Goats in the Garden-June 2013

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                                                                               GARDEN GOATS


Viv McNeil


At last the long awaited warmer weather has arrived and we can all start to enjoy our goats once more.

Those of you who decided to put your goats into kid should by now all be enjoying the sight of lively, enchanting kids leaping around, or maybe not, as the case may. You may, like me, have had a few problems and kids may be rather thin on the ground.

One caesarean, one vet intervention and one early kidding made for an interesting if not stress free week.

With only two male kids to show for all the hard work over the year I felt a little disappointed.

However, I am still here and planning for next year.


I think it is possible that one of my goats may be suffering from copper deficiency. I was actually looking up `selenium` on my all singing/dancing  ipad that Santa brought me and I came across what looked like a possible problem. Copper deficiency is only really detected by a blood test so I may be wrong, however there are a few things that make me suspicious. One day I remember thinking I had left the goats red collar on but then realised I hadn`t and it was the sun reflecting on the brown flashes in her coat.  I didn`t think anything of it at the time but then I read that one of the symptoms of copper deficiency was a red tinge to the coat. Also I had been treating this goat for zinc deficiency as she had lost the hair around one eye, although this is now improving it is also a symptom of copper deficiency. The other thing which made me sit up was that it mentions stillborn kids, maybe this could be the reason for her kidding problems this year. I did some research into what I could do and I am now adding a mineral supplement which contains copper to their goat mix once a day, it may solve the problem. If I am still concerned later I will speak to the vet.


I know a lot of back garden goat keepers keep a couple of wethers, this is just to remind you that all goats but especially wethers need a constant supply of clean water, especially in the warm weather.


You might recall I was asked to give a talk to the Women`s Institute (yes, I am a member and we do sing Jerusalem, well I mime actually) about keeping pygmy goats. Well I must have done quite well as I have been asked by the Rotary Club to give them a talk. I am not quite sure what a Rotary Club is but I am assured they are well behaved and I will get a free dinner so I couldn`t say `no`. I am a bit concerned as I feel the average age will be a lot lower and they might stay awake and notice when I repeat myself.


I hope lots of you will be supporting the shows this year, they are the shop window for the Pygmy Goat Club and a lot of new members are gained through speaking to exhibitors at the shows. Even if you only have one or two goats to show it will still be a good day out for the family.


A wish you all a long and warm summer.