For the Love of Goats

For the Love of Goats

We are talking about everything goats! Whether you're an owner, a breeder, or just a fan of these wonderful creatures, we've got you covered. Join host and author Deborah Niemann as she interviews experts and goat lovers so we can all learn more about how to improve the health and production of our goats, improve our relationships, and possibly even start a goat business.

Episodes

July 21, 2021 28 min

Someone emailed me after her first experience tattooing goats and said, "There has to be a better way to identify goats. What can you tell me about microchips?" Luckily I had already scheduled an interview with Allysse Sorenson, Chief Executive Herder of The Munch Bunch and webmaster at HireGoats.com.

Allysse has microchipped all of her caprine "employees" to not only identify them but also to keep track of them. In ...

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Zinc deficiency is often suspected when a goat is losing hair, but there are other reasons for hair loss, and that is not the only symptom of zinc deficiency. In this episode, we are talking about zinc with Dr. Robert VanSaun from the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at Pennsylvania State University. 

First, he talks about how zinc affects 200 different functions in the body, and it is unfortunately deficient in all ...
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June 16, 2021 22 min

Some people talk about sheep and goats as if they are practically the same species, but nothing could be further from the truth. I've been breeding and milking Nigerian dwarf goats since 2002 and LaMancha goats for about 10 years. It may come as a surprise that I also bred Shetland sheep for 12 years and have had Katahdin hair sheep for six years now.

In this episode, I am talking about how the two species are similar and differ...

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June 2, 2021 34 min

When my daughters were teenagers, they loved showing our goats. It was a great way for us to learn about goat conformation and to see how our goats compared to others. It also provided an opportunity for us to meet other goat owners.

In this episode, we are talking to Ellen Dorsey of Dill's-A Little Goat Farm in Oklahoma, who has been raising goats for two decades and showing for almost as many years. She talks about why she sta...

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Because barber pole worm (haemonchus contortus) causes so many deaths among goats, we don't talk about other worms much. Barber pole is the worm that sucks blood and causes goats to become anemic, which can cause a goat to go downhill rapidly and even die.

Goats can be walking around with a host of other worms in their body, however, and ironically most of those worms are unimportant and don't cause disease. So, why are we t...

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If you have goats for very long, you may realize that some never need deworming while others need it frequently. There is definitely a genetic component involved in a goat's natural resistance or resilience to worms.

In this episode I'm talking to Andrew Weaver, Ph.D., Small Ruminants Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University about genetic resistance to worms in goats and sheep. Although there has been a lot mo...

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April 28, 2021 29 min

If you look online for a list of plants that are poisonous to goats, you might think you need to chop down trees and pull up dozens of weeds to keep your goats safe. Those lists can include things like oak and maple leaves, which my goats eat regularly because my farm is covered with them. The fact is that goats actually have a much higher tolerance for poisonous plants than horses and some other animals. So, what's a conscient...

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April 21, 2021 30 min

If you ever wanted to sell your goats or sheep to someone in another country, then you are already familiar with the US's problem with scrapie. It's not a huge problem, but having anything more than zero cases for seven years means that most countries will not allow our sheep and goats to be imported into their country.

In this episode, I am talking to Charles Gaiser, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, who is a sheep and goat epidemiologist ...

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April 7, 2021 27 min

Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz first entered our lives in 2004 during their Year of the Goat when they traveled from coast to coast learning about all things goat. They were enamored with these amazing creatures, and they knew they wanted to do something with goats. But what?

Instead of just reading a couple of books, they decided to literally write a book, as they visited goat dairies, the circus, pack goat operations, slaughter...

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There is an old veterinary saying that most animal diseases are bought and sold. It can be so tempting to buy every cute goat that you see, but there are some very good reasons to only buy your animals from reputable breeders who have herds that have tested negative for common diseases.

In this episode, I am talking to Patty Scharko, DVM, MPH, a Field/Extension Veterinarian at Clemson University in South Carolina about keeping your ...

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March 24, 2021 34 min

Most of us love our goats so much and want to share their awesomeness with the world. Unfortunately, that is not a risk-free proposition because there are some diseases that goats can transmit to humans — even healthy goats!

In today’s episode, we are talking to Megin Nichols, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, at the Center for Disease Control where she leads the team that investigates multi-state outbreaks of salmonella, E. coli, and other zoonoti...

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March 17, 2021 35 min

If you're confused by everything you've heard about copper needs in goats, then hopefully this episode will clear things up.

We are joined again by Dr. Robert VanSaun who teaches veterinary science at Pennsylvania State University and specializes in ruminant nutrition, and he debunks common myths while explaining symptoms of deficiency and toxicity, and how they are different, as well as where to start in your copper supplem...

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March 10, 2021 35 min

Although we are finally getting the word out that current research shows that you should not routinely deworm goats or deworm the whole herd at one time, one of the last old-fashioned ideas about dewormers is still hanging on -- the idea that you must deworm all does after kidding (or within a week or two before kidding). The fact that does have often have an increase in their fecal egg counts around the time of kidding has caused ...

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March 3, 2021 38 min

I've always referred to colostrum as liquid gold. Whenever someone asks me what they should give a kid when it's born, the answer is short and simple -- colostrum. When a kid is born, the number one goal is to get colostrum into it as soon as possible. After recording this episode, I am even more appreciative of this amazing food that mama goats make for their babies.

Dr. Robert Van Saun, a professor of veterinary science at...

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February 24, 2021 41 min

Whether you live in Florida or Canada, odds are good that you will be worried about your goats giving birth when it is cold out. However, the definition of cold can vary dramatically between those two places. When I'm talking to people in southern states, they are worried when temperatures are dipping below 50. Whereas those of us in Illinois and other northern states don't worry too much until it looks like temperatures wi...

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February 16, 2021 49 min

Selenium is a very important mineral in a goat's diet. However, since most soil in the U.S. is deficient in selenium, and the U.S. government limits the amount of selenium that can be added to goat feeds and minerals, it's not that easy to make sure your goats get enough selenium.

In this episode, I'm talking to veterinary and ruminant nutritionist, Dr. Robert Van Saun, a professor of veterinary science at Pennsylvania ...

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February 10, 2021 29 min

What is the difference between a controlled study and observations that you make on your farm? In this episode, I’m talking to Joan Burke, Ph.D., who has been researching alternative dewormers in small ruminants for about two decades.

In addition to talking about some of her parasite research, we also are debunking some myths that you may have heard. Plus we are talking about the importance of randomly assigning goats to a control g...

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In addition to being the author of the newly released book, Grow Your Own Spices, Tasha Greer is also a homesteader and goat owner. Today we are talking about extended lactations in Nigerian dwarf goats, as well as making cheese without a recipe.

Although most people only milk their goats for a few months or a year at most, many goats are capable of continuing to produce milk for two to three years. This is something we've been ...

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January 27, 2021 35 min

Meningeal worm, also known as deer worm, is a worm that is normally found in white tail deer, but goats can become infected. In this episode Dr. Tatiana Stanton, a goat and sheep specialist with Cornell University Extension, is talking about how deer worm is different than intestinal worms that goats have, symptoms of an infection, and treatment. 

Although deer worm is not nearly as common as intestinal worms, they can be much more ...

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January 6, 2021 26 min

If you've had friends taste your cheese and tell you that you should go pro and start selling it, this is the episode for you. Years ago when that happened to me, I visited Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery in Illinois for a two day workshop to learn more about turning my passion into a business. 

Unlike most of my guests whom I've only known online, I've personally known Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrell for more than a ...

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