Herd Health

Current Protocols

Herd health protocols are going to be different from breeder to breeder, and continually evolve. These are our current practices -

BioSecurity -

  • We have a strong bias for a closed herd. We have not brought a doe in from the outside since our three foundation animals. We have brought in bucks from time to time, but have made a point to seek out herds that are either CAE negative (strongly preferred), or have a protocol of CAE prevention in place - plus a negative test, which we renew every year. We do not typically run these bucks with any does, and hand breed everything.

CAE - 

  • Our herd has so far remained CAE negative. We test each year before kidding, and will send those results out with any animal we sell.  We practice biosecurity at shows within reason - easy enough for a tack pen to be a buffer, and keeping noses away from other animals at ringside. However we are not crazed about this, as we are generally among friends whose herds we know, and getting out to shows is important to us.

Kids -

  • We dam raise our kids and I'm a big believer in this, however it requires some management. The first few days of making sure udders are being completely emptied, and routine handling of all the kids (i.e., playing with them) are all really important in making this work. Every doe on our page has kids on her until they are 4-5 months old. We have no imbalances, lumpy udders, or any problems of that nature. But I milk them all 2x a day on top of that. Just makes our kids really nice and keeps moms happy :)

Health Protocols -

  • In the beginning, we really thought that providing plenty of space and sunshine would keep health problems at bay. We started with CDT vaccination protocols as a baseline, and cultivated a close relationship with Anderson Vet in Zumbrota, MN. With their guidance and our experience in the last few years, these are the things we've added:

  • CDT - mom's 1-month before kidding; Kids 4 weeks and 7/8 weeks booster.
  • Grain - Free choice grower with decoquinate as a coccidiostat for the kids.
  • Inforce pneumonia vaccine to all kids before they hit the show ring

Medicine Cabinet -

  • Nuflor - the Inforce vaccine has prevented the pretty routine case of pneumonia from at least one kid from every show, but still will have the occasional kid get a fever and this knocks it right out. 
  • Toltrazuril - our new "go to" for coccidiosis. We use as treatment and not preventive. This year, with our wet spring, kids were not yet eating enough grain to hold it at bay, so one or two of them needed a treatment.

Parasites -

  • We are almost on a dry lot - though there is grass available, the does really don't touch it much with really good hay in front of them. Fecals have never yielded a treatable level, but in one case I did dose one with orally with injectable ivermectin as she was edging a little close. Our vet keeps an eye on FAMACHA for us and we'll run a fecal every once in awhile through them.

A Final Word -

  • We will run a goat down to the vet in a heartbeat to get their input, as well as getting them on-site. We are fortunate in that they are willing to come even on weekends and their rates are reasonable, and a couple of the vets on staff (most notably Dr. Amy) specialize in small ruminants.