Lost a lot of goats over the past couple months

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by KFOWLER, Dec 31, 2010.


    KFOWLER New Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    I have lost several goats over the past several months...some are explainable but I lost three that were about seven months old...they were fine one day and two days later they had died. Two doelings and one buckling.
    Total I have lost
    3 fainter does and their 7 babies--they weren't healthy when I bought them and I think that was the issue...never could get them looking healthy.
    3 seven month old youngsters (mentioned above)
    2 more babies who were born outside in the middle of the night and froze (momma escaped from the barn) Momma doe is fine
    2 babies born premature on Christmas night--it was very cold and I brought them in and tried to feed but they never got up on their feet...very weak. Momma doe is doing fine.
    Reba--my beautiful red nubian that got stuck in the pond.

    We have 10 left that are doing great and a couple that should be kidding in the next week to 10 days. We have shelters and a barn with hay and I grain feed them. I also will let them out to browse on the empty lot next to us...they love that.
    The weather has been pretty unstable here...cold for several days...then warm for a day or so...I just don't have a good explanation as to why the 3 7mo. olds died.
    That's 18 goats...too many!!!
    Is there anything I could give my current ones left to "boost" their immunities? I have wormed several times wih just a general wormer from a feed supply store...i have used it for years and it has always seemed to work. Any suggestions would help...THANKS!!! :?
  2. Bellafire Farm

    Bellafire Farm New Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    NW Oregon
    My first thoughts are towards worming, coccidia, and pneumonia/cold...especially when you say you "took some in" - I'm assuming they probably weren't up to snuff healthwise when you got them...

    I'd be interested to know whathas been done for them so far...

    Youngsters - first thought is worms (mainly tapeworms) & coccidia treatments... specifically what did they get for that.

    All others - again worming info... what specific wormer, when, how much, how many times.

    Also, info on Selenium, Copper, free-choice minerals, Vit. B, CD/T, etc...

    Also did any of them have ANY symptoms... even just being "off" ... standing off to one side, not eating as much, eating alot but not gaining weight, diarrhea or loose stool at all, runny nose or eyes at all, any cough, etc.

    (You may have already posted this info. in another post... but since I'm just ready this one here, I'm asking...sorry if you have to repeat yourself.)


    KFOWLER New Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    I use a pellet wormer (can't remember the name) that I get from Atwoods...a local farm supply store...I have used it for years and I generally will separate them out so that all get their ration. I go by the general directions on the bag. It has always worked well. As far as food and supplements...in the summer they have plenty of browse and a little grain and a mineral block which is specifically for goats. In the winter they have hay, increase grain a little and mineral block.

    The only symptoms I noticed on the "youngsters" was diarrhea...at that point I put them up by themselves in a pen and gave CoRid in the water. They never got any better.

    As far as vaccines...I don't do them.
    Hope this helped...
  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Ok sounds like worms or coccidia or pneumonia.

    I don't trust pelleted wormers especially on high worm loads. New unthrifty goats bring with them a whole new set of problems. I wouldn't be surprised if they brought in all of the above issues I mentioned.

    Treating coccidia by putting corid in the water is like putting a bandaid on a gushing wound - it does no good. Each goat needs to be treated individually for 5-9 days.

    I would get a fecal done to check for what parasites are now on your property. You will probably need o use a chemical dewormer to hit the parasites hard and get rid of them.

    When a goat goes down you need to get a temp on them asap. Treat with antibiotics and banamine (or aspirin) and give probios and something like nutri drench.
  5. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I totally agree with Stacey....couldn't of said it better.... :thumb:

    I am sorry for all the losses.... :( :hug:
  6. Victoria

    Victoria New Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Vernonia, Oregon
    Def agree with Stacey!! More kids die from worms and coccidia than anything else out her any ways!!
    The pelleted dewormer is a joke. Feed stores will tell ya it works great..hmm I really don't understand that.
    Your best bet, get them in to a vet. If you can't then get some good de wormer for them, be careful if they have a terrible overload and you are too agressive ytou can kill them. I use ivomectin sheep drench, seems to work well, I also do herbal, but only because I have two healthy goats and this is for maintenance only.
    Albon for babies with runs, it is spendy, but worth it. You will save more babies with hands on treatment thatn any thing. They are possibly copper deficient, so need tot hink of fixing that as well, there are plenty of threads on here about copper bolusing.
    That is just the beginning, you have your work cut out for you!!
    Hope it goes well!!
  7. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Everyone has pretty much has it covered. Your mineral block isnt adequete they dont get enough of anything from it. Get some good loose minerals for them with plenty copper; made for goats not dual purpose goats/sheep no matter what they tell you at feed store.
    So sorry for you losses but as you begin to amp up with loose minerals, chemical wormer as needed & some of the other suggestions you will be bolstering what they do have going for them.
  8. Bellafire Farm

    Bellafire Farm New Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    NW Oregon
    Everyone here has told you some GREAT info... and it probably sounds like a lot... maybe a little overwhelming... but if you break it down, it's really not that bad. :wink:

    I buy a 25lb bag of goat minerals w/high copper (dont get sheep minerals) for $20, but it lasts me for months!! And I've got about 10-15 goats at a time and I use it liberally. I do also mix it with a little sea kelp (which is spendy, cheapest here is 40lbs/50lbs? for $35..but that lasts for almost a year.)

    I also make absolutely sure that my goats get actual GOAT grain, as I've tried everything else recommended to me, and they do significantly better overall on the actual goat grain. No bucks or wethers get any, babies & non-breeders only get a tiny bit, doe's in milk get a good amount to keep up weight & production (they also get a small little handful of Manno Pro when in milk & also alfalfa hay + the regular grass hay.)

    Fresh water is another simple thing that often gets overlooked.

    Making sure the goats get selenium/Vit E either via injection or gel - either works. The same can be done with Vit. B - injection or gel when necessary, we rarely give B...only when they seem ill or 'off'.

    Wormers and Coccidia treatment definitely have to be addressed as they are SO important and can actually KILL. We use Di-Methox for Coccidia, but any coccidia treatment needs to be done individually and consistently - not just one dose or one round. As for wormers, Safeguard & pelleted wormers have very little affect on animals around here. We use Ivermectin horse paste and Quest / Cydectin horse paste - oh and babies get Valbazen for tapeworms...as do the doe's that have just kidded (but NOT pregnant doe's).

    I hope this has all helped you...again it's a lot of information from everyone here, and everyone does things a little different, but some minor changes could make life much happier for you there - I'm sure you are heartbroken to have lost so many in such a short time. I'm so sorry. Take care.
  9. ()relics

    ()relics New Member

    Dec 25, 2010
    First let me say I am sorry to hear of your recent bad luck....Let me start with what I feel may have been the problem.
    It is always a bad Idea to add new goats, especially with kids of their own, to your exsisting herd, especially with does deep into their pregnancies, without the proper quarentine period and necessary pre-introduction teatments. There are so many strains of parasite out there, there are 11 know strains of coccidia alone and usually more than 1 strain is present on all farms. Adding animals from a different farm directly to your herd is just asking for trouble/losses. These fainting goats could have very well be carrying a strain of coccidia strain unkown to your herd, upon introduction the swapping of strains began...Naturally the fainter kids died because they were the most susceptible and weak. Then their mother followed, they may have had other contributing factors that weakened their systems. Then your does picked up some of the new strain from the fainters and while they were able to fight off the "New Parasite Bloom" they lost their kids OR their unborn kids suffered enough of a deficiency that they were still born or extra weak. Everyone loses kids that are born in the pasture because they were too cold and everyone loses animals to the occasional accident but most of your problem sound preventable.
    So Now What To Do? I would confine all your goats to a dry lot or concrete pad away from your normal pastures and then begin to treat them all for coccidiosis and any other parasite. First day remove all the feed, EVERYTHING, for 12 hours, then begin your coccidia treatment. I would use Sulfadimethoxine for 5 days, Drench Every animal individually at your normal farm dosage. After 5 days I would give them only hay for 2 days then deworm them ALL. I would suggest a cocktail, 2 deworming agents from 2 different classes ie: safeguard and cydectin. Dose at your usual farm dose, both dewormers at full strength and mixed together, 1 time. Leave them on hay only for 2-3 days then slowly start to add grain/pellets. I would top dress the grain with Opti Zyme, made by the Manna pro group or a like product, to stimulate the rumen. After about a week they should be back up to their full feed ration. Then I would hold them in this confinement for 3-4 weeks to make sure that any parasite contamination through shed oocysts lands in this pen and that they have regained full rumen activity, I would also give additional Probios gel as needed again to stimulate rumen activity. This will also give you time to thoroughly clean your normal pens/barns/under feed bunks completely to remove any leftover junk. After 3-4 weeks I would turn them out and you should have no more problems, ideally.
    ....sounds like alot of work and special care and it is but you will like the end results, I promise....A word of warning...I do not know the condition of your goats, body scorewise, or their breeding status, pregnant, gestating, lactating, and all these things are important and should be considered before starting ANY treatment...my herd is essentially parasite tolerant...Not parasite free but almost unaffected by my farm's strains, but it has been closed since the 90's but everytime I add an animal or bring one back from a show, I follow the program I laid out above as a quarentine procedure. I am suggesting you quarentine ALL your animals until you have a handle on your problem.....This Is Only My Opinion....to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan I would have to be on-site to take all things into account...Good Luck