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Anyone have dairy goats?

Luv4whippets

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I have always had pet goats around here but now I am thinking about adding a dairy goat or 2. The 2 goats I have are both bucks (at the moment) and were rescues. I figure if I'm going to add a nice dairy goat to the farm I better get some health testing done. I have sent out samples for CAE and Johne's. What else would you test for? Should I test them for Brucella? The local college only tests for B.abortis. I would have to send to the state lab for
B.melitensis. My main concern is anything that can be transmitted to the dairy goat and then to us. The dairy goat has supposedly been tested for CAE, Johne's, and Brucella. Should I retest even if they have paperwork? What do you all test for in your herds? Any opinions on what goats produce the best milk? Also, the doe I am considering freshened lopsided this year. She is 3 yrs. old and has not had this problem until this freshening. She was tested for mastitis and CAE. Do you think she will freshen normally next year?
 

Keren

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the main diseases are CAE, CL and Johnes. Ask to see the tests and if they are not within 2 yrs I generally retest. Raw milk is pretty safe to drink, you shouldnt need to worry about getting any nasties. The thing to keep in mind is that goats carry both sheep and cattle johnes, so that can go between your cattle and goats if either one is infected. Probably not a bad idea to have your bucks tested for brucella, since the does are tested for it. just a note, if the bucks test positive for CAE its not the end of the world, as it is very rarely transmitted sexually.

As far as breed, it depends what you are looking for. As a rule, the Saanen is like a friesian, very high yields of milk but low butterfat. The Nubian is at the opposite end of the scale, lowest yields and shortest lactation of all dairy goats, but highest in butterfat. Alpines are somewhere in the middle, and known for extended lactations (2 yrs between freshening). Toggenburgs are a more moderate framed breed and have slightly lower yield, some bloodlines have a taint to the milk but most are fine.

I'd strongly suggest you try milking the doe before you get her, and taste the milk to make sure you like it. Check out how easy she is to milk, manners-wise, teat and orifice size, milk let down etc.

Lopsided udders arent that uncommon, and not usually a big deal unless its a drastic difference - have you got a pic? Did she raise kids? Sometimes that will result in a loppy udder. Often a lopsided udder will stay lopsided - it takes a lot to get them back to normal. But as I said, if its not drastic its generally not a problem.

I have a licorice allsorts herd at the moment, british alpine, toggenberg and saanen, will be adding nubian towards the end of the year. Plus I have angora and boer goats as well and several different sorts of sheep :lol2:
 

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