Sunday, October 12, 2014

We're Still Here!

Sorry about the radio silence lately with the Adirondack Goat Club blog. I have been super busy and haven't had time to dedicate to the blog. The ADK Goat Club is still alive and well. If you are interested in joining the email list for updates and club news, please send me an email at rosesgoats(at)

I hope to post more to the blog soon!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April Topic: A (Poorly) Illustrated Guide to Baby Goat Poop

Meconium: Black, tarry poops - Usually seen between 0 and 48 hours old. Totally normal. This is the first poops baby goats will have. They are extremely sticky and get all over everything. They are (mercifully) odorless.  

  Yellow, watery scours - Usually seen between 1 and 14 days old. Not normal. Watery diarrhea is caused by too much milk per feeding or milk replacer. To cure, lower the amount of milk per feeding until the scours stop. Or change the type of milk replacer. Baby goats do best on replacer made for goats, not "all stock" or cow replacer. NO medication necessary. 

Yellow, pudding poops - Usually seen between 1 and 14 days old. Totally normal. Since young babies are on a diet of pure milk, their poops will be yellow in color and the consistency of thick pudding. Be sure to clean the anal area of dried poop so not to cause blockage. This stuff is very sticky and smells like soured milk (probably because it is soured milk!).

No poop - Occurs at 1-14 days old but can happen anytime. Very common, but not normal. Since the first poops are very sticky, they can clog up the works and cause constipation. The best treatment is to give a warm water enema of 1 oz warm water and 1 tsp mineral oil. Put in a large syringe with no needle. Insert into anus and slowly push the plunger. You should see pooping within 15 minutes. Repeat enema as necessary. DO NOT give laxatives!

Yellow, grape clusters - Usually seen at 10-20 days old. Very normal. The pudding poops turn slowly into yellow berries as the baby's digestive system matures. They may be brownish as the kid starts eating grain and hay.

Smelly, green diarrhea - Occurs at 21 -30 days old. Very common, but not normal! This is the major symptom of coccidiosis infection. Coccidiosis is caused by a single-celled internal parasite that is not a worm and it is not killed by deworming medicines. You must treat immediately and aggressively with Sulmet, Di-Methox or Corid. These are sulfa-based antibiotics that will kill coccidia parasites. Kids can die quickly from coccidiosis infection and even if they don't die, they can be stunted for life due to the damage caused to their intestinal lining. The best treatment is to treat kids preventatively for coccidiosis by giving them a sulfa-based antibiotic at exactly 21 days old. Coccidia have a 21 day life cycle and killing them before they mature and cause massive damage is essential.

Smelly, green scours - Usually follows the green diarrhea of coccidiosis but can occur alone. Not normal. EXTREMELY FATAL. Very watery, very smelly greenish or brownish scours signals massive digestive system damage. Enterotoxemia is a likely cause. Enterotoxemia is caused by a bacterium called Clostridium perfingens. C. perfingens is found in the soil and does not normally colonize the digestive system of a healthy goat. If the kid is already sick from coccidiosis or bloat, enterotoxemia can occur due to C. perfingens taking advantage of an unhealthy rumen. The best treatment is large doses of CD Antitoxin, orally. This will help to neutralize the toxins produced by the bacteria. Give 10 - 20 cc orally every 4 hours until the kid improves. Vaccinating your pregnant goats with CDT toxoid at 4 weeks before kidding and vaccinating kids at 4 weeks old can help build immunity to enterotoxemia.

Brown berries - Usually seen at 2-4 weeks old or older. Normal. Yay! You made it! Miniature brown berries are the endpoint of a long road to adult goat pooping.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Learn to Make Goat Milk Soap!

There will be a Goat Milk Soap Making Workshop at the Paul Smith's Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) on April 6, 2014 from 1pm - 2:30pm. For more information and to sign up, please see:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Goats For Sale Or Wanted

If anyone is looking for a goat or two, or has some goats for sale -- please email me the details of what you are looking for or what you have and I will post it to the ADK Goat Club email list. We have over 60 members currently. My email is rosesgoats(at)

Friday, March 21, 2014

March Topic: Making your own grain blend

I have been mixing my own goat grain blend for a few years. The results have been good with my herd. I have a few reasons for deciding to mix my own grain, instead of using commercial, pelleted, pre-mixed feeds. First, it is cheaper per pound to buy the ingredients and mix the grain at home than to buy bags of pelleted feed. Second, there's no molasses or fillers in homemade grain. Third, my goats look and act healthier on my grain blend than on commercial feed.

My grain blend consists of 70% whole, steamed, or crimped oats (I haven't found a difference between the three so I just get whatever is available), 20% poultry scratch grains (cracked corn, oats, barley), 10% black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS). I mix this up in a large tote bin. Any leftover grain gets stored in another tote bin until I am ready to mix up the next batch. It's important to have a secure and dry place to store your grain blend ingredients. Since I am mixing parts of different sacks of grain, I wind up with leftovers in the bags and have to have storage available.

I feed this grain blend to all my goats. My non-pregnant or non-lactating goats get 0.5 lbs of grain per day. My pregnant goats start gestation at 0.5 lbs per day and end gestation at 2.0 lbs per day. I then increase the grain to 3.0 lbs per day at 1 month of lactation. Depending on how much milk the goat is producing, I will increase to a maximum of 4.0 lbs of grain per day. I decrease the amount slowly as lactation decreases.

This grain blend is fed along with Chaffhaye alfalfa silage. It is extremely important to provide all goats with a source of alfalfa daily. Goats need calcium in their diets and alfalfa is high in calcium. Along with building strong bones and being a major component of goat milk, calcium also helps balance out dietary phosphorus to keep goats healthy. Too much phosphorus can lead to urinary calculi, pregnancy toxemia, hypocalcemia and other health problems. All grains and feeds made from them (corn, oats, barley, wheat, sunflower seeds, etc) contain high levels of phosphorus. Grass and grass hay is also high in phosphorus. Thus when feeding any grains/feeds and hay or pasture to goats, you MUST provide alfalfa. I use 2 lbs of Chaffhaye per goat per day. Due to our calcium-poor soils in the North Country, it is even more imperative to provide calcium-rich alfalfa to your goats because the goats will get very little calcium through grazing.

When feeding a home-made grain blend that doesn't contain any mineral supplements, it is very important to supplement your goats with the extra minerals they need. The best way to do that is to provide a loose mineral blend designed specifically for goats. Sweetlix Meatmaker 16:8 is a good mineral blend that goats will readily consume. It is available through special order at most feed stores. Leave a pan of it out at all times so the goats can eat it as they choose. Be sure to clean and refill the pans often. Do not use salt licks, mineral blocks, or non-goat specific minerals. These do not contain enough of the essential minerals that goats have to have. It is also important to add copper and selenium to your goats along with their daily minerals. In the North Country, most goats are copper and selenium deficient due to our poor soils. Copper can be supplemented by using Copasure boluses for goats every 6 months. Selenium can be supplemented by using Selenium/Vitamin E gel for goats every month.

Mixing your own grain can be a positive choice for your goat herd. Be sure to do lots of research on goat dietary needs before planning to mix your own grain. If you do change your goats diet, be sure to watch for any signs of health changes. Change diets slowly and keep goats on the same diet for a few months to best assess the results. 

-Rose Bartiss

Friday, March 14, 2014

Asgaard Farm Kids for Sale and Kidding Party

Kidding season is here at Asgaard Farm! 

We have doelings, bucklings, and wethers available. Our breeds include American and French Alpine, American Nubian, American Saanen, and experimental. Our kids are raised under a strict CAE prevention program with pasteurized, whole milk. Kids are vaccinated with BoSe at birth and CDT at 4 and 8 weeks, and doelings and bucklings are disbudded. Contact Stephanie at or 518-647-5754 for more information or to reserve your kids. Let her know that you're a member of the goat club!

We're also having a Kidding Day on Saturday, March 22nd from 10AM to 1PM. Bring the whole family to meet the kids and enjoy spring on the farm! Warm beverages and lunch provided. Email or 518-627-5754 for more information.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Testing and Drawing Blood in Goats

Crystal over at Noodleville Adventures did a great "How-to" post on drawing blood for testing goats. Check it out at She has a great explanation at the end of why people should test their goats for diseases.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Eastern NY Goat Club and NYS Goat Breeders Association Meeting

Sunday March 9, 2013 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

ENYGC is hosting the New York State Dairy Goat Breeders Association meeting which will be held at the Saratoga County Extension Service building which is located at 50 West High Street in Ballston Spa.

Members are asked to bring a covered dish for a potluck meal and items for the White Elephant Auction to benefit NYSDGBA. For more information and to join the ENYGC, please see:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February Topic: How much grain for a dairy goat?

While good quality forages are usually adequate, goats may sometimes need supplemental feeding, especially if they are producing high volumes of milk or during the winter. Goats need a proper balance of energy in the form of roughage or grain, as well as protein, vitamins, minerals, and clean water. Protein and energy requirements vary, depending on the type of goat and its stage of production. Dairy goats need both high-quality forage and supplemental grain to reach their full potential, especially during peak lactation or growth.

Goats can be picky eaters, and they may not immediately accept new feeds. Any feed changes should be made gradually to avoid upsetting the rumen microbes. Feeding very high levels of grain can also upset the rumen. Grain should never be more than 50% of the total diet, except for heavily-producing dairy goats. Table 2 gives guidelines for balancing protein requirements when utilizing pasture, hay and grain supplementation. Here are some general “rules of thumb” for supplementing lactating does:
  1. Start the doe on grain a month before kidding and have her consuming about 1.5 pounds of grain by the time she kids. This allows the rumen organisms to slowly adapt.
  2. After kidding, increase grain slowly to about 3 pounds per day by 4 weeks post-kidding.
  3. After peak lactation, feed according to milk production. Feed 0.5 pound of grain for every pound of milk over 3 pounds milk per day, along with good quality forage. For example, a goat producing 8 pounds a day would get all the good forage she could eat plus 2.5 pounds (8 – 3 = 5 lb. x 0.5 lb feed/lb milk) of grain, split into two feedings.
  4. Try not to feed a doe more than 4 pounds of grain per day (Smith, 1994).
For the complete article, please see:

Monday, February 10, 2014

ADK Goat Club WINS 1st Place in Parade!!!

The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala parade was a huge success for the Adirondack Goat Club. We won 1st place for an "Animal Group". There were 20 people and 12 goats marching down Main St. on Saturday. All the goats were dressed up in style with green hats, bandanas, and coats. The crowd loved seeing the goats and at one point both sides of the street were chanting "GOATS! GOATS! GOATS!".

A special thanks to all who brought their goats and to all who marched with us! Thanks to Janet and Mark for bringing their pony cart decorated with a rainbow and pot of gold!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Winter Carnival will be going to the GOATS!

The weather looks decent for the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade on Saturday, February 8 at 1pm. The Adirondack Goat Club will be marching in the parade with goats, sheep, horses, and maybe a llama! Everyone is welcome to march with us (even if you don't bring an animal). We will be meeting in the Aubuchon parking lot at 12-12:30pm and then heading to our spot in the parade line-up at 12:30pm. The parade starts at 1pm and marches down Main St. to the Town Hall. Please come and march with us or at least come and cheer us on as we march by!!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

4H Small Ruminant Presentations - Open To the Public!

Fantastic 4H Winter Horse Symposium! January 25, North Star Industries Building, Malone, 9:30-2:00 FREE to 4H members and families. 2 Vets- The Importance of Equine Dental Care and Recognizing an Emergency. 2 Judges/Trainers- Bits:Their History, uses, fitting. 2 Equine Nutritionists- Equine Nutrition and Nutrition for the Senior or "Problem" Horse. Plus many activities for the younger members! Make Your Own Sundaes donated from Stewarts! Open to all surrounding counties and the public. Bring a friend! — with Pat Banker. (Donations accepted from "The Public"...)
4H Small Ruminant (Goat, Alpaca, etc) session at the January 25 Winter Horse Symposium! Free-Small Ruminant Health Care, Feeding and General Care for New Owners to old pros. Rose Bartiss will give two presentations - 1st: Tips for Goat Keeping. 2nd: Breeding, Kidding, and Milking. 9:30-Noon. Message Pat Banker to register. Open to the public and all 4H members and families. Pre-registration required!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Goats on Parade!

The Adirondack Goat Club would like to put together a float for the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade on February 8, 2014. The parade starts at 1pm and goes through downtown Saranac Lake. The theme of Winter Carnival this year is "Celtic Carnival". Parade floats can win prizes and are judged on theme, music, choreography, costumes, decoration, creativity, and uniqueness. The deadline to apply for a float in the parade is February 5th.

The picture above is from the 2010 Winter Carnival Parade. My goat Martha enjoyed being in the parade and wasn't scared of the crowd, the noise, or the craziness. She loved it! People love seeing animals in the parade and I think a Goat Club float would be a lot of fun. If you are interested in joining the ADK Goat Club float group, please contact me (Rose Bartiss).