Ok, here's the obligatory cute kitty picture that comes up on your blog roll:
|You should all know by now that if you see a|
so-cute-you-can-vomit picture here, that
the next ones are going to be pretty disgusting.
Because I'm sure you wouldn't want to see THIS on the sidebar of your blog for the foreseeable future:
|Goat Poop Picture # 1|
Poop on the left: not normal & cause for concern.
Poop on the right: pretty much normal.
This one's even worse:
|Goat Poop Picture # 2 (gross, even when out of focus)|
Definitely not normal and definitely cause for concern.
So, why am I taking up close and personal pictures of crap, you ask? We've had family members visiting for the past week and I needed to get out of the house for some "alone" time. And proclaiming that I was going outside to search for piles of steaming, stinky goat shit seemed to be the only way I could prevent everyone from following me around.
But I didn't post the poo pictures simply for the shock value. Because honestly, many of my blog readers deal in mass quantities of animal excrement on a daily, if not hourly basis and it really isn't that shocking to you. This is actually a bit of an informative / educational post on what healthy and not-so-healthy goat poop looks like. But here's the story that resulted in my search of photographic evidence of the poop.
A few days ago, I went out to do my evening barn chores. And it was eerily quiet. Whenever I come outside, Pickles yells. And when I come outside even remotely close to feeding time, she yells louder. But there was no yelling that evening. I open the gate to the goat pen. Normally there will be a herd of goats crammed up against the fence, waiting to be fed. But there was no goat herd at the gate that evening. Then I walk into the barn and find what looks like a scene from the morning after a college frat party.
The door to the feed room / milk parlor was swung wide open. Which is reason for any livestock owner to utter expletives.
Chop Suey was prone on the milk stanchion, slowly lifted his head and gave me a half dazed look. Pickles was laying down in the corner of the feed room next to my overturned milking chair. Lily was underneath the milk stanchion. Mama Goat and Annette were standing just outside the room, but knew better and exited the area once they saw me. Normally if I catch any of them doing anything they know they shouldn't be doing (like, say, being in the feed room when one was not supposed to be in the feed room), they would rocket out of there in a flash, fearful of my banshee-like screaming, cussing and broom-swinging. But apparently their stomachs were so full and they were in such a grain induced coma that they didn't immediately recognize the wrath that was about to descend upon them.
After the goats scattered and the yelling subsided, I went back in to survey the damage. All three lids from their respective metal feed bins had been popped off, two with visible hoof indentations on them. Feed was scattered everywhere; it looked as if a bag had actually exploded. And it was obvious that all three bins were pilfered as you could see the indentation in the heap of grain where a goat had plunged it's gluttonous fat head in to devour as much as possible, as quickly as possible. The 40 pound bag of chick starter had even been yanked from a lower shelf and munched on as there was a hole chewed through the bottom of the bag.
Needless to say, I did NOT feed the goats that evening. And I officially started "Bloat Watch".
Feeding and milking were resumed as normal the next morning, but the dairy gals only picked at their grain rations. The Boer gals and Chop Suey (who only get fed grain once a day as opposed to twice a day like their dairy counterparts) didn't even bother to beg for a morning snack as they are normally prone to doing. No one had seemed bloaty, although Pickles wasn't as vocal nor as active as usual so I kept an eye on her.
Now, back to the poo pictures. The first picture shows droppings from two different goats. The one on the left is from Nettie, the one on the right is from Annette. Nettie is obviously still getting "rid" of all that grain, whereas Annette either didn't gorp as much as Nettie or has already passed her mass of grain so it seems as if she's pretty much back to normal. Had I stumbled upon the pile on the left in the goat yard on a "normal" day (i.e. not after a feed room break-in), I would be a little concerned. But since I knew the reason for the abnormal plop, I wasn't. However, goat poop picture number two had me concerned. And it was obvious it came from Pickles as her back end was pretty dirty.
Nettie, Annette and New Goat's diet consist of a fair amount of grain when they are being milked, anywhere from five to seven cups of grain twice a day. And although they will still run to anyone shaking a bucket of grain, they are nowhere near as desperate for a mouthful of oats and corn as the other goats are. Pickles and Lily get 2 cups of grain once
a day, Chop Suey gets one cup of grain once
a day. I'm assuming that is why Pickles and Lily went totally gonzo when they found themselves unsupervised in a room filled with munch, yummy, delicious grain.
It's been two & a half days since the Feed Room Break in of 2013 and Pickles & Lily still haven't passed normal poop that I've seen. I've given both of them two doses of Probios, once each day and they haven't had any grain. I've also been making sure that the goats have constant access to hay, even going so far as to hand picking the choicest flakes in order to encourage them to get more roughage in their guts. I also put them out on some green grass hoping that would help a little. Enough time has passed since the incident so I'm pretty sure we dodged the bloating bullet but I'm still keeping an eye on Pickles & Lily until I see them pooping normally.
I wish they could tell me if it was all worth it.