Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Silence of the Goats

A few weeks ago the lock on the feed room door was compromised (or more likely, not secured by yours truly) and the goats had a grain-orgy.

The dairy gals didn't suffer much as they are used to getting a good amount of grain twice a day, but the Boer gals, Lily and Pickles, got themselves quite an upset stomach.  Neither ended up with bloat, but both had pretty bad diarrhea for a few days.  I withheld grain from them - actually neither of them even wanted to look at grain - and put out a bunch more really good hay to encourage their guts to work on roughage.

Lily cleared up in three days, but Pickles still had the runs bad and she wasn't eating.  Like anything.   And I didn't hear so much as a single peep out of her, which is very, very abnormal.  She was walking around, but not enthusiastically.  She was drinking.  She was peeing, but not pooping much of anything other than a little glop plop once in a while.  I even walked her around the property, offering her just about anything she would normally go crazy over.  A small nibble here, a small nibble there.  And she wasn't chewing her cud because there was no cud to chew.  I'm thinking that Pickles was the one that got into the Chick Starter and that's why she was suffering so much more.

The day after the break-in, I gave the irregularly pooping goats some Probios.  Nettie got one dose, Lily got two doses and Pickles got five days of it.  But Pickles didn't seem to get any better.  I was really getting worried and had to consider taking her into the vet.  Unfortunately, there is only one vet around here that "kinda" takes care of goats.  Not sure why, because it seems that our area has a decent population of meat goats, but maybe us goat keepers are a cheap bunch and tend to only see a vet when we've run out of options.

I did some online research and a light bulb came on in my brain.  A few years ago, Nettie got into something and got bloat.  Besides drenching her with a baking soda / vegetable oil, giving her a dose of Probios and walking her around, I also gave her a couple shots of Vitamin B Complex.  Vitamin B will help a goat that is off it's feed or not eating.  It is a vitamin that will be severely lacking if the goat's stomach / rumen isn't getting enough quality hay or if upset from eating too much of something "bad".

I went to my local feed store to see if I could get an oral version of B Vitamins & one of the ladies there that raises Boer goats suggested a Micro B-12 5X treatment.  I also bought another tube of Vitamin B Complex to have on hand.  When I got back home, I noticed Pickles just mouthing some of the new "good" hay, but only actually eating a few leaves at a time, and still no sign of her chewing cud.  I gave her the entire 6ml dose.  And I swear, within a half hour she was eating hay.  Not like "OMG, I gotta have some hay right NOW", but taking mouthfuls and chewing, then taking another mouthful and another.  I don't know if it was actually the Micro B-12 5X that did it, maybe she was just ready to eat again.  But I can't help but give the B-12 some credit.

Pickles is continuing to eat hay like normal:
What?  Never seen a goat eat hay before?
Take a picture it will last longer.  Sheesh!
And started pooping like normal:
Up close & personal Action Shot!
Finally, some normal looking goat poop.
Tuesday was the first day she actually seemed interested in her grain.  Yesterday, she yelled for her bowl of grain come feeding time.

And this morning, she was yelling again.  Just because.

Well, it was quiet around here while it lasted.


  1. Carolyn,

    Good to "SEE" Pickles back to eating and normal!!!!
    This B12 sounds like something to keep in stock at home for people who have goats.

    Carolyn, you're too funny with the pictures!!!

  2. I hate to think how long you stood there, with your camera aimed at Pickles' hiney. That IS good to know. We have large animal vets around, but they tend to minister to cows only and don't have a clue about ruminants. My new dog/cat vet is the rare exception - he'll minister to anything but llamas. I'm trying to nudge him in that direction.

  3. So glad everything 'came out well in the end'.

  4. Hi, Carolyn,
    I'm the editor of Urban Farm magazine ( We have an article on helping an egg bound hen in our upcoming issue and I'd like to use the photo of one of your chickens, if possible (from your blog on an egg-bound hen at If you're interested, please email me at and I'll give you more information. Thanks!

  5. Good info on the B12, I will try to remember that but I "really" hope I never need it! The worst goat poop I ever experienced was when one of my does ate waaayyy too many over-ripe cucumbers, you know, the ones that are neon green. Well, needless to say, she pooped and vomited neon green all over the place! Looked like the Zombies had invaded!
    How cool about the Urban Farm mag wanting to use your 'stuff!' Please don't forget us little people when you become rich and famous! ;)

  6. How long did you have to stand and wait, camera at the ready, to get that last shot? You are a wonder!

  7. Glop plop? I've got SO much to learn....
    As for the Pickles pic? I'm with Mama Pea....

  8. I'm sure she will be back to getting stuck under the chicken house and screaming in no time!

    You're such a good goat momma :)

  9. I'm glad Pickles is pooping better!!! Lol! I had to out one of my girls down today. It just got too bad. I'm glad you don't have to go through that.
    Urban? Ooooohhhhhhhh!!!!!!