• theholisticgoat

    May 23, 2023 at 1:07 pm

    Shared from Michaiah with permission. The context is a goat who “bloats” every few days and the bloat recedes with a treatment of olive oil and baking soda orally. The OP states that the sister to this doe also developed “bloat” in late pregnancy, and both she and the kids were lost. She is hoping to avoid that in this scenario.

    Ok, the distended belly in a ruminant that’s eating and drinking normally isn’t indicative of bloat. Bloat is extremely painful and often they will be standing around, biting or kicking at their belly, sometimes even crying out. A distended belly without those signs is indicative of an active rumen. The more distended the rumen, the harder the ruminant’s body is working in order to extract the maximum nutrition from their feed.

    Since the distended belly is telling you that the goat’s body is working harder and harder to get the maximum nutrition out of their feed that tells you that you’re feeding her less than her body needs. This could be because she has a high worm load or because the demands of pregnancy or lactation are outpacing what she’s eating.

    Most likely her sister died from not having sufficient nutrition. The distended belly was a symptom of the insufficient nutrient intake. I would check the parasite load (eyelid color and/or fecal egg count) and treat if necessary. I would also gradually increase her nutrient intake. You mentioned that your feed mix includes alfalfa. I would aim to increase just the alfalfa part of her ration to free choice. Again, make the change gradually. Start with a beer and offer the usual ration of alfalfa without the other things in addition to her usual ration and increase just the alfalfa portion from there. You should see the belly decrease in size as the alfalfa ration increases, so how quickly the belly reduced will depend on how quickly the nutritional intake starts meeting her needs, but the belly isn’t a problem and increasing her feed ration too quickly could be.”

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