4H WETHER CARE
Showing a 4H wether can be really fun and a great learning experience.
Wethers are relatively easy to care for and can be fun and affectionate.
Proper feed, care, and exercise can turn your goat into a champion. Judges
look for animals that are handled easily and well conditioned. Conditioning
means quality of coat and the amount of fat on their ribs. They also look for
firm muscle tone. Walking you wether will teach it to lead but they will not
get into shape. Short work-outs with lots of sprinting will help build muscle.
If you can, build an excercise course that has jumps and run your wether
through the course several times a day.
Fresh clean water is essential. Make sure you keep his water container
cleaned out at least once a week; scrub it with a brush. Our vet recommends a
small amount of Cider Vinegar be added to prevent urinary calci.
When you purchase your wether make sure you recieve feed. You can gradually
chance it if you wish. Mixing the new feed 1/2 to 1/2 for about a week.
Never abruptly change feed this may cause serious illness. "All" feeds provide
everything your wether your wether needs including fiber; this will help in
preventing a "hay belly".
You should have a goal weight, know your show date and figure how much your
wether needs to gain per week. Wethers usually gain 2 to 3 lbs per week. You
should weigh him every two weeks and determine if he is gaining too fast. If
he is, he may just need more exercise.
Wethers need a secure pen with access to the outside and housing that keeps
them from rain and wind, some shade is also desirable. Feeders should be kept
clean and off the ground. Loose mineral should be kept free choice. Try and
purchase two wethers at the same time so your wether has a buddy. The
competition will help with the exercise.
Make sure you ask the breeder for any health records that he kept on your
wether. Did he give him a CDT shot? If not you will want to administer this
when you get him home and give a booster 30 days later. When and what wormer has
been used on your wether. You will want schedule your last worming date and
allow for withdrawl.
You can start training your wether by tying your wether to a post. It's much
more effective if you are the post though. The first lesson you are going to
teach him to stand next to you. Use a collar your wether cannot slip out of.
Always use small jerks on the lead. Stand in one spot and teach your wether
that the best place is beside you. When he turns away or moves away, give
him a quick jerk towards you. Give him immediate slack and praise him. The
slack and praise are his reward. When first starting out make it simple. Praise
him and give him slack if he is willing to stand facing you with slack in the
lead. Once he does this with consistency ask that he stand closer. By the end
of the lesson he should stand next to you.
During the next lesson teach him to walk with you. Once you've taught your
wether to lead you can get him used to different surroundings. You want to
teach your wether to walk with his head high and confidant. Your wether should
be well behaved and walk with his shoulder at your leg. Teach him to stand
still and accept people touching his legs, back and face. Teach him to stand
still, with his feet placed where you ask him. When you show him step away from
his body so the judges can see all sides of him.