Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
This is part vent and part request for advice....
My most ornery goat (but also my best milker) tested CAE negative last year a month before kidding. This year she came up CAE positive. I wasn't even going to have her tested but I brought in a new doe and had her tested so decided to just test everyone.
When my doe has her babies, technically I should bottle feed to avoid the kids getting CAE. However, that is problematic since I work full-time and am not home during the day to do feedings (last year I bottle fed but was unemployed so it wasn't an issue). If she has boys, I am considering letting her raise them and then I can whether them and (if what I read is correct) there shouldn't be a huge chance of any other goats getting it from them since they won't be reproducing. If she has girls and I want to keep any of them I need to bottle feed. If I want to sell them I need to bottle feed if only to have a clear conscience. One of the problems with bottle feeding is that I do not have any colostrum that is less than a year old, which means I have to pasteurize and therefore reduce the nutritional (and antibody) value of the colostrum.
How many CAE + goats actually get the disease? I hear all this talk about how bad it is, but have never actually met anyone whose goat has had it, and if 80% of goats in America have it, I would think I'd be hearing a lot about it if it is actually sickening them. It makes me feel like it is a lot of hype, like chicken pox. People rarely die from it but there is a huge push to vaccinate.
I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. My vet said to call a week before the due date so that we could test again but of course she can't get out in time for us to get it to the lab to be tested.
This creates a huge problem between working and the vacation we have scheduled this summer (my other does are CAE free so I can just leave the kids on them when we leave and don't have to train someone how to milk). Now I have to throw my plans out the window.
Any thoughts on how to handle this? Do I dam raise them and not worry about the CAE (like many people obviously do or 80% of the goats wouldn't be CAE+) or do I bottle feed and create more work than I can handle? Selling them as a group is not really an option because she may be my only milker this year since it looks like my new doe didn't take this year.
I have had CAE positive goats...two of them....a mother and a daughter. I bought them from a certified herd so was shocked to find they were postive. The daughter came down with CAE at a young age and it was horrible. She got encephalitis and had to be put down. Her mother lived many years and I sucessfuly bottle raised many kids from her. But as she aged her joints gave her fits and she would become very sore and stiff. She did not live a normal lifespan and I put her down when life became too painful. I thought the same as you at first....whats the big deal about CAE? It is a big deal! I have no idea why both of mine came down with it, but they did.
Bottle fed babies only need to be fed twice a day after the first few days. Colostrum can be purchased. If they are does then they should be bottle fed....period. If they are bucks you have to make that call. If you do not want to raise them and they are purebreds you can probaly find someone who will take them but you still need to be there for the birth.
Take this seriously. If they are does you can bring them to my house!
Thanks for the feedback Kim. I can't in good conscience sell potentially infected animals to unsuspecting people even though it will be a pain. Do you have any thoughts on pasteurizing colostrum? I know I can buy powdered stuff at the feed store, but I'd rather not if I can pasteurize without killing al the good stuff in it. When I pasteurize milk for drinking I generally go with 165 degrees for 15 seconds vs the longer method.
These kids will be mutts....dam is a lamancha/nubian cross, sire is a registered oberhasli. Mom is a great milker (milked solidly for 8 months before starting to slow down and has great orifice size so milks out quickly) so if I have any does I am definitely going to consider keeping one as a milker.
What kind of schedule do you recommend for bottle feeding and when would you wean (I did it between 12 and 14 weeks last year)? Here is what I will likely do if I have doelings.
Day 1-2: 4-6 oz 4 x daily
Day 3-7: 8-10 oz 3 x daily
Week 2-6: 16-18 oz 2 x daily
Week 6-weaning: 20-24 oz 2 x daily
I didn't mean to sell them....I meant if you could not bottle raise them then maybe somebody would like to.....they are pure Dairy. I would rather give away animals than have them dam raised and CAE positive.
I know you have to heat colostrum at a lower temp for a longer length of time.....but that is only done as a precautiary......do not heat treat known CAE postive milk and give it to kids. Not worth the chance. Buy the powdered.
Your schedule looks fine. I know people who start newborns twice a day and they do fine but I think your way is better.
If you keep breeding this doe this will be your routine each year. My postive doe had many bottle raised kids that were all negative besides the first and I did not raise her. You have to attend the births.....they get a sip and its all over.
I was lucky....I had another educated breeder down the road and we both homeschooled so it was easy to go on vacations etc....we both always had back up!
I always plan to be there for births. I already told my boss next week that, depending on when she kids, I may not be in that day.
Good idea on finding someone who can bottle feed them (and has the time). I'll wait and see what I end up with and then make that decision.
I never took sick days and when I did it was always because something was due to give birth, or I had been up all night assisting a birth. My co workers always thought I was crazy. What do you do when a foal is born and it has not gotten up and nursed yet.....go to work? I don't think so! I live in Georgia.....where are you....maybe I can help!?
She kidded yesterday around 11am. It just so happened I was taking the day off work - very convenient! She had two bucklings so I opted leave them on her and I will make them wethers so I don't have to worry so much about breeding and it being passed on. I was so relieved! I'm thinking I will try to sell them as a trio after she dries up. There are plenty of people who want brush goats (or who may want a dairy goat and be happy to bottle feed). Such a relief to get two bucklings!
Sorry I missed the first part of this conversation. Very glad things worked out with bucklings instead of doelings. My suggestion would have been to induce kidding so that you would make sure you would be there when she kidded. That way you could have caught them being born and taken them away immediately.
Another thing you may want to refer to in the future as it pertains to CAE testing. There are different methods for analyzing blood for CAE. Some tests are more sensitive than others and still others will give you a sensitivity reading. I know that the test used at UGA is different than that used by Washington State. I am sure you have done a re-test on the doe since the positive reading. Ask your Vet to send the sample to another lab and see if the outcome is different. Mistakes happen all the time including mis-reading a test, so I would always ask for a re-do.
I bet you have never been so happy to see twin bucks! Congrats!