Category Archives: News about our Goats

We Have a Sick Goat

Sick GoatWe’ve been nursing a sick goat for a week now. Poor Zelda has been in the barn, away from her other goat friends and her baby goats, trying to bounce back from a bad case of worms. Despite our routine of checking the herd for early signs of parasites, Zelda seems to be suffering from an overload of what are commonly called barber pole worms. Here in Duck River, Tennessee, July has brought a mixture of humid, rainy, and extremely hot days. This type of weather can be tough on dairy goats in our area because it creates the perfect condition for barber pole worms to proliferate. These tiny beasts get into the guts of their hosts and rob them of nutrients, causing anemia and many other complications. Usually proper goat management can prevent sickness but sometimes problems arise as a result of worm overload. That is the case with Zelda.

We were surprised and concerned when Zelda didn’t go to the feeding bins last Sunday. Instead she stayed in the barn away from the rest of the herd. Zelda is our largest and greediest goat of all so we immediately knew she was a sick goat. She seemed depressed and was grinding her teeth, which is a common symptom of pain. Nate checked the color of her bottom eyelids. If a sick goat has worms, her eyelids will be pale pink or whitish instead of a deep reddish-pink. Sure enough, Zelda had pale eyelids.

We gave her a dose of de-wormer right away. She’s also been having symptoms of acidosis, a condition, that could have been caused by the worm infestation, and which caused the ph of her rumen to become unbalanced. To combat this problem and hopefully prevent further complications, we’ve been giving her regular doses of baking soda, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, probiotics, vitamin b, fluids, and a nutrient drench.

Right now, our biggest battle is to lift her spirits. Attention and pampering are critical to a sick goat. We bought some all natural fly repellant that really seems to keep the flies from bothering her. I also plugged in a small fan so she has a nice breeze. She loves her fan!!! Companionship is also critical to a sick goat. Goats really need the company of their buddies or they will sink into depression. A depressed, sick goat has a much harder time bouncing back. Depression can cause them to give up on eating and they will lose their drive to survive. To lift Zelda’s spirits, I’ve been spending time with her and giving her treats every hour. She’s slowly beginning to eat fresh leaves and will even eat some hay every now and then. She likes her Tums which help calm her belly and taste good. She also likes her baking soda. Lately, I’ve been giving her raw goat milk yogurt too. She really likes it! It has good bacteria in it and lots of protein. She had made a lot of progress as of yesterday but today, she seems sad and doesn’t want to eat much, not even her treats!

Zelda is a sick goat. Please send some good thoughts her way. She needs lost and lots of positive energy and love. We are not giving up on Zelda, even if she’s a greedy pig, hahaha. Her babies need her and the rest of the herd misses her too. Hopefully, with enough TLC we can get her on her feet again.

New Baby Goat Welcomed on Easter Sunday

Maybe we wrote down the wrong due date or maybe Magic really was six days overdue? Either way, we welcomed baby goat Cinnabun into the world Easter Sunday, after several days of anticipation. Cinnabun is our first girl baby goat of the season. Girl baby goats are called doelings and when they get older we call them does. Cinnabun was preceded by five bucklings. The first two, from our doe Casey, are named Bert and Ernie. Then, Orange-y had twin bucklings during the ice storm. They are named Sherlock and Watson. Next, Dot had a single buckling we named Patrick. All of our kids so far this year share the same daddy. He is our herd sire and his name is Blaze.

GoatCinnabun has different coloring than any of the goats on our farm. She is an all over mix of brown and black with solid black legs and a bright white stripe on each side of her body. Her ears are kind of short and flare out like Magic’s ears. Goat breeders prefer long flat ears but we don’t care. We are head over heels for this little goat. Magic is in love with her doeling too! She has kept her new baby goat in the barn since Cinnabun was born, making sure she gets enough milk to eat and keeping her safe. We took mamma and baby out to the side yard for this picture and short video but Magic wanted to take Cinnabun back to the barn as soon as she could. You can see from the pictures that Magic has a very full utter. She makes tons of rich, wonderful goat milk.

Right now we have several of our best producing does in milk. They will continue making milk for the next seven to nine months, reaching peak production in mid-June. Spring and summer is when we restock our supply of goat milk that we use to make our goat milk soaps. We put one ounce of goat milk in each bar of soap we make. Fortunately we use frozen milk when making our soaps. That works out perfectly because we can freeze the milk when our does are in full production, and store it to use later in the year when they have dried off. There is always plenty of milk for the goat kids to eat and for us to use in our goat milk soaps.

We plan to keep Cinnabun in our herd because Magic is such a good milker. We hope she has passed on those genes to her new baby. Over time we will train any doelings we keep how to walk with us from the barn to the milk parlor, how to get on the milk stand and how to behave while being milked. We always want to have a good stock of up and coming young milkers. That way we will always have enough goat milk to make our soaps and lotions.

Come visit us at the Franklin Farmers Market, we are there every Saturday of the year. We are happy to answer any questions about our goat milk soaps. We love our goats and the vital part they contribute to making all our goat milk soaps.