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Hubbard Life Blog

Your resource for advice from Hubbard® Life experts.

Goat Herd Health: Increase efficiency and productivity

The goal of any goat herd health program should be to increase efficiency and productivity.  Herd health programs should include general husbandry, nutrition, and parasite and vaccination programs.  Your emphasis should be on disease prevention rather than treatment.  There are three major approaches for disease control:

  1. Keep resistance high  
  2. Avoid exposure
  3. Recognize and address diseases early

Using all three approaches together is the most effective way to eliminate or minimize disease costs and losses in your herd.  A veterinarian should take part in helping you develop a vaccination program that helps you with disease prevention regardless of how many goats you have.

Culling: Proper culling will increase productivity.  Cull chronically injured, sick, or open (unbred after 1or 2 attempts) does to increase profitability and herd quality.

In this blog I will concentrate on the nutritional impact on herd health.  That is one of the four primary factors involved in herd health.

Good quality forages are the cornerstone of goat nutrition.  Supplement grain based on the body condition and reproductive and growth stage of the animal.  Most goats should be able to thrive on pasture and hay.  Over-conditioned (overweight) goats are more likely to have problems with pregnancy toxemia and dystocia (trouble giving birth).

Provide clean, fresh water and a complete mineral salt at all times.  Goats are more resistant to copper toxicity than sheep, so a sheep mineral will not provide enough copper for goats.  Either a goat mineral or cattle mineral is suitable, but do not feed a sheep mineral.  The importance of good water cannot be overstated!

Bucks and wethers fed grain can develop urinary calculi (bladder stones) that can cause a urinary blockage. You will notice it as a “waterbelly” look; the goat’s sides are very distended and stretched to an uncomfortable level.  Feeding ammonium chloride at a level of 1% to 2% of the diet will help decrease the incidence of bladder stones.  The calcium to phosphorus ratio in the diet should be 2 to 1, which will also decrease the incidence of bladder stones and provide the proper mineral balance for bone development.

Consult your veterinarian if selenium deficiency is a problem in your herd.  Vitamin E and selenium injections may be necessary.  The best means to prevent selenium deficiency is to feed good-quality mineral containing selenium throughout gestation. 

In caring for the newborn kids make sure priority #1 is to get colostrum into them.  A kid should receive colostrum in the first 4 hours after birth.  Feed colostrum four times per day for a total of 1.5 -2 pints per day.  Then follow that will a high quality milk replacer

The nutritionists who designed the Hubbard Life Goat Feeds have covered all the bases by creating good nutrition products for your goats.  Learn more about these products by visiting or contact your nearest Hubbard dealer on the dealer locator portion of the website.

Hubbard Life Goat Feeds are formulated with quality ingredients to help provide optimal nutrition for all life stages of meat and dairy goats.  These feeds contain ingredients like chelated zinc for better immune function, organic selenium and vitamin E for improved breeding and cell health and a balanced calcium/phosphorus ratio to better fit the needs of today’s faster growing animals.

Posted on 6/23/2014 by Amy Brown  |  Category: Goat
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Bringing Home Your New Family Companion

Spring is Puppy Time

The spring season is finally among us and we are seeing green grass, flowers blooming and other signals that show summer is just around the corner. This is also the time of year when most puppies come home to meet their new families. Thankfully, the warmer weather provides a more suitable environment to start house breaking a new puppy than the long, cold winter. It also makes it much easier to get puppies the necessary exercise to ensure they’re calmer and well behaved in the house.   


It’s important to take care of a number of decisions in preparation for bringing home your new canine partner. First, the family needs to agree on choices for breeds or options available to meet their goals and needs. Then, they need to assign responsibility for the various chores required to meet the basic needs for the dependent young pup.


Health Should Come First

Building a relationship with a veterinarian should be at the top of our list when taking on the responsibilities of providing for all pets. Creating an immunization program specific to geographic areas is important to ensure long and healthy lives. Most veterinarians will monitor growth development and health checks throughout the early stages to prevent some of the more serious issues that can affect certain breeds. The sooner your vet gets involved, the more prepared you can all be to avoid or treat any issues your pup might encounter.


Don’t Skimp on Nutrition

There are many choices when it comes to food and every brand wants to claim that they’re the one for your dog. We’d suggest doing a little research on your own. Choosing a food that’s a good fit for your dog can help you avoid extra medical costs and add years of health for your new family member. Many foods can help you avoid the allergies caused by ingredients such as corn, wheat and soy but there are many other considerations. Your best foods will also have multiple meat sources and high quality vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure long term health.  Visit our websites to find more information about our Hubbard Life Dog Foods and Kinetic Performance Dog Foods.


Start Training Young

Dogs are pack animals and will immediately try to figure out where they are in the pack as soon as you bring them home. It’s important to establish yourself as the Alpha in the pack if you want a puppy that will behave and socialize properly. This doesn’t mean you need to correct them in a harsh or negative way. It just means your pet is looking for a leader to learn from and train them how to survive and that you need to establish that to please you is to please the rest of the pack. If your pup doesn’t see a clear leader, they’ll learn to become the leader which creates many issues with undesired behavior in adult dogs.


We recommend that training start the day you bring your pup home with simple commands followed by positive rewards. These positive rewards can include anything from treats, to encouraging words to a simple pat on the head. Your new puppy will learn very quickly how to please you and earn a reward. By setting this standard early, you’ll establish a desired mindset early on that continues throughout their lives.


Own Your Responsibility

Lastly, by becoming the owner of a new pet, you are now responsible for the well-being of a living creature that is completely dependent on you. This will require you to make some sacrifices but these are far outweighed by the joy and the many memories a companion brings into our lives. Providing structure, play, exercise, quality nutrition and health care are your obligations, but we guarantee you’ll receive plenty in return from your happy, healthy canine family member. The smiles and wags you receive every time you enter the room tend to make it all worthwhile.


To learn more about Steve Ries and his training methods, visit

Posted on 6/3/2014 by Steve Ries  |  Category: Dog
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