TRIMMING GOAT HOOVES

Hoof trimming is an acquired skill that takes quite a bit of practice to perfect. The tools you will need include a good pair of hoof shears. Do not try to save money on this particular tool. My favorite is called a “sheep foot rot shear”. Hoof trimming shears are available in any animal supply house and come in many shapes and designs. You will also need a hand held carpenter’s plane, the kind that looks a little like a cheese grater. Unfortunately for most goat farmers in East Malaysia we have little access to these tools and rely on favours from friends travelling to Australia or in some rare cases Ebay.

Trimming Goat Hoofs

Trimming Goat Hoofs

Sometimes, the heel is the part that seems to grow too fast, causing the goat to walk on the back of the hoof above the heel. In this case, be sure that you trim the hooves more often, and that you are not leaving the heel so long that the goat is walking on ‘high heels’. If the hoof was drastically overgrown, and you didn’t get it into the right shape, it is better to come back to it later than to make the goat lame, or risk serious bleeding and infection, by cutting too much at one time. Try again in one to three weeks. If it still isn’t right, come back in another two or three weeks. Sometimes it takes a while to whip a goat’s hooves into perfect shape.

Goat’s hooves need to be trimmed regularly (and don’t forget the bucks!). That will mean different things depending on your farm and conditions. If your goats have plenty of gravel to walk on, or are in a large herd that travels over many acres a day, you might be able to escape this chore for four to six months. Some people even build low platforms of rock and cement for the goats to play on to help them keep their hooves in shape. In most cases, when the goats are walking on grass or in pens, hooves should be trimmed every four to twelve weeks. Happy Trimming!

SAANEN?

Having always been interested in Diary breeds i was pretty excited when a fellow farmer friend told me about Dave, who had a couple of Saanen’s which he bought from the SEDC. It was claimed that the manager had offered him these Saanen’s when they were ‘accidentally loaded’ on a shipment from Australia.

Sanaan Buck? You either must be joking or have too much water in between your ears...

Saanen Buck? You either must be joking or have too much water in between your ears...

I have seen a couple of Saanen’s in my life but have never seen one looking remotely like this. This is what a REAL Saanen looks like…

Sanaan Buck - The REAL Thing...

Saanen Buck - The REAL Thing...

Anyways i had a good chuckle and shake of the head later. But it is in these type of situations where Australia gets a bad name, not that it was her fault. More like some greedy ass who took advantage of an ignorant farmer. Typical.

VIGOSINE

I have been trying out this Vigosine after being told that this was ‘the best’ in treating Goats for stress. I was not able to find much information on Google but ended up ordering 5 litre’s I have been using it for 2 weeks now and have found it really fantastic. But the uses are far more than for stress only.

USES – Poultry, Pigs, Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Horses, Dogs, Cats. It is also a stimulant of appetite, Energy support, Improvement of growth and reproductive performance. Also an aid to weaning. Diuretic and Stimulant of Liver and Kidney functions. An aid to recovery after stress and disease. Very helpful as an aid against heat stress.

COMPOSITION – Carnitine HCI 5g, Sorbitol 25g, Magnesium Sulfate 25g, Excipient (Vegetable Extracts) 100ml

I use it orally after diluting on ration of 2 parts water and 1 part Vigosine. I administer 5-10ml for mature Goats and 3-5ml for immature kids. Administer daily (for me i use a syringe through the mouth) for 3-5 days then stop. 3 days later i used it in their drinking water (which i discovered was not cost effective as their drinking bowls are emptied and cleaned everyday) and now instead use it to dress their feed which works out fine as they always leave little wasted feed.

The cost was to me expensive having paid RM450 (AUD140) and the postage ended up to be RM140 (AUD45) but now having seeing the results and taking into account the very small amounts used everyday it works out to be really reasonable.

Manufactured by CEVA in France

DOMBA – FAT TAILED SHEEP

Domba - Fat Tailed Sheep a breed i came across in Indonesia (Sulawesi)

Domba - Fat Tailed Sheep a breed i came across in Indonesia (Sulawesi)

Facinating breed. It looks really odd to me when you look at the fat tail. Supposedly hard to come by and the meat is considered good eating, leaner since the fat is mostly stored in the tail. It looks like the Damara’s in Australia but any likeness mostly is to the fat tail. Its a pity that it will be such a hassle to bring the Indonesian Domba’s in.

THE GEEP

Contrary to popular belief sheep and goats CAN in fact crossbreed just like in this article here. Due to the mismatched chromosomes (Goats with 60 and sheep with only 54) most of the offspring will stillborn, and those who live are generally sterile and can not therefore reproduce. Many “Geep” resemble hair sheep while others have patches of hair in one place and wool in the others. A hair sheep and goat cross will look nearly identical to either a goat or the hair sheep depending on the species of the father.

Goat & Sheep Cross

Goat & Sheep Cross

Whims of Nature?

A LONG TIME AGO

My first batch of Goats. Brings back memories. Wait, brings back more like Nightmares! 8 years ago. Feels like a lifetime.

When i first started!

When i first started!

Then the Goat house. The first of 4. Still standing strong.

My First Goathouse

My First Goathouse

One More Time…

It’s been 8 years since i started The Kebun. Initially it was just somewhere to escape too. Then things slowly got out of hand. Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Goats, then Cows. The the word ‘retirement’ crept into answers given when the big question popped up. Why a farm? It’s complicated.

There has been so much happened. Much pain, blood and tears. I almost gave up a few month’s ago frustrated with not being able to manage it properly to my standards. Time is an issue, we still have day jobs.

This afternoon as i sat there with Ayu the farm dog looking at the goats i thought to myself if i really wanted to go on. On with this madness of doing just one too many things at one time. This madness of trying to cope with everything at the farm. Long story.

Darn it. Its been a long struggle and i must say to myself that i have the prettiest farm around. Now i am going back to work but this time doing it bigger and better.