Dorthy and Syracuse have proven my theory that life is like a goat with worms. Sheep and goats are notorious for internal parasites. If you're not educated in recognizing a worm overload you will lose the animal by the time you do. Honestly, our first kid crop was riddled with worms and coccidiosis and we did lose some. It was very devastating to know I wasn't educated enough but I learned so much. Just last year I had two more cases of worm overload. Maybe they were weaned too early or maybe I didn't have their nutrition and mineral mix just right (I'm constantly researching and updating those rations even today, three years later). We hadn't started Selenium supplementation yet or scheduled use of copper bolus. We did fecals with the local vet and nothing screamed worm overload but the silent killers were there.
Both young doelings lost weight within a week and had sunken in eye sockets - talk about an emotional time for me as a new farmer and mother! So how is life like a goat with worms? Silent killers are everywhere - physically and emotionally. It's how we deal with them that makes the difference. I did not give up on Dorthy and Syracuse and they didn't give up on me. They could have laid down and died at any time during our ordeal but they didn't. I could have sat down in the mud and cried but I didn't. That wouldn't have fixed anything. I researched for two days straight and found some protocols other successful small dairies have used. Unfortunately, chemical dewormers and supplements were needed but the risks outweighed the gain of two young animals. The two skinny tribe members got all the grain and hay they wanted, their own personal mineral bar, extra vitamins and iron daily as well as fresh water with vinegar and herbal tea. It felt like a lifetime but they slowly gained their pink eyelids and gained weight. I weighed them everyday and then weekly to make sure they were gaining.
I'm so happy I never gave up on Dorthy and Syracuse. They were healthy enough to breed last fall. Syracuse delivered the largest, most beautiful buckling I have ever seen (he has made a new home in Vesuvius) and Dorthy threw out triplets with ease (two beautiful does and a buck)! I literally said 'holy shit' when that happened. Not only did they kid nicely - they are now our top milk producers. Their coats stand out among the rest and best of all they helped me create a biannual health protocol for the entire tribe. Survival of the fittest at its best! Although under bad circumstances I was able to learn and change the way I do things to benefit everyone. The goats teach me something everyday and I am so thankful for that. I want to be the best TribeQueen that I can. I want them to have the best life possible. And that will continue to reflect in our cheese.
Remember BlogTribe, with TLC and a perfect balance of ALL inputs you will get a very good output. Stay positive and learn the most you can. Silent killers are everywhere but never let them control your reaction!
Just like us, goats' hair is one of the first signs of good health or lack there of.