Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Milk Fever

Sorry folks, Milk Fever is NOT another name for Red Brick Farm dying for a glass of goat milk. It's actually not related to fever at all. It's called hypocalcaemia and roots from a lack of calcium. The goatie symptoms are shivering, low body temp, weakness, running into things, and the worst--death. Milk Fever usually happens when the doe kids out and begins heavily milking. In my case, one of my does began shivering in December when her production began to taper off. . . vets have told me it is not milk fever, but I know my goats better than that! My research has turned up these two excellent links.http://allthingsgoat.com/2010/02/milk-fever/ and http://fiascofarm.com/goats/milkfever.htm Milk Fever can occur at ANY time, whether dry or lactating. Thank goodness my doe only has a mild case. The cure: Tums, molasses, alfalfa hay and other high calcium foods. I guess this goes to show that even specific goatie minerals don't give your does enough of what they specifically need at certain stages.

What I learned the hard way:
1. ALWAYS use your better judgement, and double check what your vet recommends for your does. You know them better than you know yourself, get second opinions and educate yourself. Most vets are not familiar with Caprine diseases or their treatments. You can never be too careful when it comes to your doe's health.
2. ALWAYS feed your does pure alfalfa hay. It is imperative. My normal alfalfa hay supplier had dusty hay, so we ended up using our nice grassy horse hay instead. Don't make the same mistake!
3. If your does are eating more minerals than normal, check things out!
4. ALWAYS weigh your grain by weight, with a scale! I stupidly made the beginner mistake of feeding by measuring cups. Huge 'no, no' some grains are heavier than others. I will be weighing my containers of grain from now on (subtracting the container weight, the reason why I Adore Tare function), calculating the average, and feeding that amount from now on. Goat formulated grains usually contain enough vitamins and minerals by themselves, but if you forget to weigh them, you may end up paying a high price--your doe's health.

No comments:

Post a Comment