Monthly Maintenance Review
This was refined after we reviewed our problems causing high maintenance and excessive loss of animals. See the article at High Maintenance.
Our Monthly Maintenance Review is something that has been evolving over several years. It has been an informal process with scattered documentation that now must be a more rigid process with consistent documentation and specific follow-up steps clearly defined to move our herd to definite short and long-term objectives. As the objectives are met or missed, the Maintenance Review process will be adjusted to continue to move forward with the objectives. Our objectives and definition of "quality in our herd" will be clearly documented for all to see.
Our current Monthly Maintenance Review will follow these procedure steps. Anita and I do this together. I catch the animals, do the evaluation and give any appropriate medication. Anita documents the evaluation info on the animals' specific health chart and prepares any medicine or treatments that an animal will receive. That is also documented.
On the first of each month we will do the following:
1 - membrane shows dark pink color indicating little to no worm problem
2 - membrane shows medium to light pink color indicating some worm problem but no treatment to be given
3 - membrane shows pale to white color indicating worm problem that requires immediate treatment. Animal will be wormed at that time. A few of the animals wormed at this time will have a fecal test done on their pellets in 10 days to determine how well the wormer is working. This is done to determine when a wormer has become ineffective.
1 - shiny coat - little to no worm problem
2 - dull coat
3 - rough coat
1 - good weight and body shape
2 - some weight loss
3 - significant weight loss
1 - in good shape with no signs of problems
2 - in ok shape but starting to show some signs of growth or turning to one side
3 - starting to look bad but could trim on their own at this stage. As the hoof gets extreme, it may break off on its own and not require attention from us. We prefer that.
4 - hoof is in bad shape and does not look like it will do any self-correcting. Animals with a 4 value on their hooves will be scheduled throughout the next 30 days to have their hooves trimmed.
5 - hoof was trimmed by us at a later date between reviews.
Even though this seems like a lot of maintenance, and it is, the real purpose of this is to document what the status of the health was for each animal and what was the environment that could have affected them. This information will also include the day to day health activities that required treatment, what the treatment was and how effective it was, birthing and mothering experiences. This process will likely be reduced once we better understand our herd and have been through several culling phases.
It is impossible to cull an animal or decide to keep an animal if you don't have all of the health facts documented where you can compare one animal against another. It is also good information to offer a buyer of one of your animals. However, you can never use this type of information effectively if you don't have some priorities that go along with them that aid you in achieving your goals, objectives or whatever you want to call them. If you are only focusing on how well they did or will do in the show ring or how many ennoblements are in their pedigree, you are a part of the problem in the industry.
This Monthly Maintenance Review may become a very valuable tool for us in achieving a "low maintenance" herd of animals or it may be a waste of time and achieve nothing. Only time will tell. The one thing we do know for certain is, breeders are going to have to do something different with the Boer goats because there is a major train wreak coming if it stays on the current course.