Summary: The topic of this meeting was “breeding”. Below is a quick summary of what was discussed:
Birthing/Delivery – Most births don’t need assistance. The time to intervene is when the kid is presented with only a nose and no front legs forward, head turned back, or total breech with the butt coming and no back legs forward. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and have your fingernails cut short. Remove all jewelry from hands. Put on gloves if available. Slowly insert a lubed hand into goat. Close your eyes for best visualization of kid parts. Try to pull a leg or both legs forward in order to facilitate delivery. Total breech and head turned back are most dangerous because kid will not be able to be delivered in this position. Push kid back inside in these cases in order to reposition.
Kid Care – Be sure to clip and then dip navel cords in iodine or betadine immediately after birth. Navel cords are a pathway for bacteria to directly enter the kid so they need to be disinfected after birth while they dry up. Put a good dowsing of iodine all over the cord and navel area. This will prevent navel ill that causes massive internal infection and death. When clipping the cord you can use cord clamps or dental floss or string to tie it off. Clip just below the knot or clamp. Leave a ½” or more of cord when clipping. Then dip in iodine/betadine.
Yearly Vaccinations – Goats are typically vaccinated for rabies and CDT. Rabies is present in this area and goats can get it. Symptoms of rabies in goats includes slobbering, drunken staggering, staring off into space. Rabies is fatal in goats and humans can get rabies from an infected goat. There is no approved vaccine for rabies in goats but the sheep-approved vaccine will work for goats. The CDT vaccine is recommended to be given to pregnant goats who are 4-6 weeks from delivery. This will transfer some immunity to the kids for enterotoxemia and tetanus through the colostrum. The kids are then vaccinated at 6 weeks old and then again 4 weeks later. Bi-annual revaccination is recommended from then on for life. Enterotoxemia and tetanus are fatal to goats and hard to treat once symptoms are noticeable. Kids are prone to entertoxemia more than adult goats. Tetanus can strike goats at any life stage.
Vaccination is a personal farm management decision. Some people are in favor and some are not. Do lots of research on the subject and make your own herd management decisions.
Tattooing – Tattoos are required for registration of goats. Goats must be registered in order to be shown. Ear tattoos are used in the Swiss breeds, Nigerian Dwarfs, and Nubians. Tail tattoos must be used in Lamanchas. The tattoo sequence is determined by the goat’s registration with the American Dairy Goat Association. When tattooing be sure to test the tattoo on a piece of paper before using it on the goat to make sure you have the numbers/letters in the right order. Make sure you tattoo the correct ear on the correct goat with the correct tattoo sequence. If the tattoo is incorrect, this will cause problems when checking the goat into a show because they will get identified at the show by their tattoos. To tattoo a tail on a Lamancha, clean your tattooing tools with alcohol before use. Wipe the goat’s tail with alcohol. Test the tattoo sequence on paper to verify. Place the tattoo in the center of the tail and press down hard enough to get the needles to go through the skin. Wipe any blood off of the tattoo. Apply tattoo ink and rub it in with a gloved finger. Repeat for second tattoo. Clean tattooing equipment with alcohol afterwards to prevent spreading diseases. When tail tattooing it is best to place the tattoos down the center of the tail and not in the tail web on either side. It is hard to read a tail web tattoo and distortion can happen as the goat grows which can make the tattoo illegible.
Blood Collection – Blood collection is good for testing for CAE, Johnes, CL, Brucellosis and pregnancy. To take a blood sample on a goat use a 5 mL syringe, a 22G X 1/2” needle, and a vacutainer blood collection tube. Clip the hair from the area around the jugular vein. Press slightly on the vein to cause it to pop out. With your other hand insert the needle into the vein, at a parallel angle, until you see blood in the syringe. Slowly pull plunger until you have enough blood, about 2 mL. Remove needle from goat and apply pressure to the site for a few seconds. Insert needle into vacutainer and empty syringe. Do this immediately before blood clots and gets stuck in the syringe.
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