Keeping Your Goat Herd Healthy

Healthy Goat Vital Signs & Behavior

I think it is important to start at the beginning. It is best to always get a baseline on your goat when you are  trying to find out what the problem is. The best way to do this is to know the basic vitals signs.The single most important thing you can do is to puchase a thermometer and take a temperature whenever a goats appears to be “off”.

The next thing you should do is to find a good goat vet.

Also get yourself a few different reference books to keep on hand.

If you have an experienced breeders in your area that will be helpful information too.

Vital signs of a normal goat:

Heart Rate: 70-80/min

Respiration’s: 10-30 (kids 20-40)/min

Temperature: 101.5-103.5

Rumen Movement: 1-1.5/min

Eye lid color use the FAMCHA chart

(lids should be pink not pale)

Know the last date wormed and with what wormer

Heat Cycles-every 20-23 days

Estrus (lentgh of Heat): 12-36 hrs

Fainting Goats don't really reach full maturity about 3 Yrs old. Many continue to grow till 4 or 5 years of age.

Gestation is 145-155 days

Weaning is 8 weeks or later, depends on breeder.

Avg Life Span of a Buck is 8-12 Yrs.

Avg Life Span of a Doe is 11-12 Yrs.

Avg Life Span of a Wether is 11-15 yrs

Normal Goat Behavior

Goats love to play. They are very smart animals. Many people do not give them the credit that they deserve.Goats are very curious by nature. They are also a very lovable animal. All goats hate the rain. Since goats are herd animals it is rare to find one alone. This may be a sign of illness. Goats always have a great appetite so if one is "off" their feed this may be a sign of illness as well. Goats make a small round shaped pellet for their poo. If it is clumped together or looks like dog poo then your goat may also have a problem. Goats are like your own children. You can usually tell by looking at them that they don't feel good. It is important to do daily checks on your herd to catch problems early. 


Kids love to play. They also like to hide. Sometimes you have to look for them. They may get themselves lost. Fainting goats kids like to climb and jump. (they generally don't climb as adults) They will butt heads. They even sneeze.

Adult Does

They must set an order of dominance in their herd to find their place. They will do this by butting heads. They will run others away from the feed or attention. They will push one another.When they are not in heat,most of them like to be petted. The act more like dogs sometimes than livestock. Most does that come in heat they will blabber, flag their tail and become vocal. You will often see them "riding" their herd mates.

Adult Bucks

They too must set an order of dominance in the herd. They will butt heads and fight for their spot. When they are in rut they will blabber and paw alot. They will 'Pee" in their beards and rub their horns on a post of side of the barn.


They are much like any other goat about establishing their spot in the herd. They make great pets. They do not "Pee" in their beards. 



We are not Veterinaries. This information is published to give the reader some information about different illness and treatments. We don’t endorse every treatment and we take no responsibility for the care of any goats.