The Nubian goat is known for its distinctive Roman nose and long pendulous ears, and makes for one of the best dairy farm pets. You must equip yourself with some essential tips on how to care for a Nubian goat.
Did You Know?
The American Dairy Goat Association registers over 40,000 goats annually, and the Nubians are one of the most frequently registered goats, with the numbers increasing with every passing year.
If you own a farm and have a mélange of animals there, then including a Nubian goat in them would really be beneficial. The Nubian goat has its advantages. For one, it proves to be an excellent source of milk, and two, it can be kept as a very congenial pet. Often referred to as the Jersey of the dairy-goat world, this goat breed is one of the best-known sources for milk, given to its high butterfat content of between 4 – 5 percent, which is ideal for making yogurt, cheese, and soap. Add to that a string of other advantages that this breed boasts of and you’ll have no dearth of reasons to keep the Nubian as a pet.
Nubian Goat Information
The Anglo-Nubian goat, simply known as the Nubian goat, gets its name from a northern, desert region in the African continent. Even though it has its roots in the middle East and Africa, the breed was developed in Britain by crossing English goats with exotic bucks. It was imported in America in the early 1900s.
The female Nubian (doe) weighs about 61 Kg (135 pounds) and stands at 30 inches, while the male Nubian (buck) is about 79 kg (175) and stands at about 35 inches. The Nubian is known for its distinctive Roman nose and large pendulous ears. Its short, glossy fur is found in a variety of colors and patterns that range from black and brown to white spots. These goats can adapt to very dry and hot climates and are known to have a longer breeding season than other dairy goats.
How to Care For Nubian Goats
Nubians are getting to be quite popular as a choice of pets. These can be used for their milk, both for commercial and personal use, and people raise these for their meat as well. Getting a Nubian goat home will need you to have certain things prepared. Let us understand what these are in the following section.
Build a shelter for the goat and do not keep it tethered to a tree. Getting wet can cause the goat to develop hypothermia. Ensure that the shelter is sufficiently covered and no sun or water can permeate through. Make sure that none of the things in the shelter are toxic. Even the paint. Goats are known to chew on anything that looks delectable to them. Nubian goats are susceptible to pneumonia and chilling and require protection in the form of dry, clean, well-bedded, and ventilated housing.
Provide a bedding for the goat to lie on. It could be simple hay or wheat straw―anything that is dry and comfortable. Many owners will clean this bedding often, but others might make use of the deep-litter system by which fresh hay and straw is layered onto the old substrate and manure. A Nubian goat is capable of producing ten pounds of manure a day―this should be checked on and cleaned if produced in excess, or it may lead to diseases. Many owners, however, prefer to layer the manure with clean hay and straw because it acts as an excellent pack and helps create heat which becomes extremely beneficial during the winter. In the rainy season, this pack helps to keep the rain out by preventing flooding of the shed or barn.
Food and Water
Plenty of good quality pasture, clover hay, or alfalfa should be made available for the goats. Along with that, make sure that there is ample roughage, branches, shrubs, and weeds provided for bringing in variety. Hay is an excellent source of this roughage, and it has been known that goats love to nibble on rose clippings and vegetable scraps, or even shrubs like blackberry and salal. There are, however, certain precautions that are required to be taken about the kind of foliage that they are allowed to feed on. For example, feeding on chamomile and daisies can give the milk a bad taste; or certain plants like azaleas, tansy ragwort, oleander, and gum may be toxic and poisonous. Thus it becomes important to manage the enclosures that they feed in.
Along with that, make sure to keep a loose mineral or salt block for them to get their daily supplements of the same. Some goats might also require a selenium supplement; consult your vet to find out more details.
Provide plenty of fresh and clean water―about 3 – 5 gallons everyday, more, if the weather is hot. Addition of cider vinegar in the water is known to prevent kidney stones in the goats. Besides, water has a direct effect on the quality of the milk produced. So make sure that this need is sufficiently provided for.
Nubian goats are curious by nature and will wander off if left unprotected. They are extremely smart and destructive. So fencing becomes important. The fencing needs to be sturdy and secure and made up of either chainlink or woven wire or it could be an electric fence. It should be at least 4 – 5 feet high so that it not only prevents the goats from wandering off, but also protects them against predators. Never ever tether a goat to a tree, unless you’re sure about keeping a close watch on it.
Depending on the type of region you live in, trimming of the hooves will need to be undertaken. If you live in a hilly region that has a lot of rocky terrain, where the goats can climb rocks then the trimming of the hooves can be done less often. But a regular checking should ideally be done. Start trimming the hooves of the kid when they are four weeks old so that there is no trouble later. Tie the goat before trimming its feet or it could end up getting hurt. Do this every three months to keep the goat healthy and prevent foot rot. A hoof trimmer or a carpenter’s sanding plane could be used for these purposes. It would be a good idea to learn the trimming process from an experienced goat keeper.
Like most dairy goats, the Nubian goats are also kept hornless. The horns are usually dis-budded at approximately 2 weeks after birth. In some cases however, the horns are allowed to grow, and they go on to acquire their distinct feature of being set wide apart and sweeping backwards without any outward curve.
Make sure you give the goat proper vaccines. Give it a tetanus shot every year, along with enterotoxemia (CDT). Be very vigilant and monitor your goat for worms, parasites, and lice. They should be de-wormed regularly. Contact a vet for planning out a health regime for your goat.
The Nubian goat is known for being a very congenial pet. Add to that its biggest asset―the rich quality milk, and a plethora of other advantages, and you’ll want to include this animal as a permanent member in your farm.