Cooperative Extension Service
|• Do his eyes look dull or cloudy?||Yes||No|
|• Does he have diarrhea?||Yes||No|
|• Is he standing hunched up with his tail drooping down?||Yes||No|
|• Are his eyes or nose very runny?||Yes||No|
|• Is he coughing or breathing hard without having just done hard exercise?||Yes||No|
|• Is his coat rough and flaky or does he have any bald spots?||Yes||No|
|• Are his gums and insides of his eyelids very pale?||Yes||No|
|• Does he have any unusual lumps or swellings on his body or legs?||Yes||No|
|• Is he lame or stiff moving?||Yes||No|
|• Does he have a fever?||Yes||No|
|• Is his appetite poor?||Yes||No|
|• Does he seem depressed or weak and uninterested in his surroundings?||Yes||No|
|• Is he having trouble urinating? Yes No||Yes||No|
A "yes" answer to any of these questions often indicates a sick goat. So check carefully with the owner if you feel any of these health problems exist. Here are some more questions to ask yourself to check how structurally sound the goat is you've selected to buy.
Hopefully, you answered "no" to all these questions.
If you are buying a meat goat doe or doe kid for breeding purposes, you will also want her to have a healthy udder. It should not be double teated nor should it hang so low that it can be injured easily or is hard for newborn kids to nurse from. You generally want her to show less dairy character when not milking than a dairy doe would. Her withers will often be rounder and her escutcheon lower than on a dairy doe. If she has kidded before, make sure she was a good mother and that her kids grew well while nursing from her, indicating that she had plenty of milk for them.
Source: New York State 4-H Meat Goat Project, Fact Sheet #3.
Compare the Health Benefits of Goat's Milk Versus Cow's Milk
Posted February 6, 2007, for Associated Content by Angela Harris
Although Americans are accustomed to cow's milk, goat's milk is much more common in most other parts of the world. Goats are hardier than cows, are inexpensive and take up less space.
Goat's milk is closer to mother's milk than any other food. Goat's milk is a complete protein and contains every essential amino acid. Yet it contains significantly less fat than cow's milk.
Goat's milk is easy to digest, even for babies. Goat's milk has more medium chain fatty acids than cow's milk, which aids in easier digestion. Goat's milk fat consists of 35 percent medium chain fatty acids, compared with 17 percent found in cow's milk. Almost half of people who are lactose intolerant are able to drink goat's milk.
Three different medium chain fatty acids found in goat's milk are thought to have health benefits for people with certain types of diseases, especially diseases involving metabolism. Some of these conditions include cystic fibrosis, gallstones, heart disease and various digestive problems. Goat's milk has three times more of these types of medium chain fatty acids than cow's milk.
Goat's milk contains less of the enzyme xanthine oxidase than cow's milk. When this enzyme enters the bloodstream, it can create scar tissue on the heart. This, in turn, causes the body to produce cholesterol for protection. This can be a precursor to arteriosclerosis.
Goat's milk contains more vitamin A than cow's milk. Cow's milk vitamin A partially consists of carotenoids, which must be turned into vitamin A by the body. All of the vitamin A found in goat's milk is preformed. This is an advantage to people with health conditions that prevent their bodies from being able to form vitamin A from carotenoids. Goat's milk also contains more riboflavin than cow's milk.
A cup of goat's milk has almost 33 percent of the recommended daily allowance for calcium, compared to almost 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance for calcium in a cup of cow's milk.
A cup of goat's milk also supplies more protein than a cup of cow's milk, almost nine grams of protein compared to about eight grams of protein in cow's milk.
Feeding Your Guard Dog
Perhaps one of the most common issues that people with livestock guard dogs (LGDs) have questions about is feeding their dog. Here we'll address the question of delivering the food to your dogs rather than your goats. Some LGDs will protect their food from all comers, while others are real wimps and stand back while even young goats gorge on delicious, high-dollar food.
For those worried about the goats, our advice is, don't be. If the goats clean up the dog food, the only real victims will be you and your budget, because dog food sure ain't hay and you'll keep replacing it until your dog actually gets to eat. If the dog protects its food, it may sound like your dog is going to kill something. But, if you'll watch without panic, you'll see that there is a lot of threat noise and posturing but no grabbing or biting. (At least there had better not be, or you have some heavy retraining in your future!)
Especially if you have multiple LGDs, the most efficient answer we've found to feed working LGDs is to use self-feeders. This will keep you from being locked into a specific time to feed the dogs. It also means there is always free-choice food available to the dogs so they're never stacked up at the gate waiting to be fed just as the goats decide to go back out to forage. We have never had to hold food back from any of our working dogs because they were eating too much, and they seem to stay quite healthy choosing when and how much to eat without our interference. In addition, alpha and dominance issues in regards to food can be resolved according to the dogs' schedule, not yours. It seems to be somewhat less violent that way.
Self-feeders are easy to locate. Usually everyone from the local feed store to the local pet store will have some variation of the self-feeder for dogs. We find that the size that holds about 50 pounds works well for us, but if you have a single dog, you might want to try one a bit smaller. You'll need one that will hold enough food to feed your dog for as long as possible without the food molding in the feeder. The quantity your dog eats daily, the humidity and the insect activity in your area are the major issues affecting the amount of food you can effectively store in the feeder and still provide quality food for your dog. If you can find someone who manufactures or assembles the actual feeders, you may save a good deal of money buying seconds. These feeders can be classed as seconds for a marred finish on the metal or other similar inconsequential irregularities. We bought ours several years ago for about half the price we would have paid in a retail store. If you have chickens, you'll need to raise the feeder by placing a milk crate or similar item under it to prevent the chickens from getting the leverage they need to open the door and eat if they manage to find the feeder.
Simply using a self-feeder is not, unfortunately, the complete answer. If your goats like dog food, a little thing like a gravity-activated swinging door won't stop them. They'll have it figured out as fast as your dogs do (if not a little faster). The dogs aren't as greedy about their feed as the goats are. You'll have to allow your dogs access to the feeder while denying access to the goats. Although it sounds difficult to imagine such a thing, the method is quite simple: surround the feeder with a sturdy fence, cut a hole in the fence too high and too small for a goat to jump through but placed just right for your dog. Presto! You have a goat-proof dog feeder.
We have placed hog panel, cattle panel and utility panel (but a wooden fence or any barrier too high for goats would work) around the feeder and cut a hole in the panel about 14 inches off the ground, with the hole being 9 inches to 1 foot square. The dogs can get through the hole to get to the feeder and the goats can't. Make sure any sharp edges or points are smoothed off to protect the dogs when they go through because it is a tight fit. Variations of this method include making a hole for the dogs to crawl under or teaching them to jump in over the top. We don't use these variations because we feel it teaches and encourages the dogs to use skills helpful in circumventing our fencing.
To teach the dogs to use the feeders, put them in the pen, show them the food and lock them in. They can almost always figure out how to get out. You do need to check though; we've had some rescue dogs that would have stayed in there forever if they weren't released. You may have to do this two or three times before they catch on.
On occasion, you'll find that a goat or two will figure out how to get in to a specific feeder. In that case, you'll have four choices:
1. Reconfigure the feeder fence with a different height from ground and a smaller hole.
2. Sell the goat or otherwise physically remove it from the pen where the feeder is located.
3. Feed the dogs individually.
4. Resign yourself to feed that goat dog food.
We have never found a way to un-train the goat from getting into the feeder without either making changes in the way it's built or making it just as unusable for dogs as it becomes for goats (i.e., electric fence to keep animals away is just too inclusive!). The goat will learn easily that it is a "bad thing" to be in the feeder but that just means they run when they see you coming.
With a little patience because the really determined goats will provide excellent quality control data, you'll have a goat-proof dog food delivery system that will provide your LGDs with quality food on a continuing basis.
Source: Adapted from Livestock Guarding Dogs by Dan and Paula Lane, Bountiful Farm, Shady Point, Oklahoma, Unit in Goat Training, Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma.
USDA to Launch First National Goat Study
In July and August 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will contact randomly selected goat producers in 21 states to participate in the first national study of priority health and health-management issues facing the U.S. goat industry.
Two USDA agencies - the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service - will conduct the study, which will focus on the health, productivity and management practices of the meat, dairy and fiber goat industries. USDA will collect data from producers representing 78.4 percent of U.S. goat operations and 85.3 percent of U.S. goats.
APHIS' National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), which designed the study and will analyze the data, worked with industry representatives, academia, veterinary representatives and other stakeholders to ensure that the study addresses the industry's priority health issues. The Goat 2009 study has the following major objectives:
Participation in USDA's Goat 2009 study is voluntary and confidential. Results will be presented on regional and national bases; data provided by individual participants will remain confidential and cannot be identified. Links between NAHMS data and participating operations are confidential.
Final Rule on Interstate Movement of Sheep and Goats Published
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending the regulations regarding the interstate movement of animals to add sheep and goats to the approved livestock facility agreement.
Livestock facilities that handle sheep and goats in interstate commerce must meet the requirements for approval including complying with this agreement to utilize certain provisions in the scrapie regulations that reduce the movement requirements for sheep and goats moving to or from these establishments. Such facilities include stockyards, livestock markets, buying stations, concentration points or any other premises where sheep and goats in interstate commerce are assembled and which choose to become an approved livestock facility.
The approval by APHIS will be contingent on the facility operator meeting certain minimum standards and other conditions related to the receipt, handling and release of sheep and goats at the facility, as well as complying with certain animal identification and record keeping requirements.
These standards and other conditions will serve, in part, to support the regulations relating to the interstate movement of sheep and goats in order to control the spread of scrapie.
APHIS responded to all of the comments received from industry organizations and markets. Therefore, the final rule was effective May 1, 2009.
The Federal Register posting is available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-7233.htm.
FSA Offers Livestock Indemnity Program
Have you had livestock losses from the recent storms? The loss of sheep and goats of all types and weight ranges due to adverse weather conditions is eligible for compensation through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP).
According to officials with FSA, producers must contact their local FSA office within 30 days of when the loss is apparent to be eligible for LIP benefits. Proof of death must be provided and documentation including the quantity, kind, type and weight range of the livestock is required.
Payments are based on 75 percent of a fair market value as determined by the secretary of agriculture.
The LIP payments were established in the 2008 Farm Bill and are intended to compensate producers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather conditions. Although the forms and the procedures to apply for the program are not yet available, it is still imperative that producers contact their local FSA office within 30 days of the loss to be eligible for the benefit.
"Even though there are no program regulations yet, this at least gives producers an explanations of what to do if a storm causes livestock losses," commented Peter Orwick, executive director for the American Sheep Industry Association. "Several storms this winter and spring have caused severe losses for sheep producers, and this program was supported by ASI in the Farm Bill to help these farms and ranches recover. Unfortunately, many new and re-authorized programs still need the rules to be published for implementation and payments, so it is important that producers visit with their congressional delegation to have them remind USDA that rules need immediate attention."
July 15-18 - Goat Camp, Harrison
July 15 Evening - Sign In
July 16 a.m. - Meat Goat (Breeding) Fitting and Showmanship
July 16 p.m. - Dairy Goat Fitting and Showmanship
July 17 - Market Goat Management and Showmanship
July 18 a.m. - Goat Show
Jodie A. Pennington
Extension Dairy Specialist
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University of Arkansas System
University of Arkansas System • Division of Agriculture