Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

For the last several weeks I have been managing dry lots for my goats...bucks...well, Dream Catcher, and Does including the pen jumper Diego and the still quite young buckling. It is a lot of work to start, but once you get into a routine its not too hard to maintain. Had an issue with a really goatie smell at first in the new winter house, and I was cleaning it out every other day or so, but now it seems to be a bit better, and I can now do it with my regular whole pen cleanings 2-3 times a week. 

I wormed with Cydectin about 4 weeks ago now and Ty ( the little buckling) had some clumpy poops. I had been treating him for coccidosis since his fecal on Saturday but with that I am certain he needed worming. All adults had good results in the fecal but continue to have varying FAMACHA scores. On the same morning that TY had berry bunches I decided to check the rest of the herd.  Indiana and Brandi had lower FAMACHA scores, Isabel and Diego had higher.

So back in October I ordered some herbs after reading the experience of another member. Not everything was powdered so I tried to grind the cut an sifted herbs with a mortar and pestle, but I guess I am not strong enough or don't have enough patience , or both for that to work. So I tried it in a little blender thing I have with a flat chopping blade, which didn't work either.

So I ended up serving them free choice in a mineral feeder...BOY am I so glad I ordered 12 of those instead of only 2. it means I always have one when I need it.

First I tried just 1/2 c of the mix to see what they would do. I didn't know what would happen and I couldn't drench them with it so I didn't want to waste the expensive stuff if they didn't want to eat it. All of the Adults ate some, particularly Brandi and Indiana. But not Ty.  So I took a wild shot and moved the mineral feeder from its usual place , then put out 2c and Ty ate some!  Left for work...This was around 10 and I returned about 4:3o to find that they LICKED IT CLEAN!! So. I put a few tbsp into Ty's bottle to try, and I put the rest of what I had made into the mineral feeder and Isabel and Diego ate and ate and ate from it. It would not surprise me if they ate all of it when I go out there this morning. 

Also I did not see any more berry bunches Ty sized or otherwise.

The experiment in Ty's bottle went ok. I cut the hole really big for him and he drank it down pretty well but I had to take the nipple off the bottle 3 times and blow it out. I knew it would work better if the herbs were powdered, but if you don't try you never know if it works... If you're wondering I though the stuff tasted a bit like Chai Tea, which I can't have because I am allergic to Cinnamon. 

Someone on another forum said that there are vitamins and minerals in the herbs as well aside from the worming affect, and maybe there is something in there that they really need.  

Word has it that herbs help heal the whole body, and once the balance is right the problems will be gone and there will just be maintenance and I really hope that is the case.  I have no idea what else my goats might be needing, ( based on their scarfing of those herbs) or if this will work at all, and to tell you the truth I am a bit worried because its virtually the last straw in this battle with worms. 

Unless I can get something to powder the herbs I may just try to buy already powdered herbs in the future.

I will keep posting as I am learning because I think it may help someone later.

For the moment my goals are to 1. Keep my herd alive, and 2. Find some sort of herbal "nutrition facts" so I can find out what exactly they are craving so much.

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Comment by Adrienne on November 13, 2011 at 9:48am

Patty. I do know!! It seems so easy for others with their goats, and for me its all I can do to keep them alive. I am really doing the best that I can, and I just hate that it's not working out well. 

Comment by Patty Meyer on November 13, 2011 at 12:31am

I'm at the same place you are with this, trying an herbal wormer for the first time.  I've tried 1)sprinkling it on a bit of grain (no go for any of them) 2) drenching (worked okay, but not a pleasant experience for any of us and I got the glare from my "problem child" for a while after that and  3) mixing the powdered herbs (but I think it would also work with herbs that aren't so powdered) with a few rolled oats and a bit of molasses until it was a crumbly mixture (think of an apple crisp topping).  This was by far the best, and they all ate their dose today.  I'm not sure what my experience with this will be, but I wanted to do something before they are bred next month, but also want to save the chemical stuff until a time when/if it's REALLY necessary.   Really, though, I am SUCH a newbie to this whole thing, and trying to find a balance somewhere in all of the management practices.  Keep it simple and yet still be a responsible, caring goat owner, you know?

Comment by Deborah Niemann-Boehle on November 11, 2011 at 5:43pm

Thanks for sharing this. Keep us updated on how it goes!

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