The Wethers

7 Aug

I’m trying to figure out what to do with my wethers.


If you remember, two years ago, Bud had bladder stones that led to his surgeries.  The stones were determined to be pure calcium.  Typically that kind of stone isn’t seen in Iowa, but it is common out west where goats are browsed in fields rich in clover.  At the same time Bud was going through his issues, my vet had another goat die with the same type of stone.

bladder stones 32ew

The next year, right around the same time, I lost Marley to bladder stones.



The only thing I can come up with is that the clover somehow changes chemically at this time of year in a manner that causes the imbalance leading to calcium bladder stones.  That’s not a crazy as it sounds.  Alfalfa, which is commonly fed to ruminants safely, can be poisonous after a frost.  Clover is also a legume.  They eat it fine most of the summer and in their hay.  This one time of year it seems to cause problems.  It’s the only thing that makes sense.

swallowtail on clover

swallowtail on clover

I still have three wethers.  I don’t want to lose any of them.





Moose (scratching on the fence)

Moose (scratching on the fence)

I think I will move them to the front pasture with the bucks by the first of September.  Hopefully, that will work.

If you want to join me for Friday’s Hunt, I have next week’s items at the top of my side bar.


20 Responses to “The Wethers”

  1. brokenbarn August 7, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

    I hope that works. I know this is the time of year our horses start slobbering because of the cover.

    • Teresa August 8, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

      This makes me think I need to try to move them right away. I worry so much about those boys.

      • brokenbarn August 10, 2016 at 8:57 am #

        I know you do. I wonder if mowing it off would help? I will ask Brother and maybe your nephew if they know?

      • Teresa August 10, 2016 at 9:16 am #

        Jeremy doesn’t. Vets don’t. The clover will change whether tall or mowed. I just need to try and move them.

      • brokenbarn August 11, 2016 at 7:41 pm #

        At least you know now. I asked my brother and he said the reason we never had that trouble at home (mom’s) is dad was allergic and killed the clover, he’s not sure how.

      • Teresa August 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

        Probably… Oh. I can’t think of the spray that kills everything but grass. I would end up with huge bare spots out in my Back Forty. I just have to figure out how to get the boys moved without mixing everyone else together. Silly goats.

  2. Margaret August 7, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

    I do hope this works for you

    • Teresa August 8, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

      Thanks, Margaret. I do too. Otherwise, I’m at a loss for how to keep them safe.

  3. Jeanne August 8, 2016 at 1:50 am #

    Oh my goodness! Could it really be that?! Who would of thunk it! It blows my mind!! If so, it’s really a fairly easy thing to avoid it, right?

    • Teresa August 8, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

      Well, clover is abundant, but it’s not quite so thick on my front pasture. I do hope it’s a simple fix.

  4. Marie August 8, 2016 at 7:56 am #

    Rip Bud. My son also creates stones and has had numerous surgeries for removal. Thus the instant connection to Bud. They are staghorns and need to go through his back to his kidneys. It is a painful attack when he gets them plus a Hospital stay. We also can’t figure out how he gets them so frequent.. I wish you luck with your herd you are the best caretaker. Lots of luck.

    • Teresa August 8, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

      I am so sorry to hear your son has those problems. Very painful from what I hear.

  5. Eileen Wise August 8, 2016 at 8:42 am #

    Hello, I love your cute goats and the butterfly. Wonderful images. I hope moving them helps. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

    • Teresa August 8, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

      Thanks, Eileen. I do too.

  6. Jim August 8, 2016 at 9:11 am #

    Good idea, Teresa. Is it only harmful to the wethers?
    We didn’t have goats on our farm, Dad said that goats and sheep grazed to close to the ground and our brome grass couldn’t take that. So I didn’t know what a wether was. Now I know, they are the goat equivalent to the bovine steer.
    In cattle they were useless to have hanging around so we fattened them and sold for eating while still young and tender. Guess Bud, Marley, Casey, Myson, and Moose are more pets than anything. Will any of these go to market?

    • Teresa August 8, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

      The males have a horrible design to their urinary tract, so it just bothers the guys (buck or wether). My wethers are pets, those sweet boys I just can’t bear to part with.

  7. Alica August 9, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

    It’s crazy, isn’t it, to think that goats get those nasty things! It’s such a science to figure out what works for one kind of animal, but not for another. Good luck to you! I know you’re on top of it!

    • Teresa August 9, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

      It’s amazing all the things that try to kill my goats. 😦 So much easier to have cows.

  8. pattisj August 10, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    I hope you’ve found the answer to this, certainly not something you need!

    • Teresa August 11, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

      I still have to move the boys, but I do hope this will work.

I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment. If you are having problems leaving a comment Wordpress has made changes to require you to log into your Wordpress or Gravatar account associated with the e-mail address. You can try a different e-mail address, or I have enabled people to leave a comment without an e-mail address. Sorry for any inconvenience because I love hearing from you and want to make it as easy as possible for you to communicate with me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: