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Angora Healthcare


A well fed and well sheltered goat will not ask much more of you. However, knowledge is power, so here is some need-to-know information.



All stock should be vaccinated once a year. Goats should be vaccinated against clostridial diseases, including pulpy kidney, blood poisoning, tetanus and black leg. Vets or farm supply shops stock 5 in 1 vaccines. Vaccinate your in-kid Does within two to three weeks prior to kidding. This not only vaccinates the Doe, but also the kid, as immunity passes from the Doe to the unborn Kid through the umbilical cord. A booster dose may also need to be given to the Kids at 6-8 weeks after birth, depending on the product which was used.
Vaccines are applied via subcutaneous injection. If you do not feel comfortable vaccinating your stock, your vet will be happy to come and do it for you. If you want to give it a go but would like a bit of guidance on the right methods, someone from the board of mohair producers will happily talk you through it.



Drenching is a way to control the worm burden in your animals. There are many differing opinions on drenching goats, and many different types of drench.

There are ‘pour on’ drenches which are unsuitable for a fibre producing animal. There are injectable drenches but these are very expensive. And there are oral drenches which are administered in the mouth and are most suitable for angora goats.

Depending on your farming system, drenching animals is generally crucial in assuring good growth rates and overall health of your goats. It is advised that farmers create a drenching plan based on their personal circumstances and farming style. Local vets will be happy to talk to you about the best options for you.

Always weigh your animals if possible and drench to the heaviest, this will help to reduce the risk of drench resistance. If animals vary hugely in sizes, different mobs will have to be drafted and drenched accordingly. Vets can advise you on dosages and technique.

When adding any newly purchased goats to your flock, you should always quarantine and drench the animals. This involves keeping them in a shed, if possible, or separate from any existing for 12hrs. Drench them with whatever is recommended by your veterinarian or local goat farmer, keep them in holding overnight, to ensure that all droppings that were beyond the stomach when you drenched them are passed. These may have viable worm eggs so it is better to drop them in the shed where they won’t hatch onto your pasture.

How will I know when to drench my goats?

Goats that look sick and less lively may be wormy. Another indicator is a soft stool, especially if they are eating dry foods. Pale gums and membranes indicate a high worm burden. Young stock are more vulnerable to the negative effects of worms so should be drenched more frequently. They will need a routine drench depending on what system you have them running in. Your vet can talk you through the other signs of when to drench, and you can read wormwise‘s website for lots of really great information.


Foot Care

Prevention is easier than the cure! Preventative footbaths using zinc sulphate mixed at a 1 to 10 rate with water is highly effective in preventing scald, which is where the skin between the toes becomes infected. In cases where the zinc doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, copper sulphate can be used instead. This is more expensive, and the blue colour stains the fleece, so using it in a one litre jug and doing each affected foot individually may be more efficient, even though it is time consuming. There are also aerosol sprays available at farm shops and vet clinics to treat small numbers of animals displaying lameness.

Trimming the foot itself will be required from time to time. Your vet can show you how to do this. Using sharp, straight edged garden snippers seems to be the best way.

Goats that repeatedly come up lame, even after many treatments, should be culled, or at least not bred from.


Fly Strike

While goats generally are less susceptible to fly strike, it can happen, especially in wet summers. Fly strike is most common during the warm and wet months from December to April.

If you notice animals scratching themselves, standing then sitting repeatedly, twitching their tail, stamping their feet, or grinding their teeth, you should check for fly strike.
To treat flystrike, which is where flies lay their eggs on the skin of the animal and then the larvae hatch and being eating the skin, trim all the hair around the sores as short as possible. This allows for airflow which the flies dislike. Use a suitable product such as maggo or zapp encore to kill the fly larvae. In severe cases you may want to drench the goat as well, but your vet can advise you on this.
The products listed are suggestions only. Please consult your vet before using any products not specified for use on goats.



Goats are subject to the same parasites as sheep, with the breeds able to cross-infect each other. There are many lice products which cover this problem available on the market . Make sure you follow instructions carefully, as some products may not be used during periods prior to shearing.



Goitre causes a swelling of the thyroid gland due to an iodine deficiency, leading to difficulty breathing and the underdevelopment of foetuses during pregnancy.  This deficiency is common in New Zealand, especially in areas where soils are deficient in this mineral.

This symptoms of this condition in kids includes; kids who look hunched, are too fat and podgy, not growing in height, seem very lethargic, always end up at the back of the mob during driving, or have swelling under their jaw. If you believe that your animals may have goitre, them speak to your vet immediately. Current treatments for this condition are iodine injections, which can improve animals straight away.

Goitre is different to bottle-jaw, which is a symptom of high numbers of barbers pole worm. If the swelling has appeared seemingly overnight and is paired with swelling of the legs and belly, this is most likely due to worm burden rather than being a true goitre. Drench immediately and offer hay and water to the goat. Consult your vet if symptoms do not improve.

Bad Weather

Following shearing and during kidding are the most important times to be aware of adverse weather events. Strong cold winds and rain during these periods can create dangerous conditions for exposed goats, so access to weatherproof shelter is crucial. It is preferable that this is in a location where the stock can be easily monitored.

Further information for getting started with angora goats

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