Concerned about Cowbell

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Epona142, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    With all that's being going on, I haven't been quite as attentive as I should have been. :oops:

    Today I noticed that Cowbell is much too thin. She is being bullied by the other goats. Quite a change, seeing as she was top goat, queen, recently. Now I think they are chasing her from the hay.

    Her coat is also turning silver-grey in places. I know she's an older goat, but I think I underestimated just how old she might be.

    She is nursing twins. I am thinking about pulling them off early and letting them go home sooner than I would usually. They're BIG healthy kids who don't have a problem eating on their own. They're eight weeks old, so that's okay, right?

    I also decided not to milk her, and let her dry off. I also decided not to breed her either, ever again probably.

    Any tips on helping her keep condition? I was thinking beet pulp, alfalfa...any other ideas?

    She was wormed recently, color is good, no temperature, acting normal. Just thin and getting old I think...
     
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    8 weeks is a fine age to wean if they are healthy and eating well on their own.

    As to her condition -- some goats just get thin when raising kids or lactating -- Sweet Pea is one of those.

    beet pulp isnt a bad idea but making sure she has access to the hay is important. Have you seen the other goats push her away from the hay?
     

  3. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    They chase her off. Well, they all really chase each other, but I have noticed the difference, as it used to be Cowbell doing the chasing. I try to spread the hay out in a few locations and I've seen her eating so...

    I've let her out in the big pasture to get some forage for a bit. She's tied where I can see her from here, so maybe she can eat in peace for a while.

    I've contacted the owners of the kids to let them know their babies might be coming home early.

    I know how thin some goats can get in milk, Hope gets a bit thin, but this is much too thin for my liking. I managed to get hold of her for a bit and look at her teeth and I really think I misjudged her age and she's older than I thought. She's also the one with a bit of an underbite. She seems to eat fine but perhaps its slowing her down some.
     
  4. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    With goats it is hard to tell exactly how old they are unless you know their birthday.

    Sounds like Cowbell is an exceptional mom, some does just put so much into feeding babies that they forget to keep some for themselves...If at all possible, even though you plan on drying her off, give her as much hay as she wants and where she can get it without being bullied, after she's dry you can get her on the milkstand for a grain ration, to be sure she is getting her share.

    I have a 9 year old doe that always looked like a milk cow when she freshened...bony butt and just thin looking, she was retired after her last kidding, Feb 08 and has since put on weight tho I still milk her and get over a pint a day :greengrin:
    It's up to you if you want to dry her off, I think that even if you went to 1 x a day milking, she would put on weight. You wouldn't be taking as much as 8 week old twins would be.
     
  5. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I may just milk once a day and see if she improves. I just hate to see her so poorly looking when everyone else is in great shape. No one else is nursing kids though, mind you.

    I'm probably overreacting a tiny bit.
     
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    oh we are all allowed to overreact (if you are even doing so) when its our goats ;)

    try adding some extra feed to her diet and remove teh kiddos and then see how she does. It wont happen overnight but you should see improvement within 2 weeks
     
  7. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Theres no such thing as over reacting when it comes to the health of our kids :hug:

    If you do the once a day milking, the added grain would benefit her too :wink:
     
  8. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Will do. I gave her some grain when I separated her from the others to graze, so we'll see how it goes.

    I always grain when milking, so she'll get that too soon.
     
  9. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    she will be fine in a jiffy -- :)
     
  10. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    I would have to agree with what they said. :thumbup: I know some goats that will like older then her but like you said she might be older then you think.
    Now I do not milk my goats but when mine start to get a little thin, I give them a liquid that you give horses to gain weight and it really seems to help them put the weight back on.
    When I got my Gracie back she was pretty thin and I was not happy person, so I have her 7 cc of this liquid (it is like a oil) and I did that every other day for a week and she looks so much better. Now it could also be that she is out to graze all the time now and not before.

    I do not know if this will change the taste of the milk, that is the only thing.