Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Oh, the Glamorous Life of a Farm Girl!

Anyone who doesn't think being a farm-girl is full of glamour, has not had the pleasure of being smeared elbow deep in goat feces, is all I am sayin'.

I haven't updated lately because I have not had the time to sit to do so. I really should not be doing so now, either- plenty still needing to be done. But, the house is empty since the girls returned to school on Tuesday and there is no one presently requiring my immediate attention, so... I am stealing these few minutes for myself.

Ellie is still sick with Scouring (sounds better than goat diarrhea, though it means the same.) She had a touch of it on Monday. I thought it was probable that she needed to be wormed and did so. I fed her 4 oz of Dumor brand goat dewormer (Morantel Tartrate) mixed with her grain. That evening, she definitely had more than a touch of the Scours. Sean bathed her tail end and we added some electrolytes to her drinking water. She is not off her feed and is drinking well, so I was hopeful that the worming would take care of the problem and her digestion would return to normal by morning. It did not.

On Tuesday, she was still Scouring. I added 20CCs of goat probiotic gel to a scoop of grain. It is supposed to be dosed orally via a drench. I tried mixing it with her grain first to see if she would just eat it of her own volition. She wouldn't touch the stuff- apparently the flavor was NOT to her liking. So, I added some molasses for both the flavor and it's sugar content. She seemed to like that better. She ate about 1/4 cup of it. Not enough. While she nibbled on the grain, I gave her backside a quick and thorough hosing down, which was highly necessary and completely unappreciated by Ellie. To make amends and make sure she was really clean, I used a cloth and some warm, soapy water and hand finished the job. She didn't like my assistance any better than I enjoyed the side effect of being smeared in goat feces, but when we were done, she was clean and I was filthy. Since I was already in need of a shower, I also cleaned out her stall and replaced the soiled hay there with fresh bedding.

The other does all appear healthy. I took a little time to sit with them and give them all a nice brushing. Ellie is not one to hold a grudge and by the time I brushed all the other does' coats, she came over and allowed me to brush her back and shoulders, too. I offered her some of the probiotic laced grain through the day, but she barely picked at it. I took some comfort in that she was voraciously consuming hay and put more than the usual amount in her feeder for her. And, she was drinking the electrolyte-spiked water. After doing some research on the Internet and talking with Sean, we decided to send a fecal sample to our vet to check the worm load and screen for any bacteria that might be causing this illness.

This morning, Ellie was no better and no worse. I added some yogurt and a ground up Pepto-Bismal tablet to the medicated grain, thinking she might eat it better this way. Yogurt has all those good bacterias that help the digestive systems balance. Pepto-Bismal is safe for usage in goats and helps to sooth the stomach tissues. NEVER use Immodium AD in goats because it can stop the digestive tract from functioning and can be fatal. She picked at it and ate a couple mouth fulls, but seemed really uninterested. I just didn't think she was getting enough probiotic support into her system and she was really scouring badly, so with Sean's help, we dosed her orally with 10 CCs of probiotic paste (which is how anyone else would have already done it to begin with!). Ellie did not appreciate that at all. She looked offended at our neglect of good manners in forcing the probiotic gel into her, but it stayed down, at least. She required a bath for her tail end and the stall needed another good cleaning. Sean and I worked together on these tasks before we fed her more hay and Sean left for work. He dropped the sample to the Vet on the way. We should hear the results from the Vet shortly and then decide on our best course of action.

It is not good- scouring can be fatal to goats- but, I think that she will recover so long as she continues eating and drinking. She is not running a temperature. She is weak, but she is alert and walking, all very good signs.

I am glad I had both yesterday and today off from work. I had not intended to spend them elbow deep in goat manure. But, sometimes, that is what this life throws at you. Every few hours, I go out to check Ellie's hind side, clean it when it needs cleaning, muck any offensive manure and put down fresh bedding. My hands are a little chapped from the amount of times I have washed them over the past 3 days. I am tired and it is raining, which only adds to my overall misery in accomplishing these tasks. I know that a farm life is for me, though. Despite all the disgusting parts that go along with it, I love every minute of caring for my bucks and does, hens and roosters, goose and (hopefully) gander, the little chicks, the piggies, the flea ridden dogs and the pain-in-my-backside, near-sighted horse. I have never been happier nor felt a more satisfied sense of accomplishment than I do as I work to help Sean build this life together. That said, I think it is about time to check Ellie's backside and then, perhaps get to some house cleaning.

Thanks for stopping in.
Sonja ♥


  1. I hope Ellie gets better soon! You guys need a break from all the mess!

    I feel the same way, too, about farm life. I actually enjoy cleaning out the chicken coop. How weird am I? :)

  2. I hope Ellie is better real soon! I am glad she is eating and drinking.