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Thursday, April 24 2014


 

After several years of milking goats, I decided to get serious about dairy goats and began shifting my focus to raising registered Nubians. I did lots of research and found some really nice breeders that were consistently producing the kind of goats I wanted. I purchased some doelings, and sent deposits down on more doelings and a buckling. And since I've already spent, and committed, a great deal of money into this foundation herd, it was necessary to do baseline tests on the grade Nubians that I already had. I wasn't too worried, but the neighbor's sale barn goat did scale a fence and breed Crimson so I thought it was wise to do a baseline test for CAE.

To my utter shock, Clover and her wether son, Dash, tested positive for the disease.

Since it is transmitted through the mother's milk, Dash clearly got it from Clover, but where did she get it? After a stunned afternoon of phone calls to Texas A&M and my breeder, I made the painful decision to place ALL my grade Nubians in pet homes.

You can research CAE until you're blue in the face. Some breeders euthanize positive goats immediately. Some simply remove them from the rest of the herd, continue to breed them, but pull the babies at birth to prevent the baby goats from nursing. They then bottle raise the babies and safely keep the genes of the mother.

There is a tremendous amount of research, and even more anecdotal stories regarding CAE. It is said that 90% of the goats that test positive for the antibodies, never develop the disease.  Some argue that pulling these goats out of the gene pool, actually reduces the number of goats that are resistent to the disease. These people tend to have more time and space to juggle positive and negative animals than I do. Still others consider a positive test result so serious that they will cull the animal immediately.

I found myself in the difficult position of possibly giving the disease to $3000 worth of innocent babies because I was too attached to goats I had already decided I wasn't breeding anymore anyway. So after some quick scrambling, I placed them in pet homes. Although negative, I didn't want to take the chance that Crimson would test positive in the future, so Crimson and her babies went to a darling young lady who already had goats and wasn't concerned if she did later test positive.

(Yes, that goat is riding loose in the truck!)

Clover and her babies were originally destined for another pet home, but at the last minute, Daughter contacted us and said their family wanted them. Since they already have a farm, this was perfect. The very understanding pet home agreed to give the goats to our grandbabies and just asked that we send her pictures of the kids with the goats. (Thank you, Ginger!)


It was painful, and it was tearful, but all my goats have gone into really good homes, and I could not ask for more than that.

Monday night we returned from North Texas with the first two of our registered babies: 

Feather & Sparrow

They are already under the watchful eye of Briar.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 01:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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Red Feather Ranch, Failte Gate Farm
Email: failte@farmfreshforensics.com

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