Tag Archives: bottle jaw

Weaning

2 May

I’ve had to start weaning kids even though they are quite young.  It started with Mary.  She had some pretty out of control bottle jaw.

Mary

I put her in the Love Shack.  She’s not happy about that, but it only took a couple of days for the bottle jaw to go down.

Then I had to wean Haley’s boys because she was getting bottle jaw.  You can see she’s horribly thin and she’s lost most of the color on her side and has a bare streak down her nose.

Haley

I also put Cinnamon with her in the north paddock.  She’s thin and losing hair too.

Cinnamon

After a couple of days, she still didn’t have much milk in her udder.  I got more milk from her when Athena and I were both taking from her last year.

Mary and Haley’s kids are fine.  They were already taking bottles, and they’re still getting them.

Haley feeding Hook and Smee

I do worry about John.  He has never taken a bottle.  He’s chewing his cud, and he’s good at eating sweet feed, but I do worry he’ll need more food and copper than I can provide.

John

Hopefully, they all do well with the new weaning arrangements.

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Obsession

3 Aug

I think most people that have goats would tell you that they never knew when they got their first goat that they’d become obsessed with poop.  I tell you, though, there’s nothing like seeing perfect goat berries falling from your goat’s back side like a Pez dispenser.

with apologies to Joani for such an unflattering picture

It’s a good sign of a healthy goat.

front to back: LilyAnn, Sidney, and Dolly

This time of year is when the pasture is getting eaten down and the goats might start picking up worms.

Colt and Astra

You hate to see runny poops.  I kid you not, I followed Caroline around with a glove on to try and get a sample a couple of days ago, but she was not about to give it up.  She did enjoy pushing against my leg and bouncing.  I checked her eye membranes, and they are bright red, so I’m not too worried.  I might have to just keep a glove in my pocket for the opportune moment.

Caroline

I had to pull Clover away from her kids and shut her in after worming her because she had bottle jaw (even worse than diarrhea).

Clover

She’s been wormed, and I’m giving her sweet feed twice a day and all the good alfalfa hay she can eat.

Clover and jealous cows

I’m optimistic that she’ll fully recover.  In the meantime, I will continue to be obsessed with everyone’s poops (and their jaws and eye color).

I hope you’ll come back to join me for Friday’s Hunt.  I have this week’s items listed at the top of my side bar.

Anemic Goats

15 Apr

It never ceases to amaze me how many people find my blog by searching for information on goat health.  That keeps me posting more on goat health.  From the time I brought my five Saanen girls home, I swore they were trying to teach me more about goat health than I ever wanted to know.  Sometimes, I’ve learned at the goat’s expense, so I would love to be able to help other people and goats without the trial and error I went through.

This spring we have had a plethora of triplets.  Three of my girls had three babies!  It’s not necessarily a good thing.  Carrying and providing for the babies before they are born takes a toll on the mom.  In Stormy’s case, the babies were not positioned properly, and she was losing weight and getting run down before they ever arrived.  Once here, it’s difficult for them to keep up with three babies.

Pebbles and her triplets

As the babies get bigger, they want to eat more and mom’s can’t give more, so they lay down a lot.  This keeps the kids from eating, but every time they stand, their babies try to nurse.  It’s a vicious cycle.  This is why we’ve been supplementing bottles for the kids.  It’s less the moms have to provide.

I knew my triplet moms were run down.  Kizzy only has two, but she gives everything to her babies.  Her twins are huge and healthy, and Kizzy keeps losing weight.

Kizzy and her twins

Meg only has two, but she is seven and a half years old and has allergies.  Then there’s Pam.  She only has two babies and she was not thin.  Suddenly, she developed a swelling in her lower jaw.  To feel it, it was squishy and fluid feeling.  It was not firm.  This is called bottle jaw.

goat with bottle jaw

I talked to my vet because I’d heard that bottle jaw was caused by parasites.  I was surprised Pam would have parasites because she’s on the herbal wormer and it’s always been very effective.  But I wormed her, and then I started to do some more reading.

bottle jaw

Bottle jaw is NOT caused by parasites.  Bottle jaw is edema (swelling) caused by  severe anemia.  Parasites are the leading cause of anemia in goats, but it’s not the only cause.  Do a fecal check to see if your goat has parasites.  Pregnancy and nursing kids can also cause anemia.

Besides being thin, you can check your goat’s eyes to see if they are anemic.  A normal goat will have color in that membrane in the corner of their eye–pink or brown.  If the goat is anemic, it will be white (click to enlarge pictures).

healthy eye

anemic eye

The same is true of the goat’s gums.  Pale or white indicates anemia.  Pink or red is healthy (Sorry for blurry pictures; for some reason they didn’t want to model).

healthy gums

anemic gums

In light colored goats, their private parts will follow the same pattern.  Pink is healthy and white is anemic.

healthy goat

anemic goat

It’s still not a bad idea to worm a goat who is run down because they will be more susceptible to parasites when they are anemic.  Because they are run down, they are also more susceptible to other illnesses.  Stormy developed a fever and quit eating.  The vet came out and she ended up getting antibiotics and banamine for the illness.  She also got vitamin B to help stimulate her appetite.

Stormy and two of her kids

Along with treating for parasites or illness, you also need to make sure they have access to a lot of high quality food.  I put all my run down girls into one area, and I’ve given them enough hay to feed twice as many goats.  This way they can always have something to eat.  The kids will also start eating.

Stormy and three kids (not hers)

Where I have the girls now, they also can go out to pasture.  There’s something about being on pasture that just really helps promote good health.  Again, the kids like to nibble on grass and this helps them get ready to be weaned.

I’ve slowly increased the amount of grain that they are getting also.  It has to be a gradual increase in grain because goats can get sick or die if they eat too much grain.  Just keep adding a small bit more every couple of days.

Kizzy and kids eating grain

Now, my run down girls and their kids are eating twice as much as the other goats.  Also, make sure they have plenty of fresh water.  I’ve also added a goat lick tub to supplement their diet with proper minerals and salt.  Probiotics are always good to give whenever a goat is sick or stressed.

Pam with twins, Tayet and Scout

I will keep feeding this girls hard, and I will keep giving the kids bottles.  As soon as the kids are doing a good job of eating hay or grass and grain and I can safely wean them, the kids will be separated from their moms.  They just can’t keep up with their babies.