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Scruffy coat, anemic goat

Morning in the goat barn

Good news! Artemesia is pregnant. I've been feeling under her belly right in front of her udder like Karla suggested...feeling nothing. Then, Monday morning, a kick! Actually, Artemesia's little parasite(s) were very rambunctious that morning, kicking repeatedly...which is handy since I might have otherwise considered that first movement a fluke. So now I can go back to wondering what sex, what color, and how many.

Goat breakfast

The bad news is, Artemesia is no longer in tip-top health. About a week ago, I started noticing her fur losing its shine and a bit of dandruff cropping up. Granted, both of our goats are also shedding their winter fur at the moment, which gives them a bit of a scruffy look...but Artemesia just looked scruffier than she ought. A peek at her inner eyelids determined that they were quite a bit paler than Abigail's, a sure sign of anemia and a likely sign of worms.

Goat eating garlicJust as when this last happened, I first took a look at the kelp feeder. It wasn't precisely empty...but goats are a lot like cats. You know how cats will look at the last two tablespoons of kibble, turn up their noses, and beg for more as if they're starving to death? Apparently, that's a goat's take on the dregs of kelp as well.

So I topped up the kelp feeder and started the herd on a daily garlic campaign as well. I've tried chopping up garlic and putting it in our goats' feed...and they have a fit. Rightly so --- who wants a big bite of raw garlic when you're expecting sweet potatoes? However, I soon discovered that goats are quite willing to eat an after-dinner mint garlic out of the kelp feeder. In fact, they've been going through a head of garlic a day between them --- I'll have to cut them off soon!

Goat gear

Shiny goatWithin four days, Artemesia's fur started shining again. But her eyelids still aren't as bright as Abigail's. I'm kicking myself for not looking at Artemesia's eyelids when she seemed in tip-top health since individual goats can have different baselines. Instead, I'm ordering some chemical dewormer just to be on the safe side...and I'm also going to pull out our microscope and see if I can get an assessment of worm load in her poop. Mark's going to love our dinner-table conversations this week....

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Are you able to find dairy quality hay? Here that would be legume or second cut, not sure if that is available in your area or not. Good catch before she kids!
Comment by Nita Wed Mar 9 10:41:18 2016
I don't know if the same goes for goats, but in cats and dogs garlic can cause anemia. So I wouldn't use it in big amounts for deworming an animal that I think has anemia to start with. The hemolytic substance is called thiosulphate and is present in most members of the allium genus.
Comment by Erica Wed Mar 9 16:51:27 2016

Nita --- We don't give her dairy hay, but we do amend with alfalfa pellets to make up for it. It sounds like you're leaning toward it being a feed issue rather than a worms issue? I feel like that's definitely a possibility, so I'm increasing her daily ration (and starting to guard her bowl while she eats so our bully goat won't get half of it).

Erica --- Good point! I figured giving her a few days of lots of garlic would act like the three-day dewormer campaigns I hear about. I've taken her off it now, although I might give her more in about a week.

Comment by anna Wed Mar 9 20:09:27 2016

I was thinking a feed issue. There is a vet saying that 95% per cent of cattle maladies can be cured by correct and ample feeding. I would guess that would be the same for goats. With the cows, if they have enough to eat (forage not grains) they are parasite resistant. You've done really well with your rotation maybe she just needs more to help her with pregnancy etc.

Be careful with your conventional wormers it can be a problem in the soil.

Can't wait to see the baby!

Comment by Nita Wed Mar 9 22:47:25 2016
Congratulations on Artemesia's confirmed pregnancy! The pregnancy could easily be the cause of the anemia, especially if she is carrying twins. Do a fecal check before deworming, and make sure that the dewormer is safe for pregnant animals.
Comment by Peggiann Wed Mar 9 23:12:38 2016

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