This past week I took the time to think about the impending weather change and along with that comes breeding season. This means it is my responsibility to ensure my animals are in the best possible shape going into the winter and breeding season. I try to make a schedule in which each fall I do the same thing to my goats as the previous year in order to try to replicate the healthy kidding seasons we had in the past two years. For me this means several things. I brought all of the goats including the bucks into the barn and put them each on the stand for their little bit of spa time. The first thing I did was check their FAMACHA scores and thankfully everyone was very nice and pink with the exception of Zoey and Ivy. They were both in the normal range for them. Zoey tends to be lighter when she is lactating, and I am having a harder time drying her off this year, so I was not surprised. Ivy also tends to be on the lighter side and has been like this since she was a kid. So I took out my valbazen and dewormed both of them and I started a 6 day course of red cell for Zoey.
I like to try to dry my does off prior to breeding them again. I find that helps them regain their body condition and take better care of their overall health if I am able to give them and their bodies a break. My next course of attack was to check hooves and trim them. We had been to a show the first week in August so everyone was in pretty good shape. I find it much easier to keep up on the hooves and trim them once a month versus waiting longer and having more hoof material to remove. I also find this helps to maintain better feet and leg health by keeping the goats more balanced on their hooves.
Next I worked on all the things that the goats really dislike! I got my bolous gun out and copper boloused everyone that was a yearling and older. I tend to copper bolous once per year. Even with the new mineral blend from Sweetlix, their feed and hay and my supplementation with kelp, I have noticed Moots and Branson both starting to develop a fish tail. In my experience, this is one of the key signs of a copper deficiency in goats that must be rectified for their long term health.
After the copper bolous, I gave everyone a dose of vitamin E and selenium gel. Our area is notoriously deficient in selenium and vitamin E helps with absorption, so I find this to be key for all of my goats health. Finally, I brought out my replamin gel tube and dosed everyone with the recommended dose of replamin. Goat nutrition is directly tied to their health, so if there is anyway for me to try to ensure my herd is on as high of a nutritional plane level as possible I am happy to do it.
I also plan to booster everyone for CD&T and also give the pneumonia vaccine, however, I prefer to do those on separate days to give the goats bodies time to absorb and adjust to everything I have given them. Additionally, my vet is doing research into getting to intra-nasal pneumonia vaccine for the goats as opposed to the Colorado serum company version, so the vaccine we will be using will depend on that. Overall, by the time I was done, I was sweaty and had a distinct buck aroma, but that is the smell of healthy goats in my book and totally worth it!