Break A Leg!

If you’ve raised goats for a while you’ve probably already experienced a goat with a broken leg. We’ve actually had 3, the latest one happened at the youngest age so far, 1 month old. The day after we weighed the month old NZ kids, we noticed that the largest buckling was holding his leg up. We caught him and felt his leg, didn’t notice anything out of place, and he didn’t scream so we let him go. As the days went on, he continued to hold his leg up and it started to swell lightly. We knew there was something wrong but really didn’t think it was broken. The earliest vet appointment we could get for an X-Ray was 5 days after the day he started to limp.

Lorie had the pleasure of taking the goat kid to the vet’s office while I was at work. She claims that the waiting room full of lap dogs and their owners were astonished by the sight of a goat. I can believe it as with every other time I have taken a goat off the farm for delivery or to the vet, I’ve had passer bys honk and waive and shout out at the goat. Has this ever happened to you?

Back to the goat. The X-Ray confirmed our fears, the goats front right leg was shattered. Luckily it was just above the knee and out of the growth plate. The vet claims that it will heal quickly without any permanent damage.

Broken Front Right Leg just above the knee.

The vet instructed that we keep the goat’s leg dry and clean for 4 weeks. This sounds easy while your at the vet’s office but not very practical in the middle of January on a farm. Since our barn is unfinished, we’ve had to make a temporary goat resort out of our livestock trailer for this kid along with his twin and his mother since they are one month old and we have no time for bottle feeding.

Goat Leg in Splint

 Our first goat with a broken leg was much more tramatic. He was a 3 month old kid that had a compound fracture on his back leg. Best that we could guess is that he got it stuck in the brace wires on our High Tensile electric fence. That one was much easier to diagnose with the bone stick out, leg dangling, and blood squirting out into the white snow. We’ve known others who have had adult bucks fight and get their legs broken in each others horns but so far ours have always escaped without permanent damage.