Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sour Mouth Within Goat Herd

In the general scheme of things, I'm relatively new to goat breeding. My first two goats arrived in the fall of 2003 (or there 'bouts). You can imagine how steep the learning curve was! Well, we lost the first two ladies to tetanus; a devastating disease and sure death – no recovery – slam their dead! I'm amazed at how quickly/easily these little guys die; but, that's another story.

Now, I panic whenever anyone sneezes, coughs, has diarrhea, doesn’t eat, or separates herself from the herd. Coccidia are another red flag, but, again; that’s another story.

The first time I saw sore mouth I thought ugh what now. It’s a good thing I have a wonderful vet. Anyway, I called her and described the sores on Willie’s mouth. She calmly explained that sore mouth was a virus, it’s highly contagious, can limit the goat’s ability to eat because the sores are painful, and nothing can be done about it. You just ride it out. Noooooooooooo, I didn’t want to hear that.

We have to do something! All of my boys are at risk now. Do you have any idea how hard it is to do nothing! Sigh … .

No, I was going to do something! But what? I could catch sour mouth. I could spread it to the dogs! This thing is nasty! To top it off, Willie was in rut. That in and of itself is nasty (rut is when the boys come into ‘season’ and attract the ladies by peeing on their face; I’m not a goat, don’t see the romance here, but the goat ladies love it.)

Quarantine. I’ll quarantine them! A quarantine area is an absolute must on a goat ranch! Once you have a designated quarantine area, you will love it. A quarantine area is a space where no noses can touch; where no sneeze splatters can reach anyone else; well lit, good ventilation, and where the entire space can be sanitized.

Now, what do I use for sanitization? That depends on the cause for quarantine. My favorite sanitization tool is fire but you really have to be careful with this one. Clorox is good, but by all means check with your vet.

Well, my vet was right, again, (thanks Dr. Amy) we all made it through Willie’s sour mouth, no one else got it, and Willie is doing fine. We figure the sour mouth came from an outside goat that I had purchased a while back. At the time I hadn’t heard of sour mouth (rookie). Sigh again, since we’re going to certain issues as long as we have goats, the quarantine area seems to be a ‘requirement’.

Concrete floor, washable walls, good ventilation, fresh water, close to the ranch clinic, and isolated from the herd. Just what you needed, another project.

Happy Goating!
I’ll get ready for the next story …

Monday, September 21, 2009

Goat Milk Bath and Beauty at Badin Festival

Festival season is always my favorite time of year. We attend as many local events as we can because they are so much fun. I get to meet you and talk with you about your skin care needs; and thankfully, many of you share your beauty care regimes with me. Skin care is important to all of us, at any age.

Most of these venues allow us to bring a goat so we double our fun.

This year we brought Natalie. She's five months old and was a perfect lady. We didn’t know how she would react because this is the first time she’s been off the ranch. She met oodles of new friends who wanted to pet her and even allowed a baby to play with her ears – for a moment. However, when she did get stressed, she jumped onto Jordan's lap. Yup, Jordan was a busy lady, too. Natalie was exhausted and slept all the way home.

A special 'thank you' goes to Jordan's friend, Mia, who helped with the soaps and the goat. Mia, you made our event even more fun and stress-free. Thank you for being with us.

Our goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions were received very well. Thank you for all your comments and suggestions. As usual the favorite essential oil aroma was lavender. I'll make more lotion today.

Lemon was introduced as our newest soap and coordinating lotion. Most folks liked it for its citrus sensation and agreed that it would feel tingly on their toes.

I'm working on our festival schedule and will publisher it as soon as it's more organized.

Thank you for coming by our booth. It was fun to see how many of you used the magic word and received a free soap sample. Be on the lookout for the next magic word so you can get your next free soap sample.

Happy soaping, Pat

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Favorite Goat Games

We all have favorite photographs. This is just one of mine.

Meet my husband Bob and Sherry Red. It looks like she giving him an ear smooch but she's REALLY after his hat. It's straw.

The good news is that it has a metal band around the rim and has survived many a goat mibble. The bad news is that the goats outnumbered him one day and got the hat.

Bob likes his new hat almost as much as he had become accustomed to his 'other' hat. It's a new straw had so now we have a new game to play.

Let's see how long the new hat looks new. Shall we?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

New Boys are in Town

Sleeping Dog Ranch Nubians has several handsome guys growing into their upcoming jobs. Ah, that would be breeding with the ladies. Interesting how so many fellows were born for this work. However, our breeding program is highly competitive and only a select few will be chosen.

These two little guys are in the running and they have no idea how lucky they are. Boys are selected based on their mama’s udder, their confirmation, coloring, and disposition.

The cream colored guy, Swift, is my main selection from the 2009 babies. That is, if he continues developing well.

The brown buck, Wilson, is another strong contender.

Swift is a little skittish and hard to catch so we’re all holding him as often as possible. I don’t chase goats so if he wants to be a breeder, he’ll have to settle down. Wilson, on the other hand, is easy to catch, is a good smoocher, and a true lover.

Our main man, Bucky, is getting older and will be retiring soon. He’s earned his retirement. Ah … that is IF he will retire. We’ll see.

But these little guys must make it through the winter. We lost two promising bucks last January. Even though we’ll be applying every lesson learned to keep the guys alive and developmentally on track; in the end, they have to be strong enough to make it -- on their own.

Their ability to survive is part of the selection process. Tuffffff, I know, but a requirement. As a breeder, I want these little guys to survive and be strong but I can only do so much. It's that strength that we're building into our herd.

Also, we have three more boys in the running but right now they're just a little too young to know for sure. We'll be watching them, too.

I’ll be happy to let you know how these guys develop over the next several months.

Stay tuned,
Pat Allen