How to Build Muscle in Show Goats

By Louise Lawson

Items you will need

  • Scale

  • Wormer

  • Goat feed

  • Halter and lead

  • Treats

Showing goats is a relatively new sport for the goat enthusiasts. Originally developed as a way to evaluate good breeding stock, the practice of showing goats still holds true to its roots, with the best specimens of the breed awarded top honors. A show goat should be lean and have even, smooth muscle tone, although some goats need to be conditioned to achieve proper show structure. Building muscle on a show goat is a fairly basic process, but is essential for your goat to win top honors.

Weigh each of your goats before you begin their muscle building routine. Show goats are judged on their conformation and overall appearance; an overly thin or overly heavy goat will not score well.

Worm your goats on a strict schedule. Intestinal parasites can prevent your goat from absorbing the proper amount of nutrients, so worm him with a commercially available goat wormer you can purchase from your vet or local ranch supply store.

Move your show goats to a large pen. The more space your goats have, the more likely they are to move around on their own and exercise themselves. Place their water tub on one side of the pen and their feed pans on the opposite side to encourage them to walk.

Feed your goats a well balanced, high protein diet. A commercial pellet goat feed formulated with increased protein will help give their bodies enough protein to build more lean muscle, and a generous helping of clean grass hay will give your goats enough forage to keep them occupied.

Place a halter on one of your goats and allow him to get used to wearing it. Your goat will be shown in a halter, so training him to wear it before show time will prevent resistance in the ring and while exercising. Talk calmly to him and offer a few of his favorite treats until he forgets about the halter.

Clip a lead onto your goat’s halter and take him on a daily run. Jogging allows the muscle fibers to stretch and build up gradually, adding layers of muscle that offer a smooth, flowing appearance to the judge. Run with him until you notice he is breathing hard, slowing to a walk and cooling him off to avoid muscle tears and cramping.

Tips

  • Keep your goats away from areas where predators are known to roam. Mountain lions, bears and even stray dogs will quickly take down even a large adult goat, so only jog with your goats in clear, well-maintained areas.

Warnings

  • Do not overwork your goat. He will quickly overheat if you force him to run too hard. Not only will excessive work jeopardize his health, but will make him reluctant to interact with you in the future.

Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.