October 27, 2009

Magic and Revive Treatment for Goats

Without getting into a long explanation, to put it simply, pregnancy toxemia in goats is the result of high carbohydrate (energy) demands of multiple fetuses in late pregnancy. When this demand exceeds the supply, fat is metabolized into glucose. The metabolic needs of the kids are met at the expense of the mother causing the ketotic condition.

Revive recipe for does with pregnancy toxemia

*Give Revive during the day

500ML 50% Dextrose
500ML Amino Acid Solution (50ml if it is the concentrate)
200ML Calcium Gluconate **(see note below)
20ML B complex
2 grams Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)I use the injectable
5ML B12 (3,000mcg/ml)
5ML 500mg/ml Thiamin

Give 200cc 3x per day (oral drench)

Use a large, clean canning jar to make and store this. Store it in a cool, dark place because B vitamins are destroyed by light.

Scald the jar with boiling water after you clean it and turn it upside down on a clean towel. Scald the lid also. When you mix the ingredients, do not contaminate the mouth of the jar or the contents.

Do not add water to the Revive until you are ready to give it.
Mix 50:50 with water.
Add 2-3 scoops Calf Pac with the morning dose of Revive.
Use a pan of hot water to warm it if needed. Do NOT Microwave.

**Calcium Gluconate is not necessary in Revive unless the doe is showing symptoms of calcium deficiency. The most common first symptom is tender feet, like she is walking on eggshells.

Offer sweet feed, a little corn and free choice alfalfa hay to these does.

Revive is also helpful for animals that are stressed at shows or that need supportive care for some reasons other than pregnancy toxemia. For regular use, omit the Amino Acid solution, Calcium Gluconate and Ascorbic acid.

1 part corn oil
1 part molasses
2 parts Karo syrup
It is helpful to warm it just a bit.

To treat pregnancy toxemia we use Revive during the day and 8 ounces of Magic for a large doe, (a little less for a small one) in the evening to hold them through the night. We have never had a goat scour on this treatment but if one does start to get loose stools then just back off on the Magic a little bit. The most important thing is to get them up and eating on their own again because a doe with pregnancy toxemia that is sleepy, won't get up and refuses to eat is at risk of dying. This will require aggressive and consistent treatment until they are up, alert and eating again. Does in this condition should be treated every 2 to 3 hours until they are awake and up, then the Revive treatment can be reduced to 3 times per day. This treatment has been used by many goat breeders with success for years. These recipes came originally from Coni Ross, a well respected and knowledgeable goat breeder.

The key to treating this condition in goats is catching it early, once a goat is down even the best treatment might not be successful.

Keep a close eye on your does the last six weeks of their pregnancy. Does that are carrying triplets or more and does that are fat or under weight are at the most risk.

Some symptoms of pregnancy toxemia to look for:

1. Swollen feet and lower legs.

2. A stained tail.

3. Loss of appetite.

4. Losing weight over her top.

5. Sleepy, lethargic, stays at the barn while the others go out to pasture to browse.

6. Won't stand.

7. Her breath might have a fruity, sweet odor.

If you suspect a problem you can check your doe's urine with a urine test such as Keto-check, it is generally accurate. The test strips can be bought at the pharmacy department of Wal-Mart.

**I am not a vet and this is just what works for us on our farm. You should consult with your goat knowledgeable veterinarian for help in diagnosing and treating a sick goat.

The doe in the picture did not have pregnancy toxemia. She is just taking a well deserved nap after delivering 3 healthy babies. Just because a doe is carrying triplets or quads doesn't mean she will get pregnancy toxemia, especially if she is fed properly, but even with proper feeding it pays to watch does at the top of the pecking order and at the bottom or during times of drought, etc.

Happy Mail Days and Honest Scrap

A Happy Mail Day. That is what I call any day there is actually something in the mail other than bills or useless credit card offers. A few weeks ago I had a very happy mail day thanks to Becca. She generously had a giveaway (that I was lucky enough to win) on her blog, A Southern Garden by Becca. If you have time you really should check it out. She has some of the most beautiful flowers in her garden. She was kind enough to share a little bit of her garden with me by sending me some Pink Zinnia seeds, a really cute flower pitcher and a few other nice things. I know it took me awhile to post this but thank you very much Becca!

I had another nice surprise recently when I was given the Honest Scrap award from Magaly. Her Pagan Culture blog didn't seem like a blog I would be interested in at first but after I started reading it I found out that she is a wonderful writer, an honest, open minded person and just plain likable; besides the fact she has a very interesting blog! Thank you very much for the blog award Magaly.

Magaly's Honest Scrap Award requires that I write 10 honest things about me, and then I have to pass it on to 7 people with blogs “I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.” This might not be so easy, I can talk about my goats or the farm all day long, just ask my husband but talking about myself is not as easy for me. I will give it a try though.

  1. I have a twin sister and we never, ever dressed alike as kids.
  2. I met my husband in high school.
  3. I like the ice Sonic puts in their drinks.
  4. I really don't like cell phones.
  5. I didn't meet my father until I was 21 years old.
  6. I named our farm after a very special horse I owned in my teens and twenties.
  7. I have a fear of tornadoes. (yes..I do live in Kansas, isn't that ironic)
  8. I got interested in goats after a neighbor's goat showed up at our house, peeping in the window.
  9. I really hate it when people let their dogs run loose to cause problems for their neighbors.
  10. Sunflowers are my favorite flowers.

7 Blogs full of Honest Scrap:

1. Red Pine Mountain
2. Cookin' With Barefoot
3. In The Shadow of Juniper Hill
4. My Net Finds
5. Spot On Cedar Pond
6. Stop the Ride!
7. Octoberfarm

October 18, 2009

A New Face on the Farm

I would like to introduce the newest face at Shiloh Prairie Farm! This cute, little guy doesn't officially have a name yet, which is terrible since he has been on the farm for a month but none of the names we have thought of seems to fit him. He is a purebred Nubian buck so the name we pick out will be on his registration papers. We want it to be something that fits him. His sire's name is Sargent Pepper so we thought maybe we should name him Dr. Pepper but it isn't for sure yet.

Right now we have been calling him baby because he is still on a bottle and he cries like a baby if we leave him. He has another goat with him so he isn't alone but he wants my husband or I to stay outside with him. He also starts "crying" (which is really just yelling) about the time he gets his am bottle, pm bottle and grain. He has a very sweet personality, he loves his bottle and his grain. He eyeballs the cat when she gets too close to his food, then stamps his feet at her and he loves the company of people. He follows us everywhere we go. "Baby" may be OK now but it sure is not going to fit him when he is a big, grown buck.

If you are wondering what the drink cup is that in the pictures he seems to want so bad it is because I have been using it to take a little bit of grain to him twice a day. This was probably a bad idea because now every time he sees a drink cup he wants it. I don't think any soft drink is going to be safe around him for a long time.

This buckling is a little too young to breed any does this year but hopefully by next fall we will see some nice dairy kids out of him. The plan is to have a very small but quality herd of dairy goats in the near future on the farm along with the Boer goats we have now. I will be posting more about our new addition to the farm when we decide on a name and as he grows up.

October 07, 2009

Why Goats Should Not Have Pokeweed Parties

I don't know if someone told my goats that poke sallet was good or maybe they just heard about the Pokeweed festival but for some reason a couple of my goats decided this plant would be a tasty treat several weeks ago. They learned an important lesson that pokeweed is poisonous and not good fodder for goats.

Pokeweed by any other name is still poisonous

Pokeweed is an interesting plant but definitely not a plant you want in your livestock pastures. Pokeweed is also sometimes called pokeberry, American nightshade, pigeonberry, bear’s grape or sometimes inkberry because the juice from the berries has been used as a dye. Native Americans used the juice for staining feathers, garments and other things. Folklore suggests that some Native American tribes believed that pokeweed's ability to cause drastic diarrhea and vomiting would expel bad spirits.

Pokeweed can be identified by its reddish-purple stems and drooping clusters of white-green flowers. Its immature berries are green but turn a dark purple in the fall. The leaves are large and it sometimes resembles a small tree, growing up to 10 feet in height.

No Poke Sallet for Me

Some people, especially in the south eat poke sallet. My mom told me she remembers my grandmother taking her and her brother out when they were young children to hunt for “poke” in the spring. This poisonous plant must be cut above its root when it is very young, small and shows no red in the stem; then it must be boiled in two changes of water to render it safe to eat. Purdue University does not recommend even handling the plant. Personally, I think I will stick with spinach, thank you very much.

Goats and Pokeweed

My experience with this plant started a week or so after I moved three young goat kids to a pasture that had only been home to a horse over the summer. I am observant and aware of poisonous plants in the pastures but somehow I had missed the pokeweed plants that had grown up behind a brush pile in the far corner of this particular pasture. This plant had not been in the pasture before but apparently birds are not affected by the pokeweed berries, which they are quite fond of and will spread the seeds to new locations.

The first sign that something was off was when out of the blue one evening two of the three weanlings in that particular pasture did not come running up to the feeder to get their share of the grain. They just stood under a tree and looked at me. Goats are pigs, especially when it comes to grain. Want to see what I mean? Then check out the food enthusiasm of healthy goats in this video. A goat that is off feed unless it is a doe getting ready to kid is almost always a sick animal.

The kids were somewhat lethargic but responsive and up. I checked their temperatures and that was normal. Their inner eyelids were nice and pink so anemia was not the problem. There was no raspy breathing, coughing, running nose or other symptoms that could be respiratory illness. I quickly noticed one did have scours (diarrhea) and the other one showed signs of abdominal pain by standing stretched out and looking back at his stomach followed by hunching his back. Typically in male goats this could be a warning sign of urinary stones but with both of them getting sick at the same time I doubted that. Then one of them urinated and made that as a cause in this particular case even less likely. I noticed one of them seemed a little bloated and was wet around his mouth from extra salivation.

I removed them from the pasture and put them in a pen with the third kid that still seemed fine. I gave them fresh water, CD antitoxin, Banamine, Fortified B-complex and bloat treatment to coat their stomach and help treat any bloat that might be going on. Neither one of them was deathly sick but they were definitely feeling under the weather.

Finding the Problem

Since two goats got sick at the same time with gastrointestinal symptoms and had recently been moved to a new pasture I did suspect the possibility they may have consumed something poisonous. When you have livestock be prepared for people and even some vets to tell you that your animals won’t eat poisonous plants unless they are starving. This is simply not always true. While it is true some undesirable plants are less palatable, some animals will find certain poisonous plants quite tasty.

The research I have done on pokeweed lends two completely opposite conclusions on this. Some articles say it is quite bitter and livestock avoid it and others say livestock will eat it readily. So with that I can only speak from our experience. These two particular goats were healthy and very well fed. They had access to good hay and twice daily grain feedings. The pasture had a good stand of grass and other safe browse in it, yet when I found the pokeweed it was quite clear these goats had their own little pokeweed party and consumed a fair amount of it. The third goat kid must not have been invited to the party because he never showed any of the symptoms the other two did.

The fact that these were young, inexperienced kids without the influence of older, wiser goats to help lead them to which plants to eat likely played a role. The goat kids that were affected recovered quickly and completely in only about a day and a half with some supportive care and removing them from the source of the poison. Today they are fine and healthy young goats, still looking to get themselves into trouble when they can. The pokeweed was removed from their pasture before they were allowed back out in it

.Pokeweed poisoning in livestock

Some important things to remember about pokeweed are that all parts of this plant are poisonous to both humans and livestock. The roots are considered to be the most dangerous part of the plant. For this reason pigs may be especially at risk of rooting up these plants and being poisoned. Children can be attracted to the berries and can be poisoned by eating them. Some of the symptoms of pokeweed poisoning in livestock may include colic, diarrhea, oral irritation, excessive salivation, depression, weakness and death; although fatalities in goats are not common unless large quantities of the plant are consumed.

If you suspect your goat may have been poisoned by something it is important to prevent further exposure to the poison. You should pen or stall the goat in a quiet place and provide fresh water. Look for samples of the suspected plant to aid in diagnosis. Contact your veterinarian for help with diagnosis and treatment.

It is sometimes difficult to keep track of all the plants in a large livestock pasture but this was a startling reminder that when it comes to toxic plants it pays to be not only aware but extra diligent in the removal of all harmful vegetation hiding in unseen corners and fence rows.

Sources and further information:








October 06, 2009

Test Your Goat Knowledge

I found this neat and interesting quiz that will test your goat IQ the other day. You should give it a try! Click Here to start the goat quiz!