Recipes

spiced pumpkin butter

Homemade Spiced Pumpkin Butter

We grew a lot of winter squash this year. A LOT. We also grew a field of pumpkins. My kids love drinking what they call pumpkin pie smoo...

Homesteading

goat medications

10 Must Have Goat Medications

    A well stocked medical cabinet is a must have when it comes to owning goats....

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pesky pest

Keeping Pests Out of the Garden

  The garden is in full swing and so are pests! Do you know how to get rid of slugs? Keep worms off your cabbage? How about how to k...

10 Must Have Goat Medications

 

 

goat medicationsThis post may contain affiliate links.

A well stocked medical cabinet is a must have when it comes to owning goats. You never know when sickness will hit and what goat medications you will need to fix it. Most supplies have a pretty long shelf life- but even if they only last a year, it is better to have them on hand than to risk loosing your goats!

10 Goat Medications to Have on Hand

A Good Dewormer

Internal parasites will be the number one thing you will fight in your herd. You need a good plan in place and a good variety of wormers in your cabinet. In my cabinet of goat medications I have the following: Molly’s Herbal Wormer, Ivomec, Cydectin, Quest, and Safegaurd. In the garden I grow Wormwood. Some of these have sat unused for years since my go-to’s (herbal and Ivomec, if needed) work well.  You don’t want to play around with parasites though- like I mentioned in my article on Anemia in Goats- parasites can cause a goat to go down hill very quickly- so be prepared.

A Good Antibiotic

We keep LA200 (Oxytetracycline) on hand at all times. We give it to new arrivals, especially if they have traveled far and are at risk for shipping fever. LA200 is also good for treating pink eye, naval infections in kids, uterine infections after kidding and most mastitis infections. There are other brands if Oxytetracycline such as Biomycin or Liquamycin to choose from as well. If you are dealing with other sicknesses you might need a different drug, but LA200 is a good all purpose goat medication to keep on hand.

Electrolytes

If you have a goat of any age with scours you will want to have Electrolytes on hand to help keep them from getting dehydrated. Dehydration from scours can occur quickly- just as it can in humans with the stomach flu. Electrolytes are pretty inexpensive and the goats usually love the taste of it.

Kao-Pectin

Just like with the electrolytes, Kao-Pectin is used to help prevent dehydration and dry up scours that are present in your goats. Please remember that this is NOT a cure. You still must treat what ever is causing the scours, but while you are making your diagnosis, treating or waiting for a vet, Kaopectate can help buy you some time.

CD&T Vaccination

The CD&T Vaccineicon (Toxoid) is one of the most universally suggested vaccine for goats. It protects against clostridium perfringins or Enterotoxemia, which is sometimes called “overeating disease”. The “T” part of the vaccine protects against Tetanus. I won’t go into all that causes and happens with Enterotoxemia and Tetanus right now, but it’s not something to take lightly. And prevention is key. You should give your pregnant goats the vaccine a  month before kidding to pass on some of the immunity to her kids. Kids should also be vaccinated at 6 weeks and then again 3 weeks later. All goats should receive a booster yearly.

love your goatCD/T Anti-Toxin

These Anti-Toxins are used if Enterotoxemia or Tetanusicon are already present in the goat. If they aren’t vaccinated and you see signs of either of these diseases you should administer the anti-toxin to provide immediate short term protection for your animal. Occurrences such as disbudding, castration, open wounds and sores make goats susceptible to tetanus (also called Lock Jaw and causes similar symptoms of the human disease of the same name).  These diseases are very painful and fatal- so make sure you take preventative measures and have the anti-toxins on hand to give them a chance to pull through.

Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal is used to absorb toxins when your goats get into toxic plants. The dose is about 1g/kg of body weight. You may never use it, but trust me you don’t want to be without it. A couple of years ago I went out to milk a doe in the morning and she didn’t come to the gate. I found her in the farm covered in green vomit looking so, so ill. Soon after all the goats- including 2 kids- started SCREAMING in pain and  forcefully vomiting. It was awful. It turned out that family trimming in another pasture threw them some rhododendron branches thinking they’d like them.  It was a scary few days hoping they’d pull through- giving them whatever I could find around town. I didn’t have any activated charcoal on hand and it was something that could have lessened their pain and symptoms much sooner.

Milk of Magnesia

This is another goat medication to keep on hand in case of toxicity reactions or other indigestion due to overeating or improper feeding. It soothes the rumen and helps them remove toxins from their body. Milk of Magnesia can also be used to treat constipation- so if diarrhea starts after dosing do not treat it. You want all of the toxins to be removed from the body.

Sulmet (or other antibacterials)

Like many other livestock, goats can be at risk for Coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is caused by a protozoan parasite. This parasite is always present and most goats build up an immunity to it as they age. Kids are at the highest risk so if you have a kid with diarrhea that you have diagnosed as Coccidiosis you will want to treat with an antibacterial such as Sulmet (what we use). You can also use Albon or Corid (I don’t recommend this one). These are usually labeled to be added to drinking water, but it is best used with goats by dosing undiluted straight into the mouth.

 Epinephrine

This is another one of those just in case goat medications that you should have on hand, because it can be the difference between life and death. If your goat collapses after receiving any injection you might be dealing with Anaphylactic shock and a dose of Epinephrine is the only thing that wills save them. Most of the time these reactions will occur the 2nd time you administer a certain medication. You may never have to  use it, but it is pretty inexpensive and has the peace of mind it will give you is worth it. Note: This is only available  with a prescription.

Keep all of these goat medications stocked in your medical cabinet (or refrigerator for some of the vaccines) and  you will be well prepared when disease pops up or your curious goats get into something they shouldn’t! Stay tuned for the Must Have Nutritional Support Products to keep as well!

 

 

 

Homemade Spiced Pumpkin Butter

spiced pumpkin butter

We grew a lot of winter squash this year. A LOT. We also grew a field of pumpkins. My kids love drinking what they call pumpkin pie smoothies and we put pureed squash in place of sweet potatoes in my Sweet Potato Biscuits. We were in need of a spread- for toast, English muffins, or just to eat with a spoon- and we love apple butter, so I thought why not pumpkin butter?

Okay, I call it pumpkin butter, but really I didn’t use pumpkin at all. I used a huge winter squash grown by my oldest son. But Red Warty Thing butter doesn’t really sound so appealing to eat, does it? So I call it pumpkin. This spiced pumpkin butter is easy to make- keeps a couple weeks in the fridge or frozen for longer storage.

Homemade Spiced Pumpkin Butter

For this recipe you will need:

pumpkin butter ingredients

 

  • 5 cups of pureed pumpkin- any orange winter squash will do
  • 1 cup of apple juice1 cup brown sugar- depending of your tastes you can reduce this by half if you want
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • Juice of 1 lemon/lime (I used a lime, since that was on our tree right now)

Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Heat on medium-high until the  mixture boils. You want to stir often because as it starts to boil it will bubble and spatter.  Once it has boiled, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer- stirring occasionally. I’d place the lid on partially to reduce the mess and catch the spatters.  Allow it to simmer for about 30-45 minutes- depending on how thick you want your pumpkin butter to be.

spiced pumpkin butter 1

You can serve this pumpkin butter spread it on toast, biscuits or muffins. Serve it over ice cream or stir it into your morning oatmeal! I keep a jar in the fridge and freeze the rest. If you like your oatmeal with pumpkin butter, try freezing it in ice cube trays so you have just the right amount to add to your breakfast.  You’ll find a printable version of the recipe below. Let me know if you give it a try, and what you think!

Homemade Spiced Pumpkin Butter
Author: 
Recipe type: spread
 
Ingredients
  • 5 cups pureed pumpkin/squash
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • juice of one lemon
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir until mixed.
  2. Place on med-high heat stirring frequently until the mixture starts to boil
  3. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 30-45 min or until the desired thickness has been achieved
  4. Ladle into clean jars.
  5. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks

This post is linked to the following: From the Farm, Simple Saturdays, The Homestead Barn Hop

Anemia in Goats: Diagnosing and Treating

anemia in goatsThis post may contain affiliate links.

When it comes to livestock it can be tricky to find the cause of what ails your animals without calling the vet out every week. Do you have a lethargic goat? One with a dull coat and no energy? Maybe she’s even come off her feed.  Chances are you might be dealing with anemia. Anemia can be a silent killer among livestock- without keeping a careful eye on your animals sometimes the condition can get really bad before you know it.

What exactly is anemia in goats?

Technically, goat anemia is the term used to describe a shortage of red blood cells which can deprive the body of necessary oxygen. It can be a serious condition, so it is best to be knowledgeable about the causes, signs and treatments so you can be proactive and catch any cases of anemia before it’s too late.

What causes anemia?

The number one cause of anemia is goats is parasites. Usually an internal bloodsucking worm that goes by the name of barber pole (Haemonchus contortus). You don’t want to play around when it comes to the barber pole, we have yet to lose any goats to this parasite, but it did take down 3 of our alpacas a few years ago. In addition to the barber pole worm the following can also cause anemia in goats:

  • Other internal parasites such as live flukes or brown stomach worms
  • External parasites such as bloodsucking lice, fleas or ticks
  • Anaplasmosis- a tick-borne, hemoparasitic diease
  • Blood loss from internal bleeding or excessive bleeding from external wounds
  • Kids- strain from pregnancy and nursing
  • Poor diet without enough protein and essential minerals

 

How to diagnose anemia in goats

anemia in goats- good colorColor:

When I suspect anemia in one of our goats the first thing I do is check their color. Pull down the lower eye lid of you goat and check the color of the inner membrane. It should be a nice bright shade of pink. The more pale the color  the more anemic  your goat is. If the inner eye lid is white- start treatment immediately and keep a very close eye on the animal. I will say that some of our animals- are pinker than others. One in particular stays middle range on the color scale, even when I know she is not carrying a high worm load. So know your goat’s normal. And when in doubt- go ahead a treat.

Bottle Jaw:

Bottle Jaw is a condition where the the lower jaw of your goat swells. This is an edema in the tissue caused by anemia. If you see your goat with bottle jaw treat immediately, since your animal is probably already very anemic and closing in on a fatal level.

Overall Condition:

Most of the other signs of anemia are related to the general condition of your animal. Such as:

  • They will be lethargic and just look sad and sick. They may have lost their “smile” and the sparkle in their eye.
  • Their coat will be dull and of poor quality
  • They may lose weight
  • They go off feed

 

How to Treat Anemia in goats

anemia in goats- medicationsDe-Worm:

When I have an anemic animal, the first thing I do is worm them. On our farm we only worm when we feel there is a need- some worm on a schedule regardless of need, but I think that builds up unnecessary resistance. Since the barber pole worm is the most common cause of anemia, we worm at the first sign of anemia. We use an herbal dewormer as a preventative, but when it comes to a heavy parasite load and anemia in goats we bring out the chemicals. Ivomec is my top choice, with Cydectin being #2 (both of these are given orally, by the way). Most wormers require you to re-treat in about 10 days to catch new eggs that hatch. Don’t forget this step!

If I see signs of external parasites, I will treat for that as well. But usually I start with internal and see if that improves things.

Supplements:

Our goats all have access to free choice  minerals, but if a goat is showing signs of anemia I will also add some one-time supplements to help strengthen her and help as she rebuilds her red blood cells. Some supplements include:

  • Nutri-Drench- this is a vitamin rich drench that just gives an overall energy boost
  • Red Cell- an iron supplement. I give this once a day for a couple days just to help out. It is not a cure and be sure to dose for your goat’s weight so you don’t overdose
  • Probios® - a probiotic to keep the rumen running healthy
  • Vitamin B-12

 

Feed:

Anemic goats are weak and not as interested in feed and forage. Feed your goats a quality alfalfa hay and high protein goat pelleted feed. This will help them rebuild their red blood cells. You may want to move them to a smaller pasture if possible, so they don’t expend what energy they have on roaming for forage. Make sure to keep their loose mineral feeder filled at all times.

Weaning:

If you have an anemic mother, whose babies are old enough to be weaned, consider separating them so that the mother has a chance to recover and get stronger. The kids probably aren’t getting real good quality nutrients from a sick mother and might be better off if they are encouraged to get their calories from forage, hay and feed.

Blood Transfusions:

If you have an animal with an extreme case of anemia, sometimes a blood transfusion is the only way to save them. This can be an expensive option- but if your favorite milker is suffering it is one you might consider. Most vets are not set up for this. When we had a very sick alpaca we needed to transport for a  transfusion the University of Tennessee Vet Hospital was the closest option- over 2 hours away.

The bottom line? If you are a goat owner, or will be soon, the main thing to stay on top of is their coloring. Check your goats’ eye color weekly so you learn their normal and healthy color and you can spot any problems before they reach a fatal level. Sometimes if you wait until they show outward signs, it might be too late.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.

This post is linked to the following: The HomeAcre Hop, From the Farm,