Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How to Weigh Your Goat

Weighing a goat needs to be done for several reasons.  Body condition and weight are important measurements for assessing the health of your goats. Knowing your goat’s approximate weight is necessary for proper dosing of medications and supplements.

Last year was a difficult year for me in raising my goat, Luna.  We tried to breed her three separate times and each time it was unsuccessful.  Our breeder even went above and beyond and assisted in providing additional hormones to increase her heat.  Even this didn't work.  This led me to begin researching problems that might be causing this.  COPPER deficiency kept coming back as the number one cause.  I have been feeding a livestock loose mineral ever since getting the goats for our farm.  But after reading the label (we need to read labels on our animal feed as well as human feed!) I saw that the copper amount was not high enough.  Many of the websites I looked at were mentioning adding an additional copper supplement in the form of a copper bolus.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when we introduced a new goat, Mocha, 
onto our farm and within a couple of weeks I noticed her coat color changed from a chocolate brown to a rust brown.  Another symptom is "fish tail" where the fur isn't growing on the tail so that it resembles a fish tail.  These are both symptoms of copper deficiency.  In order to administer the copper bolus I was going to need to figure out how much each goat weighed.

Using a soft, pliable tape measurer, measure the heart girth and the length of the goat. Heart girth is measured by wrapping the tape around the goat starting just behind the withers on top and just behind the elbow on the bottom.

Length is measured from the point of the shoulder to the pin bone on one side of the goat.   The pin bone is the bone right under the tail. Using Doug as my model in the picture below, you can see where to place the tape measurer.

Using these measurements in inches, put them into this calculation:

(Heart girth X Hearth girth X Length) / 300 = Weight (lbs)

Using Doug as the example, his HG or heart girth was 25, his Length was 22, so my calculation was:

(25 x 25 x 22 /300) = 45 lbs.

Once you have calculated their weight be sure to record that amount in your homestead journal. 

No comments: