how do I know if my goats have bloat of if they are just fat?

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Question by Brook: how do I know if my goats have bloat of if they are just fat?
they are healthy goats with regular worming schedules. But there bellies are BIG…is this a common trait? or how can I tell if its bloat and the best ways to treat it. THANKS!

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One Response to how do I know if my goats have bloat of if they are just fat?

  1. There are a few different ways that a goat could be “fat.”

    To tell if your goat is overweight/obese, you need to feel for their ribs. If a goat is overweight, you will not be able to feel the goat’s ribs (which are behind the front legs near the chest). If the goat is underweight, you will be able to see the ribs. If the goat is an ideal weight, you will not be able to see the ribs but if you press against them you should be able to feel them.

    To tell if the goat is bloated, press your hand against the goat’s left side (the rumen is on the left). A bloated goat’s rumen will be hard, and if the bloat is severe, it won’t be working (you can tell if the rumen is working by pressing your ear against the goat’s side – you should be able to hear a sound like a toilet flushing every few minutes. If you don’t hear it for over a few minutes, the rumen isn’t working and there’s something wrong). A bloated goat will also look lopsided – the left side will stick out more than the right. If the goat is only slightly bloated, then I suggest putting out some baking soda (which the goat will eat freechoice to help regulate its system), and walking them around a little, as well as massaging some of the gas out of their stomach. If the goat is severely bloated (in which case they’re probably lying down and showing signs of distress), you need to get to the vet.

    A well-built dairy goat will have a large barrel, which is different than being obese or being bloated. Several of my does have good barrels, and people who don’t know goats always think that they are fat or pregnant. A goat with a good barrel will have an ideal weight (do the rib test) and will not be bloated – they’re lower belly is just sort of wider. That’s the best way I can explain it.

    And the last reason why they’re “fat” is a possible pregnancy, but it sounds like you’ve had goats for a while so you probably know if they’re pregnant or not.

    June 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm

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