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Old 06-17-2010, 02:49 PM   #1
buckrun
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Default Goats and Body Temperature

I would like to try to add some clarity to all the recent mentions of taking the temperature of a goat while trying to diagnose illness. Ruminants do not have a static body temperature like humans do. Normal goat temperature is a wide ranging 101 to 104. A perfectly healthy animal will change body temperature with the ambient air temperature -their level of exercise and most importantly -the process of digestion. Most changes in body temp are a result of processing energy from rumination. Extreme excitement can raise temps markedly and rapidly.
I just took the temperature of my healthy black doe resting in the sun while cudding and it was 103.8. I am sure some of the lighter colored does and more active youngsters had different readings. So it is important to keep in mind that while a SUSTAINED abnormal temperature either high or low will indicate illness-random sampling under varying conditions will result in varying temperatures and do not indicate illness.



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Old 06-17-2010, 03:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Goats and Body Temperature

Absolutely. Not long ago on a particularly hot day, I took everyone's temperature to see what was normal for this time of year, so that I wouldn't freak out in the event of an illness. Full udder, hot day, not uncommon for my adults (who have never weathered these temps) to run in the 104 to 105 range. Maybe my thermometer is a tad off, but.... Remove the milk from the udder and the temp drops about a degree.



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Old 06-17-2010, 03:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Goats and Body Temperature

I agree Lee. One good way to get a better ides of your herds AVERAGE temperature is to include a temperature reading every time you trim hooves. When we trim hooves it is usually time for fecal sampling, de-worming, BoSe or some other administration. Weights are best when taken in the morning so we try to trim hooves in the morning BEFORE they have had any grain, doesn't always happen that way though. The reason of BEFORE they have had any grain is because of what Lee said, the ruminent digestion heating the body. So we write down all the pertinent information then. Once all the temps are taken it will be easy to see what the average temp for your herd is and you'll be able to know right away when something is off. This is what we do. Tam

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Old 06-17-2010, 03:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Goats and Body Temperature

Oh Tammy just quit being so darn organized!!!!

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Old 06-17-2010, 04:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Goats and Body Temperature

LOL Lee, you should see my filing system, oh I have the info....let me see which pile its in
Seriously though if one took the time to do all this they can see a pattern and any change pops up fast
Tam

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Old 06-17-2010, 05:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Goats and Body Temperature

LOL, my poor doe getting immediate dose of 30cc CMPK upon morning reading of 101. I kept cracking my brain how come I have hypocalcemia with 24/7 free choice aflafla 365 days in a year. I think we all tend at some point (usually being new) manage our goats like we would our dogs, horses, human children, etc. assuming they have the same anatomican and physiological properties and functions. WRONG ! That's what makes goats so fun - how unique creatures they are.

Thanks for chiming in on this , Lee, and Tammy, too much time spent on organization means less time in the barn, SHAME on you, lol. Just kidding !

Jana

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Old 06-17-2010, 05:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Goats and Body Temperature

Yep Billie, imagine a gallon of warm milk between your legs in this heat!

I do think we owe it to the new folks on the forum and our thousands of lurkers, to have more of these kinds of posts for them to read. Sometimes it simply needs to be said "Folks it isn't that hard". That way when it is not said, in a post, there is less offense taken. It's one of the times that I would wish on new folks a crash course on goat husbandry on a working farm, not only are goats healthier when treated as a herd, and not individually micromanaged, but so is the mental and physical health of the owners over the long term. Nobody could or should be expected to sustain such a level of management that we have seen in alot of new herds over the years. And they don't.

When a goat can't live in your herds normal excellent management, without special attention, eat her, sell her or give her to someone. Otherwise accept the fact that you are going to have a time hog on your hands and deal with it. It's one thing if perhaps their kids are going to be such an asset to your herd in the long run...quite another when it's done because 'we can' yet weakens the herd, and sometimes the breed as a whole. Especially in a breeding program. Vicki

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Old 06-17-2010, 08:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Goats and Body Temperature

The other day, I went to milk, both girls were jumping on the fence, excited to see me.
I took the white one in... wow she was hot! I was sweating just being close to her.
I did not have a thermometer, but you know how you can tell when your children, just feel warm? Well, she was hot. But, she ate good, she acted normal, and her milk was fine.
I had warning bells ringing.
I milked the black goat, she was cool as could be! Hmm, really concerned at this point. But both are acting normal.

I went and got a thermometer, but the mysterious high temp has not returned, no sickness, no milk issues, no appetite issues. I have to simply assume that she was playing or something before I got down there. I watched, I waited, I expected problems, but there were none. All was well.

So, I will say, don't panic immediately, unless you see some other hint.

One day, I had a hot doe, and when I tried to milk, it was like trying to get cooked cheese out of the udder... 2 symptoms, then we had a problem. We dealt with it, and she went on to be my best milker ever, and never had mastitis again!

Look for two issues, or fever a second day!

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Old 06-18-2010, 12:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: Goats and Body Temperature

I definitely agree with the temp change. I will have a doe in the barn and a doe out in the sun and their is a 2-3 degree difference. And yes, goats are the most interesting creature I have come across so far.

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Old 06-18-2010, 02:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Goats and Body Temperature

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicki McGaugh Tx Nubians
Yep Billie, imagine a gallon of warm milk between your legs in this heat!

I do think we owe it to the new folks on the forum and our thousands of lurkers, to have more of these kinds of posts for them to read. Sometimes it simply needs to be said "Folks it isn't that hard". That way when it is not said, in a post, there is less offense taken. It's one of the times that I would wish on new folks a crash course on goat husbandry on a working farm, not only are goats healthier when treated as a herd, and not individually micromanaged, but so is the mental and physical health of the owners over the long term. Nobody could or should be expected to sustain such a level of management that we have seen in alot of new herds over the years. And they don't.

When a goat can't live in your herds normal excellent management, without special attention, eat her, sell her or give her to someone. Otherwise accept the fact that you are going to have a time hog on your hands and deal with it. It's one thing if perhaps their kids are going to be such an asset to your herd in the long run...quite another when it's done because 'we can' yet weakens the herd, and sometimes the breed as a whole. Especially in a breeding program. Vicki
I'm going to copy and paste this in my goat file. Maybe enlarge it, print it and hang it in the barn.


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