To some people, tested goats do not mean anything and to others they might have heard about it but really do not care. However, being informed and educated about the importance of buying tested goats means everything. It does not matter the type of goat you prefer; it is very important to have a goat that has been tested. Goat testing is not only important to those who are buying them, but also to a breeder. Testing helps in increasing productivity and profits as well.
According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, the mention that untested livestock requires testing to avoid transmitting livestock disease, which some are very dangerous to people. Examples of these diseases include CAE (Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis), CL (Caseous Lymphadenitis), Johne’s and others.
Experienced goat breeders will generally try and protect their goats and breeding programs from infiltration of diseases mainly CAE, which is the deadliest. They will have their livestock tested like Amber Waves, but this is not enough. Amber Waves goes beyond this and has their goats tested for CL (Caseous Lymphoma), CAE and Johne’s yearly. All this are done by collecting samples of each goat’s blood that we draw.
What Is Tested? – The Process and Diseases in Detail
It does not matter what the purpose of the goat is; testing is very important.
1. What Is Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE)
This is a goat disease which is caused by a retrovirus and it is relatively new to the world of goats. It was first diagnosed back in 1974 and today it is considered as one of the greatest threats to all goat breeds in U.S. especially to dairy goats. This disease is transmitted during the neonatal period from an infected mother to the baby goat while it is nursing. It is goat disease could also be transmitted through goat to goat saliva, feces, urine and nasal secretions.
This disease has two forms, which include:
• Arthritis (This is Visible)
• Encephalitis (Not Visible, it is internal)
Some of the symptoms of this disease include:
• Painful joints
• Decreased milk production
• Swollen joints, particularly in the knees for adult goats
How to Treat CAE
Unfortunately, there is no way to treat CAE in goats. Therefore, when you are purchasing a goat, it is important to ensure they are CAE Free. To test this disease is quite affordable and readily available in all veterinary hospitals. However, with Amber Waves services, you do not have to worry about this because our goats have already been tested.
2. What Is CL in Goats
Caseous Lymphadenitis is a chronic and contagious disease that affects mainly goats and sheep. This disease is also known as ‘Adscesses’ or ‘Pseudotuberculosis.’ This disease is considered as the curse of the goat industry all over the world. This disease causes abscesses around the lymph glands most often around the jawline which burst open and drain. Once this disease is in your soil, it is there forever. The prevalence of CL in the commercial goat herds may be as high as 30%. If abscesses affect more than one lymph node, the carcass will be condemned at slaughter.
If a goat is affected with CL, it will experience the following signs.
• Palpable enlargement of one or more superficial lymph nodes
• Abscesses developing around the lungs, liver, heart and other areas
• Goal loses weight
• Neurological signs
3. What Is Johne’s Disease?
Johne’s disease is an infectious bacterial goat disease. It usually affects goats during the early weeks of its life following the consumption of milk of foods that are contaminated with the bacteria. Moreover, this disease can be transmitted to unborn goat in the womb. This disease is usually introduced on a farm through buying an infected animal. It can also be transmitted through purchasing farm items or tools that have been infected.
The moment the infection is present on the farm, there is no way to stop it. The only thing one can do is to control the exposure by removing the infected item or goat. You should also separate the infected goats from the rest to ensure the survival of the other goats.
Infection develops slowly, and the signs can also differ depending on the stage of infection. The moment this disease infects a healthy goat; you will begin to see the following symptoms. The only limitation is that the disease may stay dominant for many years. For this reason, it is very important to ensure that you test your farm animals.
• Rapid weight loss
• Goat diarrhea
• Decreasing in milk production
How to Treat Johne’s In Goats
There is a newly invented drug that can treat this disease. However, these drugs are very expensive and chances of curing the animals are very low. Moreover, the course of treatment is very long, and it takes months. Keep in mind that the drugs have not been approved. Generally, there is no cure for this disease.
Why You Should Buy Goats From A Tested Herd
There are many reasons why you should buy goats from a tested heard. Well, it is a known fact that goat offers a lot of benefits not only in providing milk, but also when it comes to the skin and milk. Did you know that a goat’s milk is considered as the healthiest milk compared to that of a cow? There is a reason for this, and it all comes to what they eat. According to research, it showed that cows only eat grass and other plants that are found on the ground or floor. However, unlike cows, goats are flexible, and they eat almost anything.
The research mentions that because goats climb trees and other high places trying to eat certain plants, their milk is full of human helping nutrients compared to that of a cow. If you own a goat, the chances are that you are going to find them eating tree bark, leaves, flowers, and other types of plants. This is why goats hardly become sick or require particularly manufactured food products. The only way you will have to buy a goat’s produced food is; if you are zero grazing your goats or if the goat you have is a breed that requires zero grazing.
All in all, below are reasons why you should consider buying goats from a tested heard.
1. Health Related Issues
Health goes both ways (i.e. human and goat). In other words, depending on your requirements, you will need a health goat that is free from diseases. Some Goat diseases are known to affect a human.
• Human Health
If you are looking for a goat that you can either milk or eat; it is very important to ensure that you have purchased them from a tested heard like Amber Waves. As it is mentioned above, there are some goat diseases that are known to affect a human being. There is no reason you should buy a goat that will affect your overall health. For this reason, the goat you get should be healthy and tested.
• The Goats Heath
If you are looking for goats to add to your existing ones or simply looking forward to beginning livestock agriculture, then it is very important to get goats that are healthy. This is why it is advisable to buy from a tested heard. Just like any other thing on the farm, having tested animals is very important.
2. Productivity and Profit
If you are looking for goats to increase productivity, then you should consider buying goats from a tested heard. This will not increase your overall output, but also increase your profits. For example, if you are selling goat milk or meat, then having a healthy goat free from diseases is the smartest move. There many people in U.S. who are making a living by selling goat milk which is high in nutrients compared to cow’s milk.
3. Type of Breeds
Well, there are many goat breeds today. Sheep and goats were among the oldest animals to be domesticated. At these sights, Goat remains have been found at archeological sites like Cayonu, Djeitun, Mami, Jericho, and Choga, which were all dated to be between 7000 and 6000 B.C. However, unlike sheep, their ancestry is fairly unclear. Because of this, there are many goat breeds in the market today. Examples of different breeds include The Saanen, Boer, Toggenburg, Anglo-Nubian, Nigerian Dwarf, Pygmy, Oberhasli goats and much more. Well, you could get any goat breed of your choosing on your farm.
4. Milk production
Today, there are many cultures that consider goat milk as an important aspect of their diet. Moreover, research has shown that goat milk is the healthiest helping in boosting immune systems, brain activity and much more. Because of this, in order to have this sweet miracle of nature on your table, you will need a healthy goat.
Hazards Of Not Buying Tested Goats
There are several hazards of not buying a tested goat; especially if you are considering eating it. However, below are some hazards of not getting a tested goat.
1. Risking Your Health
If you have decided to get an untested and then you decide to consume the goat of its milk, you are risking a lot more than you have bargained for. Keep in mind that your health comes first in everything. There is no point of risking your health or your family’s health by going for something that has not been tested. Remember, prevention is better than cure.
- 2. Risking Loss of Livestock
Goats offer many applications apart from food. In other words, goats are not only the source of meat but also a source of rich milk. One of the biggest losses a farmer can experience is losing all his livestock. As such, there is no point in risking other farm animals getting sick due to failure to buy tested goats. Keep in mind that some of these diseases do not only work on goats, but they will also affect sheep and even cows.
- NOTE: some of these diseases do not have a cure, whereas others spread very quickly. Be wise and protect yourself from buying untested goats.
It does not matter what you are looking for when buying a goat; the bottom line is that it is advisable to buy goats from a tested heard. At Amber Waves, we have ensured that every goat we sell has been tested, has a negative lab report.