Sunday, May 31, 2009

Albon seems to be working

The Albon we have been using to take care of the coccidia seems to be working. Buddy is spending more time on his feet. He seems to be eating better, too.

Since we are battling coccidia and the Corid didn't work, we decided to put all the milking does on the Albon (no milk withdrawl) and see if they act any differently. We've still been fighting the Mastitis on Glacier, after 10 days of 10cc Penicillin (5 cc twice daily) we gave her a break from shots and antibiotics. The next day the clumps were worse than before. After 2 days on the Albon, she had almost no clumps at all.

Last night the clumps were so large and so hard that I had to mush them around inside her teat so they would break apart. Then I was able to pull them out gently when they got to the oriface. Hubby said the harder clumps are better because the slippery ones were live colonies of bacteria, while the harder ones are probably dead colonies.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rumensin vs. Decoquinate by Karin Christensen

This post was on GoatBiology (yahoo group) as a response to the question about the differences between Rumensin and Decoquinate. The post is dated Thu May 28, 2009. Karen Christensen is an amazing resource on the internet when it comes to goats. Her website can be found here.

Rumensin, decoquinate and amprolium all disrupt the life cycle at some stage or another. They are considered coccidiastats. Sulfa drugs are considered coccidiocides as well as bacteriocides, killing the cells outright. Although monensin probably also kills the cells.

Rumensin trade name for monensin is an ionophore antibiotic. It will kill protozoans like coccidia including the protozoa in the rumen. It will also kill gram positive bacteria, including those in the rumen. It is used not only as an anti-coccidial but to reduce problems in the rumen from feeding high concentrate diets because it kills the type of bacteria that produce lactic acid. It is considered to enhance growth, but mainly it helps put fat on the ruminant since more propionate is produced from the concentrates while reducing the problem of rumen acidosis. It works by inhibiting the movement of ions across the membrane of bacteria or protozoa.

Decoquinate (Deccox)
Acts on the sporozoite stage so it can't continue to develop in the intestinal cell. Disrupts electron transport system in the mitochondria. Acts on the early stages of the life cycle

Amprolium (brand name Corid) is a vitamin B1 (thiamine) analog. The structure of the amprolium molecule is very similar to thiamine. The coccidia need thiamine to grow especially in stages where they are in high levels of reproduction. If they take in the amprolium instead of thiamine (amprolium competes with thiamine) then the cells cannot grow.

Sulfadimethoxine, brand name Albon.
Sulfa drugs block essential biomolecular pathways in the cells of protozoans and bacteria. Kills the coccidia in most of the stages by interfering with molecular pathways.

That's kind of brief, but I didn't have much time to put this together today.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Sugar Water for Bees

This discussion gets into a bit of chemistry, hubby's profession, as well as beekeeping. At one of the last Beekeeper meetings someone said, "If there are 10 beekeepers in the room, there will be 20 opinions!" Probably true!

One of the very experienced beekeepers asked Hubby about sugar water and these are the emails:

We beekeepers have been having a "heated" discussion about sugar syrup to feed to bees. When I make bee juice, I bring the water up to a boil, then add the sugar, stir, then return to a boil. I am under the impression that the continued boiling actually inverts some of the sucrose into glucose and fructose, making the resulting simple syrup sweeter.

The counter side to that is continuing to boil the solution will result in carmelization. I think that this is incorrect, as long as there is water present, the temperature can not raise above boiling and carmelization does not occur until 320F. Is my logic incorrect, or am I missing something?


Invert sugar is easy to make, just as you suspected. Boiling accelerates this process,but it continues even at room temp. Carmel color will not hurt the bees, but there is very little nutritional value left. As you know, the temp does not rise much until most of the water is gone, so I would not boil more than 15 min or so to achieve the desired result.

So, there really is no carmelization at the boiling point of water. I would have to boil a 1:1 solution for a rather long period to get carmelization. I've also been told that the addition of glucose helps prevent the sucrose from recrystallizing.

The addition of glucose would in fact inhibit crystallization, just like any impurity. Boiling point elevation and freezing point depression are related issues and the central fact is that when any "impurity" is added to a solution it will change the physical properties. This is the short version of a fairly complex subject in chemical thermodynamics, but you do not need the long version (at least not yet). Corn syrup would also change the crystallization properties, so inverting sucrose is the easiest way to add glucose and modify the physical properties. Acid will increase the rate of inversion much more than heat, so adding 1 gram of lemon juice or citric acid would accomplish nearly complete inversion in about 20 minutes of boiling.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Buddy Update and Janice's milk production

Buddy is doing better. I almost can't believe it. He is up and walking, eating hay and grazing on the pasture. He is drinking milk and some water.

He had 5 days of Albon. Our new order arrived yesterday but we decided to give his body a break from antibiotics for 48 hours to see how he does.

We also weighed him last night. He weighs 32 pounds. He has gained weight through his illness and that is wonderful!

Also, whatever has happened to Janice through this last pregnancy and kidding season has been a wonderful blessing. This is Vet2B's fancy 6* milking doe that didn't seem to ever produce much milk. Yesterday morning she gave 8 pounds, 7 ounces. Last night she gave 8 pounds 11 ounces. She has small teats that are nearly impossible to milk when she is producing that much milk, so we use the milker at every milking. Last year we were lucky to get 4 pounds from her at any milking.

The things that changed this year are that Janice had twin bucklings, she lost weight before the pregnancy, is grazing very well after the pregnancy, and is taking a multi-vitamin and vitamin C every day. She looks very good. I think she is about 7 years old, but you wouldn't know it by looking at her on the outside.

Janice was raised at a dairy and then spent some time at a friend's home before she came to us. The friend taught her how to get milked by hand and how to be around people. We finished the job here. Because she was at the dairy and then at our friend's home, she had never grazed before. She had to learn that last summer at our place. This will be her second summer with us and it looks like she is doing very well.

Tuesday (May 25) was the first day all the kids (except Buddy) were in the dry lot away from their moms. They yelled most of the day, of course. But they are eating and drinking and doing fine. Someone is coming to pick up one of Janice's bucklings today, and someone else is coming this week to pick up Gingers doelings.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Ducklings

Last Tuesday was a busy day. We got more ducklings in the morning. We weren't expecting them until Wednesday morning. The Post Office usually calls by 6:30 AM when the ducklings arrive. This time I got the call at about 9:45--just when I was supposed to be leaving. It actually all worked out well, things kept getting delayed with our friends so we ended up leaving for the city later than expected. If we had left on time, the ducklings would have been sitting at the Post Office until late afternoon.

When I opened the box, all the 'Grow Gel' was gone. Usually there are a few crumbs left. Not this time. They acted as if they were starving! I put them in their brood box with water, food, and grass hay (for bedding). As soon as I dipped their beaks in water, they were drinking. They started eating quickly, too. They stayed in the box for about 24 hours, then they were switched into the old rabbit cage.

Here are most of the ducklings sunggled together in the brood box. There is usually a light over head, but I removed it so you could see the ducklings better. Most of these ducklings are at their new home. I love the way they look when they are all together, so I snapped a picture of most of them in the brooder. The dark ducklings are Golden 300, the yellow ducklings are White Layers.

This is the box that the ducklings were shipped in. They are shipped through the US Postal Service. We have lost any ducklings in shipping.

More than half have gone to their new homes. We placed the order for our family along with 4 other families. All are doing well. We ended up with one that had very weak legs and didn't look like it would make it. But after a few days she is doing fine. I think it is because it needed better access to the food and water, something that is difficult where there are 27 ducklings around.

We order our ducklings from Metzer Farm. They have always been very good to work with and their prices are very competitive. I always order the grow gel since I think it is better for the ducklings. Technically, the ducklings have just absorbed the yolk and are fine for about 60 hours after they are hatched. But I don't mind spending the extra $0.40 or so per bird to give them food and water just in case they need it.

Metzer Farm also includes a free duckling in all but the smallest orders, so that if one dies during shipping, they have already 'replaced' it. We got one duckling free this order.

Ducklings do just fine in shipping. They are warm because they are in with other ducklings, they have food and water (from the grow gel), and the Post Office does a surprisingly good job of taking care of them as they are being shipped.

We order a breed called "Golden 300" or "White Layers" since the reason we have the ducks is for their eggs. Both of these breeds are well known for both their egg laying ability (close to 300 per year) as well as their calmness. We love the way Runner Ducks look, but they are more exciteable. Since we have so many visitors, we tend to like the calmer breed of any animal so that their production remains more constant, whether there are visitors or not.

So, Vet2Be has 7 more female ducklings that will be laying eggs starting this fall.

We feed our ducklings Turkey Grower since they do better on a higher protein content and no medicated feed. We aren't able to get a 22% protein content feed in our area, so we use Turkey Grower (at 26% protein content). We haven't had any trouble with Angel Wing, so we haven't worried about the higher protein content yet.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Duckling Care

This is a handout that Vet2Be had for the volunteers at his Eagle Project on 25 April 2009. I thought I would post it here in case someone is interested in how we raise our ducklings.

I prefer to raise the Golden 300 ducks from Metzer Farms because they lay more eggs than many breeds of chickens. Golden 300 ducks are a calm breed.

Keeping ducklings warm
Keep ducklings in a warm and safe environment. Use a heat lamp with a 40 to 100 watt bulb. Make sure heat lamps are secured and the area is large enough for the ducklings to get closer if they are cold and further away if too warm. Adjust the height and wattage according to your ducklings behavior. If they seem warm and settled, not huddling under the lamp, they are probably warm enough. If they are scattered out, away from the lamp, and panting, they are too warm. During the first week the lamp is hung on the inside of the cage. We use a 75 watt bulb in a reflector. During the second week, if the weather is nice, we put the lamp on top of the cage. We also cover the cage with an old wool blanket to keep in the heat and keep out the drafts.

Bedding and housing
Hay can be used if available for bedding. Never use newspaper or a smooth surface, as it could cause leg problems or a condition called "splay leg.” We put our ducklings in an old rabbit cage. Make sure the ducklings feet can't go through the wire at the bottom of the cage. The bottom of the cage is covered with old grass hay. We change the bedding every day. The rabbit cage allows most of the water to drip through onto the dirt so we don't have as much clean up. You can also put your ducklings in a large plastic tote or an old fish tank with pine shavings for bedding. This needs to be cleaned more often and tends to smell. We raise our ducklings in the barn, if you are raising yours in the house or in the garage, we recommend you use a large plastic tote or an old fish tank depending on how many ducklings you are raising.

Feeding ducklings
Feed game bird starter, un-medicated chick starter, or a commercially prepared waterfowl starter for the first 4-6 weeks. Never feed medicated chick starter or poultry feed, as this is fatal to your ducklings. Also anything moldy is fatal to your ducks of all ages! Bread, although thought of as the ideal "duck food," is also dangerous to ducklings, because it expands in their crop and chokes them. For the first few weeks they will need a constant supply of food and water. If they have food, water must be present or they can choke to death. Ducklings will take a mouthful of food and then take a drink in order to swallow. Never use any moldy bedding. Ducklings need starter feed with 20-22% protein for 3 weeks. Too much protein can cause a condition called "Angel Wing" where the feathers on the wings protrude upwards. Too little can cause nutritional deficiencies and serious health problems. Cracked corn is a popular and inexpensive food for ducks. It contains half of the protein a duck needs to stay healthy.

A growing duckling will eat 1-2 ounces of commercial ration per day gradually increasing to about 8 ounces a day when it reaches full size. We free feed our ducklings, they have access to food at all times. The protein content of their feed can be reduced at 3 weeks (to 17.5%) and at 9 weeks (to 14.5%).

We use an old tuna can for a feeder when the ducklings are very young. We switch to a half-moon rabbit feeder when they get to be about 3 weeks because it fits on the edge of the rabbit cage. We use a purchased poultry waterer to water the ducklings although you can drill a ¼” hole in the lip of an old plastic can or container (about ½” from the lip) and sit it in a pan or lid that is about ¾” tall. Fill the jar or can with water, set the lid on top and flip the ‘contraption’ over. The water should fill the pan, but stop when the water reaches the hole.

Spring 2009 we raised our ducklings on turkey starter. A 50 lb. bag of turkey 27% starter mash costs $16.99 at IFA. Although most information says this is too much protein for ducklings, we have found they do fine in our area.

Ducklings love to play in water however they are not old enough and will soil their water. We use a poultry waterer. You can also use a cake pan with a piece of fencing made into a cylinder and placed in the center of the pan. The cylinder should be about one inch in diameter smaller then the pan. Never let the ducklings go without water, without it they will choke on their food and die.

Ducklings and swimming
Without the protective oils produced by the Mother, or feathers with barbicels that provide a waterproof barrier, a duckling's down soaks up water like a sponge. They will tire quickly and drown. Once they are fully feathered, about 30-45 days after birth, they are safe to be in water without their mother. Always be sure they can get in and out of the water safely on their own. Never leave ducklings unattended near water sources they can't stand up in. Be sure their drinking water supply is the shallow reservoir type (found in pet stores) otherwise they will try to swim and poop in it and if it's too deep they can drown.

How much space do ducklings need?
Age in Weeks
1-3 4-8 9-17 17+
1 sq foot 3 sq feet 3.5 sq feet 4 sq feet

Although ducklings are messier to raise than chickens, they are much easier for us to take care of as adults.

Here are some websites that we found helpful as we were learning how to raise ducklings.
Metzer Farms
How to Take Care of Ducklings
Phelps Waterfowl
How To Do Things. com
Live Ducks

Extra Weekend Day!

Memorial Day is not only a day to remember those who have served so valiantly for our freedom, it is a wonderful gift to have an extra day on the weekend. It seems we are never caught up in the spring. There is always gardening, weeding, and the animals to take care of.

Today Vet2Be and Dad posted flags throughout our neighborhood. It is a fundraiser that the Boy Scouts do to earn money for camp. They post flags in yards on 6 holidays throughout the year. Memorial Day is one of them.

Dad had time to till the garden, again. There is still planting to be done now that the hard frost is past. Over the next week we will be planting the corn, pumpkins, squash, potatoes, and watermelon. It will be time to keep the chickens away from the garden so they won't eat the corn seeds. We hate keeping them in their pen, but we also don't like them to eat all the corn seeds!

It is also a day to weed the flower beds. A job I dread! I got the flower bed weeded where the flag is. It looks much nicer now. Unfortunately, this is the smallest flower bed, I've still got 4 more to go. Looks like I'll be busy weeding tomorrow, too!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mastitis by Noah L. Goddard

This is a post that was on Managing Dairy Goats (yahoo group). Since we have had such a battle with Glacier and mastitis again this year (although not as badly as last year) it seemed like a good idea to post this for future reference.

Mastitis Vaccines
Mastitis Resistance: J-5 & Lysigin Vaccines
With kidding under way does are really stressed during this brutal winter weather and subject to acute mastitis at, or shortly after, freshening. If you have not already done so please consider vaccinating vulnerable does against Staph aureus and E. coli mastitis.

Fresh does always seem to be the most vulnerable to mastitis outbreaks. First, I want to emphasize that I am not a Veterinarian and that I make no claims of medical training nor am I recommending any treatments, therapies, or preventives. We use two cattle vaccines off label pursuant to the direction of our veterinarian, J-5 as an aid in the prevention of clinical mastitis caused by E.coli and Lysigin as an immunization against disease caused by staphylococcus aureus. While I am sure that these vaccines are sold by other vendors, both of these are shown about mid-page 43 of the PBS Animal Health Catalog or you can find them on-line at or call them at 1-800-321-0235. They can be purchased without a veterinary prescription.

We follow the package insert instructions for dosage of each vaccine IM using a smaller needle, 3/4 inch by 22 gauge. We start about midway in their pregnancy and repeat it for a total of three times and then give a fourth injection about two weeks after kidding. We then give a booster about midway through their lactation. We do not give both vaccines in the same leg and do not give the vaccines at the same time. We rotate and give the J-5 one week and the Lysigin the following week. You may get an occasional injection site reaction resulting is a sore leg but that can be easily managed with Banamine. We also vaccinate dry yearlings before they are bred to freshen as 2-year-olds. Does that are historically more susceptible to mastitis are given more frequent boosters to heighten their level of immunity. You may want to consult your veterinarian about frequency of boosters.

We also emphasize overall resistance to mastitis which includes milk room sanitation. The worst germ carriers are on the end of our arms and they are called hands. One of the most crucial mastitis preventives is a hand sink and antibacterial soap in your milk room. I can't emphasize enough the need for frequent hand washing. Washing hands with antibacterial soap before milking is important.

We use Nolvasan and individual washcloths for each doe to prep them before connecting them to the milking machine. We use an Iodine based post dip called Astro Tek which is kind of like pudding. It clogs the orifice and keeps dirt and debris carrying bacteria from entering the udder when they go out and lay down directly after milking. A bacteria-free milking machine is crucial to mastitis resistance. We use Mitricin Plus and hot water to clean our machine, then use a solution of Clorox and hot water after milking. Before the next milking we run another solution of clorox and hot water through the system and then rinse the system with plain hot water.

While other herd management practices may vary, we do not bed our loafing barn with hay, straw, shavings, or similar materials. It is well insulated and well ventilated. We use a 12-inch thick layer of lime screenings in the loafing barn which we believe keeps down bacteria that causes mastitis. We clean off the top layer periodically as needed and replace it with fresh screenings. Our loafing barn has a 22 foot by 60 foot awning on the south side that is used to cover the hay feeders. The hay feeders are 2x12 skids so they can be moved with the tractor permitting us to clean under the awning which is also bedded with 12 inches of lime screenings. The area under the awning requires more frequent cleaning as the goats spend much of their time in this area (see loafing area at This loafing area also has a thermostat-controlled automatic Brower water system so the does have access to a fresh drink during all weather conditions (see attached picture). Fresh clean drinking water is crucial to herd health.

In all cases, we strongly recommend against beginning any new therapies, treatments, or vaccines without first consulting your regular veterinarian. The manufacturers package insert instructions, and/or those of your veterinarian should be followed and not deviated from.

Good Luck with your Mastitis Resistance program.

I have an Alpine doe, kidded on March 25th,
she now has clumps of blood coming out in her milk

what do I treat her with?

she weighs 120 lbs.
thanks Misty
You have a serious case of mastitis. First, get some milk samples of both sides of the udder and take them to your vet for cultures. Concomitantly start antibiotics immediately as follows, 8 to 10cc of Penicillin S.Q. twice a day for a total of 20cc per day for the first day. Then 6cc of Penicillin S.Q. twice a day for a total of 12cc each day for the next four days. Along with the Penicillin, give 5cc of Naxcel S.Q. daily for the same five days. Give 3cc of fortified B-complex daily for the same five days.

You need to vaccinate this doe and every animal in your herd with J-5 and Lysigin ASAP. Get into our list archive and read previous discussions on these vaccines.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bee Larva

Hubby and Vet2Be checked on the bees last Saturday. The were thrilled with how the bees were doing. They are building comb and the queen is laying eggs.

The bees had connected one frame to a frame in the box above. When Hubby and Vet2Be took off the top box, they heard a 'pop' as the comb separated. The burr comb had some larva in it so Hubby brought it in the house so we could see what the larva look like.

You can see the larva in the bottom section of the photo. The top shows some of the comb that the bees are building.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My notes on Coccidia

Here is some of the research that I have found helpful while trying to treat Buddy for Coccidia.

Here is a page from Karin Christensen's Biology of the Goat site. It explains the life cycle of coccidia. I respect Karin's wisdom and knowledge about goats. She has always answered my questions in a kind and courteous manner. She has never talked down to me when I've had a question, in fact she has often asked questions so that she has more facts in order to answer questions better. She can be found on Biology of the Goat, NubianTalk, and GoatBiology. She is sensible and uses scientific papers and research to learn and teach about goats.

National Pygmy Goat Association also has an excellent article on the stages of development of coccidia and the treatment of coccidiosis. They also have a treatment dosage using Sulfamethazine sold as a poultry prep.

Corid is a thiamine inhibitor, which means that it will stop the organism from being able to use thiamine.

This is from the Corid site
"How CORID works:
Structurally, CORID mimics thiamin (Vitamin B1) which is required by coccidia for normal growth and reproduction. When coccidia ingest CORID, they experience thiamin deficiency and starve from malnutrition. CORID has been experimentally administered at many times the recommended dosage and duration with no signs of toxicity."

After talking to Hubby (Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry with a minor in BioChemistry) he said that the cells in the goat would absorb the Corid, preventing them from absorbing the thiamine as well. If Buddy becomes thiamine defiecient, he has the chance of having polioencepholamalaica.

Other drugs for treatment of coccidia include Albon 12.5% solution, Di-Methox soluble powder, Di-Methox 12.5% solution, Sulment oblet, and Sulmet 12.5% solution. Information for those drugs and dosages are found here at the Maryland Small Ruminant Page.

Treatment and Di-Methox instructions can be found here at the Onion Creek Ranch site. They also state, "CoRid is no longer recommended by many professionals because (a) some strains of coccidia have become resistant to it, and (b) CoRid is a thiamine (Vitamin B 1) inhibitor. The importance of thiamine in keeping goats healthy is difficult to overstate."

Hoegger Goat Supply also has some information about coccidia and dosing with Di-Methox, 12.5% solution. They say, "We never had much success using Co-Rid. The huge doses necessary for treating goats (10 times the cattle dose) created a vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency that resulted in the goat getting polio. In other words, "the cure was worse than the disease."

Goat-Link also has an article on Coccidosis in goats. They also warn against using Corid. The page states, "
CoRid is a thiamine (Vitamin B 1) inhibitor. Thiamine in the goat's system is essential for keeping the goat in good health, using Corid will undo anything you are attempting to do in getting your goat healthy!"

Baycox (toltrazuril) was also suggested as a a treatment for coccidia, although that is not available in the US at this time (I couldn't find it.) Here is an old post from NubianTalk (yahoo group):
"Toltrazuri (brand name is Baycox) is a fantastic treatment/prevention. It is manufactured for poultry, pigs and calves. It can be ordered via the internet from Australia. I used it last year on a several kids. As soon as they would start to get loose (3-4 weeks old) I would treat. It is a single treatment and
within 2 days the manure was back to normal and the kids never missed a beat.

Be advised this is an extra-label use for this drug as it is listed for cattle, pigs and poultry. It is listed in "Goat Medicine" by Smith and Sherman for use as a single dose treatment at 20mg\kg body weight orally or prevention at the same dose once every 3-4 weeks. Below is an excerpt.

"A new coccidiacidal agent used in poultry, toltrazuril, has been evaluated in goats and a single oral dose of 20mg/kg produced rapid, significant reduction is oocyst shedding that remained low for 2 to 3 weeks suggesting that all developmental stages of the coccidia present were killed."

I used the formula for pigs that is 50mg/ml and treated per recommended dose. I only used it as a single treatment and never needed to re-treat.

Dan Greene
Greenehaven Nubians
Prosser, WA"

We also have been giving Probios to support the rumen while we are trying to get rid of the coccidia. I have been told that Probios only supports the small intestine, not the rumen, as this article found in the Journal of Dairy Science suggests. (A paper titled "Direct fed microbial supplementation on ruminal digestion, health, and performance of pre- and postpartum dairy cattle" was published in the Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 89, No.1, 2006.) Feeding Probios will help support and strengthen his digestive system, but not the rumen specifically.

This page at Fias Co Farm has information and dosages for both Probiotic Rumen inoculates (ProBios) as well as Seleneum-E Gel (like Bo-Se, but in a gel form and available OTC.) (Although we believe that herbs can be helpful at times, we are also grateful to the veterinary and science research fields. More often than not, we use medications when the illness is severe instead of using herbs as is generally suggested by Fias Co Farm.) It was suggested that because of Buddy's symptoms, he might have a Selenium deficiency. Since none of the other goats have any of the same symptoms, Selenium deficiency was ruled out at this time.

Searching through old posts on GoatBiology (a yahoo group found in the sidebar) I ran across one that said, "My theory is that he [a rescued buck] had Coccidia before I got him and it damaged his intestinal track and he wasn't able to absorb the feed he was getting enough to grow as he should. But as he did grow, however slowly, his intestines were also growing and as they did grow - more of the nutrients were able to be absorbed."

If Buddy's only problem is a bad case of coccidia, then perhaps he will just be slower developing since he can't absorb as much nutrition.

We were able to contact a different vet today (Nebo Large Animal Clinic) who let us purchase some Albon pills. He said two pills tonight, and one each day for the next 4 days. Our Di-Methox was ordered last night. We ordered the powder because Hubby has extremely accurate scales and will be able to measure and mix smaller amounts so it doesn't go to waste. If he wasn't so good at chemistry, we would have gotten the solution because it is easier to administer. The Di-Methox should be here by Friday. We will always have this on hand since it is "one of those things you need but can't get quickly." (Karin Christensen)

We are lucky (blessed) this time that we haven't lost Buddy yet. Hopefully he will heal and do his job in our friend's herd. One of the benefits of using Albon or Di-Methox (both Sulfa drugs) is that it "will also treat any bad intestinal bacterial overgrowth as well" as the coccidia. (Karin Christensen)

This post will be added to and changed as I find more articles or information about Coccidia.

Karin Christensen's helpful emails

This post is the emails that Karin and I sent back and forth so she could help us diagnose and figure out what is wrong with Buddy.
He is being dam raised, he is 8 weeks old tomorrow. Even though we are pulling the other kids at night to start to wean them, we are not taking this kid from his dam at all. All the animals have been treated for coccidia at this point because the vet said it is best to treat everyone so it doesn't go from one animal to another. They are now on the 1/2 dose in their water that is recommended as maintenance for 21 days.

We did clean everything, and it is dry where we live (intermountain west--pretty much desert). And you are right, we don't really have problems with worms, the vet is just trying to figure out how to get the little guy healthy again. He pretty much just sits around and can't stand up well--he falls down alot again.

He had polioencepholamacia about a month ago--the vitamin B shots are what made the coccidia bloom (since they love vitamin B!). So we treated for the goat polio, and he got a bit better. Then he got worse--we found out it was because of the coccidia.

The vet also said that he probably has some damage to his digestive tract that will need to heal--we're just trying to figure out how to get him healthy as quickly as we can. He's a good little kid!

He also gets some ProBios gel everyday to help his rumen keep working.

Since our vet isn't really a goat vet, but is willing to work with us, I really wanted some internet opinions from people who deal with goats everyday.

Thanks again for your reply. I'll hold off on the worming for a while.
If there is anything else you think I should be doing, I would really appreciate it.

I'd want to know the CAE status of the dam. Goat polio in a young (month old ?) kid would be very unlikely. However, encephalitis from CAE can happen in kids around that age and from the neurological symptoms you are describing I would consider this a high possibility. It can linger for some time before they die from it. The symptoms are similar to goat polio.

Selenium deficiency is another possibility but it sounds like the other kids are not affected so is less likely.

Coccidia will not bloom from B vitamin injections. It sounds more like the kid has a very weakened immune system which is allowing the coccidia to flourish.

Probios does not do anything for the rumen. It only supplies friendly intestinal bacteria which won't hurt given the serious coccidia infection. Is the kid eating anything else besides milk?

Karin Christensen

Hi Karin,

Thank you for your email. The dam tested CAE neg in the fall. He was about 6 weeks when he started with the polio. We never thought of CAE at that young age. It may be a possibility since I have heard that even a CAE neg herd will have kids that test positive from time to time. I didn't know that the symptoms for CAE in kids and goat polio were so similar. That is good to know.

No, none of the other kids are affected. Not even a hint of anything like this, so I'm not sure about the Se deficiency. Although we did buy some Bo-Se gel and gave the buckling some last night. The dose was 2cc (as the Goat Wisdom site suggests (http:// board=references&action=display&thread=1354).

If the kids immune system was weakened already, and the coccidia was present (everything I've read says that coccidia is always present), the thiamine would encourage the coccidia to reproduce at a higher rate. There are a few papers that my husband found and read. I listed one of them on the GoatBiology group. We had no idea that coccidia was thiamine dependent. It makes perfect sense why Corid would be bad for goats (or chickens or other animals) that need thiamine.

Yes, the kid eats grass/alfalfa hay mix (from the supplier that supplies to the horse people) and grazes on the pasture besides drinking milk.

Thanks for your help. I really appreciate your wisdom, advice, and experience. I admire all the research you do and I am thankful that you are willing to share it with newbies like us. You are always so kind in your replies, too. I may feel helpless at times, but people like you who are not judgmental, keep more goats healthy than you know. You are a gift! You encourage us to do research on our own, ask questions when we have problems (if someone was telling me continually that I was stupid, I would stop asking questions!), and hopefully in the future, I will be able help others when they need it.

I am glad to know about the CAE and goat polio symptoms. If I can get someone to draw blood on the kid, I will have it sent for testing. I haven't done that yet and I don't know any goat owners in the area that even know about CAE, let alone test for it. If I had known the symptoms were so similar last week, I would have taken a sample from the vet and sent it out for testing.

Thanks again. All the information has been very helpful. I think my brain is beginning to ache :o) Guess that is a good thing! And my son, who wants to be a ruminant and camelid vet, is learning so much. It seems that no matter how hard we try to do everything right, our farm gets 'hit' with all sorts of problems. We've come to the conclusion that it is because he needs an education before he gets into vet school. He is getting it, so am I.

It won't do much good to test the kid. If mom has become positive he will have her antibodies. It is also known that if the goat is having serious symtoms from CAE they may test negative even if they have the virus. It's not known why.

Was the kid disbudded? If so, I'd consider the possibility of a brain abscess. Polio in a young nursing kid just never happens. If he dies see if you can have a necropsy done. This will give you good information that you can apply to your whole herd.

And, thanks for the very kind comments.



I didn't know that they could test negative if they had the CAE virus. Am I ever going to get to the point where I know what is going on?! We'll test the adults again for CAE.

Yes, he was disbudded. How would we know that he had a brain abscess? Are there other symptoms to look for? We've never had problems with disbudding before this year--we had two other kids that had some infections that we are in the process of clearing up. The kid in question was born two weeks earlier than all the rest and didn't have any infections after the disbudding, at least not on the outside.

He was born on March 18th, disbudded on March 23rd. We first noticed that something was wrong with his leg on April 24th. We thought that he had been playing and gotten a little sore and that's why his leg was stiff. We separated him and his dam from the herd so he could heal without running around. We noticed that the symptoms spread to his other leg on April 26th. The symptoms pointed to goat polio--but there was no information in our books or on the internet that said they don't get it if they are dam raised, all the other indications were that he might have goat polio so we treated for that. He was much better in about 3 days after the vitamin B shots and the penicillin. He was better (but still a little wobbly) until May 10th. That day he had the same symptoms as he did at his worst. We were able to find a vet that doesn't mind looking at goats. He is about an hour away. He was the one who did the fecal as well as ran a blood test.

The blood test said that the white blood cell count was extremely high (so he had the kid start on penicillin again, 2 cc sub q or IM 2x daily for 5 days) and the red blood cell count was extremely low. He said that usually indicates a large parasite load and he did a fecal test. He found the coccidia was high enough that he told my son that when you see that much coccidia, you just say, "Oh, h---" and treat it. He didn't see any other worm load at that time. Since he hasn't seen a goat with a large coccidia load, he recommended the Corid. I'm sure he had no idea that we shouldn't use it in goats.

Good to know about the Polio. I guess he must never have had it, then. I guess the only thing we can be sure of at this point is that he had a bad case of coccidia because the vet did see that in the

I have a call into the vet to find out if he has any Albon, Sulmet, or Di-methox on hand. If he doesn't, we'll be waiting for Jeffer's to deliver. I can't believe that none of the feed stores have any of those medications on hand. That was weird to me. It sounds like coccidia is something that pops up from time to time, maybe even do a preventative dose in kids.

So, when you have goat kids, do you just treat them with a preventative when they reach a certain age? If you do, what do you use, what dosages do you give, and how long do you treat them for? We've got Saanens and a Nubian. The little kid in question is a Snubian. My son really wants a snubian doeling to see how much milk they give.

If he dies, we will have a necropsy done. We hope he doesn't die, but my son's 4-H leader said that, "If you have livestock, sooner or later you are going to have dead-stock." She didn't say it to be mean, just to let us know that if we lost an animal, that is part of raising livestock. Anything we can learn means that we are able to ID problems better in the future. Hopefully all this training will help my son when he becomes a vet. Although I love working with the goats,
his is his dream and I am trying to do the best I can to support, help, learn, and teach him. I don't know if I am doing a very good job. But he sees me spend hours a day with him, the goats, books, and searching the internet for the 'right' way to do things.

Thanks again for the information. My son said thanks, too.

Given the high white count and the neurological symptoms I'd say that he has some type of encephalitis. They call this meningoencephalitis due to the area of brain that is usually affected in kids. This can be an infiltration of bacteria from the naval, or the kid did not get enough colostrum so it didn't get enough passive immunity, or it could be from lesions and abscess from disbudding. You would not see any infection from the disbudding on the surface.

Encephalitis from CAE will usually affect the hind legs first like you are seeing. But, since the dam was negative that isn't high on the list, now. Also, the white count usually isn't sky high, but may be only slightly high or high but within normal range.

The antibiotics are probably what helped him feel better for awhile. You don't mention if he had a fever at any time. About the only sure way to diagnose brain abscess is with a necropsy, unfortunately. High doses of antibiotics that cross the blood brain barrier such as penicillin may help, but according to Smith and Sherman's, Goat Medicine, prognosis is guarded. If he were mine, I'd go ahead and hit him with penicillin at least twice the recommended amount and continue for 5 days. At this point if he is going downhill it can't hurt. Super high white counts mean bacterial infection.

The coccidia is probably going on along with it not the cause of it. I'm not sure but the high white count could be due to coccidia, but not the neurological signs.

Young kids on milk usually do not get polio because this is a problem caused by the rumen bacteria. Certain types overgrow usually after a sudden change to a higher plane of nutrition and produce an anti-thiamine enzyme. The rumen in young kids is not developed enough to have this type of overgrowth. Given the good diet your goats are on also would not usually lead to polio. Milk has enough B vitamins for kids.

I always keep sulfadimethoxine on hand. It's one of those things you need but can't get quickly. Some feed stores will carry a pouch of the powdered version which works, too. Mixing it up is a bit complicated then you have a bunch that you never use again. You can get a bottle of 40% liquid which I mix with some sort of fruit juice. The kids do not mind it all. I do not use any prevention for coccidia, I rarely have problems. I live in a dry area and even when the pens are not as clean as they should be I rarely have a kid with diarrhea. If one develops diarrhea I treat with the sulfa drug. The sulfa will also treat any bad intestinal bacterial overgrowth as well.

I wish I could send you flowers or something.

We'll get him on another round of penicillin. We will have sulfa on hand from now on. My husband is a chemist, he does calculations extremely well, so I'm not worried about the powder (which is what he ordered). I'll let him know that it will be not last after he mixes it up. He has some extremely accurate scales in the lab, he may be able to cut down on the amount he mixes up so we don't have to throw so much away.

No, he didn't have a fever. I forgot to mention that. We live in a dry area, too. I guess that is why we haven't had any problems with coccidia before. He didn't have scours, either, which threw us off the coccidia trail at the very beginning. Looking back on it, we did clean the stalls a few days before his symptoms appeared. We also wormed his dam with Safeguard about the same time. The stalls weren't terrible since we have a beautiful horse barn with 12x12 stalls (courtesy of the last owners). And the stalls had been cleaned out 2 weeks before we started kidding. The stalls have the special horse mats with layers of lyme, gravel, and sand underneath, so they stay drier than if we had a dirt floor. We use straw as bedding since we had trouble with shavings one time (everyone got scours from the shavings--probably just a bad batch of shavings).

We were thinking about neurological signs and the only thing we could come up with was, maybe it wasn't neurological--maybe the coccidia was making him weak and it just started in his hind end? I don't know, it sure looked like he had a stiff leg, not a weak leg at the beginning. Now he just acts wobbly and weak again. He does eat if we put hay in front of him. I know he is nursing still because the dam is empty on one side, but full on the other. She is one that is usually fairly even.

We found another vet about noon who has some Albon (pill) that he was willing to sell us. He was very nice and said that he has good success with Albon. Maybe we will switch vets, after all. The other one wasn't too thrilled when I asked for something besides Corid this morning.

Great idea to mix meds with fruit juice. I love that! I will remember that one for anytime we have to drench someone :o)

Really, I appreciate everything. Two people that I really trust on the internet--you and Willie Boepple, have always been very kind in your responses. Thank you for taking so much time out of your day to help us. Your advice and help has been invaluable.

And we love your CD, that was the first reference 'thing' I bought when my son started his goat adventure. I've recommended it to others when they start with goats. I'm not sure if they purchased one or not, but I am very glad that we have one.
Thanks again.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Cajeta is a wonderful Mexican sweet sauce. It is a delicious concoction of goat milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. So smooth and sweet I want to eat it by the spoonful! (But I don't :o) It is traditionally made with goat milk, although you can use cow milk. I'm not sure how the cow milk will taste since we have only made it with goat milk. As we often do, we use what we have from our farm.

Since Vet2Be's big brother is on a mission in Mexico on a mission right now, Vet2Be likes to try different things from Mexico. Of course we would try Cajeta because it is traditionally made with goat milk!

Here is the recipe I use:

• 2 quarts of fresh goat's milk
• 2 cups white sugar (although we have also used 1 cup honey and 1 cup sugar)
• 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon mixed with the sugar)
• 1 stick vanilla or 1 teaspoon of Mexican vanilla
• 1 teaspoon of baking soda

  • Stir together the milk and sugar in a heavy pot. The Cajeta will foam at one point, so make sure the pot holds at least twice as much as the recipe calls for. Add the cinnamon stick and the vanilla bean. Bring mixture to a gentle boil on medium heat while stirring constantly. Be careful not to scorch the milk. This may take 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat when the milk just starts to boil. Add the baking soda. The mixture will bubble and get foamy, keep stirring! When it stops foaming, you can put it back on the heat. It may foam a bit more, just be careful that it doesn't overflow the pot.
  • Simmer the mixture just under a boil until it starts to turn golden brown and thicken. This will probably take another 45 minutes to an hour. Keep stirring! If you need to leave for a moment, turn the heat down (or remove the pot from the heat source) until you get back so you don't scorch the mixture.
  • When the milk mixture starts to turn a golden brown, remove the cinnamon stick. (If you used a vanilla bean, take that out now, too) Watch it very closely because it will start to thicken quickly and has a tendency to scorch.
  • Keep stirring (your arm should be tired by now unless you've had your kids helping to stir!) When the cajeta is a rich brown and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon it is ready. Add the vanilla. Cook until it reaches softball stage, about 230 F- 240 F (at sea level).
  • Pour into a glass jar and cool. When it is cool enough, store it in the refrigerator.
On the left is the amount of milk I started with, on the right is the amount of Cajeta the recipe makes.

Two quarts of goat's milk makes a little more than a pint of Cajeta. This batch took me almost 2 hours to make from start to finish.

Serve Cajeta over ice cream, on toast, as an apple dip, or anything you would use caramel sauce for. Yum!

Monday, May 18, 2009

More Turkey Poults

Our first two turkey poults died. We were able to buy two more from some friends who have a farm about 40 minutes away. Vet2Be's 4-H leader told us last year that, "When you raise live-stock, sooner or later you are going to have dead-stock." Sad, but true.

Then I did some more searching on the internet and reading in some books to find out if there was anything else that we could do that we weren't doing. The three things that we decided to try were to add some 'sparklies' to their water and food, put a 'spotlight' on their food and water, and never give them cold water.

The lid is off in the pictures so you can see how things are set up. We usually leave the lid on to keep the heat in and the cat out. When these guys get a bit bigger, they like to fly up to see what is in the outside, so the lid keeps them in at that point, too.

Sparklies! We used an old necklace in the feed dish and some decorative glass pebbles in the water dish. Vet2Be said that they drank most of the water on Sunday, so the sparklies seem to be helping.

We cleaned and sanitized the brood box (large plastic tote) and the water dish they are using. We are still using grass hay for their bedding, since we have so much of it. And the new poults have a light on them for heat, just like all young poultry. Hopefully these two new poults will do better than the last two.

We have divided the brooder for a few days. The turkey poults are on the left, the chicks are on the right. Both little flocks are hiding under the light. I used an old piece of foam insulation as the divider. It is tucked against the sides securely. As soon as they decide the divider is something fun to peck at, I'll have to put each little flock in their own brooder. That means I'll also have to go by another reflector lamp cover.

New turkey poult.

The other new turkey poult.

This is taken from Grange Co-op.

Tips on Raising Turkey Poults
Turkey poults are fairly easy to raise if you follow a few simple steps.

Turkey poults love heat. They will be happiest if you keep their brooder temperature at 95-100 degrees F for the first week, then lower the temperature by about 5 degrees F per week, until they are fully feathered, approximately 6-8 weeks old. They will still appreciate a heat lamp at night for a few weeks after this period if the nights are cool. You can tell if they are comfortable by the way they arrange themselves in the brooder--all clumped under the heat source, they are too cold; all far away from the heat source, they are too hot; spread all over the brooder, they are comfortable. They will also cry if they are cold or ill, and will be fairly quiet if they are happy. Always make sure they have room to get away from the heat.

Keep them clean and dry. Pine shavings, ground corn cobs, or rice hulls all make good bedding. Never brood them on slick surfaces like newspaper.

Never give a turkey poult cold water, as it can kill them. The water should always be lukewarm, and it is a good idea to add a vitamin and electrolyte supplement to their water. You can also get them eating and drinking well by placing shiny colored marbles in the feed and water to get their attention. Change waterers daily or when they get dirty.

Turkeys need higher protein than chickens. The poults will need a starter crumble with 28%-30% for the first 6-8 weeks (Rogue Gamebird Starter is a good feed for this period), then you can change them over to a feed with about 18% protein (Rogue All-In-One works well). Never feed them layer pellets, as the calcium level is too high for growing birds. When they are about 3 weeks old, you can start sprinkling a little chick grit on their feed, like you would salt your food. Do not give them scratch until they are at least 8 weeks old, then you can give them a little as a treat. I feed my adult breeder birds a gamebird breeder ration during the breeding and laying season, but you can feed them All-In-One with good results. When the hens begin to lay, they should have free choice access to grit and oyster shell. They will appreciate greens, bread, garden trimmings and other treats as well.

Turkeys are very personable birds and you can easily teach them to eat out of your hand, come to your call, and they will often follow you around, begging for treats and attention. The more you handle them, the tamer they will become. Contrary to popular belief, turkeys do not drown in the rain, although young birds have been known to become ill and die if they become wet and chilled. They are not stupid, and they can be a very enjoyable bird to have around.

The turkeys you purchase from us are heritage turkeys, the old-style varieties that are still naturally mating, long-lived and hardy. The turkeys you buy at the feedstore are usually broad-breasted varieties, used only for meat birds, so they are not meant to be raised beyond 3-3-1/2 months. They must be artificially inseminated, will squash their eggs if they try to set on them, and usually die at an early age either of heart failure or their legs fail.

If you wish to use heritage turkeys for meat birds, it will take 6-8 months to grow them to eating size (approximately 9#-10# for hens, 12#-16# for toms), but you will have a much better-quality bird, moist and flavorful, unlike anything you can buy in a grocery store. They also make good breeding or show stock and pets. They are much more disease-resistant than broad-breasted varieties, and will do well on free-range or in pens.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vitamin Sandwiches

We give the milking does a 'vitamin sandwich' each morning. Our whole family takes vitamins and minerals and the milk goats seem to do better when they have a supplement, too. Their vitamin sandwich is just a regular multi-vitamin and an Ester C vitamin that have been crushed, put on a piece of bread, and mixed with a little bit of molasses. Three of the four does will eat a sandwich. Janice, who came from a real dairy, won't. We are trying to train her to eat sandwiches, too. Right now the only thing she will eat besides grain and hay is raisins. At least she has a treat that she likes.

We like to feed them sandwiches because we can put anything on a sandwich mixed with a bit of molasses and they will eat it. That makes it much easier to feed them other supplements or medications if they need it.

Here is how we do it...

Everything is ready to go. Only 3 pieces of bread since Janice won't eat a sandwich. We mix her crushed vitamins with her grain. She eats it just fine that way. You can see the mortar and pestle, Ester C, multi-vitamins, molasses, and the 4 sets of vitamins.

I put the molasses on the bread to let it soak in just a bit while I crush the pills.

Here are the pills all crushed and ready to go onto the molasses.

Crushed vitamins ready to be mixed with molasses
and then folded into sandwiches.

The piece of bread on the right is all mixed and ready to go. The small container on the right has two sandwiches ready to feed.
You can see the small container that holds the powder for Janice.

This would not work if we were running a large, commercial dairy because it would be too time consuming to make all the sandwiches every morning. Most dairies drench (force feed a liquid) their goats because it is faster. But since we are just a small hobby farm, sandwiches work well for us. Vet2Be loves his dairy goats and he likes to give them as much nutritional care as we can manage. I guess that makes the dairy goats spoiled, but since they are well behaved in the field, on the milk stand, and around people, we don't mind spoiling them a bit!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mother's Day Flowers

A bit late posting, but here is a photo of the beautiful Mother's Day Flowers I got this year. The roses are from my daughter who is a teacher, the carnations are from Hubby.

Carnations from Hubby. They are 3 weeks old and still look beautiful! (He brought them home a week before Mother's Day.)

Roses from Teacher daughter and her husband.
They are a week old and still look and smell wonderful!

Friday, May 15, 2009

More Chicks

A good friend had some chicken eggs hatched. She crossed a purebred Arucana rooster with Rhode Island Red hens. The Arucana chickens lay blue eggs, but they don't lay very well. The Rhodies lay brown eggs and lay very well. The cross should lay blue-green eggs (hopefully more blue than green) and should lay fairly well.

This Arucana/Rhode Island Red chick was born on Monday night.
S/he's got 3 sisters (we hope they are sisters!)

Vet2Be and I went to a class about genetics a few years ago and learned that the first generation cross between two breeds will produce better than the purebred animal would. So, if you cross two milk goats, or two fleece sheep, or two chickens the resulting children should produce a better product (milk, fleece, or eggs) than the parents. These hens (we hope they are hens) should lay well and have some beautiful eggs. I love opening the box of eggs and seeing different colors in it! Green, brown, and white. It brings a smile to my face to see all the colors!

So we got 4 straight run chicks! Straight run means that we have no idea if they are hens or roosters. The roosters will go back to the friends house because she processes roosters and old hens for dog food. We like that because we feel the life of the animal was put to good use to feed someone else.

Here are the four new chicks in their temporary brooder.
They will be moved to the barn sometime today.

The chicks are peeping in the house right now because we have other 'birds' in the plastic totes in the barn. We also have house cats, so this is how we solved the problem of keeping the new chicks safe.

Here is the makeshift 'brooder'

Since we have cats, we also needed a way to keep them out of the box. I cut a piece of screening and laid it over the top of the box. I secured the corners with binder clips. They hold the screen closed as well as give the makeshift lid a bit of weight. The binder clips make it very easy to get into the box to feed and water the chicks. The chicks also have plenty of air with the screen on top, too.

The makeshift brooder has an old heating pad underneath one end. It is set at the lowest setting. The new heating pads all have a 'safety feature'... they shut off after 10 minutes or so. That won't work for a brood box, the chicks (or whatever type of poultry we are raising) need a constant source of heat. If you want to try this, make sure you use an old heating pad that doesn't turn off after 10 minutes with a good electrical cord.

We have two Ameraucana chicks that are about a month old, and these four mixed breed chicks so we should have some good colored egg layers sometime this fall. Chickens will usually be 20 weeks old before they lay. In our experience, they have been closer to 24 weeks before they start to lay eggs.

No, chickens do not need a rooster in order to lay eggs. There is no nutritional difference between colored eggs and white eggs, they just look fun in the box. Home-grown eggs do taste much better, must be all the bugs the chickens get to eat :o)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Buddy is getting better!

Buddy, the little kid goat that was full of coccidia, is doing much better. This morning he received his last shot of PenG. He still falls over a bit, but I'm sure over the next few days he will become stronger! Very few wobbles and falling over today.

We also decided that we would have to dose everyone individually instead of in their drinking water. Supposedly you can add the Corid (amprolium) to their only water source and they will drink it. But these animals are all on pasture so they won't drink the nasty tasting water. They get the water they need from the fresh grass and weeds. The goats are easy to dose, just put a syringe with 5ml of Corid in their mouth and squirt. They hate it, but they can't spit it out because it isn't a big enough dose. The kids are the same, but they get a 1ml dose. The baby lambs are easy to dose, too, we just give them 1ml in their morning feeding bottle.

The llama, huarizo, lamb, and buck are harder. So we had to put them on the dry-lot and give them dry hay and a single source of medicated water. Hopefully all will go well and we will be rid of coccidia for the rest of the year.

Top Bar Hives

Hubby wants to build some top bar hives to see how they will do compared to the standard Langstroth hives so I've been gathering videos and information to see what a top bar hive is.

Here is a selection of YouTube videos that have been helpful as we start to think about new hives.

I showed the videos to a friend on Wednesday and she was so excited! We are planning on getting together (and inviting a few other families) and building top bar hives on an upcoming Saturday. It will all be an experiment since we have no experience with top bar hives.

Bee Harvest (8 minutes 39 seconds)
Queen Bee (6 minutes 21 seconds)
Bee Being Born (53 seconds)
Queen Bee Laying Eggs (1 minute 50 seconds)
Catching a Swarm, installing in an observation hive (7 minutes 8 seconds)
How To Build a Simple Top Bar Hive (5 minutes 58 seconds)

Here are some sites that have plans and FAQ's.
Bush Bees
Leonard Burton
The Beardsley's in Florida (good pictures of a TBH being built, they will send you simple plans if you email them)
Top Bar Hive Beekeeping
Bee Blog
Making and using a honey press

This post contains my 'notes' about top bar hives. I haven't searched all the sites yet, and we haven't decided exactly what style to build our top bar hive. However, these sites may be helpful as you start your own search.

I'll post pictures of ours when we build one, and post as we follow the experiment along.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Worming goats

This was recently posted on HobbyFarmers, a nice yahoo group (listed in the sidebar) that has been helpful to us. The author kindly consented to let me post here.

Thanks Teresa!
Re: De wormers for goats (from
Posted by: "Teresa Barr-Jones"
Tue May 12, 2009 4:21 pm (PDT)

We have successfully used the following wormers on our full-size Nubian dairy goats:

Cydectin (oral sheep drench, given as directed for sheep)
Ivermectin (injectable given orally @ 1 cc to 55 pounds)
Prohibit (Levamisole, given as directed for sheep)
SafeGuard Goat (given as directed on bottle)

A great reference for goat wormers is available at the Fias Co Farm website:

Disclaimer: I am not a vet and my comments are not meant to challenge or replace a vet's advice.

Hope this helps. :)
Teresa Barr-Jones
Galloping Winds Ranch
Images with Flair - Website Design & Support
We are not vets, either, so don't base your decisions on what we use, find a good vet to give you a recommendation.

When we worm our goats we use SafeGuard Paste (labeled for horses) at the weight recommendations on the label. There is no milk withdrawl when using SafeGuard Paste. We also use Ivomec (labeled for horses, too) at the recommended dosages on the label. Our vet told us that the milk withdrawl for Ivomec is 5 days. We use SafeGuard Paste right after the does kid in the spring and the Ivomec in the late summer.

We don't have too many problems with worms in our area because it is so dry here. Wetter areas of the country have to worm more often, heavier doses, and use different wormers. If you have your animals on 'dry lot' (no pasture), your worming routine will vary from ours, too. The best way to check what wormer you should use and how often to use it is to run a fecal exam. You can also have your vet run fecal tests.

Molly at Fias Co Farm has a great tutorial on running fecals. You can find it here.

Weston A. Price Foundation

Although we are not 'health food nuts' we do like to be a little careful about what we eat. We do eat white sugar, white flour, and other goodies, we just don't do it in bulk. We like to eat fresh fruits and vegies, we like home grown beef and lamb and turkey, we like eating eggs from our own chickens and ducks, and we like goat's milk to drink, cook with, and to make cheese out of. We also love chocolate chip cookies, angel food cake, and hamburgers!

The Weston A. Price Foundation site was recommended to us as an unbiased site relating to raw milk. When I went to the page I was surprised at the amount of information that it contained. I haven't searched through all of it, but they do use scientific research and papers to support their findings. Since Dad is a Ph.D. Chemist, we rely on scientific research when we have a question about a topic. Anecdotal evidence is nice, especially if we are getting it from the person that has had the experience, but in general, we like to have more information than anecdotal evidence provides.

The Weston A. Price Foundation's home page says,
"The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price, whose studies of isolated nonindustrialized peoples established the parameters of human health and determined the optimum characteristics of human diets. Dr. Price's research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats.

The Foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism. It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants."

The have a webiste tour that is located here.

Take a peek, you might find some interesting information there!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Turkey Poults

We just got some turkey poults last night. My friend sent some of her turkey eggs to another friend who had them hatched out for us. Two of the three eggs hatched. Unfortunately, one of the poults died during the night. Since we haven't raised turkeys before, I don't know if it was warm enough or not for him (or her). I also noticed a bit of 'pasting up' on his hind end. That may have been part of the cause as well. The one that died was also the weaker of the two poults.

The new turkey poult that was hatched less than 24 hours ago.

We were given an adult turkey last year, but the Number One Rule On the Farm: Be Nice Or Be Tasty. Our son-in-law and daughter came and processed him for us. That was the first time our son-in-law had processed a turkey, but he is a hunter and he did a wonderful job. Yes, the turkey was tasty!

Since we haven't raised turkeys from poults before, I did a little searching to find some links on how to do it. Here are two that I found:

Poultry Pages and How to Raise Turkeys

Our turkey poult are currently inside a plastic tote with a lamp on it. Hopefully he won't be as dumb as people say they can be!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Vet Trip

We ended up going to the vet on Monday. It was an hour drive south of here. The vet was fantastic because he let Vet2Be help a bit!

We took our little sick goat down there to find out exactly what was wrong with him. The vet checked him over and couldn't find anything so he ran some blood work. Vet2Be got to see how to draw blood from a goat (from the vein in it's neck).

Buddy is a S'nubian, his dad is a Saanen, his mom is a Nubian.
He will be 8 weeks old May 13th (tomorrow).

The blood work came back with the white blood cell count twice the normal range, and the red blood cell count less than 1/2 the normal range. The vet said that was an indication of a heavy parasite load and decided to run a fecal exam.

I've run fecals before, but haven't ever been very good at them. Since the microscope is broken right now, I haven't run them at all.

Vet2Be got to see how to run a fecal and he got to look through the microscope. The vet said that the poor little goat was over-run with coccidia. I wouldn't have guessed coccidia at all because Buddy didn't have scours. He could hardly walk and spent most of his time lying down in the sunshine.

We are sure that he had Goat Polio (Polioencepholamacia) a few weeks ago. We also think that is what caused the 'bloom' of coccidia since coccidia love Vitamin B. Buddy had received a number of vitamin B shots since polioencepholamacia is a Thiamine deficiency.

Buddy is still on 2 shots of PenG Max (2cc) twice a day for a total of 7 days. The vet said his white blood count is so high that he is probably still fighting an infection of some sort. He is also being treated for coccidia, as are all the animals on the property.

This is Buddy's mom, Clover.