The following first-aid treatment saved seven of the secretary’s valuable goats that had eaten rhododendrons when a gate was accidentally left open into the garden.
This was our veterinarian’s treatment and we were fortunate that he was on hand very quickly or the results might have been grim. Basically you need baking soda and paraffin oil, your drench gun and bucket.
Dissolve one tablespoon of baking soda in two quarts of warm water.
Drench each affected animal with a quarter pint of this. Allow an interval of a quarter hour or a little longer, then drench again with 25 mls of pure paraffin oil to each animal.
NOTE: Our goats were very sick indeed and were vomiting copiously when we called the vet. Several were unable to keep down the first baking soda drench, but the vet re-drenched and the second stayed down better. The vet explained that the baking soda neutralises the excess acid which forms when toxic plant material is eaten and that the oil then speeds up the elimination of the offending stomach contents. The goats were miserable for a few hours, but were up and eating quite normally next morning.
It also pays to have some Atropine on hand, which will cover you for such poisonings.
Stocking rates. Goats are regarded as .7 of a stock unit when fed on pasture. You can add 1 goat to 10 cows without reducing the number of other animals.