Episodes
If you've been thinking about a meat breed and are looking for one that does well on pasture and forage, is parasite resistant, and hardy in general, the Kiko might be the breed for you. In today's episode we are talking to Karen Kopf of Kopf Canyon Ranch in Idaho about their experience raising dairy goats and then switching to meat goats and specifically Kiko goats. One of the reasons I wanted to interview Karen is because of the amazing records they keep on their herd, so we get into all...
Published 11/30/22
Published 11/23/22
Although rabies in goats is not common, it is possible. In today's episode we are talking to Dr. Kevin Pelzer, a Professor of Large Animal Clinical Science, Production Management Medicine at the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech. We are talking about how goats can get rabies, as well as the symptoms, diagnosis, and vaccination options. Rabies in goats looks considerably different than the stereotypical rabid dog, and luckily humans are much less likely to get...
Published 11/23/22
When some people hear a goat cough, pneumonia is often the first thing that comes to mind, but it is really not common in goats. A cough is also not a good indication of whether a goat has pneumonia or when it has recovered from pneumonia. In today's episode we are talking to Dr. Michael Pesato, Assistant Clinical Professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery at Mississippi State University. He is board certified with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, specializing in Food...
Published 11/16/22
If you have goats, or if you are considering getting goats, you should be aware of Johnne's disease. It is an infectious disease that is highly contagious, and there is no cure. Today's guest is Dr. Michael Pesato, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Food Animal Medicine and Surgery at Mississippi State University. He is a board certified practitioner with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners specializing in Food Animal Practice. We are talking about how Johne's is transmitted,...
Published 10/19/22
Do you struggle with marketing your goat-based business? Or do you think you've got it covered because you have a website and a Facebook page? Or maybe you send out an email every month or two just to let people know what you're selling at the moment or what's on sale. In today's episode, we are talking with Liz Wilcox, the Fresh Princess of Email Marketing, about how you can use email to build a relationship with your customers. We talk about becoming friends with your fans and followers,...
Published 10/12/22
In today's episode, we are talking with the oldest Saanen breeder in the US about these gentle giant of the dairy goat world. If you've ever looked at the American Dairy Goat Association's Top Ten list for milk production, you've seen his goats. Scott Hoyman of Caprikorn Farms has been raising Saanens for more than four decades along with his wife Alice. He talks about why they originally chose Saanen goats and why they went on milk test. He also talks about how ADGAGenetics.org can help you...
Published 09/21/22
Whole herd biosecurity screening is a valuable tool that we can use to feel confident that we have a healthy herd. Washington State University has a biosecurity screening test that uses one tube of blood from a goat to run tests for caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE), caseous lymphadenitis (CL), and Johnes. In this episode, we are talking to Dr. Claire Burbick, Associate Professor at Washington State University and a faculty member of Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. CAE,...
Published 09/14/22
Caseous lymphadenitis, usually called CL, in goats is an incurable and highly contagious disease. I recently helped one of our Goats 365 members think through her options when several of her goats tested positive, and I discovered that eradication of this disease from a herd is not nearly as simple as the textbooks make it sound — emotionally or medically. In this episode, Dr. Michael Pesato, an Assistant Clinical Professor at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, is...
Published 09/07/22
Most people think that avoiding urinary calculi in male goats is as easy as balancing the calcium and phosphorus ratio, but that's only the beginning. We are talking to Dr. Robert VanSaun, professor of veterinary science and extension veterinarian at Penn State University, about all of the different types of urinary stones, what causes them, how to prevent them, and how to treat them. Balancing calcium and phosphorus is only helpful for preventing struvite stones, and that may not even be...
Published 08/31/22
It's not unusual for people to love their goats so much that they want more! But we all have our financial limits. So the next question is, how can your goats make money for you? In this episode I'm talking about a variety of goat businesses, starting with those that don't have a huge financial start-up investment and moving on to those that cost six figures to get started in most states. I also mention the importance of being sure that you are doing everything legally and are covered in...
Published 08/24/22
If you want a standard size dairy goat that gives a gallon or more of milk daily, then the Alpine might be for you. In this episode, we are talking to Emily Thompson of Kara Kahl Alpines in Southeast Minnesota who has been raising goats her whole life with her sister and her parents, who started raising alpines in the 1970’s. Emily talks about the general attributes of Alpines, as well as why she's continued to raise them for decades. She has been a judge with the American Dairy Goat...
Published 08/17/22
Every aspect of your buck's health is critically important during breeding season, from his eyes and legs to his reproductive system. Dr. Jamie Stewart, Assistant Professor in Production Management Medicine at the vet school at Virginia Tech, who previously joined us for an episode on artificial insemination in goats, talks about the various aspects of a buck's health that can affect breeding success, as well as the success of your kidding season. Dr. Stewart talks about what a vet does in...
Published 08/10/22
Although melanoma in goats is quite rare, it is devastating when it does happen because there is no cure. In this episode, we are talking to Julie Jarvis PA-C, a retired Dermatology Physician Assistant who practiced human medicine for 21 years. She has also been a goat farmer since 2004, and one of her goats was recently diagnosed with melanoma. In my post on squamous cell carcinoma, I talked about how easy it is to misdiagnose it, and the same is true of melanoma. Since Julie had 21 years...
Published 08/03/22
If you've ever seen the goats without ears, that's what we're talking about today! LaManchas are best known for having tiny little gopher ears, which most people either love or hate. If you raise LaManchas you know the most common question you hear is, "What happened to their ears?" But LaManchas have a lot going for them beyond their cute looks. Today we are talking to Tania Love of Love Acres Dairy Goats, who has a small but impressive herd of LaManchas that have earned spots on the...
Published 07/27/22
If you are looking for a medium sized dairy goat that produces about a gallon a day, then consider the Oberhasli, which originally came from Switzerland. Morgan Allen of Haycreek Farm in Minnesota has been raising Oberhasli goats since the mid-1990s. Their goats have done well showing at the national level, and they have several does on the American Dairy Goat Association's Top Ten list for production. In today's episode, Morgan is talking about what drew her to the Oberhasli and why she's...
Published 07/20/22
We first composted a dead goat many years ago when it died in winter when the ground was frozen solid. At the time, we thought of it as the second-best option because burial was not possible. However, as we discuss in this episode, composting actually causes a carcass to decompose faster than burying. J. Craig Williams, extension agent with Pennsylvania State University Extension in northern Pennsylvania talks about advantages of mortality composting, as well as how to do it so that you...
Published 07/13/22
If you've ever wanted to add some genetics to your herd, but the cost of a live animal was out of your price range, artificial insemination is a great way to reach the same goal at a fraction of the price. In today's episode we are talking to Dr. Jamie Stewart, Assistant Professor in Production Management Medicine at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. We are answering all of the basic questions about artificial insemination, often called AI for short. How do you...
Published 07/06/22
Today's guests first visited Antiquity Oaks Farm about 17 years ago when they were traveling across the United States looking for all things goat. That year-long trek from the east coast to the west was chronicled in their book, Year of the Goat, which was originally published in 2007. This year, in honor of its 15th anniversary, the publisher is bringing it back with an all-new introduction, sub-title, and cover, as well as lots of photos that were not in the original book. In today's...
Published 06/29/22
Even though most of you reading this probably don't think of your goats as food animals, that is how they are categorized in the veterinary world. Since very few food animals don't have the opportunity to live out their natural lives, there is little research on dealing with health challenges in individual animals. The focus tends to be on herd health, contagious diseases, and production. It can become even more challenging to care for them in old age because there is even less research on...
Published 06/22/22
Whenever a doe's udder has a different texture or temperature than normal, mastitis is the first thing that we all worry about. Today's topic has been one of the most requested from my listeners, so I know it's something we all worry about from time to time. Dr. George McCommon, professor of veterinary science and public health at Fort Valley State University, joins us today to talk about the basics of mastitis, as well as his current research project. We start with mastitis symptoms and...
Published 06/15/22
If you've ever thought about importing goats from another country, today's episode is for you. Buying a goat from across the globe is not nearly as simple as buying a goat from across the country. There are a number of restrictions and testing required for goats, depending upon which country they are coming from, and Dr. Mary Kate Anderson, Staff Veterinary Medical Officer at the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, joins us in this episode to talk about everything you need to know...
Published 06/08/22
Recently the Cashmere Goat Association voted to make Cashmere goats a breed. Prior to that vote, a "cashmere" goat was just a goat with a specific type of cashmere fiber. Although all goats have a cashmere undercoat, cashmere goats must have fiber of a specific length, and they must produce at least 2 ounces per year. In this episode I'm having a conversation with Christine Hulse, secretary of the Cashmere Goat Association, talking about the breed standard, as well as the fiber standards....
Published 06/01/22
Until recently, most goat breeders had never heard of Cache Valley Virus. I heard about it two years ago when an animal scientist told me that they were having a horrible time with it in their research flock. Today's guest had never heard about Cache Valley Virus until a few months ago when she started seeing a lot of very weird things happening in her goat herd — a doe freshening with no milk, kids born with birth defects, kids dying within the first couple of weeks after birth, a tiny...
Published 05/11/22
 Have you thought about adding chickens to your goat farm? Have you heard about keeping chickens and goats together? Maybe you already have chickens and the challenges with the goats are driving you crazy? In today's episode, I'm talking about things to consider when chickens and goats share the same space, as well as what you can do to keep them apart. I explain leader-follower rotational grazing with chickens and small ruminants (sheep or goats), including what type of equipment you need...
Published 04/27/22