We have a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats: a yearling buck, two 3 year old does, two 2 year old doe, and 9 kids born this March (so: all 8 weeks old or less)
They've never had any vaccinations, or de-worming of any kind: I have no reason to believe they HAVE worms, but wondering what people's advice is regarding prevention in this matter; I've always preferred "natural" treatments when available, but wouldn't hesitate to use whatever meds needed, There aren't many goats around here, and precious little veterinary knowledge specific to goats
When it comes to goats.
1) Identify where parasite loads can be high. For example wet or moist hot summer grazing lands could be a issue.
2) There is alot of advice on worming goats but much of it untested. Verify with several sources before trying anything new. Try on just one goat first.
3) Check out minerals, I remember moose dying from lack of Cobol in diet. Well goats are browsers and eat more than just grass. May have to supplement what you cannot provide with grazing.
4) For some reason the studies I find that seem to show impact on parasite seem to be linked to tanins in the plants.
5) Not all animals have same reaction to parasites. Some people practice removal of animals with high parasite loads.
6) Consider chop and drop trees so you can provide alternative feed during times of high parasite activity.
7) Rotate grazing areas to reduce parasite load.
Determine parasite life cycle and use chickens, etc to disrupt the parasite life cycle in your grazing areas.
Ours don't get drenched and they live on a commercial and conventional sheep and beef farm which is a big no no if you ask the vets.
But they get plenty of browse.
The chemical drenches are fairly toxic.
Thanks everyone: we do run chickens in the same approx two acreyard with our goats, right now I'm waiting on a fencing project to be done that will enable pasture rotation to happen,, The sense I get from reading all the materials is that observation and interaction will go a long way towards heading off a serious parasite problem; I'd rather not use routine drugs and I'm hoping I am not playing dice with my goats' lives or health
If you haven't rotated pasture yet at all I would personally do a FEC to ascertain what their current worm burden is. You can then plan your strategy accordingly - whether it is preventative treatment through feeding herbs or chicory etc or antithelmetics targeted to the species of worms that are present in high numbers.
I just started with sheep/goats three years ago, and i did ask everyone around me (in my neighbourhood) for advice, and i took a lot of that advice - a lot of people in my area worm twice a year. I was lucky, a neighbour invited me over to help him do his goats - i got a TON of experience doing sub-q injections on his animals before i had to do my own. I moved out to the farm for a lot of reasons, but assuming it would be a little more socially isolated. But it's far more interconnected than it ever was in town. I need other people, and i can be useful to them, too. I like it
Yes, I'm also loving the inter-connection of rural life; although the bit where everyone in our whole rural municipality and half the folks in the next one over know all of our names, business, and life story kind of makes me uneasy sometimes! Haven't met anyone around here with goats yet, though: we are in a pretty cattle dense area with very few homesteaders, back to the landers, permies or anyone who is interested in doing things differently, if you know what I mean