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Previous Entry :arglebargleugh: Mar. 26th, 2010 @ 07:39 am Next Entry
It's cold and damp here. I thought it was SPRING, dammit! Where's my 80* weather???? (It was 34* this AM when we went out to milk. The high today is supposed to be 72*. Would someone PLEASE reset the thermostat to SPRING???)

The doelings and LaDue are doing great. Both li'l girls HATE to be picked up - they just know we're gonna kill 'em. :grin: They like cuddles.....as long as it doesn't involve the whole "scoop and pick up" thing.

Ali wrote a nice post about goat care the other day (AND she wrote a fantastic one on Passover - I keep going back and re-reading it, it's so profound!), and she mentioned she sends her milk out for testing (I think she said once a month or so - don't remember). Well, I was intrigued, so I did some googling....one of the things tested is the SCC count (cells/bugs in the milk. They point to problems with the udder, to put it simply). Hmmmm. I asked Sweet Geek if this wouldn't be something we might need to do as well, and he said yes.

So, I did some digging. Ali says it costs (roughly) $10/month to test her 3 does. ($1 for each test, + $7 for postage). I figured the costs would be the same here - only a little higher, since we'd be testing 5 goats.....so, $12/month.

I found a test kit at Hoegger's (the Porta SCC, if you wanna play along). It's $12.95 for *8* tests, or $59.95 for 40. We discussed it......and I bought the 40 test kit last night.

Why? Because we'll get results in 45 minutes, not days. IF you've got a mastitis case coming, you want to catch it fast.....we figured, test ourselves. IF we see that we have a problem, then we can send it to a lab for a firm diagnosis, so we know what drugs to give to clear it up. (I don't know if TX A&M does milk tests, but they have a good goat department - so does the Univ of OK. Both are within driving distance - for TX. (A&M is about 4 hours away, and I think UoOK is about the same.) Since mastitis is usually caused by lack of cleanliness in the barn, and letting your goats lie down with "open" orifaces, I'm not *that* concerned - the girls get dipped after milking, and they don't go into the goat area for a few minutes (they have to first get down from the stand, which takes a bit, THEN they have to be shooed away from the alfalfa cubes/feed scoops, THEN they have to be ushered into the loafing area....so, yeah, it takes time. :lol:)

This weekend I am going to clean - gotta remove all the chametz from the house! - and Sweet Geek is going to finish the milkstands, spread gravel, and start on the milkroom wall. When I get done, the kids and I will be cleaning out the barn, then we get to stretch wire so the babies can go out and play. I want Calvin OUT of my house. He now has playmates his own size....I want my bathroom back. And not smelling of baby goat pee. :lol:
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Current Mood: tiredtired
spin a yarn
Date:March 26th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
Ohhh! tell me how those tests work!
You don't have to check them for mastitis all the time.
When the milk tastes weird - salty or off.
When the milk looks weird.
When the udder feels hotter than normal.
Of course you will want to check each girl a few times at the beginning to see what is normal for them. Some girls carry really low numbers and some a bit higher.
And you need a thermometer if you don't have one.
If a goat has a fever (over 104) you need to figure out what is going on right away. Goats don't tell you they are sick, they act fine until they are ready to drop dead. There is very little middle ground.

Anytime you think something is weird with your goat - take the temp first,
a high temperature points to infection, a low temperature (below like..101) means their digestive is off.

I think most schools with a dairy extention will test milk for you.
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Date:March 26th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
From what Hoegger (and the manufacturer ) said, you put a drop of milk on the collection plate, add 3 drops of solution, and wait. It changes color - the darker the color, the higher the count.

So...it doesn't give you a number, but a ballpark range, if that makes sense. They claim it's as accurate as the "green stain" test that most labs use...so, we'll see.

Now, it doesn't give you the butterfat or other numbers, but right now *we* don't need those. So....:shrug:

I don't think our area has any dairy extention offices.....I know A&M does, but we're kinda too close to Dallas for that. :sigh:

I need to get a thermometer - don't have one (for barn use, anyway!)
(spin a yarn)
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