By Phil Sponenberg
Buying goats should be fun and rewarding for both buyer and seller – and it usually is! First time buyers should educate themselves before that important first purchase in order to avoid a few common pitfalls.
All goats that are sold as “IFGA Registered” should come with a transfer form and the registration certificate. Some sellers provide these important documents to the buyer, who then is responsible for sending them in to the IFGA office. Other sellers prefer to take the buyer information, and then send in the transfer papers themselves as a service to the new buyer. Either way works, but in either situation the registration certificate for the specific goat being purchased should be available for viewing by the buyer.
Some goats (especially youngsters) are sold as “IFGA Registerable.” These goats will not have registration papers, because they are not yet registered. These goats should, however, have an “application for registration” form all filled out with the goat’s and the breeder’s information. The buyer can then send this form to the IFGA office to register the goat. Alternatively, the seller can opt to take all owner information, and then send in the registration form for the new buyer. Regardless of which way is preferred by buyer and seller – the application for registration should be completed and available for viewing by the buyer.
Questions about the background of the goat should be readily answered by the seller – and buyers are entitled to know reasonably complete information on any specific goat they are considering buying. Information includes two basic sorts – health, and production/background.
Health questions and practices will vary from seller to seller – and no one single way is the only right way to manage a goat herd.
Some good questions to ask include:
Vaccination history (what vaccines were used and when)
Deworming history (what dewormers were used and how often)
Does the herd have foot rot?
Does the herd have sore mouth?
Does the herd have any CAE?
Does the herd have any caseous lymphadenitis (CL)?
Does the herd have any Johne’s disease?
Does the herd have any abortion problems?
Production and background information include:
Pedigree information (should be on registration certificate or application forregistration)
Production record of does (years, number of kids produced)
Production record of any young goat’s parents
Birth status of young goats (single, twin, triplet)
Sellers should eagerly provide answers to all of these questions, so buyers should not hesitate to ask! If sellers are hesitant to provide answers to these basic questions, buyers should consider taking their business elsewhere!