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Our Herd Management

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The first three years we kidded out does, we dam raised and supplemented kids with bottles. While it was enjoyable to see the bonds formed within family units, there were some drawbacks as well. As of 2024, we made the decision to pull all our kids at birth and raise them 100% on the bottle. Kids are now raised in entirely separate facilities from adult animal to reduce parasite exposure and improve kid friendliness whilst maintaining the highest level of udder health. Kids are fed pasteurized milk and are raised using a multi-step coccidia prevention program (as detailed below).

Doe kids are typically fed until 16 weeks of age on the bottle and are offered free-choice grain until breeding season begins in the fall.

We do not band any wethers before 8-9 weeks of age to promote a healthy urinary tract and hormonal development.

All kids born here will be disbudded unless polled. We personally choose not to vaccinate for CDT and instead keep C&D and Tetanus antitoxin on hand at all times. If the buyer wishes to vaccinate the animal, they are welcome to do so after purchasing of course.

 

Our whole herd is vaccinated for pneumonia however, and we use the intranasal Nasalgen 3-PMH to protect against viral and bacterial strains of pneumonia.

Thoughtful Kid Rearing Practices //

Three-Part Coccidia Prevention //

We take coccidia prevention very seriously here at Fable Hill Farm. We want to raise large, healthy, vigorous kids who thrive as juniors and go on to be well-rounded, hardy adults. This is why we take a prevention approach to coccidia, instead of a treatment-based mindset. 

There are three products we use to prevent coccidia in our kids; the first step being Deccox-M, a milk soluble coccistat that we begin adding to evening bottles at 2 weeks of age. This is used until the kids are weaned from the bottle.

The second product we use is GI Soother™, an herbal compound from Fir Meadow LLC containing Cayenne pepper fruit, Cinnamon bark, Clove bud, Ginger root, Mullein leaf, Slippery Elm bark, and Turmeric root. We have found GI Soother™, in conjunction with Oregano essential oil, to be very effective against coccidia and barberpole for our herd. This is something we continue to use in our adult herd as well.

The final step to coccida prevention is feeding our kids a pelleted grain containing a coccistat. We start kids on grain around 2-3 weeks of age.

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Holistic Parasite Prevention //

We strive to use holistic remedies to prevent and treat health issues, and only use chemical medications and dewormers when absolutely necessary. In order to have long-term success with maintaining a healthy, productive herd using holistic practices, we focus on fostering healthy immune and gastrointestinal systems for the animals in our herd. A healthy rumen and a low parasite load are critical to keep up a doe's production and to preserve the fertility of our bucks season after season.

We use a rotational system of parasite prevention including our own personal blend of herbal dewormers, Molly's Herbals Dewormers Formula 1 & 2, Bioworma, oregano essential oil, pumpkin seeds and pine needles. We also employ the use of a microscope to assess our herds fecal egg counts as needed and evaluate FAMANCHA scores reguarly.

We also strive to break parasite cycles and promote herd health by employing rotational browsing on fresh forage and cleaning pens regularly, as well as using topical applications of diatomaceous earth each cleaning.

To be clear, there is a time and a place for chemical dewormers and we have a well-rounded arsenal of dewormers that can be used if needed. Sometimes, it is necessary to give an animal an additional push and sometimes herbals are simply not enough. 

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The Importance of Bio-Security //

We quarantine all animals brought onto our property for 30 days and only purchase stock from clean, tested herds. 

We run biosecurity panels annually in October-November to test for CAE, CL and Johnes' disease and plan to periodically test for Brucellosis and Q-fever in upcoming years as our herd expands and we begin to offer raw-milk herd shares to local clients.

Results from our latest biosecurity testing can be found here.

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Our entire herd is fed free-choice alfalfa/grass mix hay off of our own hay field. We reserve second cutting for our does in milk and purchase local 2nd or 3rd cutting higher percentage alfalfa to feed our milkers during show season. Bucks and does have access to large pastures for browsing during the Spring, Summer and Fall.

 

We offer free-choice a blend of Duraferm Concept Aid Sheep/Goat mixed with Sweetlix Milk Maker and our herd is also fed free choice Zinpro 40. 

 

All kids are fed Kalambach Start Right kid pellets in addition to milk, based upon age.

We feed our milking does a mixture of Kalambach Milk Maker pellets, shredded beet pulp, textured sweet feed, soyhull pellets, black oil sunflower seeds and cracked corn.

Our Feeding Program //

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