Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I am trying to figure out what constitutes "good" parasite resistance.

I think Deborah has mentioned culling anything that requires deworming more than 1x per year. 


So, I am curious about how often most people are deworming their goats, particularly dam raised babies? When people respond I would be interested to also know whether your goats are on pasture or dry lot and which part of the country you are in.


We are in Florida, goats are on pasture, they graze more than they browse.  I think my stocking rate would still be considered pretty low- I have a total of 7 goats right now on 10 acres.  Although for the past 2 months I would say I have a total of maybe 1 acre of dry land.  Probably stay that way till this fall.


Vets in my area recommend that you deworm monthly.  I don't honestly know if that's because they're ignorant or if it's because of our year round parasite season?  Both?  I know plenty of goat breeders in FL do deworm monthly.  The other school of thought around here is the 10-10-10 method where you do ivomec plus once, then again 10 days later, and then 10 days after that to kill all stages of growth.  I have never done that method because it seems to contradict with the info to prevent resistance.


My bucks definitely do better than my does, I assume because they have less stress?  without the body strain of milking and making babies?  Miyagi can easily go a year or longer without a dewormer.  Bliss is nearing a year without a dewormer now, and his color and body condition are still good although he does require more feeding than Miyagi does, but he always has.  These boys have spent a decent amount of the last year in a 40x40 electric pen rather than out on all the pasture, so I had wondered if the worms were going to catch up with them.


Annie had her last chemical dewormer in Feb when she kidded, Velvet in March when she kidded, both of them look kinda borderline to me as far as eye membrane color, and it is tough to keep Velvet in good body condition, too.  I am trying every alternative there is- herbal dewormers, papaya seeds, sericea lespedeza, to stave off having to throw more chemicals at them.  I would be okay with deworming something like 2x a year...and it seems like we are going to make that this year unless Velvet & Annie worsen and I have to give them chemicals very soon.


The doeling Kiai is now 4 months old and she has never had a chemical of any kind for anything.  her color is excellent, just like her dad, just dark red.  she is fat and shiny. 



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PS I wonder if worm eggs drown?  After my pastures have been flooded for several months straight, do you figure they would then be clean of worm eggs?  That would be a nice upside to it

If it makes you feel any better, the southeast is reputed to have the worst parasite problems with some sheep and goat producers losing as much as 20% of their flocks every year to parasites. So, it sounds like you're doing pretty good compared to them!

When I had a stocking rate like yours, I had zero parasite problems. Do you rotate pastures? (Sorry if I missed that.)

My dam-raised kids usually don't need any dewormers as long as they are with mom. And this year the baby bucks that I weaned haven't needed anything either. This was not always the case, but I'm pretty sure you've heard about my history with parasites. I'm pretty darn happy now! :)


I have heard of at least one person losing an entire herd to worms.  

I do rotate pastures when I can.  But that & my stocking rate are both weird because we flood periodically, either the whole farm or part, which puts particular pastures (right now, all of them) under water, so that my rotation schedule gets ruined and all of the animals get bunched together on a tiny island.  

For 6 months prior to this flood, I had my bucks in the back on 5 acres that they did not rotate off of, and had the does rotating between 3 pastures in the front so that when the kids arrived, I was able to put mom & kids on a "clean" pasture that had not been used for goats  in approx 4 months and had been grazed and rested and grazed again with horses in the meantime.

When the flood happens the bucks either go into the electric pen somewhere to graze, or they get dry lotted in back of the barn with hay (where they are now)

So, at least 6 months out of the year we are down to just an acre or two for the animals.  So keeping that in mind with regard tot he stocking rate.  I guess the flood is like our "winter" where our ground is covered with water instead of snow.  Miyagi will lead the bucks out into the water to browse on stuff that is above water, and I had had them out in a wet pasture but I just put them up in the barn for awhile because their feet were starting to look rotten.  

I am also kinda excited to report that Annie's Famacha score has improved since the last time I checked which may have been about a week ago.  This is after the papaya seeds.  I need to go check Velvet in the good light today, and Violet did not get the papaya because she was just bred and it is not recommended for pregnant humans so I did not give it to her.

Good news on the papaya! How much did you use, and how did you do it?

50% good news--- I did it to 3 does and 2 bucks.  2 of those does had a borderline FAMACHA score, 1 has improved, the other has not.  The bucks and the doeling had excellent FAMACHA prior, I just gave it to them anyway figuring any little bit helps.  

I found a dosage on one of the studies but it is on my computer which is crashed at the moment (using hubby's).  I will get it for you when my husband fixes it for me.  It was 8 seeds per either 10 or 20#, ground, 2x a week.  I could not find a clarification of 2x a week over a long term or just 2x a week once, so I am only doing it once since I am not sure.  I will let you know if the other doe improves after her 2nd dose, I have not given it yet.  I also may have slightly underdosed her because I only just bought a scale and had not weighed her yet and I may have estimated that she was lighter than she is.  

I ground the seeds in my food processor, then sprinkled them on grain since they were still too chunky to get into a syringe with molasses or anything.  Everyone ate them without a problem.

If the 2nd dose does not work then I have exhausted my options &  it's chemicals for Velvet.  But she still has enough color that I will try this one last thing.

Well, that's pretty good! This study says you have to feed 10 grams a day for two weeks:

Just a heads-up that the majority of papayas grown in Hawaii are GMO if that's something you're looking to avoid. Other countries do grow non-GMO varieties but the easiest way to be certain papaya is not GMO is to buy organic.

Jeez!  I did not know papayas were GMO.  I bought a Mexican variety.  No idea whether they are GMO or not.  Suppose I will buy organic in the future....I have started an organic feed co-op to avoid GMOs, it is something we feel strongly about.

The papayas in my grocery store are from Mexico, as are most of the papayas sold in the US. It is only the Hawaiian papayas that are GMOs.

Yeah, I guess most fruit does have the point of origin sticker on it doesn't it. I should have thought of that.

So, that is a pretty big discrepancy I am realizing.  I just weighed the bag of seeds I have left, and it weighs exactly 10g.  There are probably 4-500 seeds in that bag at a guess.  I have been feeding 40-50 seeds at a time according to that other study.


10g a day for two weeks is exponentially more than I have been doing.  Now, I am assuming they did that dose with standard sized goats?  So it would maybe be more like 5g for a Nigerian?  One of the goats I am doing this with is a 100# 1st gen mini mancha. 


She has now had papaya seeds 3x, two heavy doses of morantel tartrate, and she is showing no improvement.  I found a concentrated pellet of morantel, which means they only have to eat a little of it.  The other La Mancha has improved but not the mini.  I would still rate her as "borderline" right in the middle of the FAMCHA chart, but she is thin.  Despite that I feed her literally everything she will eat, she just looks like a rack of bones.  I am on the verge of giving her Ivermectin now. 

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