My favorite breed and personal experience of the Nubian breed is they each have a different and unique personality, (which is mostly loyal and affectionate) manner, and health. They come in many colors and can be in loud patterns (Moon Spots, which I love). They enjoy and tolerate hot dry weather better than cold and wet. So it is always recommended to have a dry warm shelter for them to have access to year round. Nubian's have a longer breeding season than other large dairy goats ranging from late summer through early winter and Spring. Nubians are considered only a milk breed. Known for the high butterfat content of their milk (which is why I like their milk so much it's sweet and buttery) although on average, the breed produces less volume of milk than other dairy breeds (other large dairy breeds milk has more water content to their milk making it less sweet): it produces on average, 5% or more butterfat content. This is surpassed only by the Nigerian Dwarf, Pygmy and Boer goat breeds, which are less likely to be used for large scale milk production.
OUR FEEDING SCHEDULE
We raise our goats primarilly on pasture aspecially on the off season of milking. They get hay through the winter and Purina Noble Goat Dairy Parlor is our choice of feed. I had tried mixing my own feed at one point thinking it would be better, but after much research and discussion with my Veterinarian we thought it best to go with a feed that is tried and true to the specific nutrients they need. That way I won't end up missing something they may be needing. I also like Chaffhaye http://www.chaffhaye.com/ and BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) as needed. We keep constant free choice goat minerals, baking soda and always fresh CLEAN water.
Age at weaning can be a hotly contested issue. I have fed milk to kids from anywhere between 8 weeks to 6 months old. By 8 weeks most kids are freely consuming grain, hay and grass. I have found that most kids continue to gain weight when weaned at 10 weeks old. Milk after that age doesn’t seem to contribute to their weight gain.
Kid Parasite control recommendation
My kid parasite management program involves preventatively treating for coccidiosis and worms on a monthly schedule until the kids are 6 months old. By 6 months old, most goats are immune to much of the problems these two parasites can cause.
KEEPING THE GOATS WARM
CAE stands for Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis. CAE is a retro-virus, like AIDS. It is transmitted through colostrum, milk, and some studies think through body fluids while others say it is not passed from breeding, feces, or sharing food and water. I would have to take the approach of being safe rather than sorry.
CAE is incurable, untreatable, and not easily manageable yet. Goats infected with the CAE virus should be slaughtered for meat. The meat is suppose to be safe for human consumption. This may sound terrible but in fact it is the most humane kind thing to do for the animal. Once you read bellow you'll understand why.
I’m directly quoting this information on the symptoms of CAE from the Veterinary Clinical Pathology Clerkship Program from the University of Georgia:
“Most goats infected with CAE virus are asymptomatic, but there are five major clinical presentations associated with viral infection including arthritis, encephalitis, interstitial pneumonia, mastitis, and progressive weight loss.
The arthritic form of CAE viral infection is the most common manifestation of the disease and is generally observed in sexually mature goats (6 months and older). The arthritis tends to be chronic and progressive though there have been reports of a sudden onset of lameness. Joints that are commonly affected (in descending prevalence) include: carpal joints, tarsal joints, stifle joints, fetlock joints, alantooccipital joint, and coxofemoral joints. All synovial membranes can be affected by CAE virus, and the number of joints affected in any one animal can vary. Early arthritic signs may be subtle or severe. Subtle signs include stiffness, shifting leg lameness, decreased ambulation, weight loss, reluctance to rise, and abnormal posture after rising. More severe arthritic signs can include acute swellings without pain upon palpation; joints that are drained of the fluid simply refill. Eventually, these signs lead to a painful arthritis.
The encephalitic form of CAE viral infection most commonly affects kids between 2 and 6 months of age. The kids may show incoordination and inappropriate placement of limbs while standing and walking. A gradual paresis and paralysis, more commonly affecting the hindlimbs and often progressing to the forelimbs, can occur. Eventually, the animal is unable to rise to a standing position. If only the hindlimbs are affected, these kids have been seen to pull themselves around with their forelimbs. The kids can remain bright, alert, and responsive early in the disease process, but more commonly display additional neurologic deficits including depression, nystagmus, abnormal pupillary response, blindness, head tilt, head tremor, dysphagia, torticollis, circling, and facial nerve deficits. Affected kids are afebrile unless a secondary disease present.
CAE viral infection also can cause chronic interstitial pneumonia. Initially, a deep chronic cough can be observed. Later, chronic dyspnea, weight loss, tachypnea, and abnormal lung sounds can develop. It has also been noted that enlarged lymph nodes may contribute to some of the respiratory distress.
Mastitis, especially interstitial mastitis, is another form of CAE. Clinical signs include a firm, distended udder from which milk cannot be expressed. The mastitis usually is observed around parturition.
The final major form of CAE viral infection is chronic progressive weight loss. The progressive weight loss also can occur with any of the other forms of the disease.”
Watching any goat (but especially one you have cared for and you and your children love) develop these symptoms should convince you that CAE is a terrible disease and the responsible thing to do is prevent it to the best of your ability.
Fortunately, it is one that can be manageble but only with hard work and a strict routine.
The safest way to prevent having CAE in your herd is to raise goats on CAE prevention, which means pulling the kids at birth and never allowing them to nurse from their dams.
You must heat treat colostrum and pasteurize milk and bottle feed it to the kids. Heat treating colostrum is a tedious and laborious process. You need to hold the colostrum at 135-140 degrees for 60 minutes. If the colostrum goes over this temperature, it will become pudding-like and be unusable. If it falls below 135 it will not effectively kill the CAE virus. Use a double boiler and make sure your thermometer is accurate. The larger the quantity of colostrum you are treating, the easier it is to maintain the temperature for the necessary time period. Pasteurizing milk is much easier and involves bringing the milk to 165 degrees for 15 seconds. Be sure to cool both colostrum and milk to body temperature before feeding.
There are goat breeders who do not practice CAE prevention. They may believe that it is not humane to bottle raise or that CAE is not a real disease. They have every right to believe that and maintain their herd how they wish, but you do not want to start your life with goats with this disease. Start right (even if the goat cost a little more up front) and you won’t regret it. Here at Goldilock's Farm I manage my herd by testing and maintaining a CAE free herd so they can be dam raised and have the best natural, healthy, upbringing.
All you have to do is put down a favorite goat (or worse your child’s favorite goat) because they have become CAE symptomatic and tested positive. You’ll forever regret not starting with a CAE free herd.
When purchasing a new goat, ask to see the CAE results for the whole herd. Any responsible breeder with nothing to hide will gladly show you these results. If they have any CAE positive goats on their farm, they should be willing to disclose how they handle those goats.
If you already have goats I would recommend testing them. Kids generally have to be older than 6 months before they can be tested. We sell our kids Negative by birth and herd since they will be sold most likely before they are 6 months old. It is very easy to eradicate CAE from your herd. If any of your goats have CAE and are pregnant, I would recommend pulling their kids at birth and bottle raising them on CAE prevention. Cull any positive goats from your herd. If you have a herd that continually tests CAE free and is closed (not being taken to shows), then you can decide whether to dam raise or feed untreated colostrum and unpasteurized milk. Starting right will give you the option of doing this without the fear of passing on CAE to your new kids each year.
Testing for CAE is a very simple blood test. You can easily learn to pull blood yourself or have your vet do it. We pull blood every December and send 5 cc’s of blood for each goat to Biotracking. They use the ELISA test, which is believed to be the most accurate. Biotracking tests this blood for CAE and can also do a pregnancy test on the same blood sample (on female goats) at the same time. CAE testing currently costs just $4 per goat, so it is pretty cheap. CAE blood tests detect antibody produced in response to infection with the CAE virus. However, because only very small amounts of the antibody are produced in the early stages of infection, these low antibody levels may not be detectable by some blood tests. Therefore it is not advisable to test for CAE until the goat is at least six to eight months of age. Most female goats will develop detectable levels of antibody at or shortly after their first freshening (kidding).
CL is caused by a bacteria that can in theory be transmitted to humans but in fact seldom happens. This disease is transmitted through oral ingestion of the pus or through direct contact with the pus through a cut on the body. CL does not transmit through colostrum, milk, or bodily fluids. I repeat: CL does "not" transmit through colostrum, milk, or bodily fluids. CL bacteria is filtered by the goat's lymph system to the underside of the skin, where it is contained in thick-walled abscesses that are impenetrable by antibiotics. The problem with CL occurs when an abscess breaks open into the environment, spredding pus that can infect the goat's herdmates. Internal abscesses are possible but much more common in sheep than in goats. Slaughter facilities routinely identify and condemn abscesses in internal organs and allow the rest of the goat to be processed for food. The meat from CL-infected goats is safe to eat after the affected areas have been condemned and discarded.
Blood testing for CL has a high degree of accuracy, depending upon the type of blood test used, but the only way to be absolutely certain if the abscess contains the CL bacteria is to test the exudate (pus). There are many types of abscesses. Two abscesses often visually mis-diagnosed as CL are pasteurella abscess and a. pyogenes abscesses.
CL, while incurable once the goat contracts it, can be vaccinated against with the CaseBac sheep vaccine (same bacterial organism affects both sheep and goats) and will in the not-too-distant future be able to be vaccinated against with a goat- specific vaccine currently in development by Colorado Serum. CL is also manageable either by lancing and cleaning out abscesses or injecting the abscess with 10% Formalin. I have articles describing how to do this on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com. If you decide to employ one or more of these methods, read these articles carefully and contact me if you have questions. While no sane producer chooses to have CL or any other infectious disease in the herd, CL is nowhere near the health, managerial, or economic disaster that is CAE and Johnes.
Johnes Disease is the caprine equivalent of chronic wasting disease in deer. This bacteria is passed via fecal-to-oral contact. Chronic in dairy cattle herds and becoming more common in goat herds, Johnes Disease stays in the ground for a very long time. Johnes is very debilitating to infected goats and usually doesn't show up for years, producing a situation where all of the herd can become infected before the producer sees symptoms. Johnes-infected goats should be slaughtered for food consumption; the meat is safe to eat.
Johnes is not believed to be transmittable to humans, but it is incurable and untreatable in goats. Both types of tests for Johnes have their drawbacks, but producers suspecting Johnes Disease should definitely have their goats tested immediately.
If you suspect any disease in one of your goats, always use disposable gloves when handling the animal. Before you decide to cull the goat, you need to know what choices are available to you. Your goals and your managerial style will impact your decision. This article is intended to present those options to you so that you can make that decision based upon facts rather than emotional heresay from other goat raisers.
Pan American Vet Lab
Bob Glass, owner of Pan American Vet Lab in Hutto, Texas (near Austin, Texas), performs blood tests to identify all three of these diseases. The prices are astonishingly inexpensive. Pan American Vet Lab can be reached at 1-800-856-9655 or http://www.pavlab.com/ . Bob Glass can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For CAE, CL and Pregnancy test very inexpencively
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