Friday, May 22, 2009

The Things They Never Tell You

Molly & her baby girl

All of our cashmere goats have had their kids. We had 14 kids from 8 does. Unfortunately 3 of the kids died. I think if we would have had prior experience at this, we could have prevented all 3 deaths. I spent a year intensively researching how to raise cashmere goats, but there is only so much you can learn from books, classes and farm tours. The rest you have to experience.

One thing I never dreamed I would experience is treating mastitis in a goat. Mastitis is an infection in the udder. I’m not sure if Molly has it or not, but she has not been letting her kids nurse. We did not realize that until we found one dead. I’ve learned a lot about how to recognize unhealthy kids this year.

Mastitis is a common reason that a doe stops nursing her kids. To treat it, I purchased a large plastic syringe filled with antibiotics and injected half the medicine into each teat. It was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be and the medicine only cost $5.20. I wish human medicine was so cheap!

We secured Molly on the goat stand and gave her a bucketful of oats. Ryan held one of her back legs up so she couldn’t kick. I injected the medicine while Molly happily munched on her oats. It didn’t seem to bother her at all. We bottle fed her doeling to allow time for the antibiotics to work. The next morning I milked Molly so her baby wouldn't ingest the antibiotics, then reunited them that afternoon. That was 3 days ago and mom and kid seem to be doing well.

We haven't named this baby girl yet. She is small and sweet, and she has the biggest set of lungs of any of the kids. She's LOUD! Leave a comment with your suggestions.

5 comments:

  1. Its always a learning experience with goats but worth it. We have had some scary deliveries and even times where I have prayed to have knowledge to do what I needed to do without harming a goat. The good experiences will carry you through the bad ones.

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  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Peggy. What kind of goats do you have? How many?

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  3. If this new goat could dance too you could name her Liza!

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  4. Preparing for a move to your neck of the woods (Tazewell/Cumberland Gap) and 26 acres in the near future. Your blog is inspiring. Is the yarn you sell in your store..your yarn/produced by you? Very nice store! We will need to take knitting/crochet lessons when we get moved up there..

    Sheila soon to be from Sulfur Hollow Road, Tazewell, Tn.

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  5. Sheila,
    I love living here. We moved here from south central PA 3 years ago.

    We don't have any of our own yarn yet but we will when I send our fleeces to the mill to be processed.

    When are you moving? I just scheduled beginner knitting and crochet lessons for next month. It would be a great way for you to meet people.

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