It’s hard to imagine that your adorable baby goats may very well have an over-abundance of worms & other parasites living in them. Yeah, we didn’t believe it either. So to be sure that our kids had a perfect “low-count” of worms in their systems, we decided to do a fecal test! Sure enough, the test came back, and our goats had coccidia and strongyles!
When our vet came to collect a fecal on the goats, we had also noticed that their eyelids were a light pink color. We had not yet checked their eyelids, so we assumed they just naturally didn’t have the pinkest eyelids, as it can vary from goat to goat.
For those of you new to the FAMACHA eyelid scoring technique, it is a method used to determine whether your goat is anemic due to worms, by looking at the color of a goat’s inner eyelids.
Along with this discovery, we noticed a few “clumpy poops” (sorry TMI). Now I don’t mean the “pinecone poops” where it is still small berries but clumped together. No, I mean the poop that looks similar to dog poop…
So, with all of these signs, and the fecal giving us exact numbers, we had to figure out the best treatment options.
We had not yet started routinely supplementing these kids and deworming them with herbs. So we were prepared to go with the vet’s decision to take care of the situation quickly, and use 5 days of Sulfadimethox, and SafeGuard to treat the worm situation.
But my better judgement convinced me to take the time to think over this situation. I began questioning what these chemical medications might do to a small baby goat’s system. I cracked open every goat book I owned, and it became clear to me that I needed to try to treat the situation naturally first.
I noticed an improvement in eyelid color, as well as in behavior.
Next, we started them on our garlic regimen. I could, and will, dedicate a whole separate post to the benefits of garlic, but for now I will just explain how garlic helped our goats in this particular situation.
We began crushing 1 clove of garlic, and mixing it with molasses to feed it… but they wouldn’t eat it! So then we tried to mix it with honey, and they still wouldn’t eat it. We quickly learned that we had some very picky goat kids on our hands. Finally, we discovered two things that our goats loved: organic applesauce, and slippery elm bark powder (an herbal supplement that is very healthy for goats).
And so, we crushed a raw garlic clove, added some applesauce and slippery elm powder, and our goats licked it right up!
After continuing with this for weeks, our young goats were healthier than they had ever been before, they had no “worm-overload” as confirmed by later fecals, and were happy to be treated naturally without my personal worry of possible excessive side effects and more from chemical dewormers.
Our goats are kept on a consistent garlic regimen, as well as an herbal regimen from FirMeadow LLC. They are constantly benefiting from herbal supplements (which you will hear more about in future articles) that make goat ownership simpler, less stressful, and healthier for the goats and the humans involved here on our homestead.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a vet, nor am I a licensed professional. I am in no way a “goat expert” and my opinions are only that of personal experiences, and my insights shared are not medical treatment suggestions, care suggestions, or any directions for raising goats at all. I am simply sharing my own personal opinions. Any and all changes to your goats’ health regimen, care, etc. should be approved by a veterinary professional or licensed professional. I also believe that every goat owner has their own way of doing things, so just as my opinions are my own, and cannot apply to anyone else, your opinions are also regarding your individual goats, and I welcome you to share them in a kind, constructive manner.