Anorexic Goat – really need advice

Discussion in 'Goats' started by wardarden, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. wardarden

    wardarden Well-Known Member

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    I need some help… this is my first year owning a dairy goat and I’m beginning to wonder if I’m just not good at this. I have dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and even a cow but it seems like every time I turn around something is wrong with my milk doe Bonita and I just know it is my fault! I have really grown to love this doe and her baby a lot and want to take good care of them and have them be healthy!

    I first got my 4 y.o. Oberhasli doe & 3 day old doeling for my birthday the last weekend in January. Within two weeks I thought I had caused her to get mastitis, at least that was negative! Then in March, she bloated. Now for the last two weeks I have been struggling with her not eating right.

    It started with a trip to our small (future retirement) farm in NE Tennessee on Memorial Day weekend. Friday before we left we got 2 new bags of Purina Goat Chow. She had been getting about 5 cups in the morning and 4 cups at night and giving about 2 quarts milk in the am and had her doeling on her the rest of the day until evening when I would separate them. I assumed she was milking and nursing about 1 gallon per day total. This is the grain she had been eating since I got her, as well as a second cutting grass hay we had been feeding to all livestock since last fall, only had 5 bales of that left (keep that in mind too).

    When we got to our place in east TN she seemed nervous but OK. The next morning when I got her out to milk she didn’t eat all her grain. I had just opened one of the new bags of Purina Goat Chow. I thought maybe she was interested in her new surroundings and not interested. Later I noticed that her poop seemed clumpy. And that she seemed “off” and not herself somehow. I had DH give her a Bo-Se shot (3cc SubQ) and I gave her some probios. She perked up for the rest of the weekend but didn’t really seem very interested in her grain but browsed just fine on the brush and bramble on the farm. Since we only had 5 bales of fall hay left we came home early on Memorial Day ‘cause we got a call that the same field of hay as last fall was being baled. By the time we got ready to pick it up in the field, the hay had been rained on. We found more hay (orchard grass & timothy) at a different location but it was really stemmy.

    The following week she still was not eating her Purina Goat Chow as usual. I would add some extra corn to the mix and she would nibble around and eat out the corn and leave the pellets. Also, she would not eat the new hay!! She ate out some of the leafy material and left the stems looking like leftover straw. So now I have a goat off her grain and not liking the new (stemmy) hay! She is losing weight now! I had pretty much decided that she was not eating the Purina Goat Chow because of all the molasses they use in their feed and it smelled stronger now in the hot weather. On Saturday June 3rd I gave her an oral mix of 1 oz Drench, 2 cc Scour Halt, 5 grams DurVet Probiotic paste and #250 lb dose of horse SafeGuard wormer. I went to TSC and got some cracked corn, crimped oats and black oil sunflower seed (the bird feed kind). That night I gave her a little bit (maybe 1 cup) of the C.O.BOSS and she gobbled it up like she was starving to death…. I figured problem solved. Her poops went back to more normal, BUT she still was not eating the stemmy hay. I started taking her out in the horse pasture every evening when I got home to let her browse on the brush and weeds. I can’t leave them out there alone because it is a picket fence and they just walk right through it and come eat my shrubs unless I am in there with them. I was not that concerned about the fact that they were not eating hay since I knew they were getting some decent browse. (They have their 500 ft x 100 ft lot eaten down pretty well but have a constant supply of hay, which they now won’t eat!) I worked her up to 4 cups oats, 2 cups corn and 2 cups BOSS twice per day. Was that too much? Can someone tell me how much to feed a doe that is giving about 1 gal. Per day??

    This Saturday (June 10th) she seemed to go off her grain again and I noticed cow paddy like poop. So now she is not interested in the COBOSS grain, not interested in the stemmy hay, and really starting to look skinny, her coat is beginning to look rough.

    DH found a bale of the old good grass hay in the barn and we put that out for her and she pushed it around with her nose a little and maybe took a bite of two but that was about it. Since she loves corn, I have changed her ration to about 2 C corn, 1 C Oat & 1 C BOSS. I’m so confused! I am trying and have 2 books on dairy goats but am just not getting this feed thing and it should be simple. DUH!

    I am learning how easily they are stressed and wonder how people manage to take their goats to shows and ship them across several states? Do your goats get stressed out over traveling too?

    Do some of you have problems with your goats not liking Purina’s goat chow? Seems like it has a lot of molasses!

    What about hay? Here in middle Tennessee it has been such a wet spring most farmers were not able to get their hay cut until just a week ago and now the hay is very stemmy. Do goats not like stemmy hay? Isn’t leafy hay best? What do I do now; I have a barn of 400 bales of stemmy hay!?

    With all this not wanting to eat her milk production is down from about a gallon per day to maybe a quart. Any advice there?

    How do you put weight back on a doe? Which type of grain will put on weight but not bloat or gorge her? She looks like she needs to gain some weight.

    Sorry this is so long. I am getting so frustrated! I appreciate any advice you guys can offer.

    Humbly trying to be a goat keeper,

    Arden Ward
    Murfreesboro, TN
     
  2. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    Most goats do not like stemmy hay. So you can expect a lot of waste there. If possible find some good alfalfa hay. If you can't, give her alfalfa pellets along with the stemmy hay.
    Calf manna or beet pulp will help with weight. Give her Vitamin B Complex. That helps the appetite. Probios & worm her again. 250 lbs. horse weight of Safeguard isn't enough unless she only weighs 80 lbs. You need to give at least triple the dose. 5 times is even better. Safeguard may not work in your area. I would switch to Ivomec 1% cattle injectable. Give it orally at the rate of 1 cc per 50 lbs. It is better to overdose than underdose, so make sure you give enough. Check her eyelids. Are they pink or pale? If pale, she will need some iron. You can get that as a paste or use the injectable pig iron.
    I would not use the feed if it has a lot of molasses. You also don't want to feed a lot of corn. Whole or crimped oats, BOSS, some calf manna or beet pulp & also alfalfa pellets. Make all changes very slowly. If you keep changing feed her rumen will never settle down. A change in drinking water can also affect them. So the different water at your new place may have an affect on her also.
    I am sure I probably missed some things. Is she current on her shots? Has she been tested for Johnes. That is a chronic a wasting disease. I believe it can hit about that age. The symptoms can be what you describe. No appetite, loss of weight, for no apparent reason. Might not be a bad idea to have a vet look at her if you can find one that will see a goat.
     

  3. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    I would switch to a pelleted feed and not a 'grain'. Pelleted feed will be small pellets that all look and taste the same, and usually little to no molasses involved. My goats love it. I use the 'Kent' goat feeds. Make sure your doe has access to a quality goat mineral such as Purina or Sweetlix. GOAT mineral, mind you. The others have too much salt and they stop munching it after they get too much salt, leaving them lacking in minerals still. Keep baking soda ouf for her 24/7 as well. Keep up the vita b, probiotics... You may want to add some vitamins and electrolytes to her water bucket too. Can't hurt.
    Start giving her the alfalfa pellets. Gradually increase the amount till she's on them 24/7 untill you find quality hay to give her. offer her the stemmy stuff just in case she is eating something off of it.
     
  4. wardarden

    wardarden Well-Known Member

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    Hey Wendy & Dona, Thank you for your advice. Bonita is up to date on her CD&T vaccination (booster about 2 months ago).

    I was thinking about starting to add some Calf Manna to her feed but worried that she may not eat it and it is expensive. I will get some of the Ivomec injectable and worm with that. I looked at her gums the other day and took her temp. The gums were pinkish-greyish, but she is an Oberhasli (don't know if that makes a difference) and when I looked at the doelings gums they were pinkish-greyish too and she seems healthy. Not red-pink like a human gums are. Her temp was 101.4 I do add the Purina Goat mineral to her feed and she does her best to leave it in the bottom of her feed bucket. We put part of a piece of horse mineral block out and I do see her licking on that.

    When she bloated back in March my DH advised that it was caused by the alfalfa cubes that I fed her that were soaked with water to soften them up. Will the alfalfa make her bloat??

    Any advice on how much Oat, BOSS, Corn to feed and qty of each? I know that corn is the least nutritional but it is what she will eat the best. Like trying to get my son to eat broccoli!!

    Thank you all, you are such a blessing!
     
  5. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well...sounds like your wormer isn't working. No surprise, as SafeGuard doesn't work here in Missouri at all. I would switch to Ivomec(if it still works in your area) or if it doesn't(it doesn't here), I would use Cydectin, 1 cc per 25 pounds given orally. Use B vitamins, Probias....and I would try to find a better goat mineral. My goats did terrible on Purina Goat Mineral. They didn't like it and they looked really rough while I used it. See if you can get Sweetlix Goat mineral, its pretty good and most feed stores either carry it or can get it in.
    And I would certainly switch to grains and stop the Purina goat chow. Its expensive and I was not happy with what my goats did while eating it at all. My grain base is whole oats, add a bit of corn, a handful or so of Black Oil Sunflower seeds, some barley, and some alfalfa pellets. They do much better on it than pellets or molasses feeds.
    She sounds like she is definately wormy and mineral deficient in my opinion. Good luck!!=)
     
  6. LafingGoats

    LafingGoats New Member

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    Arden, I feel your pain!!! I have had goats 2 years the first of July and it has been a loooooonnng road. My doe just went through a worm overload. I will bet, more than anything that this is what your doe is struggling with. First the move to you and then another move. She stressed and they took over. Definitely worm her, but I would check the amounts. For some reason I have 1 cc. per 33 lbs. I don't know where I got that though that is what I have used. I would worm her again in ten days and then again in ten days. This will break the worm cycle.

    My doe picks at her food as well. But she still loves the alfalfa pellets (no soaking involved :) ). Make all food changes slowly. The alfalfa cubes were probably fine, but did you give her a bunch all at once. My doe has lost a bit of weight, but I'm not giving her anything new. I uped the boss a little because she would eat that really well. All of my goats have slowed way down on the hay. They prefer the stuff they forage for wether it is grass or brush.

    As far as how much grain to give, I give about a pound am and pm. I use Pilgrims 12% dry equine which is a mixture of loose grains. No molasses, no pelleted feed. But the pelleted feed works well for mygoat, so I'm thinking it is breeder preference, but I do know that the Purina Goat Chow has A LOT of molasses in it.

    I don't know if I've helped or not. Good luck.
    Lisa
     
  7. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Alfalfa cubes are for horses. I feed my goats alfalfa pellets and do not soak them in water. My goats will eat stemmy alfalfa hay, but pick out the leafy material.
     
  8. crazygoatgirl

    crazygoatgirl Well-Known Member

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    I would cut out the corn, if not totaly then cut it drastically. I feed oats, dairy pellets, beet pulp and a small ammount of black oil sunflower seeds...no corn. It definately sounds like this doe has worm issues and from the way you are describing it you are probably dealing with barber pole worms...they ae blood sucking worms, the best thing to use to get rid of them is Cydectin Cattle pour on given orally. I am not a fan of purina goat chow my goats have never liked it and since you live in a higher humidity area it will go rancid because of the molasses and that could be part of the rumen upset that your doe is experiencing. Like Emily siad I would find a good goat mineral, Sweetlix makes a mineral called Sweetlix Magnium Milk that is not expensive and does a pretty good job, your purina dealer can probably get this for you or you can visit the Sweetlix website and find a dealer. As far as the hay is concerned...if she is getting browse everyday her demands for hay will be alot lower. I can't remember from your original post when you said she kidded but a does lactation curve is usually 3 months...this means that they usually peak their production at 3 months after having a kid then they will level off but some doe will drop down before the level off.
    The worst thing that you can do for her is to keep switching feeds. It will cause a constant rumen upset and she will start holding out on eating thinking that she will get something else...kinda like a child that is not eating dinner because they want to hold out for sweets. Find something that you are happy with and that is a complete feed and stick with it.

    Yes traveling does cause stress. The best way to overcome that is to reduce the other stress factors like worms and feeding issues. I do have a show herd and the closest show that I go to is an hour from my house, the rest are several hours away.
    Another thought, I would keep baking soda out free choice for her..alot of times if they have an upset rumen they will go to the baking soda before you ever know they have a problem and they will fix it. Just make sure that it is up so she can't put her feet in it but can comfortably reach it.
     
  9. wardarden

    wardarden Well-Known Member

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    This morning she was waiting for me to feed her, good sign. I took
    her temp on Sunday and it was 101.4. Seems a little low but
    according to the book within normal limits.

    I'm still confused on how much C.O.BOSS to feed?? I use an old 2 cup
    measuring cup and this morning gave her 2cups oats, 1 cup corn, 1 cup
    BOSS. Sprinkled with probios powder. THEN I weighed the feed and it
    weighs 1.5 lbs. Is that too much or not enough?? Is the corn bad for them?? I need to put some weight back on her but don't want her to bloat ;-( Is she getting enough protien??

    I swear she figures out how to leave the probios powder at the bottom! This
    morning she did eat everything that was in her feed dish, only gave 1
    qt milk though.

    I plan to go to the Co-OP today at lunch and get some ivomec. Is
    there a difference between alfalfa cubes and pellets? I don't think
    the co-op carries pellets? Should I not feed the alfalfa cubes soaked or not at all??

    Am going to find Sweetlix web page and see if I can find some of their mineral around here. (Sharon, she kidded on January 26th, doeling is doing fine.) Also sounds like I have to figure out how to keep the loose mineral and baking soda out.

    Thanks so much guys for your kind and gentle guidance. Say prayers
    for me and my darling does that they may survive my ignorance!


    Arden Ward
    Murfreesboro, TN
     
  10. crazygoatgirl

    crazygoatgirl Well-Known Member

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    Yes I think you are not feeding her enough. She should be getting more. On the alfalfa, if she like the cubes they won't hurt her, when I was feeding them I didn't soak them though....just broke them apart.
    I mix my grain like this...2 parts oats, 1 part dairy pellets, 1 part beet pulp, and 1/2 BOSS. My does get alot more than what you are feeding....I have large LaManchas that are all milking a gal plus a day though. Start giving her more ....but do it slowly...once you get the worm issue worked out and get more feed going into her she should pick up on milk and start to look a bunch better.
    Corn is hard on the teeth, it also puts FAT on them and does nothing for milk production. Roughage is what makes milk. Fatty liver and ketosis is the downside of corn...the upside they look sleek and fat on it (false security).
    She should have already hit her lactation peak and leveled out so the up and down in production has to do with the feeding issues IMHO.
     
  11. wardarden

    wardarden Well-Known Member

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    Please help, I think I'm just gonna lay down and cry !! My darling doe is getting worse. I gave her 7 cc of Ivomec cattle injectable wormer last night and when I went out this morning she is really sick. Her poop is really very runny squirty now and she did not want to eat anything at all. I am so afraid she is gonna die today. Since she wouldn't even eat I gave her almost a tube of kid & lamb paste probios. It said I could giver adults 10-15 cc (whole tube) then we went out and gave her 10 cc of Dimethox and 5 cc of Scour halt. HELP!! Is it normal for them to scour really bad when they have been wormed with Ivomec? I am really afraid. She was feeling better yesterday before I wormed her.......
     
  12. wardarden

    wardarden Well-Known Member

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    Is scouring with Ivermectin normal?? I am at work but really freaking out!?
     
  13. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    I am so sorry this is happening with your doe...I know how worried you must be. Have you tried Sulmet in case it is Cocci? I know it sounds strange, but when all else has failed for runny poops, I give burnt flour and it binds the liquid right up...

    3 cc's of Bo-Se? Is she 300 lbs? I thought the dose was 1cc per 100 lbs? could this make her not feel well?

    If she were mine, I would take her off all grain and give hay and water til the runs stop...

    How is her temp this morning?
     
  14. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    I'm reading this thread again now and I see you did DiMethox...scratch my suggestion for Sulmet...sorry...I should have read better.
     
  15. wardarden

    wardarden Well-Known Member

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    thanks livestockmom for the post... yes I gave her 10cc dimethox and 5 cc scour halt this morning.. the bo-se was given to her a few weeks ago when all this started... I thought that was the right dose. If a doe gets the squirty runs is she fixing to die? I did not take her temp this morning. When I went in to milk she had the runny poop all over her bottom and I took some paper towels and washed her off and then milked her out most of the way..
     
  16. wardarden

    wardarden Well-Known Member

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    Went home at lunch.. she is hiding in the corner of her stall. Won't come out... Very rapid respirations 25 every 15 seconds= 100 per minute. She won't even take a raisin or tree leaf from me. very worried.....

    Seeking advice
     
  17. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    Is she underweight & really skinny or just off of her food. It sounds to me (and I'm no expert, so take it with a grain of salt) like a goat that is being overfed on high protein foods. She sounds like when ours got into a birdfeeder and wolfed down sunflower seeds - scours, sore bellies, and sad goats until they got back to normal.

    You said you just moved to Tennessee. Does she have access to much more fresh browse than she had in the past? She might not want to eat "processed foods" (grain, goat chow, and hay) if the real thing is availble - either in her pen or when she goes out to browse.

    I'm a bit shocked by the amount of grain, feed and hay that folks seem to be feeding their goats. We give 8 goats and 1 cow a total of 3 cups of grain/corn mix TO SHARE once a day! Of course, we've got adequate browse so circumstances are possibly very different than a lot of folks. But with our experience with our guys, we think of grain/feed/hay the way we think of a diet of Big Macs. And that makes me wonder if your goat just doesn't want to eat Big Macs now there's fresh salad in the neighborhood.

    As ill as she sounds, though, it might be a good time to visit the local vet. You've got the possibility of underfed, overfed, parasites, or who knows what going on, and she needs help to get steady enough that she can heal and get her strength back.

    Lynda
     
  18. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    www.Goat911.com

    Not sure how it works, if you have to pay to be a member or not, but it certainly is an option that I would explore if I were you.
     
  19. havenberryfarm

    havenberryfarm Well-Known Member

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    I agree. You need to see a vet. Take a fecal sample. Otherwise you will have no idea what is going on. The wrong treatment can stress her just as much as the problem itself. You need to find out if it is a messed up rumen, worms, or cocci. Since she has recently moved, any of those is possible.
     
  20. wardarden

    wardarden Well-Known Member

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    Just called vet... he said he thought I overdosed Ivomec. He had 1 cc/ 50lb. I had been told 1 cc/20 lb and gave her 7 cc. Wants me to bring stool sample in right after work so he can try and tell what is up. Will let you know what I find out.... Please say a prayer for my darling doe.