Does anyone have any good resources for a beginning Pygmy goat breeder?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by WalkingOnSunshine, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    We got goats initially to keep our pasture grass trimmed. We have a Nubian doe and a pygmy wether (he was given to us for free). But we also have 7 more acres of brushy fallow pasture that needs to be cleared. I know of at least one farmer that very successfully keeps Pygmy goats for the sole purpose of pasture management. So the plan is to breed some Pygmy goats, mostly because I think they're the cutest things ever, and because they're known to eat poison ivy and multiflora rose, both of which I have in abundance. I have experience in breeding cattle, horses, and chickens.

    So anyway, I'm having a hard time finding resources for someone who's just getting into goat breeding. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I especially need help with advice on managing the bucks and does, because the cattle and horses were bred AI, and chickens are pretty easy, of course. :)
     
  2. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The goats themselves are pretty easy to come by, but if you want to be a responsible breeder - Test before you buy. So many people don't test animals before they bring them home, and then they're stuck up a creek without a paddle...and your canoe is on fire.

    Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) -is an infection of goats, caused by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. It is also referred to as "abscesses", because of the peripheral swelling, rupture, and drainage of pus from affected lymph nodes. The prevalence of CL in the commercial goat herds may be as high as 30%. If abscesses affect more than one lymph node, the carcass will be condemned at slaughter. Decreased body weight and milk production also occurs, and reproductive efficiency is often lower when these animals have developed internal abscesses.

    CAE: CAPRINE ARTHRITIS ENCEPHALITIS -virus infection is manifested clinically as polyarthritis in adult goats and less commonly as progressive paresis (leukoencephalomyelitis) in kids. Subclinical or clinical interstitial pneumonia, indurative mastitis (“hard udder”), and chronic wasting have also been attributed to infection with this virus. Most CAE virus infections, however, are subclinical. Infection with the CAE virus decreases the lifetime productivity of dairy goats and is a barrier to exportation of goats from North America.

    A note about CL, the bacteria shed by the goat through the abcesses can live in the ground/on fences/ect for 2+ years and is able to infect healthy stock. Please be very careful about bringing stock in and always quarentine. Educate yourself and get your current goats tested too.
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for the information. Are these diseases that are can be asymptomatic in a great number of goats, or would there be signs of them in my current goats? And how are the tests done? Blood test at the vet's office, or is there an easier screening method? I had my first goat vet-checked before I brought her home, but the vet didn't draw blood or say anything about these diseases.
     
  4. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To have the actual tests done is fool proof but the goats with CL will sometimes have the abscesses in their necks where its easy to see. But they do not always exhibit signs of abscesses, like the abscess could be treated and have fallen off so you cant see any difference between a healthy animal and an infected one. Kids that are infectedwith arthric CAE will usually exhibit week/swollen knees to the point that they have trouble walking or can't stand on their front legs. I don't know of any visual indicators for the nervous variation of CAE. Adult Does may look normal but be infected and pass the disease to their kids. You have to seperate the kids at birth to keep them uncontaminated.

    CAE is blood test and CL is either blood test or bacterial culture.

    Here's a link for more info on CL and they also have an article on CAE.
    http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts_waddl/FAQ/cl.aspx
     
  5. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dont forget about Johnes and Brucellosis too. Only buy animals from a herd certified as negative, either recently tested or tested previosly and is a closed herd.

    I know it sounds like a lot of testing but it is better to be safe than sorry. Don't buy an animal from someone who refuses to test. You could suggest paying for the tests if the goat gets negative results, the seller should agree to those therms but if they still refuse, turn around and walk away. Not to mention washing all clothing before going out to check on your animals after a farm visit.
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for the information. I had no idea goats could get Johnes. [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]My dad is a dairy farmer and was one of the first in the country to work with OSU and the state vets on a herd Johnes eradication protocol. That was way back in the 1980's and we lost entire bloodlines--slaughtering the infected cow, plus all of her daughters, plus tests for grand-daughters. We still test regularly, fecals every six months and blood every other year. And calves whisked away to a separate property within two hours of birth and a calf-feeder that only feeds calves and never goes near adult cows... Yes, that's definitely worth testing for. [/FONT]
     
  7. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    There isn't much special management used for bucks. Except that Mr. Buck can't be kept with the girls unless breeding is desired. Pygmies can breed year round, and a randy buck is more than happy to knock up a doe right after she kids. This is definitely not healthy for her. Plus, bucks can get at little doelings before they are at a good size and age for breeding. But a buck is happy as long as he has goat companionship, too. The wether you already own can easily be retasked for that purpose.

    Also, bucks have a 'bucky' odor about them. It is most strong in the fall, when the desire to breed is the strongest (rut). It really sticks to skin and clothing, too. Just something to keep in mind, heh.
     

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