Monday, March 1, 2010

Floppy Goat Walking

Little floppy goat (now named Patty) seems to be doing much better. I suspect that Callie was correct. It was vitamin E/selenium deficiency. Early on I gave Patty a dose of cod liver oil. That plus lots of extra care seems to have helped her turn the corner.

Floppy Goat Walking

That would also explain the scruffy look of some of the goats, the difficulty birthing we have had this year, and the general level of unthriftyness. We don't usually have a problem with this kind of deficiency. We have built up our soil and pasture quality enough, and we supplement with a good mineral program, and that takes care of it (copper on the other hand has been a fight...) This year several things seem to have conspired against us. First, we are kidding earlier than we usually do. The Does haven't had the access to fresh green pasture that they normally do. Second, the weather this past month has had the goats confined to the barn. In past years we haven't had the snow cover that we have had this year. They have gone out to pasture and picked at old grass and weeds along with their hay and supplements. I think they were getting more from this than I thought. Third, we changed hay suppliers, and his land hasn't been in organic production very long. I don't think the nutrients are there at the levels I expected. So, now I'm on my way to start remedial supplementation with the rest of the goats. I'll also add a lot more kelp into the supplement and put more out free choice. Hopefully this will prevent future problems.

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