Once you have purchased your first goat/goats one of the first things to think about is what to do if your goat is not well. It is important to have found a compassionate vet who is interested in goats before illness strikes.
A copy of a goat health book will become invaluable. Pat Coleby's Natural Goat Care is excellent.
The normal body temperature of a goat is 39.5 degrees so it pays to have a thermometer is your first aid kit.
The average life span for a doe is 8 years and a buck is 6 years, of course, many goats are not average at all!
The NZDGBA publication "Goat Notes" is available from the Registrar for $7.50.
There are a number of significant diseases that can affect goats in New Zealand, such as Johnes Disease and Caprine Arthritis Encephalytis (CAE). If a goat displays signs of these diseases, it can be very distressing for the owner, especially as they may not show up for some time, but will affect the goat's general health and wellbeing, its capacity to breed and produce milk.
When you are buying a goat, it is important to get a guarantee from the vendor that the goat has disease-free status. If you can, you should get it vet checked before you buy. A blood test can indicate whether or not the goat is free of disease or not.