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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was walking around with my babies just now, and I had to take a pebble out of Caramel's mouth (about the size of a small marble). I wasn't fast enough for Butterscotch...she ingested some dry clay dirt! Is it because they need minerals? I wasn't told to give them any yet! Or is it just something goats do...eat dirt and rocks? Or is it just that my babies don't know any better NOT to eat dirt and rocks!

Will it hurt Butterscotch since she swallowed a mouthful of clay dirt??
 

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Some of it is curiosity, and some that they need minerals and instinctively know that's where to find them. They should be fine...if you think about it, most if not all goats have access to dirt full time, so there's really no way to prevent it even if it was harmful. I would make sure that they have a high quality mineral that's specifically for goats.
We'll see what others have to say :)
 

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So should I let them eat dirt and rocks when they try to????
Absolutely. They do so whether or not you're with them. They lick and chew rocks, eat poop, lick dirt, etc. Honestly I think instinct of trying to put everything in one's mouth is to build immunity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But what if she SWALLOWS the rock? Will that hurt her?

Sorry I sound so paranoid...these babies mean a lot to me and I don't want to do anything wrong!
 

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If it's small enough to swallow, it should go right through. :) I wouldn't worry to much about it. She's just exploring with her mouth!
 

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But what if she SWALLOWS the rock? Will that hurt her?

Sorry I sound so paranoid...these babies mean a lot to me and I don't want to do anything wrong!
They do swallow rocks. Only once have we came across an intestinal issue from rock/sand eating. We had a 2nd calf heifer refuse to eat mineral. Out all the time, had to make bolus to give to her. It was terrible. Suddenly she became very sick, lost a lot of weight in a short period of time. Vet came out and tried to operate, thought perhaps an intestinal twist. When he opened her up his mouth dropped. She had been eating so much sand, dirt, pebbles, rocks, etc that her intestines were like hard sausages. He said he had never came across this issue ever in all his years. Requested to laid her down. Asked for her innards. Unknown cause of her obsessiveness.
 

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Wow! That's unbelievable...I can't imagine why that heifer was so fascinated with eating rocks and dirt. Glad mine aren't like that. Oh, and I agree with what's been said :) dirt and rocks are fine.
 

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Totally normal, all baby animals eat dirt and rotted logs for the minerals and bacteria it contains. Gut bacteria is the same as the bacteria that causes long to rot and stuff to compost.

I always bring home a rotted log for my kids when they are newborns. They will start eating it within the first week and have it completely clean within a day or so.
 

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If you give them a piece of rotted wood to chew on in their pen, it will help curb some of the dirt eating. The rotted wood contains the digestive bacteria that they are looking for.
 

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That's cool about the rotten wood! I just learned something new!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have plenty of rotting logs around here...we live on 8.6 mostly wooded acres. I'll put one in their shelter tomorrow.

Do they still need minerals? They are 5 weeks old. Should I pick up some minerals from Southern States tomorrow? If so, what kind?
 

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Minerals are a good idea. They probably won't use a lot of them yet but, they will more and more as they start eating solids.
Cargill Right Now Onyx - Very good it's a cattle mineral that is very good for goats.
Sweetlix Meat Maker or Dairy mineral - Also very good
Southern States Top Choice goat mineral is good
Manna pro is good but, expensive because it comes in tiny little bags.
 

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They can't really get much out of a mineral lick, the granulated, loose minerals are best. Mine do like the "Billy Blocks" at TSC- they are rasberry flavored little blocks.
I sometimes give the kids loose minerals and the block- gives them something to do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
They are doing much better! I am giving them 4 bottles a day...Caramel gets 4.5 ounces, Butterscotch gets 5...based on the calculator thingy (weight times 16 times 12% divided by 4). They have hay free-choice, loose minerals free-choice, and they browse during the day...which consists mostly of a ground cover that I think is chick weed, and blackberry leaves. Their poops have hardened (finally!) and are like tiny rabbit pellets. They have been medicated with Valbazen (1st dose) and Baycox (thank you Cathy!), have been given CD T injections, and tomorrow I'm finally going to spray them with Equisect for the lice. Butterscotch has gained a pound (was 9.4, now weighs 10.4) and Caramel half a pound (was 8.4, now weighs 9.4...my scale doesn't do pounds/ounces. It's a digital scale that does the decimals in tenths...so that's one point shy of half a pound). I did the eyelid thingy...where if you pull their bottom eyelid down and it's white, it means worms. Theirs WERE white. They are now pink...so hoping to see dark pink soon!

They are starting to play now...jumping and hopping...which has me laughing every time they do it! They are so awesome! Now if I could just get them to accept being on a lead...when they browse I gotta be out there with them cuz I have poisonous plants on my property and don't want them getting anywhere near them. Being able to tie them out on a long lead...away from the poisonous plants...would be awesome. Unfortunately their necks are so small, I can only get cat collars to fit them...and they wrestle and pull and just have FITS if I try to tie them out...Caramel was able to make her collar detach somehow. SIGH.
 

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The throwing fits is normal for little ones. I've got an most 3 mo old buckling, and well let's just say he throws some big fits, but now he is finally realizing that I am the boss, and I can tell when he sulks and just looks down, but then comes on a lead no problem:) He is going to be my main herd sire, so I better get him trained:)

Sounds like you are doing a good job with the little tikes, and they seem to be thriving now... So, good to hear:) I'm glad everything is turning out well. Enjoy them!! Oh, by the way just a forewarning to you goats are addictive, and you might find yourself with more before you know it:) I started with 2 last May, I now have 8 goats and 2 sheep:)
 
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