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Goat Poo: Everything You Needed to Know

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If talking about poop isn't your thing, you're not alone. Feces can be disgusting, mostly because of its pungent smell, and is one of the many ways disease spreads. However, excrement is a necessary evil as good as it is good, especially for livestock farmers. For example, goat droppings can give goat owners an idea of the health of their goats.

Goat farmers can quickly tell if there is a problem by checking the texture, color and shape of goat droppings. It helps them nip health crises in the bud as early as possible.

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about goat poop.

What does goat poop look like?

Goat Poo - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know - 1
Healthy goat poo is in the shape of a small oval ball.

©Anakumka/Shutterstock.com

When a goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) is healthy, its feces are usually firm, evenly spaced dark brown granules in the shape of small ellipsoids. However, when one observes them from a distance, they may appear dark green or black. Unlike many other animals, however, goat poop is a single drop that doesn't cling. It's worth noting that even the slightest change in a goat's droppings can indicate a serious health problem.

For example, if a goat's droppings are unevenly distributed and clumpy, it can mean three things. The number one cause of pellet clumps is that the goat has eaten too much. Another reason is a sudden change in diet. Finally, clumped particles can be one of the earliest signs of an increased parasite load or disease. If the granules do not return to normal after a few days, it is necessary to visit the veterinarian.

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Goat droppings can also sometimes look like dog droppings. When this happens, we call it a "dog log," and it can indicate a diet change or an infection. Meanwhile, goats with loose stools are likely to have diarrhea and require urgent medical attention. Diarrhea can be life-threatening and cause dehydration in goats.

At the same time, goats can also grow pointy grains instead of oval ones. This is usually a sign that they are getting more protein in their diet and nothing to worry about.

kid poop

"Meconium" is the unique name for the kid's first poop. They come in the form of thick, sticky and dark stools that become mushy and yellow with age. They turn into brown pellets when farmers introduce them to grain and hay.

Like adult goats, young goats can suffer from diseases that affect the color, texture and shape of their poop. For example, an E. coli infection can cause watery green or bright yellow poop. However, it can also indicate a milk flush, which means the child has had too much milk. If they continue to pass green poop after reducing their milk, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Does goat poop smell?

In general, healthy goat poop should be odorless, and if it does, it shouldn't be unpleasant. Smelly goat poop can indicate a serious problem, especially in children. For example, a kid can pass dark, foul-smelling poop. This is often a symptom of enterotoxemia and can also cause pain and discomfort.

Enterotoxemia is an acute disease caused by Clostridium perfringens type D. Symptoms include diarrhea, gas, and weight loss. It is a foodborne illness that can lead to sudden death. It is worth noting that enterotoxemia also affects humans and sheep.

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What do goats eat?

Favorite foods for goats include hay, bark, grain, and grass.

© AZ-Animals.com

Since a goat's diet is a major determinant of how their poop looks, it's crucial to know what they're eating. They are herbivores, and their favorite foods include hay, grass, weeds, grains, and bark. Goats are browsers, so they like to feed on the leaves of trees and shrubs. Their supplementary diet is mainly salt from mineral deposits. In general, however, goats are not picky eaters, so people may find that they enjoy eating anything that piques their interest.

Goats have almost 360-degree vision, and their rectangular pupils allow them to see in almost every direction. They use this incredible feature brilliantly to find food. They also have a good sense of smell and a deep sense of perception, allowing them to seize moments quickly.

Unlike sheep and cattle, goats forage on a variety of food sources rather than sticking primarily to one. Wild goats, such as goats, goats, and ibex, will typically feed on whatever they find in their environment. This includes berries, wild grains, fallen fruit and flowers. However, avoid feeding foods such as avocados, lilacs, chocolate, holly, and wild cherries to your pet goats as they can harm them. Young goats usually feed on milk.

Is goat poop harmful?

The answer to this question is a big "yes". Like all other animals, goat feces can carry pathogens and viruses that cause disease. So, be careful when handling their droppings, especially if you have an open wound. In some cases, humans may become ill after drinking water contaminated with goat feces.

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Common diseases in which goat feces can become infected include leptospirosis, Q fever, cryptosporidiosis, and impetigo contagiosum.

Uses for Goat Manure

bearded animal
Healthy goat droppings should have no odor.

©iStock.com/VeraOsco

Goat manure is one of the best manure options for farmers. That's because it won't smell or attract insects. Goat droppings are also easy to spread and are rich in minerals that allow plants to thrive, especially potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus. Likewise, many farmers find that goat manure is not irritating to plants and will not burn them like fresh horse or cow manure.

In addition to droppings, there has been speculation that some people eat goat droppings, using them as an ingredient in certain meals in China. Many people swear by the power of argan oil in promoting healthy skin and hair. You might be surprised to know that the manufacturer extracts this oil from goat droppings.

Here's how it works: Goats feed on the argan tree and excrete the undigested stone in their feces. Manufacturers of argan oil extract their products from feces, purify them, and package them into products that can be used on hair and skin.

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