If the horn tips are dirty from skin grease, or have fibres sticking to them, it’s a sure sign the goats are scratching themselves with their horns because they’re being irritated by lice. Now have a closer look to identify the type of lice you’re dealing with. Red lice have mouth parts for feeding on the skin. Although they have resistance to some chemicals, they’re fairly easily controlled by plunge dipping or pour-on remedies.
Blue lice have sharp mouthparts that suck blood and can cause mortalities. They can be controlled by plunge dipping or injecting, but because they don’t move around in the fleece as much as red lice do, pour-on remedies won’t work so well. To be effective, treatment should be given well before shearing, when the fleece is still relatively short, or soon after shearing. Dipping goats with long hair increases the risk of chemical residue in the clip and requires more dip.