Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bad Happenin's

We had been monitoring Glowbug pretty closely the last few days because of her illness and I decided that if she wasn't showing signs of improvement by Monday we'd load her up and take her to the vet for better or worse. When we went out to feed Guthrie this morning we couldn't spot her right off, but then we noticed her about 10 ft. from where we last saw her yesterday, laying in the tall grass. Josh checked on her and it was confirmed; she had died sometime in the night.

I guess it is part of the farm life when an animal dies, but it is still hard to accept. I'm not sure what the real cause was but can only speculate. Midnight has started having the scours too, so we are going to have to find a vet to take him to tomorrow I suppose. I feel so bad about her passing and I don't want him to die as well if there is something we can do. I guess I should have taken her to the vet a few days ago, but that doesn't mean that she wouldn't have died anyway I suppose. I was having trouble getting her to eat and drink much. I took her the protein pail but she didn't really care for that or for goat feed. The only thing I could get her to eat was leaves and such...

Some of the goats have had diarrhea before so I was hoping it would clear up like it has before... I waited too long though. I guess it could have been any number of things: worms, coccidiosis, feed scours, pneumonia, etc. I did the worming not long ago, and gave them the medicated feed for coccidiosis. I guess I need to give them all the CD and T vaccine and a SQ shot of wormer... I don't want this to happen again, even though I am sure we'll lose another goat someday.

I will get Midnight checked and talk to the vet about the problems with Glowbug and hopefully he'll guide me to the proper course of action for the future. Learning as you go sucks sometimes. I guess this isn't as bad as the time Josh and our Step-Dad bought some goats when we were kids and didn't know any better than to feed them a bunch of corn and they all died...

On a brighter note my Uncles David and Steve visited this afternoon. I showed them around the place and we talked for a while about this and that. Uncle David helped us a lot when we were building the house (he used to design homes for a log cabin company). Uncle Steve is a retired Episcopal Priest who currently lives in Maine but did preach at Shelter Island, NY and Boston, Mass. They are both my father's older brother and both went to Auburn (which turned into a family tradition) just as my dad did. Today when we were talking about the goats Uncle David said, "I didn't know goats got sick so much..." My response: "I didn't either."

We have been working on screening the back porch for the last few afternoons, which includes painting the lattice strips to go over the outside of the screen. I counted yesterday and it looks like I am going to be short some wood so I'll probably have to order some from Flanagan's Lumber and have them deliver it with some stuff for shelf building while I am at it. I guess I'll figure up just how much I need tomorrow. I also need to start deciding how/when to put up the buck pen since I guess the girls will start going into heat soon (July?).

Any kind words are welcome today... I am really down on myself for letting Glowbug down as a keeper. I can only strive to do better with the rest of the herd. At the same time though I feel a sense of responsibility as an aspiring farmer to cull out the weaker members of the herd to build a good foundation for the future. Any advice on how to balance these things?

9 comments:

  1. That does suck about Glowbug, but as a pet (?) owner, sometimes you do the best you can and still fail. I'm having some issues with my dog....what to do...what to do...

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  2. Growing up on a small farm I can relate to how you feel but you have to realize that as farmers there are going to be instances that are just out of your control.
    You still might feel bad but in the end you'll realize it was unavoidable.

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  3. I'm so sorry you lost Glowbug. Goats go really fast. We lost one that had the onset of scours in the morning and was dead before five in the evening. There are antibiotics that you can get from the vet to keep around (a lot of times it is E-coli that causes them to get sick). I didn't know that until it was too late. Don't feel guilty. I can tell that you take the care of your animals very seriously. Sometimes it is just their time to go, and there is nothing you can do.

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  4. For scours, I keep scour gel around, it helps firm things up. Also pedialyte to keep them hydrated. I also have Albon to treat coccidiosis and C&D antitioxin. I was able to get all these things at the grocery store or Tractor Supply and none of them was very expensive. You can also get antibiotics at Tractor Supply, I haven't gotten any of those yet. The one time our wether got runny, I was able to clear it up with the above things.

    For the one that is runny now, I would give them all these things. It probably isn't worms, but you can check their eyes membranes to see if they are pink or white.

    It is hard. I have a sheep I need to cull but I'm having a hard time doing it.

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  5. Thanks for all the comments. Midnight seems to be doing some better today, but I am still going to call the vet and see what he thinks. I may try some pedialyte and pepto with him just to keep him hydrated and whatnot (if I can get him to drink it out of a bottle). So far the rest of them are still looking okay, and he is still eating and getting around pretty good.

    I'll keep you updated. :-\

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  6. Without failure,how would we measure our successes? It is always sad to loose a living thing. You are very smart, and have a big heart;you will figure it out. I am proud of you. Love you! Nana

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  7. So sorry to hear about the loss of your goat. Yes, it is hard. I lost my favorite goat a few weeks ago. She was also the best temperamented one and the best producer. It was only about 30 hours before the first sign of illness to death. I've since found out that all this awful rain and dampness has really caused e coli, coccidia, and worms to really thrive and invade. Apparently my goat got an infection of e coli in the udder causing mastitis that went systemic very quickly. I began IM antibiotic immediately, but it was too late. :-( I have had trouble with scours this year like NEVER before too. I have treated for everything!! But it is all finally clearing up now that the rain is gone, and their loafing areas are drying out. Whew. I'm glad for rain for the garden, but it's rough on animal owners. Sorry to hear that you have had trouble. Sounds like the ones you got from the auction were just so stressed that they brought along some diseases. Hopefully, as everything begins to dry out and be sunny again, your whole herd will perk up and do much better.

    Karen

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  8. I am so sorry to hear about Glowbug, we will all lose one at some point, but that doesn't make it any easier does it.

    I have found by far the most common problem with goats in general is worms and respiratory. They do have a vaccine that is for some types of pneumonia and it all but eliminated any problems we had in the past with it in our herd.

    Cocci has never been a problem here. Maybe we have just been lucky but I know other people have told me they have had issues with it. If you don't mind using medicated feed you can buy feed or goat mineral with decoxx or ruminsen in it to prevent it before they develop a problem with it. Sounds like a fecal would tell you a lot. If you have one done before you deworm them and one done after it will tell you if the wormer you are using is still working like it should.

    Sorry about the long comment, I just know how bad it feels to lose one and I want to help.

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  9. Heyas Jason. sorry to hear abotu Glowbug. I just read this today as I have been extra busy this week, but still feel bad for you.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate the input and will do my best to respond quickly if need be. Thanks again for reading!

Yours Truly,
The Crowsons