Remember as a kid when the ads would arrive for Christmas? You’d grab it up, get a pen, and go through and circle all that you wanted Santa to bring you. Well…get ready…here comes the Goat Lover Christmas Gift Guide. Get ready to learn about several cool items that can go on your Wish List this year!
Rheem Hot Wave
Heated water outdoors whenever and wherever you need it!
Safe and easy to use, HotWave gives you complete control of the water temperature, spray patterns, and water pressure. At the Rafter O, we use the HotWave to bathe our goats and guard dogs. It has multiple heat settings and flow patterns that the goats and dogs love!
You never know what the temperature outside will be when your animals need a bath. With the HotWave, you don’t have to worry about chilling them with water that is too cold and causing them to get sick.
Here is a picture of Wren getting a bath. The warm water from the HotWave is very soothing for the goats, and in my opinion, makes the bath a much less stressful situation…(feeding helps too!).
The Texas Mini Milkers will have a Rheem HotWave to auction off at their Texas Two-Step Show in May 2024.
The HotWave is available for purchase from a variety of online vendors (Rheem Eemax, Home Depot, or Amazon) for around $150-$160.
The Hoof Boss is a must-have for any goat owner! I trimmed hooves for many years just using shears, and could never get the results I get with the Hoof Boss.
The Hoof Boss Standard Goat Hoof Trimming Set is designed for the goat owner who needs a hardworking and easy-to-use trimming tool to keep their herd trimmed regularly. Quiet, comfortable, pain-free trimming that’s easy to control so you can feel confident putting your animal’s hoof care in your hands.
At the Rafter O, we purchased the battery-powered tool. They have either the plug-in or battery option. I find that the battery provides sufficient power and is easier to move around the goat and not have to worry about the cord. Safety glasses and leather gloves are essential.
The Hoof Boss is available at many retail online outlets, but I recommend you check with the company, Boss Tools, as they often have coupon codes.
Silverline Hoof Trimmer
The Silverline Hoof Trimmers are hands-down the best on the market! They stay very sharp and the rubber-coated handles make for a comfortable non-slip grip.
I used many a pair of inferior trimmers before purchasing these – the Silverline Hoof Trimmers are now the only brand for me!
These can be purchased from Capralite or Amazon.
Fecal Testing Supplies
Conducting your own fecals at home can save a lot of money and time, but you need the right supplies! Here are the fecal testing supplies that we use at the Rafter O.
I did much research before deciding on the microscope that I purchased. It must be high-quality but not break the bank. I settled on the Swift SW350B 40X-2500X Magnification, Siedentopf Binocular Head, Research-Grade Compound Lab Microscope with Wide-Field 10X and 25X Eyepieces, Mechanical Stage, Abbe Condenser (SW350B) from Amazon. I paid around $265, but as I write this blog, it shows on Amazon for $229 plus a $20 coupon!
The mechanical stage moves very smoothly and the LED lighting is very bright. The angle of the eyepieces reduces neck strain so you can stay comfortable while reading slides.
Maggidan’s Fecal Test Kit and Booklet
This kit has everything you need to get started with fecal testing. The Maggidans Mini Mart also has sets that include a microscope, but I wanted the Swift model shown above so just ordered the kit.
- Instructional booklet Know Thine Enemy
- McMaster slide (not included in the $39.95 kit)
- 5 Fecalyzer test chambers for preparing the specimen
- 10 exam gloves
- a packet of 12 glass slides
- a packet of 100 glass coverslips
- 2 plastic pipettes
- 3 wooden tongue depressors
- 8-ounce bottle of flotation solution
- 2 Baermann test chambers with 10 gauze squares (lungworm test)
- large test tube with stand (liver fluke test)
Paracount-EPG Fecal Analysis Kit
After using the kit mentioned above, I struggled to conduct the fecal the proper way to make sure the proper proportions were used. I did a little research and found this kit that had much better components in my opinion.
This kit includes components to determine a quantitative Egg Per Gram (EPG) count in grazing animals and ruminants utilizing a modified McMaster egg counting technique. The Paracount-EPG™ test is simple and quick. A fecal sample is mixed in volumetric proportion in a calibrated vial with flotation solution. An aliquot is then transferred to our specialized counting slide which is observed microscopically at 100X. Eggs within the slide’s grids are counted, a multiple factor applied, and the EPG determined. These kits can be purchased from VetSlides.com.
Nelson Automatic Waterers
I tried many automatic waterers before I found this one. All the plastic versions from Tractor Supply would last a while and then break…with no way to repair them.
These are built to last a lifetime. Nelson automatic dog waterers are manufactured from tough 304-grade stainless steel. Its surfaces won’t chip, crack, or rust. Stainless steel float guard protects float and valve assembly.
They are easy to clean. A patented latch release allows the drinking bowl to be quickly removed for cleaning and sterilizing. Spare parts are available to order if anything should need to be replaced. We’ve purchased ours from GunDogSupply.com, and they run about $180.
Equine Scratching Panels
We all know goats love a good scratch! We just installed a few of these at the Rafter O, and I’m ready to order some more. The goats love them!
We installed them on a few of our posts two panels high so the goats can walk by and scratch their whole body. We are hoping that these last longer than the wooden brush heads that we have used previously. We got ours from Amazon.
Livestock Scratch Brush
These brushes are on my Wish List! They are brand new from Premier1.
New! Stiff bristled brush for livestock. Most barnyard animals, like people, like a good scratching post. It helps them stay clean and removes irritants, such as parasites.
- Mounts easily to a sturdy post, round pole, or wall
- Redirects bad habits (e.g. rubbing on valuable fences, equipment, or buildings)
- Important for an animal’s well-being—helps to scratch itches, remove dead skin and cope with stress
Suitable for sheep, goats, cattle, horses, etc. They come in Large ($49)and XL($64):
- Large: 20″L x 8-1/2″W x 3-1/2″H
- XL: 19-1/4″L x 12-1/4″W x 5″H
If you attend live shows, you need a good show box to carry your supplies to the show. I’ve been using a collapsible file cart, but I’m wanting to upgrade.
You can spend A LOT of money on fancy show boxes. For me, I only go to a few shows a year, and I really like this Black and Decker Stackable Storage System Rolling Tote. It is available on Amazon for a little over $100.
At my last show, I had my rolling file tote and a few other bins. With this item as my show box, I should be able to get everything into the stackable modules.
Simple Pulse Milk Machine
If you don’t already have a milk machine, I highly recommend the Simple Pulse. While there are a few other quality options (Capralite), it is hard. to beat the quality and price of the Simple Pulse units.
Simple Pulse was designed to make life easier and be a convenient and portable option that is easy to clean. Most of all it was designed with the animals’ health in mind as the system utilizes a pulsator making it a natural milking solution!
There are many options to choose from so hit up the website and see what will work best in your herd. We love the All-in-One Lid that allows you to filter the milk as it enters your glass jars.
Can a goat farmer make it without clippers? Yes. But…there are many reasons to have at least one set of quality clippers on your farm. Performance herds that show either virtually or in live shows will need to clip their goats so they look their best! If not showing, you’ll need clippers to give does a “kidding clip” to help keep them cleaner, and you’ll need to shave your kids’ heads before disbudding. I also use my clippers to shave when I’m drawing blood, or when the goats get into a bunch of tree sap! I’ve had many a pair of cheap, low-quality clippers before I landed on these two options from Premier1.
Premier 4000c Clipping Machine
This is a large corded clipper that makes quick work of shaving goats! The set includes a case, 4oz of oil, and the fine blade set for $332. We use the XtraCover Clipping Blade Set also which leaves the hair about 1/4 inch – perfect for showing!
These clippers are a little loud but the goats don’t seem to mind. Be sure to follow all of the directions and keep the blades well-oiled. When your blades need re-sharpened, Premier1 has an excellent sharpening service.
I can’t imagine not having these larger clippers when I’m prepping for shows!
Premier 900cl Cordless Clipper Package
These clippers are the BOMB! Love them so much! Don’t waste your money on any others! Get this set with the Eagle 10 blade ($197) and get the Clipper Guards ($34)!
- Brushless motor delivers power and torque for the toughest grooming jobs
- 3-½ hour runtime per battery; 2 lithium-ion batteries included!
- Charging station recharges both the spare battery and the in-unit battery
- Compatible with all A5 type detachable blades
- Comes equipped with an Eagle 10 or Eagle Blocking blade set
- Quickly adjust the cutting depth of small clippers using Clipper Guards (sold separately).
All animals need mental enrichment! Providing your goats with interactive toys can help them lead happier healthier lives! We love the Jolly Ball and Cow Bells!
Folding Goat Stanchion with Feed Pan
We use our portable stand for various uses: bathing goats, hoof trims, drawing blood, and taking to shows. We do have a permanent milk stand in our milk room, but we move the portable stand around the property for what we need.
This stand has sturdy steel construction with powder coated finish and foldable legs. We got our stand like this at Valley Vet Supply for $240. Also, you can add the Adjustable Fitting Headpiece to your Wish List!
Fly Reel Tape
When the flies are bad, you need to do everything you can to keep the numbers down! We installed this big reel in our doe barn, and we were excited to see the number of flies it catches.
Fly tape is an excellent modality when used in conjunction with other fly prevention methods. Check out our blog on Fly Control to learn more about what we do at the Rafter O.
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater
This little 4-gallon water heater gets the job done in both our Milk Room and She Shed. Bosch also makes a 2.5-gallon and 7-gallon version of this water heater.
If you don’t have hot water in your milk room, you need one of these! In our milk room, we use hot water to clean our Simple Pulse milk machine and a variety of other uses. In the She Shed, we use hot water to clean and sanitize our milk jars.
I remember hauling hot water out to the barn to clean the milk machine…never again! Get this on Amazon for around $230.
Amazon Basics Cooling Elevated Dog Bed with Metal Frame
We’ve gone through many of these elevated dog beds over the years. I’ve tried to order the ones where you can replace the material, but then I can’t get the frame apart because it is rusted. The plastic legs of some will break to pieces.
I’ve decided that the cheap metal framed ones work fine, and when they break…I just toss and order new ones! You can get large ones on Amazon for about $35.
Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Bucket Top Misting Fan
We bought this at Home Depot when it was on sale! Our goat shows in Texas are usually very warm. I can set this up to provide some cool misted air either for the goats or for me!
I wouldn’t recommend running the mist all the time on the goats, but it definitely will drop the temperature! This fan also comes in handy around the farm for other uses.
We set it up while taking Virtual Show pictures, and it really helped make the photo area more comfortable! The three most important things to have for Virtual Show pics are the goat, the camera, and the sweat towel!
Record keeping is very important. I was always a pen-and-paper kind of gal until I found the HerdBoss app.
It really does meet all my needs! If you’ve been searching for the perfect record-keeping app, I highly recommend this one. You can get started for free. I decided to pay the extra money to be able to add pictures.
I’m very excited to start logging Body Condition Scores and FAMACHA scores for my herd, in addition to all the other wonderful tools this app can do! Transferring my paper records into it was easy but took a little time. I use HerdBoss to record all medical records, breeding dates, etc.
Pricing for HerdBoss is available on their website.
The other “technology” I must highly recommend is Kintraks! I primarily use this as a pedigree program. It generates very nice pedigrees that I post on my website and give to kid buyers. It can do all of the things HerdBoss can do, but it is not mobile. To unlock the full version, it will just cost you $20.