifer's Body.

Fox is considered a sex symbol and frequently appears on men's magazine "Hot" lists, including Maxim and FHM

Brian Austin Green (born July 15, 1973) is an American actor, best known for his portrayal of David Silver on the television series Beverly Hills, 90210, a role he played from 1990 to 2000.[1] Green also starred in the sitcom Freddie and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.[1][2] Since 2009, he has appeared in a recurring role on Smallville as Metallo.[3] Green is married to actress Megan Fox.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Proverbial Pygmies So Undercover Arrives Home

Welcome one of our New Junior Buck Kids

Proverbial Pygmies So UnderCover
DOB: 3/8/11

Proverbial So Under Cover
DOB: 3/8/11

For Sale Breeding Doe - Possibly Bred

Desert Willow Allison

Desert Willow Allison

Desert Willow Allison

DOB: 3/16/07 - Grey/Brown Agouti
Sire: PGCH Proverbial Pygmies Illusion
Dam: PGCH Sierra's Rainbow Alice Anne+
Currently in with Proverbial Pygmies Pursuit for breeding.

Picture above Proverbial Pygmies Pursuit


2 Weaned Pygmy Doe Kids For Sale! Can hold till Xmas!



Can hold till Christmas with payment

Two - Weaned Doe Kids Available
Listed 11/20/11

Jamba's Pygmies Aurora DOB: 3/21/11 - Grey Agouti Doe (Female)
Sire: Jamba's Pygmies Ace of Cakes
Dam: Pygmy Goats by T.J. Alyssa
Beautiful doe kid, excellent show potential
Ready to Go now.

Jamba's Pygmies Little Miss
DOB: 3/19/11 - Grey Agouti Doe Kid  (Female)
Sire: PGCH MD Pygmy's Johnny Cash
Dam: Jamba's Pygmies Steeling Cinderella
Beautiful doe kid, excellent show potential
Ready to Go now.


Contact us for more information  Ship nationwide and internationally

Friday, November 11, 2011

For Sale - Rare Opportunity To Purchase a Weaned Pygmy Doe Kid (SOLD TO CONNETICUT)

Due to a customers problems with relocation this doe kid is for sale.  It is very rare for us to have a weaned doe kid for sale.  She is weaned, registered, had her first shots, worming, dehorned and cocci treatment and is ready to go.  This is her baby picture will try and get current pictures this weekend.
Both of her parents are brown agouti so she has the genetics to produce brown agouti.

Picture taken less than 24 hours of age.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Amber Waves Marley and Me Kids 10/26/11

Amber Waves Cool Hand Luke

Amber Waves Dirty Harry

Both babies sold advance deposit. 
 Sire: Desert Suns A Major Affair
Dam: Amber Waves Marley and Me

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Amber Waves new full color pygmy goat brochure - now available for viewing in a flip book.

Second doe for Sale (SOLD)

Animal Haven Help Me Rhonda
Grey Agouti doe kid with white on LF Front Foot
DOB: 5/7/11
Sire: White Hills Zane Grey
Dam; Animal Haven Califonria Girl
More Information:  Click Here
Comments:  Nice doe I had her shipped down from Washington State.  Breeder is an
NPGA judge.
Price: $495.00

Subject to Prior Sale
Ship nationwide and internationally

We accept all major credit cards, PayPal, Checks and Cash

Offering 2 Does for Sale First Time - First doe (SOLD)

Amber Waves The Last Kiss
Caramel Doe - DOB: 2/6/08
Sire: Champion  Desert Willow The Majestic
Dam: Critter Craze Ranch Flower
More Information - Click Here
Comments:  Keeping a daughter and her sister.
Proven Brooddoe has been exposed to a buck.
Price: $500.00

More Information E-mail:
Subject to prior sale

Ship Nationwide and Internationally
We accept major credit cards, PayPal, and Checks

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bring Out Your Chickens and Mini Goats (San Diego, CA)

Bring Out Your Chickens and Mini Goats
Voice of San Diego
San Diego city planners have proposed rule changes that would make it easier to keep backyard chickens and for residents to become urban farmers. Posted: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 6:50 pm | Updated: 8:48 pm, Tue Oct 4, 2011. by Adrian Florido San Diego ...
See all stories on this topic »

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hand Painted and Crafted Original Art, Goat and Livestock Art, Goat ...

Hand Painted and Crafted Original Art, Goat and Livestock Art, Goat ...
Hand Painted and Crafted Original Artwork... goat gifts, goat art, Pygmy goats, Dairy goats, all goats...horses, cows, livestock, cat and dog artwork. Portraits of a ...

Vet Ultra-Sounded 10/4/11


  • Caliche Corral Hot Crystal
  • Twilight Ranch Jewels By Tiffany
  • Bowler Farms Luchia
  • Little Eden's Sweet Ghirardelli
  • Picture Perfect All American Girl
  • Amber Waves Marley and Me
  • Dessert Willow Allison

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Everything you need to get ready for fall kidding is here at Hoegger Supply, and up to 50% off!


 Everything you need to get ready for fall kidding is here at Hoegger Supply, and up to 50% off!

From vaccines to disbudding, Hoegger has all the items you need to be ready for those early kids you may have on their way. It's also the perfect time to check your list and plan ahead for the kids that will drop in late winter and early spring. Get your supplies now so you won't need expedited shipping when you get busy with the new additions to the farm! Click here to check out our entire line of kidding products! Click Like Fall Kidding Sale at Hoegger Supply on Facebook to share this with your Facebook friends.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Does Due To Kid At Amber Waves (October - December 2011)

Now accepting deposits
  • Amber Waves The Last Kiss (Caramel)
    bred to Desert Suns A Major Affair (Caramel)
  • Desert Willow Allison (Brown Agouti)
    bred to Proverbial Pygmies Pursuit (Silver Agouti)
  • Desert Willow She's Got finesse II
    (Brown Agouti Bred to Desert Suns A Major Affair (Brown Agouti)
  • Bowler Farms Kisseybaby
    (Black Agouti) Bred to Desert Suns A Major Affair (Caramel)
  • Bowler Farms Luchia
    (Grey Agouti) Bred to B/C Pygmies Barney)
  • Amber Waves Marley and Me
    (Agouti) bred to Desert Suns A Major Affair  (Caramel

For the most current up-to-date news visit our new Pygmy Blog Click Here
Pygmy Goat Interest Form Click Here
Pygmy Goat Reservation Form Click Here

Reference Sires
B/C Pygmies Barney

Desert Suns A Major Affair (Champion)

Proverbial Pygmies Pursuit (Champion)

Low Hay Acres, High Hay Prices

For your information:

Hold on to your hats. The most recent USDA estimate for hay acreage to be harvested in the U.S. during 2011 has likely set the stage for a wild, upward ride in hay prices for the rest of the year.

U.S. growers plan to harvest 57.6 million all-hay acres in 2011, down 4% from 2010, according to the June 30 Acreage report. Harvested acres are expected to be below or equal to last year's figures for most states in the Corn Belt, Great Plains, Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions, the ag department adds. Record-low harvested acreages are expected in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Maine, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. For alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures, USDA expects a harvested area of 19.3 million acres in 2011, down 3% from that of last year.

Throughout spring, most market watchers had been predicting a large drop in hay acres and that growers would switch to corn, wheat and other crops to capitalize on projected high commodity prices. In its March 31 Prospective Plantings report, USDA had forecast all-hay production at 59 million acres.

"That would have been a drop of about 1% from 2010," says University of Wisconsin Extension educator Ken Barnett, who compiles the Weekly Hay Market Demand and Price Report for the Upper Midwest. "Given all the reports we were hearing and reading through the winter about farmers taking land out of hay to plant corn and other crops, I don't think many people really believed that number."

Even so, the size of the spread between the March and June acreage numbers surprised many analysts. "Shocking is the only word I can think of to describe it," says Matt Diersen, ag economist at South Dakota State University Extension. "It's a big, big drop."

That virtually ensures dramatically lower U.S. hay production overall. Diersen points out that, if this year's yields meet the 10-year average of 2.43 tons/acre, national all-hay production would total 140 million tons, a 7-million-ton drop from production in 2010 and the lowest production since 1988.

A relatively low inventory of hay coming out of the winter promises to tighten supplies even more. Hay stocks on May 1 of this year totaled 22 million tons. "That's not crazy tight like it was in 2007 when May 1 stocks were under 15 million tons," he says. "But when you couple it with the lower production, it will put a lot of pressure on the supply."

At the same time, demand is likely to be stronger than normal in some areas of the country. Severe droughts in Texas, Oklahoma and other parts of the Southern Plains have burned up pastures, forcing livestock producers to feed hay much earlier in the year than normal. "It's really going to put a stress on supply throughout the marketing year, which will only push prices higher," says Diersen.

U.S. hay prices as of late May were already at an all-time high, Diersen adds. "It's similar to 2008, when hay prices were high at the start of the marketing year, then stayed high for the rest of the summer."

His bottom line on the Acreage report: "It's good news for someone with hay to sell. It's very bad news for anybody on the buyer's side."

  by Rick Mooney, Editor, eHay

Monday, September 26, 2011

Keeping Goats Cool


Summer might be coming to a close on the calendar, but that doesn't mean Mother Nature is letting up on the heat. Things like jumping in the water and spending time in the cooler indoors are ways that we help beat the heat, but don't forget to help your goats do the same. The warm weather can be tough on animals, sometimes causing them to overheat, which can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or even death. Following these tips will help them enjoy the warmer temperatures as much as you do.

Fresh, cool air: Make cross-ventilation a priority, especially in the summer. One thing to look out for, in particular, is ammonia. Ammonia builds up more quickly in the summer heat, especially low to the ground where goats sleep. Kneel down in your goat shed, and if you can smell ammonia from eight inches above the floor, your shed needs a thorough cleaning. Keep as many doors and windows open as possible to keep fresh air moving through the building.

H20: Clean, cool water should be available at all times. Water is essential for temperature control, waste excretion, electrolyte balance, digestion and more. Keep water troughs clean by changing drinking water several times a day, and put water containers in the shade to avoid sun-stimulated algae growth. In extreme heat, or if you will be away for long periods, add ice blocks to your goats' water. One way to increase the water intake is by offering free-choice salt. This will help dilute the urine and avoid urinary calculi, which can be more common in hot weather if goats do not drink enough. A bout of diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration in the heat of summer. Keep cool, clean water available at all times. Persistent diarrhea in young kids can lead to death if left untreated. If symptoms persist, consult your veterinarian.

Play: Goats love to play and are always looking for something to do. Make sure they have a shaded area to have their fun during the summer months.

Hygiene: Dirty shed and bedding can lead to skin sores, mastitis, respiratory ailments, foot problems, and more that escalate in the summer heat, so keep it clean. You may also want to shear long-haired goats before the summer heat sets in.

Transportation: Minimize transport time especially in late gestation as much as possible, but if you must, provide proper ventilation, make plenty of stops and make time to rest, water, and feed them along the way. Try to travel late at night or early in the morning to avoid the worst heat of the day.

Summer babies: Try to avoid summer births in hot climates where temperatures are often above 90 degrees during summer and fall. Kids tend not to grow as fast under such circumstances, and high temperatures combined with drought conditions cause stress.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Veterinarians Who Treat Goats


We are trying to establish a list of Veterinarians, who know goats and will treat them. If you have a Vet, who is not in our list, please send us message, providing us Vet's name, address, phone number and website (if available). 


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