Archive of ‘Goat Health’ category

FEEDING PROBLEMS IN THE TROPICS

There is a wide range of problems with farmer feeding Goats here in Sarawak where it is in the tropical zone.

  • Low levels of protein for growth (and milk production)
  • Mineral deficiencies
  • Poor access to fresh water
  • Much too fibrous feed
  • Seasonal feed fluctuations in quantity and quality
  • Poor nutrition for lactating dams
  • Poor quality feed for kids

Basically too few farmers take the effort to ensure that their Goats require more than the forage (at most times limited to some roadside growing grass) their Goats have access to when tethered or the cut and carry system many apply for stall fed Goats. For those who tether their Goats they very seldom take into consideration that these animals require a good selected site that perhaps was developed with forage foods and providing them with supplies of energy giving supplementary feed, protein and minerals. Stall fed animals should have access to selected quality and mixed feeds, forage crops and supplemented by giving energy, protein and mineral supplements.

There are also some considerations when managing stall fed Goats as in inadequate feeder space, cramped conditions and the lack of understanding that shy and bully Goats have to be separated not to forget those smaller Goats that tend to end up not getting their share when shoved and butted away by the bigger and stronger animals.

You don’t need a PHD to be a Goat farmer. Just good old basic common sense and most important an appreciation for nature.

POKOK TURI

I have been trying out giving the Goats some ‘Pokok Turi’ cuttings and they seem to love it. Some cuttings have been planted and it will be many month’s before they will be large enough to start harvesting on a regular basis. For some reason this tree seems pretty hard to come by even when it supposedly is a herbal remedy.

Goats like a variety of forage so give it to them!

Linkshere in English and here for Bahasa Malaysia

KIDDING

The ‘Bag’ Appears

Can you see two little hooves and a nose with the tongue is hanging out?

Once the shoulders pass the kid usually just slides out.

Turn the kid to the mother’s head and let her lick the it.

Let the kid get a good drink of colostrum as soon as possible after birth.

VIGOSINE REVISITED

It looks like this Vigosine is helping with Goats appetite. We were using it to combat stress ( my post here ) which worked out fantastic. For curiosity sake we had a test run of 6 heads of 6 month old bucks, we found that giving a very small amount of 5 ml into the mixed feed ( diluted with 500 ml) for 3 consecutive days saw a boost in their food intact. We repeated the same dose after 4 days for 3 days again. There was a 15% increase in feed intact compared to other test herd.

GOAT & SHEEP PRIMAL CHART

ESTIMATING GOAT AGE

The teeth can be used as an aid in determining the approximate age of a goat especially up to the age of four. Goats have eight incisors (cutting or biting teeth) on the lower front jaw. These are sharp and small in animals less than one year. They meet a hard pad (dental pad) in the upper jaw. At about one year, the center teeth will drop out and they are replaced by two permanent teeth.

Twenty-four molars (chewing or grinding teeth) are found in the back, six on each side of the upper and lower jaws. At about the age of two, two or more large front teeth appear, one on each side of the yearling teeth. The three or four year old has six permanent teeth, two more than the two year old. At four or five years of age, the animals have a complete set of eight permanent teeth in front. After this point, the age is judged by the amount of wear on the front teeth. As the animal ages, the teeth spread and drop out. It becomes difficult for her to eat properly, so care should be taken to make sure she eats sufficient amounts of food. Don’t forget that goats don’t have upper teeth in the front but they do have sharp ones in the rear!

FIRST YEAR KID

YEARLING

The 2 Front Teeth Are Lost At 12 Months And Replaced By Permanent Teeth

TWO YEAR OLD

The Teeth Next To The Middle Pair Is Replaced At 24 Month’s

THREE YEAR OLD

The Goat Has Now 6 Permanent Teeth With Only 1 Pair Kid Teeth Left

FOUR YEAR OLD

The Set Of 8 Front Teeth Is Complete

The age of the goat beyond 5 years must be roughly estimated by the amount of wear on the teeth. This rate varies on the diet and health care too can have a large effect on this. Goats on rough, coarse diets and rough pasture will grind their teeth away faster than a goat on a softer diet or better quality ration. The teeth will spread, loosen and finally drop out as the goat ages.

PINK EYE

Pink eye is an infectious disease caused by one or more organisms that spreads from goat to goat. Its transmission is increased by dust and flies. First signs are tearing and drooping eyelids. Foxtails and other foreign bodies in the eye can give similar signs and therefore affected eyes should be carefully examined. True pink eye causes an ulcer or cloudy area in the center of the clear part of the eye (Cornea).

Treatment consists of using antibiotic ointment in the eye and isolating affected animals in a darkened area. Chamomile tea, washed on the eye three times daily. Neosporin salve, put OUTSIDE the eye, all around the eye, will dissolve slowly into the eye, and give a nice all day treatment. Vitamin A may hasten healing.

To treat the goats, you must prevent further spread of the infection. I use paper towels, and Listerine to clean the pus off of the goat’s face. Be sure the eye and face are clean of any drainage. The flies will feed on this and re-infect the eye, and other goats. Spray the mixture in the eye. Be sure the eye is held open, while you spray. If you are in a hurry, treat twice a day, but if you are treating a lot of goats, you may do the treatment only once a day. Depending on the stage of the disease, it may take 3 or 4 days to clear up the eye. If the eye is just beginning to drain, one treatment is enough. If the eye is already opaque, the treatment period will last longer. Be sure to clean the goat’s face each day.

INJECTIONS MADE EASY

There are primarily two methods of giving injections. Commonly called giving shots, injections are given either into the muscle of the animal (IM) or under the skin sub-cutaneously (SQ). The type of medication being given will bear directions stating which of these two methods to use when administering it.

Into-the-muscle injections for goats should be given into the large thigh muscle. Aim the needle from the side, not from the rear, to avoid hitting the sciatic nerve. Hitting this nerve with a needle can result in leg paralysis. Alternate sites for IM injections can be at the neck and the flank, but I don’t recommend using these sites for shots, it is too easy to hit major blood vessels.

When giving injections of thick medications or vaccinations, rub the area before injecting the needle and do the same after completing the shot. This should help mitigate the uncomfortable stinging or burning effect that the rush of medication into the muscle causes.

Sub-cutaneous injections are normally given under the skin at the shoulder area by lifting the loose skin and sliding the needle under the skin, taking care not to hit the muscle. However, small kids often have very little loose skin, making SQ shoulder injections difficult, so an alternate site is the armpit area behind the front legs. Massage the site after giving the shot, this will reduce the possibility of a lump forming at the injection site and also will help with the sting.

Before giving shots, make sure that you have on hand a bottle of epinephrine. Occasionally goats go into shock when given injections. Always keep a bottle of epinephrine with you when you are giving injections. Watch the expiration date on the bottle. The dosage is 1cc per 100 pounds of body weight, given sub-cutaneously (SQ). The need for using this product is a very rare occurrence, but there is no time to go get it when it is needed. Seconds, not minutes, count, when a goat goes into shock.

Purchase two different types of syringes. The type of syringe into which the needle twists (Luer-lock) works best with thick medications. Luer-slip syringes (the needle slips onto the syringe) are great for oral drenching and all other types of injectable medications.

Use 3 cc syringes for most medications, but buy several other sizes as well. One cc (1 cc) syringes are needed for medicating kids. Buy five or six 12 cc syringes and 6 cc syringes for oral drenching of electrolytes. Obtain a 60 cc syringe attached to a weak kid feeding tube for use in tube feeding sick kids. Buy two or three 60 cc syringes with needle-tips (smaller opening) for use in sub-cutaneous rehydrating of ill babies. The point here is that the 60 cc syringe to which the weak kid tube is attached has a wider opening for the tube attachment and is not usable with needles, so two kinds of 60 cc syringes should be kept on hand.

Buy good-quality sharp needles. For injections, use 22-gauge needles that are 3/4″ long. Purchase five or six 18-gauge needles for drawing thick medications from their bottles.

Needles and syringes are inexpensive and can be purchased through your veterinarian. Follow these simple suggestions and giving injections will be much more pleasant, both for you and for your goats.

SHEEP & GOAT MEDICINE

ISBN-10: 0721690521 OR ISBN-13: 978-0721690520

Recommended Book

5 MISTAKES SARAWAK FARMERS MAKE

Research Your Market BEFORE You Buy Your First Goat – Find out what kind of demand for goats exists in your area, then breed for that market. Then take a long hard look at yourself and your intended operation. Are you are going to be a hobbyist or a serious market-oriented producer? If your market is production of animals for meat or raising herd sires/dams, then solicit advice from experienced producers within your chosen field. Applying the wrong techniques to your herd will result in serious health problems for your goats, your bank balance and your sanity.

Choose the RIGHT Breed – Find a breed of goat that fits your climate and situation as well as your goals. Goats are primarily dry climate animals, but some breeds seem to be more adaptable than others to different climatic conditions. For example, Boers were developed for living in the hot and dry climate of the African veld and reportedly encounter serious stomach-worm problems in very rainy areas of the World.

Not Feeding Goats RIGHT & ENOUGH - Goats are picky eaters with easily-upset rumens needing a wide variety of high-quality forage/browse. Research how to feed them properly. Protein is only one element of a feed ration. Long fiber is essential to rumen function. The rumen is the goat’s digestive factory. Calcium-to-phosphorus ratios are critical. Copper, selenium, zinc, and thiamine (Vitamin B-1) are but a few of the important minerals and vitamins essential to a goats health and reproduction.

WRONG Breeding Techniques – Don’t breed large-framed males to small-framed females. Don’t breed does too young or too soon after kidding. Learn from the mistakes made by breeders of livestock and apply that information to your breeding program.

NO Medications and Health Supplies on hand – Learn and understand what you need to have on hand and purchase it before you need it. You won’t have the luxury of time to go get it when an emergency arises.

Do your “homework” before you start raising goats. Go into goat farming for the right reason and attitude. Its more work than you think, not just tethering the goat to a patch of grass all day and then expecting miracles. If you don’t, goats will die unnecessarily due to your laziness lack of knowledge and preparedness.