Kids and Lambs Are on the Way
Kidding and lambing season is going strong. Cattle are not the only livestock impacted by the unusual weather that we have had over the past year. Make sure that you are feeding your pregnant females appropriately as they approach parturition (birthing). Underfeeding and overfeeding can both lead to serious complications around the time of labor and delivery. Lactation can also be severely impacted. Consult your veterinarian if you are unsure how much feed your pregnant females should be consuming.
For those that disbud kids, remember that 7-14 days of age is the ideal window for this procedure. Old Dominion Veterinary Services offers this service under sedation with local anesthesia. Males can also be banded while under sedation (although it is recommended that pet goats be castrated after going through puberty around 5-6 months of age when possible to minimize the risk of urinary obstructions). Pain associated with the procedure and the risk of scurs or horn regrowth is minimized when disbudding is performed in the appropriate window.
The mild temperatures this winter combined with muddy conditions mean that parasite loads maintained without a significant period of dormancy. As kids and lambs start hitting the ground, we are already seeing animals die from barberpole worm. Make sure that you are using the FAMACHA system and fecal egg counts to keep tabs on the parasite load in your herd before it spirals out of control.