“Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?”
– Luke 14:5
Although today was Sabbath, Jon and I spent most of the day putting up a new shelter for the goats, thanks to my crummy organizational skills. We had planned to chemically worm three of our girls, (Spats, Pearl and Scotch), tonight and afterward they needed to be isolated from the other goats while they shed worms from their stool. Only we didn’t have a place to isolate them from the other goats because I had forgotten this somewhat critical detail until this morning. Because we’d already started fasting them, I hated to wait and Scotch’s FAMACHA score has been hovering on critical for a few weeks now, so I didn’t feel comfortable putting it off any longer. Jon was, as always, great about it though, and we got it set up for them relatively quickly.
Normally, we try to avoid chemical wormers as much as possible, but in this case, these three girls weren’t responding to herbal wormers and Scotch, in particular, has had an ongoing issue with them. I’ve since found out that the few times we’ve chemically dewormed them, I’ve done it wrong, so it may not be her fault at all, although she does seem to have the least resistance of all the goats. Case in point: In all the time we’ve had her, we’ve only had to use a chemical wormer on our doe, Sudoku, once. Sudoku almost always comes up clear in her fecal tests while Scotch always comes up positive. That’s one more reason we want to keep all of our Sudoku does! Barber pole worm is a very serious threat to goats, so when we see them in the fecals despite using herbal wormer and, worse, when we get low FAMACHA scores, we use whatever will work. We’re also redoing all of our fencing plans and changing our paddock rotations in an effort to keep worm loads down. If, after all this, Scotch continues to have problems with worms – especially if she’s having problems while the other goats aren’t – we’ve decided we’ll cull her from our herd… no small thing, as she’s everyone’s favorite goat. But she just doesn’t fit with our goals here of parasite resistance, and keeping a goat with a low resistance puts the other does at risk. So we’re praying that this last effort works!