Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Health Check For Goats.....

I am talking about doing a fecal on goats..
So if you aren't an animal/goat person this probably wont interest you much..
And may even gross you out!Lol
 Anyway... I usually pay a vet $5 per sample to take a look at it..
Which is not much if its 1-2 goats but you get many more than that then it gets more expensive.
 I bought a Microscope off of Ebay and followed the directions from FiasCoFarm
You have to make the solution which is Epsom salt saturated water.
Then you need various little containers, strainers and sticks...

Of course you need your sample of Goat Berries..
I did a mix not just one goat..
If I have one that seems to not be doing as well as
others then I would do an individual sample.

You mix it up really well with a Popsicle stick..

Scoop out 1/4-1/2 tsp(3grams) of sample
Then mix it slowly with 25ml of Solution.
Let it set for 2 minutes.

Then strain it really well
squishing all the fluid out into another container.
Let it set for another 2 minutes..

This is what you have then..

Fill a test tube or something similar to almost over flowing.
Then lay a coverslip on top..
 It will overflow and you want it too some..
So for less mess I stood it in the little cup..

Let it set for 15-20 minutes..
 This allows the parasite eggs to float
 and stick to the coverslip.
Then you lay the cover slip on the slide..

If you are not familiar with what parasite eggs look like
then you want to keep a picture close by for reference.
 Fiascofarm has good pictures
 under two different microscope magnifications.
  They say less than 5 not to worry you will see some eggs.. around 10 still not a big number but depends on the goats condition.. Up around 20 you need to check your goats condition and most likely they need some dewormer.. Depending on the parasite, the goat and what is available..
 I found 3 barberpole eggs in the boy's fecal. A few little cocci eggs(3-4) but all goats have cocci. Its definitely not a problem.
 The babies that are with moms I found less than 5 total of anything..
The adult goats I found one lungworm, 18 barberpole and liver fluke eggs.  I checked eyelids and they are a little pale for most of the adults.. I decided I will give their Copper Bolus(they were due) and then in 2 days I will give Valbazen since it kills all 3 of those parasites. Their general condition is good though.. I am also going to give some herbal for the next 3 days with their grain just to help their systems.. Plus some Probiotics after the dewormers to keep their rumens working well..
 Internal Parasites are one of the most overwhelming things when it comes to goats. I have lost a couple to parasites when I first got into goats. Then I dewormed on a regular basis and almost lost Sunshine due to not getting the dose high enough and her going into parasite overload.  The more I learn the healthier my goats get..
  Number one time to deworm is with in 24 hours of of kidding then again in 10-14days. When goats are really stressed parasites multiply like crazy.. Kidding is stressful.. Another time is when a goat gets moved from one farm to another. It may not stress them to much but they may have something the new place doesn't or vice versa..Its better to not take chances..
 Another time is if you wean kids by taking them off at a certain age and not let the momma goat do the weaning. Its stressful on the kid especially.. I also deworm before breeding time. They all get a little high strung and stressed during breeding season.
  The rest of the time I just keep an eye on their general condition and do a fecal if needed. If I find something then I deworm as needed.I also think if your goats haven't been raised all natural then you need to ease into all natural deworming. If you buy a goat that hasn't been raised that way and you just put it right into an all natural program you are asking for trouble most of the time. All Natural builds up their systems till they resist parasites. Where the chemical dewormer kills it but if used to often they can become resistant and notwork at all..  I always suggest to find a chemical that will work and then start building them up after the parasite overload is gone. The healthier the goat the less you will have to deworm anyway.. Always follow up in 10-14 days or the second hatch will kick in and they could possibly become resistant to the deworming meds you use the first time around.
 If you take the time to read Natural Goat Care book by Pat Coleby or The FiasCo Farm website you will see they didn't go right into herbal deworming that they did use some chemical dewormer when needed until their goats health was up to what it should be..  Its just not the focus of either the website or the book and is rarely mentioned..
 The copper boluses are making a huge difference in my goats. I had been giving them a half a 12.5 copasure bolus and I may up it to the full bolus next time around. The minerals that I feed have copper in them but just not enough. There have been several studies about the affect of copper on parasites when goats are supplemented with extra copper..
 I am down to worming about 3 times a year for the whole herd some may need a little extra here and there depending on the goat.. For our area thats not bad at all. Its very humid and we have very wet springs. I am hoping once I get the rotational grazing in that it will go to less deworming...
 I am by NO Means an expert either... Different things work for different people and different areas.....


Brenda said...

Great info, Tonia! And, great photos.

This is a difficult topic for most goat owners. It's something that everyone wants to do right, but too often lets slip by until there is a big parasite problem in the herd.

Doing the fecal testing is a very good way to know exactly what you're dealing with and gives you the best idea of what method to deworm.

matty said...

This is great information! I lost a few goats, too, when I first got them because of parasites. Now, I work quarterly in the spring, summer, and fall. Winter doesn't require it here. And, as you, I check eyes and hinnies every day! But, I haven't ever done the fecal. Now, maybe, I will work in to trying! Thanks!

I love the goat visit in the next posting. What a great day you had!

BTW, our little Lanie is skipping and hopping now! Her abscess is nearly healed! Thanks for your help! Wish you were closer!