Herbal Remedies for Goat Pneumonia

Goat pneumonia is usually fast acting and critically serious.  I’d like to start with this: you will most likely need antibiotics for treating any case of pneumonia that includes a downed goat or one who is obviously lethargic.  For cases quickly caught, here are the many herbal remedies you can use to treat pneumonia in goats.  This article details herbal, natural and alternative remedies that I have personally used to treat cases of pneumonia in my own herd.  It draws from nearly 15 years of personal experience as well as the wisdom gleaned in some of my favorite herbal remedy books.  This is an article to read ahead of kidding time or times of the year when pneumonia is most prevalent so you are able to prepare with supplies you’ll need. Let’s begin by learning how to identify goat pneumonia. Continue reading “Herbal Remedies for Goat Pneumonia”

Pat Coleby Minerals: Feeding Undiluted Minerals for Goats

Pat Coleby was ahead of her time and she did great things for the livestock herds of Australia.  She revolutionized natural livestock care in her own country and folks across the world have gained valuable, health building insights as well.  I’ve referenced her work in my natural lice protocol and feel like she’s one of the greats in the natural community.  With that said, when it comes to Pat Coleby minerals and their implementation in the United States, I have some concerns and want to break them down in this article.  My intention is to present solid reasoning, sources and information to help you make the best decision possible for your own herds.

What are Pat Coleby Minerals?

In her book, Natural Goat Care (aff), Pat Coleby details a mineral buffet system that involves feeding free choice minerals in their pure, undiluted states to allow animals to self select what they need.  I’m an enthusiastic supporter of the mineral buffet concept, placing my trust in my animals to listen to their bodies and consume what they need and on the surface, this system sounds like a cost effective way to do exactly that.  To use the Pat Coleby minerals method, you simply source a select number of individual minerals and put them in separate feeders, allowing animals to sample from them as needed.

I’ve been using a different style of mineral buffet for going on two years now and passionately believe that allowing animals to self select individual minerals is the solution to mineral balance.  When we step out of the way and let our animals, unadulterated by mainstream “education,” follow their tastes to consume minerals–with no taste enhancers added–they will achieve their own balance.  This concept works because minerals they are deficient in taste appealing to them and when they’ve reached satiety, those same minerals no longer taste appealing.  You can find a lot of content about that on my blog so I’ll leave it at that for this article, except to say my own experience has convinced me that I will never go back to a blended mineral for my livestock. Continue reading “Pat Coleby Minerals: Feeding Undiluted Minerals for Goats”

Are My Kids Getting Enough to Eat?

One of the most commonly asked questions during kidding season is, “Are my kids getting enough to eat?”  While it may seem as though they aren’t getting enough time nursing, the odds that they’re underfed if mom is nursing at all are very slim.  Goat kids nurse frequently and sometimes for mere seconds. It is common to think that mom is “weaning” or “rejecting” kids because she walks away so quickly after they latch. In actuality, mom is very wise and knows exactly how much to let her kids eat. You’ll notice at certain times she will stand longer and let them have their fill, but most feedings are tightly measured. Walking away from nursing kids is absolutely normal and correct.

Let’s look at common behaviors of nursing kids and how to know if your kid is getting enough to eat.

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Nigerian Dwarf Bottle Feeding Schedule


NEW! Buy the refrigerator magnet of this schedule for instant, easy reference. Shop here.

Even if you dam raise your kids, it’s inevitable that you’ll wind up with a bottle baby at some point. Our does have large litters, as many as five at a time, and it isn’t uncommon that we end up with one or two (or three) per year that are put on the bottle. This is the feeding schedule we use for our Nigerian Dwarf bottle babies; you can approximately double the amounts and use this for standard sized goats as well. Minis would be somewhere in between.

So much of feeding bottle babies is intuition and individual decisions. I’ve tried to pinpoint specific weights to give you an idea of how much to feed, but the best advice I have is to watch your babies and their activity level/overall behavior. Well fed kids are bright, alert, active and constantly exploring the world. Kids who aren’t feeling well will be just the opposite, standing around, lethargic, crying out or frantically seeking milk. Always go by what your kids tell you over what an article online does.

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What to Have on Hand for Kidding in a Holistic Herd

One of the most asked questions in my goat group, second to “should I vaccinate my goats?” (my thoughts here) is about what to have on hand for kidding.  I rarely answer with my own list, simply because it’s a little…underwhelming.  Having embraced a “less is more” approach in my holistic goat management, I really don’t keep much on hand specifically for kidding and there’s very little I do in terms of intervention.  I realize though that this, too, is a useful thing to talk about even if it doesn’t directly answer the question.  So in this article, I’ll do my best to go over what I do have on hand for kidding and how my kidding seasons look. Continue reading “What to Have on Hand for Kidding in a Holistic Herd”

Thoughts on Vaccinating with CDT

This is my personal experience and my thoughts on my decision not to vaccinate my herd with CDT. I share it here to give a point of view, not to suggest one way or another what you should decide for your herd.

CD is enterotoxemia, a bacterial overgrowth often caused by management issues. It’s called ‘overeating disease’ because it is usually significant increases in feeds that bring it about. You can read more here:

Tetanus comes through wounds but is not as common as we’re led to believe. Importantly, oxygenated wound environments protect against tetanus, which is why in disbudding, for example, you want to avoid putting a salve or any sort of covering that might inhibit air flow.

Continue reading “Thoughts on Vaccinating with CDT”