When a goat becomes sick its stomach, the systemic health of the animal dives towards illness. What does one do when five out of 17 animals are ill? Three baby kids and two mommies caused me distress. While I am not an animal husbandry specialist, my degree is in Library Science. So I researched, using materials on the internet as well as my vet and mentors. Dr. Vigil came to burn horns for Gracie's girl. We discussed the possible illnesses. While here he took a lab sample of one of the kids. With his oversight and recommendations for the coccidia parasites in the babies, I began a routine of medication using DiMethox brand of sulfadimethoxine (40% liquid). It is an injectable medication given orally to goats. After two days it did not appear to help in two of the kids, both orphans.
Last May 31, Dr. Vigil suggested a larger dose. I chose a more radical action. Two of our orphans had volcanic diarrhea from the time we brought them home. In my research one suggestion was to take them off milk for two days. So I mixed the 911 (trademark product) electrolyte powder and fed them this jello type stuff for two days, small doses of 4 ounces every two hours. The diarrhea stopped. Their digestion systems were re-started with a little bit more of milk for three days, six times a day. They began to chew cud and digest more slowly. I gave them full milk after a week. It was a very deliberate hand-on process, which I do not suggest lightly. We are back to three feedings a day. They have had no problems since.
Typical to intense management of many goats in a small space, other babies became ill. Last Sunday we had four kids with problems. So Monday, June 10, we reorganized the sleeping space for babies, which sleeps twelve growing kids. They have now over 100 square feet of space. Peptobismol (yes the stuff you buy at Walgreens) is given three times a day helped. Cross contamination is slower. Today, only two slightly poop messy bucklings showed problems.
One of our milkers, Destiny, remains weak; however she is slowly recovering her usual cheeky self. I learned to take a temperature when a goat is facing away from the herd, lies down a lot, and walked slowly. The fever broke with antibiotics, accompanied by B complex. Dr. Vigil provided followup via phone on Monday. We have been very fortunate to have him.
In these situations when one cannot see the outcome, gratitude and hard is imperative, along with prayer. I was very thankful that Dr. Vigil provided text support, as well as my mentor in Wisconsin. Our Wwoofer volunteers Thibout and Apoovra cleaned goat mess caused by bad poops every morning for two weeks. I also appreciated the documentation which is found online: Fiascofarm.com and Onion Creek Ranch http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/. My evening reading involves animal care with a study of The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Julliette Blaircli Levy. Our farm in the city of Chicago is always a learning experience.