Welcome to HighTail Farms, LLC! We're a small farm located in Greensboro, North Carolina. We are dedicated to providing people with ethically raised and humanely processed pastured poultry and sheep, fresh eggs, and raw meat for pet food. We are currently not producing any products for sale.

Please follow the links in the top bar for more information on our products and their availability. Continue reading below for our blog where we detail the adventures of raisin' animals and whatnot.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Copper wire particles and our goats: Take 2

  It has been about 6 months since we gave all the goats a dose of copper wire particles, so we decided it was about time to treat them again. If you'll recall, last time didn't go so smoothly. This time I was going out by myself, but I was determined to make things go as smoothly as possible this time.

  We had purchased the large cow sized pills of copper to save money. I started by weighing out the copper and packing it into small gelatin capsules. This was easy to do with the help of a tiny plastic funnel on which I had widened the end slightly.
 The normal dosage for copper wire particles for goats is 2 grams for young or mini goats and 4 grams for adults. We decided to split the difference for Gwen and Eve and give them 3 grams each since they are both somewhere in between (around 50-60lbs).

  The secret to my success this time was supposed to be this. It's called a "pet piller," and it works great for cats and dogs. I have even been using it with Gwen on a regular basis with no problem. I was soon to learn that not all our goats are as easy to handle as our Gwen.

The kids giving me the stink-eye. 
"We ain't taking no pills!"

  Generally speaking, the easiest way to dose a goat or sheep is to get their head between your legs. From there, you can tilt the head up and open their mouth with one hand and use the other to administer the meds. 

  It's relative safe to stick your hand in a goat's mouth since they only have teeth on the bottom jaw. The upper jaw is a fleshy pad that helps them grip grass and leaves and yank them free. Behind this is an open space, this is a good place to stick a thumb to help open up the mouth, but be very careful. Past that open space are a set of sharp, powerful, ridged molars that can both cut and crush a finger with ease. I once stuck my thumb a little too far back in Gwen's mouth, and boy did I see stars before I could wrench my hand free! 

  Things went relatively smoothly with the two kids. There was a little scrambling around in the grass after Amelia knocked the capsule free of the holder. If I could change anything about that pet piller, it would be to make it have a better grip on the pill. To use it effectively, you have to shove the whole thing as far back as you possibly can. Otherwise, the animal can just spit the pill right back out. By the time I got the goat's mouth open and the piller in place, a tiny bump and the capsule would come loose.

  I even tried making my own version of a piller with a syringe, but it just wasn't long enough to work in a big goat head. 

  It was no surprise that Josie presented the biggest problem. She was not having any of my foolishness. She bucked and threw her head around and even managed to climb halfway onto the milk stand  while I was straddling her! The real kicker though was when I finally though I'd gotten the capsule full of copper down her throat. I swear I even saw her swallow. I let her go, she jumped up on the milk stand, and damned if that ornery goat didn't spit that pill right into the feed bucket!

  What ended up working the best was simply opening the pills and mixing with just a bit of feed. Next time I'll probably bring out some oats and cracked corn and mixed a dose of copper for each goat with their favorite food. Oh well, you live and you learn, right? 

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