Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Baby Goats and Goat Polio

I'm getting a lot of folks looking for information on how to bottle feed baby goats and also on how to treat goat polio. So I'm just going to give some quick links and a really cute video.

My post, "How to Bottle Feed Baby Goats or Be the Udder" is apparently world famous. I think it's because of this screamingly cute video of Nibbles' babies, the Too Cutes.

How totes adorbs is this? Toteable goats getting their yum on...

But I also think it helps that we aren't so uptight about bottle feeding goats... and that the sad lamentations of uncooperative goats - even cute ones - has zero effect on my cold, cold heart. We do not have any crying over bottle feeding baby goats. Just success. Maybe these methods won't work for you but they work great for us.

 Or the easiest solution to bottle feeding baby goats - just get another goat to do it. Thanks Dahli!

Next, it seems that folks are having problems with goat polio. This is my guide for treating goats with Polioencephalomalacia. But first, remember: I am not a vet. I don't play a vet on TV. I never wanted to be a vet. I am not diagnosing your goat now or ever. If you goat is sick, call your vet. Got it?

We have a lot of experience with goat polio because Debbie gets it every year. Nope she hasn't flopped over dead yet and nope it's not because of the cruel and unusual treatment she gets here. My completely unsubstantiated, un-scientific guess is that it's probably because she is just susceptible to it and due to only eating hay. Even good hay. I believe this because as soon as we trot her out to stand in the bramble patch to eat blackberries she gets better. Wildly better. As in, "What? Was there a problem?" better. I'm sure there are real goat people who disagree but that's OK.

So during the winter we battle Debbie's reoccurring goat polio by staying ahead of it and springing to action if we see signs of stress. Giving your goat Vitamin B will not hurt her and whatever her body doesn't use will just get excreted. So if you goat is acting weird, isn't eating, is "star gazing" or stiff legged do not hesitate! Take action immediately. If you are lucky you can get the injectable form of thiamine (which is just Vitamin B1) from a vet... but if you can't get a vet to come out or if your goat has symptoms then run right down to your nearest grocery or drug store and get the people version of Vitamin B1 tablets until help arrives.

Happy Monday everyone! Is your goat acting weird? Are you bottle feeding baby goats?


Anonymous said...

I'm confused now, what do I do if my goats acting weird is normal?

Amanda said...

Hello, I liked the pictures of the baby goats. They are adorable!

Have you seen the recently popular Goats Yelling Like Humans youtube video?

If not here's a link, you might get a kick out of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HP2escR3qQ

Ohiofarmgirl said...

If weird is normal then just wrap them in a blanket and sit them on the couch so they can watch tv with you, Mochamay.

YES! hilarious - thanks Amanda! ha!

Anonymous said...

What is the oral dosage for a week old goat? I am bottle feeding him goat milk replacer and he is improving but is still stargazing and bobbly headed and acts blind. He is able to walk now. Woyld he improve if it was polio? He is still not normal but much better.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi Anon - i dont think that is polio - that sounds more like white muscle disease or "floppy kid syndrome." i urge you to seek vet assistance to get some Bo-Se. its in injection form and works fast. you can also find the gel version but some people do not think it works as well. remember that polio is a result of an imbalance in the gut - baby goats dont have their rumen developed yet. mostly likely you live in an area that is deficient in selenium (many of us do) and you'll need to supplement this for all your goats. many people give it just before - or just after - kidding. good luck!

Darlene said...

Hi, I have raised goats for 40 years and didn't even know this existed. I have never lost any from these symptoms. I noticed that you said this happens every year when feeding hay. My thoughts on this is , is it a possibility that the hay is GMO, genetically modified organism? When plants are sprayed with roundup it prevents them from taking up certain nutrients from the soil. GMO hay is designed to be sprayed with roundup to contol weeds but it doesn't kill the hay but it does effect it. I am very careful not to buy GMO hay or grain for my goats. I got some wheat for my milk goat (she had been eating it but got a new bag) she didn't want to eat it but did eat a little and then she had upset stomoch and would not touch it the next day. I don't feed cob because it has corn in it that is GMO. I don't feed chicken feed to my chickens because it has GMO corn and soy in it. I lost chickens from feeding it several years ago. I feed wheat and hope it isn't GMO. So far so good. we raise some corn that is heiloom for the chickens in the cold weather. People and animals are being so effected by the GMO "foods". Darlene

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks, Darlene. I think it has more to do with the goats than the feed. My girls free range a lot. I haven't fed any hay all summer.. so it may have more to do the individual goats. One of the professional herd owners near me said that some goats are just prone to it. Nibs has never had any problems but Debbie is the one we worry about. But who know - I'm very wary of the whole 'pesticide-ready' crops.

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