Adding goats to your homestead has many benefits, including milk, meat and rearing baby goats for sale. But if you have ever heard that goats are easy keepers and you won’t have to worry about anything, you may not have heard the whole truth.
The truth is that for the most part, goats are easy keepers, but that there are things that can hurt them. Getting cut on fencing or thorns can easily happen, and a goat can eat the wrong thing and be dead in a matter of days. Fortunately, there are ways that you can treat a goat, and most of these treatments are natural. Having natural supplies on you at all times is highly important for the safety of your herd.
Below are some illnesses your goats may contract and problems they may get themselves into, along with natural treatments you can employ. Using these may save your goat, without you having to pay a ton of money out of pocket.
Bloat can kill a goat quickly, and without proper treatment the goat will die. Bloat is caused when the goat simply overeats and is unable to release the gas that has built up in the rumen. This can be caused from over eating grain, and eating lush pasture. In some cases plants like milkweed can cause bloat. There are several options to treat bloat naturally. Baking soda should be given free choice to your goats to help prevent bloating. Once the goat is bloated, baking soda should be given in a drench. Bloating can also be helped by giving the goat vegetable oil. Homemade vegetable oil is easy to make and inexpensive, so having this stored is important. Another natural treatment for bloat is to give the goat a stomach massage. Rub the stomach until the goat is able to pass the gas.
There are many plants that a goat can eat that will cause them harm. Some plants will just make them sick, while others will kill them quickly. Plants like mountain laurel are highly toxic. Other plants such as bracken ferns can disable a goat and even cause blindness. Constantly watching your pasture for these poisonous plants can be tricky, especially if you do not know what to look for. You may not know your goats ingested something until they are down and very sick. Getting treatment quickly can help prevent death in the animal. Activated charcoal should be your go-to natural treatment for poisoning. As a preventative, you can sprinkle it on their food. This helps to bind the toxins and helps them to pass the toxins through their stool. If ingestion has already occurred, you will need to mix some activated charcoal with water and drench your goat with that several times a day. Giving a vegetable oil drench is also a good idea. Tea is also a great detoxification tool that can be used for goats that have been poisoned. Give the goat at least several cups of strong cold tea. To make it more appetizing you can add honey. This will help the goat stay hydrated. You will also need to make your own electrolyte water. This should be water, salt, baking soda and honey. Drench your goat with this every few hours to ensure that they are staying properly hydrated. There are some plants that cause a vitamin B deficiency in goats, a deficiency which will kill the goat or leave it permanently disabled. Having a vitamin B complex on hand will help you save your goat. If you do not have that on hand, consider getting a naturally made gummy prenatal vitamin. This will help your goat bounce back to health in no time.
Even if your herd has been treated for worms, they can come back suddenly. Using traditional wormers can cause issues for your goat, and many people worry about the worming medication passing on into the milk. A worm overload can be a dire emergency for the goat and should be treated as such. Herbal wormers can be easily made with ingredients that you grow right in your own yard. Thyme, rosemary, mustard, wormwood and marshmallow all make great wormers that can treat your goats even in an emergency situation. It is imperative to have it mixed up and ready to go at all times.
Cuts, Scrapes and Stings.
Goats are notorious for getting cut on brambles and briars and by playing with each other. Eating out in the pasture in the spring, summer and fall months can lead to various stings throughout the seasons. Treating cuts and scrapes are important, as they can draw an infection. Bee stings can be a nuisance and cause your doe or billy to be very ill, so treatment of those for comfort is a must. To naturally treat your goats for cuts, scrapes and stings, create a mixture of plantain leaves and a form of vegetable oil. A favorite is coconut oil, as it can be easier to put on and will stay on the goat longer. Put the mixture on the cut, scrape or sting several times a day to ensure that the goat does not get the area infected.
Urinary calcification will cause your goat to die quickly if not treated immediately. This problem typically hits billy and wether goats. Females can get it but rarely have major problems. For a male goat the urinary passages are curled and curved and when a stone gets in and blocks the area, it can have disastrous effects. Treatment usually includes ammonium hydrochloride or surgery. However, you may not have this on hand or you may not have quick access to a vet. A natural treatment for urinary calcification is to give the goat apple cider vinegar, as well as strong doses of vitamin C, which can be found in lemon juice. A male goat with this condition should be given at least 10ml of each every couple of hours until the goat is able to urinate. While this may not save every goat, it may work for some and it is better to try this method than nothing at all. Vinegar, as well as lemon juice, has been shown to bust up blockages in the urinary tract.
Having goats is a great way to ensure that you have milk, brush clearing, meat or just a pet. Having a natural first aid kit for your goats should be at the top of your list to ensure their health and to make sure that you are able to treat whatever they may throw at you.
Do you have any tips for goat first aid? Share them in the section below: