KW Farms
Wapato, Washington

Page Last Updated: January 24, 2016

KW Farms Herd Management

Feed and Minerals:
We provide our goats with 24/7 access to premium-supreme quality alfalfa hay. This goes for bucks, does, wethers, and kids. In the past, we have used Cargill Onyx Right Now cattle minerals, however, we have been having trouble finding them and just recently were told they are now discontinued. They were our #1 mineral provided to the goats. Unfortunately, we're now having to find an alternative mineral and the next best thing we've been able to get is the Sweetlix Meat Maker minerals. Minerals should be left out in a spot where they won't get dirty or wet. They should be left out and available 24/7. The goats lick and eat these minerals as needed. They should never be without.

Other Supplements:
Before breeding and kidding season, if we feel it is needed, we'll give all of our breeding stock a shot of Bo-Se (selenium supplement). We live in a selenium deficient area and they sometimes need a selenium supplement. Bo-Se can prevent white muscle disease and help with increased fertility. Copper bolusing is another very important supplement for the health of our goats. Most goats tend to have trouble getting enough copper in their diet from feed and minerals alone so copper bolusing as needed is important. Copper bolusing around every six months usually works well for us. During breeding season, we usually provide extra vitamins to all our goats as well.

Deworming and Coccidia Treatment: 
We use chemical dewormers such as Ivomec Plus dewormer for our goats. This dewormer has worked well for us, but depending on what types of worms the goats are dealing with at the time, if any, we may use something else to target specific worms and parasites. We generally deworm 3x yearly or as needed. Coccidia hasn't been a problem for our adult goats, but kids are more prone to coccidia issues so we always have Toltrazuril/Baycox on hand for as needed treatment. Most of our kids have no problem with coccidiosis, but occasionally we'll have one come down with it. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon in kids so best to have a good treatment on hand for when it's needed. Luckily, the Toltrazuril/Baycox is a one time treatment and has worked very well for us. Our kids are always treated for coccidia and dewormed at weaning.

Hoof Care:
Hooves are trimmed about every three months or as needed. We've found the orange handled trimmers from Jeffers work great. Thankfully, we live in the desert part of WA so rarely have hoof issues such as hoof rot.

Kidding Season:
To prepare for kidding season we like to use movable hog panels. These work very well since the bottom of the panels are small so the kids can't get their heads stuck or slip through to get out. We always have fresh straw or shavings available to keep the does and kids warm, dry, and cozy. Kidding pens are set up outside. We do not kid indoors, although each pen has a shelter. Pens are about 8 ft. x 16 ft. with one shelter per pen. Ideally we have one doe and her kids per pen. We try to be there for every birth, but sometimes that just isn't possible. If we are there though, we have lots of towels on hand to help if needed and will clean off faces to ensure the babies quickly get air and don't suck any "goop" into their lungs. It is always so fun to watch the babies find their feet and search for that first meal. Photos below show some of our kidding pens. 

Kid Care:

If purchasing a weaned kid from us, this is what they will have had before leaving, unless otherwise noted. 

This does not apply to kids leaving early on the bottle.

Day 1: We like to be there at birth to wipe noses, make sure the kids are strong and healthy, and make sure they get a good amount of colostrum from their dam. Once kids are dry and standing well, we will handle them, hold them, and basically desensitize them as much as we can. As they grow, we continue to play with and handle them. Unfortunately, I can't guarantee all the kids will have a friendly personality. Sometimes they are skittish.

Week 1-3: We will disbud the kids somewhere within this time frame depending on the horn bud growth, size, etc.

Week 3: We generally treat for or start coccidia prevention. We use a one time treatment of Toltrazuril/Baycox and booster later on if needed.

Week 5: BoSe shot if I feel they need it. Most do not.

Week 7-8: Band bucklings that will be sold as wethers.

Week 8: Some kids get weaned. Most will receive their first CD&T shot and are dewormed.

Week 9-10: Most kids are sold and heading off to their new home.

Week 10-12: CD&T Booster.

Week 10-12: Kids should be dewormed again.

Bottle Raised Kids:

Most of our kids are dam raised. Occasionally, we will have bottle kids available for sale. Nigerians often have several kids in a litter so if there are too many kids for the doe to care for and/or feed, we will generally pull one or two kids out of the litter to bottle raise. We have had as many as five kids in a litter at one time! We generally train the kids to the bottle before they head off to their new homes. We want to make sure the kids are off to a good start and taking the bottle easily for their new owners. Occasionally, we will make an exception if you are very experienced with bottle raising and would like to take the kid straight off the dam to train yourself. The benefit to this is you can easily put them on whatever milk or milk replacer you want. We always make sure those who choose to take a kid this way are experienced and qualified. Kids that we start on the bottle are fed Land O Lakes Doe's Match milk replacer (3-4x daily, as much as they want). This has worked very well for us. Our bottle kids have grown just as well as our dam raised kids and are just as healthy. I haven't found a better milk replacer. If you are purchasing a bottle kid from us, you will want to keep them on the same brand milk replacer we use or switch them over to a different milk replacer very slowly. We do not recommended doing so, but it is possible. It can be hard on them so make the switch slowly and gradually. Never make a drastic change in diet. Kids will need to be bottle fed until at least 8 weeks old, but it's usually beneficial to wait and wean until 9-12 weeks. Always have hay and minerals available for them to nibble on so they can get used to it and will be eating well and ready to wean at the appropriate age. You may not see much action, if any, in the beginning, but having it available is very important so they get used to it. By weaning age, they should be eating hay successfully. Bottle raising kids is a time consuming commitment, but can also be very fun and rewarding. Always do your research prior to taking on bottle kids and have everything well prepared before bringing them home.

If you have any questions about our goats or herd management, you're welcome to shoot us an email any time!