Goats In Gainesville, Florida

Updated on:  01/21/2016

We breed percentage Boer goats   Our goats are hardier, heavier and have higher parasite resistance.  We want to minimize hands on and yet have healthy goats.  To accomplish this we  introduced blood lines such as Spanish Meat Goat, Tennessee Mountain Goats and Kiko.   Our herd is usually under two hundred with two herd guard dogs in each pasture.

Bucklings:    Call for lowest price    Michael   352-316-2427
Doelings:     Call for lowest price        “                 ”

* The information bellow is just the tip of the iceberg.  There could be volumes written on any of the subjects, this is just a heads up on some thing’s.

Chevon (is goat meat) it is leaner than chicken, beef, pork and mutton.  It is also prescribed for people with digestive problems.

Goats: Are so sociable you cannot have just one they need company.  If you spend time with them they will bond with you come when called and stay by your side.

Herd Guard - Predator Deterrent is Recommended. Predators are everywhere even if you haven’t seen them they are there-  When getting goats the first thing to do is make the place goat safe -  safe from Coyotes, Bobcats, Foxes and Panthers. (yes panthers)  A herd guard will protect the herd from predators when you are not present.  Unfortunately, it is not always possible to be present, so consider a back up plan.   Once we became  complacent and did not have a herd guard.  We lost six goats in a week and a half.   We use herd guard dog because they do not have to see the danger - they can see it, smell it or hear it and they act.   For centuries these dogs have been bred  for this purpose, there is no training involved. The Instinct to protect the herd is in the breeding.   Dogs also work well in teams.  Make sure to walk your perimeter with your dog on a leash the first day as soon as you bring it on the property. this is how they establish what they need to guard. Some other predator deterrents’ are:                                                                                

*Electric Hot Wire– Around the perimeter of the pasture, simple and inexpensive.                                                                                                              *Donkeys – They need  to grow up with goats in order to imprint the need to protect them.                                                                                  *Llamas  -  Like Donkeys they have to see the predator to act                   *Herd Guard Dogs – Some breeds are: Anatolian, Maremma,  Komondor, Great Pyrenees, etc. there are over 20 breeds. Herd Guard dogs use more than just their sense of sight to protect -  they use sight, sound and smell.   >> Each individual has to decide what methods to use.  Not having predator protection is very risky.                                                                                             + We use powdered garlic to control flees. It is simple to administer just sprinkle some on their food they love it. we also use Sevin dust.

Goat Shelters - Goats need a shelter from wind and to stay warm and dry .   When you build the shelter consider a raised platform that they can get up off the ground.  A platform also makes it easier to keep the shelter clean.  In Australia it is the law you must provide a shelter from the elements for your goats.

 Land Clearing Goats - Goats are often used to clear and maintain land, Rule of thumb is “One Goat one acre per year.”  They clear, maintain, fertilize And you can sell surplus goats for extra cash!  Goats eat the weeds other grazing animals do not so they improve the pasture.  It is recommended to run goats with cattle and horses because the goats improve the pasture by eating  the weeds the horses and cattle don’t.  Goats clear brush and prevent forest fires by decreasing the amount of fuel on the ground. They also trim up trees and make it easy to see and maneuver in the woods.  Goats are used for Agricultural Exemption (saving money in Taxes).  Goats are easy keepers, sociable and are good companions for other animals.  They can be milked and goat milk can be drank, or used to make cheese, yogurt or ice cream and other cooking.  People that are lactose intolerant can drink goat’s milk and it is some times recommended for children with digestive problems.

Mineral Salt Block - Be sure to maintain one for your goats.  If you shelter the salt block from the rain it will stay in block form until they they use it up.   There are different types of salt blocks we provide selenium salt block, mineral salt block and sulfur salt block.  SELENIUM DEFICIENCY is also something to be aware of.  Our soil in North Florida is selenium deficient. Lack of selenium in the goats diet can cause complication and it may be remedied by providing a supplement that has sufficient selenium in it for their daily requirement.

*****  If you provide ample forage you may never have problems.  Consider grass fed only. Consider not vaccinating let the week ones go if you breed them you will produce of spring that are highly prone to what ever their parents could not cope with.  Consider breeding only the ones you never have to worm. If you practice Rotational Grazing parasite problems will diminish considerably.

Multi Species Grazing

  • Grazing Goats with Cattle or Horses the production yield is multiplied from the same amount of grazing.  There is no need to cut down on the  number of Cattle or Horses because they all graze different.
  • Another benefit is you brake the parasite cycle by running Goats with your Cattle or Horses.  Goats,  Cattle and Horses have different parasites so the parasite cycle is disrupted by having them on the same pasture.
  • Goats are very sociable and they can share pasture with other species. Goats will improve the pasture for the other species.
  • There will be little or no pasture maintenance because the Goats will eat the weeds the Cattle will not. When there are weeds Goats eat them first. Goats will improve pasture and reduce or eliminate weeds taking over a pasture.  This saves labor, fuel, seed and wear and tear on equipment. Goats will graze where Cattle or Horses will not.   Making full use of all available grazing.

Parasite Control -  There has to be a program to control parasites.  It is a common problem ALL FARMS have parasites consequently all goats will have parasites it is inevitable.  How you manage the problem is the difference.

 How to Check for Parasites - gently push at the top of the eye and gently pull the goat’s bottom eye lid down.   If the color is not a healthy reddish pink, the goat needs a dose of dewormers.    According to the University of Florida Veterinary School usually twenty percent of the goat herd carry eighty percent of the parasites.   Identify those animals and cull them from your herd, or implement a program to closely monitor those goats.   There are number of Wormers on the market.   Do not exceed dewormers use or you are likely to  develop parasite resistance.    Only worm the goats that need it.  It is not a good practice to worm the entire herd without checking each individual.  dewormers  Wormers

There are dewormers designed to worm the entire herd all at one time some are pelleted like rabbit food pellets.  There are also natural wormers such as pumpkin seeds.  If you do some research you are bound to find a variety of dewormers.  I look forward to discovering new things, so if you find an exceptional dewormer let me know.

ScoursRecently I discovered a home remedy that alleviates scours and also kills parasites. A combination of Garlic powder, Oregano and Cinnamon, about a quarter tea spoon of each,  mixed with just enough water to make it soupy. (allow the mixture  to sit overnight it will be easier to draw up and administer using a drenching tool)  It was the only thing that worked for some of my goats.   It turns out the oils in these ingredients kill parasites.

Selenium Deficiency: Consult your veterinarian on this issue this can cause multiple complications. (scours, hair loss, weight loss, organ failure to name a few)

Additional Health Issues:

Coxidia – Symptom / Scours (Diarrhea) / Treatment – Medicated goat feed, Penacor or Deccox (Medicated Crumbles)

Selenium Deficiency/ Symptom / Hair Loss & Weigh Loss /

Treatment - Selenium supplement

Copper Deficiency/  Symptom / Hair Loss / Treatment – Copper supplement.  A mineral supplement that includes selenium and copper is advisable as a preventive measure.

Disclaimer -  Health Issues – Consult a Veterinarian with particular problems.  There are also vaccinations to consider and you should ask your Veterinarian for what and when to use them.  To be cost effective – only call the Vet when you need a specialist.

Feed Storage Consider storing feed in plastic barrels perhaps the recycled PVC barrels you purchase at feed stores.  We have stored feed this way for many years and have never had any go bad.  Keeping moisture away from the feed will prolong the shelf life.  If you store your feed in bags do not store your feed bags directly on concrete elevate the bags with a pallet or some other way but elevate the bags so that there is space between the bag and the concrete floor.  Keeping varmints out  of the feed that can contaminate your feed with their droppings is also an advantage of this type of storage in barrels.  Just a few more thing for you to consider.

 Recommended Reading:

Natural Goat Care by Pat Coleby – This book will add insight to your experience on Goat Care, possibly, even if you have had goats for a while.

Goat Keeping for Dummies – Great book packed with useful information.

Good Luck With Your goats   -  Thank you for visiting this web site!  The above information is not everything there is to know.    But, some of the things you may encounter.

Michael Quinones  -     Goat Whisperer      –      Goat Herders Society


We are located between Gainesville and Newberry, Florida at:

Silhouette Farm,     3705 NW 186 St.
Newberry, Florida 32669 (map)

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