A Farm Update! Sick Human/Goat Edition.

Posted by & filed under livestock.

Forgive the lapse of posting here, folks. It’s a busy time, not just because of the holidays. 2/3 of the farm team was away for a couple of weeks. I stayed behind to man the fort for Christmas, ensuring the critters had fresh water, dry bedding and full feeders even before I had one sip of my morning coffee, much less opened any gifts from Santa.

Neil and Michael returned a couple days after Christmas and that’s when things started to hit the proverbial fan..all, of course, on the full moon. Whenever the moon goes full, I know I’m in for some trouble. Every full moon so far has resulted in a lost animal. Carrot and Pierogi left this world last time around. And in October, it was Huxley. This time I took the brunt of the moon’s wrath. I fell sick with that nasty cold that has been going around, and fell hard. It had me laid up for 3 days while everyone rallied to take on the daily chores. I’m lucky to have back-up when needed, and I’m glad to say that I’m here for whenever anyone else needs a break to relax and heal. A few days of rest, elderberry tea and a few nips of whiskey later, I was nearly good as new.


No sooner than I washed off the days of bedhead and sickliness, our goat Licorice fell ill. She had been lying around Saturday morning, trembling and not eating or chewing her cud. I contacted my friend Logan over at Freedom Star Farm, who raises Nigerian Dwarf goats, for some needed advice. She gave me tips based on the observations I communicated to her via chat. No fever, no signs of mastitis, no hoof problems…Just no eating or cud chewing. This doesn’t sound like much to be worried about, but with goats signs like this mean it can be quite serious.

(What’s wrong, Licky?)

Logan’s assessment: her rumen was slowing down for a as yet undetermined reason and it needed a kickstart. B-12, Thiamine and stealing cud from Mocha and jamming it in Licorice’s mouth were all attempted to get her back on track. None of these things were as effective as we had hoped as we were administering all of it orally to a goat whose digestion had come to a halt. We decided we needed a vet.

After calling around looking for vets in the county that cared for ruminants and striking out (it was New Year’s Eve), Logan suggested we contact a fellow by the name of Jon Higgins, who makes house calls and only cares for sheep, cows and goats. We called him up and the next morning he was at the farm, giving our girl some injectable vitamins and marveling over how handsome our goats were, present health scare aside, and noting the good quality of the hay we’ve been feeding them.

(All better! Thanks, guys!)

A few days of b-12 injections, some tasty hay and Licorice is just fine. Tail wagging, in standing heat. Chewing cud like it’s going out of style. We take that as a sign that things are back to normal.

We’re relieved to know we can do right by an animal from time to time. After the past few months, I was beginning to get a little worried.


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