If there’s anything that will scare you away from owning goats…
It’s the thought of a worm infestation inside that adorable goat you’ve been cuddling. Just the thought of needing a goat dewormer icked me out. Trust me, I was there. But when you think about it, any animal that you bring into your home has the potential of contracting worms or some form of parasite. Heck, even you could contract one.
The good news about goats & worms is that humans can’t contract the worms that a goat has.
The bad news about goats & worms is that an infestation can really harm the health of your goat.
So, what can you do to make sure you’ve got healthy goats you’re raising? It’s simple, just use a natural goat dewormer and your goats will be good as new!
Symptoms of Worms in Goats
- pale gums
- abnormal stools (diarrhea or stools that are clumped together)
- dull coat
- low weight
Chemical vs. Natural Goat Dewormers
Because goats spend a good portion of their day with their noses to the ground, and are often touching their feces, the facts are that they will always have a certain level of worms inside of them, there’s just no way to completely get rid of them — even if you were to douse them with chemicals.
Vets usually look for what they call a “healthy” amount of worms, which means that when they take a sample and peer at it through a microscope, they’ll see a few here or there, and will give your goat a clean bill of health as long as the numbers aren’t incredibly high.
For the backyard goat owner, you have the option to either treat your goat with a chemical goat dewormer like this one, or a more natural goat dewormer made with herbs like this one. A chemical dewormer is usually given twice a year, while a natural one is usually given once a week to once a month.
A Caution with the Chemical Method
If you decide to go the chemical route, you need to make sure and toss the milk of the goat for a week, as it isn’t safe to consume. (With the natural method, the milk is safe to drink:) Also, be sure not to overdo it on the chemical dewormers, and be sure to check if it’s safe for pregnant goats.
The Natural Goat Dewormer Method
To start your goat on the natural method of deworming, simply feed them the herbal mix according to the instructions on the packaging. (Initially you’ll feed every day for 3 days, then after that just once per week)
Some other things that can really help support your goat’s digestive tract and get rid of worms is feeding hay (the long stems help keep the rumen happy), pumpkin seeds (worms hate these!), and incorporating some pasture rotation in your goat’s routine to stop the cycle or re-infestation. If you can’t pasture rotate, then be sure to keep their pens clean. Some people also feed their goats DE (diatomaceous earth), but I strongly caution in this, I have known goats that inhale the DE powder when eating it and it has caused permanent lung damage.
Our Deworming Goatie Smoothie
How often should you deworm your goats?
We deworm on a weekly schedule with our herbal mix, which helps take care of any infestation here on the farm. For babies, we wait until they are 4 days old before we deworm them. We usually deworm our goats the day after they have babies, because the stress of delivery tends to lower their immune system.
Testing for Worm Infestation in Goats
You can test for worms by bringing a sample in for inspection at a vet’s lab. You can also learn how to do your own fecal testing on your goats by following the tutorial HERE.
Deworming other Animals in your Home Naturally
The best part about using an herbal mix as your natural method of deworming is that it is safe for the other animals in your home, too! (not for human consumption, though:) For our chickens we like to take a scoop and mix it in with their grain. With our dogs, we roll it in a bit of peanut butter and feed it to them that way to get every animal on the farm dewormed naturally.