I say two people because there is a chance one may be sick or moved out of the area by the time you are needing their help. You should have them over so that they are familiar with your setup, where animals, feed and tools are located.

Somewhere you need to have an up-to- date list of animals, their pens and how much to feed them.

The list should include all tasks that need to be done. If your list was from feeding animals when they were dry and now kids are on the ground, it is a recipe for disaster if they feed lactating does the same amount as when they were dry. Yes, you need a written list because it may be months before your friend has to take care of your goats and may forget animals that need care. People don’t want to prepare for these bad things happening but we can’t see into the future. If you have made preparations, you can focus on getting well without the worry of your animals being taken care of. If you end up having a long-term dis-

ability, it will be more demanding for care- takers to care for your animals and if they are unable to, you may be forced out of the goat business.

An exit plan is a plan for dissolving your business in a way that will preserve the value of your genetics and capture the value of your animals. This must be written and some thought put into it. You should identify your valuable ani- mals and breeders that may be interested in purchasing your genetics so those dispersing your herd can contact them about the sale of these animals. In general, if you have been breeding toward a goal, you do not want your valuable genetics sold as meat.

What should these people do if you have young suckling kids? What if your goats are in the middle of breeding season or just prior to breeding season? Your plan should cover the instructions for these sce- narios. You may not be able to give instruc- tions, so think about them and write them down. It would also be good to have a list of auctions or goat buyers that you use so that less valuable animals can be sold. Also, your goat equipment such as hay racks, goat feeders, waterers and working facilities could be sold to other goat producers.

(Steve Hart is a Goat Extension Special- ist at Langston University in Oklahoma. He is also a member of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control. He can be contacted at

April 2021 | Goat Rancher 21

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