Frequently Asked Questions

Normal Goat Health Information
  • Temperature = 102.5 – 104 – This varies depending on the temperature of the goat’s surroundings. 
  • Pulse rate = 70 – 80 beats per minute
  • Respiration =15 to 30 per minute
  • Rumen (stomach) movements = 1 – 1.5 per minute
  • Puberty = 7 weeks – 8 months (separate bucks from does at 2 months)
  • Estrus/Heat Cycle = 17 to 23 days
  • Gestation = 143 to 155 days
  • Life span:
    • Does = 11-12 years average age, but… usually the death in does is kidding related.  Does that are “retired” from breeding around age 10 live longer: 16-18 years.
    • Wethers = 11-16 years average age
    • Bucks = 8-10 average age – bucks usually live shorter lives than does and wethers due to the stresses of going into rut each year.
  • Full growth size: Most goats do not reach their full size until they are about three years of age. (They keep growing for about three years)

Types Of Goats
There are eight types of dairy goats that are recognized by the American Dairy Goat Association. They are Alpine, LaMancha, Nigerian Dwarf, Nubian, Oberhasli, Saanen, Sable and Toggenburg.

Goat Milk
“More of the world’s people consume goat milk than cow milk. A dairy goat is much easier to raise and adapts to a wider variety of environments than a dairy cow. Goat milk is naturally homogenized. Goat milk contains less lactose than cow’s milk and is less likely to trigger lactose intolerance. Goat milk is more easily digested and less likely to cause irritability. The digestibility of goat milk can be attributed to its casein curd, which is both softer and smaller than that is cow’s milk.”

Coyote Safety Tips
Please take precautions to protect your livestock as well as yourself and loved ones from the extra activity of neighborhood wildlife. Coyotes are like any other wildlife, we need to learn to co-exist with them as peacefully as possible. Always remember that just because you may not see them, don’t assume they are not there. Coyotes tend to be nocturnal, however we know that coyotes hunt at all times of the day and night. Coyotes are very adaptable and opportunistic, taking advantage of many human behaviors that may unintentionally provide them with easy food and water.

So what can you do to keep your livestock safe from coyotes?

Never feed coyotes—it is illegal to feed coyotes in most places. Feeding endangers your family and neighbors as it lures coyotes into neighborhoods.

Keep unattended livestock in completely enclosed runs, especially at night, and do not assume that a fence will keep a coyote out of your back yard.

Make sure you turn on lights if it is dark to check your back yard for unexpected wildlife.

Keep harness/leash trained goats on short leashes while walking outside; the Division of Wildlife recommends a leash no longer than 6 feet.

Have noisemakers to scare away coyotes that may enter your yard, such as whistles and horns.

Don’t run away or turn your back on a coyote.

Do not allow a coyote to get in between you and your goat.

Yell, clap hands, blow a whistle and try to make yourself look larger if you have a close encounter with a coyote.

When walking your goat try not to establish a regular routine (leave at different times each day) and walk different routes each day to avoid setting up a pattern for the coyote to detect. They have been known to stalk you if they learn your routine!

Avoid bushy areas or paths near abandoned properties.

Never encourage or allow your pets to interact or “play” with coyotes. Coyote packs use a young coyote as “bait” to lure a pet to “play” with them.

Make a note where and when you have an encounter with a coyote. Since coyotes often follow routines, avoid this area in the future if the encounter was negative.

Many owners protect their goat and alpaca herds with a guard llama. If you own open acreage where coyotes are known to strike, you might consider this option. Llamas eat the same hay/forage as a goat and are easy keepers.

This notification is not intended to scare anyone only to remind all of us that living in Southern California can come with some unique challenges.

Standards of Care for Llamas and Alpacas
Standards of Care are mandatory to llama and alpaca survival and
humane treatment. These are the most basic requirements that all llamas
and alpacas must have for physical well-being and, as such, define
minimum requirements for animal control officers and government officials
investigating questionable llama and alpaca care situations.

1. WATER: Animals should have continuous access to potable drinking
water.

2. NUTRITION: Animals should have nourishment adequate to sustain life
and health.

3. SHELTER: Animals should have natural or man-made shelter that
enables them to find relief from extreme weather conditions. The sheltered
area must allow for the ability to stand, lie down, rest and reasonably move
about.

4. MOBILITY: Animals should have a living area through which they can
move freely and exercise independently.

5. NEGLECT: Animals should have a physical appearance free from signs
of serious neglect. Signs of serious neglect may include such things as
crippled ambulation due to severely curled toenails, ingrown halters, or living
conditions not meeting the minimums listed above.

6. SAFETY: Animals should be reasonably safeguarded from injury or death
within their defined living environment and/or when traveling.

7. CRUELTY: Animals should be reasonably safeguarded from cruel
treatment and actions that endanger life or health or cause avoidable
suffering.

8. SOCIALIZATION: Llamas and alpacas are herd animals and should not
live alone without a companion animal. A cria (a baby llama or alpaca under
six months) should not be raised apart from other llamas or alpacas.