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Get to Know

Our Herd Health & Performance Plan

We plan to work very hard to raise healthy Kiko goats by maintaining a test negative herd for Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) and Johnes Disease (Paratuberculosis) and we vaccinate our herd for Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) to protect against and help prevent spreading the three most devastating diseases within the goat industry. We also vaccinate all of our goats for CD&T and Pneumonia annually. 

We are striving to raise meat goats that convert forage to meat as quickly as reasonable. We plan to "on-farm" performance test our kid crop each year and keep detail data to evaluate and advance our breeding program. 2023 is the first year we have entered our goats into some of the College/University run performance buck tests. We entered 5 bucks into the WVU buck test. We had 1 buck finish tied for 1st in the FEC evaluation part of the test. All of our bucks finished with very low FEC. We had 1 in the top 25% for REA as well. We believe this is a great way to have an even comparison of what type of meat goats your herd is producing. It's not about winning, although everyone likes to perform well, it's about continuing to work to improve the animals your farm produces for others to utilize. We believe this will be evident in the end by having satisfied repeat customers for our animals.

We plan to work hard to manage parasites in our goats. We do not have unlimited acreage for our goats to pasture, so we have to raise goats with high resistance and resilience to intestinal parasites to thrive on our farm. If they struggle with parasites, they should struggle here and we do not plan to pass that on to others, they will be culled. In the summer our goats do have access to our wooded areas which provides a lot of nutritional browse and cool shade. We only deworm when necessary and keep detail data. Parasite resistance tends to be a heritable trait and an important part of our breeding program at Joyful Oaks.  We also capture our own FEC numbers on the farm and of course record FAMACHA eye scores when we handle the goats. 

Maternal instinct is another important factor, possibly the most important factor, for us. Maternal ability traits include having a nice functional udder with small 1+1 teets, taking care of the newborns, getting them up to nurse quickly, having lots of colostrum and milk to feed twins or triplets, and being efficient. Efficiency is measured by weighing the doe at kid weaning time compared to the weight of her kids combined. We have started having Casein Genetic Testing performed on some of our goats to help identify bloodlines that equate to better milk production for raising multiple kids. 

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