If you want a good fleece harvest, you MUST check goats' skin for signs of lice and mites monthly and treat accordingly. We have found our organic powder to be a reliable monthly preventive for external parasites. If there is an external parasite infestation on any goat, however, we always resort to Sevin dust immediately in spring and summer to get it under control; in fall and winter, when fleece is longer, we also use AgriMectin Pour-On. We return to the organic powder for that goat the following month and keep a close eye on the skin for any signs of infestations.
In summer goats love rubbing against mint stalks. It may ward off flies and other summer pests as catnip does. I weave mint stalks into the fence for goats to rub.
Bathing goats--We bathe our goats with warm water from the garden hose and Dawn dish detergent whenever they become dirty and to keep the buck smell down in summer. Bath time is a good time to see and check skin and to find matts. Our goats have their own blow dryer, which is also handy for locating matts to remove.
Fleas, ticks, lice—All can affect goats. The lice that affect goats are not the same lice that can affect humans and do not transfer to humans. Ticks do not seem to be fond of goats but can occasionally be spotted on herd members. Fleas can be present any time of year. Lice are especially problematic during colder months when goats stay close together indoors and any time the fleece is long and the rains cause the goats to remain indoors and closer together. We no longer use Python dust since we found it to be ineffective.
We use a homemade Organic Flea, Tick and Lice powder for goats of all stages and ages.
We try to powder and comb once per month, checking the lower barrel near the belly area and inside the front and hind legs as well as the tail area regularly for flaky skin or dandruff. No one wants flaky or sticky skin particles in their fleece. If goats have sticky fleece, especially around the neck and hind quarters, or if they have matts starting along their bellies and necks it may be time to resort to more potent external parasite remedies.
PREPARING FOR FALL AND WINTER MONTHS AND BATTLING EXTERNAL PARASITES
Applied to all wood surfaces in the barn and sleeping areas around the barn and pen that are dry and do not contain hay that the goats will eat. This is a once a year treatment in preparation for cold and/or rainy winter months when goats are congregated indoors or in pens closer together.
An external dose of Agri-Mectin Pour-On against the skin along the spine
An internal dose of Agri-Mectin Injectable, given orally
Organic Flea Tick and Lice Powder
Organic Flea, Tick, Lice Powder*—SOURCE: Kelly from Primally Inspired.
1.5 cups Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
¾ cup Neem Powder
¾ cup Yarrow Powder
40 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil**
Makes 16 oz. of powder for shaker can.
*Available in 1.5 oz. and 1 lb. containers from Mountain Meadow Farm.
**Leave out Eucalyptus Oil if using on cats. Actually, the Eucalyptus oil doesn't seem to bother our barn cat. We also use the powder on our chickens.
Sprinkle powder down the spine from head to tail. Make sure to part the guard hair or fleece so that the powder reaches the skin. Comb guard hair or fleece backward along the spine to disseminate powder. Turn smaller animals over and sprinkle powder in the armpits and groin areas. Sprinkle a line along the center of the belly as well . For larger animals rub powder into armpit and groin areas and along the belly so that it touches the skin.
Note: We are not veterinarians and do not recommend medications, we simply share information on what works for us and our goats.
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