Meat Goat Herd Health - Procedures and Prevention

Dr. Lionel Dawson - Oklahoma State University

Dr. James Allen - Allen Veterinary Clinic - Parsons, KS

Dr. Bruce Olcott - Louisiana State University

Unit Objective

After completion of this module of instruction the producer should be able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy goats when observing the goats daily and make decisions regarding treatment of individual animals or the entire goat herd. The producer should be able to read and use the medication tables for withdrawal time and develop an individual farm planning calendar for meat goat herd health. The producer should be able to score a minimum of 85% on the module test.

Specific Objectives

After completion of this instructional module the producer should be able to:

  1. State the goal of a herd health program.
  2. Identify types of information that should be kept on each goat.
  3. Identify factors that can affect herd health.
  4. Identify things to look for during the daily observation of the goat herd for health related issues.
  5. State factors to consider when dealing with a potential disease outbreak.
  6. State the number of days that a new animal shall be quarantined after arriving at the goat farm.
  7. State factors a producer should consider when transporting goats across state lines.
  8. Identify the goat's normal range of rectal temperature.
  9. Identify the goat's normal range of pulse or heart rate.
  10. Identify the goat's normal range of respiration.
  11. Distinguish between healthy and unhealthy goats by examining the mucous membranes.
  12. State the purpose/function of drenching and/or dosing.
  13. State the purpose of a balling gun.
  14. Match injection needle gauge size to the age/size of the goat.
  15. Match the injection methods to the definition.
  16. Identify the different types of castration.
  17. Distinguish between a cysts and abscesses.
  18. State the meaning when an abscess comes to a "head".
  19. State safety precautions a producer should take when lancing an abscess.
  20. State the purpose of a fecal egg count.
  21. State the number of goats a producer should collect fecal counts from based on the size of the goat herd.
  22. Identify worming procedures to follow when fecal counts are 2,000 eggs per gram of feces and 1,000 eggs per gram of feces are found.
  23. Match the goat's normal range for goat physiological parameters.
  24. State the meaning of extra-label drug use.
  25. Identify three conditions when a producer may use an extra-label drug.
  26. State why producers should restrict access to drugs.
  27. Respond to acceptable and unacceptable management practices related to goat herd health at different production stages.
  28. State the purpose of the herd health calendar.

Module Contents

  • Introduction
  • General Herd Health Considerations
  • Begin with Healthy Animals
  • Basic Herd Health Equipment and Supplies
  • Normal Range for Goat Physiological Parameters
  • Common Herd Health Procedures
    • Taking temperature - rectal
    • Pulse or heart rate
    • Respiration
    • Rumen movements
    • Checking mucous membranes
    • Drenching and dosing
    • Tubing an animal
    • Bolus administration - "Balling"
    • Paste administration
    • Giving injections
      • Needle selection
      • Proper injection sites
      • Common injection methods
    • Minor Surgical Procedures
      • Castration
      • Dehorning
    • Lancing abscesses
  • Procedure for counting fecal eggs
  • Conducting a fecal egg count reduction test
    • Table of anthelmintic drugs used in goats and dosages (pdf file)
  • Extra-Label Drug Use
    • FDA criteria for using pharmaceuticals extra-label
  • Ten Drug Use Tips
  • Medications Commonly Used in Goats and Approximate Withdrawal Times
    • Table of medications used in goats, dosages, and withdrawal times (pdf file)
  • Herd Health at Different Production Stages
    • Pre-breeding
    • Breeding season
    • Gestation
    • Parturition (kidding)
    • Kid management at birth
    • Artificial raising of kids
    • Dam raised kids
    • Weaning
  • Vaccination schedule
  • Other disease preventive measures
  • Herd Health Calendar
    • Example Herd Health Calendar (pdf file)

    PDF Versions

    You may download this module in PDF format.

    PDF version of this module (1.5 MB)
    PDF version of Anthelmintic drugs used in goats and dosages.
    PDF version of Medications used in Goats
    PDF version of an example herd health calendar for meat goats.

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