Thoughts on "over crowding"

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by liz, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    My hubby seems to take the things I tell him out of context sometimes....When I had 9 kids born here in 2008, one kid was treated for an overload of cocci...I tried to explain to him that the bug often will show up in situations where space is an issue, well, he took it as me saying I had too many goats for the size of their house and pen. Now he is totally adament against me getting another registered nigi doe.

    I currently have 3 adult does, 2 - 2 year olds and a 4 month old that share a 12x 8 shed and they have a 40x 80 pen with an additional 100x 60 foot pasture.Freshened does are with their kids in another shed in their own stalls til the weather is warm enough to let them be part of the herd....all kids have access to their own area to sleep away from the others if they want, or once they are 2-3 weeks old they are in their own stall to allow me to milk moms in the am.

    Do I have too many does for the size of the area? These are nigerian and pygmy.
    Thanks for your input :hug:
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Shed might be a bit small for more does -- but since they wont be kidding in that area and not all the does you have are kidding the prospective is different. So the space might be adequate.

    The pen is plenty big enough for 7 goats (yours is simular if not bigger then mine and when I asked other people they said mine could hold 7 max).

    Now one thing I always have to remind myself is: do I ever plan to retain any doe kids? if so then I shouldnt purchase to my max since I have a very hard time selling adults.

    Since your hay burners arent old enough to be dying on you (thankfully) they will just be taking up space for a while yet. And I know how you never sell your adults so it will make retaining a kid impossible if you purchase your max number now.

  3. Really, so long as you are feeding grain. No. The reason they ratio of 8 goats per acer was put in was for folks only feeding grass/pasture. One thing that would help the kids, providing cocci is not a problem in the adults, is to mix in Coccidia stat in their feed until 6-8 months. My vet recommends it for folks with smaller pens. I kept having the same issue as my kid pen is not complete so they are in a dog pen. Since starting to mix in the cocci stat I have not had issues. This will not kill the cocci but it keeps the levels so low they funtion fine. I also have moved my hay to a hay net up off the ground and that has helped with the worms since the pen right now is 12 by 12. Again, no issues since these two canges have been made.
  4. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Mine do get grain and hay year round....and they do also get to roam outside the fenced in areas for even more browse, and the does are on cocci prevention starting at 3 months gestation and the kids started at 3 weeks of age, I do individual dosing so I know that each is getting the appropriate amount.

    Yes, my hayburners are here to stay til the end of their days..the oldest being 9 1/2 years old. I normally don't retain kids, my other hayburner is the only doe I retained as a pet...she won't be contributing to the milk pail but will add to the feed bill :wink:

    The most kids I expect between February 23 and March 23 next year will be 6...thats if my 3 girls give me twins each.

    The cocci thing is puzzling because I've never even had an issue with worms :shrug: All fecals have come back clear and the first one done showed a few barberpole but was controlled by worming, I know cocci isn't a worm but you would think that if I did have a space issue that my goats would be wormy as well. :shrug: I doubt I will be adding in the near future as I am holding out for "the perfect" doe that fits my "want".
    Thank you bunches....keep them coming, all replies are welcomed.
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    the saying that cocci comes from overcrowding isnt correct. It can become rampant if there are overcrowding issues but cocci just thrive in warm damp areas and it doesnt need to be overcrowded to create those conditions.

    You could have brought the cocci home with one of your does (even a small amount of eggs can reproduce quickly in the right environment) or on your shoes if you went to a farm that had even a small issue with cocci.

    Something I have learned is that if you can control it easily then there is no problem -- if you cant get rid of it then you have an problem and your management practices need to be looked over for changes needed.


    I had raised goats for 10 years before I had one case of worms or cocci -- why? because i purchased a doe who had cocci.

    I was able to keep control of it for a year or two

    then last yearthey didnt respond to treatment, and I lost one. I had purchased goats and took in rescues because I thought I would have a bigger pen. That didnt happen so I sold off most of my herd and then purchased new once the pen was bigger and could support the number. This year I had the same number of goats as before BUT they all responded to treatment and I didnt loose one goat.

    over crowding didnt cause the issue --- it just increased my chances of not being able to get rid of it.

    Really jsut one or two goats with cocci a year is no real big issue or management problem. All mine ended up with it and some a couple times.
  6. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Thanks for the reassurance much as I love my goats and truly would like to have a 3rd registered doe, I will be waiting awhile.
    My management for cocci is still working, as the 3 kids born here in March were as healthy as any of my kids before the one case popped up.

    Do you think that maybe providing a 3 sided shelter elsewhere in the pasture would be good as far as making sure the girls are comfortable?

    Right now, I have 2 does that claimed the bench and 2 that took the area under it, leaving matron Bootsie to "guard" the door.
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    I would only build something in the pasture if you plan to leave them out there otherwise they will be quite content to be in their shelter together
  8. BeeLady

    BeeLady New Member

    Liz you are a good goat mama and I'm sure you can see that your girls have plenty of room. What about getting a large dog igloo for the pasture if two or three are comfortable sleeping outside? But it does sound as if you have enough room to me.

    The shed I originally built for my two does is now being used for my two bucks, and I move it once a week, along with goat panels, giving them a 29 x 15 foot pen, including the partially covered movable shed. I also added a large plastic barrel with one end cut off. I think any pasture rotation would help keep the worms at bay and cocci as well and help to increase your stocking rate
  9. If we are talking about Coccidiosis, a level of this parisite, lives in ALL goats as well as people. It is the overload of these parisites that cause problems. Stress, overcrouding, lower immuned systems due to other illness, and moisture/climate/weather/etc, can all cause an overload in your goats.

    Coccidiosis is caused by a parasitic protozoan and is most often noticed in young kids by things like illness, anemia, and diarrhea that does not respond to usual treatments, wormings, and so on. It is specific to spicies which means each animal has its own strain. With major overload, blood can/will be observed in the fecal matter. Goats develop immunity with age and it will/can be present in the fecals of older goats that are perfectly healthy. This is why some breeders will not allow their kids to graze with adults. As you know there are sevral ways to treat this, and very important when heavy loads are detected you treat FAST or this can mean death for your goat. Some folks say you can reduce overload of this condition by having the proper amount of copper in your kids' diet. I personally had not had an issue until I brought, unknowingly, a doe with higher levels of this. Her two kids are the ones that really started passing it to my other kids. Once all levels were taken low enough, my vet then recommended the concsidia stat to add to the feed until the immune system can build a higher immunity.
  10. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    I would say you can probably add one more doe fine. :thumb: