ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION OF GOATS

INTRODUCTION

In goat production, this technique has been limited to mostly dairy goat herds. However, meat goat producers have shown interest in learning this technique to accelerate genetic gain in their herds.

ADVANTAGES OF AI

  • AI is the best way to spread elite genetic material throughout a population. Semen can be collected from top bucks, frozen, and then transported throughout the world where it can be utilized by large populations to facilitate progeny testing. Progeny testing involves breeding offspring to determine their genetic merit.
  • AI helps producers to utilize their prize bucks that may be physically injured and unable to mate.
  • AI allows producers to increase their herds without purchasing and maintaining bucks or losing them to predators, injury, or illness.
  • AI is effective in controlling diseases.
  • AI is an important breed preservation process.

DISADVANTAGES OF AI                        

  • The technician must be well trained in the anatomy, function, and regulation of the doe reproductive tract to manipulate the reproductive function and estrus synchronization.
  • AI requires special equipment and facilities.
  • It requires a great deal of time to check heat that is crucial for a successful process. On average, a doe’s heat phase lasts for 12 to 48 hours.
  • AI increases capacity to disseminate undesirable genes in a population.

THE DOE’S ESTROUS CYCLE

  • The doe’s estrous cycle is the interval between two estrus or heat periods that lasts an average of 21 days. The estrus or heat can last from 12 to 48 hours. During estrus does are receptive to being mounted by bucks. For artificial insemination, it is important to identify when a doe is in heat. Producers are encouraged to utilize teasers, usually a vasectomized buck to identify a doe in heat. The signs of a doe in heat are:
  • Swelling of the vagina • Seeking the buck
  • Standing for mating by the buck, teaser, or by other does
  • Frequent urination
  • Flagging tail
  • Vocalization
  • Presents vagina with mucus discharge that appears crystalline at the beginning, but may have a cheesy appearance near ovulation time.

STEPS TO CONDUCT INTRAUTERINE AI IN DOES WITH FROZEN SEMEN

  • Identify the doe in heat and certify the correct time for AI.
  • For a better access to the doe’s cervical os, place doe in the stand, with the back legs up, raising its back and leaving its front legs in support and its neck and head toward the ground.
  • If needed, wash the doe’s vulva with clean water to remove any dirt, and dry the area with a clean paper towel.
  • Introduce the vaginal speculum and be sure to check for the appropriately-sized speculum. If needed, apply a nonspermicidal lubricant or petroleum jelly to facilitate the introduction of the speculum in the vagina. To introduce the speculum, open the labia of the vulva with one hand and with the other hand, gently introduce the thinner extremity of the speculum. As soon as it is introduced in the vagina, use a little pressure to orient the speculum toward and down to the vaginal floor. Use light source to visualize the cervical os. Be sure to distinguish the cervical os from the pleats of the vagina.
  • Examine mucus consistency and, if needed, remove excessive vaginal mucus with the speculum.
  • If it is time for AI ¬ Determine which buck the doe should be inseminated to before thawing the semen.
  • Thaw the semen. Prior to thawing the semen, use a thermometer to check for water temperature (95 to 98° F) before withdrawing the straw from the tank. Never lift a canister above the frost line of the tank. When the straw is removed with a forcep or tweezer from the tank it should be placed immediately in the thaw bath.
  • Do not expose semen to direct sun light.
  • Do not refreeze semen that has been thawed.
  • Remove straw from the tank for periods as brief as 5 seconds. If you cannot remove the straw at the first attempt, lower the caner back to the bottom of the tank for at least 30 seconds before trying again. Stay out of direct sunlight because ultraviolet light has a spermicidal effect that will kill the sperm cells.
  • Rapidly deposit the straw in the thaw bath to protect it from the sunlight.
  • Warm the barrel of the straw gun.
  • Dry the straw with a clean paper towel.
  • Cut the correct extremity of the straw or the opposite side of the cotton plug.
  • Insert straw into gun; be sure to protect the straw from the sunlight and extreme temperatures.
  • Place the plastic sheath over the gun barrel.
  • Return to the doe, introduce a clean vaginal speculum, and remove excess mucus.
  • Introduce the gun into the vagina to the direction of the cervical os, passing the gun through cervical rings until it reaches the uterine lumen, the interior of the uterus. If the operator encounters resistance in accessing the interior of the uterus, deposit the semen in the exterior of cervix, and make a note of this in your records.
  • Remove the gun speculum and leave the doe for a few minutes in the standing position before releasing her.
  • Observe if reflux of the semen to the gun occurred.
  • If possible, use a microscope to check for semen left in the straw. Check for sperm motility.
  • Release the doe from the AI stand gently. Record information from empty straw before discarding.

KEEP RECORDS OF THE FOLLOWING

  • Day and time of heat detection
  • Date and time of AI
  • Technician
  • Doe and buck’s ID by breed and name
  • Straw identification by date when semen was frozen and processor

CARE AND MANAGEMENT OF GOAT

CARE OF PREGNANT GOAT

  1. Keep pregnant animals separated from others
  2. Provide adequate nutrition, easily digestible and laxative diet
  3. Do not allow them to fight with each other
  4. Do not allow them to mix with recently aborted animals
  5. Shortly before the doe is due to freshen, clip hair around the udder, hind quarters and tail for greater cleanliness.
  6. If the goat continuous to produce milk , dry her off at least 6 to 8weeks before expected kidding.

CARE OF NEWBORN KIDS

Clean the nostrils and remove the placental membranes sticking on the kid, by gently rubbing with dry cotton or rags. Holding the kids up by hind legs with head downward for few seconds, will aid in clearing the respiratory tract. The kid will get up and start walking within half an hour. Allow the doe to lick the kids dry. Immerse the end portion of umbilical cord in tincture iodine. Repeat this after 12 hours. The kid should get its first drink of colostrums within 30 minutes of birth. If the kids do not suck properly, the teats should be held by the hand and pressed into their mouth. Once they have drawn a little of the milk, it will not be long before they take to the normal method of sucking.

  • Take care of newborn kids by providing guard rails.
  • Treat / disinfect the naval cord with tincture of iodine as soon as it is cut with a sharp knife.
  • Protect the kids from extreme weather conditions, particularly during the first two months.
  • Dehorn the kids during first two weeks of age.
  • Male kids should be castrated for better quality meat production.
  • Vaccinate the kids as per the recommended schedule.
  • Wean the kids at the age of 8 weeks. Proper selection of kids on the basis of initial body weight and weaning weight should be initiated by maintaining appropriate records for replacing the culled adult stock as breeders. Additional feed requirements of lactating does must be ensured for proper nursing of all the piglets born.

DISEASES OF GOAT AND ITS PREVENTION

Generally goats are resistant to many diseases. However when we rear more number of animals in one place and insufficiency of pasture facilities, intensive system of rearing leads to spread of many diseases. This causes reduced production potential and more mortality which in turn causes economic losses to the farmers. Hence identification of diseases in goat and its prevention is most important. Health management is more important especially worm load. Hence the kids must be dewormed at first month of age and then once in a month upto 6 months of age. Ecoto-parasites must be treated carefully because it not only affect the growth and also affect skin quality. Disease= Symptoms = Prevention

(A) BACTERIAL DISEASES

  • Anthrax = Sudden fever and death Dark color bloody discharge from the natural orifice such as nose, anus and vagina = Vaccination once in a year in affected area Disposal of carcass either by burying or burning Don’t open the carcass as the germ spread through air
  • Haemorrhagic Septicemia = Fever, dysentery, swelling of lower mandible and death More occurrence in rainy season = Vaccinate the animal once in a year before onset of rainy season
  • Brucellosis = Abortion during late pregnancy, infertility, scrotal swelling in male, joint swelling = Disposal of dead foetus and placenta Use gloves while handling infected items as it affect human beings
  • Enterotoxaemia = Sudden death in young growing kids. Mucous diarrhea may also seen during death = Vaccinate the animals once in a year before the onset of monsoon Don’t feed on young grass
  • Pneumonia = Fever, respiratory distress, mucous discharge from nostril, reduced feed intake and weight gain, cough = Clean water, well ventilated house (6) Foot rot = Wound in foot region = Keep the animal in dry clean house
  • Mastitis = Swelling of udder, change in milk = Clean shed, wash the udder with disinfectant solution

(B) VIRAL DISEASES

  • Peste Des Petits Ruminants (PPR) = Fever, Occular and nasal mucous discharge, mouth lesion, respiratory distress = Yearly vaccination Separation of infected one from healthy animals
  • Foot and Mouth Disease = Fever, wound lesion in foot and mouth, excess salivary secretion, difficult in walking = First vaccination at 3rd moth and then once in 4-6 months interval
  • Goat pox = Fever, Occular and nasal mucous discharge, respiratory distress, pox lesion in un hairy parts such as lips, thigh udder etc = Yearly vaccination (Optional)

(C) ENDO-PARASITIC DISEASES:-

  • Fluke infection = Emaciation, anaemia, edema in lower jaw = Control of snails, avoid grazing in early morning and late evening, deworming of animals periodically
  • Tape worm = Reduced growth, fever, kid mortality = Deworming of animals periodically
  • Round worm = Fever, anaemia, edema in lower jaw, reduced growth = deworming of animals periodically
  • Coccidiosis = Blood tinged brownish diarrhea, anaemia, kid mortality = Clean house, spray of 10% ammonia solution, administration of anticoccidial drugs

(D) ECTO-PARASITIC INFESTATION:-

  • Tick, lice etc = Reduced growth, skin allergy and wound = Clean house, periodical dipping

COMMON CONTROL MEASURES

  1. Proper drainage, sprinkling of copper sulphate near watter bodies will help to control fluke infection
  2. Avoid early morning and late evening grazing
  3. Keep the shed clean and provide clean quality drinking water
  4. Separate infected animal from healthy one
  5. Provide proper quarantine measures while purchasing new animals
  6. Proper disposal of dead animals
  7. Rotational grazing to control infection

BLOAT

Bloat will be formed when animal consume young leaves and grasses, unknown weeds, easily digestible cereals, rotten vegetables and fruits. Bloat will be followed by diarrhoea, dysentery leads to decumbency and death. Administration of vegetable oil (50-100 ml) orally in a careful manner can help in control of bloat as a first aid and then get veterinary doctor help. Sometime feeding potato, brinjal may also obstruct the food passage and leads to bloat due to obstruction of gas from the rumen.

INDIGESTION

Low quality feed, fungal contaminated feed, change of feed may also cause indigestion. Sometime non-availability of quality water for drinking, feeding of some toxic plat also cause indigestion.

GOAT POX

Goat-pox is not of uncommon occurrence, but it is less severe than the sheep-pox. The nature of the disease is similar to that of pox in sheep. The incubation period varies from 5 to 10 days. The disease tends to attack male kids and ewes in milk. Initially there may be slight pyrexia. The lesions are not so side spread as in sheep-pox, being confined to the hairless regions of the body such as axilla, things, nose and mouth. In the female the udder may also be involved. The lesions are typically of pox but usually are much smaller than those of the sheep-pox. The goat-pox virus is antigenically distinct from the sheep pox virus, although it is transmissible experimentally to both goats and sheep. The goat-pox in sheep is more severe than the sheep-pox. The goat-pox virus is anitgenically distinct from the sheep pox virus, although it is transmissible experimentally the sheep-pox. The lesions occur on the lips and oral mucosa, the teats and udder. The goat-pox virus affords solid protection in sheep against both goat-and sheep-pox, but the sheep-pox virus does not protect goats against the goat pox.

 DISEASE MANAGEMENT

  • Be on the alert for signs of illness such as reduced feed intake, fever, abnormal discharge or unusual behavior.
  • Consult the nearest veterinary aid centre for help if illness is suspected.
  • Protect the animals against common diseases.
  • In case of outbreak of contagious diseases, immediately segregate the sick animals from healthy one and take necessary disease control measures.
  • De-worm the animals regularly.
  • Examine the faeces of adult animals to detect eggs of internal parasites and treat the animals with suitable drugs.
  • Provide clean and uncontaminated feed and water for minimizing the health disorders.
  • Strictly follow the recommended vaccine schedule.

OTHER PREVENTIVE MEASURES:-

  • Annual vaccine with Bar-Vac CD/T. For immunizing against tetanus and overeating disease. We give 2 cc per animal. The first time an animal is given the vaccine it must have a booster shot 30 days later. We vaccine newborn kids at 20+ days old and booster shot 30 days later.
  • Annual vaccine with Triangle® 9 + Type II BVD – For immunizing against 9 different types of respiratory problems. We give 2 cc per animal under the skin. There must be a booster shot for the first time given. Kids must be at least 2 months old.
  • Drench newborn kids with Bar-Guard-99. Used for the prevention of colibacillosis caused by K99 strains of Escherichia coli. Our vet told us this can also help prevent Floppy Kid Syndrome. We drench newborn kids immediately after they have their first mother’s milk. We give them 2 ccs.
  • Preventive De-worming for internal parasites. We de-worm as little as possible to try and have our animals build up resistance to internal parasites. We treat our does about 2 weeks before kidding.
  • Regular barn cleaning. We clean our barns about every 2 weeks to give our animals as clean of environment as possible.
  • Treat animals with Pro-Bios when they are given antibiotics to ensure the rumen continues to work properly.
  • Lab testing of any Abscess. Any abscess we find on an animal is reviewed by our vet and the abscess content is tested to see if it is CL. Any animal that tests for CL will be eliminated from our farm but not sold to our customers. We do not manage CL, we eliminate it.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES WE DO NOT TAKE

  • Vaccinate for Sore Mouth. We do not vaccinate for Sore Mouth. If you have not had Sore Mouth on your farm, vaccinating for it brings live bacteria on your site and will require annual vaccinations to protect animals. If you have had Sore Mouth on your farm, any animal getting it will become immune to it when they do get it. It only lasts for around 3 weeks. We will monitor for any serious infections.
  • Hoof Trimming. We only trim hooves on exception. We want to have animals that do not require regular trimming. If an animal does have hooves that get bad and may cause problems, we will trim them as required. We prefer that the hooves break off or chip during normal movement.

PROBLEMS IN PREGNANCY

We breed our does individually and therefore know approximately when they are scheduled to kid. This is important for us because it allows us to watch for specific problems during their pregnancy. There are two main type of problems related to pregnancy. They are Pregnancy Toxemia and Abortions. Pregnancy Toxemia is a problem that we have seen many times. We have never had a problem that we know of where the does aborted however we have talked to friend that have had abortion problems.

PREGNANCY TOXEMIA

This is a problem in the late pregnancy, normally the last month and especially last two weeks. It is normally related to a doe with multiple kids. During the last two months, the kids are adding 70% of their birthing weight. During the final weeks, there is additional nutritional requirements for the kids as continue to increase in size and there is less and less room for the rumen to hold the same amount of food. The goats body will give the kids nutritional needs the priority at the expense to the mother. She may not be able to consume enough nutrition and the body will start converting the mothers carbohydrates stored in her tissues. This leads to the release of keton bodies into her blood – a sign that her metabolism is faulty. The symptoms will be a loss of appetite, not wanting to get up or move around, sweet-smelling breath, limping and swelling of feet or walking very tenderly. Ketosis strips can be used to identify if the doe is ketotic Give doe propylene glycol twice a day. We give 60cc drench in am and pm. We also create a mixture of sodium bicarbonate with water and give 30cc drench am and pm. Help get the doe up and moving around during the day and offering her high energy food.

ABORTIONS

NUTRITIONAL PROBLEMS:-

Proper nutrition is essential for having healthy kids. Simultaneous deficiencies of energy and protein can cause abortion of embryos early in the pregnancy. Deficiencies of some trace minerals such as copper and iodine can be the cause of abortions. Also, excessive selenium for an extended period can cause abortions.

INFECTIOUS PROBLEMS:-

An abortion by one or more of the goats in your herd may indicate an infectious disease that needs an overall management response. It is likely that your vet will be required to identify the type of infection causing the problem.

  • Chlamydiosis – caused by an intracellular organism. Abortion typically occurs in the last 2 months of pregnancy and especially the last 2 weeks. The rest of the pregnant herd must be considered. Non bred does can catch the infection but it will result in their becoming immune. You should consider injecting pregnant does with tetracyclines by the intramuscular rout to try and prevent them from aborting.
  • Toxoplasmosis – this is associated with a coccidium of cats. Cats become infected by consuming uncooked meat scraps, placentas, and small rodents. Goats become infected by eating grass, hay or garin contaminated by cat feces.It can result in abortion, stillbirths and weak kids. However, reducing exposure to cat may help but in may lead to an increase in rats that carry other diseases.
  • Q Fever – a bacterial disease capable of being transmitted from animals to people caused by Coxiella burnetii, a rickettsial organism. C. burnetii may be found in sheep, cattle, goats, cats, dogs, some wild animals (including many wild rodents), birds, and ticks. Animals shed the organism in their urine, feces, milk, and especially in their birth products. Abortion or stillbirths occur in late pregnancy, but only when the placenta has been severely damaged. Treatment is with tetracycline. Placentas and aborted fetuses shoud be destroyed by burning.
  • Brucellosis – brucella organisms infect a goats placenta and udder, causing abortion and mastitis When goats in an endemic herd are in a stressful environment and management is not adequate to control nutritional and parasitic diseases, then abortion will occur in the last 2 months of pregnancy.
  • Listeriosis – caused by listeria monocytogenes a ubiquitous organism that may be found in soil, water, plant litter and digestive tract of ruminants. Abortions occur in the last 2 months. Treatment is usage of tetracyclines.

BRUCELLOSIS OF GOATS:-

  • Transmission A large number of organisms are eliminated ruing abortion. The mode of entry is by ingestion or via conjunctiva. The aborted foetus, vaginal discharge and milk from infected goats contain a large number or organisms.
  • Symptoms In infected goats and sheep state of abortion may occur followed by a quiescent period during which a few abortions occur. The aborted animals do not breed. After 2 years or more another abortion storm is likely to occur.
  • Diagnosis, Treatment and Control It is not possible to diagnose brucellosis on the basis of symptoms alone. The suspicion is aroused when humans in contact suffer from undulant fever and there is poor breeding record in goat herd and evidence of mastitis. The diagnosis can be done by the isolation of organisms and by serological tests. There is no adequate treatment. This is based on hygiene, vaccination, testing and disposal. Good management practice is essential. Separate quarters should be provided for kidding. Immunization can be done with attenuated as well as killed vaccines. The test and disposal procedure is highly desirable.

JOHNE`S DISEASE

Johne`s disease is a specific chronic contagious enteritis of cattle, sheep, goat, buffaloes and occasionally of pigs. The disease is characterized by progressive emaciation, and in cattle and buffaloes by chronic diarrhea and thickening of the intestine. Transmission Under natural conditions the disease spread by ingestion of feed and water contaminated by the faeces of infected animals. The infection occurs mostly in the early month of life. The incubation period extends from 12 months to several years. The animal aged 3 to 6 years mostly suffer from the disease. Affected animals may not show clinical symptoms continue to discharge organisms in faeces. The organisms persist in pastures for about 1 year. The organisms are susceptible to sunlight, drying and high PH of soil; continuous contact of urine with faeces reduces the life of bacteria. In cattle clinical signs appear mainly during 2-6 years of age. The infected animals which are apparently healthy, often show clinical signs after parturition.

FEEDING MANAGEMENT

FEEDING

The majority of the goats kept in villages are seldom given any grain or good fodder; as a result their average milk production is very low. Milch goats respond readily to good care and proper feeding, and to ensure best results they should be tended like other milch animals.

FEEDING HABITS

Goats are sensitive animals with peculiar feeding habits. They are ‘fastidious about cleanliness and like frequent change in the feed. Feeds given must be clean and fresh, since goats eat nothing that is dirty or foul-smelling. They dislike wet, stale or trampled fodder. For this reason it is advisable to feed them in hay-racks or hang the feed in bundles from a peg in a wall or from a branch of a tree. Double-sided portable hay-racks are the most suitable and convenient for stall feeding. It is preferable to serve them small quantities at a time; when served in large; quantities at a time, they waste a lot of it by trampling. Goats are ruminants. They are very fond of leguminous fodders. They do not relish fodders like sorghum (Sorghum vulgare Pers) and maize (lea mays L.), silage or straw.

Goats do not relish hay prepared from forest grasses, even if cut in early stages, but very much relish hay prepared from leguminous crops: Some of the common green roughages liked by the goats are: lucerne (Medicago sativa L.), berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum Juslen.), Napier grass (Penniselum purpureum Schum.), green arhar (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.), cowpea (Vigna sinensis (L.) Savi ex Hassk.), soybean (GIyCiflemax-(L.) Merr.) , cabbage and cauliflowerleaves;shajtal. senji. methi; shrubs and weeds of different kinds; and leaves of trees such as babul (Acacia arabica WilJd), neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss.), ber (Ziziphus mauritiana Lamk.), tamarind (Tamarindus indica L.) andpipa/ (Ficus re/igiosa L.). The common dry fodders liked by goats are straws of arhar. urid (Phaseolus mungo Roxb.), mung (Phaseolus aureus Roxb.), gram (Cicer arietinum L.), dry leaves of trees, and lucerne or berseem hays. The last two are popular and constitute the main forage crops for milch goats.

NUTRIENTS REQUIRED

The nutrients needed may be divided into maintenance, production (for milk, meat and hair production) and pregnancy requirements.

MAINTENANCE RATION:

The maintenance requirements are related to surface area and basal metabolic rate. Goats have higher basal metabolic rate than cattle; therefore, their maintenance requirements are higher than those of cattle. The requirement by weight is calculated and an additional feed of about 25 to 30 per cent for maintenance is allowed. The maintenance requirement thus calculated is 0.09 per cent digestible crude protein (DCP) and 0.09 per cent total digestible nutrients (TDN). It will be desirable to point out one interesting aspect. For its size the goat can consume substantially more feed than cattle or sheep, viz. 6. 5 to 11 per cent of its body weight in dry matter when compared with 2.5 to 3 per cent for cattle or sheep. This means that the goat can satisfy its maintenance requirement and produce milk from forage alone.

PRODUCTION RATION:

Requirements for the production of 1 litre of milk with 3.0 per cent fat is 43 g of DCP and 200 g of starch equivalent (SE), whereas for the production of 1 litre of milk with 4.5 per cent fat it is 60 g of DCP and 285 g of SE. The nutritional requirements of a goat weighing 50 kg and yielding 2 litres of milk with 4 per cent fat may be met by feeding 400 g of concentrate mixture and 5 kg of Berseem or Lucerne. The ration should have 12 to 15 per cent protein content, depending on the amount of protein in their hay and in the milk produced. MINERAL

MIXTURE:

Minerals should be given as an essential part of the ration as they contribute to the building of the skeleton, physiological functions and production of milk. The more important of these salts are calcium and phosphorus. The requirements of calcium and phosphorus for maintenance are 6.5 and 3.5 g, respectively, per 50 kg body weight. Goats require slightly larger quantities of calcium than sheep. The mineral mixture may be included in the concentrate ration at the rate of 0.2 per cent.

COMMON SALT:

Lumps of rock salt are just the’ thing for them. These lumps of salt, of fairly good size, should be hung up in some suitable place where goats can easily get at them, or else they may be kept in the manger. The provision of salt licks is very important for goats as they secrete a good amount of sodium and chloride ions in milk. The salt often helps to tone up the system and may even have some effect in removing worms from the body. Salt to the extent of 2 percent may also be mixed with the daily grain ration of goats.

VITAMINS AND ANTIBIOTICS:

Goats need particularly vitamins A, D and E. The microbes in the rumen synthesize most of the other needed vitamins. Vitamin A can be supplied by feeding green forage and yellow maize. One kg of lush-green fodder will provide. Synthetic vitamins A and D may be included in the ration of growing kids. Feeding of aureomycin or terramycin increase the growth rate of young kids, reduces the incidence of scours and other infectious diseases and improves the general appearance of the kids.

GOATS BREEDS - INDIAN

There are about 19 well defined Indian breeds apart from a number of local non-descript goats scattered throughout the country. The breeds are classified based on their locations.

 HIMALAYAN – REGION (HILLY TRACT)

This region comprises the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and parts of Uttar Pradesh.

  • Himalayan breed: The goats of this breed are white haired and sturdily built. The breed is also known as gaddi, jamba, kashmiri according to their localities where they are reared. They inhabit kangra and kulu valleys, chamba, sirmur and Simla in Himachal pradesh and parts of Jammu hills. Castrated bucks are used for transporting merchandise in the hilly tracts.
  • Pashmina: These are small dainty animals with quick movements. They are raised above 3400 m elevations in the Himalayas, Ladakh and Lahaul and spiti valleys. They produce the softest and warmest animal fibre used for high quality fabrics. The yield of pashmina varies from 75-150 g/goat.
  • Chegu: This breed is found in the mountainous range of spiti, yaksar and Kashmir. The goats of this breed yield of pashmina, good meat and a small quantity of milk.

NORTHERN REGION

The states which comes under the region are Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh. The important milch breeds of goats are distributed in this region only.

  • Jamnunapari: Native of Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh. These are large sized, tall, leggy with large folded pendulous ears and prominent Roman nose. They carry long and thick hair on their hind quarters and has a glossy goat. Horns are short flat. The body weight of adult bucks and does varies from 65 to 86 kg and 45-61 respectively. The average daily milk yield in 2.25 to 2.7 kg. The milk yield in a lactation period of, 250 days varies from 250 – 300 kg with 3.5 percent fat content. The Jamunapari goats have been used for evolving the famous Anglo -Nubian breed of goats in England.
  • Beetal Mainly found in Punjab and this breed is evolved from Jamunapari breed. Color is red and tan, heavily spotted on white. Bucks weight 65 – 86 kg does weight 45-61 kg does yield about 1 kg milk daily, bucks may have a beard.
  • Barbari: This breed is found in Etawah, Etah, Agra and Mathura districts of U.P, kamal, Paniphat and Rothak in Hariyana, color varies with white, red and tan sports being common. These are small and short haired, with erect horns. Adult buck weighs from 36 – 45 kg and the doe from 27 -36 kg. They are usually stall fed and yield 0.90 to 1.25 kg of milk (fat 5%) per day in a lactation period of 108 days. They are prolific breeders and usually kid twice in 12 -15 months. This breed is highly fit for intensive rearing.

  CENTRAL REGION

This region includes Rajasthan, Madya pradesh, Gujarat and northern parts of Maharastra, Marwari, Mehsana and Zalwadi. They are derived from Jamunapari breed. Commonly found in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhypradesh. These breeds comes in different color combinations. They yield between 0.75 -1 kg of milk per day.

  • Berari: found in Nagpur and wardha district of Maharastra and Ninar district of Madhya Pradesh. These are tall and dark colored breeds. Doe yields about 0.6 kg of milk per day.
  • Kathiiawari: This breed is native of Kutch, Northern Gujarat and Rajasthan. The goats have black coat with reddish color marks on the neck. The doe yields about 1.25 k.g of milk per day.

SOUTHERN REGION

The states under these region include parts of Maharastra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

  • Surti: Surti goats resemble Berari goats and possess white, short legs. Surti is popular in Bombay, Nasik and Surat. Does are good milk producers yielding 2.25 kg per day.
  • Deccania or Osmanabadi: These have originated from a mixture of the goats of the plains. They are black, mixtures of white and black or red are also found. The milk yield is 1.4 to 2.25 kg per day.
  • Malarbar (or) Tellicherry: found in Northern Kerala
  • GBRI: This is a mixture of two more type of goats. The color is not uniform and may vary from black to white. The milk yield in is 0.9 to 2.8 kg/day.

 EASTERN REGION

This region consists of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Orissa and Part of Bihar.

  • Bengal: The goats of this breed are found in 3 colours viz. Black, Brown and White. They are small short breeds. The meat of this breed is of superior quality. Bucks weigh 14-16 kg and nannies 9-14 kg. Does kids twice in a year, twins are common. The skin of Bengal goats are of excellent quality and is in great demand in India and abroad in foot-wear industry.
  • Assam Hilly breed: These are smaller dwarf breeds of goats found in the hilly tract of Assam and other eastern states.

EXOTIC BREEDS  

The principal exotic dairy breeds of goats are Toggenberg, Sannen, French Alpine and Nubian. They are all noted for their higher milk yield and most of these breed, were imported to India to improve milk yield of our local breeds and to upgrade our non descript goats.

  • Toggenberg: it is originated in the Toggenberg valley in north Switzerland. Skin is very soft and pliable. Usually both male and female are hornless. The adult doe weights 65 kg or more and the bucks more than 80 kg. Average milk production is 5.5 kg per day. The butter fat content of milk 3-4 percent. The male usually has longer hair than females.
  • Sannen: Native of Sannen valley of Switzerland noted for its consistency and high production. Color is white or light cream. The face may be slightly dished and the ears point upward and forward. Both sexes are normally polled but sometimes horns do appear. Does weight 65 kg and the bucks 95 kg. Average milk yield is 2 – 5 kg per day during a lactation period of 8 -10 months. Milk fat 3 – 5%.
  • Alpine: This breed was originated in Alps mountains. It was derived from French, Swiss and Rock Alpine breeds. No distinct color has been established. Excellent milkers and they have horns. Average milk yield is 2 – 3 kg with buffer fat of 3 -4%.
  • Nubian: Originated in Nubia of North eastern Africa. Also found in Ethiopia and Egypt. It is a long legged and hardy animal. This breed along with Jamunapari of India together with native breeds of U.K. formed the cross bred Anglo Nubian breed of goat. • Anglo Nubian: It is a big animal with a fine skin and glossy coat, -pendulous ears and Roman nose. Anglo Nubian is known as the Jersey cow of the goat world. Udder is large and pendulous with bigger teats. There is no fixed color. Bucks weight 65 – 80 kg and does from 50 -60 kg. Average milk yield in 3 – 4 kg/day. Peak yield may even go up to 6.5 kg or more.
  • Angora: Originated in Turkey or Asia minor. It produces a superior quality fibre called mohair. The soft silky hairs cover the white body. If not shorn during spring the fleece drops off naturally as summer approaches. Average fleece yield is 1.2 kg. Good animals yields even up to 6 kg. The Angora is small in size with shorter legs. Horns are grey, spirally twisted and inclined backward and outward. Tail is short and erect.

CONFORMATION OF A GOOD MILCH GOAT

The general features of a good milkch goat are

  1. Head: Long with medium width prominent muzzle and nostrils. Head in the does should be well carried with feminine appearance.
  2. Eyes: Should be large and bright, set well apart indicating docility.
  3. Neck and shoulders: Neck should be long and slim with the tossels if present evenly hung. Withers and shoulders should be fine in appearance and connect the neck. with the body with ‘ litter break in continuity.
  4. Chest: Should be of good width and smooth.
  5. Forelegs: Should be straight and strong.
  6. Feet: Animal should stand well on its legs without the tendency to turn toes or walk on heels.
  7. Body: Good depth is an important feature. The back should be level from the shoulders to the hips and then drop slightly at the tail region. Excessive dip in the back is undesirable. 8. Higher length from the head to tail is a desirable factor
  8. Ribs: The ribs should be well sprung so as to give a barrel, effect. Flat sides are a common fault. The abdomen should not be protruding beyond the width of the ribs
  9. Hind quarters: There should be sufficient width across the hips and the rump and between the pin bones and the hocks. The hind legs should face straight forward and not outward.
  10. Hind legs: Bones of hind legs should give a appearance of strength with hocks slightly bent Pastern should be short and its joint should not show signs of weakness.
  11. Udder and teats: Size large and proportional to the size of the goat should be carried well under the body. When viewed from the side it should be in front of the hind legs. Texture should be soft and pliable. The udder should collapse after milking. Milk teats and ducts should be free from any lumps. Teats should be of moderate length ‘and of convenient size for easy milking. The milk veins should be large and prominent under the belly.
  12. Skin and hair: The skin should be soft, supple and loose. The coat should be glossy with fine short hair. Goats are one of the earliest discovery of mankind in prehistoric times as ready and easy source of meat. Whether in cold arid up hills, or hot arid deserts, or hilly tracts of mountains or ravines constituted of leached soil, goats have survived and sustained the poor people. The present worldwide distribution of goats shows that the number of milch type goats are more in the temperate zone and dual type or meat type goats are primarily located in the sub-tropical and tropical Asian and African countries. The goat belongs to the family Bovidae (hollow-horned ruminants) and is the member of the genus Capra. Domesticated goats (C. hircus) are descendants of the pasang (C. aegagrus), represented in Europe by the Cretan and Cyclades races. the East was probably their original home, the earliest recorded being the Persian race.

HOUSING MANAGEMENT

HOUSING 

Housing of goats is not a serious problem. It is enough if the goats are provided with a dry, comfortable, safe and secure place, free from worms, and affording protection from excessive heat and inclement weather. In Indian villages goats are mostly kept under widespread shady trees when the Climate is dry, provided the goats are safe from thieves and predatory animals such as wolves and panthers. The kids are kept under large inverted baskets until they are old enough to run along with their mothers. Males and females are generally-kept together. It is worthwhile to design a cheap house for goats which may result in increased milk and meat production. Some kind of housing is necessary if herds of goats are maintained in cities and at organized farms; adequate space, proper ventilation, good drainage and plenty of light should be provided for while constructing houses. Successful goat dairying largely depends on the site where goats are kept. Goats do not thrive on marshy or swampy ground. Grazing areas should be free from pits and shallow pools, for goats contract parasitic infection mainly from such places.

‘LEAN-TO’ TYPE SHED

The cheapest form of building is the ‘lean-to’ type shed located against the side of an existing building. Such a shed for a family of two goats should be 1·5 m wide and 3·0 m long. This length provides 0.3 m for the manger and 1·2 m for the goats; the remaining 1·5 m space is sufficient for two milking does with a stub wall between them. The height nearest the wall should be 2·3 m and on the lower side 1·7 m giving a slope of 0·6 11) to the roof, which may be tiled or thatched. An open-framed window of good size on the lower side and an open–framed door should be provided. Arrangements for storing hay or dried feed can be made overhead. The plan for a house varies with the climatic conditions and the type of flock to be sheltered. In dry climates with a rainfall of 50 to 75 cm a long shed open on the sides, little exposed to weather and built on well ¬drained ground makes an excellent shelter. A goat, when reared singly, can be housed in any building provided it is dry, free from draft and well ventilated. The space allowed should be 1·8 m x 1·8 m. A plain board, 28 cm wide and 2·5 cm thick with two circular holes sufficiently large for receiving two small galvanized iron pails, may be used in place of the manger or a trough for food. It should be raised 50 to 60 cm from the floor, supported on wooden or iron brackets fixed to the wall. These pails, one for water and the other for food, are preferred to the manger, as the accumulated residue of feed can be easily removed from them. In the tropics because of high temperature, heavy rainfall and the susceptibility of goats-to parasitism, the most practical goat houses are those which are raised above the ground level, are well ventilated, and have long eaves to prevent heavy rain showers to splash in from the sides. The floor must be strong (wooden strips with small slits in between) and the roof material should provide effective insulation from the solar radiation. The roofing material would be made of bamboo or tree leaves or earthen tiles which are cheap and practical. Provision must be made for collection of dung and urine periodically.

 SHELTER FOR BUCK 

The buck should be housed separately. A single stall measuring 2·5 m x 2·0 m with the usual fittings for food and water would be suitable for the bucks. Two bucks should not be kept together, particularly during the breeding season, because they might fight.

SPACE FOR GOATS IN STANCHIONS AND CONFINEMENT 

The size of the stanchion where the goat is kept should be 0·75 m wide and 1·2 m long. Goats kept longer in a pen should have a floor space of 2m2.

LOOSE STALLS FOR PREGNANT DOES AND KIDS

Kids should be provided with separate loose stalls, away from adult females. The walls and doors of these stalls should be about 1·3 m high. A box barrel or a log is provided for exercise. One stall measuring 1·8 m2 can accommodate up to 10 kids. Such loose stalls are also suitable for goats at the time of kidding. All stalls should be provided with an enclosure in which the animals can be let loose during the day. This loose housing system reduces the housing cost and labour.

EXERCISE PADDOCK FOR STALL-FED GOATS

An enclosure measuring I2 m x 18 m is adequate for 100 to 125 goats. Such an enclosure or exercise paddock should be well fenced with strong woven wires which should not be far apart near the bottom. The exercise paddocks should be made bigger than the enclosures and should have some shade trees if the stock is to be maintained constantly in confinement. An extra-strong woven wire should be used, as goats have the habit of climbing fences and also of rubbing their bodies against them. Barbed wire should not be used so as to avoid injury to the udder and teats. It will be good if a box of 1 m x 1 m and 60 cm high and a stationary steel-drum or a log of 30 cm x 2·4 cm size is provided for their exercise.

SEGREGATION SHED 

When the herd is large, provision for a small segregation shed, about’ 3·6 m x 5 m, is very desirable. It should be built in the farther comer of the farm and provided with a well-fenced yard; it should be divided into two or three sections. Each stall as well as the yard should have a’ separate watering arrangement.

 HAY RACKS 

Goats are very wasteful and refuse to eat what has dropped down on the ground. Hay racks are very helpful for feeding. The bars of hay racks should not be more than 5 cm apart and there should be a wooden board, fixed about 15 cm below the rack, to catch what falls from the rack while the goat is feeding.

 TETHERING 

When one or two goats are to be kept and facilities for grazing are limited, tethering is convenient. This simple device has the advantage of keeping goats out-of-doors, and at same time on a limited area, although frequent changes of location become necessary. The animal is provided with a shelter with in its reach so that it may turn to it in the event of extreme heat or heavy rains. Goats have strong dislike for rain and for getting wet. The shelter should be temporary and preferably a portable one. The rope or chain used for tethering should be about 35 to 50cm long. The peg should be tethered only in the morning and evening, and kept in the shed during the mid-day. Tethering has also an important advantage of grazing the animal on a plot which is definitely known to be free from parasitic infections.

ELEVATED PLATFORM

In the tropics because of high temperature, heavy rainfall and the susceptibility of goats-to parasitism, the most practical goat houses are those which are raised above the ground level, are well ventilated, and have long eaves to prevent heavy rain showers to splash in from the sides. The floor must be strong (wooden strips with small slits in between) and the roof material should provide effective insulation from the solar radiation. The roofing material would be made of bamboo or tree leaves or earthen tiles which are cheap and practical. Provision must be made for collection of dung and urine periodically.

FARMING SYSTEMS 

  • Tethering In this system goats are usually tied with a rope to a tree or on a peg and they will be able to browse from the surrounding. It is a convenient method from the standpoint of minimum labour input and utilization of feeds. This system is suitable for farmers with one or two goats.
  • Extensive production This system can be adopted if grazing land is available where goats are allowed to browse on free range and provided with shelter during nighttime.
  • Intensive production This method is suitable in urban areas where there is scarcity of land. In this method goats are confined exclusively in sheds and fed on leaves/grass and concentrates.
  • Semi-intensive This method represents varying degrees of compromise between extensive and intensive production. In this system the goats are allowed to go out of the shed for a few hours daily.
  • Integration with cropping system In this case goats can be allowed to browse under plantation crops. It ensures increased fertility of land by return of dung and urine and controls the weeds. The manure output from an adult goat per day varies from 0.5 to 1 kg.

MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

DETERMINATION OF AGE

The age of a goat judged from its front teeth (incisors) on the lower jaw. There are no teeth on the upper jaw. The kid at birth, or shortly afterwards, has teeth on the lower jaw. These are known as suckling teeth. They are small and sharp in kids. When the kid is 12 to 14 months old the central pair is shed and is replaced by two large permanent teeth; when 24 to 26 months old two more small teeth are shed and are replaced by two large teeth, one on each side of the first pair; when 36 to 38 months old there are six permanent teeth, and when 48 to 50 months old a complete set of four pairs of permanent teeth are present. Occasionally teeth develop much more quickly and the goat may have all its permanent teeth by the time it is three years old. Once all the permanent teeth have developed the degree of wear and tear gives a rough indication of age. The teeth start wearing four to six weeks after eruption. Wearing of teeth depends upon the type of feed and care given to the animals. Some may-mature early and others late. Age of eruption of teeth serves as a reasonable and dependable guide for judging maturity.

  • IDENTIFICATION

Each goat in a herd should be marked in the same manner by using some identification mark such as tattooing, metal ear-tags or notching of the ears. The tattooing system is used almost universally.

  • DISBUDDING AND DEHORNING

This should be done when the male kid is two to five days old and the female kid is up to 12 days old. The hair should be clipped from around the horn-bud, and this area covered with petroleum jelly to protect it from caustic soda or potash, which should be thoroughly rubbed on the bud until the horn-bud is well blistered. Caustic soda should not come into contact with the eyes. An electric de homer can also be used safely. ‘The kid should be muzzled gently so that it can breathe freely; otherwise partial suffocation may occur. Mature goats can be dehorned by sawing off the horns close to the head with a meat saw. This should be done in winter when flies are not troublesome. The wound should be dressed.

  • CASTRATION

Male goats are raised mainly for meat and not for breeding. For this reason males are castrated with an emasculator, or torsion forceps. The best time for castrating bucks is when they are six months old with the Burdizzo instrument. This avoids all risks of infection. Castration improves the flesh of the adult buck. A castrated male is’ called a wether.

  • EXERCISE

The goats require exercise for maintaining themselves in a good condition. Stock on range receive sufficient exercise while grazing. Stall-fed goats should be let loose in a large paddock for at least three to four hours a day. The bigger the paddock, the better they enjoy. Goats should not be let loose in the paddock or sent out for grazing until the dew has dried up, i.e. not until one to two hours after sunrise. Grazing on wet grass with dew is likely to result in tympanites and intestinal inflammation.

  • HOOF TRIMMING

Hoof trimming is necessary for the well-being of goats. If neglected it can weaken legs, ruin feet and lower milk production. The goats soon become used to trimming as a monthly routine. Sharp pen-knives or curved hand-pruning shears can be used effectively.

  • SELECTING THE DOE

An outstanding doe is the nucleus of a productive herd. Selection of a doe should be made with great care. Good body development is essential for high milk production. The doe should be well grown, healthy in appearance, and stand squarely on her feet and not down on the pastern. The body should be wedge-shaped and sharp at the withers. The depth of the ribs denotes capacity for consuming large amounts of food. The thighs should provide plenty of room for a round, well ¬attached udder of fair size. The skin should be loose, pliable and free from dryness. Poor condition of flesh may be an indication of a good milker, while a poor milker may be in good flesh. The neck should be thin and the head narrow. The eyes should be clear and bright. Does should be truly feminine in appearance and mild in temperament. It is difficult to handle, milk, feed and manage nervous goats. The milk potential cannot be estimated from the size of the udder. The udder of a good milch goat should be soft and pliable rather than meaty. The teats should be pointed slightly forward. The udder in a freshly milked goat should have a collapsed appearance.

  • SELECTING THE BUCK

The buck should have a strong, well-developed frame, and good conformation and breed characters. Good depth of ribs is essential. Legs should be straight and well placed under the body. The buck should be healthy and free from external and internal parasites. He should be chosen from a good milking strain and should be the progeny of dams having good performance record. Poor condition of flesh is not a serious drawback, since bucks usually worry a good deal, especially during the rutting season. Many herdsmen prefer the bucks to be hornless. A well ¬grown buck kid maybe bred to ‘five or six does during his first season at an approximate age of six months. When 18 to 24 months old he may be permitted to service 25 to 30 does, and when fully mature 50 to 60 does in a breeding season.

  • MATING SEASON

The does are more or less continuous breeders. The signs of heat in the doe usually are uneasiness, tail shaking, pink and swollen genitalia, frequent urination, restlessness, bleating and a little mucous discharge for one to three days. The period between heats varies from 18 to 21 days. It is better to inseminate the doe on the second day of the heat period. The sperms survive in the female genital tract for 22 to 42 hours. Mating should be so timed that the kids are born in a season when mortality among them is at its lowest and an adequate amount of food is available for their nourishment and growth. Breeding seasons will, therefore, vary with breed, locality and climate.

  • MATING OF THE DOE

Does may be mated when 10 to 15 months old so that they kid at the age of 15 to 20 months. But as a rule a goat should not be mated until it is one year old. The average gestation period is 151 ±3 days. It is better to breed the female once a year. Some goats can be made to kid twice in 18 months. The goats reach their maximum efficiency at the age of five to seven years. In exceptional cases they continue to be serviceable even up to 12 years and in rare cases up to 14 years. A well maintained doe may continue to be milked until a month before she is expected to kid again. The condition of the doe during gestation will have a very great influence on the quality of kids at birth. A doe in good condition will produce strong lively kids, whereas a doe in poor condition may produce ungainly kids, weak in constitution. Does must be fed well, allowed liberal exercise and protected from rain and cold.

  • GOATS IN KID

A temporary increase in milk yield after mating is considered to be an indication of pregnancy, but the first sign that a doe is in kid is the cessation of the Periodical return of oestrus. During the first three months of pregnancy there is little alteration in the shape of the in-kid does. The head of the kid can sometimes be felt from six to eight weeks. An old doe or a young doe which is to give birth to one kid may be very misleading in appearance and show no sign of pregnancy. Six to eight weeks before kidding, young does commence to show udder development, but this is by no means a sure sign of pregnancy as they will frequently show such development and even have milk in the udder when they are not in kid. An average goat can rear well two kids. Goats are known to give birth to as many as five kids at a time, but birth of such large numbers affects the health of the goat. The incidence of twinning varies with the breed, environment and number of kidding. The Beetal goats at Hisar Farm produced in a year, on an average, 35 per cent singlet, 54 per cent twins, 6·3 per .cent triplets and 0·4 per cent quadruplets. In Jamunapari the percentage of twinning varies from 19 to 50 with an average of 35, and in Barbari from 47 to 70.

REARING

Goat is known as ‘Poor man’s cow’ in India and is a very important component in dry land farming system. Marginal or undulating lands unsuitable for other types of animals like cow or buffalo, goat is the best alternative. With very low investments goat rearing can be made in to a profitable venture for small and marginal farmers.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Goats are reared for milk and meat. Goat is a multi functional animal and plays a significant role in the economy and nutrition of landless, small and marginal farmers in the country. Goat rearing is an enterprise, which has been practiced by a large section of population in rural areas. Goats can efficiently survive on available shrubs and trees in adverse harsh environment in low fertility lands where no other crop can be grown. Around the world, more people drink goat milk than cow milk. Also, more people eat chevon (goat meat) than beef. The World Health Organization says that more than 70% of the world’s population has some allergy to cow milk. The allergic symptoms could be stomachaches, gas, skin rashes and ear infections. An allergy to goat milk is very rare. According to many historians, goats were the first animals to be domesticated. For thousands of years, they have been utilized for their milk, meat, hair, and skins all over the world.

ADVANTAGES OF REARING GOAT

  • The initial investment needed for Goat farming is low.
  • Due to small body size and docile nature, housing requirements and managemental problems with goats are less.
  • Goats are prolific breeders and achieve sexual maturity at the age of 10-12 months gestation period in goats is short and at the age of 16-17 months it starts giving milk. Twinning is very common and triplets and quadruplets are rare.
  • In drought prone areas risk of goat farming is very much less as compared to other livestock species.
  • Goats are ideal for mixed species grazing. The animal can thrive well on wide variety of thorny bushes, weeds, crop residues, and agricultural by-products unsuitable for human consumption.
  • The goat meat is more lean (low cholesterol) and relatively good for people who prefer low energy diet especially in summer and sometimes goat meat (chevon) is preferred over mutton because of its “chewability”.
  • Goat milk is easy to digest than cow milk because of small fat globules and is naturally homogenized. Goat milk is said to play a role in improving appetite and digestive efficiency. Goat milk is non allergic as compared to cow milk and it has anti-fungal and anti bacterial properties and can be used for treating urogenital diseases of fungal origin.
  • Goats are 2.5 times more economical than sheep on free range grazing under semi arid conditions.
  • Goat creates employment to the rural poor besides effectively utilizing unpaid family labour. There is ample scope for establishing cottage industries based on goat meat and milk products and value addition to skin and fibre.

SELECTION OF GOAT 

Malabari (Tellichery), Attappady, Sannen x Malabari cross-breeds are available in the state. When buying an adult goat, be sure to check its milk production. Milk yield per day assessed by recording two consecutive milking, should be more than 0.5 kg (including milk sucked by kids). When selecting young goats, the dam’s production may be checked. A one year old she-goat should weigh about 20 kg. Doeling at 6 months should weigh not less than 10 kg. The doeling must also be free from physical defects. Selection of does should be based on their previous 120 days’ milk production record. Those, which have kidded at least by 2 years of age, should be preferred.

REPRODUCTION

DOE

  1. Age of attainment of puberty: 7 months to 1 year
  2. Approximate weight at first mating: 15-18 kg
  3. Age at first mating or insemination: 8 months to 12 months
  4. Oestrous cycle : Generally every 18-21 days
  5. Duration of heat: 14 – 48 hours
  6. Gestation period: 145 – 156 days
  7. Age at first kidding: 13 –17 months
  8. Ideal kidding rate: 3 in 2 consecutive years
  9. Service period : 45 days
  10. Minimum dry period : 30 days

SIGNS OF HEAT

  • Wagging of tail. The frequency of tail movement increases in the presence of males.
  • Frequent bleating, more so when the goat is alone.
  • Excitement or restlessness.
  • Anorexia and lack of interest in feed.
  • Drop in milk yield.
  • Vulva becomes swollen and oedematous.
  • Small quantity of clear discharge from the vagina.
  • Doe anxiously goes seeking the buck.
  • It remains close to the buck and allows mounting.
  • It mounts on other goats and allows to be mounted by others.

BUCK

A young buck may be selected based on the production performance of its dam and/or its sisters. Their yield must be 1.5 kg per day. Bucks should be masculine and virile with straight legs and long feet. Preference may be given to the one in the twins or triplets. Must possess good libido and good semen quality. While selecting male goats for meat purpose weight at 6 months should not be less than 12 kg. A buck should be put into service only when it is 10 to 12 months of age. Age at puberty: 5–7 months. Age at which kids of different sexes should be separated: 3–5 months. Age at which training for semen collection can be started: 9 months. Age upto, which bucks, can be used for breeding purpose: 6–8 years

GESTATION PERIOD  

Symptoms at various stages of gestation in goats:-

Stage of gestation = Cervix = Vagina = Uterus

  • Non pregnant or before 25 days = No tension of the wall = Within pelvic cavity no hypertrophy = Located within pelvic cavity, no clear asymmetry of horns (slightly asymmetric in some of the does), harder consistency.
  • 30 days = -do- = Within pelvic cavity = Located at pelvic brim, clear asymmetry of horns with softer and fluid filled consistency.
  • 45 days = Slight stretching of the wall = Located at pelvic brim, slightly hard in consistency but no hypertrophy = Located in front of the pelvic brim, complete retroversion into the pelvic cavity possible. Clear distension of uterus, softer in consistency, horns distinguishable in some cases.
  • 60 days = Stretched forward = At pelvic brim, slightly hypertrophied and soft. = Located in front of the pelvic brim, complete retroversion possible in about 20% cases, marked distension of uterus, fluid filled consistency, uterine horns indistinguishable.
  • 90 days = Stretched forward = In front of pelvic brim, slightly hypertrophied and softer. = Uterus within abdominal cavity, only posterior aspect of uterus palpable. Internal ballotment of foetus possible in 80% of the cases, placentome slip palpable in 30%.
  • 120 days = Slight relaxation of vaginal stretching = In front of pelvic brim, large and soft, difficult to palpate in 20% cases = Only posterior aspect of uterus palpable, internal ballotment of foetus possible and placentome slip palpable in all cases. Foetal parts and large placentomes palpable in 90% of the animals.
  • 145 days = Slight relaxation of vaginal stretching = In front of pelvic brim, large and soft, difficult to palpate in 20% cases. = Foetal parts palpable within pelvic and placentomes palpable in 85% of the animals.

ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION IN GOATS  

Sterility in males is a major cause as to why AI needs to be adopted and propagated in goats on a large scale. In Germany and the Netherlands the AI has been adopted on a large scale since 50’s but it is also practiced in other countries. Normally a middle-aged buck donates 1 to 3 ml of semen, sometimes up to 5 ml. But semen quality is normally good when the volume is in 1 to 2 ml range. Semen is white to lemon-cream and varies in viscosity depending on concentration. Motility of good spermatozoa is greater than of bull spermatozoa, hence a different motility scoring pattern is recommended. The sperm count procedure is essentially the same. A minimum concentration of 2,000 x 106 spermatozoa per ml of ejaculate effects conception rate. Morphological defects are often seen with goat spermatozoa. Normally ejaculates with less than 10 per cent spermatozoa abnormality are capable of fertilization. Sterility due to semen stasis and hypoplasis of the gonads is as high as 25 per cent. This situation is more because of overfeeding than underfeeding. High temperature and humidity affect the semen quality in goat – bucks. The reaction time varies from 63 to 160 seconds and there is seasonally. Though Artificial Vagina method is widely used for semen collection, semen of good quality is obtainable through electric stimulation. Buck semen is very sensitive to cold shock. Yolk — citrate-based extenders are widely used to extend the semen to 1:10 and up to 1:15 also. Spermasol with yolk (1:6 dilution) and sulpha compounds for antibiotics are used to improve the keeping quality. Speculum is invariably in use for AI. The conception rate and the number of inseminations required vary from season to season. One to four inseminations are practised. Conception rate of 93-1 per cent with 3-day-old semen in spermasol—egg-yolk extender has been reported. But normally the quality is not kept up to that time in many cases. Now frozen semen is also being used.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

We do preventive measures that will allow our animals have optimum growth and health performance with the minimum amount of our labor and expense. Each breeder must determine what is the most important preventive measures for their situation. The type of preventive measures taken by breeders can vary widely according to the following:

  • Category of goat business they are pursuing.
  • Type of geography where animals are raised.
  • Type of weather.
  • Amount of grazing space available.
  • Amount of time breeder wants to put into working with animals.

PREPARING DOE  

The focus on management of pregnant does is:

  • to ensure the doe stays as healthy as possible throughout the pregnancy and kidding period
  • the kids are able to develop properly throughout the pregnancy. The basic needs can be summarized into exercise, proper nutrition and preventative health management steps.

EXERCISE

Pregnant does need to continue as much normal activity as possible. They need the strength to carry the extra weight during the last two months and go through the labor successfully. A doe should not come into pregnancy or the first two months too fat. The normal activity of walking around grazing should continue.

NUTRITION

Nutrition is very important in the last two months of pregnancy. 70 % of the weight of the kid(s) is developed from around day 100 to the birthing date. Undernourishment during this period will result in the birth of smaller kids, increased mortality and slower growth rates. A doe in late pregnancy has additional requirements from their supply of food, especially for energy foods. Also the uterus and its contents take up a large amount of space in the doe’s abdomen so that she cannot eat enough poor-quality foodstuff to provide all of their requirements. The doe’s body is designed to ensure that the kids get enough energy food at the expense of her own tissues. Her body will rob her own reserves to provide nutrition to the kids. A doe’s appetite often drops off at this time and the volume of the uterus contents and the internal fat stored will limit the volume of feed she can consume. Therefore the quality of feed must be increased. High quality hay should be fed during this period. Goats that eat a lot of hay during pregnancy maintain that ability to ingest increased levels of roughage during lactation. Concentrate food with higher levels of protein can be fed to the does. You do not want to just feed higher levels of concentrate feed. High volumes of concentrate feed has been associated with slow birthing and poor cervical dilations. We feed our pregnant does a concentrate feed with 16-17% protein level. Ensure the does have access to trace-mineralized salt and clean water.

PREVENTIVE MANAGEMENT

  • De-worm the does around one month prior to birthing
  • Vaccinate for Clostridium perfringens C and D and tetanus toxoid should be given not less than 3 weeks prior to kidding.

SIGNS OF LABOR:-

We try to be with each of our does that are about to kid to lend a hand if there are any problems. We are with our does kidding 85-90% of the time. The only reason we are not with 100% of them is because they kidded during the middle of the night and we did not read the signs of eminent labor. If we see the signs, we will be with them during the middle of the night. Below is some of the type of signs to help you better understand when your doe is about to kid.

CALENDAR –

We do individual breeding of our does. They are placed with a specific buck when the doe comes into heat. We will leave the doe with the buck for two days and then remove them. We document the date the doe was serviced. From that date, we will start to closely watch the doe around 149 days from the breeding date.

TAIL DROPPING –

As the doe gets close to kidding time, her body will start to adjust to allow the pelvic bones to spread out. Look at the back bone of the goat as it connects to the tail area. Either side of the tail bone will indent showing the body is getting ready. The picture to the right was taken 8 days before she kidded. This is not the best sign. It is not very specific and sometimes we just don’t see the tail dropping.

LOSING PLUG –

Our vet calls this “losing their plug”. You will see a small amount of creamy jell leaking from the vulva. The picture to the right was taken at the same time as the picture for the tail dropping, 8 days before she actually kidded. We have seen small drippings like this up to 2 weeks prior to the doe kidding, therefore this is not a very good timing signal unless it changes into “streaming”. Streaming will be discussed later.

BAG STRUTTING –

This is one of the better signs for estimating eminent labor. The top picture was taken 8 days prior to kidding and the bag looks full but the skin is not a shiny texture like the bottom picture. When the bag is strutted, the skin is as tight as it can get and the skin will be very shiny. The dirt on the bag in the bottom picture is not part of the strutted sign. That is coming from another sign, “streaming”, which will be discussed later. The bottom picture was taken 2 hours before she went into labor. The bag changed from looking like the top picture to the bottom picture in about 3 hours. We have had a few does that did not have a strutted bag prior to kidding. The bag filled up after kidding, but that is not the norm. When we see the bag get strutted like the bottom picture, we expect labor to be very soon and will start to watch for three other signs…streaming, doe going off by herself, and soft talking by the doe.

STREAMING

This is an extension of the “losing the plug”. The difference is in the amount of creamy mucus coming from the doe. This picture was taken at the same time as the “bag strutting” picture which was 2 hours before labor started. You can see the large amount of mucus streaming from the doe is what caused all of the muddy dirt on the bag. One hour earlier, there had been not streaming like this. It had looked similar to the “losing the plug” sign. When we see streaming like this, we expect the doe to start labor within 4-5 hours at least. We have seen does stream like this for several days and not go into labor and we get concerned when this occurs. Especially if the mucus changes to a strawberry color. That is normally a sign that something is wrong with the kids inside.

I WANT TO BE ALONE –

When we see a doe going off by herself, we get our kidding tools ready. We expect labor within 4-5 hours at least .Especially if we have seen strutting and streaming. SOFT TALKING

Another sure sign of eminent labor is when the doe starts baaing very soft. This is a different sound than she normally makes and much softer. She will also be looking back at her stomach quite often and can’t find a comfortable place to stand or lay. We expect labor within 4-5 hours at least.

PAWING THE GROUND –

The doe will start pawing the ground like she is trying to clear a place for kidding.

LABOR AND KIDDING: –

In order to know if a doe’s labor is going normal, you need to observe does kidding. The following are a general step that does go through in a normal delivery.

INITIAL LABOR

One should have to identify the initial labor when the doe starts labor pushes. Do document the starting time for later evaluation if things are progressing ok. Watch the vulva during the labor pushes to see if it is trying to open up and extend outward. It is extended and opening up. There may be a dark colored bubble, 3-5 inches in diameter, initially come out and erupt with liquid being released. In some births have no bubble comes out.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS :-

If the doe continues to have labor pushes for 1-2 hours and the vulva does not show signs of extending and trying to open, we consider there is a problem with the kid being able to come out properly. They may not be positioned properly or the cervix may not have expanded sufficiently to allow the kid to enter the birth cannel. It is likely that someone, (vet or you if you know what you are doing) may have to go inside to help. A vet may have to do a C-section to deliver the kids. If the streaming mucus is or turns strawberry red color, there may be problems with the kids.There are several does have this and the results ended up being the kids were already dead.

 WATER BUBBLE

One of the first activities of kidding can be a transparent bubble protruding that contains liquids. This does not always occur but is a normal process in the birthing. The doe will go into labor doing pushes and groaning. This transparent bubble will start to appear. She may get up and down during this period. Eventually it will burst and the doe will likely drink some of this liquid. A similar bubble may come out with the kid inside. If this is the bag with the kid inside, you will be able to see inside the bubble and one or more hooves or a nose will be seen.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

  • Once this water breaks, you would like to see the doe proceed into heavy labor and showing signs of progressing to the next step within 2 hours. If several hours go by and either heavy pushing or signs of the kid appearing have not occurred, there may be problems. There are two possible problems: A dead baby – The doe may have a dead baby that is not pushing to get out and therefore the doe is not pushing.One or more babies are not positioned properly for birthing. In either situation, you may have to go inside the doe to try and help or get your vet involved. This was the situation with the doe in the picture to the right. This first water bubble occurred but no heavy labor occurred for the next 2.5 hours. At that time another water bubble appeared and then the doe went another hour without heavy labor. We contacted our vet and he suggested that there may be a dead kid and we should go inside to check and see if we could remove it. We proceeded to prepare for entry by using surgical gloves, disinfecting the gloves and the does vulva with Beta dine and applying OB lube to the hands. Entering her caused her to start pushing and we found a bag with a kid in it. We were able to pull the first kid and it was alive. We checked for others and felt a foot that we gently pulled towards the outside. We could tell it was a rear leg. When we came to resistance, we felt around trying to find the other foot but found a head. We started working with the head and pulled another kid and it was alive. After that we pulled the third kid and it was alive also. We believe the second kid and third kid were blocking each other and until we started moving them around, they could not get positioned properly. We gave the doe a shot to help shed the afterbirth and we gave the doe anti-biotic shots for 4 days because of entering her. Mother and kids are doing fine 4 days after this occurred.

FIRST SIGN OF KID  

The first real sign we look for is some sign of a kid starting out the vulva. The picture to the bottom shows a single hoof starting to appear. If you look closely at the hoof, you will be able to tell if the kid will be coming out front first or rear first. If you see the top of the hoof, it is head first. If you see the bottom of the hoof, it is rear first. Both are ok. We want to continue to observe the progress to ensure the kid continues to move outward. Don’t try to rush in too soon to help. Sometimes it takes a little time for the progress to occur.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

No progress. We will step in to help by trying to help by carefully pulling on the leg during labor pushes. If you doe is not tame or gentle, this may be difficult to do. If she continues with no progress, someone (vet or you if knowledgeable) will need to go inside to determine what is blocking the progress. It is likely that the kid is not positioned correctly as shown to the right.

TWO LEGS AND A MOUTH

The picture in the down shows progress is being made and there are now two legs and notice that the tip of the mouth are at the exit. We noticed that both legs are front legs and the head is in position with the front legs to come out properly. As the head or nose starts to protrude, we watch closely to see if the kid has started to breathe on its own. If it has, we want to ensure that the nose area is cleared of anything that may not allow the kid to breathe. Sometimes we have a doe kidding and part of the head will start out and then as the doe moves around the head will go back in. We will watch closely for continued progress. Many times you will be able to see the kid’s leg move around showing it is ok.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

  • Once we had two legs come out but one was a front leg and the other was a rear leg. It turned out that it was twins, with one coming head first and the other coming rear first. One leg was from one kid and the rear leg was from the other kid. We had to push the rear leg back in and feel around for the second front foot. We always wear elastic gloves for doing this and have some OB lubrication.
  • Two front legs and no head. The head can be turned to the side and unable to come out. You need to try and correct the position of the head.

NEARLY COMPLETE  

The hardest part seems to be getting the head to come out. After the head is out, the rest of the body should come out quickly. We step in to check the kid has nothing in the mouth area and clear anything away from the head. We will watch for breathing signs and look to ensure the nose area is clear. The kid may still be in the sack and we will step in to get the kid out of the sack and breathing.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS:-

Head and feet come out but no additional progress. We have had a few kids that got their head and feet out but could not make any additional progress. We had to call a vet to deliver the kid. It turned out that the kid’s shoulders were hunched forward and not positioned to go through the cervix area. He had to push the kid partially back in to position the shoulders correctly

CLEANUP

We make sure either the doe starts cleaning up the kid or we will lay the kid in front of the doe to allow her to start cleaning up. The doe will nibble at all of the mucus on the kid normally starting at the head. She needs to be able to clean up her kids in order to identify with the kid. Cleanup may be interrupted by going into labor again with more kids. We watch closely to ensure she does not lay on a kid already born while she tries to deliver other kids.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

  • Kid crawls away from mother while she delivers other kids. The kid may get lost for a period and the mother does not get to clean it up. The mother may not believe it is her kid and will reject it.
  • Kid gets under mom while she is delivering another kid. This can suffocate the kid.
  • New mother may not understand what she is expected to do. You may have to ensure the kid’s head is cleaned enough for breathing and if the weather is cold, you may have to towel dry the kid to keep it from getting too cold

WELCOME TO THE WORLD

If all goes ok, the kid should start moving around trying to stand within an hour or sooner. Rubber legs. We have had some kids that could not stand up on their back legs because they were so rubbery. The will normally correct itself within a week. You need to ensure the kid is getting the needed nutrition until they can get around on their own.

NEXT DAY AND SUCCESS

This was the first time this doe had kidded and she only had one kid. It was a buck kid. The doe is out of Magnum’s Beauty, a Magnum daughter and was bred to Winchester, a full brother to Magnum. The little boy is named son of a gun. First two hours

  • If the mother kidded outside and it is cool weather, we will move mom and kids into our barn with a clean pen, fresh water and food.
  • As soon as the mother has cleaned the kids, we will give them some Nutra-Drench for temporary energy
  • Next we will trim the umbilical cord to one inch and apply 7% Iodine to the navel to prevent infection
  • We will check the mother’s teats for milk. There may be some wax in the tips that need to be removed to allow milk to flow.
  • We will monitor the kids while they try to nurse on their own for about 90 minutes. The faster they get their mother’s colostrum, the better their future health will be.
  • If they have not nursed on their own in the 90 minute timeframe, we will try to help them nurse from their mother. We want the kids to nurse on their own if possible.
  • If they cannot or will not nurse on their own within the 90 minutes, we will milk some colostrum into a glass jar and feed the kids with a bottle or drench with a syringe.
  • Once the kids have had some colostrum, we will give them 2cc of Bar Guard 99.
  • After the kids have had colostrum and the Bar Guard 99, we will put them in a small doghouse type of shelter in the pen with the mother. They can wander in and out but we want them to have some protection from their mother accidentally laying on them during the first 3 days.

SHEDDING AFTERBIRTH:-

The mother needs to shed the afterbirth within 24 hours of kidding. Most of the time, they shed it within hours. If there is some still hanging after 24 hours, you can try to “gently” pull it out. Some times the “gravity” has not taken effect and a gentle pull will remove the last of it. If you gently pull and it starts to come out without any “resistance”, everything is ok. If not, you can give the doe some Oxytocin. This will help the doe shed the afterbirth and help bring in her milk.

EXCEPTION:-

We use to think that after a doe shed her afterbirth, she will not have any more kids at that time. We had a doe give birth to a single and then shed her afterbirth four hours later. We expected twins and she still looked like she had another kid but there was no more labor. We checked on her eight hours later and nothing was happening so we assumed she was through. The next morning we found another kid dead in the pen. It was the same size and looked healthy. The vet said it can occur and the kid born after a doe loses her afterbirth is normally born dead.

GOAT NUTRITION :-

Generally, goat feed nutrients are divided into six groups. Following is a brief discussion of these nutrients:

  • PROTEIN:-

Protein is the only nutrient that contains nitrogen. Protein quality – a term referring to the amino acid content – has no significance in ruminant nutrition, except at exceptionally high levels of milk production. Rumen microorganisms manufacture their own body protein, consisting of all the necessary amino acids, which are later digested by the host animal. Protein makes up the basic animal tissue of the body and is vital for growth, milk production, disease resistance, reproduction, and general maintenance. The body has very little if any excess protein. Mostly, the nitrogen is eliminated by the kidneys and the rest is burned as energy. Since protein is generally the most expensive part of the ration, it is costly to feed more than what is needed. Protein requirements vary between 12 and 16 percent of the ration dry matter with the latter needed for high milk production. Urea and other non protein nitrogen products can be utilized by the microorganisms of the rumen for the production of protein. They are not generally recommended for goats because they are very selective in their diets.

  • ENERGY

All discussions of nutrition seem to begin with energy, probably because this is the best defined requirement of farm animals and is expensive. Most of the goat’s energy comes from the breakdown of the fiber of forages, while the remainder comes from the burning up of concentrate starches and fats. Over a longer period of time effects such as retarded growth, delayed puberty, and decreased fertility will become apparent. Energy is measured in two different ways by the feed industry. The first and more established method is by Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN). As the name suggests, the TDN consists of the sum of the digestible carbohydrates, digestible protein, and digestible fats (multiplied by 2.25 since fats contain that much more energy than protein or carbohydrates). The TDN system takes into consideration only one nutrient loss – feces. For this reason, the net energy system is gaining in popularity. This system considers energy that is lost in the feces, urine, gases, and the work of digestion. In recent years this system has been even more refined to account for varying energy utilization needs for body maintenance, weight gain, or milk production.

  • MINERALS

Many minerals are required by the goat. Most can be obtained from good forage and a regular concentrate mixture. The major minerals of concern are calcium, phosphorus, and salt, which are usually added to the ration either in the grain mix or by free-choice feeding. Goats do not consume minerals free choice according to their needs. It is, therefore, recommended that minerals be force-fed through the grain mixture or mixed with a succulent feed like silage or green chop, if possible. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus is important and should be kept around 2:1. If these minerals must be fed free-choice, such as to dry goats and yearlings, a good mixture is one containing equal parts of salt and dicalcium phosphate, or a similar commercial mix.

  • VITAMINS

Vitamins are needed by the body in small amounts. Since all the B vitamins and vitamin K are produced in the rumen and vitamin C is manufactured in the body tissues, the only vitamins of concern in ruminant nutrition are vitamins A, D, and E. During the late spring, summer, and early fall the animals can get all they need from green pastures and plenty of sunshine. In addition, they can store a good supply of these vitamins to carry them into the winter months. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to add these vitamins at the rate of 6 million units of vitamin A and 3 million units of vitamin D to each ton of grain mix during the winter months as an added precaution since they are not very expensive.

  • FATS

Fats are of little importance in the ruminant ration. Practically all feeds contain small amounts of fat, and added levels are not practical. A level of 1.5 – 2.5 percent in the grain mixture is normal.

  • WATER

This is the least expensive feed ingredient, yet a deficiency will affect milk production more quickly than the lack of any other nutrient. Water is not only the largest single constituent of nearly all living plant and animal tissue, but it also performs exceedingly important functions during digestion, assimilation of nutrients, excretion of waste products, control of body temperature, and the production of milk. Ready access to water is important. Goats with water constantly available have been shown to produce more milk than those watered twice daily and over 10 percent more than those watered only once p