I googled to see why our new goats have dirreaha & turns out it could be 1 of 3 things: Worms, Coccidiosis, or over-feeding.  The guy we bought them from in Edgewood last month said he "de-wormed" them (or gave them the shots for it?) and we don't think we're over feeding (if anything, they're probably eating less than usual), so we figure it must be the Coccidiosis (some kind of intentional parasite).  It sounds like we can get a "coccidiostat" such as Sulmet liquid or DIMethox Liquid.  Does anyone know where we can get these?  We're close to Wyoming & I-40 but don't mind driving far.

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Hi Kellie Bellie,

1. You don't mention what you're feeding them or how long they've had diarrhea. And is the poo clumpy or runny? 

2. Are your goats on pasture or dirt?  If they are on pasture where they can get fresh grasses, that can give them clumpy poo. And a higher tendency to get worms if they're eating fresh grasses after a rain. 

3. **you should get into the habit of doing fecal float tests to establish worm/cocci egg loads for your goats.** you should not just automatically worm just because you think they have worms. If you are not comfortable doing a fecal float test, then take a fresh stool sample to a vet to get an accurate reading of just what parasites they are overloaded with -if they are overloaded -having some eggs is normal. Once you know what you're dealing with, then you can treat appropriately.

google fiasco farms fecal float test for a good website on how to do one for your goats. we have never had a cocci problem here in the south valley, but our goats are not on damp pasture in the morning, so ymmv.  

4. Re: feed (again, you don't say what you're feeding): if you are feeding any grain or 4-way, I suggest stopping. Goats do not need ANY grain, especially "four-way." excess 4way or moldy corn (you can't always tell if mold was present) can cause digestive troubles. 

5. Check your hay for mold. old dusty or moldy hay can give them digestive troubles. 

Hope this helps.

Jen - do you have a vet that you could recommend? If you're not feeding grain, then are you strictly feeding alfalfa hay and whatever forage you have around? I read that once a girl is milking she needs one pound of commercial feed a day - I took that to mean some sort of goat grain mix. Onate sells the grain goat feed that has molasses in it, so I've been throwing some of that in with alfalfa/bermuda pellets every morning for my goats - more as a treat than anything - but once I figured out that Mary was pregnant I upped her grain allowance..now her poo is clumpy...

We use Village Veterinary Hospital in Bosque Farms, but only for serious situations -like when one of our goats was attacked by dogs. Otherwise we do all basic veterinary care ourselves. Village Vet is great. They handle all types of large animals and cats/dogs too. 

There must be a large animal vet up on the north side of town too. I'd call around to vets in Corrales, Bernalillo, etc. 

Most feed stores will carry basic vet supplies. I know Western Mercantile down here on Rio Bravo carries a lot of items, and even Isleta Feed which is a small shop carries some items. I would just call any feed store and ask. However, many of our supplies we buy online. Jeffers livestock supply is good. 

Yes, we only feed alfalfa and whatever forage we have in season and weeds/trimmings from elm, russian olive, mulberry, locust, etc.

On the stand ONLY we feed a quart or so of whole or rolled oats while they are being milked. And that's really just to keep them busy since they are not always well-behaved (alternately, sometimes we feed locust pods or weeds on the stand when we have a lot available). 

I have a good table that breaks down the percentage of what kind of feed is required for the various ruminants. When I have time, I'll dig it up and post it, but the gist is that goats do best on lots of browse, herbacious/woody perennials, forbs, etc. grasses or grain (grass seed heads) should be a small part of their diet. Alfalfa is an herbacious perennial that can also be too rich for wethers, bucks and goats not in milk. It's easy to get them fat on alfalfa. 

If you think about a goat's "natural" habitat, are they going to be eating molasses? corn? nope. People are real opinionated on feed, myself included. Some people love to feed grain. I don't think it's good for the animals. I'll post some links with more info when I have time to dig them up. 

Goats are hardy animals, but when we put them into pens in our yards, their care can get a little tricky. There is a lot to know about keeping goats healthy -good minerals, monitoring worm loads (especially in damp areas -not really a problem in many places in NM), basic first aid, etc. 

Everyone takes care of their goats differently, but my reco which you can take or leave is to not feed any grain but oats only when milking. Especially no 4-way with molasses. I don't really know how the alfalfa pellets translate, feed wise. I wouldn't think they would need much else if they're getting alfalfa. Clumpy poo is usually too much rich food, fresh greens, etc. 

Jen, since your doe is preggers, be very mindful that after a goat gives birth, they can be very susceptible to worm overload, and they can go down quickly. I'm an herbalist and am about as holistic as a person can get, but after pregnancy is one time when I advocate using chemical wormers -not herbal wormers, they will not work if a goat is really suffering. Ask me how I know.....

Also, for anyone who is new to goats, I recommend joining the Yahoo group Holistic Goats. There is a lot of good information you can search about minerals, feed, etc. Fiasco Farms is a great resource too, although she advocates using herbal wormers (which she sells) which may be ok as a supplement, but i think is dangerous when an animal is in crisis. 

My three cents. Hope it's helpful to someone. 

Paul's vet supply is on Osuna - thats the only vet supply I have seen around.

Hi Jen,
I'm such a city slicker, you'll have to forgive me...  I'm not exactly sure what a "pasture" is vs. dirt... LOL!  They roam our huge backyard which is full of weeds & crab grasses, as well as lots of dirt areas.   We feed them alfalfa and a little "sweet feed" (oat/grain mixture) daily *which is what the previous owner was feeding them too) but other than that, they roam & kinda munch on stuff here & there. But it's not like we watch them 24/7 so it did occur to me today that they could be over-eating on weeds.  Only one of them has the runny poop, the other one is fine (his poo is in those round pellets like rabbit poo).   The runny poo guy has had it for about a week and we've only had them for around a month.
I have no idea what a fecal float test is or how to do it?  I guess I can google it to find out?  That sounds like the best way to find out the cause, rather than just assuming.  Good idea.
Thanks so much for the great info!!  I REALLY appreciate it!

pasture=basically, green stuff growing on it. dirt=dirt. :) 

it's interesting to note that the goat has had diarrhea for about a week which corresponds to that nice rain we had. There's all sorts of stuff coming up that he could have gotten into, but I would want to see his stool getting back to  normal after adjusting to all the fresh green growth. I would hold off on the sweet feed until he gets back to normal, and try to give him the stemmiest alfalfa you have -no rich food. 

i would also reco doing a fecal float test or taking a sample to a vet in case he got a parasite overload after the last rain. 

good luck and please let us know how this resolves itself so that we can all learn. 


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