Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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What does everyone do to boost immunity in times of stress such as moving, transport etc?

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We moved from northern Texas to central Texas during the summer of 2019. It was a 10 hour round trip and took 2 trips to get the donkey, chickens, and goats all relocated. I honestly think it was way more stressful on me than the animals- LOL!!! I was sure to keep everyone's diet and feeding routine as close to normal as possible, but we did move from forest forage to pasture, which was a big change to everyone's digestive system. I got everyone started on probiotics and made sure the goats had absolute access to baking soda, just to be on the safe side. I started my kids on medicated feed about a week or so before the move, and kept them on it for about a month after the move since stress can definitely cause a coccidia outbreak in the younger ones. Our transition to the new farm went very well!

Thanks! I moved from Southern California to northern Virginia so it was a huge change. I’ve been doing a lot of the same stuff you’ve suggested probiotics, medicated feed, etc. They were on the road for 4 days in a trailer. So definitely stressful. They seem to be starting to even out but they’re just not where they were before so I wanted to see if there anymore I could do. 

Good morning Maggie

What exactly is going on with them? Are they underweight, having loose poop, or just not acting like themselves? How long have you been there? I would definitely check FAMACHA on all your goats. Stress lower a goat's natural immunity to defend themselves from internal parasites, plus, there may be a load on your pastures from previous livestock that share the same parasites. When we moved, we switched from almost 100% browse to almost 100% pasture. On our old property my goats almost always had negative fecals and FAMACHAs were always 1. Once they started consuming pasture grass, they also started consuming worm eggs. During our first spring my FAMACHA scores all went from 1 to 3, 4, and 5-and it happened so fast =( If they are showing signs of anemia and you choose to deworm, I would highly recommend doing a fecal before admin of your dewormer and another 14 days after to get a Fecal Egg Reduction Count. This will tell you how effective your dewormer was, just in case you have dewormer resistant parasites on the property. That way you will know to switch to a different dewormer class if the first one did not work for you.

I would also see if you can find fellow goat owners in your area and ask about known mineral deficiencies. My new vet here alerted me of a significant selenium deficiency in our area. Getting them started on selenium supplements helped so much!

Tammy 

Thanks. At least it seems like I’m doing ten right stuff. Everything you described is something I had to deal with. Worm blooms, change in pasture, way higher rates of mineral deficiency here. I’m continuing to make adjustments until I find what works best. As I said I’m happy to hear that I’m doing everything that others would do. I’m sure things will even out eventually. Thanks again

Thanks. At least it seems like I’m doing ten right stuff. Everything you described is something I had to deal with. Worm blooms, change in pasture, way higher rates of mineral deficiency here. I’m continuing to make adjustments until I find what works best. As I said I’m happy to hear that I’m doing everything that others would do. I’m sure things will even out eventually. Thanks again

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