Pygmy goats might have a small stature, but what they lack in size, they make up greatly in muscular appearance and healthy bodies as long as they are properly taken care of.
But apart from that, goats are one group of animals that are very susceptible to several types of internal parasites all through their life, starting very early from when they are three to eight weeks of age till they die. Since deworming goats is nothing to escape, understanding how and when, and what types of wormers to be used plays a crucial role in reducing the possible occurrence of diseases among the herd.
When some certain things are followed such as only deworming severely affected animals, and other forms of other management practices such as pasture rotation, use of Copasure (copper oxide) capsules, fasting and repeat dewormer dosing, administering two different classes of dewormers at the same time, and feeding Serecia lespedeza as a source of condensed tannins are all tools in the kit to reduce the effects of parasite resistance and ensure that all goats remain safe and the herd keeps going healthy.
All You Need About Worming Pygmy Goats
In previous years and tikes, goats were usually dewormed at intervals irrespective of their age, size or weight, height, current medical conditions or pregnancy status, or other factors as such. But in recent times, with the advancement of scientific knowledge in animal care, goat keepers have now realized that so many factors need to be taken into serious consideration before deciding when and how a goat or herd of goats should be dewormed.
Below are some classes of pygmy goats and how they should be dewormed.
#1. Adult Pygmy Goats
For adult pygmy goats, usually display such symptoms as pale gums, lowered eyelids, rough coat, and runny stool. These symptoms need to be treated as soon as possible because if these internal parasites are not treated or handled with urgency, they can make a healthy pygmy very sick since they take up all the nutrients the body is supposed to use. As a means of preventing worms in Pygmy goats, altered males should be wormed for internal parasites four to six times a year depending on the needs of the herd with most breeders worming at the start of a new season.
#2. Pregnant Pygmy Goats
It is a very important necessity to also deworm female goats that are pregnant in order to greatly reduce the possibility of the unborn kids contracting worm infections from their mothers. Before giving birth, these females should be wormed two to four weeks prior to their due date. But caution needs to be taken because not all wormers are suitable for them. A wormer that has been proven to be safe for lactating and gestating should be administered. Finally, after the baby has been delivered, the doe should be wormed again the day following the birth.
#3. Baby Pygmies
Kids or baby goats are very susceptible to getting infected with tapeworms and other forms of intestinal parasites than any other age range of goats. Between the third and eighth week after birth, these goats should be dewormed for the first time. After that, they can be wormed again after every eight to four weeks till they become a year old and an adult worming schedule should be selected based on the size, sex, and other conditions of the goat.
Treatment And Control Of Worms In Pygmy Goats
The use of anthelmintics is a great way of treating pygmy goats that have been discovered to be infected with worms. Anthelmintics can be applied to these goats in three major ways:
- Routine drenching
- Strategic drenching
- Salvage drenching
Anthelmintics or wormers as some prefer to call them, also have three major types which are :
- Benzamidazoles is also known as white dewormers and have a dosage of double that of sheep for pygmy goats.
- Levamisole or yellow dewormers with a dosage of 1.5 sheep dose rate for goats and then,
- Avermectins is also twice the sheep dosage for goats.
Some farmers actually decide to change the use of the three types of anthelmintics listed above every year for the goats. However, there is no solid proof that shows that using multiple types of dewormers is not as effective in resisting worms in goats as sticking to a single type of dewormer as long as it remains very effective to the goats. Worms should be treated only when necessary and crucial to do so and before giving an animal a worm treatment, the size of the animal should be weighed appropriately and then, the dosage drug administered.
How To Prevent Worm Invasion In Pygmy Goats
To prevent frequent reoccurrence of worms in Pygmy goats, appropriate pasture management techniques should be adopted. For instance, the herds of sheep and goats should not and must not be kept together in the same area since they both possess the same kind of worm burden and species of worm.
Another way to avoid worms contamination in goats is by zero-grazing the goats or feeding them with alternative forages such as hay, alfalfa, ready grass, and so on. Also, whenever new goats are brought newly into the herd, it is always best to deworm them first and separate them from other goats for the next 48 hours on hard standing to prevent them from spreading any form of worms they might have brought along with them.