Considering Goat Dairy, Having Second Thoughts...Goat Disease Info

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by GirlGotGoat, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. GirlGotGoat

    GirlGotGoat New Member

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    Hello All,

    I am new to the forum and have been slowly making my way through the posts and learning a great deal. Thank you to all who take the time to provide such detailed information and for all of the anecdotes. Greatly appreciated. I am in the info gathering stage and considering a goat based micro dairy however all of the info regarding CAE, CL, meningeal worm etc. has given me pause. Most, if not all, goat dairies here in the NE bottle feed from birth. From what I understand none are dam raised. In Vermont I was told the rate of CAE infected goats has risen to nearly 100%. Could this be true? Is it completely naive to imagine a "grass fed" pastured micro dairy with dam raised babies for at least two months or even one month? I have read many anecdotal stories of dams producing more milk with kids than without.

    Most goat dairies seem to keep their animals inside and never on pasture. I was told this was due to meningeal worm. Dairy goats seem so fragile and the forums are full of stories of sick goats who seem to fall ill at the slightest challenge. It seems as though the trend with regard to managing CAE is to remove the babies from the mothers at birth, CAE Prevention.

    Although I understand the reasoning, a necessary evil of sorts, it seems counterintuitive and we are creating generation after generation of formula babies who have not been raised by their mothers. This is the life of the commercial dairy animal regardless, I do understand this as well. I read that bottle fed babies are not as disease resistant as their dam raised counterparts. It suggested bottle fed does are known to reject their babies more often than dam raised does. I am wondering about the experiences of the members here. This cannot be a good thing long term nor sustainable and seems an extremely time consuming and laborious process. Is this the future of goat husbandry? There is a theory that this practice of separating the babies at birth is not the solution for creating or maintaining a CAE free herd.

    In addition, all of the goat dairies here keep their herds inside. Babies removed at birth, animals kept inside and fed silage, hay, some grain. The animals never venture outside. How is this normal? It is said this indoor set up is due to the threat of meningeal worm.

    I raised horses for twenty years and I've never read of anything quite like what I am reading about goats. I believe in trying to imitate, to the best of one's ability, that particular animal's natural habitat. I raised my horses on pasture, never grained, provided supplements and probiotics. Raised the foals with dams. My animals were never sick until old age. I realize goats are browsers. I've been imagining taking them on walks the way the Rove Goat raisers do in France. Huge horns and all. I am wondering why the Rove goat raisers do not disbud. There are numerous youtube vids of the goats running in to be milked and having no problem navigating machinery with their big horns.

    I am wondering how many members here practice CAE Prevention. This afternoon I decided to abandon my hope for a goat dairy but before I throw in the towel I wanted to reach out and hear your thoughts.

    Thanks again for all of your excellent posts!
     
  2. punchiepal

    punchiepal Member

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    Many questions here. Lol
    1. Bottle vs dam - in a dairy situation bottle is of more benefit bc of lactational curve. Much of production is based on supply and demand. If milking is started at weaning it is near impossible to regain that production lost due to gradually loss of demand as the kids grew.
     

  3. punchiepal

    punchiepal Member

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    CAE- prevention does work, when done properly. Read through old posts. Nubian Soaps cleaned her herd of CAE. We practice prevention here and have for 10 yrs. Its about prevention, production, and other diseases like mycoplasma. (Mountain goat herd got it and they don't know how or where it came from) Get testing done by a lab listed on the Bio-Tracking website, they provide actual titer numbers. Do this before bring animals home. Quarantine! Retest before putting in general population.
     
  4. punchiepal

    punchiepal Member

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    Disbudding - many reasons. Safety( other goats and handlers) and ease of stantions are 2. Not going to start a debate so that's all I am going to say.

    No loss of health in bottle raised kids here.

    Yes, my 2nd or 3rd gen raised bottle kids seem like they would still take kids easily. Missed w births in 10 years. 1 a few years ago was a from a bottled mom and I bottled her. 3 years old never dam raised, had her kids, cleaned them, and fed in the 45 minutes I hadn't checked on her.