We have years of experience in raising goats. What I also mean by saying that is we have years of BOTH negative and positive experiences. Raising an animal is one part common sense, one part science, and one part passion. We put a lot of work and care into raising quality, healthy animals, but also an animal that is self reliant. This motto we believe is right in line with the Kiko breed's origination that we discuss in the history page. Below are some of the more important practices that you can expect your future goat from Triple T to have experienced. We are always looking to improve our practices so feel free to voice you opinion to us!
All of our goats, that can be, are NKR registered right down to the 50% does. We originally tattooed our goats for permanent ID but are moving over to micro-chipping due to convenience. All goats follow USDA flock guidelines for scrapie and are tagged numerically in ear.
When it comes to shelter there is some argument as to the necessity of it for goats. We believe goats need some type of access to shelters. We utilize "open" shelters in all of our pens. This allows fresh air to flow through but gives some relief from sun, rain, and cold. We do believe a closed in environment can lead to respiratory problems in goats, so keep it ventilated!
Goats need adequate land per animal, and 6-8 goats/acre is a good place to start. We rotate every three months and allow the land time to "clean" itself for at least three months before animals are re-introduced.
We have a variety of land types. Pecan fields, pond and wetland areas, woodlands, planted pine, and everything in between. Goats are not grazers, they are browsers and we feel variety is important. We have been experimenting heavily with hemp, six way hemp combos, ragweed and other forage.
When it comes to goat fencing it is an expense option for your land. We use cattle fencing but are able to count/check our goats and fence perimeter daily. If you have a large tract of land that is hard to get to, goat fencing makes sense to cut down on lost and hung goats.
We have also started using guard dogs due to a healthy local population of coyotes. Our first is half Pyrenees/Anatolian from TS Farms. We have used llamas as well.
The motto of a Kiko breeder in KY is that you cannot feed, you got to breed it. We stand behind his motto. Kiko were bred to survive on natural resources. That is not to say that we do not supplement our goats diet, but we believe they should work for their food in the day and depending on the need, we can supplement in the evening as needed. Free access to loose minerals and baking soda (prevents over-acidity in the rumen) is also provided and as always access to FRESH water.
In summer we do not have to add a lot to our goats natural diet. We do give a small amount of corn and sweet feed mix in the evening. We also plant sun hemp and allow 30 minutes of grazing a day.
In the winter we take some extra steps; goats are allowed free access to hay 100% of the time. We also plant a mixture of rye grass, turnips, and oats for grazing. Additionally, we buy cotton seed (whole seeds) from a local gin and mix it with corn and sweet feed for evening feeding. We have also been having great success feeding whole oats to our growing doelings.
Our goats have to fend for themselves during non-gestating periods, but we do make certain they are given all the nutrients needed to develop into a top class Kiko goat.
Kiko are hardy goats plain and simple. However, they are animals and can get sick from time to time. We monitor our herd daily for any sickness and will quarantine a sick goat until they are well enough to rejoin the herd.
Worms are considerably less of a problem with kikos. We do take measure to prevent and treat them promptly though. Land is rotated every three months and given at least that long for the worms/eggs/parasites to naturally die off. This takes care of 90% of your worm problem. If a goat is found to have a worm load either by the FAMACHA eye chart, excessive diarrhea/bloating, or general malaise then combination worming, as suggested by recent studies, are given along with isolation on concrete. We rotate anti-parasitic medication based on each individual animal. One of the owners is a pharmacist and can make custom medications for us.
After initial worming, goats may need a follow-up treatment in a week or so. Probiotics and red cell are also administered following treatment to help keep their rumen in tip top shape. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) can be given to goats showing any neurological symptoms.
Also do not forget your goats feet. Once gain Kiko excel in this area, but check them at least annually and trim as needed.