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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took a trip down to TSC today and as I had an extra few bucks in my pocket I picked up a little tub of probios powder. I bought it because I am trying to slowly build my medicine chest bit by bit and not because anyone is down (by the way I'm still not 100% sure what y'all mean by that term).

So now, what's it for? When do I use it and why and how do I know that is the right product? Also, the powder seemed more economical than the gel tube, but maybe I'm wrong is one better than the other?

Thanks!!
 

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Probios (probiotics) is a digestive aid used to restore the microbial balance in the gut (rumen in goats). It can be used during weaning, diet changes, deworming, antibiotic treatments, aids in restoring appetite when off feed a little, times of stress, slightly clumpy poop from eating too much spring greenery, over eating grains and/or any time there is a digestive upset.

Gel or powder, whichever form is chosen is fine, they both work the same.

A goat being "down" or "off" are loose terms used to describe ill health. It can mean different things depending upon how severe the situation and/or medical condition presents itself. Am aware that isn't a precise definition; the signs can be anywhere from subtle to extreme. A watchful eye of the goats behavior, mannerisms, appetite, body position, ease of movement, bodily functions, rumen movement and or sounds, cud chewing, temperature, brightness of eyes and tone/pitch of their vocalizations are some of the several individual clues to determine whether or not there is a problem(s).
 

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What she said...
Except to my mind, being "down" is much worse and more dire than being "off"

I only use the gel, so I don't have much to offer for the powder use. I give it whenever a goat is not hungry when a goat should normally be hungry. Won't eat the grain? Take it away and give a dose of Probios.

I also give it everytime I give an antibiotic. I give it when I give a wormer. I give it when there is a drastic change in feed of some sort. I give it when they get too cold. I give it when they get too hot. I give it when they've been without water...

If there is anything at all that could have thrown the rumen off for any reason, I give Probios gel.

This sounds like I'm constantly shoving blue gel down their throats, I'm not. But I do believe in the proverb, Care for the rumen, and the rumen will care for the goat.
 

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Maria said it all. I’m not stingy with probios, I use it as my first level of defense if I’m worried something is off, or anticipating a problem such as lush pasture, minor bloat, stress, feed changes, etc.

It is just good support, it nurtures the goat’s rumen when they can’t do it as well for themselves.

I personally prefer the gel. My goats disliked the powder, and even when I did get it in them, it did not seem to be as fast acting.
 

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I get the powder sometimes. I just put 1/2 scoop( it should come with a little scoop) in to a 12 ml syringe with out the needle and fill the rest up with water and give it to them that way
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmm, we finally got the moveable electric fence running and so they got a full day of lush new pasture resulting in some of the most massive, human-like turds I've ever seen, so I have started top dressing their feed with the powder once a day. They don't see me to like it much and try to eat around it but eventually it all gets down.

@mariarose you said you use it when you work them, do you mean the EO wormer or the chemical stuff?
 

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@whitejerabias
If I used essential oils, I'd still use the Probios. Essential Oils can be pretty powerful, even toxic. They can still throw the rumen off.

But I don't use essential oils. I depend on management practices and sometimes chemical wormers. I don't worm often.

I'd use the Probios either way.

Be sure your goats are getting enough magnesium with all that rich lush growth... You don't want grass tetany.
 

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Grass tetany is a condition associated with low blood levels of magnesium, and to a lesser extent low levels of calcium, and high levels of potassium. It mostly happens in early Spring, but with the weird weather patterns, I wouldn't trust it to stay where it belongs and this was a big change for your goats, it sounds. Fertilized pastures are especially dangerous because of high nitrogen and potassium

Many people put out a Hi-Mag type mineral in early Spring, and this year I did too, for the first time, because my hay had all been ruined and I was forcing them to get all their roughage from the Spring growth. And yes, I had those human like leavings, too. So gross.

The high mag minerals aren't being sold anywhere around me any longer, it's considered seasonal, but you might wish to ask around if someone there still has any.

The animals must have access to extra salt if they want it though. That's very vital right now with lush grass and heat. so please do make sure they have a salt lick.

I don't know what mineral mix you use, so I don't know the magnesium level that is in there. If you can't find a hi-mag mineral, perhaps look at all your mineral choices and choose the one highest in magnesium? It need only be the one bag and then you could go back to your regular minerals. Or your minerals might be just fine. Especially if you are also giving them a salt lick.

So, I'd be aware of it, but not frantically worried. A simple internet search can tell you more about grass tetany. It can kill, but is easily prevented once an owner is aware of it. Cattle and sheep, being grass based eaters, are more susceptible than are goats, who prefer leaves and shrubs, but if goats have only grass pasture, then the risk is similar.

Yes, I'd be sure to give them Probios through this time of adjustment, too. Well done.

Hope this helps.
 

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@whitejerabias
Oh, I forgot to say, that in this particular case, the salt lick should be loose salt, not a block, because when they need it, they need a lot of it and right now. They can't get enough fast enough off of a block.

I'm normally fine with a block as a salt source. I use them extensively all over my property. This is just a particular case I'm talking about here.
 

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@whitejerabias
If I used essential oils, I'd still use the Probios. Essential Oils can be pretty powerful, even toxic. They can still throw the rumen off.

But I don't use essential oils. I depend on management practices and sometimes chemical wormers. I don't worm often.

I'd use the Probios either way.

Be sure your goats are getting enough magnesium with all that rich lush growth... You don't want grass tetany.
The first time I used herbals and essentials oils I use probios to help them adjust to ensure they did well with it. Now we have a happy balance and I no longer do. Probios is an extremely helpful tool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Awesome! Thank you all.

We need a new bag of minerals and ice thrown out the old one. They still have a bunch in the dish though. So I guess I'll go to the farm co-op on Tues and get new minerals and check the the magnesium and calcium levels.

@mariarose what numbers should o be shooting for? And if they don't have one with high enough levels are there any products for supplementing the minerals?

Also, is there salt generally in mineral mixes or should I be offering free choice salt as well in general.

Forage is not fertilized pasture, as these goats were originally purchased to clear out all the overgrowth/underbrush all of the property (it is 6.5 acres of young woods abutting powerlines, but the utilities in our area don't spray).

They are all back to normal in the poo arena.
 

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what numbers should o be shooting for? And if they don't have one with high enough levels are there any products for supplementing the minerals?
I don't have a good answer here for shooting toward. I wish I could look at a tag and see what they say, but as I said, they aren't selling them now. You want higher magnesium numbers, but you still want your numbers in balance for everything else.

Replamin is an excellent choice for supplementing and balancing mineral numbers, and the minerals are all chelated, so relatively safe.
should I be offering free choice salt as well in general.
Yes, always.
Forage is not fertilized pasture, as these goats were originally purchased to clear out all the overgrowth/underbrush all of the property
In this case, that's great.
They are all back to normal in the poo arena.
Well, you handled that well, obviously!
 

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I order mine from Jeffers. Others, I think that @ksalvagno is one, order it from PBS Animal Health. @Dwarf Dad goes to the Tractor Supply Company online site and orders it to be sent to his store, where he goes to pick it up.
I get mine from Jeffers. Used to get it from amazon but it's been unavailable.
 
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