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Homemade Spiced Pumpkin Butter

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nutritional supplements for goats

8 Must Have Nutritional Supplements for Goats

In addition to the medications I shared on my 10 Must Have Goat Medications post, there are also...

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Keeping Pests Out of the Garden

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Excalibur Dehydrator Giveaway!

excalibur giveaway

This post may contain affiliate links.

A good dehydrator is a must for any gardener or homesteader. I have had my Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator for a few years now and it is an invaluable tool come harvest time. I constantly have it filled- with calendula, herbs, hot peppers, zucchini chips or zucchini candy.

What exactly can you do with an Excalibur Dehydrator?

You can use your dehydrator to preserves most of  your garden harvest:

Then there is homemade fruit leather for an easy and nutritious snack. Dehydrators aren’t only for food either: 23 Practical Ideas to Get More Out of Your Dehydrator

 

Enter to Win

The Members of the Homestead Bloggers Network have come together to  give you the opportunity to win an Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator with a 26 hour timer. This model retails for $349. It is  black and and come with 9 trays, adjustable thermostat and 7″ 600 watt fan! This giveaway is open to residents of the contiguous United States. Entrants must be age 18 or older to enter. Giveaway runs from October 15th – 22nd. Winner will be drawn October 23rd and emailed. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to the email before another entrant is chosen.

Enter to win below. Good Luck!
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8 Must Have Nutritional Supplements for Goats

nutritional supplements for goatsThis post may contain affiliate links.

In addition to the medications I shared on my 10 Must Have Goat Medications post, there are also a few supplements and nutritional support items you should always keep on hand if you are a goat owner. These are vitamins and other nutritional supplements for goats that either need to be made available at all times or used when you see signs of deficiency in your animals.

8 Nutritional Supplements for Your Goats

Loose minerals

loose mineral and sodium bicarbonateJust like humans, your goats need to take their vitamins and loose minerals are the best way to get those vitamins into their bodies. These loose minerals should be offered free choice and available to your goats at all times. Goats are notorious for stepping in or otherwise soiling their food or hay, so be sure to offer the minerals in a way that prevents soiling from happening. You can make your own feeder out of PVC or buy small mineral feeders. Be sure to look for a complete formula that contains all the essential nutrients- and also make sure your minerals are labeled for use in goats and not sheep. Copper is essential in goats and sheep cannot have copper.

Sodium Bicarbonate

Baking Soda, or Sodium Bicarbonate, is another nutritional support that should be available to your goats free choice at all times. We buy a big bag at our local feed store to keep on hand in a large can in the barn. It can be  used for all sorts of things- on the farm and in the house- and we keep it next to the loose minerals in our double compartment mineral feeders. Baking Soda aids in your goats digestion and helps to prevent bloat. They will only take as much as they need, when they need it. If it starts to look old, just sprinkle the old stuff on the barn floor and replace it with new.

Probios

Probios is a probiotic that is good to use to keep your goat’s rumen running smoothly. It is full of beneficial bacteria to help start or recover good rumen function. We give every kid born on our farm Probios at about 3 days of age to jump start their rumen. We also dose our adult goats when they are sick, after antibiotic use,  or when they are transported for any reason.

 

Selenium/Vitamin E

probiotics and seleniumSelenium is a trace mineral that is present in the soil. If you live in an area that is deficient, chances are your goats will not get a sufficient amount of this mineral and become deficient. Soil is considered deficient when there is less than 0.5mg of selenium per kg of soil. (If you would like to know about your area, here is a map of the selenium levels in the US). Selenium is an important mineral for reproductive health and proper muscle function. Last year we had one of our new does give birth to triplets, one of which couldn’t stand due his ankles bending backwards. This white muscle disease is the most common signs of selenium deficiency in kids. Adults can show signs of deficiency by abortions, stillbirth, or inability to conceive. We give our adult does an injection BoSe, which is available by prescription only,  about a month before kidding. We also give BoSe to any kids presenting with White Muscle Disease. We also keep a Selenium/Vitamin E gel on hand which we give everyone at the beginning of breeding season. The margin for toxicity is small, so make sure you dose correctly for your goat and check that you are in a deficient area first.

Nutri-Drench

I’ve spoken about Nutri-Drench before and it is probably one of my most used supplements. It is simply concentrated vitamins and minerals that are readily absorbed for quick energy. I give it to any goat that just seems off, recovering from sickness, and young kids and newborns (like my little one with white muscle disease) to help them have the energy to eat and grow like they are supposed to. Sometimes it can be the very thing to help a sick goat make it through the night and get on the way to recovery.

Copper

copper and vitamin b complexCopper is another mineral that is essential for your goats. Copper is usually added to their feed as well as in their loose minerals. Even with these fortification most goats will need supplementation in the form of a copper bolus. Copper deficiency can cause poor growth in kids, poor coat quality and less resistance to parasites. One of the telltale signs of copper deficiency is the “fish tail”- when the hair at the end of the goat’s tail has split into what looks like a fish tail. We use a product called Copasure. Ours is for cows, so we split open the capsules and dose the goats for their weight- putting the copper rods in their herbal worming balls. They also make a goat version of Copasure, but be sure to dose correctly for your goats weight to keep copper levels below a toxic level.

 Vitamin B Complex/Thiamine

The B Vitamins are made inside a healthy goat’s rumen everyday. When they are sick or rumen function is compromised because they are off feed you will need to supplement their vitamins with an injection of the B Vitamins. Vitamin B12 is very helpful in goats suffering from anemia or recovering from other illnesses. Vitamin B1, or Thiamine, is necessary for metabolism and neurological activity. And is one of the only things that will save your goat if they come down with Goat Polio. Thiamine deficiency can cause many life threatening conditions, so it’s good to keep a Fortified Vitamin B Complex on hand at all times. We use an injectable formula from Southern States but there is also a paste that can be used for less severe conditions.

Red Cell/Iron Supplement

An iron supplement is a must have when you own any livestock. Whenever you are dealing with a goat with anemia you will want to help keep them going by giving them an iron supplement as they build up their red blood cell count. We keep Red Cell on hand and our goats take it pretty easily. You can also purchase a paste or injectable iron supplement.  Again, please make sure you use the correct dose for your goat’s weight.

Add these things, along with all the necessary medications, to your livestock medical cabinet and you will be ready for anything that comes your way!

 

 

 

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!