Okay, true confession here. When we first got goats, I knew I wanted to maintain my herd on herbal wormers, BUT I had not the first clue on how to administer it to them. Like most goat things, when I went looking on the internet to see what other people did, I found that everyone had their own way of doing it. While I didn't mind putting work into making the whatever-it-was, I DID mind making said things only to have the goats spit the (expensive) (labor intensive) (necessary) wormer out on the ground, making it unpalatable for them. UGH!!! What a waste!!! Beyond my frustration was the fact that the goat still hadn't taken their wormer, and herbal wormer is one of those things that you need to keep up on if you'd like it to work.
Yes, I'd like it to work. I would not actually like sickly, unhealthy, or dying goats, thank you very much.
Here's the other thing I ran into: while I need them to eat it, I also need it to be user friendly for me. I need it to go together quickly. If it takes a lot of time to mix up, shape, or whatever, inevitably I get busy and it might not happen faithfully. I need it to be brainless. No stress, no sweat. Easy-peazy, lemon... okay, you get the point. If it's easy enough to do, I'm able to keep up with the regular dosing that is necessary for it to be effective.
I'm going to show you what has worked for me and what we do here. I hope that you'll look through the pictures and think, "I could do that! That's manageable!" 'Cause it is. Easy-peazy, rather brainless, and all that. Which suits me and my herd just fine.
Coffee is NOT OPTIONAL, PEOPLE. Do you know what kind of dosing mistakes I'm likely to make without coffee???
I have enough bowls for everyone in my herd to have their own; herbal wormer with measuring spoon; beet shreds; watered down molasses in the ketchup container; wheat germ oil in the mustard container and spray bottle. Really the redundancy is not necessary.
Put a small handful of beet shreds in each bowl. When I have pregnant does, I use the bowls to color code (pregos get half dose of everyone else).
I hope seeing it step-by-step makes it easy to understand what we're doing. We then feed it to each goat individually; most of them scarf it down first time, but if you have a picky eater, there's some things you can do.
1. Use herd dynamics to your advantage. Feed the "picky eater" with a couple of other goats who think the wormer is yummy; careful, those hungry goats will try to grab it and gobble it down! It makes a reluctant eater more likely to try it- and continue trying it- if other goats show them that it's a treat.
2. If there's something your "picky eater" thinks is yummy, go ahead and stir it in. OR, add just a bit of the wormer in next time you're giving them a treat. A taste that's familiar is more likely to be accepted.
3. Repeat! Don't stress it. Repeated exposures make the picky eater more likely to decide it tastes yummy (it's not. Go ahead, ask me how I know). But the goats sure think it's tasty!
4. With babies, mix their dose with water and drench them. By the time they're eating solids, they think it's delicious!
Still working on a picky eater? Have a better way of doing it? Have other questions? Drop us a line!