New "goat parent", worried about one of my does

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by lindseymadora, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. lindseymadora

    lindseymadora Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2011

    About a week and a half ago, we adopted two Alpines - a 2 year old doe (Eclair, aka Clair) and a 5 month old doeling. (Fiona) They seem to be settling in well - but two, maybe three days ago Clair decided to go on a little hunger strike. When we first got them she seemed off feed, but a dose of probiotics seemed to help for about a week... now she's eating even less than she was the first time - she was eating about 4 lbs a day before coming to our farm (we bought her from a farmer the next county over with a herd of over 50 does), when she came she dropped down to 2-1/2 to 3 lbs a day for a few days, then back up to her normal 4 until slacking off to about 2 lbs a day for the past few days. We did switch feeds - the lady we got her from had her own mix made at a mill, and we got some Blue Seal Caprine Challenge - but the lady gave us some of her feed to mix with the Blue Seal to help with the transition, and Clair had been eating straight Blue Seal with no problems for a few days before the hunger strike.

    We did have a small bout with tapeworms last week - the farm we got them from had some problems with worms, so I knew it was a possibility that we'd have a problem. So far, only Fiona had the worms, and we treated her with SafeGuard and she's fine now. I've been carefully watching Clair for any signs of worms, but so far everything is normal - no rice-y poops or anything.

    She's acting perfectly healthy, normal, and happy otherwise eating hay, grazing/foraging, they have minerals and baking soda, fresh water, I've been keeping an eye on her midsection and it's not swelling, so no bloat, and she's producing the same amount of milk, at least a quart, sometimes up to a cup more, per milking.

    I've given her two more doses of probiotics, one yesterday, and one on the 12th and today I tried to drench her with baking soda and water... yeah, that didn't go so well, she just spit most of it back out. I don't have a drench gun, just an oral syringe. I know she's probably going to come in heat here pretty soon, but I've seen no signs of anything and she's not at all interested in the buck rag, though I let her smell it twice a day, she'd rather chew on the ziploc bag it's kept in. [​IMG]

    What else can/should I do?
  2. Chatychick

    Chatychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I have had goats for yrs and when you move a goat it upsets them.When this happens you worm them when you get them home and then it about 10 days you do it again and then in 10 day s do it again with a different type wormer. Sounds like she misses her herd mates and it does take time. If she is being milked make sure she is getting plenty of Alfalfa hay or pellets so her calcium doesnt get low. Yes the cycles start soon but mine dont go off feed hwen this happens...If she is eating hay well and browsing, work on her feed by slowly increasing it not just giving her alot at first. Dont drench them with Baking soda they will take what they need when they need it and sometimes when you drench you can drown them. I dont drench mine at all.
    I dont keep alot of baking soda out for mine as too much is like not enough. Transition takes a while for some goats and some it dont bother at all. Give her time and work with her ...she will come around for you.
  3. lindseymadora

    lindseymadora Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2011
    Thanks for the advice!

    Today went much better - she ate everything this morning, and hopefully the trend continues. I was concerned because things were going well in all respects, and then she just went off-feed.

    The lady we bought them from has her herd on a weekly herbal wormer (from Hoegger) and I've continued the regimen, so they are getting a regular preventative. She said they didn't rotate pastures this year and she's pretty sure that contributed to the tapeworms.

    I'm sure she misses her herdmates, too - she went from being with 50-some other does to just a young one for company, (and to boss around!) so we do spend extra time with them during the day. They both seem to be happy though. We have good hay out for them. [​IMG]
  4. 1MrsMagoo

    1MrsMagoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2010
    St Tammany Parish LA
    Sometimes goats will be very picky about their food too. Mine would rather starve than eat something other than their regular brand of feed. Oh, they finally give in and eat some of it, but do so very grudgingly as if every bite is killing them. [​IMG] In time they will adjust, but they make sure to complain about it frequently, even in between bites, for quite some time.

    If you are feeding her the same thing, then I would agree with the you that she is just settling in. Goats like routine and if you disrupt it in any major way it throws them into a tailspin. We moved ours to a new house in a second pasture and they freaked out when dusk arrived...trying to find any way possible to get to "their" house: this went on every day for a week. Oh and for heavens sake I'd better not be late feeding them either. They can see me in the morning through my kitchen window and if I dally too long, will yell at me till I come out. Gotta love goats.
  5. seclusionfarms

    seclusionfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2011
    Lake City, Fl
    Our goats do not like to alter from their normal schedule either though they do not normally go off their feed unless they are sick or about to give birth. Not sure what it could be, good luck. By the way our local vet has told us not to use safeguard anymore because there seems to be a resistence to it, we have had lots of luck with valbazen. Hope everything ends well! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011

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