Archive | 4:07 pm

My Five-Year-Olds

4 Sep

Well, Sidney crashed on Thursday.  When I went out to the pasture (to make sure Ducky wasn’t stuck), I walked back up with the goats.

The herd headed to the barnyard.

But Sidney stopped on the bottom.  She didn’t want to walk.  I could actually go up to her, and she didn’t run.  She didn’t have the energy.  When I tried to slowly walk with her, she just laid down.  By the time I started driving the truck back to give her a ride up, she had moved.  She slowly, very slowly, walked to the barnyard.  When she got there, I helped her to the north paddock.  By the time we got there, she had bottle jaw–the edema caused by severe anemia–just from the effort of walking back to the barnyard.  She got another copper capsule and was wormed.

Sidney by herself on the bottom.

It’s the copper.  It took eight years to get a diagnosis, and it is progressive.  A baby can’t be born with more copper than its mother has, so each year, they got worse and worse.  And I was told 2 grams of copper twice a year should take care of it.  Well, it kept me from losing babies, but the moms were still worse because all of that copper went to kids and not the moms.  My girls who were born in 2017 are almost all in bad shape.


Astra struggles with heat, but the copper makes it worse.  She has been poured for lice (parasitism is a symptom of the copper).


Caroline had a bout of diarrhea, but she seems to be doing much better after some TLC and extra copper.


Now, LilyAnn is struggling with it.  The poor girl. I wish I could get her to come to me so I could try and do something to help her.


I’m going to say, it’s hard to do anything with a wild goat (like LilyAnn and Sidney).  I’d guess the reason Sidney crashed is because I had to chase her and catch her (twice because she spit it out the first night) to give her copper when I did the whole herd.  If I could catch them, it would also be easier to check their eyes and do something sooner.

Bambi has always been nearly impossible to do anything with.

Margarita is thin.  I tried weaning her kids, but I haven’t been able to keep them away from her.  I’m not sure they are even trying to nurse her anymore, so I have left them.  She can’t have milk for them even if they tried.  She also needs an extra dose of copper.  I was hoping the regular dose would be enough to perk her up, but it doesn’t look like it’s enough.


Sidney is thin and now her eyes are pure white with anemia.  On the FAMACHA chart, that is accompanied by a picture of a skull because they are likely to die when they are that pale.  Sidney is doing better now that she’s shut in and not expending energy walking around in pasture.  We’ll see how she does.

Sidney up north with the weaned kids

I need to give the rest of my 2017 girls another copper capsule also.  I’m trying to baby them and support their kids because their kids are also likely really low on copper.  None of these girls will get bred this fall.

She does have a better look in her eye. I see that twinkle back in there.

My hope is that they can recover.  It’s crazy that all of them reached this same critical point in the same year despite getting huge amounts of copper.  That is just an indication of how depleted they are.  The only one from that year who is not in bad shape is Zinnia.  I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on her as her two little girls grow.

Zinnia with Jeanie and Barbie

And the good news is that the kids born after 2018 should all be getting better and better.  Maybe someday, I’ll be able to actually cut back on the amount of copper they get.