Thursday, September 27, 2012

Accurate diagnosis of pregnancy 
Sep 24 (3 days ago)
to nobleshire
Accurate diagnosis of pregnancy is important to maintain better reproductive management of Goat.
Description:, at PetstwilCanada, are proud to announce that we have the tool that can accurately detect pregnancy status of doe.
This is a fully portable and cost effective ultrasonic instrument that can significantly increase the breeding efficiency.
It identifies with the maximum accuracy whether an animal is pregnant or not.
The detector determines pregnancy by locating amniotic fluid in the uterus.
The testing procedure can easily be implemented by simply pressing the ultrasonic probe against the animal's skin. When pregnancy is detected, the instrument signals this not only with a rapidly flashing indicator, but also with a high-frequency acoustic signal. Only one button is used for operation.
Warranty: Two years from the date of purchase.
For more information on this unique easy to use product and price, please visit our website at You can also email us at or contact us on phone at  +1.416.855.2045.
With Best Regards
Petstwil Canada
25 South Bonnington Ave
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M1N 3M2

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Goat Rumen Illnesses

Goat Rumen Illnesses

Your goats’ health can suffer if not properly managed. Here’s a run-down of some common goat illnesses you need to know.

By Lorrie Boldrick, DVM

It’s difficult to notice when a goat is ill. Many goat illnesses show only subtle signs, but you should know your goats so well that those subtle changes in attitude and behavior will get your attention. The following are common rumen illnesses in goats. If you think your goat may be suffering from one of these illnesses, consult a veterinarian before beginning treatment.


A healthy rumen is crucial for a goat to properly digest roughage. Digestive enzymes in the abomasum and small intestine cannot break down roughage correctly unless it has been prepared by rumen microorganisms. For a goat to thrive, its rumen bacteria must be healthy.
Symptoms and Causes
Healthy rumen bacteria can be killed by improper feeding (too much grain, moldy hay or grain, dog food, et cetera), oral antibiotics and pathogenic bacterial toxins (such as those produced by Clostridium perfringens, type C and D). When bacteria die, the goat cannot digest its food, so the rumen becomes a vat of decaying food and bacteria that quickly becomes toxic. The rumen quits contracting, and it becomes stagnant, causing more bacteria to die and perpetuating the cycle.
Indigestion can range from mild to severe and fatal. A goat will show signs by eating less or not at all and by changes in behavior. The goat may be more inactive and may make complaining sounds.
The rumen must be detoxified, encouraged to contract and empty, and restocked with normal bacteria. Milk of magnesia will detoxify and reduce the acidity of the rumen. It will also help encourage rumen contractions.
For miniature goats, give 2 ounces of milk of magnesia four times daily for two days. For dairy or Boer goats, give 4 ounces of milk of magnesia four times daily for two days. As all the toxic material is emptied out of the rumen, the goat will excrete a foul-smelling diarrhea for 12 to 24 hours. Do not treat this diarrhea; you want to clear all the bad materials as quickly as possible.'
To replace normal bacteria, give the goat 1⁄2 to 1 cup of yogurt daily with a drenching gun, or try probiotics for ruminants, such as Probios. If the milk of magnesia and yogurt routine does not work, call your veterinarian. There is a definite “point of no return” when the rumen stops functioning, so do not delay treatment.
To prevent indigestion, allow your goats access to a variety of browse and grain. A diet of too much grain will lead to indigestion, because these foods will upset the balance of microorganisms in the rumen. Moldy hay will also upset the rumen’s balance. Be careful with antibiotics. They often kill rumen bacteria, allowing bad bacteria to take over and cause indigestion.


Also called “overeating disease,” enterotoxemia occurs when a specific bacteria, Clostridium perfringens, type C or D, infects the rumen when a goat is suffering from indigestion. It multiplies rapidly, taking advantage of the acidic environment to produce its own toxins, poisoning the goat.
Symptoms and Causes
When the balance of bacteria in the stomach is disrupted (by eating too much grain, et cetera), Clostridium perfringens becomes prolific and produces toxins. Goats suffering from this disease may exhibit twitching, a swollen stomach, teeth grinding and fever.
There is no effective cure for this illness. It is usually fatal and does not respond well to any treatment.
Enterotoxemia can be prevented by annual vaccination and by avoiding abrupt changes in your goat’s diet. Goats at risk to devouring excess grain or nursing kids are at risk and should be vaccinated. Goats kept on dry lots with absolutely no chance of getting excess grain may not need this vaccine.


The normal rumen churns one to four times every minute, and its bacteria produce methane gas continuously. Most of this gas is released as the goat belches. Bloat occurs when the goat is not able to release built-up gas.
Symptoms and Causes
Certain goat diets—especially fresh, green alfalfa—will cause the gas to form tiny bubbles that become trapped in the rumen fluid. This may produce a frothy bloat. The tiny bubbles cannot be released in a natural belch, and the condition progresses rapidly until the rumen is grossly distended and the goat is extremely uncomfortable.
The goat’s rumen will swell, and the goat may kick at its left side while it grunts and slobbers. The goat may continually get up and then lay back down. If not treated promptly, bloat can lead to death. The position of the goat may also cause bloat. If the goat lies on its side, the opening between the rumen and esophagus will be low and the natural gas pocket in the rumen will be above it. The gas is again trapped and the rumen becomes painfully distended.
Treatment is obvious—the gas must be allowed to escape. Position the goat on a steep incline (at least a 45-degree angle) with the front legs higher than the rear. This elevates the opening between the esophagus and the rumen and will often be all that is necessary to relieve a positional bloat.
Mineral oil or milk of magnesia (2 to 3 ounces) will help relieve a frothy bloat by breaking the tiny bubbles to form one large gas pocket, which can be relieved normally. Once the medicine has been administered, massaging the abdomen and walking the goat will help with proper mixing and breakdown of the bubbles. Relief from frothy bloat should be evident within one hour of administration of the medication.
If these treatments do not work, your vet may need to pass a tube into the goat’s stomach to release the pressure in the rumen while giving the medicine a chance to work.
Do not confuse a full rumen with bloat. The rumen lies on the left side of the goat. True bloat will cause a tense, firm swelling in the left flank, and the goat will be in obvious distress. However, some goats will eat a big meal and look bloated, but they are comfortable and can easily belch or bring up a cud, assuring you they’re happy and healthy. To prevent bloat, feed balanced rations and make dietary changes gradually, and prevent goats from overeating.
About the Author: Lorrie Boldrick, DVM, graduated from the University of California-Davis, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1968. She specializes in caprine medicine and raised Pygmy goats for 25 years. She is the author of Pygmy Goats: Veterinary Care and Management.

The Benefits of Raising Goats

We’ve been wondering about the benefits of raising goats for a long time now.  Here’s a perfect article by Cheryl K. Smith that describes multiple reasons why every homestead should raise goats.
The Benefits of Raising Goats
By Cheryl K. Smith
You get a lot from keeping goats. Raising goats can help you achieve a sustainable lifestyle. You can milk them or eat their meat, use their fiber and their skin for making clothing, and even use their dung for fuel (if you are so inclined).You may want to raise goats for a variety of reasons:
Becoming more self-sufficient: Goats can give you milk to drink and food to eat, and even help you carry your belongings when backpacking.
Cutting your dairy bill: If you raise dairy goats, you might not have to buy cheese or milk ever again. Your goats need to have kids to give you milk, and then you can milk them throughout the year for up to three years without re-breeding.
Raising your own meat: Goat meat has always been popular in the developing world because goats are much more affordable and use fewer resources than animals such as cows. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the demand for goat meat is expected to continue growing.
Growing your own fiber: Some of the finest fiber comes from goats: Angora and Pygora goats produce mohair, cashmere goats produce cashmere, and crosses between the two breeds produce a fiber called cashgora.
If you raise fiber goats, you can spin your own yarn and make hats, blankets, sweaters or other products. You can also sell the fiber to spinners or to companies that make these products.
Harnessing goats’ power as living weed whackers: Goats are well-known for their ability to wipe out weeds. In fact, some people have made businesses out of renting out their goat herds to cities and other municipalities to clean up areas that are overgrown with weeds or blackberry bushes. These leased goats decrease the need to use herbicides, improve the soil’s fertility, decrease the risk of fire, increase the diversity of plants in the area, and control weeds in hard-to-reach areas, such as steep hills.
Breeding and selling: Unless your goats are just pets or brush eaters, you probably want to breed them. If you have dairy goats, you need to breed them to keep a good supply of milk flowing. And you need to replace any goats you sell or slaughter.
Keeping goats as pets: You can leash train goats and take them on walks throughout the neighborhood or around your property, which provides exercise for all of you.
Using your goat for packing: Goats are social animals and, after you establish a relationship with them, they love to spend time with you. They enjoy going for hikes and can carry your belongings; they find plenty to eat right there in the wilderness.
Raising goats as a 4-H project: Getting children involved in raising goats is a good way to teach responsibility. Keeping goats requires twice-a-day chores. Children quickly learn that the goats depend on them. They also find out about the cycle of birth and death and get outdoors to get regular exercise.”

Amber Waves Pygmy Goats: How to Purchase Your First Pygmy Goats

Amber Waves Pygmy Goats: How to Purchase Your First Pygmy Goats

How to Purchase Your First Pygmy Goats

How to Purchase Your First Pygmy Goats

If you wish to have an adorable, family friendly pet in your home, pygmy goats are the perfect choice. These gentle, friendly animals don’t take up a lot space and are great with children. Your life will become much more fulfilled with the presence of these animals in your home. If you’re someone who has never purchased a pygmy goat before, then there are several things you will want to look out for when purchasing a goat. You will want to buy a healthy goat from a reputable breeder. But for pygmy goat novices, it may not be easy to tell which breeders are reputable and what a healthy goat looks like. When you are going to buy your first pygmy goat, here are several things to pay attention to:

First and foremost, the most important thing to consider when buying goats is the goat’s health. Even if you are not an expert on the health of pygmy goats, there are certain visual signs by which you can tell whether the goat is healthy or not. If the goat is overly thin, has a runny nose, a shaggy coat, runny eyes, or hoof rot, it is most likely not in the best of health. All of the previously mentioned symptoms may be signs of parasites and respiratory problems. However, there are more signs that aren’t evident on the surface. Some goats may have diseases that have symptoms that aren’t visually evident, which ties into the next aspect of buying a goat, a reputable breeder.

Reputable breeders will test goats for diseases such as Johne’s disease, Caprine arthritis encephalitis, and Caseous Lymphadenitis, amongst others. Reputable breeders regularly test goats for diseases to ensure of the goat’s health. Purchasing a goat from a reputable breeder and a not so reputable breeder makes all the difference in whether you will have a happy, long living goat. When looking at goats a breeder, ask if the goats have been tested for these diseases. If the goats are under six months old, ask if the parents have been tested negatively. Some breeders have perfectly healthy goats and don’t test for disease. If that is the case, offer to pay for the testing. The breeder should agree if the breeder is reputable. Also, the pygmy goats of a reputable breeder will appear healthy and happy, and live in a safe, functioning environment.            

If you wish to find a good breeder, consider Amber Waves. They have been a leader in pygmy goat breeding for over 30 years, and treat their goats with care and respect. AmberWaves produces goats not only for the purpose of keeping as pets, but for show and breeding purposes. They ship goats both nationally and internationally. All of their goats are test for CAE, CL and Johne’s disease, and they are de-horned and de-wormed. For some of the healthiest goats in the country, they are the breeder to trust. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How prepared are you for an emergency?

How prepared are you for an emergency?
Hoegger Farmyard

How prepared are you for an emergency?

Even as I type, wild fires are raging out of control in California, with over 3,500 homes threatened by the flames in one region. Over 8,000 firefighters are battling to contain three fires, and hundreds of families have been evacuated.

July 2012 was the warmest and 28th driest July on record, causing wildfires to threaten homes in several states. Should you find your home and livestock threatened by any kind of disaster requiring evacuation, do you have a plan in place? You know what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Planning ahead could save you vital minutes as you scramble under emergency conditions to co-ordinate your farm.

Alexis Griffee  from Roamin Roan Acres in Milton, Florida, had her own emergency situation this year which prompted her to send us the following article:

“Chilling images of the wildfires out west have many feeling the need to prepare their own ‘evacuation plan’ for their herds. This winter we had our own personal reminder about the importance of needing to be able to evacuate our home and our animals as fast as possible.

As with most winters in our area, the weather was dry and windy. This particular day we had winds at 30mph. An individual decided that this would be a good time to burn brush to clear his land. Obviously, the fire quickly got out of control and spread to nearby fields.

We received a call from our neighbors telling us to get home. In the time it took to get home, about 5 minutes, the fire had burned through fields and was coming to our property. We managed to hook up the trailer in record time, evacuate our goats and horse and move them off property.

While this particular situation turned out well and everyone was safe, it was a stark reminder at how easy it is to overlook simple steps that could have saved us time when seconds counted.

  • Collars: Always have collars on your animals! These don’t need to be fancy, just there! We had some goats without collars and it was a mess to try and handle a frightened animal with no real way to control it. We use bailing twine a lot, and you can get cow ear tags and write your info on them and attach it to the collar. If we hadn’t had time, we would have had to open the gates and herd our animals off property and worry about rounding them up later. Sounds horrible, but if you’re in a disaster type situation you have to make these choices.

  • Don’t Panic!: Always remember that a scared animal will act totally differently than normal, especially when they sense your own panic! My mare, the most dead calm horse ever, was terrified. Fire was licking at our fence and she thought she was trapped. I got her out and loaded, but she spooked at something that wouldn’t normally bother her and knocked me over. Remember that as freaked out as you may be in a situation; animals are even more since they can’t rationalize it. Fight or flight.

  • Contacts: Make sure that your neighbors have your contact information! We were not home when the fire started and if our friends and neighbors didn’t have our contact information, we wouldn’t have known! It is also helpful to have your phone number posted on a farm sign up at the front of your property in case the emergency responders need to contact you.

  • Transportation: Always have some mode of transportation ready. Whether it is a crate, goat tote or a trailer, always have this cleaned and in working order in case you need to load up animals fast!

  • Livestock Guardians: This is one more situation where I was very happy to have a livestock guardian! Our Pyrenees went above and beyond this day. The fire was by the fence line and smoke was everywhere when we arrived at our house. Our guardian, Sadie, had the goats herded in a group at the center of the pasture. When we arrived, we hooked up the trailer and then went to get the animals loaded. Sadie herded the scared goats to the gate and helped get them in the trailer. Having her there helped me greatly and she also gave the panicked animals a sense of security- they knew not to argue with her that day!”

And don’t forget your feathery farm members – have crates ready to load chickens into, or have a plan in place where they can get to a safe place in case of flood.

What might you need to include in your emergency preparations?

  • Emergency radio: For those of you who live in areas with poor cellular coverage, these can be vital in keeping in contact with other family members, and they also have an emergency weather channel.
  • Flashlight: These ‘no batteries, no problem’ boy scout ones are great because, let’s face it, batteries are never where they’re meant to be when you need them.
  • Animal records: If you need to board your animals somewhere, or in case of medical emergency, detailed health and vaccination records are essential to have on hand. Use this handy binder with individual health record sheets to keep everything straight.
  • Collars: Each doe, buck and kid should be wearing a collar and / or ID band for ease of catching and to keep tabs on whose kid belongs to whom! Fiber goats especially may be better suited with ear tags for ID.
  • In a high stress situation, goats may be feeling the pressure, causing them to experience some rumen upsets. It is worth keeping probiotics in your kit and some kind of natural stress reliever.
  • First aid kit! At the very least, have some Blood Stop powder and some kind of antiseptic.

For more hints and tips on how to organize your farm or homestead in case of emergency, see this Humane Society link.

Goat breeding essentials: Get your buck ready for breeding season

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Goat breeding essentials: Get your buck ready for breeding season

Goat breeding essentials: Get your buck ready for breeding season

Most of us are getting our goats ready for fall breeding, either for show season or yearly breeding. It is imperative to get those bucks ready for their ‘husbandly duties’. Before your buck can be as productive as possible you should make sure he is free of parasites, his nutrition is good and he is nice and plump.

A lot of goat breeders rely on pasture for the bulk of nutrition for the bucks most of the year but with breeding season coming up these bucks should be put on some grain/feed product and nutritious hay. You will probably be feeding your does during breeding and bucks will be eating feed also. It won’t be such a shock to their system if they have been weaned onto grain a few weeks before going into the breeding pen.

They also need to be checked for parasite loads including internal worms and lice.  A good rule of thumb is to perform a fecal to see any worm load they are contending with. This will help you choose the correct worming product to use. Remember, you usually have to give the worming product again in 10 days so make sure you can get this done before putting him into the breeding pen.

Shaving a buck will help to keep his breeding season ‘stinkiness’ to a minimum.

Another tip would be to shave your buck, if this has not already been done. Having your buck free of any extra hair coat will lessen the chance of your does smelling as bad as the buck. This will also help to combat the lice that invariably hide in their hair coat. I even like to give mine a bath, just for good measure.

Make sure to get his hooves trimmed up to keep his legs and feet in good working order, because without a good set of feet and legs your buck cannot perform. Also if you happen to clip his hooves too close and make him sore he will have time to recover. This will also give you time to clear up any hoof rot issues.

Another key ingredient to helping make sure your buck is productive is to either copper bolus or look for any nutritional deficiencies such as a fish tail or a ‘Y’ in the hair on the end of the tail. Other signs include the buck not losing his winter coat or his hair being very coarse. If you are not comfortable with copper bolusing your buck, make sure to provide him with a high copper concentrate of minerals. Goats require very high copper levels especially during breeding season.

Bucks are notorious for not eating during breeding season as long as does are around and/or there are other bucks around, so making sure the buck is in overall good health is important before he goes in with the does.

Tips for getting your buck ready for the breeding pen:
  1. Fecal worm count
  2. Increase feeding ration
  3. Shave all extra hair
  4. Treat for lice
  5. Check for nutritional deficiencies
  6. Hoof trim

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Exclusive Amber Waves Pygmy Goats Become Celebrity Must Have Pet

Deposits are currently being taken for award-winning Amber Waves pygmy goats which are now being shipped nationally and internationally.

Thinking about bringing home a new pet? Why choose the ordinary when you can purchase an exotic African pygmy goat that will provide you and your family with years of fun, entertainment, and companionship! Amber Waves is currently taking deposits on its late summer and fall kiddings. You can even put down a deposit for holiday kidding right now!

Pygmy goats make for unique, memorable gifts, so do yourself a favor and get your holiday shopping started early! Or purchase a kidding now as an exceptional back-to-school present. As a reputable industry leader, Amber Waves pygmy goats sell out very quickly. Ensure you get the pygmy goat you want by putting down a deposit today!

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Amber Waves remains committed to raising and selling high-quality, healthy African pygmy goats. Known for its excellent customer service, Amber Waves provides each customer with Lifetime Support for each pygmy goat purchased. Raising pygmy goats, while certainly interesting, is not difficult or expensive. In fact, it is comparable to dog ownership, and should you ever have any questions, the experts of Amber Waves will provide you will all the information you need!
The popularity of Amber Waves African pygmy goats is continually increasing. Celebrities such as actresses Megan Fox and Tori Spelling have purchased pygmy goats from Amber Waves. Even foreign dignitaries use Amber Waves as their source for pygmy goats. The reason for this is simple. Amber Waves provides customers with the very best pygmy goats. Amber Waves ships nationally and internationally, so no matter where you live, you too can have the very best and purchase from Amber Waves.   

Visitors are welcome at Amber Waves! Please make an appointment online. To purchase African pygmy goats from Amber Waves and for more information on the breed in general, visit, email, or call 951-736-1076. Remember, deposits are being accepted now for late summer, fall, and holiday kiddings. They go fast, so contact Amber Waves today!

Amber Waves
Established in 1982 in Norco, California, Amber Waves is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Amber Waves is committed to producing high-quality, registered African pygmy goats for breeding, showing, and family pet purposes. Over the years Amber Waves has become an industry leader, accumulating prestigious awards such as 428 Champions, 4 Premier Exhibitor awards, 7 Premier Breeder awards, 5 Herdsman awards, and 1 National Champion Buck award. Kiddings are available year round and may be shipped both nationally and internationally. Occasionally proven bucks and does are also available for purchase. 


Visit Amber Waves

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Book your on-line appointment today!