Immune support is usually something that I discuss in depth with my clients in my Natural Goat Care Academy. Due to our recent crazy weather, I thought it might be time to put some of the basics down for easy reference! I was prompted to make this post today by the weather that’s currently occurring outside my window—rain, heavy rain, starting at fifty degrees, and tonight will be dropping to twenty-eight degrees with snow and wind. Your logic is as good as mine, all I can say is “WHAT?!”
I’m sure some of you are experiencing similar weather changes, and it’s worrisome! As a human, I know these weather changes cause me to be more susceptible to illness, and the same goes for my goats! As a matter of fact, some of the things I recommend for goat immune support work wonders for humans too! Garlic, anyone?
So, in light (or in “clouds” is more like it) of our seasonal changes and our climate, here’s a few things you can do to keep your goats healthy!
Before I get into supplements, I want to briefly point out that in order for your goats to be at optimal health, they need the proper nutrients. Please consider your minerals, feed, and your goats’ body condition, as any issues in that criteria will need to be addressed. Your goats will not be able to maintain good immune systems if they are mineral or nutrient deficient.
I know, I know, it’s getting old—I probably mention garlic in every single blog post! But there’s a reason for that, garlic is my “MVP!” I use garlic daily for a plethora of things, it is truly one of nature’s most amazing healers. You can click HERE for a blog post of mine on garlic and how to use it. In the linked post, my prevention and treatment dosage regimen is listed. I often double or triple my goats’ garlic consumption on days with the most extreme weather changes.
I use many different herbal blends for my goats, both homemade and pre-made from certain herbalists. Recently, my favorite herbal blends that YOU CAN PURCHASE are from Katherine Drovdahl at Fir Meadow LLC. For many seasons I have used and loved HerBiotic, an herbal wellness blend. A brand new formula was released called ALG Seasonal Support, and I (being a mentor and “guinea pig” for herbal products) am currently testing this on my goats and I have nothing but good things to say. Both formulas are wonderful and I find them to be very helpful.
Minerals & Vitamins:
While I don’t recommend adding in extra mineral supplements (besides your normal regimen), if your goats are suffering from any deficiencies in the vital three minerals: copper, zinc, and selenium, their immune systems will be weakened. If your goats are healthy and their mineral statuses are good, you do not need to add in anything extra for immune support. But if you are questioning if there is a problem, the deficiency should be identified and corrected as soon as possible. For vitamins, Vitamin C is a wonderful addition for immune support (between 500-1000mg/day), and can be given to goats via human chewable supplements. You may also use natural forms such as rose hips, citrus, and cayenne pepper. B Vitamins are also essential for immune function. An injection of Fortified Vitamin B Complex (6cc per 100lbs SubQ) once a day during times where extra immune support is needed is always a good idea.
Finally, essential oils are one of my favorite methods of immune support—yet one of the most infrequently used in the goat community! I’ve come to notice that a lot of goat owners are a bit intimidated by essential oils; perhaps it’s the concentration of them, or maybe it’s just the fact that they aren’t commonly used that leaves people timid and unsure if they should use them. But I am here to say that essential oils are amazing! While there are some important precautions to take, such as only using high quality food-grade essential oils such as DoTerra brand, and making sure certain oils are diluted so as not to be too strong, essential oils are one of the most powerful tools I have in my “natural goat care tool belt.” The oils I use for immune support are DoTerra’s OnGuard blend, oregano, thyme, and wild orange. There are many more essential oils that I use, but those are my four main immune support oils. Essential oils should be properly diluted in order to give them to your goats. 1 drop of each oil can be added to 2-3cc of olive oil and carefully syringe fed. You can also add the essential oils into applesauce for your goats to lick up by themselves (NOTE: if adding a lot of oils to applesauce, add extra slippery elm powder to soak them up so it is not too oily).
Well, I’ve spoken too soon, because it’s currently snowing outside already! Looks like that temperature drop happened faster than expected. Bear with this weather—spring is almost here!
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. Disclosure: This post may contain Amazon Affiliate Links, from which I will earn a commission.
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