Saturday, August 21, 2010

Proceed with caution

Please remember people, I raise goats, chickens, ducks AND children. For those of you who just like the pictures, or are interested in the life we have OUTSIDE of goat feces, skip this post okay? If you are interested or have a strong stomach, please, feel free to proceed. I did start, with a friend, a blog about goats and sewing. I have a hard time with this, I cannot seem to keep up with both so I prefer to put it all here. I want people to be able to find help from my scientific studies, so post it here in hopes that their search will bring them to help!

Okay, no photos right now... You are thanking me, please trust me. I started running fecals on my own goats, this is an expensive thing to have done at the vet if you need them run on each goat, or have them run several times due to illness or even curiosity.

My friends goats came and lived here for a few wks, some of her goats became very ill as did a few of mine. This was for a few reasons, for her goats they were on a new pasture, with new goats, new illnesses, new weather and new worms. This was hard on them and it took a lot of work on Amanda's part keeping them healthy... Thankfully, she did a good job and they are all fine!

2 of my sick ones, were very small girls so here are a few notes.

1. Do not take goats off of their dams or bottles before 12 wks of age. Those pulled at 8 wks are much smaller.

2. When you DO pull kids, DO deworm. They will become sucesptable.

3. If you buy a small goat from someone else herd, DEWORM and then put on some sort of growing feed or milk if they are under 12 wks of age.

4. As soon as you see signs of any problems follow these directions. This is what the vet would do, this will save you money.
-Take rectal temperature, record in a notebook kept only for goats. Make sure you mark date, even note the temperature/weather outdoors for long term understanding.
-Collect a fecal sample from this goat only, not a combined sample.
-Do a fecal float, and look under microscope for worm load, coccidiosis, salmonella and ecoli. The 2nd two I have not seen in my goats feces, but you can see photos of this online.

Record all of your findings. From the fecal sample, you may see what needs to be treated. If you see no worm overload or large amount of cocci and your goat does have a temperature, perhaps she has a bacteria. Pay attention to her nose, is it runny? Look at her eye lids, gums, feel her rumen. Read up on pulse, temperature and rumen activity to expect so you know if you are feeling/seeing something that shouldnt be.

Many times if your goat has signs of illness such as diarhea, you want to call or go to the vet. Or even just treat with peptobismal or kao pectate. This isnt always the best idea, first try to discover the problem. Has your goat been vaccinated with Cd and t? Is it time to do so again? Are you keeping a worming chart, have you kept up with chemical or herbal dewormer?

Keep your notebook up, this is something I have not been good at previously. My notebook will be messy, but it will stay dated. If you keep it dated and enter each thing you notice change wise, you will learn from your own herd and have that to look back on.

Okay now, the more icky stuff. You can see tapeworm IN your goats feces, both segments and egg packets. I have a small goat who did have this occur, I saw segments in his feces. So, I treated him with chemicals. There was no change whatsoever though I tried to follow the directions for goats, IE worming with 4x the amount. I had also a small girl whose brother died from something.. and she and her living brother (part of a neighboring herd at this time) are both small, emaciated with slit eyes that are leaking.

There are 2 worms that can cause these symptoms, barber pole worm and tapeworm. Both can do serious dammage to your goats. I treated my small goats with a strong herbal dewormer that targets both types of worms and its working considerably better than the chemical wormers. I have given both chemical and herbal dewormers, both to sick and healthy goats and do see on fecals that the herbs are much more effective.

1/4 cup ground oat flour
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (this is the tapeworm treatment)
1 tablespoon each of black walnut powder, fennel, thyme, hyssop, oregon grape root and fenugreek.

Mix all of this with some honey and water. For those that are very thin, I also mix 1 tablespoon of slippery elm root powder or not with boiling water and let sit, then add to the mix. This helps the worms to exit, but also helps smaller goats put on weight. The oatmeal is good for them, and also helps to create a paste. I used an empty deworming syringe, it was a safegaurd syringe which is thick and has a nice tip. I give 1/3 of this per small goat, 1/2 per large goat which is about 10 and 15 ml respectively. I did this daily for 2 wks.

For those that were very wormy, I was also giving 1 tsp of wormwood ground daily either in a drench, or in their paste for 3 days. Only 3 days, do not give it longer. Take a break at that point for a month and then give again if necessary, look at fecals before deciding its necessary.

Do not give wormwood to a milking doe if the milk goes to human babies. Freeze or save enough milk and use her milk for only older humans for a couple of days. It will not hurt older humans at all, matter fact its sort of good for you to deworm occasionally!

Once the goats all have good fecals, you wont need to give this more than 1 x a wk. You can then use dry loose herb, not powder, and give in grain making sure each goat gets his/her fair share, or you can continue to give in a paste, or even a drench by making a strong tea with the herbs.

As a last note, blackberry root is a good herb to have on hand. It works like herbal peptobismal when your goat just has the runs from excess pasture, or too much grain. I also like to keep rosehips, elderberry and neem mix for them to have as an immune boost and everyone gets a bit of this daily in their grain.

Keep your goats on free choice minerals and baking soda, extra copper in selenium deficient areas and their worm loads will be lower. Give an injection of Vit B when your goat isnt well, if its too much he/she will just pee it out, it wont hurt.

Okay now later, I will take photos of a fecal float, my children have learned so much scientifically with these procedures! On that post, I will again warn you!

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