In the morning I bottle fed a few kids to top them up from the previous evening before the haulier arrived to take the cattle to mart. We helped to load the cattle on to the wagon.
Later in the morning I injected two does with Pen and Strep as they were on a three day course of antibiotics due to kidding intervention.
Steph and I then constructed the pet kid/bottle baby pen. We tied doors around the hurdles as goats always find a way to escape through tiny gaps! As soon as I placed Foxy and one of the female triplets in there, they snuggled in the calf hutch together. The calf hutch kept them warm but also kept them out of sight from their mums who were soon to be moved into the opposite pens.
The goat and kid pairs that had bonded well from the single top pens were ready to move into the communal pens, separating the does from the doelings. First of all, the bucklings were castrated and all of the kids were ear tagged.
We mucked out the single pens in preparation for the goats due to kid any day soon.
The last job before I departed was to move hurdles in the main pen, to leave one large pen. The goats were jumping over, so there was a huge risk of injuries. Sadly, there was a doe half paralysed on the other side with Listeriosis.
Listeriosis is caused by Listeria monocytogenes found in soil, therefore there is a risk of ingesting them in haylage. It is a brain stem disease that is also known as ‘circling disease’ as one of the symptoms is repeatedly walking in a circle. It can be mistaken for goat polio, which is a thiamine deficiency. However, pyrexia is not usually a sign of Polio but Listeriosis.
Other symptoms of listeriosis including stargazing, paralysis and lack of a palpebral reflex. This goat was paralysed on the left side, and we believe she had a stress induced seizure. She was given a larger than normal dose of pen and strep, to fight the infection. No pain relief or steroids were administered as this will strengthen the brain/blood barrier, meaning the pen and strep would be less effective. We also rolled the goat to prevent her becoming neurotic which is when muscle will breakdown. The antispasmodic stopped her from fitting, so we could move her into a pen by herself.
Fred cuddles allowed me to end my stay on a positive note! Not only did I learn a huge amount, but my love of goats grew stronger and I had a great time with the McNamara family.