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ORIGIN: United States

Extension Goat Handbook

This material was contributed from collections at the National Agricultural
Library. However, users should direct all inquires about the contents to
authors or originating agencies.

DOCN 000000020
NO B-14
AU D. L. Ace; Pennsylvania State U., University Park, PA
RV L. J. Hutchinson; Pennsylvania State U., University Park, PA
DE Management and Housing

1. The wholesomeness of American food is a cherished goal for all involved in the production and processing of edible goods. In cooperation with producers, federal regulations ensure that food is safe and free from objectionable levels of residues. All persons involved in the daily production of meat and milk are constantly aware of the necessity to closely monitor their management practices to assure that their products, whether used on the family table or sold for processing, meet accepted standards.

2. Occasionally, animals become ill and require medication. Goats are no exception. However, the owner has little guidance in the use of medication because few drugs are labeled for goats and professional advice often is not available. As a result, treatment of an ailing animal may require a more cautious approach when deciding on the method of drug application and dosage. There is a greater chance for error and the possibility that goat meat and milk could contain unwanted chemical residues for an extended period of time.

3. A survey conducted among goat breeders in Pennsylvania as part of the USDA Residue Avoidance Program found that many goat owners subscribe to the organic method of food production. An awareness of situations that could induce residue problems in any food supply appears to be foremost in their management programs. Even so, there are numerous instances where medication of an animal for various ailments, infections, and parasite problems is a necessity. In nearly all cases, when animals were given medication there has been extreme caution in the use of milk and meat from the treated animal. Withholding products several days beyond the recommended period is an accepted practice among goat owners. This type of concern and caution has sponsored a supply of meat, milk and milk products for use in the home or for sale, that meets federal standards. One packing house that slaughters approximately 1,000 goats each year has yet to find a carcass with a residue violation. This would support the observation that goat raisers are thoroughly conscious of potential problems and are taking steps to assure a wholesome product. The industry is to be commended.

4. There appears to be an ever increasing number of persons practicing goat husbandry. The homesteading movement with its agrarian intent, but often limited to small acreage, finds the dairy goat a perfect animal to meet home food production needs. Many newcomers to the business are not agriculturally trained. The lack of knowledge about adequate ventilation in goat housing and uncertainty about sanitation procedures could lead to a greater incidence of pneumonia, diarrhea, and parasite problems. This, coupled with a scarcity of drugs labeled for use on goats, and in some areas, no access to veterinary care, increases the risk of accidental medical application. Those raising goats for a long period of time find it difficult to make treatment decisions. It is doubly difficult for the newcomer.

5. Let's examine the route that drugs and chemicals take to get into meat and milk. Medication may be given orally, injected subcutaneously (under the skin) or into the muscle, infused into the udder or reproductive tract, or applied to the skin as a salve or a powder. Regardless of the treatment method, the medication may be absorbed into the blood stream and carried to all parts of the body. Therefore, a drug injected into the muscle to treat pneumonia symptoms or fed to the animal to control internal parasites will eventually find its way to the milk secretory cells and all body tissues. Body tissues may retain detectable levels of drug residues longer than body fluids such as milk. It is not uncommon to find labels stating a longer withholding time before it is safe to send the animal for slaughter as compared to using the milk.

6. Withholding times vary! When you treat an animal, be sure to follow directions when administering the drugs. If it calls for intramuscular injection and you inject subcutaneously, the stated withholding time on the label may be rendered inaccurate. Unusually large doses of medication will require longer withholding times, so stay with the recommended dosage if you expect the label to be an accurate guide. Mastitis medication formulated for dry treatment generally has a long meat and milk withdrawal time because the drugs are mixed in a slow release, long acting vehicle. Treatment over several days can extend the withdrawal period because of the additive effect.

7. Therefore, depending on the drug you use, the dose given, the length of the treatment, and the drug vehicle (substance used to mix with or dissolve the drug), you may need to extend the withholding time to allow the body to eliminate the drug residue.

8. Residues may occur from sources other than medication. Forages, such as hay, weeds, and browse that may have grown on or near roadsides or right of ways that have been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides can become polluted by spray or spray drift. If eaten by the goat, they can be the cause of residues in meat and milk. The browsing nature of goats can lead them to eat both dead and living forage that another species of animal might shun. In addition, if you spray or dust your sweet corn, cabbage, turnips and other garden vegetables to control disease or insect do not permit the goats to eat any of the garden plants.

9. Be careful when purchasing a grain mix, especially one not formulated for a ruminant. Read the feed tag. If it says medicated on the tag be sure you read further to find what limitations may be recommended. Also, some milk replacers may contain a medicated ingredient that could pose a problem in the sale of a kid consuming the replacer in its daily ration.

10. If you have treated a milking doe for mastitis, milk her last and discard all the milk even though you may have treated only one side of the udder. By milking her last, you prevent possible contamination of milk from other does. As little as a teaspoon of milk left in a pail or in a milk line can contaminate the milk from the next doe.

11. Don't take chances. Mark a treated animal with a paint stick or a dye to remind you and anyone else doing the milking that the milk from that doe must be discarded.

12. Testing for Residues Modern-day testing methods make it easier for officials to test for trace levels of residues. Levels that once went undetected now are found in both meat and milk. In addition, procedures have been developed to permit the tracking of a carcass in a slaughter plant back to an auction or buyer and finally to the person who sold the animal. Not only are the tests becoming more accurate and refined, it is now easier to identify the person who committed the error.

13. Several tests have been developed to assist the producer in checking for the possibility of residues present in the animal or the milk. The Live Animal Swab Test (LAST) developed by scientists in the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), is the first tool available for on-the-farm use in checking animals for antibiotic residues before they are shipped for slaughter. LAST is an adaption of a test used since 1979 by FSIS, called STOP (Swab Test on Premises). STOP has been used in slaughter houses to check presence of antibiotics and other antimicrobial substances in the killed carcass. Now producers and/or their veterinarians can perform the LAST on live animals at the farm simply by testing the urine of any suspect animal. Test kits are available for purchase and anyone wishing to learn more about the test and how to perform it may write to Publications Office, FSIS-ILA, Room 1163-S, USDA, Washington, DC 20250.

14. The DELVO test has been used for several years by milk plants and sanitarians and more recently by dairymen to check for levels of antibiotics in milk. More and more farmers are routinely running this test on milk from any treated, mastitic cow prior to including her milk with that of the herd. It is also used on milk in the bulk tank prior to shipping. Contact any dairy sanitarian, milk plant, veterinarian or Extension agent for information on purchasing this test kit. Or, write to G. B. Fermentation Industries, Inc., 555077 Centre Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina 28224. Other test kits are being developed for on-farm use. LAST, STOP and DELVO tests are all designed to detect the presence of antibiotics and sulfas. They will not detect other chemicals such as wormers or insecticides. Federal meat inspectors use other methods to detect these chemicals.

15. Today, there is little reason to use or sell residue-contaminated products. You can test a product to be sure it is residue free. This should be especially good news to the goat producer since most of the goat products are used by the family. Rather than to waste several days milk or hold a live animal an extra couple weeks just to be sure the medicine has been eliminated from the body, you can now test and know when the product is safe to place on the family table.


* Provide a clean, well bedded, dry area for the does at kidding time.

* Be sure kids receive colostrum; 4 ounces (1/2 cup) within 2 hours following birth. Colostrum contains protective antibodies and helps keep kids from getting sick.

* Provide kids and adult animals with clean, dry bedding and good ventilation to reduce incidence of scours and pneumonia.

* Feed hay in a hayrack or keyhole feeder; protect grain boxes and watering devices from manure contamination to reduce parasite problems.

* Dip teats in an approved germicidal dip after each milking.

* Clean and sanitize all feeding equipment.

* Fence animals away from chemically sprayed areas and don't feed forages or garden refuse that contain chemical residues.

Ask your veterinarian's advice regarding:

* Proper use of medication.

* Withholding times before slaughtering treated animals or milk offered for sale and/or used at home.

* Oral electrolyte mixtures--unmedicated but effective therapy for scouring kids.

Ask your county agent's advice regarding:

* Ventilating requirements and proper fan size to provide draft-free fresh air in stable area.

* How to build hayracks and keyhole feeders.

* Management programs that increase the potential for growth and production and reduce risks of disease.

Don't rely on memory:

* Always read label directions and check withdrawal times. They vary with each medication used.

* Identify with a chalk marker any treated animal. Keep a record of the medication used and date treated.

Use drugs wisely:

* Drugs are not a substitute for good management.

* Permit only one person to administer drugs.

* Limit access to drugs to competent and responsible people.

* When possible, avoid treatment of lactating does and does that


ORIGIN;United States


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