Spring-Time Is Lice-Time
Yes, it is that time of year again. The time of year when the baby birds start chirping, the grass starts turning green and yes, the time for de-licing your goats. Before anyone faints from the shock of what I just said and runs to take a bath, let’s get the FACTS.
Goats, as well as other forms of livestock, usually at some point end up with lice; not the human kind, nor can humans acquire the little blood sucking beasts. Livestock lice are nasty little bugs that love to suck the blood from your goats and do not affect humans. Although lice can show up anytime, they are most likely to occur in Spring when the combination of humidity, mild temperatures and rainy weather combine to create very favorable conditions.
Livestock lice love to hide in long clumps of hair and look like little brown or white dots of sand. Unless you look really hard you may miss them, so I always treat in the spring, no matter what. In the Spring they are a little harder to detect and control due to the nice long hair they hide in on your goats coat. It is still too early to shave the bodies of the goats and with all the rain we have had in the state(GA), it makes it perfect lice weather.
To treat for lice, use a livestock parasitic solution such as Cydectin or Ivomec. Make sure to follow the label directions for treatment of the lice.
Livestock lice are blood sucking which means they can significantly decrease your animals’ performance and make your goats become anemic. Think of it this way, all the nutrients you are feeding your goats are going into those nasty, pesky little critters and not into your goat.
So now, go take a bath and quit scratching, then purchase a treatment for lice and get busy. Those little nasties are already busy sucking up all your profits!!!
Hoegger Farmyard Contributor
Shannon Lawrence, Yellow Rose Farm, Shady Dale GA
President Elect, GA Dairy Goat Breeders Association