My elderly goat

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Marcus, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Marcus

    Marcus New Member

    26
    Nov 19, 2010
    I'm new here, and I'm trying to learn how I can help my elderly wether get through this winter. He's usually done pretty well, but I notice he is struggling a bit this year as winter sets in.
    A brief background on "Hershey". I got him from a rescue farm about ten years ago, and he was fully grown then, so I'm guessing he's into his teens. He's showing some grey on his coat, but was in good condition through the fall. However since the cold weather (Wisconsin- very cold!) he has been showing a limp intermittently. He doesn't founder, but it looks like his feet hurt! :sigh:
    He's always had special needs with his hooves, as I think he might have foundered before rescue, but it's usually been managable. He used to bloat often when I first got him, but hasn't had trouble with that for many years. He seems to have done fine with the diet I've given him. He does have one hoof that I can no longer get in level trim, and I'm sure that bothers his leg. I've steeped up his trimming schedule to try and keep on top of that issue.
    What I'm concerned about though is that since the limp is much worse at some times than others is that his feed might be agrievating his problem. I've always given the goats corn or something sweet when the weather is very cold for energy to burn. This year I'm backing off that though, and am just giving a little bit of an oat mix as a treat. But if I need to back off completely now would be a good time as they have just started their winter diet. Also, could the timothy hay I give them be too rich? It's really good stuff this year, better than they have sometimes had for winter. The problem got worse just as they went on the hay from pasture.
     
  2. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    If he's done well on the grain mix in previous winters, I'd say that your old guy has a bit of arthritis. As old as he is, it's to be expected, especially in the really cold weather.
    Timothy is a good hay though I find that my goats prefer a leafy grass type hay, the timothy here is way too stemmy for their liking.
     

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I agree....with age and the cold..... the 2 .......create aches and pains.... just like elder humans..... they feel more pain....... in winter ........then in the summer..... :hug:
     
  4. Marcus

    Marcus New Member

    26
    Nov 19, 2010
    Thanks-I expect you are right- aches and pains just like the rest of us. He does seem to get limbered up after he moves around a bit, so I think that's it. I've kept with the grains this week, after a blizzard and now -20 below, and he seems normal (but cold!).
     
  5. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Brrrrr...that is cold ...cold..... glad he is OK... :wink: :thumb:
     
  6. Marcus

    Marcus New Member

    26
    Nov 19, 2010
    :) Every summer they get "territorial" about which part of the shed is theirs, and they stay stubborn about it until it gets around -20 below (F). Then I notice that their pride goes away and they huddle up together to stay warm. After that I know they are gonna be fine all winter. It's funny how we go through all of the same transitions every year as the seasons change.
     
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    :laugh: It's all ...pecking order.....and they do re-establish it ...every time...LOL :wink: