Navigation Bar
    Breeders Directory
Recommended Reading
    Goats for Sale
Upcoming Events

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 000000055
NO G-1
E. L. Bliss; U. of Florida, Gainesville
D. L. Ace; Pennsylvania State U., University Park
Health and Disease Management

1 Herd health programs attempt to organize all the information applicable to goat herd health, into a concise, simple to remember and usable form. The goal of a herd health program is to improve the herds' productivity. This goal is achieved through nutrition management, disease control, reproductive management, parasite control and environmental management. Careful records must be kept in order to know where the program has been, how it is progressing and what to do in the future to make it better.

2 Each herd is unique and requires that its program be tailored to fit the needs and goals of that herd. The following discussion attempts to provide idealized guidelines that can be used to develop a program that fits the goals and aspirations for that herd.

3 Late Pregnancy and the Dry Doe Since this period of time is so important to the future of the herd, and offers many opportunities to institute many aspects of a herd health program, the discussion will begin during the dry period.

4 The pregnant doe should have a 40-60 day dry period, in order to regain condition lost during lactation, allow the mammary gland to rest and for the doe to get ready for kidding and the next lactation. At drying off, treat all udders with dry cow mastitis antibiotics. This is important, even though the udder has been healthy throughout the last lactation. Many new udder infections begin during the first several weeks of the dry period. Dip teats daily with an approved teat dip until the udder begins involution.

5 The dry period is an ideal time to deworm. Internal parasites experience increased activity during late pregnancy and this is called the pre-parturient rise. More parasites can then be eliminated if the doe is dewormed at this time. Don't forget to check for external parasites and treat if any are found.

6 Parasite control at this time helps prevent excessive levels of parasite exposure to the newborn, as well as helping the doe.

7 Late pregnancy is also an ideal time to give the yearly booster doses of the vaccines that are utilized in that herd. The vaccines will give protection to the doe as well as ensure high levels of antibodies in the doe's colostrum for the newborn kid's protection. The vaccines used depend upon the problems and needs within each individual herd, but should include enterotoxemia, and tetanus.

8 Nutritionally, the dry period is a critical time. The metabolic and physiological needs are de manding. This is a rebuilding time for the doe, getting her ready for the demands of her next lactation. The developing fetus(es) grow rapidly during the last several weeks of gestation, thus greatly increasing the metabolic demands on the doe.

9 The most common problem seen during this dry period is allowing the doe to become over-conditioned. Over-conditioning puts excessive stress on the heavily pregnant doe and predisposes her to serious metabolic problems, one of which is ketosis. The excessive abdominal fat and pregnant uterus reduce the holding capacity of the doe's rumen, preventing her from being able to consume enough feed to meet her metabolic needs as well as the needs of the rapidly developing fetuses. Subsequently, to meet her metabolic need she begins to metabolize her fat reserves and potentially may develop ketosis. It is important during the early dry period to provide good quality roughage to ensure active, normal rumen function. During this brief period the doe's metabolic needs are minimal and the hay will be adequate to meet her energy needs; but 2-3 weeks before freshening, her metabolic needs begin to increase and she will require more concentrated forms of energy (grain). During this dry period, the doe should slowly gain in condition and weight. The eyes and hands of the owner can best determine the doe's condition. The quality and quantity of feed during the dry period will affect the doe and the kids throughout, at least, the next year. Not enough emphasis can be given to the tremendous importance of nutrition in any animal production unit.

10 Each dairy goat herdsman should have an annual calendar listing approximate times and ages when certain activities should be performed to maximize profits per productive unit. This annual calendar should begin with the pregnant doe, 40 to 60 days prior to kidding. ++++MISSING DATA++++

11 Mastitis Program:
1. Examine udder two times daily for abnormal secretions and treat early if mastitis is detected.
2. Use a recommended teat dip following each milking.
3. Dry treat at drying off.
4. If milking by machine, have equipment checked at least every fourth month.
5. Employ strict sanitation practices.

12 Foot Care:
1. Trim hooves at least four times yearly.
2. Fence goats out of wet, marshy areas.

13 External Parasites:
1. Ringworm, daily topical treatment of equal parts iodine and glycerin.
2. Lice, biting and sucking, Coumaphos (co-ral 25wetable powder). Spray or dip all goats in the herd when necessary. ++++MISSING DATA++++

ORIGIN;United States


Copyright© 2004-2018, All Rights Reserved