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For the Love of Goats

Kids & Family Podcasts

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.

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.


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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.






How to Compost a Dead Goat

We first composted a dead goat many years ago when it died in winter when the ground was frozen solid. At the time, we thought of it as the second-best option because burial was not possible. However, as we discuss in this episode, composting actually causes a carcass to decompose faster than burying. J. Craig Williams, extension agent with Pennsylvania State University Extension in northern Pennsylvania talks about advantages of mortality composting, as well as how to do it so that you...


Artificial Insemination in Goats

If you've ever wanted to add some genetics to your herd, but the cost of a live animal was out of your price range, artificial insemination is a great way to reach the same goal at a fraction of the price. In today's episode we are talking to Dr. Jamie Stewart, Assistant Professor in Production Management Medicine at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. We are answering all of the basic questions about artificial insemination, often called AI for short. How do you...


The Year of the Goat: A Memoir Starring Goats

Today's guests first visited Antiquity Oaks Farm about 17 years ago when they were traveling across the United States looking for all things goat. That year-long trek from the east coast to the west was chronicled in their book, Year of the Goat, which was originally published in 2007. This year, in honor of its 15th anniversary, the publisher is bringing it back with an all-new introduction, sub-title, and cover, as well as lots of photos that were not in the original book. In today's...


Older Goats: Arthritis, Dental Issues, and More

Even though most of you reading this probably don't think of your goats as food animals, that is how they are categorized in the veterinary world. Since very few food animals don't have the opportunity to live out their natural lives, there is little research on dealing with health challenges in individual animals. The focus tends to be on herd health, contagious diseases, and production. It can become even more challenging to care for them in old age because there is even less research on...


Mastitis in Goats

Whenever a doe's udder has a different texture or temperature than normal, mastitis is the first thing that we all worry about. Today's topic has been one of the most requested from my listeners, so I know it's something we all worry about from time to time. Dr. George McCommon, professor of veterinary science and public health at Fort Valley State University, joins us today to talk about the basics of mastitis, as well as his current research project. We start with mastitis symptoms and...


Importing Goats

If you've ever thought about importing goats from another country, today's episode is for you. Buying a goat from across the globe is not nearly as simple as buying a goat from across the country. There are a number of restrictions and testing required for goats, depending upon which country they are coming from, and Dr. Mary Kate Anderson, Staff Veterinary Medical Officer at the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, joins us in this episode to talk about everything you need to know...


Cashmere Goats

Recently the Cashmere Goat Association voted to make Cashmere goats a breed. Prior to that vote, a "cashmere" goat was just a goat with a specific type of cashmere fiber. Although all goats have a cashmere undercoat, cashmere goats must have fiber of a specific length, and they must produce at least 2 ounces per year. In this episode I'm having a conversation with Christine Hulse, secretary of the Cashmere Goat Association, talking about the breed standard, as well as the fiber standards....


Cache Valley Virus: One Breeder's Experience

Until recently, most goat breeders had never heard of Cache Valley Virus. I heard about it two years ago when an animal scientist told me that they were having a horrible time with it in their research flock. Today's guest had never heard about Cache Valley Virus until a few months ago when she started seeing a lot of very weird things happening in her goat herd — a doe freshening with no milk, kids born with birth defects, kids dying within the first couple of weeks after birth, a tiny...


Keeping Goats and Chickens Together

Have you thought about adding chickens to your goat farm? Have you heard about keeping chickens and goats together? Maybe you already have chickens and the challenges with the goats are driving you crazy? In today's episode, I'm talking about things to consider when chickens and goats share the same space, as well as what you can do to keep them apart. I explain leader-follower rotational grazing with chickens and small ruminants (sheep or goats), including what type of equipment you need...


Tips on Buying Goats

How do you avoid scams when buying goats? Should you buy registered goats? How do you know you're buying healthy goats? If you are getting started with goats or still building your herd, you probably have a few questions. In this episode, I'm answering all of the above questions and more. I also talk about why you should not buy goats from the sale barn, and what questions to ask a breeder when goat shopping. Since I teach college, I can spot plagiarism a mile away. I share some of my...


Tips on Selling Goats

If you are new to selling goats, you might feel like you can't say "no" to any potential buyers. I am here to tell you otherwise. You will hear two main points today as I tell you a few stories of people that I refused to sell goats to. First, you should always ask questions to be sure that the buyer has done their homework and knows what a goat needs — and that they can provide that! After all of the love, care, and money you have put into raising healthy goats, you want to be sure that...


New Guidelines for Using Dewormers in Goats

Since parasite research in goats is always evolving, I was excited to see that the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control has revised their dewormer usage chart. Although most of the dosages have stayed the same from previous chart, there are a lot of new recommendations that you'll find in the footnotes. We are joined in this episode by one of the authors of the revision, Michael Pesato, DVM, DABVP, Assistant Clinical Professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery at...


Fainting Goats (aka Myotonic Goats): History, Myths, and Facts

It's probably safe to say that everyone has heard of fainting goats, which are more correctly called myotonic goats, and they don't actually faint. Today we are separating fact from fiction in our conversation with Phil Sponenberg, DVM, Ph.D. of Virginia Tech who has been breeding myotonics for 30 years. He is also the technical advisor for The Livestock Conservancy, which has the myotonic goat on the "recovering" section of the Conservation Priority List, where the breed was originally...


Hypocalcemia in Goats

Hypocalcemia in goats, sometimes called milk fever, is one of the most misunderstood maladies in the goat world. This confusion stems from research done on cows, which does not apply to goats, but is still often referenced by many sources as if it does apply. Today's guest, Dr. Robert Van Saun of Pennsylvania State University, once again reminds us that goats are not little cows. We are talking about the causes of hypocalcemia in goats and how that compares to cows, as well as how to...


Pregnancy Toxemia in Goats

During kidding season, lots of goat owners start to worry about ketosis and pregnancy toxemia in their does. In today's episode, Dr. Robert VanSaun, professor of veterinary science and extension veterinarian at Pennsylvania State University, talks about what causes does to go into ketosis and how that can lead to pregnancy toxemia. If left untreated, it can ultimately lead to a doe's death. So, we are also talking about how to prevent this potentially devastating condition in the first...


Goat Birthing: How Much Should You Help?

Practices with birthing goats vary tremendously from one breeder to another. Some people are very hands-on while others want to stay away as much as possible. How do you figure out what you feel comfortable with? In today's episode, I'm talking about the different reasons why a kid may be born weak or why a doe may have difficulty giving birth. Although it sounds like you are breeding the best of the best when you are more hands-off, I give you an example of when that was not true — and the...


Can Goats be Raised Naturally?

It's not uncommon for someone to contact me about a goat problem that they have, and to resist doing anything "unnatural," such as providing a commercial mineral for their goats. What most people don't realize is that they aren't raising their goats naturally to begin with. In this episode, I'm talking about why my book is called Raising Goats Naturally, what that means, and what it does not mean. I also talk about the five reasons it is impossible for most of us to raise goats naturally in...


Experimental Goats

If a herd has more than one breed of goat, odds are good that they also have some experimental goats, which are crosses of other purebred standard-sized goats. Bucks are determined creatures, and unplanned breedings happen in most herds. However, there is a huge difference between accidental crosses and crosses that are planned to create the best goats to meet your goals. For Erika McKenzie, head cheesemaker and dairy herd manager at Pennyroyal Farm, that means creating crosses of her three...


Toggenburg Goats

If you are interested in a medium-sized goat for milking, you should consider the Toggenburg, which is always a shade of brown, somewhere between tan and dark chocolate. The Toggenburg goat's butterfat average is the lowest of the dairy breeds, but it still makes great cheese. Today we are talking to Leslie Cardoza owner of Bar XX Dairy Goats, who has been breeding Toggenburgs for milk and show in California since 2003. She has had goats on the ADGA Top Ten list for milk production every...


Sable Goats

If you are looking for a larger dairy goat that produces a lot of milk and has fairly low butterfat, then the Sable goat might be the one for you, especially if you like the idea of having a breed that is not very common. In this episode, I'm talking to Klisse Foster who has been raising Sable goats since the 1980s. Her goats are often on the American Dairy Goat Association's Top Ten list for milk production. She shows her goats too and can usually be found at the ADGA national show, even...