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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday one of my goats was looking much wider than usual. I looked to see if one side was obviously bigger than the other and it was barely, to the point I couldn't be sure so I massaged it and patted it with my hand. I heard some gurgling in his stomach but I hear that all the time. Today when I went out there he was looking normal again. Is this common or an indicator that bloat is about to occur?
 

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If it is back to normal in the morning, it is most likely a healthy rumen.

If it goes up and above the ribs, it is something to be of concern.

I use human GasX I give 1 to 2, get the kind that is easiest to give to goats. I also give Baking soda/water
I then massage the left side, really aggressive with my fist, I put the front end of the goat up about 12 inches and rub the throat from bottom to top, then ,massage the rumen again,
you should hear a lot of burps. then, I walk the goat around and repeat until the gut goes down, this is if the tummy is extended to much for my liking.
 

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Good for you for noticing. Some goats are naturally gassier than others. Over time, they tend to develop larger rumens, which isn't a bad thing. My two oldest does are real gasbags no matter what they eat. I have learned over the years that they aren't about to bloat, they're just full and happy. If another herd member looks like they do after eating, I start with baking soda out of my hand and if that doesn't work I follow Pam's procedure.
Another method is to make a fist and press rather firmly into the rumen and feel for the food mass, wait a few seconds until you feel the natural tightening of the rumen cycle and when it feels like it's at it's peak gently press in some more. It takes practice but that will usually get a burp out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Were they out on pasture?
Not that day or the day before, but I had put out some baking soda the day before (if that has anything to do with anything) which sounds bizarre to me, but I never thought I'd be massaging goats either. :) I was told they eat it when they need it.

I'm almost done with my electric fence. I have to baby sit them otherwise so they only get out every few days. I can't wait. After I get the fence done I get to start on my goat tree house.
 
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