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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rhubarb Almond Coffee Cake

With my rhubarb plant growing like crazy after the rain and sun, and this beautiful weather that has been keeping me in the garden, I had to make a rhubarby treat. Try this!

Rhubarb Almond
Coffee Cake Cake
• 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

• 2/3 cup vegetable oil

• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

• 2-1/2 cups flour

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 cup goat milk

• 1-1/2 cups chopped rhubarb

• 1/2 cup sliced almonds


Topping
• 1/2 cup white sugar

• 1-1/2 tablespoon melted butter

• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

• 1/3 cup sliced almonds


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9 inch baking pans.

2. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla together until smooth
. Combine flour, salt and baking soda: add to sugar mixture alternately with milk. Beat until smooth. Stir in rhubarb and almonds. Pour into prepared pans.
3. In a small bowl, combine white sugar and butt
er or margarine. Stir in almonds. Sprinkle topping over batter.
4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.

Now sit down, make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Homemade Electrolytes

If you have a goat kid that is dehydrated or needs to have a temporary alternative to milk due to scours, or an adult doe with ketosis, but have no commercial electrolyte powder available, try this homemade electrolyte solution:

1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp Lite Salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 oz corn syrup

Add warm water to make 4 pints and mix all ingredients well. Give a standard-sized dairy goat one pint, a mini dairy goat 1/2 to 3/4 pint, and a nigerian dwarf or pygmy 1/2 to 1 cup of the solution 3 or 4 times a day (every 6 hours). Have the goat drink this mixture or use a feeding tube, if necessary.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Intentional Community: Goats and People with Developmental Disabilities

I found an article today about an intentional community in Israel that includes two of my favorite kinds of beings: goats and people with developmental disabilities:

People born with mental deficiencies, or those afflicted later in life, are usually handed the short end of the stick. Facilities to accommodate needs and to help one cope in society are improving, but they fail to give those in need the advantages that “normal” people just take for granted. But not at Kishorit, a new village built on the ruins of a decaying kibbutz, in Israel.

A new model for treating the mentally disabled based on the Israeli commune idea has emerged over the last decade from the ruins of a crumbling kibbutz.

Called Kishorit, the village in northern Israel has become a utopia for about 150 people with varying degrees of mental handicap, who have all found a home for life.

Some have autism, Asperger’s, or schizophrenia, but as much as they can, they are all steering their own careers, social time, family life, and destiny. They don’t focus on what disability they have, but on what they can do.

Members run and operate a TV station, and create films, they’ve built the largest organic goat farm in Israel, possibly the entire Middle East....

To read more about it, see Kishorit.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Goat Predators: Men

I used to believe that the worst predators against goats were packs of dogs. I am starting to question that, as I read the news about goats every day. Reading the news has led me to believe that the worst goat predators are actually teenage boys and young men. Nearly every week I read about another goat being strangled, decapitated, shot, tortured, sexually assaulted (yes, that’s right) or killed in some other way. This appears to happen about 10 times as often as a dog attack on a goat.

Here is a small sample from the past month:


No dog attacks on goats were reported during this time.

This is how budding serial killers get their start: with defenseless animals. After they have mastered that they move on to children and then adults.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at this violence directed toward goats, since the US military is using LIVE goats as stand-ins for prisoners, maiming and then killing them. Great role models.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Straight Poop: Goat Feces as an Indicator of Health

One of the simplest ways to evaluate the health of a goat is to observe its feces. This can give clues to whether the goat has a digestive upset or perhaps a parasite problem.

Newborn goats’ first feces are called meconium. They are dark-colored and sticky. During a difficult birth they may be expelled inside the amniotic sac, but normally you will see them after the first feeding with colostrum and for up to a day or so after birth.

Once the kid starts drinking milk, the feces become yellow. This is normal. They will stay that color until the kid starts eating hay or grain. The kids feces should be formed, but may be slightly soft.

When a kid begins to eat hay and grain, you will start to see a change in the color of the feces to brown. As the rumen develops you will begin to see small pellets, like those of adult goats and rabbits.

Adult goat feces should be firm “berries” that are brown-colored. They may be a greenish color if the goat has a diet high in alfalfa. Goats that eat a lot of grain, such as those that are milking, can have feces that are more clumped than usual. This is not a problem.

Diarrhea, in goats, is often referred to as “scours.” Scours can be caused by a sudden change in diet—for example, lush green pasture or adding grain. They also can be caused by parasites, such as various worms or coccidia (a protozoa); bacteria, overeating, or enterotoxemia (an overgrowth of clostridium perfringens in the gut.

The first step to take when a goat develops mild diarrhea is to give it kaolin pectin or pepto bismol, or slippery elm powder (to soothe the gut) and probiotics (to ensure that it has enough good bacteria to counterbalance the bad). If that doesn’t work, take the goat’s temperature and look for other symptoms.

In kids, coccidiosis is a very common condition. It can be easily treated with Di-methox or another drug aimed at these virulent critters. An overload of coccidia can be determined by looking at the feces under a microscope to determine whether a large number of eggs are being released. The same is true for other intestinal parasites; although tapeworms can be detected by looking at the poop—they appear as white segments, much like grains of rice. These and other parasites can be treated with one of the many dewormers on the market.

Besides color and form, another indicator of sickness in a goat is blood in the feces. Old blood causes black feces and is caused by bleeding higher in the digestive tract. Bright red blood is caused by bleeding in the intestine. Blood in the feces is an indicator to call a veterinarian.

This kind of observation is one that should be done on a daily basis; like other indicators, evaluating a goat’s poop can go a long way in ensuring that a goat is healthy.

You can read more about coccidiosis and enterotoxemia in Goat Health Care.