Necessary Goat Equipment
Next to secure, dry and draft-free housing and a collar and leash, the most important piece of equipment you'll need for your goats is a milking stand.
While it is called a milking stand, it is much more than just a milking stand. A milking stand allows a goat, male or female, to be restrained so they can be medicated, get their hooves trimmed, vetted, checked for worms (FAMACHA), dress wounds, and grooming. They can be ordered online or you can opt to build a wooden milk stand.
We chose a milk stand that is a metal, hot-dipped galvanized stand from Premier One - You can find the milk stand HERE.
There were a couple of reasons why we bought a milk stand over making one. The most important reason was we felt the metal stand would be easier to clean and keep sanitary than a wooden milk stand. The second reason - the time factor!
Another necessary piece of equipment you'll need is a hay rack/feeder. Goats are notorious hay-wasters - once the hay is on the ground, they won't eat it. You'll want to either make a hay feeder or buy one that has smaller holes to pull the hay out.
You'll need a mineral feeder for your goats. (We made ours out of PVC and they work great.) We keep them filled with baking soda, Thoravin Sea Kelp and goat-specific minerals.
You'll need to invest in a good pair of hoof trimmers. They range in price from $15.00 to $50.00.
You'll need a water bucket and feed dish for pelleted hay and pelleted feed.
The one last item we think is a "required" piece of equipment is a goat bench, goat shelf, or goat bed. We've found that the goats like to be up off the ground when they are chewing their cud, sleeping or simply relaxing.
Our simplest goat bed is a scrap piece of plywood that is screwed into 4 scrap pieces of 4x4's on the underneath side to raise the board off the ground. They are simple but we think necessary for our Nigerian Dwarf goats. The beds keep the girls udders off of the dirty flooring (we sweep them off & if dirty, we spray them off and set them in the sun to dry. We believe a bed helps reduce the chance of mastitis. Our buck's enjoy their beds as well.
We made our goat shelves and beds from scraps of wood and untreated plywood.
There are a lot of goat items you'll eventually need to acquire but these are the items that you'll want to have once you bring your little ones home.