There are always going to be times you worry about your animals.
Goats are cute, quirky, and easy to love, but it’s not always easy to tell when they’re ill or something is wrong.
As responsible farmers and animal owners, it’s our job to keep a close eye on our animals to determine when something isn’t right.
Clumpy goat poop is a sign something is upsetting their digestional tract. It is a cause for concern, and you must determine exactly what’s causing this phenomenon in your goat. This is a situation where you need to contact your vet.
There are a wide variety of reasons your goat could have clumpy poops.
The reason may be fairly benign, such as a sudden change of feed or as serious as an intestinal parasite or disease.
Let’s look at the most common reasons you have clumpy poop in goats.
Reasons For Clumpy Goat Poop
A common sign of a heavy parasite load in goats is clumpy poops.
Many different parasites affect your goat’s poop, including the common tapeworm, bankrupt worm, brown worm, and barber pole worm.
Each of these parasites can cause serious health problems for your goat.
Along with clumpy poops, other common signs your goat is being affected by parasites include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Not all parasitic infections will present the same way, so if your goat is experiencing clumpy poops and any other concerning symptoms, it’s important to talk to your vet right away.
Your vet will probably want you to collect a fecal sample so they can determine whether a parasite is present and what species it is.
Change of Feed
Sometimes, clumpy poops are simply the result of your goat’s system acclimating to a new feed.
If this is the case, given a couple of days, their normal poops should return hard, oval-shaped, dark brown pellets.
Switching to new foods for goats should be done slowly to not upset their digestive system.
When you switch them to a new feed all at once or introduce large amounts of new feed they’ve never had, it can throw off the bacteria in their gut and cause some troubling health problems.
Introduce new feeds slowly, building up the amount you give them over time so your goats have time to adjust to the new feed.
Doing this should help keep the bacteria in their gut stable and avoid complications.
Accidentally giving your goats bad foods can cause health complications, like clumpy poops.
Things like tomato leaves, bird feed, or too many fresh green leaves can all be problematic, though for different reasons.
Tomato leaves are dangerous and inappropriate food to give to goats because they contain phytotoxins harmful to your goat’s health.
Other common plants containing these toxins include:
- Mountain Laurel
- Horse Nettle
If any of these plants are growing where your goats are grazing, you need to eliminate them or fence off the area so your goats can’t get to them.
Ingesting these plants can lead to serious health problems and even death.
Goats are herbivores, so their bodies can’t digest animal products except for goat’s milk.
Further Reading: Benefits of goats drinking their own milk
Processed bird feed often contains some animal products such as crayfish dust, maggot meal, or fish meal, and these products aren’t digested properly by goats.
Your goat might have some clumpy poops after ingesting bird feed, or they could have diarrhea (also called scours in goats).
Either symptom is a sign their body isn’t handling what they ate well, and you need to contact your vet.
Fresh Green Leaves
Goats love to graze, so why be concerned when they eat a bunch of fresh green leaves?
Well, there are species of protozoan parasites living on fresh green leaves that will be ingested by your goat when they consume too many fresh green leaves.
These parasites can lead to coccidiosis.
Nearly all adult goats have these parasites, but the infection stage will only occur when a goat comes into contact with contaminated feces or water.
When a goat is infected, it can experience a wide range of symptoms.
Along with clumpy poops, your goat might experience dehydration, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellow poop, and watery diarrhea (loose stools).
Coccidiosis is a serious condition, and it requires veterinary treatment.
If you suspect your goat has been infected, contact your vet immediately!
Goats are extremely curious creatures and eaters!
You’ll find your goat nibbling on almost any solid food they come across, which is why keeping their enclosures free of tempting objects they might like to chew on is important.
A goat with clumpy poops might have eaten something they shouldn’t.
Many people believe goats can digest virtually anything because they will chew on nearly anything, but it’s a misconception.
Goats have sensitive digestive systems and can’t digest the materials found in household items, fabrics, furniture, etc.
If your goat has eaten something it shouldn’t, like your favorite pair of gardening boots, and they’ve had clumpy poops, this is a serious cause for concern.
Your goat could suffer from an intestinal blockage because of the indigestible object they’ve eaten, which isn’t something that will work itself out.
You’ll need to contact your vet to get a blockage removed.
What Does Normal Goat Poop Look Like?
Normal goat dropping should look like little berries.
Some describe them also as pebbles, beans, or rocks.
The poop shouldn’t stick together, and it doesn’t look like a log either.
It’s dry, spherical, and dark brown or black in color.
Any undigested materials are a problem, so make sure you watch for this on top of clumping and diarrhea.