for people who love the littlest dairy goats
Interesting development in my search for answers last week, but first some recap and back story. This summer the pumps on our community well were changed ( and their may have been other issues), so we received a boil advisory "until further notice" which turned out to be about a month. Call me lazy all you want, but you try boiling water for 16 animals and 2 people in HOT summer and only 4 burners 2 pots and 2 saucepans I promise you will pay for bottled water! LOL! so we did, and ever since David and I have been hooked. The water here is terrible even with a filter. I gave 3 of our 43 /5 gallon jugs to our neighbors who have said that they have been disappointed with the water for quite some time, and that they have had a lot of diarrhea without being able to explain the cause, which went away short after they started drinking bottled water and sanitizing and refilling the bottles at the water machine in town ( different water supply) for $1/5 gal. I had not noticed any health issues but we have only been here a little over 2 years and they have been here for 30. I am just a spoiled baby who won't drink water if it doesn't taste right. After the boil advisory was over the animals went back to drinking house water, but we kept drinking the bottled stuff. Cycling out our bottles so that we always have a fresh 200 gallons on hand in case of another emergency (Louisiana is full of those).
I've been spending a lot of time in the last few weeks going over my records, learning about herbs, and talking with a lot of people who have good experience with herbs and goats. A homemade herbal worming formula that I tried didn't help right away and so I ended up using a chemical - morentol tartrate to keep them from dying. Isabel was fine for a few days then had clumpy poop again, so I gave her another worming, which lasted a few days and then the bad poops were back and one of the other girls was having bad ones too though I never found out exactly who I have my suspicions about Brandi based on fecals and other information collected from that time.
Among other suggestions on another forum several people kept urging me to have the water tested here. I was skeptical but I figured why the heck not, I have 2oo gal. So with that I made a few changes. I've kept the dry lots. No browse. Only basic necessities...Hay, minerals, baking soda... and bottled water.
We all figured that within a week if the issue was with the water that I would start noticing some changes.
I also agreed to a bit of an experiment. The first time I offered the herbal wormer it was free choice and they only ate a lot of it the first 2 days. And I had trouble drenching because at the time I didnt have a way to grind the cut and sifted herbs. The solution? Infusion. I added Cinnamon and Clove to the herbal wormer recipe boiled the bottled water in the kettle and let it steep for at least 30 minutes. Then fill the rest of it with cool bottled water w/o straining out the herbs.Twice a day. I gave it to the girls as their source of water because they were worse off than the boys. The boys are the control with plain bottled water.
The first day they only drank 2/3( usually they drink all but the last inch) , the 2ed and 3erd day they drank all of it. Over nights they drank some but not much, which is typical. By day 3 the bm's were back to normal and FAMACHA scores were around 3 except for Isabel ( who I am almost 100% certain had the worst case in the herd) was about 4. Fecals were lower on Sunday than I have seen in a while, even the boys.
I am currently looking into having the water tested. It could be a parasite or something that is compromising their health because it's blocking what they need. OR it may not be the water at all, more time and tests will tell for sure, but I fear and rejoice at the same time that I may have found the culprit. Until I know without a doubt however, its bottled water for the goats too for now!