Since January 2009 we have not used a single chemical wormer. Our opinions have changed drastically after utilizing natural de-wormers created to care for our goat herd. As goat producers we are asking our livestock to do something unnatural by placing them in a confined pasture setting and putting their nose to the ground where they pick up more worms and then don’t have the ability to eat the types of plants that they would normally eat in the wild to de-worm themselves. Since we have dairy goats and drink the milk they produce I’m very conscientious about what they eat and the meds that we use on them. Like many goat dairies today, we are utilizing herbs more and more to not only de-worm the goats but also boost their immune system. In my opinion, Chemical wormers absolutely work, but the problem is that they also kill the goats’ immune system. I compare it to chemo therapy for goats. We treat the symptom (worms) but we are also treating (killing) the goats immune system.When we give them chemical wormers we are killing the worms and “hoping” that their immune system bounces back faster than the worms do. Now admittedly there are some goats that just have weak immune systems no matter what you do and therefore need culled. However many goats, after kidding or while in rut have natural stresses on their system and during these stresses the worms can take over and we expect them to keep on grazing in the pastures without the ability to de-worm themselves. I compare it to Whitetail Deer. Deer are recognized as being the closest species to goats. Most hunters will notice that deer will feed/browse on higher standing vegetation in the morning times and then in the evening times will put there nose to the ground. And when they do have a worm load they eat the type of vegetation that will help purge those parasites. They also know how much they need and will continue to go back to a vegetation de-wormer until their immune system is back on track and they can handle a particular worm load. In contrast, have you placed your goats in a pasture with cedar trees? What do they do…. They eat just enough to de-worm themselves but not enough to kill them and we all know cedar trees are very toxic.
There are several herbal wormer mixtures out there today but I wanted to develop an herbal wormer that can be set out and utilized by free choice. Most dairy folks will place the wormer in the feed as they milk but for a commercial meat producer we have nothing that is effective that goats will utilize by free choice. So I have developed a mixture that is tasty to goats cost effective and can be given free choice since goats know how much they really need or it can be given in their feed.
My Own Experience: I mix the herbal wormer with 2 parts loose mineral to make it stay loose in my feeders since as the goats lick at this they tend to make the herbs sticky with saliva. I feed this free choice at a rate of 1 TBS per goat per week. I place this out monthly and if there is a goat that looks anemic I will mix the wormer in water and drench the anemic goat with 30cc to 50cc of the herbal mixture. My chemical worming you might say. Others use 2 TBS per week per goat. Each area has different climates and different pasture / browse types so one area may need more than another. I should add that I have not had to drench a kiko yet, only a couple Alpines here and there. I should also mention that I had an Alpine who appeared to be suffering from Deer Worm and I was able to treat the doe with 50cc of my herbal wormer every other day for a week and now she is as health as before.
What Others Are Saying:
I am sold on herbal wormer! It is easy to give my goats and it doesn't stress them out like chemical wormer does. It is much easier than wrestling a drench down their throats. The worms don't develope an immunity to the herbs, so you don't have to be constantly switching wormers.
We love it. Just ask Skinny Minnie, a doe ready to be culled, but now she is in really good shape.
Rising Sun, IN
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I didn't even have a chance to mix it with loose mineral and put it in the feeder before one of our does wanted to de-worm herself. Click on the video below to see how easy worming your goats can be.
Producing a better goat for better profits.... Lee Nicholson