There are goats that doesn’t like grazing during rain but there are also some goats that like to do it. Some goats don’t seem to like rain. They will run to the nearest shelter if there is storm or rain approach. They are smart and they will know if it will rain, they often arrive in their shelter before the first drop of rain have fallen. Goats also dislike water puddles and mud. They even don’t like to drink or eat contaminated water and food.
As a goat owner, you may ask is it safe to let your goat grazing during rainy days? You may have known that rain and wet season can bring some health problems to your goat, beside the fact that it can grow the vegetation that can give your goat more food supply. Rain and wet environment is the good place for bacteria and parasite that can grow rapidly in the wet environment. Their growths are especially higher during rain or wet season. Your goat can be exposed with a lot of dangerous diseases caused by wet environment, include the pasture under the rain. Grazing your goat during rainy days may give some health problems to some goats. Here we will discuss is it safe to let your goat grazing during rainy days?
1. Your Goat Can Eat Infected Grass
Internal parasites, especially roundworms and coccidian, are the most damaging problems that occurs more often in wet season. Kids are the most vulnerable to worm infection, along with respiratory diseases and diarrhea. Goat can continually be infected with worms throughout the year, but the signs occur mainly during wet season. Worms can reduce the production of meat and milk from your goat. During rainy season, worm’s egg transform into larvae in 3 days, since the egg can survive in moist environment. During rain, the egg matures into larvae and travel to moist grasses.
When you let your goat grazing during or just after the rain or early morning when the grasses are still moist with dew, your goat may eat some infected leaves. The larvae that is eaten by your goat will mature into full-grown worm inside the goat’s stomach. That’s why it is recommended not to graze your goat during rainy days or in early hours in the morning when the sun has not dry up the dew. You can confine your goat inside the shelter during rain and deworming your goat regularly to prevent for any infection. Avoid grazing your goat near the water pond, canals, or rivers where there is higher chance of worm and parasites.
The rain may make young grasses start to sprout up and you may think that it is good since your goat will have more food. But the young grass still doesn’t have enough fiber and contain a lot of water. Grass that contain many moistures can give your goat bloating and digestive problem. It can also cause enterotoxaemia when you feed young grass to your goat, especially the kids. To treat the bloating, you can give your goat baking soda. Make sure you know how to give it to prevent more problems to your goat. Give mineral lick to young goats since they can easily get diarrhea if they eat from contaminated soils. You still need to provide your goat enough food, to make sure it has enough fiber to digest. Make sure that you place and store your goat’s food in the moisture-free place to avoid contamination, especially to aflatoxin.
You can also cut some young grass and dry it up for about 6-8 hours so the water inside will reduces and it will turn into your goat’s feed. Don’t give moldy foods since it can carry bacteria and parasites and gradually cause cancer. You may need to give your goats feeder to make sure that the food is not contaminated. Goat doesn’t like to eat food that is placed in the ground and it also have higher possibility to be contaminated. Make sure that you give large enough feeder to all your goats since they will gather together around the feeder and may injured each other. Don’t forget to provide enough water. Your goat still need water to digest the food, even though it may not feel thirsty during the rain. Make sure that the water is clean and you place the water in a clean container.
3. Diseases Caused by Wet Environment
There are also some diseases caused by wet environment. You need to always keep your goat’s hooves dry to prevent Hoof Rot. Hoof Rot is the diseases that causes wound in goat’s hooves. Make sure that you cut your goat’s hooves regularly, long hooves can get things stuck in them and make your goat harder to move. Make sure that your shelter is clean and there is no water leak. If there is water leak inside the dirty shelter, especially if the shelter doesn’t have enough ventilation, it can lead to production of ammonia that is bad for goat’s eyes and skin. It can cause eye’s and skin irritation in your goat. Other diseases caused by water leaks and dirty shelter is coccidiosis. Coccidiosis cause diarrhea and anemia, even can lead to sudden death in young goats. Make sure that the shelter’s ground is dry to prevent slide and breaking your goat’s limbs.
There are also more tick and flies during rainy season. The tick and flies can spread diseases, even the fatal disease that can lead your goats to death. You can manage ticks, flies, along with midges and lice through rotational grazing practices. It will interrupt their life cycles and reduce internal parasites load inside your goat. The udder mastitis, that makes udder swells and make your goat stops producing milk, also become more prevalent in rainy season. Watch out for symptoms, such as loss of appetite, listlessness, and excessive bleating.
It can be the sign that your goat is in distress. Make sure that your goat always gets up to date vaccination. Vaccination can help to prevent your goat for many diseases, such as Hemorrhagic septicemia, that causes high fever and intestinal inflammation that can lead to death, enterotoxaemia that is common in young goat that cause mucous diarrhea and lead to sudden death, black quarter, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), and Peste Des Petits Ruminants (PPR). The diseases occurrence increase during wet and rainy season. Give your goat drugs only when it needs it. Giving antibiotic too often can lead to resistance. Consult your vet for the best treatment for your goat. Your vet may do faecal test to determine the specific treatment your goat’ require.
It is still in doubt is it safe to let your goat grazing during rainy days? There are goats that get in some problems and there are also goats that are fine when they are grazing during rainy days. But here we already discuss some of the bad effect your goat can get during the rain. You may not want to let it graze during the rain and place it inside the shelter, but make sure that the shelter is safe and clean to prevent for any disease. You can also let it graze during the rainy days but make sure that your pasture is clean and safe and your goat is healthy. You may need to prepare for baking soda to prevent bloating and you need to make your goat’s hooves dry after the rain. Make sure that your shelter is also dry since your wet goat will eventually go inside the shelter and make the shelter wet.