Ticks, Flies and other summer pests 

The bugs are everywhere in summer.  At Oak Hill, we are as chemical free as possible so I'm always on the lookout for new & better ways to deal with the bugs.  For flies, we depend on fly predators.  We have a monthly standing shipment set up with Arbico.  Regular manure removal from the pens helps as well, and composting the manure pile.
Feeding food-grade diatomaceous earth or Dynamite Excel daily also appears to reduce parasites and flies.
For ticks, nothing beats a flock of free-ranging chickens or guinea hens.  Warning:  guinea hens can fly and will dig up gardens and flower beds, and they are LOUD.
Topically, there are many good herbal bug repellent sprays on the market.  I use Dynamite DynaShield. (I also spritz DynaShield around the inside of the goat shelters after I clean them)
Fly Free Zone makes natural bug-repellent collars for dogs that can be used for goats, as long as your goats don't remove and eat them.  These are helpful for flies AND ticks.


Oak Hill kidding results 

All the spring kids are born, and sold!  We had a total of 7 kids born.  Kid pictures and videos are posted on the website & blog.
Lice tips 

Spring can be the time when lice infestations show up after the long winter and buildup of bedding in the shelters.  At Oak Hill, we are as close to organic as possible.  If lice become a problem, we spray the goats weekly with Dynamite DynaShield.  DynaShield contains natural bug repellents which drives away hatched lice, and has a mineral oil base with appears to smother any unhatched lice eggs.  Other natural fly repellents would also likely work, as long as they are oil-based.   Food-grade diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled in and around the shelters as well. 

Supplement basics 

A few quick tips on supplements:
Salt should be loose and pink, gray or tan.  White means the salt was bleached.  No blocks - goats have smooth tongues and have trouble licking a block to get enough salt, plus blocks contain binders.  Loose salt should clump when the weather is damp.  Salt that pours in damp weather has flow enhancers.  Goats should always have access to salt.
Baking soda - I leave baking soda out so that the goats can balance their rumen pH as needed
Vitamin/mineral supplements - looks for amino-acid chelated minerals, and a mixture of macro, micro and trace minerals.  Check for sufficient copper.  East coast soils are often high iron, which suppresses copper.  Amino acid chelated copper is easily absorbed and the excess is easily flushed from the body.  Go to Albion for more information on amino acid chelates and mineral interactions.  I personally use Dynamite V/M Mix For Browsers & Grazers, and also put out Dynamite 2-1 Calcium Phosphorus and Dynamite Izmine.  www.dynamitemarketing.com/carrieeastman
Read the labels.  I avoid preservatives especially BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin. 

July Special! - Dynamite V/M Mix For Browsers & Grazers

25 pounds of Browser/Grazer Mix for $59 (save $10), plus tax and shipping.  Offer only open to eNewsletter subscribers.  Please call or email to order - no online orders.    Limited to my Dynamite clients or folks that are new to Dynamite.

South Mountain Myotonic Goat Show 

Oak Hill has organized the first MGR-sanctioned show at the South Mountain Fair Saturday August 20 in Arendtsville, PA.  There are also classes for other goat breeds.  Come & show your goats, or watch the fun!  www.southmountainfair.com   

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