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March 28, 2011

Medicine Balls

I've begun using an herbal goat wormer. Some of my friends are using them and recommend it. There are several products on the market; I bought mine from Hoegger Supply.

Herbal wormers are given weekly. When you begin, you give the goats a dose of wormer twice daily for three days, then once weekly thereafter. I once read a tip to "worm on Wednesday" to make it easier to remember. My memory needs all the help I can get.

You can either top dress their feed with the powder, or make wormer balls and feed them as a treat. The first day I tried the powder but it wasn't a successful attempt. The smell and taste was different and they didn't particularly like it. Feed was spilled. Tears were shed.

So I tried the other option: "add molasses to make a doughy mass" said the instructions. Ha! I made a sticky mess. I put the top on the bowl and set it aside in major frustration. This was not going well. Later in the day I opened it up and discovered that the mess had hardened up a bit, so I thought I'd try again. I kind of rolled it in cornmeal and managed to divide it into the needed number of treats, which most of the goats ate. Success!

I've gotten better at making them now that I have some experience at it. Here's what I do:

Measure the needed amount into a bowl - multiply the number of goats times the dosage amount.

Add some molasses. Not too much. You can add more if needed but the opposite isn't true. (Ask me how I know.)

Stir. Add more molasses, stir. Add a little more, stir. Eventually it sticks together.

Put the mess on a piece of waxed paper or freezer paper (the slick side). Sprinkle some cornmeal or flour on the paper and dip the dough ball in it to reduce the stickiness as needed. (That's blue cornmeal, by the way. We bought a pound of freshly-ground cornmeal, from locally-grown blue corn, at the Isaac Ludwig Mill at the Providence Metropark in Ohio, a place well worth visiting if you're in the neighborhood.)

Shape into a log, and cut into the number of pieces you need. (It's easy if you have an even number of goats: cut the log in half, then cut those in half, etc. If you have an odd number of goats, you need to get another one so you'll have an even number.) Roll in more cornmeal or flour as needed. I try not to use too much; I want the goats to smell and taste the molasses. They like molasses.

Then I cut rectangles of the freezer paper and rolled up each log-shaped piece like a Tootsie Roll. Smaller pieces go to the smaller goats, and the biggest piece goes to my buck. (I know those papers look kind of, well, sticky. I reused them a few times. Forever frugal.)

Most of the goats are now gobbling them up and I fear for my fingers, I've been bitten a couple of times! The yearlings still don't like them. I'm still trying to figure out how to feed the wormer to them. Maybe eventually they'll want what the other goats are fighting over.


  1. Jackie6:59 PM

    I loved "you need to get another goat so you have an even number" ROFL.....

    Can't get your babies to eat them, could you bake it in a cookie?

  2. Anxious to hear how this works for you. I am always wanting to improve my worming problems!!! Also nice of you to explain how to make it easier to give them.


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