The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fixing a Baby Goat's Ear

We raise Nubian milk goats and they have long floppy ears and they are beautiful, of course. Just ask Ivory.
When the kids are born their ears are folded shut. They usually open out flat in a short period of time, but not always.

One Stripe had a single doe kid (from an accidental breeding i.e. the billy goat got the gate open in July for a few hours) in January. 

One of her ears stayed folded over like this. This is Copper. Frank named her. See the copper colored rings around her eyes? 

The fix for this ear called for scissors, a piece of cardboard from a cereal box and some duct tape. We cut a piece of cardboard about the same width as the tape and long enough to fold over and cover both sides of her ear. The tape will only have to stick to some of the hair on the outside of her ear. She is only a few days old and we don't want the tape to irritate the flesh on the under side of her ear or tear the flesh when we take it off. So we are very careful. If we can get her to leave it on for 24 hours, the ear should be flat.
Here she is, all taped up.

The next day, when we took the cardboard off, she looked great. Two nice flat ears.
Since Copper was born about a month before any other kids, she got to do things a little different. When I started milking One Stripe, I would bring Copper in and let her play on the milk stand
as long as she didn't mess with my milk bucket. Then she graduated to running around under my chair and playing with Pearl, our Great Pyrenees. They became good friends. Copper is one of my favorites, next to her mom.

Copper is ready to breed now and will have her own kids in December, or so we plan. Obviously, our efforts to control the breeding of our does doesn't always go according to plan. 

I have high hopes for Copper as a milk goat since her mom and sister, Velvet, are great milkers. It's always fun to see how things turn out. This is Velvet. She had her first kid this March and is a promising milk goat.

Every year is another learning experience when it comes to breeding and birthing goats. It is a very satisfying way of life. Not always easy or smooth or enjoyable, but very satisfying. We will keep you updated on how all of the goats progress. They are an everyday part of our lives.

Until next time - Fern


  1. Jean in OklahomaJuly 19, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Beautiful !

  2. Ah, the joys of Nubians! I have them here as well, and they please me beyond words.

    I don't know how you supplement in your area, but in these parts, the soil is deficient in selenium and copper. We supplement both, and have had no problem with folded ears since we began BoSe injections and copper boluses.

    1. Hello, thank you for your comment.

      We have about six babies a year now that we have downsized. We will have one folded ear every few years. We use a copper bolus with fenbendazole and Lavamisole regularly. When a goat gets a little bit down we use LA 200 or LA 300. Occasionally we will use a B12 shot.

      Besides open pasture and occasional hay, we feed the milking goats twice a day, the others once a day with goat pellets. We provide minerals and baking soda free choice.

      We've looked at other breeds, but we're going to stay with Nubians. We will have babies on the ground again come late December.

      Thank you for reading, Frank & Fern

  3. Thanks for the response.

    The wormer that's working here now is Cydectin. We use the bovine pour on, orally. Smells nasty, but quite effective. If there is an issue with meningeal worm, we get out the fendbendazole.

    We feed the best quality horse hay we can lay our hands on, along with dry oats, alfalfa pellets, and BOSS. But there are as many feeding regimens as there are goat owners.

    And the best breed, of course, is Nubian.

    1. Hi there. We also used Cydectin for a while, then we had a young goat die from barberpole worms. Then we went to Lavamisole which is a pretty harsh wormer. We can only get it through our vet in a powdered form that we mix with water. New worms come and go all the time. Next year it might be something entirely different. When we moved here it was lung worms. They have since moved on.

      We also rotate pastures on a regular basis. We will worm heavy and about four or five days later, move the goats to a new pasture. Then we worm again. This is just our routine. Of course, pregnant does get different treatment.

      Thanks again for sharing. Frank