Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the common questions we're asked on a weekly basis----and since (unfortunately) we now live in a litigious society---and obviously since there is not a DVM or MH after my name, I am NOT a vet, nor am I a Master Herbalist. Thus, here is the necessary DISCLAIMER: Although I relay herbal or educational products explaining treatment(s) for animals, you should always have access to a vet or herbalist, use their services, as well as consult your vet or herbalist. If you choose to incorporate herbs into your program, then you do the research and/or contact the folks you're purchasing from.
Why (or how) do you use the Herbs in your program?
It was our intention to use herbs from the beginning--- especially since our family has seen some remarkable turnarounds in health issues we had been struggling with. We believe the Lord has equipped our bodies to counter sicknesses as well as accelerate healing when injured---if given the proper tools to do so.
We discovered early on that there was a HUGE learning curve when it came to goats, compared to other animals we’ve raised successfully. So, that first year, we treated any sickness or malady with the use of chemicals or pharmaceuticals; thus giving ourselves another year to learn about herbal treatments for goats. I would stay up for hours at night reading books I ordered, scouring the internet---blogs, forums, etc researching how to successfully incorporate a natural approach—and just barely scratched the surface. Thankfully, the Lord led us to several different sources whose knowledge and experience was amazing.
Fir Meadow & Land of Havilah are both wonderful to work with & their products are some of the very best on the market. Both Kat & Christy are wonderful & gracious women who are Certified Master Herbalists and happen to raise goats.
I found 2 basic premises: Herbs stay in the body approx 4 hours and will work---"if used frequently enough & strong enough."
We follow the directions (duh) on the package---but if the situation requires more herbs, in more frequent doses---that's what we do. Because we have a big herd (read: too many goats), we mix what we'll need for the day---adding the powder to water in a plastic peanut butter jar and give our herbs in drench form. If its preventative maintenance, the drench will be somewhat runny. If its an acute case, we'll make it thicker. Some find more success mixing the herbs w molasses and rolling into small balls.
From FirMeadowLLC.com ----These are our main-stays & all have been successful for us---especially if caught early on.
GISoother---scours---we use for Cocci & Barber Pole
DWorm---for other parasites
Herbiotic (powder or tincture)---our go-to for herbal replacement of antibiotic.
Vitalerb---great product full of everything green
From LandofHavilahfarm.com ----
Bulk herbs, Parasite Formula (that we add to our minerals), webinars & online courses as, well as her Herd-health practices & Holistic Methods.
Helpful books: "The Accessible Pet, Equine, and Livestock Herbal" Kat Drovadahl, "Holistic Goat Care" Gianaclis Caldwell (Pholia Farm Nigerian Dairy)
In addition, Face Book has some great Groups/Forums, "Totally Natural Goats."
Why (and how) do you do (or start up on) milk test?
What are some of the things you would suggest to be successful after the decision is made to go on Milk Test? First, I love doing milk test and the Lord has blessed us. We put a LOT of work into our herd---we study/research new feeds, minerals, and continually improve the quality of our hay. We have a tight barn in the winter. (Not heated, but also, NOT drafty---in any way. All of which allows the does to stay warm and not waste any body energy fighting chills or drafts)
We keep our hay mangers stuffed continually---starting our day at 7AM---with the last barn check, at 10PM. We offer fresh, hot water 4x a day, plenty of quality hay, and the barns are bedded heavily with fresh, clean straw in the winter....and shavings in the summer. We feel the main reason we get high scores for our milk tests are a result of the way we take care of our herd. Bc testing is important to us---we view the goats as performance animals (which they are). The leading Dairies (Goat or Cow) do the same.
On Test Day---our does are given hot molasses water and LOTS of good hay (we use straight Alfalfa). We make their day as comfortable as possible. After milking and sampling each doe, their milk is put into bottles for their babies. Then the babies are offered a bottle every 2-3 hours. Most think its the greatest thing, this side of Heaven. A few think you're trying to poison them. Those become our "target" goats and we spend extra time loving on them and making them feel secure. Usually by the 2nd or 3rd bottle offering, they decide their brothers or sisters were right after all. And this is, indeed, a good thing. Ironically, they become the friendliest babies in our barn. The babies are all kept together---in the part of the barn where they are accustomed to. The mamas are moved to a different part of the barn. And, they actually end up doing well together...lots of hay, hot water, clean straw. They're content. We will swap "outside time" with the two groups. Mamas are let out in the morning, babies outside in the afternoon. We ALWAYS have a buffer in between the two groups---either a different group of goats (i.e. the yearlings) or empty stalls. And we double clip EVERY SINGLE GATE until the last doe is milked at the PM Milking. Its inconvenient, yes---but minor compared to a baby getting through and getting to his/her mama.
Why can't I reserve & pick up a baby at 8 weeks? When do you wean? Why do you dam raise?