We are moving towards getting two nigerian dwarf goats (and btw, we got 6 buff orpington chicks recently) and I'm wondering what I have to be concerned about re. my two year old (and my 9 year old and the rest of us for that matter). I was reading a bit about worming your goats, and so that is what comes immediately to mind. but i'm wondering what hygein practices should we follow to be responsible homesteaders, and what I should be on the lookout for in my children, to be sure I catch anything that is amiss. For instance, obviously wash hands after handling the anials, but what about shoes worn into the pens and barn - we generally take off our shoes when we come in the house, but we do cross through the living area, as the "mudroom area" is not right by the door, or should we only go into the animal areas with special shoes that don't enter the home? and does sinple handwashing eliminate the chance or worms or other diseases? Anyway, if someone could give me reasonable advice on protocols living with goats and chickens, that would be great. At first I was oblivious to any risks, and now I don't know how careful to be.
Thanks so much!
Well, I don't have anything scientific to share, or detailed statistics or anything, but I can just share what we do. It's pretty simple and you've already mentioned it- we wash our hands every time we come inside (& work constantly on instilling that habit in our children), and never wear shoes in the house. We take all our shoes off right inside our doorway. That's really about it. We don't use any harsh cleansers, I am personally not a fan of hand sanitizers (although my dh uses them), we make our own soap and clean with vinegar and all that (no antibacterial products around her, except for the Bactine I do spray in filthy wounds...)
I am of the opinion that humans have become a sicker species by being *too* clean and using too many toxic products. We've lived with and around animals and filth since forever. It's good for us to embrace the dirt and manure. Well, to an extent. ;)
Here is a fun little news video about how much healthier kids that grow up on farms are:
To help you breath easier, Google "farm kids healthier". All sorts of interesting articles come up.
North Idaho rural living mama to: 23 yo DD, 16 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
I have fished out so many goat pooplets out of my babies mouths, that I can't imagine how many I have NOT found. They are very healthy children. To ease your mind somewhat, many worms and diseases are species specific, meaning that humans rarely get them from livestock. As a good example in animal husbandry, generations ago, people raised several species of livestock on their farms and would rotate them through pastures. This would minimize worm load because if cows followed goats or sheep, the worms specific to the goats/sheep would die since their preferred host was not there. Do the usual hand washing and boot taking off and you'll be fine.
We have cows and layers- but we wash our hands and mop our floors. We don't take our shoes off every time we come in unless they are gross but we do walk across the lawn to get from our livestock to our house. We are very healthy :) Of course cow pies are not like goat pellets- but do your best to keep them out of your kids' mouths and I think you will be fine :)
Iowaorganic- mama to DD (1/5/06), DS1 (4/9/07), DS2 (1/22/09), DS3 (12/10/10), DD2 (7/6/12) and a new kid due in early 2014