Urinary calculi are "stones" that form in the urinary tract of the male goats under certain conditions. These can eventually block the urine flow causing extreme pain and death. Surgery and "re-plumbing" can be done when total blockage has occurred but this should be weighed against cost and quality of life of the animal.
I have several older wethers and bucks that I have had since birth and have not experienced this condition yet. However, I have taken steps that I believe are helping to avoid it.
- I give all my animals a powdered salt / mineral supplement , free choice. That is, they consume all that they want. The "Goat and Sheep Mineral" that I use is LOVED by my animals and they eat a lot. I think that this in turn causes them to consume more water thereby keeping their system hydrated better.
- I also add ammonium chloride to the mineral that is consumed by my bucks and wethers. This compound helps to acidify the urine and there by helping to prevent the calculi formation. I add about a cup of the ammonium chloride to a gallon of the dry powdered mineral ( mixed well )
- I also feed my bucks and wethers MOSTLY the highest quality alfalfa I can find. I have heard that the high calcium level in the alfalfa helps to set up some type of equilibrium with the phosphorus in their diet as well and this helps to prevent the formation. I do not know if this is right or not but, I strongly believe, " If it ain't broke, don't fix it ! " As I said before, I have not had this condition affect any of my male goats, to date.
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