When we can mange to swing it financially, I like to have our amazing vet, Dr. P, come out for a farm visit and do a full herd check up. Recently I had tried to send in some fecal samples to be tested, but they became frozen during mailing and so were inconclusive. I decided it would be a good idea to have the vet come out so I could give her the samples directly, and take the opportunity to do a check-in on the entire herd before kidding season officially kicks off.
We had a few does that had been experiencing some difficulties over the winter, so she gave these gals a more thorough check. She suggested a feed change on these girls to downgrade the protein content on our feed blend and add more zinc to their daily ration. Luckily, we have just stocked up on ZinPro, so that’s an easy change for us to make. She had made a mention of the prevalence of zinc deficiencies cropping up in our area on her last visit, so we were already using the ZinPro to top dress everyone’s grain – it just looks like a few will need an increase
I asked Dr. P if she could attempt an ultrasound on our doe Maple Cream even though she was pretty late in her gestation. Maple is the doe I have the most concerns about this kidding season – she is a very small doe and this is her first freshening. My biggest fear has been that she’ll have a large single and it will cause complications. After situating an unhappy Maple on the milk stand, the vet was able to see two spines – twins! She did warn that a single baby could be in a presentation that was doubled up, potentially showing a neck and a spine, but she was pretty confident there were two babies in there. We also got to see one of the baby’s heartbeats – it was really amazing, and a big relief all around.
We collected some fecal samples to get a baseline on a few goats, and results came back today all low to moderate. This is great news, because I had a lot of concerns regarding parasite loads due to an unusually warm winter.
There’s nothing more comforting than knowing you have the support of a good vet, and we are lucky to have one that is not only knowledgeable about goats, but has her own goat herd as well, and so has a true passion for them. With her seal of approval and confirmed good health, we’re feeling really confident as we head into kidding season here in just under a week. Fingers crossed for smooth sailing!