Now that you have poop in your hand, what’s next?

Somewhere in Internet land is a comment about falling in muddy pasture dirt in the chicken area. Lost it. Can’t find those comments anywhere. In lieu of starting over, I’ll just move on.

Last year we had several paths of rock strewn around the barn. No more falling in the chicken yard for me. I still cringe at the thought of what I had fallen into. ughhhhhhhhh. No, those clothes did NOT go into the washing machine as is. They were hosed down in the barn first. Then put in the washing machine a few days later; after I made sure no ‘clumps’ had dried on them. One of these days we’re gonna get a heater for the barn. It’s cooolllllddddd.

At the time, I didn’t think about the microscopic critters in the barn mud that were crawling all over me. But my poor goats live with them 24/7. I had briefly mentioned parasites, in particular coccidia and how it had killed several goats. (I’ll always be sad about this. But each goat death has lead to a process change, barn enhancement, or new/different/upgraded something.) This past snow storm has ignited the need to flatten my learning curve on fecal testing. OK. I’m on it. Fecal testing is my game. Come to find out, it wasn’t as difficult as I had thought.

Now all I gotta do is conduct enough tests that I’ll be an expert in identifying the parasites. Husband Bob is famous for his researching skills. He has collected the best equipment along with the most in-dept text books on parasitology. These tools should allow me to better care for my goats.

That’s how I know coccidia are in the pastures. After identifying the parasites, then I had to figure out which deworming chemical to use. There’s more than one for each little critter. I tested the herd not individual goats, this time. As I learn more, I’ll be able to more quickly go through the herd and identify a goat’s individual needs.

I’d used Corid for years and had given my poor doomed goats Corid drench, albeit it too late. Only recently have I become aware of its side effects. In searching for more information I turned to Fias Co Farms. Here’s their link http://fiascofarm.com/goats/coccidiosis.htm. I also researched the Merck Veterinary Manual, and several deworming suppliers. Now I have several options for coccidia instead of only Corid, which I will not be using any more. And I have confidence in my research. I know which chemical to use and how much to use. Since most goat meds are ‘off label’ dosage can be tricky. But I always check with my vet before using a new anything.

After weighing several options, I’ve decided to feed my goats food medicated with Decoquinate through the winter months. Corid didn’t work for us, maybe the parasites had built a resistance — which happens. Now I have options for coccidia and will be more aware of which animals have the most parasites.

Now that the coccidia are being handled I get to focus on the stomach worms I found. While my goats have fewer stomach worms than they did coccidia, those little critters still need to be addressed. I’ll address them, all right. My little goats will be dewormed then in 10 days I’ll be conducting fecal tests again to make sure the meds are working. I’ll no longer rely on watching for diarrhea or of wishing I could find out which parasites were taking over my little goats so I’d know what to do next. Checking their eyes is critical. The FAMACHA methodology helps me there. It works.

I’m still of the frame of mind that I want to care the best for my goats and not let the weak ones die out. I want to give them the best chance possible, even if that means picking up poop every day then putting in under a microscope. After all, look what Mike Rowe has done with a career of picking up poop.

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