Bottlejaw, Barbie and the Barberpole

Bottlejaw sounds like a new kind of haircut you would get at the barber like a Mullet or a Mohawk.

Jaime kept saying that Barbie was getting fat. Barbie is only 4 months old and she began looking like an old goat on a little body. Our “hay” man who also raises goats took a look at Barbie and thought she may have been bit by something. Nevertheless, something was definitely wrong with our sweet little girl.

Not to long ago we lost her brother, Frankie. I’m not about to lose little Barbie. The hunt began for more information. My first step was to identify what was happening to her physically. That’s when the hammer hit the nail on the head-Bottlejaw.


This photo was taken after 2 days of treatment. It’s an overall improvement to what we had seen over the past few days. Before I could spend the time to research “bottlejaw” I wanted to intervene and possibly give her some relief. I gave her 2 treatments of penicillin on two consecutive days. On day 2, I gave her a treatment of B-complex. Some thing was better than nothing, I thought.

In my investigation of the causes of bottlejaw  the word “anemia” came up everytime. That’s when I came upon Eden Hill’s blog.

I found the information well written and very useful.

Puzzled at the idea of my goats being anemic. They are fed a combination of forage, dry hay, and grain, along with a mineral salt lick. After reading Eden Hill’s blog I proceeded to check all our goats for anemia. Sure enough, all of them are anemic to some degree.

Further research as to the causes of anemia concluded with diet and/or internal parasites. Puzzled again for the second time, as I worm them weekly with an herbal wormer and once monthly with Rumatel.

Yesterday I traveled to our local farm center. I find that is a great source of information and brainstorming. We unanimously agreed on yet another type of wormer. I came home with Ivermectin Pour On. Since it was raining outside I couldn’t apply the pour on so I sat at the table and read a magazine “Countryside & Small Stock Journal”. On the cover was a story that headed “Why Do You Need A Goat?” . Feeling a bit cynical I was wondering that very question. It just so happened that as I combed through the magazine there was an article solely about the barberpole worm. I am making this available to you here in hopes it will help you on your joyful journey of raising goats. This is a PDF for you to download if you choose. barberpole

I plan to convert their diet slowly to include more protein. The sweet mix I had been using is only at 12%. Our farm center is helping us to develop a feed formulating around a higher protein level.

Here is yet another very useful blogsite on goat health:

The area they have to graze and forage on is rather limited so I will be expanding where they can share some grazing with the horses. Also, to check regularly for any indication of anemia that I will be able to take corrective measures and make adjustments quicker. This has been our first experience with bottlejaw.

I hope this post has been insightful. I know my eyes have been opened wider.

On the lighter side of things check out the related articles.


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