Drenching a goat has nothing to do with getting the animal wet. However, if you don't do it properly, you could end up with liquid or other substances on you. Drenching usually refers to dewormers, and doing it regularly keeps your goats free of parasites. It can also refer to medications syringed into a goat's mouth and down the throat.
Drenching can involve a simple syringe, as with most dewormers. For purposes other than deworming, you might use a drench gun or a large syringe. After adjusting for the proper amount of dewormer or medication, you place the syringe or drench gun into the goat's mouth and push the plunger. With a cooperative goat, it's as easy as that. If your goats aren't cooperative—cooperation not being a particularly caprine trait—it will take more time and effort.
The first time a goat gets drenched is generally a nonevent, because the animal has no idea what you're doing, as long as you're reasonably quick about it. Subsequent drenching isn't likely to be as easy. For that reason it's best to have two people involved, one to restrain and one to drench. If you're fairly tall and the goats are small, you can try straddling the neck, with your head facing the same direction as the goat's. Use your legs like a vise or chute around the front end of the animal. If you're not that tall or your goats are a good size, don't try drenching the goat by yourself. Find someone to hold the goat still while you do the drenching, or vice versa.
Once your medication or dewormer is measured, your syringe ready and your goat restrained, open the animal's mouth. Put in syringe in the side of the animal's mouth toward the left side, placing it over the tongue's base toward the back of the throat. Slightly raise the goat's head, but not so high that he can't swallow. Don't hold the goat's mouth closed during the procedure. Squeeze the plunger slowly so the contents go in smoothly, rather than spurting. Make sure the goat swallows the dewormer or medication before letting him go.
Before deworming, weigh your goat so you know exactly how much dewormer to use. The Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control recommends withholding feed for 12 to 24 hours before drenching a goat with ivermectin, moxidectin, fenbendazole, albendazole or doramectrin.
- The Boer and Meat Goat Information Center: Drenched
- Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control: Smart Drenching for Sheep and Goats [PDF]
- Agricultural Research Council: How Do I Drench a Goat?
- Purdue University: Goat Guideline for Anthelmintic Dosages (Internal Parasite Dewormers) July 2006
- Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images