Goat Production


Diseases in Goats 
Even though animals are always at risk of disease, parasites, metabolic state, and toxins, a nutritious diet and preventative measures such as immunization and parasite control make an excellent foundation for ensuring healthy goats. Farmers can still do a lot to help their herds avoid and eliminate the disease.


Good nutrition to ensure Goat Health 
When pasture conditions are poor or insufficient for the whole goat herd, supplemental feeding is required. This could have a significant positive impact on the health of your goats.


Critical periods for extra feeding are: 



Flush feeding: 2 weeks prior to mating, as well as the first 3 weeks of the breeding season (mating).
Prioritize two-tooth ewes (12-18 months of age) and, if feeding is expensive, feed well for a shorter amount of time rather than less feed for a longer period of time.


Pregnancy: give extra feed from day 90 of pregnancy as the ewes need two to three times more energy to feed the growing fetus than dry ewes.
Lactation: extra feed is needed in the first six weeks of lactation
Weaned kids: From day 90 of pregnancy, give extra feed since pregnant ewes require two to three times more energy to feed the growing fetus than dry ewes.

Offer creep feed prior to weaning so that children develop accustomed to eating. Weaning stress has a significant impact on children's growth rates.

NB: Supplemental nutritional feed given to ewes and kids during these phases lowers the incidence of abortion, stillbirth, and weak children. Giving extra feed can improve the kidding percentage (number of offspring born per doe per year) and a healthy growth rate.

Parasite Control in Goat Farming 
Dietary risks to goats include wireworm and brown stomach worm (both forms of roundworms). Coccidiosis is another common internal parasite that affects children aged 4 to 5 months and is caused by the coccidian parasite's "Eggs" entering the digestive tract. It can be found on pastures, in water, and on the teats of breastfeeding sheep, among other places.

Symptoms include Diarrhoea, bloody urine, and weakness:

Stress (such as weaning or moving) makes kids more sensitive to coccidiosis and roundworm infestation. The amount of worms in a goat is related to the density of larvae on pasture and the weakness of a goat’s immune system.

Kids are susceptible to coccidiosis and roundworm infestations when they are under stress (such as when they are weaning or migrating). The number of worms in a goat is proportional to the density of larvae on pasture and the goat's immune system's inadequacy.

Providing a secure environment for goats while limiting parasite resistance to treatments is a big concern for goat ranchers. This is accomplished by selectively dosing the animals that require it. This is known as 'targeted selective therapy,' and it is used to keep 'refugia' alive.

Refugia is a management term that refers to the preservation of a drug-sensitive worm population.

In goat-keeping locations, a diverse variety of ticks can be found. Ticks are bloodsuckers, but they can spread diseases like hemorrhagic fever, produce infectious (abscess) tick bite wounds, skin damage, and toxicosis like tick paralysis.


Other parasites that must be handled include red and blue lice. These lice cause significant skin irritation, causing the goat to scratch itself, brush against objects, and lose body condition.

Vaccinations in Goat Farming 
When goats are raised in field conditions, vaccination against pulpy kidney (clostridium perfringens D)
Under more intensive conditions where goats are kept on pastures or fed, then multi clostridial vaccines combined with Pasteurella are advised

NB: Ask your vet, when goats are vaccinated for the first time.

Acidosis in Goats
Although metabolic illnesses in goats are less common than in sheep, acidosis does occur. Overfeeding of carbs (such as grains) and a lack of excellent quality fiber create acidosis (roughage). This can happen during droughts, flushing, pregnancy, and lactation. Suboptimal pH values in the goat's rumen can also be caused by a lower intake of fiber and bouts of hunger. The goat, along with sheep, were among the earliest domesticated animals. 
 

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