Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Milk Goiter

The three munchkins stayed over night and I got up this morning to retrieve the two hive boxes full of honey I'd left on the ground beside the hives and chock full of bees. (I'll tell you about it tomorrow.) Then when I arrived home, Kirk was feeding the kids breakfast and it was off with them to do livestock chores. Please forgive the blurry photos as I wasn't functioning at my best trying to deal with them and the chores at the same time. Contessa refused to pose for me this morning and this little doeling has yet to receive an official name. I'd best get on that along with taming her down. She's rather wild. I think I'll try the animal cracker bribing method. Not something I'd do with the grand kids as I despise bribing children but I'm not so against it with animals and I'll take any short cut I can get at the moment. Got to get them registered also.
This doeling isn't quite as beautiful as Contessa but she's no slacker.
What I wanted to show you today was milk goiter. A few days before we left for Colorado, I put Cracker Jack here on Zoey so she wouldn't have to be milked and then put the two girls on Chicory eliminating milking her also. Kirk isn't real fond of milking. He's piled under trying to get knives made for a upcoming show and the less things he has to do the better. When I got back, I took one look at them and went "Oh, no what happened? " Thankfully Michelle was doing chores and she enlightened me. It is milk goiter. Something that happens fairly often I guess with Nubians and Boers. Not a bad thing as it just means the Thymus gland is enlarged from rich milk.
Funny but twenty-five years of raising Saanens and I never had a case despite having some does that milked two gallons a day. It is the cream level I'd guess as when I separated some milk of Chicory's last week, I was amazed at the amount of cream I got so early in her cycle. Her milk should be a gem for cheese making, butter, and ice cream. Oh boy!!
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell those of you who may not know, a goiter is located on the front of the neck where the thyroid is only this has nothing to do with the thyroid. It's the big lump.
I'm told the swelling will come down on its own and my research cautions against adding more iodine to the diet as goats can easily overdose on it. Iodine is for the thyroid not the Thymus gland and so iodine levels are normal with milk goiter. Yesterday, I put all three goats back on Chicory and at the end of the week I'll be taking Chicory out of the little goat's pen during the day, milking her at night and then putting her back in for the nighttime. That should bring the swelling right down. I'll let you know. I've found that kids nurse far less at night and wean more easily in this manner since nighttime is the most stressful time for a kid. I wean at two months as my kids are good sized by then and I need the milk. My health dictates I drink lots of it and Zoey goes home today.
Have any of you had this swelling occur in your kids? I guess it happens sometimes in sheep also.

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