Friday 17th May 2019
Twins for Sorrel
Unlike her daughter, Sorrel had a textbook birth this afternoon – we arrived shortly after kid number two had emerged and in her usual highly motivated, motherly way, Sorrel was enthusisticaly licking and already encouraging kid number one towards her udder. Looking straight at the camera is Almond, a huge chunky boy who was first out and having her first drink at the back is Pistachio, an almost equally chunky girl!!
The Boer markings and head shape really comes out in these Anglo Nubian/Boer crosses with the colouring coming from the mums. All are seriously pretty and whilst they are all reasonably different, we know we are going to struggle to tell them apart for a while. Hopefully characters will emerge that may help!
Now that these two goats have given birth we can really start to feed them up, Sorrel was a tad underweight through the latter part of her pregnancy, Coriander is just about okay but with all these mouths to feed, they will both need extra concentrates now. Trouble is, both of them have a tendency to be quite loose so we need to restrict their access to the fresh spring grass and only feed them slow-release hard feed such as sugar beet and alfalfa as well as plentry of fibre, e.g. hay. Sorrel has always had loose poo problems due, we suspect, to a high worm burden or coccidiosis when younger which damaged her gut, specifically the papillae which cover the internal walls of the rumen and reticulum, increasing their surface area and thereby allowing better absorption of digested nutrients. Because we suspect these may be damaged in Sorrel, this means she does not get as much out of any food she eats as she should do and in addition, the absorption ability of her gut is also reduced, thereby giving her loose poo. This in turn makes her drink more because she is losing more fluid than she should.
Our regime for the next couple of weeks will be to pen her and Sorrel and all the kids in at night with loads of hay, feed them morning and evening with slow release feeds and then hope that when they are out during the day they will not eat quite so much grass. We are also mindful of them getting wormy again which will make things far worse. At the moment the weather is warm and dry which may help as worm eggs and larva ‘can’ be killed by sunlight. Equally though they are in the field with the shortest grass and as the worms tend to sit at the base of the grass (not being able to climb that high), longer grass is actually better!!! But longer grass is NOT better for their poo!!!!
We will have to see how it all goes. As our vet said, it’s all about balance and moderation!!!