Problem w/new goat - ?pregnant? worms?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
About 2 weeks ago, I bought 3 young doelings at an auction barn. I have no idea how old they are, except that they were smallish, with horns ranging in length from about an inch to a little over 2 inches. I bought them young and female so we could keep them gentle and "petish" since we have a toddler. I got them mainly to eat down the grass, vines and brush in our 1.5 acre back yard. They probably weighed between 15-25 pounds each when I got them -- they have filled out and grown some since then.
I talked to some dairy goat people at the feed store here in North Texas (my goats are Boer/Nubian or Spanish crosses), and they suggested some "Mighty-Goat" brand feed that is medicated, for the first month or so. I also put out a salt block and a bowl of baking soda, at the suggestion of one of the goat folks.
When we brought them home, they were stressed from the sale barn and a 2-hour drive in dog kennels in the back of a truck. I kept them in a small side-yard for several days and fed them a little goat food at a time, so they could get used to it. I think they hadn't had much to eat before I bought them. They had upset intestines at first, and had brown, clumpy, soft feces. I *thought* I might have seen some worms in it. They are all "normal" now with black pellets for feces.
In the past week, the 2 bigest goats are looking rather pregnant. They have all filled out all over quite a bit, but the 2 oldest ones are getting pot bellies, and I swear I see/feel something moving on the right side of their bellies (mostly at the top of the round part of the belly, in the hollow behind the rib cage. You can sit and watch something move there, expecially on the middle-sided one (Valentine). I don't know enough about goat physiology to know if this is a stomach or a kid. I bought and read a Meat Goat book this past weekend, and it mentions that the kids are on the right side, and the rumen in on the left. Neither of the 2 pregnant-looking goats has a filled-out udder.
Valentine is not acting right. She has always looked a little different, because the tips of her ears fold up, she has a "double-chin" (actually, kind of an upper neck dewlap that starts close to the jawline), and you can see the pulse in her lower neck. When I brought her home, her nose was a little runny for a few days, but I thought it might have been from the truck ride. But yesterday and today, she lays around quite often when the other goats are eating (they usually all take their break together), and she looks tired (her eyes aren't bright and perky). Yesterday, it looked like she might have had a little vaginal discharge. I looked at her gums, and they are pale, compared to the other goat I checked. At the feed store, I got some Ivomec wormer and some B-complex injectible, but I was worried about giving them when I thought she was pregnant. The goat book I got said the wormers are toxic to fetuses. Is this true for all of them?
I have some tetanus/overeating vaccine on order at the feed store, along with another goat book.
So, here are my questions:
* How do I determine if the goats are pregnant? * What can I do about worming if they are pregnant? * Will the B-complex be OK even if they are pregnant? * Can the goat's age be determined by its teeth? the length of its horns? How? * Any other suggestions?
Thanks in advance for any help or information.
Best regards, Becky
-- Becky Swanson (email@example.com), August 08, 2001
Becky, I am new to goats so what I have to say is from checking out goat sites on the internet, not from personal experience. But the "dewlap" you describe could be normal for a Boer goat--I was just looking at pictures of bottlejaw at www.Saanendoah.com and there was a Boer wether with a loose flap of skin from under his chin most of the way down his throat; the text said that was normal for a Boer. The Saanendoah site has lots of good information; I think they have a chart showing how to tell a goat's age by it's teeth. About the worming and possible pregnancy I'm afraid I can't help, but I know Vicki and others will be able to. As small as they are, it's hard to imagine they'd already have kids big enough to be visibly moving inside. My two doelings are 6 months old and about 25-30 lbs, but they are Nubians and I don't know how the weight gain compares between different breeds. Hope I've helped some:o)
-- Elizabeth in E TX (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 08, 2001.
Correction: the pictures of bottlejaw are at this site: http://www.geocities.com/rwalters0/wormsorno.html
Sorry about that!
-- Elizabeth in E TX (email@example.com), August 08, 2001.
Its very difficult to determine if a doe is pregnant, some of my dairy friends use ultar sound. The vet might be able to do it where you are. Overall the only signs will be near the end. they usually get restless and paw at the ground, then teir tail ligaments soften. I would think that they are probably wormy. Some folks give ivomec to pregnant does, we usually worm with safeguard if we suspect pregnancy. It may be they also have cocci. Buying anmimals from auctions is really tricky, you might end up with something that is a problem more times than not. Treat for cocci, you can get either albon or co-rid from Jeffers. Hows the appetite? You probably will want to try feeding loose minerals as well to help with nutrition. Hope this helps. Need to go, have to get ready for work, but thought I'd post a little information.
-- Bernice (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 08, 2001.
In my experience, if you can see the fetus moving you can feel it easily. The pot bellies, I'm guessing, are a tough of bloat or upset tummy. I'm betting, though, that you have a pretty good worm infestation. "Bottle jaw" in sheep and goats is an indicator of severe worm infestation. Goats are usually more resiliant to worms than sheep, so if you've got those kinds of symptoms you probably need to worm pretty quick.
-- Lynne (email@example.com), August 08, 2001.
In my experience, if you can see the fetus moving you can feel it easily. The pot bellies, I'm guessing, are a touch of bloat or upset tummy. I'm betting, though, that you have a pretty good worm infestation. "Bottle jaw" in sheep and goats is an indicator of severe worm infestation. Goats are usually more resiliant to worms than sheep, so if you've got those kinds of symptoms you probably need to worm pretty quick.
-- Lynne (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 08, 2001.
Lots of folks get new goat, start feeding them right, and the first thing they see in a good barrel filled out is pregnancy. Actually you are probably seeing the rumen moving, only in very advanced preganacy and that would include an udder filled out can you see of feel kid movement, unless you are very experienced. My favoirte moments are at shows when breeders are bear hugging does and bumping them all with "yep" there are babies to "nope" I don't think so, and only with kids on the ground or ultrsound can anybody but the goat know for sure. From the size of the horns I would bet your doelings are to young to be bred. You should always worm the stressed doe, and yes though given in very early pregnancy some wormers and antibiotics can cause fetal abnormalities that are usually sloughed off in abortion, not worming causes more problems! If you were being mentored by me I would have offered you shots of lutelyse, this would have aborted any unplanned pregnancy, giving these kids a better chance at growing, and having a more sucessful pregnancy later on in the year. Babies having babies is never a good idea whatever the species.
Yes with all baby teeth across the bottom, they would not be a year old, with no teeth in the very front, with baby teeth all the rest of the way would mean they are nearly 1, two adult teeth in the front and they are 1 to 2 etc... vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh TX (email@example.com), August 08, 2001.
Hi there. I'm new to goats, too (6 months), but I've recently acquired a couple fairly unhealthy rescue goats & have seen similar symptoms in the doe. I thought I'd share my experiences w/ you & maybe you can benefit. My guess on my goat, since she came w/ a 4 month old kid - a wether - & was supposedly not exposed to any bucks, was that her bloating was due to parasites & having good feed, for once. We're as organic as possible & use natural remedies whenever we can. I add Diatomaceous Earth to the animals' grain, so they have a constant inflow of D.E. to help keep the parasites in check. You can use it on anyone anytime b/c it's all natural.
At any rate, this poor doe was so bloated she looked like she was on the verge of kidding w/ quads. It was 900 degrees outside & she was panting & obviously uncomfortable. I ran in the house & looked up remedies for bloat in Natural Goat & Alpaca Care by Pat Coleby & she recommended drenching w/ vegetable oil & then walking the goat until the gas was "passed from either end" & then to continue treating w/ a cider vinegar/molasses concoction. (I don't have a drencher, so I used an empty ketchup bottle.) (I'm convinced the reason they call it "drenching" is b/c after you attempt to force feed an animal any liquid, you are GOING to be DRENCHED when you are finished!!!)
I tried this & had good results. I did it for a couple days & when she looked normal, figured she was over it, as she was doing just fine & acting happy & like she was on the road to recovery. So I quit. The next day, she was just as bloated, so instead of doing all these steps (I have 7 goats to milk & several other animals I take care of, usually by myself, so I'm always shortcutting where ever possible!), I made a concoction of molasses, vinegar & vegetable oil (vinaigrette, anyone?! LOL) that I just keep in that ketchup bottle on the milking stand. I sprinkle a little extra D.E. on her grain & just squirt some of the concoction on top of everything & she slurps it up like it's a banana split, while I milk her out. The bloat has receded & once again, she seems much better & is hopefully back on the road to recovery.
(Just a little side note FYI - cider vinegar is supposed to be good for (among other things) mastitis - I have noticed a huge difference in my goats' milking abilities when I took away/added the cider vinegar to their diet. When she's ingesting it regularly, we have no clumps. That's gotta be good!)
But maybe one or two of them ARE pregnant. . . Look at it this way: if you DO have kids, you'll have extra brush eaters & can cross milk off the grocery list. *wink*
As far as telling their age by their teeth, yes, it can be done. If I understand correctly, they get 1 set of teeth every year. You can really tell the difference in the mature teeth versus the baby teeth in goats who are under 4 years old. The mature teeth will be much bigger. ANyway, for every set of 2 adult (big) teeth, that's 1 year. So if you pry open one of your goats' mouths, you'll see a row of 8 teeth on the bottom. Start from the middle & count outward by twos. Count only the big teeth, though. Say you see that she has 4 big teeth & 4 little teeth - then she's 2. Get it? The older ones are harder to judge b/c they have all their mature teeth (so you'd see 8 big teeth on a "mature" goat) & you just sort of have to guess by the condition the teeth are in. After that . . . it's a toss up! I'm not experienced enough to tell you much beyond age 4, LOL. Perhaps someone else here CAN! At any rate, I can at least get you started.
Good luck! Regards, Sarah/MI
-- Sarah Sanders/MI (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 12, 2001.