Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Newbie Goat Questions

I hope these are dumb goat questions, but I'm not sure.  So here I am asking.

Question Number 1:  How would I know if the goats had bloat?  These chilluns are much fatter than they were a few weeks ago.  Of course, a few weeks ago they mostly had their mother's milk and now they're eating all the green they can stuff into themselves.  Do these pictures look like normal goats?  I mean normal young goats?  Would they be obviously uncomfortable if they had bloat?  If they did, what should I be doing?

Question Number 2:  They don't appear to be drinking any water.  I've seen them pee a bunch of times, so maybe they're getting their water from the plants?  It's funny how as soon as one of them starts to pee, the second one starts right away.  It's catching, like yawning.

Amusing how they're not morning creatures.  The chickens are out before dawn, but I have to entice the goats to get moving at 7:00 when I have to get going to work.  They're like some people I know - move slowly and not in a very good mood in the morning. 

1 comment:

  1. Bloat is when trapped gas distends the rumen so severely that they cannot digest their food; if it progresses the expanding stomach will restrict the lungs and heart and it is fatal.

    It most often occurs if the goat has over-eaten a "hot" food (calorie rich) like grain or apples. Their left side is more bloated then the other, and they walk as if very uncomfortable.

    You also cannot hear normal rumen noises. Best treatment is to avoid the circumstances that cause it, (duh) and if caught early, you can try administering oil with a drench syringe to break up gas bubbles. I have also found that lifting the goat up over your shoulder (as if you are burping a child) can help. Listen for them belching to know if you are making progress.

    Bloat progresses quickly, so it is best not to leave them where grain or that kind of thing is available to a curious goatie (since you are gone in the day...) I have heard that in an emergency, you can stab directly into the side of the goat and release gas from the rumen...but frankly, you would be a much better woman than I if you could pull that off...

    So long as they have water available, they will drink when they need it.