For the Love of Goats

Deborah Niemann

We are talking about everything goats! Whether you're an owner, a breeder, or just a fan of these wonderful creatures, we've got you covered. Join host and author Deborah Niemann as she interviews experts and goat lovers so we can all learn more about how to improve the health and production of our goats, improve our relationships, and possibly even start a goat business.

All Episodes

If you are looking for a larger dairy goat that produces a lot of milk and has fairly low butterfat, then the Sable goat might be the one for you, especially if you like the idea of having a breed that is not very common.In this episode, I'm talking to Klisse Foster who has been raising Sable goats since the 1980s. Her goats are often on the American Dairy Goat Association's Top Ten list for milk production. She shows her goats too and can usually be found at the ADGA national show, even in years when Sables are not sanctioned.We also talk about how to overcome the challenges of raising a goat breed that is less common by doing things like using frozen semen for artificial insemination and leasing bucks.Full show notes here -- see the most recent episodes, visit

Dec 1

26 min 24 sec

Today's episode started as a discussion of Nubian goats with Joanne Danielson who has been raising them for 40 years. However, because of Jo's experience as a professional cheesemaker, it quickly turned into a deep dive into the science of cheesemaking and how starting with the right goats can make all the difference.At 5%, Nubian goats have the highest butterfat of any of the standard breeds. But because Jo is serious about making the best cheese, she has incorporated genetic testing into her toolkit so that she can focus on breeding goats with the best genes for making cheese. And she quickly adds that if you have any issues with milk sensitivities, these goats would not be the best choice for you. If you love goats and you love cheese, this is the episode for you!Full show notes here -- see the most recent episodes, visit

Nov 24

38 min 29 sec

It can be so challenging to choose a breed of goat to raise. But you should not choose your goats like you choose pets, which is often based on appearance, color, or size. If you want your goats to serve a purpose, such as dairy or meat, you really should choose the breed that is going to help you meet your goals.Since we don't drink milk, our goat milk is almost all used exclusively for making cheese, which is why we have Nigerian dwarf. Since they have the highest butterfat of any breed, we get a much higher cheese yield than we would with another breed. But if you need several gallons of milk a day, I would suggest one of the larger dairy goat breeds.In this episode, I also discuss why you should start with only one breed, as well as the disadvantage of having breeds of different sizes.Full show notes here -- see the most recent episodes, visit

Nov 3

17 min 44 sec

As I've received more messages from people with kids born hairless or with goiters, I've become more interested in the topic of iodine and goats because those symptoms occur in kids that are iodine deficient.You don't usually hear anyone talking about iodine and goats unless the topic of kelp comes up, and then the conversation can swing wildly between people worried about deficiency or toxicity. In today's episode, I am joined again by Dr. Robert VanSaun, Professor of Veterinary Science and Extension Veterinarian in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at Pennsylvania State University.We talk about symptoms of iodine deficiency in adult goats, as well as newborn kids. We also take a deep dive into providing kelp for goats and how labels don't always give you the information you need.Full show notes here -- see the most recent episodes, visit

Sep 29

38 min 29 sec

Coxiella burnetii is the bacteria that causes coxiellosis in goats and Q-fever in humans, and although it is not super common, all goat owners need to be aware of it so that they can prevent their goats and themselves from being infected.Coxiellosis in goats is highly infectious and can cause abortion storms in herds. Humans can be infected via aerosols (like COVID), birth secretions, feces, and raw milk. This disease can be especially bad in pregnant women.In this episode, I am talking to infectious disease expert Dr. Charles Gaiser from the USDA about the transmission, symptoms, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of this devastating disease.Full show notes here -- see the most recent episodes, visit

Sep 15

28 min 43 sec

Have you ever wanted to produce 100% of your food? Well, that's exactly what Alexia Allen and her husband Daniel Kirchhof did in 2017. In this episode, she talks about how goats played a central role in their year of hand-harvested food. They ate nothing — not even salt — that was not harvested by them or their friends. How did they get the idea to go a whole year without purchased food? What did they do to prepare? How did goats fit into the picture? Alexia talks about her experience making cheese without purchased cultures or rennet, as well as how she as a former vegan was able to butcher some of their baby goats to make rennet from the stomaches. This episode includes my favorite laugh-out-loud moment when Alexia tells us about a 6-year-old's assessment of the cheese she made with her homemade rennet. I also share our experience from many years ago trying to make cheese without store-bought cultures, and we talk about how much tolerance we have for learning things by trial and error. And ultimately, how important is it that we strive for total self-sufficiency?Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Aug 25

33 min 58 sec

Although everyone pretty much agrees that goats do a good job of consuming just the right amount of loose minerals when they are available free choice, there are still a lot of people who don't think goats (or other animals) can selectively choose to consume plants that they need when they need them.The concept of "nutritional wisdom" is something that Dr. Fred Provenza wound up studying throughout his career at Utah State University. I've heard about Dr. Provenza's research for about as long as I've raised goats, so it was really interesting to be able to talk to him in this episode.While most people would look at goats eating urine-soaked rat houses or a cow eating a rabbit and assume that it had no clue what it was doing, Dr. Provenza asked why.Full show notes here --- To see the most recent episodes, visit  ForTheLoveOfGoats.comFor more informationRead about Dr. Provenza's research and other researchers studying "Behavioral Education for Human, Animal, Vegetation, and Ecosystem Management" at

Aug 4

40 min 20 sec

After writing about our experience when one of our does had squamous cell carcinoma, I've been contacted by quite a few other goat owners who have had a goat that also had that form of skin cancer.But Mary Brennan really got my attention when she emailed and told me she has had six goats with confirmed squamous cell carcinoma! She noticed that some of the goats were related, which caused her to dive deep into the history of the Nigerian dwarf breed, as well as skin cancer in other species. Ultimately that led her to a researcher at the University of California at Davis, who is now collecting data to study the potential role that genetics might play in this deadly disease.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit  ForTheLoveOfGoats.comYou can visit Herron Hill Dairy online at...WebsiteFacebookFor more informationCancer in Goats: Squamous cell carcinomaWhat’s So Great About Nigerian Dwarf Goats? 

Jul 28

23 min 15 sec

Someone emailed me after her first experience tattooing goats and said, "There has to be a better way to identify goats. What can you tell me about microchips?" Luckily I had already scheduled an interview with Allysse Sorenson, Chief Executive Herder of The Munch Bunch and webmaster at has microchipped all of her caprine "employees" to not only identify them but also to keep track of them. In this episode, we are talking about why she decided to microchip her goats, how a microchip works, and some common misconceptions about microchips.We also talk about Scrapie program requirements for identifying each goat, the different brands available, and where to place the microchip on the goat, as well as who might not want to microchip their goats.Allysse goes on to talk about apps and technologies related to microchips and how they can make your record keeping easier.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Jul 21

28 min 52 sec

Zinc deficiency is often suspected when a goat is losing hair, but there are other reasons for hair loss, and that is not the only symptom of zinc deficiency. In this episode, we are talking about zinc with Dr. Robert VanSaun from the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at Pennsylvania State University. First, he talks about how zinc affects 200 different functions in the body, and it is unfortunately deficient in all forage in the U.S. Goats need at least 40 ppm zinc in their diet, but most forage is closer to 25 ppm. Then we discuss interactions with other minerals and how too much of some minerals can cause a zinc deficiency. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Jun 30

41 min 47 sec

Some people talk about sheep and goats as if they are practically the same species, but nothing could be further from the truth. I've been breeding and milking Nigerian dwarf goats since 2002 and LaMancha goats for about 10 years. It may come as a surprise that I also bred Shetland sheep for 12 years and have had Katahdin hair sheep for six years now.In this episode, I am talking about how the two species are similar and different and why you might prefer one species over the other.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Jun 16

22 min 54 sec

When my daughters were teenagers, they loved showing our goats. It was a great way for us to learn about goat conformation and to see how our goats compared to others. It also provided an opportunity for us to meet other goat owners.In this episode, we are talking to Ellen Dorsey of Dill's-A Little Goat Farm in Oklahoma, who has been raising goats for two decades and showing for almost as many years. She talks about why she started showing goats and provides tips for anyone who wants to get started showing goats or improve their herd with an eye towards showing.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit  FortheLoveofGoats.comYou can visit Dills-A-Little Goat Farm online at …WebsiteFacebook 

Jun 2

34 min 9 sec

Because barber pole worm (haemonchus contortus) causes so many deaths among goats, we don't talk about other worms much. Barber pole is the worm that sucks blood and causes goats to become anemic, which can cause a goat to go downhill rapidly and even die.Goats can be walking around with a host of other worms in their body, however, and ironically most of those worms are unimportant and don't cause disease. So, why are we talking about them? Because most people think that all worms must be killed, and ultimately, the attempt to kill all the worms can result in the barber pole worm killing your goats.Since barber pole worm can become resistant to dewormers, we should only use dewormers when the health of the goat is being negatively affected by worms. The more we use a dewormer, the sooner barber pole is going to become resistant to that dewormer — and then barber pole can kill your goats.In this episode, I am talking about these common but unimportant worms with Dr. Ann Zajac, Professor Emeritus of Parasitology at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. We're discussing tapeworms, threadworms (strongyloides), pinworms, whipworms, and lungworms, and why we don't usually need to be worried about their existence inside our goats.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit  FortheLoveofGoats.comFor more information:American Association of Small Ruminant Parasite Control Copper Oxide as a DewormerDeer Worms in GoatsNatural Parasite Control with LespedezaRoundworms and GoatsUsing Dewormers CorrectlyWorms During Kidding Season

May 26

37 min 53 sec

If you have goats for very long, you may realize that some never need deworming while others need it frequently. There is definitely a genetic component involved in a goat's natural resistance or resilience to worms.In this episode I'm talking to Andrew Weaver, Ph.D., Small Ruminants Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University about genetic resistance to worms in goats and sheep. Although there has been a lot more research done on genetic resistance in sheep, goat owners can learn from their playbook and use some of the same selection tools for improving the worm resistance of their herds.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit  FortheLoveofGoats.comFor more information:American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite ControlWorms During Kidding SeasonRoundworms and GoatsDeer Worms in GoatsUsing Dewormers Correctly

May 12

36 min 2 sec

If you look online for a list of plants that are poisonous to goats, you might think you need to chop down trees and pull up dozens of weeds to keep your goats safe. Those lists can include things like oak and maple leaves, which my goats eat regularly because my farm is covered with them. The fact is that goats actually have a much higher tolerance for poisonous plants than horses and some other animals. So, what's a conscientious goat owner to do? In this episode, I'm talking to Kim Cassida from Michigan State University as we talk about the fact that many weeds can actually very nutritious for goats while the number of plants poisonous to goats is actually pretty low. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Apr 28

29 min 18 sec

If you ever wanted to sell your goats or sheep to someone in another country, then you are already familiar with the US's problem with scrapie. It's not a huge problem, but having anything more than zero cases for seven years means that most countries will not allow our sheep and goats to be imported into their country.In this episode, I am talking to Charles Gaiser, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, who is a sheep and goat epidemiologist with the USDA, APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service), VS (Veterinary Services), RHC (Ruminant Health Center), Small Ruminant Health Team, and we are talking about scrapie, which is a spongiform encephalopathy similar to "mad cow disease" but in goats and sheep. Because we have animals in the US with this disease, breeders can only sell goats and sheep to other countries if they have a herd or flock that is certified scrapie free, which takes seven years of testing and surveillance. Every time I get an inquiry from someone in another country who wants to buy my goats, I have to say no because my flock is not certified free of scrapie. I've thought about enrolling, but then I just keep hoping that the US can go seven years without any cases. I got really excited in 2019 when I heard that we had gone three years with no positive cases of scrapie! But then there was another one, so that resets the national clock back to zero. In this episode, we are talking about the disease, the symptoms, testing, and what you can do to get your herd certified free of scrapie and sell goats internationally. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit FortheLoveofGoats.comFor more informationMain USDA Sheep and Goat Webpage:USDA APHIS | Sheep and Goat HealthNational Scrapie Eradication Program (NSEP) Webpage:USDA APHIS | National Scrapie Eradication ProgramNSEP Standards:Microsoft Word - nsep_program_standards 2019 final.doc ( scrapie epidemiologists in each state for questions on scrapie:Official Designated Scrapie Epidemiologists and Local Points of Contact List ( request official sheep and goat tags, a flock or premises ID or both, call 1-866-USDA-Tag (866-873-2824).  Free tags can be provided if producer has not received free tags in the past 5 years or as an incentive for providing scrapie surveillance samples from their animals.SFCP Webpage:USDA APHIS | Free Flock Certification ProgramSFCP Standards:standards_current.pdf (

Apr 21

30 min 26 sec

Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz first entered our lives in 2004 during their Year of the Goat when they traveled from coast to coast learning about all things goat. They were enamored with these amazing creatures, and they knew they wanted to do something with goats. But what?Instead of just reading a couple of books, they decided to literally write a book, as they visited goat dairies, the circus, pack goat operations, slaughterhouses, and even homesteads that had goats as an integral part of their plan for greater self-reliance.After 12 months and thousands of miles, they ultimately settled on a small homestead in Maine and decided to start an agritourism business with goats as the centerpiece.In this episode, I'm talking to Margaret about their trip, their experiences, and why they ultimately decided on tourism rather than one of the other many goat businesses they learned about. And what it's like sharing your farm with total strangers, both pre-Covid and during.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit  FortheLoveofGoats.comYou can visit Ten Apple Farm online at ...WebsiteFacebookInstagramIf you are thinking about starting an agritourism business, also check out previous episodes on ...Avoiding Diseases with a Biosecurity PlanZoonotic Diseases and AgritourismGoat Law

Apr 7

27 min 53 sec

There is an old veterinary saying that most animal diseases are bought and sold. It can be so tempting to buy every cute goat that you see, but there are some very good reasons to only buy your animals from reputable breeders who have herds that have tested negative for common diseases.In this episode, I am talking to Patty Scharko, DVM, MPH, a Field/Extension Veterinarian at Clemson University in South Carolina about keeping your goats health with a good biosecurity plan. It all starts with buying healthy animals and then being careful to not bring home any germs that will cause diseases. We talk about annual herd testing for the most common diseases, as well as how to keep your goats safe when people visit your farm or you go to goat shows. To learn more about caprine arthritis encephalitis, check out the "Working to Eradicate CAE" podcast we did a few months ago.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit  FortheLoveofGoats.comTo learn more about biosecurity:Dr. Julie Smith’s biosecurity grant funding provides:Biosecurity Training (videos)Youth, 4-H and FFA Biosecurity Learning ModulesIowa State University Center for Food Security and Public Health:Small Ruminant Diseases and ResourcesFor more information on infection control:Disinfection (info about disinfectants, bacteria, and viruses)

Mar 31

30 min 24 sec

Most of us love our goats so much and want to share their awesomeness with the world. Unfortunately, that is not a risk-free proposition because there are some diseases that goats can transmit to humans — even healthy goats!In today’s episode, we are talking to Megin Nichols, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, at the Center for Disease Control where she leads the team that investigates multi-state outbreaks of salmonella, E. coli, and other zoonotic diseases. I first heard her speak at a conference of the American Dairy Goat Association where she talked about a huge outbreak of E. coli that occurred in Connecticut when a farm decided to have an open farm day where visitors could get up close and personal with their goats.We are talking about how you can protect yourself, as well as guests who visit your farm. In addition to that, we also talk about protecting yourself when delivering baby goats, butchering chickens, and doing just about anything that involves poop or bodily fluids that come from livestock.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit  FortheLoveofGoats.comStickers to hand out at events:Washing hands after petting zoo: hands after an animal exhibit:

Mar 24

34 min 49 sec

If you're confused by everything you've heard about copper needs in goats, then hopefully this episode will clear things up.We are joined again by Dr. Robert VanSaun who teaches veterinary science at Pennsylvania State University and specializes in ruminant nutrition, and he debunks common myths while explaining symptoms of deficiency and toxicity, and how they are different, as well as where to start in your copper supplementation program. He also drives home the idea that all nutrition is local, and you can't simply copy what someone is doing on another farm. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Mar 17

35 min 50 sec

Although we are finally getting the word out that current research shows that you should not routinely deworm goats or deworm the whole herd at one time, one of the last old-fashioned ideas about dewormers is still hanging on -- the idea that you must deworm all does after kidding (or within a week or two before kidding). The fact that does have often have an increase in their fecal egg counts around the time of kidding has caused people to believe that deworming is necessary. However, this comes from a misunderstanding of how correlation in this case does not mean there is a cause and effect.Most people are not aware that worms do NOT hatch inside the goat, so more eggs in a fecal does not equal more worms in the goat. Worms need oxygen to hatch, so they only hatch on pasture. That means that the increase in fecal egg count does not cause the poor body condition that you may see in some does after kidding. In this episode, I am once again talking to Susan Schoenian, a sheep and goat specialist at the University of Maryland Research Center, as we talk about how kidding affects a doe's immune system, as well as what we need to do about it -- or not. And what can we do other than administer a dewormer? Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit  FortheLoveofGoats.comFor more informationCopper Oxide as a Dewormer Using Dewormers CorrectlyNatural Parasite Control with Sericea LespedezaAmerican Association of Small Ruminant Parasite Control

Mar 10

35 min 16 sec

I've always referred to colostrum as liquid gold. Whenever someone asks me what they should give a kid when it's born, the answer is short and simple -- colostrum. When a kid is born, the number one goal is to get colostrum into it as soon as possible. After recording this episode, I am even more appreciative of this amazing food that mama goats make for their babies.Dr. Robert Van Saun, a professor of veterinary science at Pennsylvania State University, returns to talk about all of the amazing properties of colostrum, as well as how much kids need, when they need it, and what can mess things up. (Hint: do not milk your goat before she kids!) Dr. Van Saun also talks about how you can tell if colostrum is higher or lower quality, including recent research and how to test colostrum. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Mar 3

38 min 14 sec

Whether you live in Florida or Canada, odds are good that you will be worried about your goats giving birth when it is cold out. However, the definition of cold can vary dramatically between those two places. When I'm talking to people in southern states, they are worried when temperatures are dipping below 50. Whereas those of us in Illinois and other northern states don't worry too much until it looks like temperatures will be dipping into the single digits or below zero.We've had more kiddings below zero than I can recall at this point, and personally I'd be happy if it never happened again. There are so many things to worry about at those temperatures, which are not a concern at warmer temperatures. In this episode I am talking to Lisa and Michael Davis of Sweet Doe Dairy, whom you first met in Episode 18, which was about their gelato dairy in Vermont. Since they have temperatures that are similar to Illinois in winter, I thought it would be interesting to compare stories and experiences about goats giving birth in cold weather. You can follow Sweet Doe Dairy on Facebook and Instagram.  Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Feb 24

41 min 15 sec

Selenium is a very important mineral in a goat's diet. However, since most soil in the U.S. is deficient in selenium, and the U.S. government limits the amount of selenium that can be added to goat feeds and minerals, it's not that easy to make sure your goats get enough selenium. In this episode, I'm talking to veterinary and ruminant nutritionist, Dr. Robert Van Saun, a professor of veterinary science at Pennsylvania State University. He talks about the notorious history of selenium, as well as symptoms of deficiency. You'll learn how much selenium goats need in their diet and how to make sure they are getting it.  We also talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of selenium supplements. (Spoiler alert: So-called "selenium gel" does not actually have enough selenium in it to be helpful for a goat that is actually deficient in selenium.)If you are listening to this episode while driving or milking goats, and you have an urge to start taking notes, remember that the transcript is on the Thrifty Homesteader website, so you can review all of the numbers that Dr. Van Saun shares.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Feb 16

49 min 38 sec

What is the difference between a controlled study and observations that you make on your farm? In this episode, I’m talking to Joan Burke, Ph.D., who has been researching alternative dewormers in small ruminants for about two decades.In addition to talking about some of her parasite research, we also are debunking some myths that you may have heard. Plus we are talking about the importance of randomly assigning goats to a control group (that receives nothing) to compare to a treatment group, as well as a few others important factors involved in figuring out what treatment caused what response. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Feb 10

29 min 24 sec

In addition to being the author of the newly released book, Grow Your Own Spices, Tasha Greer is also a homesteader and goat owner. Today we are talking about extended lactations in Nigerian dwarf goats, as well as making cheese without a recipe.Although most people only milk their goats for a few months or a year at most, many goats are capable of continuing to produce milk for two to three years. This is something we've been doing on our farm for awhile, so I was excited to learn that Tasha milks her does for an extended period without rebreeding.Tasha uses her goat milk to make homemade cheese for her family, and we also talk about how she doesn't let her cheesemaking be defined by recipes. Instead, she has created her own unique cheeses.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Feb 3

32 min 38 sec

Meningeal worm, also known as deer worm, is a worm that is normally found in white tail deer, but goats can become infected. In this episode Dr. Tatiana Stanton, a goat and sheep specialist with Cornell University Extension, is talking about how deer worm is different than intestinal worms that goats have, symptoms of an infection, and treatment. Although deer worm is not nearly as common as intestinal worms, they can be much more deadly. While a goat can walk around with thousands of roundworms in its digestive tract, a single deer worm in the spinal column or brain stem can paralyze a goat and even kill it, if it is not treated. Getting treatment started as quickly as possible also plays a big role in a successful outcome.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit FortheLoveofGoats.comFor more information:Deer Worm Factsheet for goat and sheep producers, Cornell UniversityDeer Worm Treatment Protocols, Small Ruminant Parasite Research, Cornell UniversityMeningeal Worm (Deer, Brain Worm) by Dr. Mary Smith, DVM, and Dr. Tatiana Stanton (PowerPoint presentation)

Jan 27

35 min 48 sec

If you've had friends taste your cheese and tell you that you should go pro and start selling it, this is the episode for you. Years ago when that happened to me, I visited Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery in Illinois for a two day workshop to learn more about turning my passion into a business. Unlike most of my guests whom I've only known online, I've personally known Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrell for more than a decade, so this is an especially fun episode for me. Leslie tells the story of why they decided to build a creamery and how they got started, as well as some of the lessons learned along the way. Full show notes here --- To see the most recent episodes, visit For more information:WebsiteFacebookInstagram 

Jan 6

26 min 7 sec

If you ask any goat breeder what is their favorite breed, they will most likely tell you it's the breed they are raising. However, there is no perfect breed. Each one has its own pros and cons. In the world of meat goats it is not uncommon to hear people say that boers provide more meat, whereas kikos have better parasite resistance — and the discussion usually ends with those two breeds.Richard Browning, Ph.D., of Tennessee State University, has been studying the genetic differences between boer, kiko, Spanish, and myotonic goats since 2001. In this episode he talks about the differences that they have found in their research herd, which numbers about 250 head.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Dec 2020

36 min 6 sec

Today we have questions from three listeners, so we are talking about urine scald, does in heat, and what you may want to have in your goat medicine cabinet. Remember that I am not a vet, and that this information is provided for educational purposes only. I'm talking about why people may have specific items in their medicine cabinet and what they may be used for. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit FortheLoveofGoats.comIf you would like to ask a question that may be used in a future Q&A episode, click here to record your question.  For more information on topics I discuss in this episode, check out these links:Copper Oxide as a Dewormer -- podcastUsing Dewormers Correctly -- podcastRoundworms in Goats -- podcastDewormer Resistance in Goats -- articleToday's episode was sponsored by Standlee Premium Western Forage, which makes my favorite alfalfa pellets and timothy hay pellets!Standlee Premium Western Forage We've been using and loving hay pellets from Standlee Premium Western Forage for more than 10 years!

Dec 2020

35 min 25 sec

Whether you are facing resistance to chemical dewormers, or whether you prefer to use more natural remedies, copper oxide wire particles may be helpful in the fight against barber pole worm (haemonchus contortus) in goats and sheep. Joan Burke, Ph.D., has been studying the effects of copper oxide and other alternative dewormers on intestinal worms since the early 2000s. She has had multiple studies published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Veterinary Parasitology. In this episode, Dr. Burke talks about using copper oxide in goats, as well as her research on herbal dewormers.Dr. Burke is also a member of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control, where you can find links to more than a decade's worth of studies done on worms in goats, sheep, and camelids. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Dec 2020

31 min 2 sec

Many people who have owned pet dogs assume that they know all about choosing, buying, and training dogs, but livestock guardian dogs are a completely different animal. In this episode we are talking about those differences with Bill Costanzo from Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in San Angelo.Full show notes here --- To see the most recent episodes, visit For more information, visit Bill on social media or via email:InstagramFacebookYoutubeWebsiteEmail

Nov 2020

36 min 40 sec

Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis, usually referred to as CAE, is a disease unique the goats and sheep, which has no cure. It spreads easily because goats in the early stages of the disease have no symptoms, and some may remain symptomatic forever. In the 1970s, it was discovered that most goat herds in the United States and many other countries had multiple goats that were infected. Since the disease is spread by bodily fluids, including blood, milk, and mucus, it is easy to control the disease when you know a goat is infected. After decades of taking kids away from their dams at birth, the number of goats with CAE has decreased dramatically. However, with the increase in the popularity of goats, I am hearing of more and more cases of CAE in the US. In this episode I am joined by Dr. Sandra Baxendell, a goat vet in Australia, who talks about how her country has started to bring the disease under control, as well as how other countries have eradicated it completely.Full show notes here --- To see the most recent episodes, visit For more information:Goat Vet Oz —'s Eradicate CAE from Australian Goats — — — — —

Nov 2020

28 min 43 sec

Have you thought about renting out a room or a small cottage or cabin on your farm through Airbnb? Meet Tammy Gallagher of Texas who has done just that! In this episode, she talks about why they opened up their farm to guests and exactly how that works with her goats and other livestock. Shady Paddock Farm - Willow HouseFull show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit  FortheLoveofGoats.comStandlee Premium Western Forage We've been using and loving hay pellets from Standlee Premium Western Forage for more than 10 years!

Nov 2020

26 min 12 sec

It might sounds like it's too good to be true -- take your goats to someone else's land and have them eat the brush and weeds while you are being paid. Goat landscaping is now more popular than ever, but it is not quite as simple as loading up your goats and having someone pay you while also providing free food for your goats. Today I'm talking to Aaron Steele of Goats on the Go about what it's really like to run a goat landscaping business. He is talking about how he got started, pitfalls to avoid, and how he helps other entrepreneurs start their own goat grazing businesses.Full show notes here --- To see the most recent episodes, visit Goats on the Go For the Love of Goats Podcast ArchivesFor the Love of Goats on Facebook

Oct 2020

28 min 20 sec

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own goat milk soap business? That's exactly what Jill Spruance and her family did almost a decade ago, and they are still going strong. They make about 20,000 bars of soap annually and sell them on their farm and online, as well as wholesale through 35 retailers across the country. In this podcast, Jill talks about why she started making soap, why they started selling soap, and how their business has evolved. She also talks about how they pivoted when COVID changed everything, as well as the wildfires near their farm in California. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Oct 2020

44 min 54 sec

There is probably no other goat-related subject that confuses goat owners more than deworming. If you check five different online sources, you could wind up with five different recommendations about how to use dewormers. The problem is that there was not much research done on worms until the last 15 years or so, which means there are a lot of outdated recommendations still floating around online. And it's also challenging to get the new info to veterinarians, so some of them are even working with outdated information.In this episode I'm talking to Susan Schoenian, a sheep and goat specialist with the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research & Education Center, where she has been since 1988. That means she has seen a lot of changes in what is considered best practices for using dewormers. In addition to talking about the different dewormers and when to use them, she also gives us a little history on what used to be done and why the recommendations have changed. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Oct 2020

49 min 8 sec

Rather than waiting for spring and wondering why your goats didn't get pregnant, now is the time to get your ducks in a row -- er, um, goats! In this solo episode I'm talking about all of the things you need to consider during breeding season.If you breed your goats now, will they give birth at a time when you are not traveling or overly busy with work? Will it be freezing outside?How old or how big should your does be before the first breeding?How old do bucks need to be to successfully service does?Should you "flush" your does before breeding? (What does that even mean?)What are the pros and cons of pen breeding vs hand breeding?What are the sign that a doe is in heat?What does normal buck behavior look like (and sound like) during breeding season?What does a successful breeding look like?Should you try artificial insemination?Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit FortheLoveofGoats.comFor more information on breeding your goats:My free course on Goat Breeding includes videos to help you recognize signs of heat, as well as successful and unsuccessful breeding attempts -- and more!Goats need proper nutrition for successful breeding, pregnancies, and birthing. That means they need a good, loose goat mineral, NOT a "sheep and goat" mineral and not a block or poured tub.To learn more about copper deficiency, check out my free course on that topic here. Today's episode was sponsored by Standlee Premium Western Forage, which makes my favorite alfalfa pellets and timothy hay pellets!Standlee Premium Western Forage We've been using and loving hay pellets from Standlee Premium Western Forage for more than 10 years!

Sep 2020

45 min 37 sec

Dan Laney, a goat breeder and a judge with the American Dairy Goat Association, has been helping people in Nepal raise goats since 2014. In this episode, he talks about how being in a coma for a month and then losing his mother to cancer ultimately led him to finding more meaning in his life by helping others. In this episode he talks about how he got started, as well as how he has continued to help the people of Nepal with their goats in recent years, and what he plans to do when he we can all travel again. He also talks about how you can help.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Sep 2020

41 min 25 sec

Today we are talking about two separate problems that a lot of goat owners encounter -- milk that tastes "goaty" and does holding back their milk.First I'm talking to Katherine Boehle, Ph.D., about how bacteria in milk causes a bad taste -- and it doesn't matter whether that bacteria is alive or dead, so pasteurization is not the answer. Dead bacteria tastes just as bad as live bacteria. Then we are talking about one of the greatest frustrations of anyone who has ever milked a goat (or cow or sheep or whatever) -- knowing that there is still milk in the udder but being unable to get it to come out. If you're an experienced milker, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't experienced this yet, you will at some point if you are milking a goat that is raising her own kids. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit FortheLoveofGoats.comHomeschooling with Goats -- another episode with Katherine talking about how growing up on a farm turned her into a science nerd.2:30 Fixing Gross Milk in Kenya5:00 How Bacteria Affects Taste13:30 Milking Devons 14:30 Getting Optimal Milk-Fat

Sep 2020

27 min 26 sec

Katherine Boehle is taking us on a trip down memory lane to discuss her upbringing on the farm, learning alongside nature, and using goats and other livestock as an educational tool. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit FortheLoveofGoats.com5:35 Exploring ecosystems and collecting bones10:00 Rotational grazing12:46 First field necropsyGoats 365 Membership19:09 Necropsy advice 21:30 Goats as parenting training22:45 Potty training goats24:30 Writing about science  Science on the Farm30:30 Homeschooling advice 

Aug 2020

33 min 21 sec

Are your goats or goat expenses tax deductible? It depends! Learn the many ways goats can affect your taxes (or not) with Harley Raptor CPA and "Accountant Warrior" as she describes the different ways to treat goats on your taxes and what differentiates a business from a hobby.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit FortheLoveofGoats.com2:00 What's the difference between a hobby and a business.   9 factors from IRS5:39 Do marketing expenses help create a legitimate business?6:28 Contractors vs Employees9:58 Additional accounting expenses to think about12:00 What are quarterly taxes and why do people have to pay them?14:35 What if you file as a sole proprietor, LLC, or S-corp?  Goat Law Episode 20:50 How do we keep good records for accounting purposes?26:00 What criteria must you meet to write something off as a business expense. How to find Harley Raptor:

Aug 2020

29 min 27 sec

If you ever thought about starting a commercial dairy, today's episode is for you. I am talking to a couple of New Yorkers who moved to Vermont to start a goat dairy selling gelato! Michael and Lisa Davis talk about the realities of having a goat dairy, from both the perspective of raising goats, as well as making gelato.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit FortheLoveofGoats.com3:20 the decision to start a herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats for the dairy6:22 finances8:00 growing a herd and selling goats13:08 unusual expenses of having a dairy (cleaning agents, nutritional info on labeling, daily testing, and more!)18:29 cost of infrastructure, budgeting, working with state inspectors26:25 graduating from making personal ice cream in your home kitchen to creating a business selling gelato30:16 why not sell ice cream or cheese?34:40 the difference between gelato and ice cream

Jul 2020

37 min 53 sec

The San Clemente Island Goat originally came from off the coast of California where they had become so invasive that the government started an eradication program in the late 1970s. Today less than a thousand of these goats are found in small herds around the US and Canada. In this episode I'm talking to Erin Link, who raises them and helped to start the new breeders association. In addition to having a goat meat CSA, Erin also milks her goats and sells goat milk soap to raise awareness about the breed.Full show notes here --- To see the most recent episodes, visit 5:30 making soap7:15 milk production15:00 size of the goats17:00 selling goat meat through a CSA20:18 history of the breed23:00 San Clemente Island Goat Breeders Association26:00 registering goatsCIG Breeders Association websiteSCIG Breeders Facebook pageSCIG Breeders Association Facebook pageEB Ranch LLC websiteEB Ranch LLC Facebook pageEB Ranch LLC InstagramStandlee Premium Western Forage We've been using and loving hay pellets from Standlee Premium Western Forage for more than 10 years!

Jul 2020

28 min 37 sec

Learn about your responsibilities and liabilities as a goat owner with Eva Moss, Farmer and Partner Development Manager at Farm Commons, which is a non-profit specializing in legal education for farmers.Full show notes here --- To see the most recent episodes, visit 2:50 zoning6:20 goat yoga7:20 liability8:30 signed waivers10:00 agritourism liability statutes11:56 insurance17:40 incorporation20:49 types of business entitities24:00 liability for goat bite and rabies31:22 product liabilityFor more information about farming and legal issues, visit Farm Commons. 

Jul 2020

40 min 55 sec

Steve Hart, Ph.D., of Langston University talks about roundworms in goats, including the infamous barber pole worm, which causes a lot of heartache and financial loss for goat owners every summer. Did you know ...?a barber pole worm can lay 2000-6000 eggs per day can consume a pint of blood per week from your goatthe larvae survives on pasture by eating the e.coli in the fecal pelletsthe larvae can survive on pasture for up to three months if temperatures are in the 50sDr. Hart explains why this worm is such a problem for goats and their owners, as well as what you can do about them. We also talk about other roundworms and how they cause different symptoms than the barber pole worm. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit FortheLoveofGoats.com2:54 barber pole worm9:50 risk factors for goats10:55 dewormer resistance12:14 integrated pest (parasite) management14:00 FAMACHA15:11 5-point check17:20 using dewormers21:35 Bioworma23:12 creating a parasite management plan

Jun 2020

27 min 48 sec

Do you want dairy goats but don't have a farm in the countryside? It is possible to have goats in many cities, but there are a few unique challenges. In today's episode, I'm talking to Glenna Rose of Vancouver, Washington about the Nigerian dwarf dairy goats that live in her backyard and provide her with milk that she uses to make ice cream, cheese, and more. We talk about fencing, housing, milking, birthing, and how to handle neighbors who want to feed your goats or who may worry about your screaming goat in heat. Today's episode is sponsored by Standlee Premium Western Forage, maker of my goats' favorite alfalfa pellets. Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit FortheLoveofGoats.comStandlee Premium Western Forage We've been using and loving hay pellets from Standlee Premium Western Forage for more than 10 years!

Jun 2020

27 min 50 sec

Today I'm talking to Matt Ruben who has two pet wethers in Chicago. If you live in the city and wonder if pet goats are right for you, here's what we're talking about:choosing does (female goats) or wethers (castrated males)dealing with noise and being a good neighborlegalities of having goats in the citydealing with poopbuying and storing haychallenges of finding a goat vetand more!Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Jun 2020

33 min 53 sec

Have you ever wished you could attend a few goat births with a mentor? That's the idea behind my newest book, Goats Giving Birth! In today's episode I'm reading the introduction, as well as the first birth story in the first chapter. The book includes more than 20 birth stories from normal to complicated to tragic. Each birth includes two parts -- the original blog post that I wrote when the birth occurred and then my thoughts on the birth today. It also includes dozens of full-color photographs of births.Full show notes here --- see the most recent episodes, visit

Jun 2020

19 min 4 sec

If you are thinking of getting goats, this is the episode for you. I'm busting myths and telling you about things you need to think about before buying your first goats. And yes, that's goats with an s at the end. Goats are herd animals, which means they need at least one other goat friend. You can't have just one, and I explain why.This is also a good episode for breeders to share with potential buyers!I talk about the need for goats to give birth before making milk, as well as the need for them to give birth again to continue making milk. I explain why you can't just tie a goat out in the yard and why you need good fencing and housing to keep your goats safe and healthy. And if you were thinking about keeping a goat in your house, I'll share some stories from my youngest daughter's teen years when she thought she needed to have at least one baby goat in the house every spring. If you live in an urban area, you'll definitely need to hear about the unique challenges faced by people who keep goats in a city. Full show notes here --- To see the most recent episodes, visit For more information check out the following episodes that I talk about during the show:Forage and Feeding GoatsElectric FencingHousing and EquipmentStandlee Premium Western Forage We've been using and loving hay pellets from Standlee Premium Western Forage for more than 10 years!

May 2020

23 min 43 sec