New to goats and off to a rough start....

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by rjfoster03, May 30, 2010.

  1. rjfoster03

    rjfoster03 Member

    May 29, 2010
    Just started off with two fainting goats and had a very rough start. Got a brother and sister that were born in Feb. Male was banded since we did not want to deal with the male goat issues. Picked both up last Sunday and things were great. They were eating and playing, very social, etc..... Got home from work on Thursday and the boy was howling. Looked like he was trying to urinate, standing legs spread out, etc. Tenderness in lower abdominal region. Thought issue was bladder stones and after finding an off hours vet, the diagnosis was confirmed. With the severity of the stones, not a good prognosis from the start. Unfortunately we had to put little Charlie to sleep. Pretty upsetting since he was only with us for 5 days. We're not off to a good start.

    Friday we found another female and things are much better for the sister. I was worried that she was going to have issues without her brother. So now we have two little girls.

    The new girl is a talker and loves attention. The original girl seems to be the dominant goat, but they do get a long well.

    I have to admit, but I am a litlle "goat shy". With losing the boy so fast it kinda spooked me. I had things set up before they arrived home with us- fescue hay, water, covered sleeping area with a large dog "barn" under it. We are feeding fescue hay (much easier to find), did give them a little TSC Dumor Goat Sweet Formula as a treat each day.

    I don't think the boy's short life with us was due to anything that we did, but still not a good start. I would think that stones were there for a while but unfortunately for us, we got to see and deal with them after he came home with us. I don't think that the seller feeds hay as a part of their normal diet. He does let them graze, but not sure as to what he gave as "grain". Not sure as to whether he gave any vaccinations or deworming either. The new girl is up-to-date with these.

    To make this long story shorter, I wanted to see it what we are doing is good. We have fescue hay in a hay holder. A salt block is mounted on a wall in the shed area. Water sources are available.
    Have these available to give:
    -TSC Noble Goat Goat Feed
    -Premium Alfalfa Cubes
    -Dumor Goat Sweet Formula
    -Cuttings from brush, etc..

    They are in an enclosed area with good amount of shade and sun, but we would like to let them out to graze. We are a little concerned on how to do this since they are so new with us. We were able to actually walk one on a leash, but can't get the other leashed yet since she it too fast. LOL

    Sorry to make the post so long, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    1. Guess I want to make sure as to how to feed grain/alfalfa cubes, how much to feed and how often.
    2. Should I get rid of the sweet feed?
    3. Should I give the original girl CDT vaccination?
    4. I am trying to find a loose mineral as well, but everything seems to be in a block form.
    5. How to let them out and graze but have to try and get them back in the fenced area.
  2. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    First off WELCOME....this is the best place you could have come for help, info and advice. Stacey and her mods do a great, great job and everyone is always willing to help and advise where they can.

    Secondly, I am so sorry for your rough start and the loss of your little guy.....I have only had my wethers for 2yrs and I continue to learn new things of the goat world......I was totally ignorant to goats when I started.

    There are much more knowledgable members here that I'm sure will post to you later but I can share with you what I guys get free choice mixed grass hay, I try not to grain during warm months....only cold months and with mine being wethers I give very little grain (grain is not good for boys because of the whole stone issue).....clean water (I change my guys 3x's a day....but that's just me), goats do not like dirty water.....I have loose minerals out all the time (but I only put enough in the mineral dish for a few days....if the minerals sit to long my guys will not eat them.....they like fresh, my boys are very picky!) and baking soda.....they will eat the baking soda if their tummies bother them from eating something that didn't agree (works like an antacid). You can order minerals from some sites if you can't find any local.....I order from Hoeggers and Jeffers Livestock, if you have a local grain mill check with them for minerals.

    I give CDT every year to all 4 of my guys.....every one has a different opinion, my vet does advise it.......that's another thing, try to find a knowledgable goat vet which is not always easy.

    Another big thing is keeping parasites in check......I use to have my vet do fecals on my boys ever so often to let me know if I needed to worm.....but I bought a microscope and learned to do them myself.......worms can take a goat down faster than anything, but you don't want to worm unless needed......also read, read, read every thing you can about goats health. Also, google is a way to check your goat for worm load by looking at the eye membranes (your checking for anemia from worms)......I am not totally sold on it but it does help once you learn your goats own color.

    I know it seems overwhelming in the beginning, but just take things in stride and soak up the info you recieve... you will learn as you go and before you know it you will feel confident about the care of your goaties......they are so fun and loving and so worth the work!

    About the getting them back into their pen.....I put treats in a little cup and shake it...when they hear it they will follow me anywhere! My TSC sales licorice goat treat pellets and my guys love them! (BOSS) Black Oil Sun Flower seeds also!

    Ok, I will hush for now, don't want to boggle your mind with too much....hope I didn't confuse you.

  3. rjfoster03

    rjfoster03 Member

    May 29, 2010
    Thanks for the response and information. I think that hearing from other goat owners is always a great way to learn.

    I am trying to find a local vet, but as of this time, the closest one is about 45-60 minutes away. I would think that there should be a closer one with all the horses, etc that we have around here. Plan to stop by a field when I see someone out with the horses.

    The goats like the hay and see the grain as a treat. I may try to use that to get them in and out of the enclosed area. It is easy with one of them. She does not mind a leash. The other little girl just looks at me and must be saying "come and try it. Let's see how fast you think you are".

    The goat that lost the brother is a little larger, less vocal and a little more dominant than the new addition. They are a week or two apart in age, but the new addition comes from small parents and is a little smaller in size and talks all the time. She really talks when you leave the area. She comes from a large head of goats, chickens, dogs, and people. She is extremely social and seems to really enjoy people around. Figure that goats are the same as with people. Some are more of a talker than others.

    Thanks for the response.
  4. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I'm so sorry you lost the little guy....At 3 months old though, stones are possible but not common at that age, was he banded just before you picked him up? I only ask this because if it was a recent banding it is entirely possible that the urethra was trapped in the band leading to him not being able to pee.

    TSC carries a mineral that I had used on my goats, it is Producers Pride Pasture's in the cattle section, my local TSC has also started to carry Manna Pro goat minerals...... I switched mine to this a few months ago due to it's availability.
    Denise covered quite a lot of the important things so I won't repeat, it will take some time for the new girl to trust you so be can also try treats like raisins and cereals..cheerios and mini wheats are a couple that my goats like.
  5. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    If you are unsure on the CDT go ahead & give it, 2cc no matter the weight, then again 28 days later.
    Sorry you lost your little guy, know it wasnt your fault in the least.
  6. cbartram

    cbartram New Member

    May 30, 2010
    Tulia, Texas
    I am so sorry that you had a horrible experience starting out. It sounds like you are doing whatever you can to keep them healthy though. There are a lot of very experienced people on here and I am sure that can answer any questions that you have. Good luck!
  7. LittleAcreFarm

    LittleAcreFarm New Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    So sorry to hear about your little boy. I am also a new goat owner.I have two Nigerian dwarfs and three pygmy's all are wethered(neutered) It has been over a little of a year sense I got them all. I'm still learning. It can be so complicated somethimes.
    One of my Nigerian's had urinary calculi last summer. They had to do a urethral process amputation. they cut off the little string thing at the end of the penis. He was so better after that. Never had the problem again, but I worry all the time about him getting it again or any of them. So I'm always looking up stuff on what and when to feed them.
    I also have three female sheep and they need the grain so that makes it hard to feed all what they need without getting into the others food and the goats would not take it well if the sheep got grain and they didn't :( So it gets pretty tricky at feeding time.
  8. rjfoster03

    rjfoster03 Member

    May 29, 2010
    Thanks for all the support and suggestions. I will try and find a vet this week for their rabies vaccine and do the CDT thing as well. I will most likely do the CDT myself. I have not done this particular vaccine, but have given insulin to one of our cats, done the 3x a week / subQ fluids on another of the cat (for years).

    Did manage to let the girls out of their enclosed area. Little stressful to do, but it went really well. One is actually great on a leash, the other, not so. Did let them off of the leash and it was good for all of us. Was able to get everyone back to where they belong as well.

    Would deworming be a good idea on the girl that I am unsure about?

    Thanks again,