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Alternatives to toxic goat wormers etc?

 
Brian Mallak
Posts: 16
Location: Central NY
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On the advice of another, modern, farmer, to use Permethrin for flies. He says they will prevent bites and worms.
He also recommend the ivermectin for internal worms.
I am TRYING to remain organic/non-commerical/self-sustaining.
I have 6 goats, 4 Boers, and two mix milkers. All will be ready for their first mating this fall.
I am free ranging them in portable electric fencing, on pasture with young trees, brush, weeds and some native grasses. The land has not seen livestock in over 30 years (with the exception of wild game). They clear out a paddock about every 7-10 days. I have enough acreage they will not return to the first paddock for over 6 weeks.
Do I really need either of these products?
Is it just safe to assume they have worms and treat accordingly? Or better to get a fecal test and go from there?
I check them twice a day, pet them, check for external parasites, their general well being (water too). All appear well. Posterior end, and droppings appear normal. They appear to be eating well, gaining weight. Acting like goats!
I have three chickens in the same pen with them to try to address the ticks.
Thank you for any insight
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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If they truly do not see the same ground for 6 weeks+, you should have minimal problems. That means you can't have a permanent shelter or water commons area.

Our solution was to stop worming altogether and cull the herd. Any that got worms got treated and then sold. It took a few years but we got to a herd that had no issues with no shots. There are lots of goats out there that are genetically weak and only alive because of the medications and simply can't survive naturally.

The chickens take care of most of the fly problems.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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Look up how to do the FAMACHA test. You use the color of the skin in their eyelids to see if they need to be wormed. Combining that with just checking their overal body condition should be all you need. I don't use anything for flies and my goats are rarely bothered by them. We do have chickens in their area, tho.

If you use ivomectin you risk killing dung beetles. I think it takes a couple of days to get out of their system but it might be worth keeping them in a dry lot and bringing them branches for a couple days after worming them with that (or on a rainy day shutting them in their shed - they won't want to go out in the rain anyway).

Some of my friends have reported good results using copper boluses to prevent parasites. The key is to only do it if you're in an area that has low copper. If you look it up the US Geological Survey has maps online that show which areas are high/low in the different minerals.

Because parasites are developing resistance to many dewormers, it's always better to take a stool sample in to the vet or learn how to do your own than to just deworm on a schedule. In some areas there are different dewormers you use different times of year, because there are some parasites that may get killed in sensitive areas (like near the spinal cord) and cause paralysis or other problems.

There are home recipes you can use to prevent parasites too. Feeding cloves of garlic, hot pepper, pumpkin seeds (they go over way better than the hot pepper!), and others are supposed to help the goats naturally deworm themselves; in addition if their pasture includes wormwood, black walnut, etc. they can eat it as needed.
 
Brian Mallak
Posts: 16
Location: Central NY
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R Scott wrote:If they truly do not see the same ground for 6 weeks+, you should have minimal problems. That means you can't have a permanent shelter or water commons area.

Our solution was to stop worming altogether and cull the herd. Any that got worms got treated and then sold. It took a few years but we got to a herd that had no issues with no shots. There are lots of goats out there that are genetically weak and only alive because of the medications and simply can't survive naturally.

The chickens take care of most of the fly problems.


Thank you for your reply R Scott.

Nope, they will not see the same area for at least 6 weeks. I am using two lengths of Premier 1 fencing to form 120m paddock. Have them out on about 40-50 acres.
I do have them in a moveable shelter, and two 7gal galzanized water tubs. I give them fresh water every day from a artisan well.

I am aiming for the no worming state.
 
Brian Mallak
Posts: 16
Location: Central NY
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Renate Haeckler wrote:Look up how to do the FAMACHA test. You use the color of the skin in their eyelids to see if they need to be wormed. Combining that with just checking their overal body condition should be all you need. I don't use anything for flies and my goats are rarely bothered by them. We do have chickens in their area, tho.

If you use ivomectin you risk killing dung beetles. I think it takes a couple of days to get out of their system but it might be worth keeping them in a dry lot and bringing them branches for a couple days after worming them with that (or on a rainy day shutting them in their shed - they won't want to go out in the rain anyway).

Some of my friends have reported good results using copper boluses to prevent parasites. The key is to only do it if you're in an area that has low copper. If you look it up the US Geological Survey has maps online that show which areas are high/low in the different minerals.

Because parasites are developing resistance to many dewormers, it's always better to take a stool sample in to the vet or learn how to do your own than to just deworm on a schedule. In some areas there are different dewormers you use different times of year, because there are some parasites that may get killed in sensitive areas (like near the spinal cord) and cause paralysis or other problems.

There are home recipes you can use to prevent parasites too. Feeding cloves of garlic, hot pepper, pumpkin seeds (they go over way better than the hot pepper!), and others are supposed to help the goats naturally deworm themselves; in addition if their pasture includes wormwood, black walnut, etc. they can eat it as needed.


Thank you Renate Haeckler for your response.

I will look up how to do the eyelid test. I read about it elsewhere online.

I also just got a cheap used microscope to do my own fecal testing. Figure might as well. Probably pay for itself after a year with the goats, dogs, rabbits, chickens and future livestock I will get.

How can I get copper supplements? I have read the mineral blocks made for goats and sheep do not contain enough copper to make a difference.

I am going to give the garlic a try before the ivomec! And I want to see if the goats even like it!
 
Adam Klaus
author
gardener
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Dont use Ivomectin, ever really.
The stuff is a super nasty persistant killer that will destroy the earthworms and soil life in your pastures. Dont do it.
Stupid modern farmers are usually worse than nothing when it comes to good advice. They always have a poison for your problem. Problem is, it's poison.

It sounds like you have proper rotational management, and no health problems with your herd. Good, just keep doing what your doing.
You wouldnt take chemotherapy just in case you had a problem would you? Like I said, 'modern' farmers are so backwards it isnt worth entertaining their notions.

Future farming is about good management, problem avoidance, and health first. It sounds like your neighbor has more to learn from you than the other way around.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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CopaSure has a copper bolus made just for goats now. Each bolus is good for 50lbs of goat, so you figure out about how much they weigh and then give them the right number. I got mine from Jeffers Supply: http://www.jefferspet.com/copasure-for-sheep-and-goats/camid/liv/cp/0040894/ - they come in two sizes, I got the one for kids because I can use that for the whole herd.

The bolus is good for 6 months. You can use it in addition to the salt that may have copper added because as you observed, they're not likely to get much copper from that.
 
osker brown
Posts: 146
Location: Southern Appalachia
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Black walnut husk and Artemisia species are also natural wormers.

You might consider acquiring some Kikos, or finding a buck locally for stud service. Kikos were bred in a very wet environment (south island of New Zealand), specifically for parasite resistance and weight gain. Myotonics are also generally resilient, as they were bred in Tennessee, which is fairly wet. There are certainly lines of all breeds that are parasite resistant to some extent. We purchased a 4 year old Alpine that had never received any wormer, and lived on a small overcrowded lot.

Also check out this: http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/highchem.html Type in copper and submit, you get a readout of plants with high PPMs of Copper.

Good luck!
peace
 
Chris Kott
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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There are a few threads discussing the therapeutic properties of some cedar and cypress species. The evidence is anecdotal, but happens all over, and seems to indicate that certain fragrant wood species kill parasites in goats. If you have something close on your property, let them at it.

Other than that, I agree with the idea of a cull and influx of some parasite-resistant lines. And I believe it was the kiko that was described as the "go anywhere, eat anything," goat.

-CK
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I don't have goats, but Pat Coleby knows what she's talking about!
While she's Australian and some of the advice is specific to Aus conditions, nearly everything can be adapted.
I really like her focus on the role of soil minerals in stock health.
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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diatomaceous earth? It even has its own forum on here.
 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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R Scott wrote:If they truly do not see the same ground for 6 weeks+, you should have minimal problems. That means you can't have a permanent shelter or water commons area.

Our solution was to stop worming altogether and cull the herd. Any that got worms got treated and then sold. It took a few years but we got to a herd that had no issues with no shots. There are lots of goats out there that are genetically weak and only alive because of the medications and simply can't survive naturally.

The chickens take care of most of the fly problems.


I like your management style.
 
Rocco Hagar
Posts: 16
Location: Texas
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Brian,
I see a lot of good advice has already been given on this topic, but I will add this tidbit. After looking into natural ways to deworm I came across a product called Regano that sounds interesting. I have not been able to locate a source for it in my area, but, I can buy Oil of Oregano. I add about 4-5 drops of the oil to a drench of vitamins and probiotics to give the goats on an "as needed" basis and they seem to love it and it appears to work pretty well.

Also, as has been discussed on other threads, plants with high tannin content seem to have a natural deworming effect on goats. Here is a paper on the subject....but in my area the goats that stay in a pasture I have that has a lot of Ashe juniper, which is high tannin content, look awesome with little to no deworming.

 
Chris Kott
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Wormwood has also been acknowledged historically an effective human treatment for internal parasites. The name might suggest a specific target.

-CK
 
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