Our Goat Health

The number one reason for poor health in a goat is parasites.  That being said............we have an ever increasing focus on parasite control.

Parasite Control:

Our deworming is based on FEMACHA.  FEMACHA is a parasite control system that utilizes the color of goat eyelids to determine the need for deworming.  The Barber Pole worm sucks blood from the goat & causes anemia.............which causes pale coloration in the eyelids.  It is an effective & easy method to determine who needs dewormed. Only deworming those that have poor FEMACHA scores allows Refugia to thrive.  Refugia are best described in an article by Jack Mauldin.  Please visit the link & read his article..........it's worth the time!

  1. The overuse of dewormers has caused parasites to become immune to various dewormers.  We deworm only as FEMACHA dictates & strive to promote Refugia in our pastures to dilute the stronger wormer resistant parasites with the weaker..........wormer susceptible ones.
  2. Goats with poor parasite resistance & resilience are culled & sent to a local livestock auction for meat.
  3. We are actively selecting goats with parasite resistance/resilience.
  4. We rotate pastures & adjust stocking rates based on the height of the grass. 
  5. Top quality hay is provided in pastures.  Parasites climb up the wet grass & legume stems, making parasite ingestion more likely in the am.  The does do not like getting their feet wet in the morning dew, so they consume hay. At that time, the parasites are at the highest location on the plant, which is most likely to be consumed by browsing goats.  As the pasture dries by mid morning, the parasite content on the upper portions of the forage is lessened.  The goats therefore consume fewer parasites.
  6. We participate in Maryland's Pasture Based Buck test program each year.  The program is expertly run & provides important information on parasite resistance/resilience in the goats.  Visit their blog site @ http://mdgoattest.blogspot.com/.

Vaccinations:

Prevention is definitely the best cure!  We vaccinate all kids for CD&T & Pneumonia.  The vaccines are then repeated 4 weeks later. Between the ages of 2 - 3 months, the kids are vaccinated for CL.  It is also repeated 4 weeks later. The entire herd is on a yearly CD&T vaccine schedule, as well as CL vaccination.

 

Hoof Trimming:

Every effort is made to provide an environment that limits the exposure to mud & wet conditions, in which hoof problems thrive.  We have hauled road based stones in to provide dry areas when the goats are outside in wet conditions.  We also hauled in larger rocks for them to climb on & rest out of the mud.

Hoof trimming is done as needed, based on conditions the goats are exposed to.  Wet weather dictates more frequent trimmings.  Goats that have low maintenance hooves are preferred over those that require frequent attention.  When hooves are sore, they don't stand, move & eat properly............leading to weight loss & poor health.  We cull goats that are "high maintenance in the hoof department".