Understanding and Managing “Milk Neck” or “Milk Goiters” in Goats
Goats are valuable livestock for many farmers, providing milk, meat, and fiber. However, like any animal, they can be susceptible to various health issues. One concern that goat owners may encounter is the development of a large lump on the necks of kids. This article aims to shed light on what milk neck or milk goiters are, their causes, symptoms, and how to manage and prevent them.
Understanding Milk Goiters:
Milk neck, which may also be called milk goiters, are growths that can form on the neck of young goat kids. It can be alarming to go out and see what appears to be a big growth attached to your precious goats throat. You may immediately begin to Google “CL” or “iodine deficiency” and cause yourself a huge mount of worry.
It’s important to note that a milk goiters is not a goiter. They are very different and have very different reasons for developing.
But let’s stop a minute and take a breath. There’s a lot to read and understand about milk neck or milk goiters.
Causes of Milk Goiters:
Milk goiters are a collection of milk fat in the neck from being well fed by the doe.
In other words: Milk goiter = Good.
You have nothing to worry about and can be delighted you have such a prolific, well-producing doe. The kid is well fed and will grow well and most likely will be strong and healthy.
Usually milk goiters show up in dairy goat kids, because of the high milk yield the does produce.
Another promising sign of milk goiters, is that an enlarged thymus gland is a good sign that a strong immune system is being developed.
Symptoms of Milk Goiters:
Identifying the symptoms of milk goiters will make your life feel a bit less stressed…because you’ll know that a milk goiter is just fine and a good sign. Common signs include:
- Swelling will be evenly placed in the crook of the neck, and frontal facing.
- It is not one sided and will not just “pop up overnight”.
- Soft to the touch.
Management and Prevention:
Hug that baby goat. No really, they grow so fast, you need to get in as many hugs as you can get.
Just know that there is no management or prevention needed. Like stated earlier, it’s a good sign. Most likely they lumps will show up around 3 weeks of age and can still be there until 9 months of age. Sometimes, when the kid is weaned, they will go away right after that. Sometimes a loose pocket of skin will be there after the milk goiter has gone.
Another important note is that many times if the kid is taken to a vet, they will be diagnosed with CL or goiters. Usually the vets don’t have knowledge of what a milk goiter is from and even if they do know about them, there is nothing they can prescribe to make them go away.
Milk goiters in goat kids are not a health concern. Rest easy and take note in My Goat Binder of the does that are high producers. And begin to compare the growth and size of your kids with milk goiters and the ones without. You may be amazed at the difference!
But don’t let your learning stop just yet: Raising Goats Resource Page