Scours – as bad as it sounds

Scours(Diarrhea):  Scours in newborn kids can indicate any of a number of problems, including failure to ingest colostrum soon after birth, lack of sanitation, inadequate nutrition of the doe during gestation, feeding excessive amounts of milk, and feeding low-quality milk replacers.  The mortality rate is high, and swift action is required. –Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats, Breeds * Care * Dairying by Jerry Belanger

Poor little Rosa.  I’m not sure if she has a weak constitution or what, but for the past 3 weeks we have been taking the kid goats for a walk and twice Miss Rosa has had a horrible case of diarrhea.  So the first time, when we got back to the barn, I read all of my books, asked friends and came up with a solution for what I thought would help treat “Scours.”  Just saying it makes me cringe.

The home remedy I used combined buttermilk, raw egg, cocoa and baking soda. I had Jim pick a bottle of 25 calf pills of Neomycin from Tractor Supply on his way home from work and they cost $24.99.  I was feeling anxious about spending unnecessarily and weighed the cost of the pills for the home remedy vs. making a call to the vet and being out $100 bucks instead of $125. I opted to have some faith that I could work it out and after I whirled the kitchen ingredients together in the food processor, I added the crushed bolus.

My next concern was that she wouldn’t take the remedy.  I was to dose her with one-fourth of the mix(2 measly ounces) every 2-3 hours and if she wouldn’t take it, I didn’t know how I’d see her through.  Everything I’d read said not to give her milk, grain or hay – but I worried about dehydration.

The good news was that she happily sucked down her 2 ounces of “medicine” every 2-3 hours and by the next day, was right as rain!  I never did call the vet on it and when she had her second bout, I kept watch over her for a few hours before making a diagnosis.  That time her health improved very quickly and now it is safe to say that when she is not feeling “Scour-y”, she’s very, very much herself.

Rosa, full of the dickens!

2 responses to “Scours – as bad as it sounds

  1. Thank you for the post. I am in the process of buying my first few goats (meat breed) and have been concerned about Scours especially for the kids born later in the spring/early summer. I will keep your home remedy in mind if I am ever faced with this problem. I look forward to seeing more of your posts on goats in the future!

  2. Hi! Thank you for your comments & commitment! I’m still not sure if Rosa developed the illness for dietary reasons or if it is something she may be prone to off and on. I will watch her. She is strong and healthy in all other aspects, though. I’d had a tough go of it with one of the others, Lucia, in the beginning. I think she is C.A.E. positive and we actually didn’t think she was going to live. One day she had a turnaround when she was about 3 weeks old. It was tough hanging in there with her while she was so unwell, but we did. I truly believe that if we hadn’t, she wouldn’t be with us now. Sadly I learn many lessons, the hard way, when it comes to my farm. But overall, the health is excellent of our many animals and I believe we are doing the best we can for them on a daily basis. Yes, it will be fun to stay in touch as your venture begins!

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