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  • Writer's pictureConstance Wilmoth

Buck Catastrophe.......

First off let me stop and apologize for not writing a blog last week. The week simply got away from me and here we are on Monday afternoon and its been over a week since I wrote a blog. We had some family emergencies last week that seem to be resolving, so if you could keep my family in your prayers it would be greatly appreciated. To top off the stress of family concerns and a busy week with work, I was told on Monday that I had an anomaly in my retina at my usual annual eye exam, so we spent four hours on Friday afternoon at a retina specialist ensuring that my retina was not about to detach. Thankfully, it is not, however I am at a higher risk for that in the future due to my extreme nearsightedness.

To top off the several medical concerns on a human front last week we also had a goat issue. As anyone who has been here knows, we keep our bucks in a shed that is behind our house. it works out well, it is away from the does, has a contained outdoor run out of the back of it and is next to a water spigot and another shed where we keep hay and feed and other tools. The shed is quite large at about 22 ft long. Being that large we took advantage and use the front section for our chickens. This means that there is a door in the middle of my chicken coop/ duck house that separates the two. This door has been a source of challenge in the past where we were able to cover the bottom with a tin piece of wood to prevent the bucks from coming through the mostly chicken wire door.

This was all until last Tuesday night. Rob and I were out at a meeting and I did not get home to feed until around 9 PM. This meant my bucks had gotten hungry and rowdy. I went directly out to feed when we got home, and by the time I was done feeding the does, my bucks met me at the door. This was immediately a moment of panic. I knew that meant they had broke out somehow. I knew it was unlikely that it was from the back run as I had that secured with a dog collar. When I went over to investigate I found my worst fear. They had broken through both doors on their house, knocked over the chickens heated water and eaten all of the chicken feed in the 5 gallon feeder!!!! Now I only fill that feeder once per week, so it was not the whole way full, but it still wasn't good.

I set about fixing the housing before bringing them in. After I redneck engineered the door for the night I put the bucks away without much of a thought. I later realized this was a mistake. I went out the next morning to find Branson frothing at the mouth, grinding his teeth and with no desire to eat. I jumped into action, ran to the barn gave him bloat release and cam in the house and drew up CD Antitoxin. Then I called the vet to see if they would recommend anything else, which after much back and forth I also gave him 3 meloxicam for the swelling and pain. I was thankful that by noon he was doing much better, so I gave him some probiotics and thought we were out of the woods.

Wednesday night rolled around and I went to check on the bucks after Rob did chores for me while I was out and I noticed Turbo was extremely sick as well. This time with the same symptoms as Branson, grinding his teeth, foaming at the mouth and lack of desire to eat. I followed the same protocol with him as I did with Branson earlier, adding in activated charcoal that I had on hand. Thankfully, by the next morning Turbo was doing better.

This whole saga taught me a very valuable lesson. Anytime my goats over eat. I need to ensure that I give them a drench of baking soda along with some water and keep a very close eye on them. I also have learned I need to think even more like a goat, and correct issues with my pens prior to the goats finding these issues before me!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and Happy Goating!!!

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