Raising Goats For Dummies
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Keeping goats can be part of a green lifestyle, and although goats are pretty low maintenance as far as grooming goes, an annual clipping is a good idea for all goats. Shorter hair helps goats stay cooler and allows sunlight to reach their skin, which drives away lice and other critters. Choose a day after the cold weather is expected to be over.

Use electric or battery-powered clippers from a pet-supply store or a feed store. While clipping, check the clippers frequently to ensure that they aren't getting too hot. Spray frequently with a clipper cooling spray or oil as needed. Clean and oil the clippers between each goat, or more frequently, as needed.

If possible, wash the goat before clipping. Clipping a clean coat gives your clipper blades the longest life possible. Watch out for dull blades, which pull on the goat's coat and cause discomfort.

You can clip the beard on a doe for a nicer look, but unless you're going to show a goat, don't bother trimming its head, which is a real challenge. Your goat may look a little funny, but a hairy head does it no harm.

Here are the steps to take when you trim your goat:

  1. Secure the goat.

    Hold a baby goat; put an adult goat onto the milk stand with some grain or secure it to a fence or gate with a collar and a short rope, and give it some grain or hay for distraction.

  2. Start by trimming the top of the body against the grain of the hair.

    Use a 10 blade on the body. If you want the coat even longer, use a comb attachment. Use long smooth motions to avoid choppy-looking hair. Press on and move the skin over the hip bones and other bony areas for a smooth cut.

  3. Clip the back and each side, and then the legs, neck, and chest.

    Move from the areas of longer hair to shorter. Use short strokes on the legs and to correct any areas that you missed.

  4. Clip the hair that hangs over the hooves.

    If you're trimming a doe's udder, do so with a 30 or 40 blade. You don't want to take any chances with nicks. Clip to about the middle of the belly and under the legs, lifting one leg at a time to get the sides of the udder. Hold each teat between the thumb and two fingers to avoid nicking as you trim around it.

  5. Brush the loose hair off and give the goat a once-over, trimming any uneven areas.

    You don't have to do a perfect job (and those bald patches will grow out).

White or light-colored goats can get sunburned. Prevent sunburn by rubbing cornstarch on the exposed areas daily until the hair grows out a bit.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Cheryl K. Smith has raised a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf and Oberian dairy goats under the herd name Mystic Acres since 1998. She is the owner of karmadillo Press and is the author of Goat Health Care, Goat Midwifery, The Best of Ruminations Goat Milk and Cheese Recipes, and Raising Goats: Some Essentials.

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