Thursday, February 9, 2012

Goat Doe Woes

Nettie is due to kid in just seven days and she hasn't bagged up yet.  Normally I have a hard time drying her off, but last year she had a mastitis infection and the medication dried her up after a few weeks of treating her.  Last year her udder looked like it was going to explode almost two weeks before kidding and now she's just got a "saggy baggy" thing going on:  
Wow, I didn't realize how fuzzy she was back there.
Time for a pre-kidding haircut, I'd say!
I'm a bit worried that she won't produce milk for her kids this year because of her bout with mastitis last spring.  And although I obviously would, I really don't want to be bottle feeding kids.  Not only that, but I've been a bad keeper-of goats and never saved / froze any extra colostrum to have on hand in case of such a perdicament.  So I guess I'm going to have to make a trip to the feed store for some "factory" colostrum and milk replacer just in case.  

Our entire herd (all five of them, including insanely-stinky Pan) also got wormed yesterday afternoon:

I normally don't worm them in the winter, but since the weather has been so unusually warm I suspect that there weren't enough freezing days / nights to kill many of the parasites out in the barnyard.

Even though the Ivermectin isn't labeled for goats (as if 
anything is), it is pretty much standard practice to use that type of wormer on them.  Each goat gets 1mL (or cc) of Ivermectin per 50 pounds of weight.  The syringe and needle in the picture is not used to inject the goats with, but to get the medication out of the container as it is normally given as an injection to cattle.  Once I've filled up the syringe to the appropriate amount, I then squirt it into the drenching gun (the yellow thingy pictured above) for oral administration to the goats.

Since I had everyone clipped to the fence for worming, I figured I may as well keep up with trimming their hooves.  Chop Suey and Pan's feet don't need trimming more than a few times a year; they both have black hooves and are both Nigerian Dwarfs.  But the other gals need a good trimming probably once a month; they all have white hooves and are either purebred Saanen (Nettie & Ishtar) or a Saanen / Nigerian cross (Annette).  Not sure if it's the breed or the color of the hooves that makes the difference in hoof growth.  Trimming the guy's hooves also prove to be more difficult since they are black and it's harder to see the quick and I usually end up nicking one of them and they'll bleed a bit.  That and I need to don my stinky-buck-handling clothing for dealing with Pan.  Peee-U!


  1. I sure hope she has milk. You don't need the extra aggravation.....normal day-to-day we have plenty of that on the farm.

    Sometimes cows don't come into their milk until calving or even a few days after.

  2. I'm sure she'll have plenty, Carolyn. Unless her udder was actually damaged from the mastitis, but you treated it well so I would guess she'll be fine.

    Matilda's udder was huge before she calved, but the goats don't tend to bag up around here until the "day of."

    I'm envious-- we won't have new goat babies this spring. Unless I can convince hubby to buy some, that is!

  3. Let's hope she'll bag up in the next couple days and that you'll have plenty of milk. I know my highlander cattle sometimes don't bag up until the afternoon before the calving.

    Thank you for the information about worming goats. The only reason I have never had goats around is because I have heard how hard it is to worm them. Any information you would like to share on this topic, I will love to read. Thanks

  4. Clipping the buck's feet was the worst job ever. I REALLY don't miss that :-). I bet Nettie bags up yet too. Good thing to be ready just in case. I had a goat with mastitis and the next year she only milked on 1/2 of the udder. Nettie looks like she's just starting to bag....maybe she's due a week later than you think???

  5. She may very well bag up just before - it's good to be ready for anything, but it doesn't have to be the worst. Sheep are just a bundle of joy to worm, too. And thanks for the hoof-trimming reminder. I believe the lambs are getting a bit gnarly in that area. And be sure to freeze some of that colostrum this year! Just label it well....

  6. gld, I'm not sure what I'll do if she doesn't have any milk. I really, really, REALLY don't want to be bottle feeding! Not only that, but the extra expense for milk replacer as Ishtar (doe that isn't quite dried off) is not giving enough these days for growing out kids.

    Mooberry, Nettie has always been huge, milking or not, so this "saggy baggy" thing has me a bit worried. Oh, and if you want some goat kids, come & get 'em, they're yours!! (wonder if FedEx would take goats...and for how much?)

    Rea, I'll try to remember to link the goat worming stuff I have or email me and I'll give you a long & boring list of what we do here. Or maybe I'll do a post on it if I get going.

    dr momi, when Nettie had mastitis, she only gave about a 1/4 of the amount normally on the one side, the other was normal'ish. I was pretty good on keeping breeding dates (and the buck / does never run together), and even checked again....but who knows!

    Susan, the actual act of worming the goats (with the exception of the stinko buck) isn't that bad at all, it's just the fact that they are so prone to getting worms that I hate to have to give them wormers so often. And yes, I'll be saving colostrum this year, AND labeling it. Paul went through the freezer a few months ago and swore he found some of my frozen breast milk for Rhiannon in there.....although we weren't positive....because it wasn't LABELED! Who would have thought there would be multi-species milk in the freezer at the same time??

  7. I hope she nurses great, bottle feeding is a pain! I have never given ivermectin orally but I'm gonna try that next time. I swap out wormers and only worm if their eye skin when rolled down indicates it's necessary. I made mistake of using Valbasun right before kidding and have since found out it causes aborts, luckily nothing happened to my nannies. It's so aggravating that meds and wormer do not specify for goats. This hunting in the dark stinks.

  8. Oh, I see-- well, I hope it works out for you. Goat milk is so wonderful! We use a weekly herbal wormer with all of our dairy animals and really like it a lot. It has been a good choice for our farm. :)

    Hoping all goes well for you, Carolyn.

  9. Well, Nettie looks like she's got enough room in that bag there for a good amount of milk, that's for sure. How does she feel about "a shave and a haircut" on her nether regions? We always tried to keep our goats' udders shaved so there wasn't so much chance of hair ending up in the milk bucket. I think if we all keep sending good vibrations for Nettie to have oodles of milk, she will be just fine.

  10. My goats never seem to bag up until the day or maybe the day before kidding. I hope Nettie comes through for her babies. I'm with you, I HATE bottle seems you are nothing but a giant baby bottle to the kids! LOL!!

  11. I'll be praying that everything works out just in time, hate to see you have to bottle feed!

  12. We had to go through the whole trim and worm routine just last weekend. Fun!!!!

  13. Hopefully, everything will work out with the milk.

    We are expecting babies the end of March.

  14. If you DO have to purchase colostrum, an e-mail from Hoegger's just came into my inbox . . . they're having a 30% off sale on the "good stuff" (so they say):

    1. Oh! Thanks CM! I did end up getting a small "emergency" bag of powdered colostrum on Wednesday at the local feed store, but I'll have to check out the sale. Of course, I JUST bought 600 milk filters from them and could have saved on shipping, figures, hugh?