record forms and SICK goats please help

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by rojen, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. rojen

    rojen New Member

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    Hi all,

    Please be patient with a new guy. For the last 2 yrs I have lurked and read, and studied. Yesterday we got our first 3 goats. I was only looking for 2 but kinda ended up with 3.5+

    These are Philippine native breeds. Which is a miniature breed I think. They are very small. I bought a pregnant mother with two kids. The mom is 37 lbs and 19.5 inches at the shoulder. I think she is two years old. She is patient with me so far but let a visiting curious dog learn that she has maternal instincts. The dog was about 4 feet away and we were watching him closely, when before you could blink she nailed him in the back side and he never came round again.

    Anyway, I am enjoying immensely our new farm additions. The goats I got were less than well cared for and no records. This seems to be the norm here. Something my wife and I are trying to help via simple education and farm modeling.

    Are there downloadable forms for goat keeping records? (dairy style). Being in the Phils, buying software and such is not something I desire to do. One the peso to dollar makes it expensive. Two what we seek to do is help encourage and promote small family dairy goat operations so everything we do must be cheap and reproduceable. Jenny and I work with the very very poor. We hope to raise the available food and nutrition available to young children. Most have never drank any milk other than human.

    So goat experts what should go in a record. I have initial height and weight, sex, name, approx age, no heritage details, but that is something that should be on a record. (2 generations back?) Brief physical description. Lactation length and daily milk wts. Breeding and birthing dates for offspring.

    God willing I will get an 87% Saanen buck this Christmas. That should help with the future lactation. What should I ask and look for in a buck? I thought an upgrade verses purebred might be wiser. 1. it is 1/6 the price. 2 Saanen is not real tropic tolerant and I do not want my lack of skills killing the buck. Hopefully the 87% will be much more tolerant. 3. Hybrid vigor seems wise. 4. Hopefully it will not be so large that it will cause the little native does to have birthing challenges. 5. This being an island I thought purebreds might be fairly inbred.

    When I ask questions about records and such, my emails get ignored. In the US, I would run from that seller. Here it seems the norm. Things are a lot more laid back / Lazare fair (spelling).

    Also I would appreciate contact with people who are running a very simple dairy. As in no electric. Any Amish goat raisers in the group. Our dairy will have electric, but most of the ones we help set up will not. So I need to be able to model and teach nonelectric. Anyone else located in the tropics? We also do not have access to things like chemical cleaners and supplies that most in the US find easily. So everything needs to be homemade, homebrewed, natural (tropical) rememdies, etc. IE I have been collecting details about plants that have natural worming properties and hope to make that part of the mix in my homemade salt and mineral block.

    Pray for me, I need it. Ron
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Hi Ron
    Welcome to the group. Worming and cocci treatments will probably be one of your major problems, however since they have never used maintenance the goats you find there may be pretty resistant. Do you have excell on your computer as I have some milking records and also some medical record keeping I can email you. I use alot of Vit C /Vit E/ B vitamins and rarely have to use chemical antibiotics. Tho of course I do have them available. Pat Colby has a good herbal book out for goatshttp://www.acresusa.com/toolbox/press/naturalgoat.htm but has a lot of stuff we can't purchase in the US as she is from Australia but maybe you have it there. plus you will find as you go along herbs will not always cure anything fast enough to save a goat and is why I have all my antibiotics etc available if needed.

    Disenfectants for udders and teats and general cleaning in an area without much such as yours would recommend vinegar and peroxide
    http://www.michaelandjudystouffer.com/judy/articles/vinegar.htm
     

  3. Jo@LaudoDeumFarm

    Jo@LaudoDeumFarm New Member

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    What do you have in the way of disinfectants available to you? Do you have iodine, bleach or peroxide or alcohol? Or even a strong vinegar?

    Are these goats going to be browsing most of their food needs or will you be giving them supplements?

    How are you planning on keeping them? Will they be in a small pen area or will you have the room to rotations?

    Have you read anything on ATTRA's site yet?


    Have you thought about how you are going to cool the milk to keep it from souring? Is ice or cold water available to you? In warmer climates yogurt and cheese may keep better than fresh milk.
     
  4. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Re: record forms

    kefir would also be an option and so healthly even for the goats.
     
  5. rojen

    rojen New Member

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    Awesome advice. Already worth the hi cost of group membership, lol.

    I have not seen kefir, but I have found EM-1. I was planning on adding it and a little vinegar to the water. The water here is polluted. The farmers pretty much drink from polluted streams and shallow water pumps. We plan on putting in a deep well and sharing that with our neighbors. There is a high childhood mortality here. Especially infants and the well water is polluted. The people here do not like to boil the water and boiled does not remove the chemicals. Babies are literally buried in shoe boxes, it is so sad.

    We have lots of vinegar and molasses here. So I thought to make sileage using black bags and finely chopped ingredients. We have very very high worm loads here. The two little ones I got especially. The mom is not so obvious (looking at the fecal matter). I have read a lot on natural deworming and some concoctions are in the 80 percentiles for effectiveness. (I just got to refind the articles locate the plants and make it.) There is no planned rotation for grazing among the poor farmers.

    I have vinegar and bleach available - cheap. I went to a model dairy operation on another island (Mindanao Rural Baptist Life Center) and spent a few days with them. Intense education with hands on practice. They use bleach only. Disposable wipes and things are not to be found at all. So it is wipe and go - reuse. Wonderful people. No testing, just throw the first squirt away and look and smell to see if it is okay.

    Alcohol is available too.

    Right now our goats are browsing in small paddocks. 3 days per paddock, not to be revisited for 90 days. Paddock is moveable - browse from 9am - 4pm, then pended with a hand picked selection of high protein legumes and higher mineral plants. Always water, always shelter avail. I have hired a young man as my herder since he was so excited and it will help his family, but getting him to follow instructions is a learning process for both of us, lol. - God willing he will learn and teach others and will help his family by *earning* his own herd besides pay. I hope to do cut and carry totally eventually. The reason for is the high problem with parasite problem. Hi - hi mortality. Also the average farmer has no land and squats on a piece of property owned by a land owner he share crops for. Cut and carry will allow a lot more goats per acre with legume planting and gathering grass and crop residues from the roadside instead of burning them. The hi mortality is a reason many farmers justify not spending on medicine. Also there is resistance in the larger herds since the same medicine is used over and over. So the small guy who gets his stock from the larger, does nothing. He does not even feed his family 3 meals a day, so expenses are kept minimal. They also do not provide water, shelter, etc. I hope to model that with simple management, he can lower the mortality and therefore having healthier bigger goats, less death, resulting in more money for food and children's education - plus meat and milk for their diet. The goat I bought was standing staked in the middle of a field in a rain storm. A very miserable but hardy little pregnant goat. I bought it as much for rescue as anything.

    I think the uncontrolled breeding is also part of the reason for the extremely small size and unhealthy due to extreme inbreeding. The goats here are fertile at 6 months of age. With an uncontrolled herd, it is probably the norm. The mom is stake the babies not. A six month old buck can readily visit his choice of females his mom included. Being tropical heat and rut are not so seasonal. (Think of puppy mill, but now apply it to goats - but with the high death rate little - money if any is made.)

    I love the FAO and ATTRA web sights. I have downloaded thousands of pages - I have around 50-60 gigs of data, but need to organize it again. I have hundreds of pages just on worming, lol.

    Neither ice nor cold water is available to most of the farmers. It is available locally in small quantities, but is a luxury. I want to help them have enough to supply daily for them and sell to a few neighbors. Immediate fresh milk. Small dairy. Being fresh, cleanliness becomes even more important. These are people many have no running water, the toilet is *outside*. Showers are done clothed at the neighborhood shallow water pump outside. Few have electric. Most homes we would describe as a tiny shack from 10ft by 10ft up to 20 by 20, made out of whatever they can *find*. The whole family of 5-12 sleep on one bed or the floor. The floor is swept dirt. Toddlers are allowed to pee directly on the floor where-ever they are. No toilet paper and leaves are not used either by anyone. (kinda gross and one would expect a lot of diseases which since this is also tropical disease live and breed easier here. Very wet humid climate which does not help either. For goats or humans.)

    If when this small dairy catches on, we can organize in a co-op fashion and share a dairy bringing milk to a local small dairy op. That is my expansion dream.

    I do not want to make this place seem like hell. The Pinoy people are the friendliest people I have met worldwide and I am well traveled. They are poor and habit driven and many have *given up* and are hopeless. But they still are friendly and invite you in, even to share their meager food. Their kids are dressed in clothes full of holes and have no underwear. Naked children are common. Everything is dirty, yet the kids do not know they are underprivileged. They do not know they are poor, they are happy and friendly.

    In the US I would be below poverty level, here I have enough that God willing I can save some lives and help families to be better off and more self sufficient. Sorry for the long post, as you can tell I am passionate about this.

    I want to pursue yogurt and cheese too, but I will start with just raising goats, learning the ins and outs, graduate to dairy, and .... God willing. I have incorporated a basement plan under my kitchen in the house I am building, specifically for a cheese cave.

    I am not sure about the goat's resistance, but I know they are capable of carrying high loads and still living. They are a hardy breed. Very shy and docile (except for around the dog - lol.)

    Thanks for the link on Pat's book and the vinegar and peroxide suggestions.

    This being the tropics things grow like crazy here. So there are fruits and vegetables here if planted. Most share croppers mono crop sugar cane, rice, or corn. We are teaching planting hedgerows around their homes of legumes, and also we are teaching a basic garden technique called F.A.I.T.H.(food always in the home). Instead of planting just flowers around the home, plant herb/spice plants that flower and add this to the diet too.

    The residues from the fruit and vegetables have a lot of vitamins, this being the tropics - esp vitamin c. Not sure about B. Casssava grows wild in put down and makes good feed. Sileage will improve the palatability of grass and crop residues. Natural raw sugar cane has a lot of vitamins and minerals. Right now it is burned. Rice straw is burned, corn is harvested and the plants burned, there are many feed possibilities. They need to be analyzed and a simple healthy mix obtained. I desire to help them use what they currently throw away to do a large part of the feeding.

    Enough of a book, I really appreciate the help and the sympathetic ear. We are Americans, and miss the company. It is great here and we do not want to leave, but miss people like you - Ron
     
  6. rojen

    rojen New Member

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    Re: record forms

    Sorry,

    I do have excel and microsoft office including Database. So that would be appreciated,

    I have a fairly detailed tropical goat barn being built too. Since we hope to have a fair sized herd eventually.

    Do you recommend eartags? For id and tracking?

    I just read Pat's top 10, Excellent stuff. Definitely now in my library!

    The area land is naturally fertile, but out of balance due to chemical use. The soil composition is volcanic sandy loam. I have not had it tested, but have noticed a super high rate of things like termites which is a sign of chemical imbalance. Termites are so prevelant that they attack living roots of some plants and kill crops - I have lost a whole acre of peanuts and some coconut palms as well to them. I understand that as the land comes back in balance this will stop. So I am sure it is not producing totally balance healthy plants for the goats either.

    Ron
     
  7. Halo-M Nubians

    Halo-M Nubians New Member

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    Ron,
    Thanks for sharing. It is good to get a glimpse at another part of the world. I don't have any help for you at the moment but thanks for educating me further and putting my "hardships" in perspective.

    I love Pat's book!
     
  8. goatmom

    goatmom New Member

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    Ron,
    I also thank you for sharing what must be just a small piece of your life and struggles. What an awesome undertaking for you and your wife. Don't know if this is an avenue you have already explored but have you had any contact with Heifer International? Just wondering if they could provide you with some resources.

    What is the name of the area/village where you are located? Best of luck to you and I pray that God will bless your efforts. Keep us posted with your progress.
     
  9. rojen

    rojen New Member

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    Hi,

    Okay we are located 400 km South of Manila, halfway between Naga City and Mt Isarog.

    I have talked to Heifer. They wanted to visit my farm, but picked a date we were out of town. We have not renewed contact. Altho I think help is great and we could help more that way, in a way I am happy. I have no oversight, no one to answer to but God, we work at the pace we need to determined by materials, money, permits, etc. Kinda a homestead for us. When I am farther along and actively training others, then help might be great. It would be great for some org to help pick up the tab of buying goats and helping establish the other farmers. We initially thought we would do it directly from our own breeding program and try to encorporate a pay back from the initial breeding. The pay back goat going to the next prospect....

    Here is where we are in the world from google earth.



    [attachment deleted by admin]
     
  10. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    be careful with the molasses not too good for goats and also will draw bugs and spoil your feed in your weather. Will send you copies of the record keeping stuff today. Hope your yahoo mail will accept attachments
     
  11. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Welcome to the forum and I am so glad you posted! I hope you continue to fill us in on how you are doing, and anything we could do to help support your venture.

    One thing that popped out at me while reading is you are spinning your wheels with a 90 day move out of pens. Parasites will live in the ground until reeaten by goats until there is a hard freeze...or unless the ground is dry and arid. Is there enough area to make it movable pens so the goats have alot more time out of the pens they were in?

    Make sure the information you are getting on herbal worming is not from those who manufacture the products. I live in East Texas, other than perhaps parts of Florida the most tropical, humidity/heat no freeze. Studies done at universities here have shown that herbal wormers will not worm your goats, those who say it works don't have high numbers to begin with and always live in the frozen north. We tease they could use pickle juice and get the same results.

    I am not saying that minerals and plant browse...here I know the pine (high in tannins) also oaks and the plant material my goats eat daily add to the reason we are so easily able to keep our worm burdens down.

    Also remember you have the mail, we can send you anything you need. Much luck and blessings. Vicki
     
  12. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    How right Vicki is on the worming with herbals I am in N. TX but also don't have the hard winter freezes tho it does freeze here. However herbal wormers don't work here and believe me I have tried it.
     
  13. Ashley

    Ashley New Member

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    Are there other animals that can be rotated with the goats. It is my understanding horses and cattle and goats will pick up eachother worms and are not affected by them.
     
  14. MRFBarbara

    MRFBarbara Guest

    Re: record forms

    Hello and welcome to the forum, Wow on your lifes adventures and I admire you for taking this on to help others.. I wish you well and hope God helps your plans along every step of the way
    Now you mentioned breeding your little doe to a 3/4 Saanan buck, use caution as this buck can and will throw very large kids and you may have serious kidding problems, when breeding two breeds together it is always wiser to use a large doe and small buck.. You doe sounds like she is the size if my Nigerians.. very small... Please consider this when breeding.. and find a smaller buck if possble..
    Good luck in all your adventures
     
  15. rojen

    rojen New Member

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    I am so blessed with all the replies and help.

    I try and post links about the herbal wormers. Some of them were legumes with Hi tanin counts. I try to find *tropical studies* and link them for your analysis before trying.

    I appreciate the heads up on molasses. God really has blessed us in so many ways here. We pray that the goats and dairy will spread and save lives, helping especially children be healthier.

    I have an amusing and true story about goat milk. The poor almost never have milk. The Mindanao Baptist guys were trying to start goat dairies and could not get anyone to even try the milk, even if it was free. They even tried to give it away in schools and were unsuccessful. So someone was blessed with the idea to make popsicles out of milk. They gave these away and told them it was goats milk when they were trying it. Now goat milk popsicles are a huge success and so is goat milk in their area.

    By the way, I lived 15 yrs in San Antonio and another 7 in Ft Worth - so I am fairly Texan at heart still.

    I have read a lot of pros and cons about multiple animal rotation. Some say, cows and horses, never sheep. Some say horses only. Since we never ever ever have a freeze I think cut and carry will be my best bet. Because you guys are saying rapid rotation will not help since I have no freezing weather. (My thought was the wet humid weather would cause them to hatch, climb up and since nothing eats, they would eventually die out waiting for a host.) The ones I really need to be careful about are things like liver flukes which have intermediary hosts here. The local ponds are also known to be contaminated with liver flukes +. FYI - We had the coldest day all year 2 nights ago. Everyone had jackets, sweaters, etc. Except the poor. They were still in t-shirts and shorts. (pls do not send jackets, they mold before they can be worn) The temp 74.5 F.

    We were still running around in t-shirts too.

    The herbals I was going to initially try included papaya leaves, madre de cacoa leaves, and pineapple leaves + a few others. I was going to mix it finely chopped and put it in the mineral supplement I am trying to make. Everything needs to be as home grown as possible or the poor can not do it. If it comes to spending $2 for medicine that is preventative - helpful to animals or eating supper today, supper will always win out. Most meds cost more than $2.

    Labor wage price is less than $3 day for a whole day of farm work.

    Thanks again, Ron
     
  16. Qvrfullmidwife

    Qvrfullmidwife New Member

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    Having grown up in SE Asia I can tell you that the climate is very similar to what we have here on coastal TX and here the herbal wormers are a joke. You may be in mountainous regions dont recall that area of the Phillippines) but I know that it doesnt freeze so please take this into consideration. I know that it is probably not easy for you to get ahold of a microscope to do fecals yourself but something like that would probably be a help as you can expect to be doing so much of your own vet care. You are right, tho, you may gain a lot by using more indiginous animals. What (if anything) do the locals use?

    By the way, got any durian?
     
  17. Jo@LaudoDeumFarm

    Jo@LaudoDeumFarm New Member

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    There is a difference between herbal worming and forage that has anti-parasitic properties. As Vicki mentioned, certain trees and plants produce tannins in them that have some evidence to suggest that they work against parasites. Lepsedeza is one I can think of now, and I know that you can plant it and have the animals graze it. (Information can be found by googling or searching ATRA.)

    I was going to ask if you had a mineral you were giving the goats and what was in it.

    I would also encourage you to get a microscope and begin keeping track of parasite numbers that you see. After you feed your herbals, or do something to improve their nutrition you can run a fecal test to check how things are going. I hope that after the animals become less stressed out from the move and you gradually begin to improve their diet that you will see the high egg counts begin to decrease. Gradually you will begin to notice that some animals have higher egg counts, or worse body condition, than others. It will help you make decisions on who to keep and who to eat. With the high cost of parasite control, it may be that you will also want to encourage the animals' natural hardiness as much as possible.

    I think you will also have to decide what you are going to focus on with these little goats. Will it be milk production and making cheese or are you going to be letting them raise meat animals the locals can eat. How is their milk production anyway? Will they be able to sustain a longer lactation or are they in milk only as long as the kids nurse from them? I don't know if anyone has mentioned this before, but the local forage may not be the kind that can really sustain dairy goats and keep them healthy. If you breed them with saanens would the resulting offspring be able to sustain themselves on the local browse and grasses? That's something I would be curious to know, but I don't know the answer to that.
    It does seem like breeding milk goats and breeding meat goats are very different types of management.

    It's good that you have alchohol and bleach. Those are two very basic sanitizers. Your milking equipment should be glass and stainless steel or food grade plastic. With the bleach and boiling water you should be able to disinfect and scald your equipment. I would encourage you to milk in clean area, a shed perhaps, set aside in a separate area from the animals barn. I suppose flies are a problem? Is it possible for you to get a freezer? If you have a freezer then you would be able to make ice, which would make handling the fluid milk easier and safer. If you can't do that, then kefir or yogurt would be your best bet for keep any bad bacteria from contaminating the fluid milk.
    Papaya and pineapple are high enzyme plants and cocoa has natural tannins. You might also consider adding garlic too. I think trying to do something with what you have on hand is better than doing nothing at all. And they may make good forage for the goats. The herbals might be part of your plan but by themselves I don't think you can rely on them.
    Have you tried ordering anything from the states? Do you know what wormers they use in your area that are not working?

    You mentioned that you had a dairy in you area? How are they managing their goats?
     
  18. wheytogosaanens

    wheytogosaanens New Member

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    Garlic is a natural dewormer (for dogs and people too!)

    Excellent herbal book with simple ingredients that can help with wound care as well as general health is
    "Ten Essential Herbs" by Lalitha Thomas. half.com sells it for about $6.00.
    My favorites are garlic and onions. Cayenne and Ginger are excellent too. Probably worth while and the "recipes" are easy for others to duplicate, plus you should be able to grow many of these herbs.

    Fascinating project you are working on. Prayers are with you.

    Camille
    P.S. I used to work with a few Phillipine people. Very warm, loving, and giving. Generous spirits.
     
  19. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    But also keep in mind that garlic and onions tho they do help with parasites and also great immune builders they can also taint the milk. I would be searching for kefir grains as they make the milk very benificial plus keep the milk from spoiling since you have no refrigeration. also can end up making soft chees with it. kefir can be use in babies bottles etc.
     
  20. rojen

    rojen New Member

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    Wow, this message is wonderful. Kinda a fullfledged help line.
    LeeAnne, I am on the side of a mountain, but my elevation is maybe 300-500 ft, so that would not help. I agree there are similarities to TX coastline, especially way South. Also like Florida. Hot all the time, except during hurricane and severe weather.

    Dorian is not grown in this area. I had it when I visited the other dairy. It is grown down there. Jo, the other dairy was started 20 yrs ago by a USA missionary. They milk maybe 16 does, but have a herd of over 100. Anglo Nubian. They milk does are kept in a separate building and milked in their pen. Newborns are kept in a seperate pen immediately adjacent. They wipe with a washed rag, but use the same rag for all does, it is rinsed inbetween in a 5%? clorox solution. Udders are then wiped with that solution. They squirt the first squirt in a seperate container and visually check and smell it. Each does' milk is weighed and recorded. Then they are all mixed together and brought to a separate area. There they refrigerate and pasteurize. They use a double boiler and heat over a bellows blown fire for 10 minutes. That area is kept quite clean, not clean room, but they wipe things down with clorox and limit access. But the windows and doors are not close to air tight. They deworm on a regular schedule and use the one that starts with an I. I have it written down somewhere ? ivan something?. There are known resistance problems they say.

    The people who emulate and model that method either have money, or sponsors. I am after a poorer population segment with different goals. My goal is to help farmers have a single or two doe dairy. Just enough for personal consumption and maybe provide a little income. The yearly breeding God willing will produce 2 kids, which can be sold or eaten. So it is a meat/milk operation, but on a small sustainable scale. Just something to get some healthy milk to children.

    They are also quite a ways away, and even flying it takes more than 2 full days to get there (there are long bus rides on either side of the flights - plus expensive).

    The animals I am starting out with are Philippine Native Goat. Very small, not dairy at all. It is the only common / cheap breed available. I plan on adding some Saanen and Anglo Nubian blood to the herds and use those to start the family dairy. (Think homestead not dairy, and Jersey, not Holstein. - just enough to have a significant health impact on 1 family each time.)

    That brings me to another point, our little mom is having a hard time supplying the milk for 2 and one is acting a tad *off* But it also may have been something he ate. He and his brother got into a vegetable garden and had a little fun in the a.m. In the afternoon, he acted off. He was interested in mom's milk, but nothing else. He just stands there quietly. Does not move away or towards you when touched...

    Can I use UHT or powered milk for humans as a milk supplement? I do not want to give him scours. His backside looks like he might be a little less firm than normal, but does not look like he's had diarrhea at all. I have no vitamin shots available - nor vet.

    ATTRA and FAO are two of the places I was researching *fodder* additives with deworming properties. We bought a lot of legume plant seeds. Like 12 kinds to give a good balance with what was locally already growing on the farm. Our little lady has her own ideas on what is tasty - lol. Like fruit trees, garden flowers, and she loves banana leaves. But I read that the banana leaves are like hay, filler with little nutrional value.

    These goats have not figured out to drink from buckets of water either. They have never had that before. I figure that problem will work itself out tho. I hope so anyway.

    The microscope is a good idea. I will add it to the list of things to find.

    Surprisingly flies are not a huge problem. Gnats more. Also mosquitoes, lice, ticks. I checked them fairly closely for ticks and did not find one, nor lice. Which is kinda amazing. When I look at the neighbor's small dog, I can easily find 20 or more ticks, lice often by the hundreds. Most (99%) of the poor people here have lice too.

    Camille, we are using fermented garlic and ginger sprays to control insects. I read about goats adapting to a regular washing schedule and that helping have healthier goats too. I hope to make a modification of our *insecticide* - the garlic ginger formula and trying to start a bath and brush procedure. Any of ya'll bath and brush? I am also planting plants that are natural deterants, but not poisonous. Like - lemon grass. My idea is to plant there around the goat house. I agree the Pinoy people are wonderful.

    Sondra, Thanks for the heads up on tainting milk. All of my fodder/feeding choices have that in the back of my head. However for many I simply do not know yet. Some are spelled out in the ATTRA, FAO, and MRBLC docs. Starting places anyway. God is blessing our little operation, but right now my head is filling fat trying to keep track of it all. - lol I do not know if ya'll tend to long threads, but this is turning epic. lol.

    People here who have flocks over 50 are few and far between. People with flocks 20-30 maybe 3 times the large flock #'s. People with 10 or less is the norm. Goats here are treated like a bank account by the little farmers. Don't supplement, medicate, or water. They live and die - herds dying out. If they live and the family has no major emergencies they are allowed to breed indiscriminately and the herd really does not grow much if at all due to the mortality. During a family emergency (usually someone requiring medical treatment) goat(s) are sold to pay for the medicine or clinic. Often the goats are the responsibility of young (8-10yr old) kids, who bring them out in the morning and back in the afternoon. No fencing, either tethering with a cheap rope or free roam. But usually tethering. The land is not owned by them, so they *borrow* anybodies field that they think will work, without asking. (leads to a number of challenges as you can imagine.)

    As you can see, with some simple changes the goats can have a better impact on the family and be healthier, live longer, etc. Family goats are rarely eaten. Not because they are held in esteem as a pet, but because they are the bank.

    Personally I can order from the US, etc. And for some things I will. But I am really trying hard to model a natural sustainable farm. Ours will be on a bigger scale, if for no other reason than to provide stock to the small farmer. So I can play with milk, cheese, kefir, yogurt, but I do not envision passing that on. Who knows?

    My goat goals for now:
    Establish a healthy herd. Test and try natural deworming. Work on upgrading with a two fold goal, enough milk for little ones and enough leftover to milk a bit for human consumption.

    Things that are needed along this path. Good records. Modeling portable homemade goat shelters, so the people who do tether can easily provide shelter and that alone should help lower the death rate. I had hoped to teach a bit on worm life cycle and help them to plan their grazing. But based on this message I need to learn a lot more myself.

    I think I misspoke about the herbal worming remedies. I was not thinking of buying remedies I was thinking of making them from available plants. I guess that caused a misunderstanding, since the plants I am considering are not all herbs. (Like papaya, pineapple, & legume leaves.)

    Okay you guys sold me on the Kefir. I had looked at it a long time ago and forgot it. I had rejected it because I could not find kefir on the list of cereal grains grown here. Aha! Kefir grain is not a cereal grain! It is even already in the Philippines, so I do not need to figure out how to get a culture without being arrested, lol. Who here uses it?

    Since sileage increases digestibility and sanitizes parasites. I wonder if kefir would help prevent milk carried diseases between mother and kids?