We’ll be honest, we don’t worm unless we have too. In the past 8 years we’ve only wormed twice. Both times due to some nasty Nematodes.
Both Coccidiosis and Nematodes can cause havoc to the unsuspecting and both have high chances of re-infection if not handled correctly. Sometimes worming just makes things worse. Sometimes worming just isn’t enough. So let’s talk about our experience this spring, what we didn’t do and what we did do.
This is where the ‘remember when’ comes in…….In January we had a major snow event………4 feet of snow over night! Normally snow isn’t an issue for us, but that much snow in such a short time made it difficult in keeping our barn clean this past winter. Namely, the girls COULD NOT leave the barn.
So why do we bring this up? Parasites love wet environments……in fact they thrive in moisture. Regardless of the extreme cold we get, at even -32*F below zero, underneath all that straw bedding it was toasty warm and damp.
We kept monitoring everyone for any signs that the stress from the worm load would require a wormer. Temperatures never went over 102*F, never had runny stools, no one had drops in milk production, or weight loss, and let me tell you we watched our herd closely!
Four.…even with the dry weather and grazing/ foraging, the goat barn was a bear to keep clean. Too many goats for the barn……period. Our barn is just right for 7-8 adult does, but throw in 9 kids and you have overcrowding. Another concern for parasitic issues. Of course we had kids coming all summer long, and we will never do that again!
However, it also reminded us that we need to be better prepared to maintain the barn even in severe weather or heavy snows. That we know prevention is far better than cure. We know better, no excuse.
So what should we have done differently? Over the winter, clean the barn more often than we did…maintain practical numbers in your herd, to many goats is a sure start for problems……Does that mean no worming this year?
Well, that everyone is a whole other blog…………..