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A Goat Herders Guide To Rearing Healthy Goats

Taking care of and rearing goats go far beyond merely making a profit from them. Instead, it includes keeping them in the best possible physical shape and in general good health. This is true whether goat herders are keeping goats for milk and dairy products production, meat, cashmere or mohair, or they are breeding them for sale.

Whatever the case, the goats will need to be taken care of through regular medical attention or through vigilantly watching for the signs that indicate something is wrong nutritionally or health wise. Below we take a closer look at signs that goat herders ought to look out for. Signs goat herders need to look out for:

1. Separation From The Herd

Goats tend to separate themselves from the rest of the herd during pregnancy or periods of sickness. As such, whenever a goat herder notices that one of their goats is falling behind the pack, is not eating normally, or is hanging their head down or showing poor general posture, then it is time to take a closer look. Sometimes, nutritional deficiencies contracted diseases, or parasitic infestation may be the cause of the goat not being able to keep up with the herd.

2. The Condition Of Feces And Abnormal Discharges

The droppings or feces of goats also provide a lot of important information regarding the health of a goat. If feces are clumping together, showing signs of diarrhea, or are very hard, then chances are something is very wrong. A local veterinarian may be able to decipher exactly what is wrong and then take the necessary steps to treat and remedy the same.

Other abnormal discharges such as blood, mucus or pus noticed coming from the mouth, ears, eyes, vulva or any other part of the goat’s body is a sign that something is seriously wrong. It may indicate that the goat’s health is rapidly deteriorating.

3. Swollen Feet And An Abnormal Gait

Swollen feet may be an indication that a goat is not in perfect health. Swelling, in some cases, may manifest itself through limping or dragging the feet and legs. Observing the walking movements of your goats is important in this regard.

Limping, staggering or other signs of abnormal walking can be indicative of a goat having tetanus. Tetanus may be due to an infected wound that has started to contaminate the blood with the infection from the wound. If found early, this condition is perfectly treatable.

Start with treating the infected wounds with iodine or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect the wound. This will help to stop the contamination from spreading. If there are any conditions resulting from the wound, these should simultaneously be treated as well.

4. Inexplicable Weight Loss

Unexplained weight loss in animals like goats, just as it is in humans, is a sign that something may not be right. Parasites, diseases, and a host of conditions may be the cost for the same.

5. Swollen chin

A swollen chin in goats may indicate that a goat is suffering from parasitic attacks. Parasites may be in the intestines of the stomach of the goat causing a goiter to appear.

6. A dull coat

A clearly visible sign of a goat’s health is its shiny coat. Should the coat look dull or rough, there may be an underlying disease or deficiency that is causing the same. If this is the case, seek out the immediate attention of a veterinarian.

Related resources:

  1. Basic Goat Care Tips
  2. Everything You Need To Know About Goat Health Care
  3. Goat Care For Boers
  4. Basics Of Dairy Goat Care
  5. Behavioral Problems With Goat Care

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