Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Last roundup before kidding season begins

The goats gather around the 4-wheeler as I call them out 
of the brush and woods (below) in preparation for the trip to the barn.

The kids should be arriving in less than a month, so I took advantage of this week's warm weather to round up the does and give them their annual boosters for CD&T and pneumonia. I also vaccinate for CL, but I don't do that while they're pregnant; the shot can make them pretty sore and I don't want to subject them to any unnecessary stress. The pneumonia vaccination makes them limp for a day, but in our humid climate, it's worth the risk to make sure they are vaccinated.

I also don't like to deworm does during late-term pregnancy. I haven't seen any scientific evidence that such deworming can harm the fetus or cause abortion, but some folks say it can happen. So again, I don't want to take a chance that I don't have to. We checked the eyes on 52 does yesterday and dewormed only two — Kiko crossbreds who were both over 6 years old. 

Last week I began feeding these does each a half pound of 20% cattle cubes. I haven't purchased the goats any hay this season, just letting them eat stockpiled grasses, dried weeds, acorns and fallen leaves.  There's no way to determine their protein intake, so for a few cents a day I don't mind providing the cattle cubes as insurance during these last few weeks of pregnancy. I chose the cubes because the pasture where these goats are located has no facilities, including no feed troughs. I can drive back to the pasture and dump the cubes on the ground.

Penned up and ready for working.
A beautiful sight: Lots of developing udders!

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