Guest Blog by Courtney Ingham
There are few things more exciting than kidding season on a goat farm.
After five months of gestation, I prepare by setting up my baby monitor in our goat barn, constantly checking the utters of my does (which get full when they are close to freshening), feeling tail ligaments (which get loose and thin right before freshening), and properly stocking my supplies–which always includes my 100 Remedy Kit.
This year, both of our Lamancha does had triplets within days of each other.
However, when the first batch of triplets turned two days old, I noticed one of them had looser than normal poop. It was yellow and more runny than I like to see.
The offensive smell instantly cued me in: Scours.
In human terms, this means intense diarrhea.
Normal goat kid poop is similar to breastfed baby poop. They usually pass their meconium in a day or so, and then the poop turns yellow while they are on their dam’s milk.
According to Pat Coleby’s Natural Goat Care book, “Scouring, especially in kids, often kills by dehydration.” Scours are generally a bright yellow color and they smell “sickly,” whereas normal poop at this stage is not offensive at all.
And that’s right, scouring can kill a goat kid in a matter of days or even hours, if severe enough.
I immediately swept the scouring kid up and took him to the bathtub where I washed him up. I didn’t want to spend the time scouring over my materia medica (no pun intended), but later when I referenced the disease, George Macleod suggested in his book Goats: Homeopathic Remedies, that depending on the symptoms, one could use Aconitum, Veratrum, Pulsatilla, along with several other remedies.
He also suggests that one could use the E. Coli nosode “at birth and again at 24, 48 and 72 hours” as a preventative measure. I found that interesting, but again, I had to act fast and rely on my memory.
So, what did I do?
Fortunately, I remembered this pin from Joette: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/566961040565493889/ for diarrhea and knew that I had it in my 100 Remedy Kit. The “voluminous” and “watery” description Joette described stood out, and by the time I was able to grab my kit and prepare the remedy, the poop was already both more voluminous and watery, essentially covering the backside and legs of the kid (still in the bathtub), and boy did it stink!
I sunk four tablets of Veratrum 30 into a one-ounce tincture bottle and let them dissolve as I rushed back to the kid.
I immediately squirted an eyedropper full into the kid’s mouth and then cleaned him up again and swaddled him with a warm towel. He was already getting sleepy by that time, so I laid him down in the bathtub to rest.
I came back a half-hour later and was happy to see he had settled into sleep and all was well. I un-swaddled him and saw that he had pooped again, but this time it was pretty much solid. Not watery at all.
And that is when I noticed his brother had watery poop as well.
Darn it! But no problem.
I knew what to do. Both of them got a full syringe of their remedy, and I left them to sleep.
I honestly wasn’t at all in a fuss, even though I am fully aware that scours can take a goat down rather quickly if you aren’t careful.
After seeing the first dose work so well, and noting both the goats were sleeping peacefully (further indicating the remedy was well-chosen), I felt ok with leaving them for a couple of hours.
When I returned an hour and a half later, I noticed both kids seemed healthy and full of life. They played with each other and their other sibling, and their behavior seemed normal!
Their poop was noticeably more solid and less bright yellow in color already, and the offensive smell was gone. So, with another prophylactic dose, I left them to do what goat babies do and decided to check back a few hours later.
By that time, I was fully satisfied that the remedy had worked and never gave either another dose! And good thing too, because my human kids were ready to play with them again.
I’m happy to report that all my goat kids are doing really well. In fact, I must say that I’ve found the condition of my entire herd has improved immensely since I’ve started using homeopathy with them, and the generation of goats that have been solely raised on our farm, without any allopathic medicines, are measurably hardier and generally recover much faster, just as our two scouring goat kids did.
And all the cute goat fun has fully commenced!
Yay for homeopathy on the homestead!