May 2019 Issue
IN THIS ISSUE:
When a goat gets sick, the cause is usually the simplest thing. It is often something that you didn't think of, or you considered and dismissed as unlikely.
Start With the Basics.
1) Check for stomach worms. Use the FAMACHA field test, then follow up by doing fecal egg counts using a microscope. Almost all goat health problems begin with blood-sucking stomach worms (Haemonchus contortus aka barberpole stomach worm). Worms compromise the immune system, opening the door to pneumonia and many other illnesses. I estimate that in 95% of the calls I get for help with goats , stomach worms turn out to be the underlying problem.
Wet climates and goats don't go together, yet many people are raising goats under wet conditions that make successful goat raising very difficult. WET = WORMS.
Just because you dewormed does not mean that it worked. You must do fecal counts using McMasters slides to determine eggs per gram both before and 10 days after you deworm to determine if the dewormer that you used actually worked. If you don't get a 95% worm kill, your dewormer failed, you are killing off susceptible worms, and you are keeping the resistant worms. See my articles on www.tennesseemeatgoats.com on how to do your own fecals and deworming basics.
2) Take the goat's rectal temperature with a digital thermometer to confirm or rule out high body temperature that could be caused by pneumonia, mastitis, or other illnesses. Normal rectal temperature is 101.5*F to 103.5*F for all goats. If goats don't die from blood-sucking worms that cause anemia, the next most common cause is pneumonia. Read my article on Interstitial Pneumonia on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com and learn how to identify and treat pneumonia in goats. The symptoms are not what you think they are.
Sub-normal body temperature (100*F or less) indicates hypothermia or the goat is already dying.
3) If the sick goat is a kid, check its tummy for fullness and its dam's udder for adequate milk. It is likely starving, either because:
(a) its siblings are getting all the milk
(b) its dam isn't producing enough milk
(c) its dam has mastitis or congested udder and milk is not available for the kid
(d) the kid got chilled (or overheated) and could not control its body temperature, so it is starving (Weak Kid Syndrome) or feverish and not eating
(e) the kid got separated from its dam and is starving
(f) the dam has soremouth blisters on her teats and isn't letting the kid nurse so it is starving
If the kid is a bottle baby, you may be overfeeding it on milk and it is going into Floppy Kid Syndrome (over-eating on milk).
Adult goats can become hypothermic, dehydrated, or develop fever under the right conditions. These aren't only problems of kids.
These are health, nutrition, and management issues that you must recognize and prevent. Failing prevention, you must know how to identify and promptly treat.
4) If the basics are not the problem, then move on to the more "exotic" issues like listeriosis, goat polio, tetanus, etc. I have articles on almost every illness or condition that a goat might contract on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com.
A goat is seldom sick because of some exotic problem without worms being the underlying reason that the immune system was compromised and predisposed the goat to illness. For some reason, people tend to overlook the simplest thing. I suspect there are gaps in their management program which result in their not recognizing symptoms. Learning to THINK LIKE A GOAT goes a long way towards helping you better understand how goats function.
START WITH THE BASICS. Eliminate the obvious first. Most of the time the cause of the illness is the simplest thing you could have thought of . . . but didn't. .
Suzanne W. Gasparotto Onion Creek Ranch 5.9.19
Join us for the 18th annual GoatCamp(tm) at Onion Creek Ranch near Briggs, Texas (northwest of Austin about 20 miles south of Lampasas off US 183). To be held Oct 28-31, 2019, GoatCamp(tm) is an all breed educational event designed for anyone who is raising meat goats. Newbie or established goat raiser, you will learn more in four days than you will in four years on your own.
The GOATCAMP™ Instructors
* The GoatCamp™2019 Intern Program is now accepting applications for a limited number of Internships. Interns receive free tuition in exchange for helping with the work at GoatCamp™. Persons with little to no experience with goats are encouraged to attend as paying students; much of the work of an Intern has to do with the operation of GoatCamp™ and not directly with goats. If you are interested, please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd like to know about you and why you'd like to become an Intern.
* GoatCamp™2019 is limited to 25 students. The new ranch cannot accommodate additional students.
* Classroom instruction alternating with hands-on work with Onion Creek Ranch goats.
TUITION PER STUDENT - $400.00 IF POSTMARKED BY 9-30-19 / $425.00 IF POSTMARKED ON OR AFTER 10-1-19
Registration Form ONLINE on the GoatCamp™ page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/GoatCamp/index.html.
For additional information, contact Suzanne Gasparotto 512-265-2090 or email me at email@example.com
My name is Christy Dalros. I attended Goat Camp™ in October 2016. A few weeks ago, I noticed one of my does was not acting like her normal self. She had recently given birth to triplets and had been fine up until then. I check eyes at least weekly and she had good pink membranes prior. When I checked her eyes that day she was at a 4 on the FAMACHA scale. I immediately took a fecal sample and her count was extremely high. I began deworming her but she went down to a 5 on the FAMACHA scale soon after and developed bottle jaw. I have been so worried but I have run fecal samples on her weekly and continued deworming. I started her on daily iron and B-12. I also started giving her all the alfalfa she wanted for the added protein. I am happy to say that today she had no signs of bottle jaw and her eyes were at a 3 on the FAMACHA scale.
I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to attend Goat Camp.™ Without your class, I would not have known what to do. I lost more than 10 goats last year by this time and because of the training GoatCamp™ gave me, I am happy to say that ALL of my goats are thriving. I run my own fecal tests, something I would never have known how to do without Goat Camp™, and I refer to your articles and the notes from GoatCamp™ regularly. Thank you so much for the knowledge you shared. You have helped me more than you can possibly know.