If you’re new to raising goats, you’re probably curious about their grooming needs. Does your goat need regular bathing as your dog does? While you don’t have to bathe your goat, some people choose to do it occasionally.
If your goat is extra dirty or you’re preparing him for a show, you might want to give him a little rinse. Keep reading to learn more about goats and their bathing needs.
What Are the Benefits of Bathing My Goat?
Most people think of farm animals as dirty so bathing them is low on the list of priorities. While your goats certainly don’t need a bath to stay healthy, there are some advantages to bathing your goat from time to time.
Keeping your goats clean will help keep offensive smells to a minimum and can also ward off pests like fleas, ticks, and even lice which are all common issues for goats. If your goat is itching a lot or losing patches of its hair, it may have lice. You can usually remove lice and mites through regular grooming, but you may need veterinary intervention in extreme situations.
Bathing will make clipping your goat’s hair easier, too. Most goat keepers clip their goats once a year. Shorter hair helps them to stay cooler in warm months and allows sunlight to reach their skin. Intense sunlight and warmer temperatures kill lice populations, so keeping your goat’s hair short in the summer will drive pests away.
How Do I Bathe My Goat?
If you decide that you want to bathe your goat, there are some things you can do to make the process easier on both you and your goat.
First, you’ll need to gather your supplies. You’ll need goat shampoo, buckets of water, and a washing mitt. There are plenty of livestock shampoos on the market, or you can use something non-toxic like castile soap to keep your goats clean. You want a cleanser that’ll be gentle on your goat’s coat and not strip it of any natural oils.
You consider calling in reinforcements to have a second set of hands-on standby—just in case things get out of hand.
Once you have your supplies, you’ll want to take your goat into an open grassy area. You might want to tie them to a stake so they can’t slip away. Don’t bathe them in a spot covered in dirt. Your buckets of water will create mud and make the bathing process not only more slippery but pointless.
Wet your goat down with warm water from your buckets. Add a bit of goat shampoo to its hair and start scrubbing with your washing mitt. Once you’ve scrubbed him up and made his coat nice and sudsy, it’s time to rinse. Use another bucket of warm water to rinse him off.
Once all the suds are gone, and you’re sure you’ve gotten every bit of shampoo rinsed away, it’s time to dry. You have three options for drying. If it’s sunny and hot outside, let him air dry in direct sunlight. This will leave your goat with a fluffy coat. If you want to get him dried as fast as possible, blow dry his hair on a gentle heat setting to not damage their coat. You can find industrial livestock-specific blow dryers if you want something a little more powerful. The last drying method is to use a clean towel to towel dry him. Try not to rub too vigorously as this can strip his coat of its natural oils.
Finish up the bathing process with a good hair brushing.
While goats are fairly low-maintenance animals and don’t need regular bathing, it doesn’t hurt to bathe them when you notice they’re visibly dirty. Just a few minutes is all it takes to keep your goats looking and feeling their best.
Featured Image Credit: Verushka, Shutterstock