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Calming the Storm: How I Nearly Failed Raising Goats

The storm raged on for weeks until finally my research developed some calming answers.  

Calming the abortion storm in my goat herd was my determination. It would be the key to my failure or my success.

Every day, I would find another doe aborting her kids or having them way too early. Under developed kids with under developed internal organs didn’t make it very long in our world.

A doe’s gestation period is 145-155 days. If kids are born earlier than that, their internal organs will be underdeveloped. There’s not too much a producer can do for kids whose lungs are gasping for air.

Many kids were lost while I was searching for answers to my early kidding problem. I was becoming so frustrated that I was about ready to quit and sell all my goats.

[Tweet “It really got to that point. I was ready to be done with it all. “]

But, finally, the answers came rolling in. We had a plan and a possible calming solution at hand.

How I Figured Out The Problem

I suppose we bought the problem when we purchased our does. Which means, we’ve always had it in our herd. But, we didn’t know it until we started scheduling the breedings.

Before we started scheduling breedings, we didn’t know exact due dates. We simply turned the buck out with the does and didn’t keep track.

That was our first mistake. We should have had control of our breeding schedule and kept track from the start. The problem would have been solved a lot sooner.

Through the years of kidding goats, we realized we had more kids born with problems than born healthy. We blamed genetics. We blamed nutrition. We even blamed the Boer breed and purchased bucks of different breeds.

I should have blamed myself because knowing the symptoms of what I was dealing with and actually treating for it would have saved me a lot of heartache.

Calming

Bacterial Infection

While the does were aborting their kids and I was trying to find calming answers, I talked with my veterinarian and the state veterinarian for answers.

There are several bacterial infections that could have been affecting my does all this time. Chlamydia is the one we suspected most. It is very contagious and is transmitted through bodily fluids.

The chlamydia bacteria eats at the placenta. Without a healthy placenta, the doe will start to labor causing the kids to be born too early and underdeveloped. Read more about chlamydia.

My vet recommended sending a kid and placenta to the state necropsy lab to actually diagnose the problem as chlamydia. However, the state veterinarian explained what was needed for testing but explained that results usually came back as false negatives. Meaning, I would be spending money for no answers, wasting more time and losing more kids.

That same state veterinarian then prescribed a treatment for a bacterial infection: 2 cc of LA200 per every animal in the herd. She also recommended we sprinkle a very small dose of aeromycin crumbles antibiotic into some feed for 10 days.

So, we did just that. [Tweet “And what happened next was magical.”]

Treatment

We followed the state veterinarian’s dosage and treated our entire herd. At that point, I had about 15 more does left to kid.

After treating the herd, I had no more pregnant does abort. The antibiotics worked quickly. A week later, my 15 does started kidding full term babies with absolutely no problems.

My local veterinarian was using my buck at the time of the abortion storm and treated his herd and the buck the same way. His does all kidded in the spring with no problems.

Using a small amount of antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection in my herd improved the health of my herd. But, I also learned it would stay with my herd for many years.

I needed a proactive way to prevent it from ever happening again.

Prevention

Since the abortion storm, one of our new goat production management strategies is to prevent Chlamydia from ever affecting our does and kids again. We continue to use small amounts of antibiotics before breeding and kidding as a preventative measure.

Using our schedule, we give breeding does and bucks two cc of LA200 about 30 days prior to breeding. Then, we give two cc of LA200 midway through gestation. The aeromycin crumble is sprinkled into some nutritious feed. The rate is less than 1/2 a teaspoon per doe.

To keep it real, this is less than the amount of antibiotics given to a two year old human girl for an infection. I have no problem using this small amount of cheap antibiotics to prevent huge losses in my goat herd and making me feel like I failed.

Thanks to our prevention strategy, we have had all healthy and full term kids born on our farm.

Calming

The End of the Storm

Thanks to a very small amount of antibiotics to prevent the bacterial infection, our abortion storm has been calm. The weather on our farm is mainly sunshine, rainbows and bouncing baby goat kids.

During the storm, I felt like I was failing miserably. I was ready to quit.

[Tweet “I learned a very incredible lesson. “]

Even through a storm, God provides answers and people to lean on. It’s most important to use your resources and find your greater power. You can weather any storm if you just believe you can.

A positive mindset outweighs any storm at anytime. And when you blow through the storm, you’ll find calming clarity to act on.

I love my goats more than ever and couldn’t imagine our farmstead without them.

~ Much Love ~

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7 Ways to Raise Goats Smarter Not Harder

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

[…] was also experiencing an abortion storm during kidding season that same year. I lost so many preemie kids that I was starting to think I […]

Erin @ A Welder's Wife

Thursday 25th of February 2016

I'm glad you were able to figure out what happened with your herd. Sometimes it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it seems so dark. The important thing to remember is there is always a light! Thank you for sharing!

Mindy Young @ Farm Fit Living

Thursday 25th of February 2016

Thanks, Erin. It is important with anything to stop and think and to never stop searching for the light. Because it's there every time.

Meredith Nye (semibalancedmama

Thursday 25th of February 2016

Very interesting post!

Mindy Young @ Farm Fit Living

Thursday 25th of February 2016

Thanks, Meredith! I'm glad you stopped by to read it.

Candy Kage

Thursday 25th of February 2016

I believe tons of people think raising goats or any farm animal is going to be a walk in the park. Glad you figured out what was happening. In farming if its crops or animals it is always a learning process.

Mindy Young @ Farm Fit Living

Thursday 25th of February 2016

That's for sure, Candy! I have found that having a mentor that is an expert in the field is the best secret weapon anyone can have. I'm getting ready to start beekeeping and I don't know what I'm doing. My mentor will be my saving grace for sure.

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