May be an impossible goat question


12 Years
Apr 8, 2007
Southern WV
I used a new herd sire last fall. I had 5 babies out of him. 2 were stillborn, 2 died at six weeks, and I just found the last one dead at 6 months.

Could it be something he's passing to his offspring?

Unfortunately, I can't afford a necropsy and I know that would be a great way to find out, that's why I say this may be an impossible question to answer.

Any opinions or insight would be appreciated.
I would change him too just to be safe. But be on the look out for an issue on your place too, like lack of vitamins, overfeeding to cause bloat, coccidia, clostridia, parasites, etc. Clostridia is a common issue in young kids.
Have you had your herd tested for coxidia (sp?). Momma and the adults in your herd are going to have it but be immuned to it to a degree. Unfortunately for babies, it can kill them within months. My mother treats for it every 6 months religiously (we have 25 goats), but my neighbor does not, and her goats die all the time...most of them never see their 1st birthday. Our vet allows us to bring in a stool sample and he tests it for us. May be something you can look into. As for the stillborns, we've had momma's that stayed pregnant for too long and all were dead, but that's only happened twice.

It could also be that the sire is carrying a defect, but it's highly unlikely that it would be a 100 percent fatality. If you change your sire and they still die, you have something on your property that is killing them....either parasitic, or maybe a poisonous plant. You'd be amazed what is poisonous to a goat.
I would change the billy, but also look around for something they may be getting into. If you are not familiar with coccidia research it. Know the symptoms. It is very quick moving, but in 7 years of goat raising I have yet to have it in my herd. I had a new billy this year, he gave me 2 babies out of 20 does. Couple does were pregnant, I saw the milk sacks, and they miscarried. The billy is gone. It could be poison, but I wouldn't bred that billy anymore either. More details would help- any symptoms, how long have you had the does, how many do you raise?
Are all your does UTD on their vacinations? I don't think I would blame the billy until you figure out exactly what killed the kids....Were the does first time kidders? Nutrition plays a big role in gestation....if they aren't supplied the proper vitamins,minerals, and nutrients still born kids are likely....Without proper vacinations for the new kids a healthy life is unlikely...I'm not a professional but I have a herd of fullblood boers that are all show prospects....If I lose an animal, I don't care of what age, I have a post mortem done...I can't correct the problem if I don't know what caused the death and the cost of the post is outweighed by the prevention of more loses...... guessing is nearly always the wrong choice... JMO
Stool samples have been tested. I keep mineral blocks or mix minerals in with feed.

I have only 4 does, 3 got pregnant and carried full term, one miscarried.

All the other goats are fine. I've had the does about 3 years, they were not first time mothers.

I feed hay, fresh grass, sometimes cut blackberry vines for them.

Thank you all so much.
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()relics :

do you give a cd/t vaccination?

That is a good question. Clostridia can be a huge problem with young kids.​
We have sheep and I think that the cd/t shot is one of THE most important shots you can give them. If mama doesn't have one 30 days before delivering then the babies will need one at like 2 months, then another booster. The ONLY lambs we ever lost were ones that had not had the cd/t shots.

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