I remember our first year of raising goats on my parents farm in La Center.
We’d purchased 2 yearlings the previous winter, and then a small herd of does ranging in age from 3 months to 3 years of age that summer! We loved having the goats! It was an excuse for us kids to go out to the field everyday. We loved getting to feed the goats and pet the goats and just enjoy the companionship of the goats. And the yummy milk we got to drink from the goats was a great bonus as well!
We bred all the experienced mama goats and the 2 yearlings we’d purchased. Our friends from Daystar’s Farm in Woodland, WA leased us one of their bucks and told us which goats were definitely ready for breeding and which ones needed to wait till the following year.
The next spring, all our goats kidded! It was SO much fun, everyday, going down to the barn to check on the goats and see if another set of babies would be born that day. Had a set of triplets, many twins, and 1 single. We’d been told by our good friends that the farms in our area were having a really bad time with worms, so we should give all the mama goats a dose of Ivermectin after they kidded, and then give another dose 10 days later. So that’s what we did, wanting to help our precious goaties stay as happy and healthy as possible.
After the first dose, our goats all went downhill. They all got coccidiosis, multiple times; they got worms, regardless of using Ivermectin; and we even had a doe and a kid get pneumonia! It was so hard, we were constantly running down to the barn to give extra electrolytes and warm water with molasses to our sick goats. We were giving the whole herd ProBios twice a day, everyday, for weeks! We also did things like Baycox (for the cocci), and b-vitamins, and many other things that I don’t recall all the names of. I remember my Mom being so heartbroken over our poor sick goats, and Dad talking about the budget and how expensive these goats were getting with all the stuff we kept needing to buy to keep them alive.
We basically had 3 Does and a buckling we weren’t sure we were gonna survive that summer. By the grace of God, however, they all pulled through! And by the fall they were all nice and healthy, with silky coats and sparkly eyes!
After that horrible summer, we started researching alternative wormer methods. The Farms in our area still have worms and cocci really bad, the last several years have been awful.
We found an herbal wormer, from a website called Land of Havilah. Its totally herbal, designed for goats (though it can be used for chickens as well), and put together by a certified herbalist. We purchased a pack of the “Land of Havilah Parasite Formula” and started using it for our goats. We started by doing “wormer balls” once a week, basically a combination of the parasite formula and mashed up garlic and a few other things. Then we went to just top dressing the goats feed with it, as it took less prep time than the wormer balls. They start having 1 dose a day for 3 days, then you just give it to them 1x a day once a week, and its only about a teaspoon for adult goats over 100 lbs (more for bigger goats, and less for the smaller, younger ones).
The wormer works FANTASTIC! The whole herd loves it, they stay very healthy, no worms, and only get coccidiosis if we forget a dose of the wormer for the week, and even then they don’t get it bad at all! We’ve been using the herbal wormer for 2 years now, and the we are very happy with how healthy the herd has been in that time.
I started giving this wormer to my 3 young Barred-Rock hens as well, hoping to see some good results with them as well.