Our Animal Husbandry Practices
At La Buena Vida Farm we strive to provide the most natural and balanced way to nourish and care for our animals, with whole herd health and wellbeing as our focus.
FEED: We feed our entire herd (except milking does or pregnant does past 90 days) a locally grown, pesticide free Triticale hay. The milking does are fed local, naturally grown, pesticide free, first cutting alfalfa. Alfalfa is sometimes called “the king of herbs.” In his book, Herbs and Old Time Remedies, Joseph VanSeters says, “if he could give one herb to everyone to improve overall health it would be alfalfa!”
GRAIN: We give our milking does a mixed ration of Purina Noble Goat Dairy Parlor, Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (B.O.S.S), and Dumor Sweet Feed (as much as they want during their milking session) twice a day. The addition of the black oil sunflower seeds is a great source of vitamin E, which helps aid the body’s absorption of selenium. Bucks sometimes get 2-4 TBSP of grain to maintain a good working weight during breeding season.
MINERALS: A high quality, selenium enhanced mineral block is provided in each goat pen. In addition, we offer free choice of Sweetlicks Magna Milk loose minerals. Our milking Doe’s have access to a large cobalt block at all times. If we feel that our animals are lacking in some minerals we give them different herb mixes from Fir Meadows based on their specific needs.
SODIUM BICARBONATE: We offer good ol’ Baking Soda which helps aide in digestion and healthy rumen activity. Baking soda is great for controlling the acidity in the gut, thus helping to prevent bloat. The goats will eat only what they need.
WATER: We provide lot’s of buckets if clean, fresh water at ALL TIMES! Sometimes we add a little raw Apple Cider Vinegar to the goats’ water. They love it! It provides potassium for easier kiddings and aides in Urinary Calculi prevention in bucks and wethers. We get it from Azure Standard Co-op.
DEWORMING: We use an herb mix called DeWorm made by Fir Meadows; it came highly recommend by another breeder and has worked all for us. We like this natural approach for deworming because it is healthier for the goats and we don’t have to dump any of our precious milk. If necessary, we will use a heavier, medicated wormer like Zimecterin or Ivermectin Gold.
VACCINATIONS: We do not give any vaccinations.
BREEDING AND PREGNANCY CARE: A Nigerian Dwarf doe should be a least 9 months old and/or at least 40 lbs with good rump width before considering breeding. The doe needs to be in good health and condition; not too thin nor too fat. Hoof trimming should be done routinely (every 6-8 weeks) and no later than 8 weeks prior to kidding. The pressure placed on the doe’s abdomen during hoof trimming is very uncomfortable, and not necessary.