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  • Writer's pictureConstance Wilmoth

Loss on the Farm

I had grand plans to write about my buck experience thus far and to update you about our experience with the two stinkiest members of our herd. These plans all changed last night when I was doing evening chores. I try to pride myself in taking the absolute best care of my goats possible, whether this means daily zinc supplements, filtering their water at shows or providing them with free choice kelp along with their minerals and baking soda, but sometimes that isn't enough. I even keep all of their deworming, vaccination and Turbo's ammonium chloride dosage on my calendar to ensure I am keeping good track and not forgetting something. I also regularly put each goat up on the milking stand to give them a once over, for hoof trimming, weight checks, FAMACHA scores and overall husbandry check. I just did this with all of the goats two weeks ago and trimmed all of their hooves. In doing this I noticed Ivy and Zoey were a little pale on the FAMACHA chart, so I decided to dose them with red cell, Valbazen and Ivermectin. Neither of them were showing any signs of sickness, but I wanted to be proactive about their care.

Historically, we have not had a problem with parasites on our property. I attribute this to a few things. One, I clean the stalls of the animals daily (thanks to my equine upbringing), our goats with the exception of the bucks free range and thirdly our property did not have farm animals on it for many years before we bought it. Even the bucks have their pasture fence moved every few weeks to keep them on fresh forage.

Anyone that knows me well, knows how crazy I am about my goats, and I am no less of a serial FAMACHA checker than the next person. I pretty much flip my goats eyelids open to check on them any time I get a hold of them. That's why when I casually flipped Zoey's eyelid down last night I immediately had a pit form in the bottom of my stomach. I am the one that always looks at the goats, so I know what normal looks like for all of them. When I looked at Zoey's last night and it was extremely pale, I immediately took action. I ran to the house to get red cell to dose her with. I also, gave her a dose of replamin gel, and made sure she had her own access to the kelp (she is the low goat in the herd). I also got additional dosages of valbazen and ivermectin for her and immediately treated her. I also gathered a fecal to take to the vet today. Again, she is not showing any physical sign of being ill, but I know her system is being challenged and I do not want her to be in any physical distress, especially with breeding season right around the corner!

The only saving grace in this situation was the fact that her right eye was much redder than her left eye, which makes me think that I need to check both eyes when I am looking at their FAMACHA scores. I will keep you updated about Zoey's progress!

Happy Goating!

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