Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Question: Can DE be used for goats to elimnate parasites instead of a dewormer? I was talking to my dad about parasite problems, and he said "Why don't we just get them some DE?" Would that work? I guess I'm kind of confused by that. If you can use it, how do you use it?

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I haven't resorted to a chemical dewormer yet for any of my ND does, although one of my la manchas is really testing my patience with the alternatives. I've been using DE and wormwood. The wormwood seems to have worked with the does I used it on, but it took a lot more than it did last year. Yes, it's worth it to me to kid earlier and avoid the parasite problems. In fact, I think I might be able to do okay with the March does if I stop letting them outside when the world starts to thaw. Or put them on clean pasture that hadn't had any goats on it for six months.

So, the vet was out today to do shots and stuff, and he asked what I used DE for. I told him it was a natural dewormer. He takes one look at me and laughs, saying that horse and goat owners have been trying to prove that for years. He said those animals are always the ones with the highest counts, and that there is no natural dewormers out there. And that the only way is through chemical. Thoughts?

 

There is so much wrong with what he said, I don't even know where to start. Most people who have actually looked into this will either say that it is questionable or that it works. I know a woman who has used nothing other than DE for five years, and her goats are fine, which immediately disproves his contention that "those animals are always the ones with the highest counts." A vet professor at U of I actually told me that there is no way anyone is ever going to get control of parasites through chemicals alone, and based on all of the research I've read, that is true. Management is far more important than any drug when it comes to worms. His faith in chemicals is misguided. I wound up with dead goats when I thought chemicals were THE answer. It is SO much more complex than his flippant little comment. Obviously he hasn't done any research or reading of the research based upon his attitude. It just is not that simple. If you go to www.wormcontrol.org and read all the research on there, you'll know more than your vet about worms in goats.


WorkingGoats4 said:

So, the vet was out today to do shots and stuff, and he asked what I used DE for. I told him it was a natural dewormer. He takes one look at me and laughs, saying that horse and goat owners have been trying to prove that for years. He said those animals are always the ones with the highest counts, and that there is no natural dewormers out there. And that the only way is through chemical. Thoughts?

 

I agree with Deborah. Pretty much any time anyone "professionally" is so quick to dismiss an idea is someone you should start taking with a little more salt. There is credible information about DE being used effectively, and IMO a lot of people that say it doesn't work, are also using it incorrectly. I was really surprised to find how much you should use. Had I not found that out, and tried DE, I would have surely been disappointed.


WorkingGoats4 said:

So, the vet was out today to do shots and stuff, and he asked what I used DE for. I told him it was a natural dewormer. He takes one look at me and laughs, saying that horse and goat owners have been trying to prove that for years. He said those animals are always the ones with the highest counts, and that there is no natural dewormers out there. And that the only way is through chemical. Thoughts?

 

I know this is an old thread, but I figured replying to this one was better than starting a new one.  I have only had goats since the beginning of August (2014) and so far all I have used to worm them is COWP Boluses and DE. I have 6 goats total and have been doing what pasture rotation I can (I have a total of 3/4 of an acre for goat pasture, so it's not much).

I had a vet do a fecal test for me today to test parasite loads (I live in FL so parasites are a concern year round here) and she asked me what I did for my worming schedule because their parasite loads were almost non-existent. I told her about the copper bolus and the DE (I DE once a week as a top dressing as well as dusting their coats and shelters) and she kind of scoffed saying that I need to start worming them once a month with ivermectin. Is that really necessary?  That kind of goes against my instincts so I am hoping for some feedback on this as well as researching as many of the pre-existing threads as I can. I'm generally of the opinion "If it's not broken, don't fix it." As we come into spring (February/March) I know that I will have to have them tested again to be sure they are okay.

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

There is so much wrong with what he said, I don't even know where to start. Most people who have actually looked into this will either say that it is questionable or that it works. I know a woman who has used nothing other than DE for five years, and her goats are fine, which immediately disproves his contention that "those animals are always the ones with the highest counts." A vet professor at U of I actually told me that there is no way anyone is ever going to get control of parasites through chemicals alone, and based on all of the research I've read, that is true. Management is far more important than any drug when it comes to worms. His faith in chemicals is misguided. I wound up with dead goats when I thought chemicals were THE answer. It is SO much more complex than his flippant little comment. Obviously he hasn't done any research or reading of the research based upon his attitude. It just is not that simple. If you go to www.wormcontrol.org and read all the research on there, you'll know more than your vet about worms in goats.


WorkingGoats4 said:

So, the vet was out today to do shots and stuff, and he asked what I used DE for. I told him it was a natural dewormer. He takes one look at me and laughs, saying that horse and goat owners have been trying to prove that for years. He said those animals are always the ones with the highest counts, and that there is no natural dewormers out there. And that the only way is through chemical. Thoughts?

 

It is hard to believe that she saw the fecals with her own eyes and told you that you needed to start using  a dewormer on a schedule. Obviously she has not read the research. :( The latest research says that you should NOT use a dewormer unless it is necessary because the more you use it, the closer you will come to dewormer resistance. No one denies that antibiotic resistance is a problem, so I really do not understand why so many in the veterinary community do not understand that worms can -- and DO -- become resistant to dewormers when they are used too often. Your vet is quoting you the advice from the 1990s. I'm actually glad that you brought up this old thread because the URL for the small ruminant parasite website has changed -- http://www.acsrpc.org/  As I said in this thread earlier, if you read all the research on that site, you'll know a lot more than your vet does about parasite control. For the "cliff note version," you can read the 24 pages on parasites that's in my book, Raising Goats Naturally. 

Even though you don't have a problem at this time, you could wind up with one in the future if you don't do things right. I didn't have a parasite problem for the first three years that I had goats, and then I brought in a goat with a heavy parasite load, and I didn't know anything about pasture rotation, so I wound up with dead goats, closely followed by a problem with dewormer resistance and more dead goats. We managed to turn it around, but it's a tough road that is best avoided.

Emily Puentes said:

I know this is an old thread, but I figured replying to this one was better than starting a new one.  I have only had goats since the beginning of August (2014) and so far all I have used to worm them is COWP Boluses and DE. I have 6 goats total and have been doing what pasture rotation I can (I have a total of 3/4 of an acre for goat pasture, so it's not much).

I had a vet do a fecal test for me today to test parasite loads (I live in FL so parasites are a concern year round here) and she asked me what I did for my worming schedule because their parasite loads were almost non-existent. I told her about the copper bolus and the DE (I DE once a week as a top dressing as well as dusting their coats and shelters) and she kind of scoffed saying that I need to start worming them once a month with ivermectin. Is that really necessary?  That kind of goes against my instincts so I am hoping for some feedback on this as well as researching as many of the pre-existing threads as I can. I'm generally of the opinion "If it's not broken, don't fix it." As we come into spring (February/March) I know that I will have to have them tested again to be sure they are okay.


Thanks so much. I really felt like she was wrong but when you have a "professional" and someone who claims to be very knowledgeable about goats, it really makes you question yourself, especially because I am still so knew to the game. She said that even though she didn't see any worms, that doesn't mean they aren't there, just that they may not be shedding eggs at that time. We are hoping to build a fence in the spring to further section off our property for pasture rotation which would give us 4 pens. We are also not bringing in any more new goats because of our lack of space, and because I am only using them for dairy products for our small family, not for breeding/showing. I have a buck, a wether, three does that are breedable, and one doe that is just a novelty pet that a breeder gave me because she is freakishly small and can never be bred (she is nearly 8 months old and weighs 18 pounds, but is perfectly healthy according to the vet).  Your book is actually in the mail right now on it's way to me, so I'll dive into that when it gets here and hopefully have all of my questions answered from now on. Thanks for being patient with all of my beginner questions!

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

It is hard to believe that she saw the fecals with her own eyes and told you that you needed to start using  a dewormer on a schedule. Obviously she has not read the research. :( The latest research says that you should NOT use a dewormer unless it is necessary because the more you use it, the closer you will come to dewormer resistance. No one denies that antibiotic resistance is a problem, so I really do not understand why so many in the veterinary community do not understand that worms can -- and DO -- become resistant to dewormers when they are used too often. Your vet is quoting you the advice from the 1990s. I'm actually glad that you brought up this old thread because the URL for the small ruminant parasite website has changed -- http://www.acsrpc.org/  As I said in this thread earlier, if you read all the research on that site, you'll know a lot more than your vet does about parasite control. For the "cliff note version," you can read the 24 pages on parasites that's in my book, Raising Goats Naturally. 

Even though you don't have a problem at this time, you could wind up with one in the future if you don't do things right. I didn't have a parasite problem for the first three years that I had goats, and then I brought in a goat with a heavy parasite load, and I didn't know anything about pasture rotation, so I wound up with dead goats, closely followed by a problem with dewormer resistance and more dead goats. We managed to turn it around, but it's a tough road that is best avoided.

Emily Puentes said:

I know this is an old thread, but I figured replying to this one was better than starting a new one.  I have only had goats since the beginning of August (2014) and so far all I have used to worm them is COWP Boluses and DE. I have 6 goats total and have been doing what pasture rotation I can (I have a total of 3/4 of an acre for goat pasture, so it's not much).

I had a vet do a fecal test for me today to test parasite loads (I live in FL so parasites are a concern year round here) and she asked me what I did for my worming schedule because their parasite loads were almost non-existent. I told her about the copper bolus and the DE (I DE once a week as a top dressing as well as dusting their coats and shelters) and she kind of scoffed saying that I need to start worming them once a month with ivermectin. Is that really necessary?  That kind of goes against my instincts so I am hoping for some feedback on this as well as researching as many of the pre-existing threads as I can. I'm generally of the opinion "If it's not broken, don't fix it." As we come into spring (February/March) I know that I will have to have them tested again to be sure they are okay.


Well, it is true that there could be worms even though she didn't see any eggs in the fecal, but that's irrelevant in this situation. Actually, all goats have some worms, and that's okay. I had a vet professor at U of I tell me 10 years ago that you will never get to zero worms in a goat. If you had really skinny goats that were stumbling around with pale eyelids and abnormal poop, and you had a fecal that didn't show anything, I'd suggest deworming, but your goats have no symptoms of a worm overload. A fecal can confirm parasites but can't rule them out. However, you should not treat a goat for worms if they don't have any symptoms. Because there are only three classes of dewormers for goats, you should not use one unless you absolutely need to do so. (Imagine how little antibiotics would be used if we only had three!) If your goats are healthy with a normal worm load, that's awesome.

Emily Puentes said:

Thanks so much. I really felt like she was wrong but when you have a "professional" and someone who claims to be very knowledgeable about goats, it really makes you question yourself, especially because I am still so knew to the game. She said that even though she didn't see any worms, that doesn't mean they aren't there, just that they may not be shedding eggs at that time. We are hoping to build a fence in the spring to further section off our property for pasture rotation which would give us 4 pens. We are also not bringing in any more new goats because of our lack of space, and because I am only using them for dairy products for our small family, not for breeding/showing. I have a buck, a wether, three does that are breedable, and one doe that is just a novelty pet that a breeder gave me because she is freakishly small and can never be bred (she is nearly 8 months old and weighs 18 pounds, but is perfectly healthy according to the vet).  Your book is actually in the mail right now on it's way to me, so I'll dive into that when it gets here and hopefully have all of my questions answered from now on. Thanks for being patient with all of my beginner questions!

 

When I am giving individual goats D.E., I put it on carrot slices or apple slices.  I have to play with it a bit to see how much they will accept.  Generally, they seem to accept a light coating - I just give them more treats to get more into them.  It's not scientific but I know how much they are getting.  When I give it to them, I generally give it for two or three weeks, hoping they will have enough to do some good.  I've not had much luck with them ingesting it with grain and the dry girls don't get grain but they can have all the apples and carrots I am willing to give to them.

Glenna, Have you tried mixing a little water in with it? I give each goat 1/4 cup of DE every week and mix a little water in with it and the grain and it helps a LOT. I've heard of some people mixing it with molasses but I'm hesitant to do that because I feel like it would be too sticky and make the D.E. less effective. 

Also, I took another berry sample to the same vet today for a fecal (two weeks after the first) and she came back astonished. Still no worms! She said she's going to do some research on D.E. and COWP Boluses because she hadn't heard of it before and was very skeptical when I told her that's all I used to worm, but that it's obviously working for me. I'm so glad that I was able to share some knowledge that I've gotten form the wonderful people on this site. She told me that she's never seen a worm count that low EVER in a goat, even in her clients who use chemical wormers, especially with parasites being an issue year round here in FL.
Today was a good day. :)
Glenna Rose said:

When I am giving individual goats D.E., I put it on carrot slices or apple slices.  I have to play with it a bit to see how much they will accept.  Generally, they seem to accept a light coating - I just give them more treats to get more into them.  It's not scientific but I know how much they are getting.  When I give it to them, I generally give it for two or three weeks, hoping they will have enough to do some good.  I've not had much luck with them ingesting it with grain and the dry girls don't get grain but they can have all the apples and carrots I am willing to give to them.

I have not mixed it with water, Emily.  I do moisten the carrots/apples before I add the D.E. and that seems to work.
Congratulations on the worm resistance.  It may be that your goats are naturally more resistant and your conditions may not be ideal for the worms to live there.  Until I wormed each of my does this spring the day after kidding on the advice of a goat friend, I had no issues at all even though my goats are back-yard goats without a huge pasture to roam.  The moms had lighter pink eyelids this summer so I started the D.E. again.  I will NOT give them dewormer again unless I get a fecal sample that says it's needed. I think I messed up by giving them any at all without evidence it was needed.  I violated a basic rule of mine - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Emily Puentes said:

Glenna, Have you tried mixing a little water in with it?  [snip]

Also, I took another berry sample to the same vet today for a fecal (two weeks after the first) and she came back astonished. Still no worms! She said she's going to do some research on D.E. and COWP Boluses because she hadn't heard of it before and was very skeptical when I told her that's all I used to worm, but that it's obviously working for me.  [snip]
Today was a good day. :)

So glad this thread came up again! I have 4 does hopefully kidding several weeks apart starting in March and I'll take any info on this that I can. I loved the post that had the amounts for the different animals.

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