These articles have been submitted by different people on the E-Mail list Recorded_Grades. I would like to thank them for sharing their wisdom with the rest of us.


Noah L. Goddard
1801 East 335 Road
LeCompton, Kansas 66050-4037
Voice/Fax (785) 887-6083
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Noah's Home Page

1. Vaccinations: In the control of mastitis we stress prevention rather than treatment. One way we prevent mastitis is with two cattle vaccines E.Coli sold under the trade name of J-Vac which is gram negative and Staphylococcus Aureus Bacterin, sold under the trade name Lysigin which is gram positive.

Both of these vaccines are being used in goats "off label" and as a result you should only use them under the direction of your veterinarian. Because one is gram negative and the other is gram positive you should administer them a week or so apart to avoid adverse reactions in your goats.

Both of these vaccines are available on page 18 of Jeffers Winter 2000/01 catalog. We follow the directions for the cattle dose on each of these vaccines and re-vaccinate about four weeks before kidding.

It is our experience that using both of these vaccines together as described above has prevented mastitis in our herd over the past four or five years. Preventing mastitis is a several-pronged objective. The other ways we control mastitis is with Proper Milking Hygiene. Proper Milking Hygiene includes milk room sanitation, milking sanitation and good general management practices.

2. Milk Room: After each milking we clean our milking machine with Mitricin Plus acid-based sanitizer then dump this solution from the milking machine onto the concrete milk room floor. After soaking for a few minutes this is hosed down with very hot water and then the floor and milk stands are sprayed with a strong mixture of Clorox and water and then air-dried. Sometimes in winter it is necessary to use fans to dry the floor.

4. Preparation for Milking: Probably the biggest germ carriers are on the end of your arms and they are called hands. We wash our hands thoroughly in the milk processing room sink with Dial anti-bacterial soap and warm water prior to entering the milk room.

3. Staging Area: We have a staging area in our barn adjacent to our milk room where the does assemble just prior to milking and just after milking. It is our experience that many of them like to go right out and lay down after they are milked. In this staging area we have a 6-inch deep layer of lime screenings covered with a black nylon mat. This mat is about 1/4" thick, very durable and is manufactured with 5/8" holes on 2-inch centers. These holes permit any urine or moisture to be absorbed by the underlying lime screenings. Thus the staging area is kept dry and helps to reduce the bacterial growth. It can be easily swept off with a large warehouse broom to remove manure and other debris.

5. Doe Prep: We use a home-mixed solution of a few squirts of 7% strong Iodine and Dial anti-bacterial soap & warm water for pre-washing udders. Prior to beginning milking we prepare this solution in a clean bucket and then put a clean wash cloth in this solution for each doe to be milked. These are single-use wash cloths from K-Mart. If we drop it on the floor during the prep procedure then this cloth is replaced with a clean one. We are very particular about cleanliness in our milking operation. After the milking is completed these used wash cloths are taken to the house and washed with a Clorox rinse, sanitized and dried in the clothes drier before being reused.

6. Teat Dip: We prefer the brand name Fight Bac in the aerosol spray can. First, the aerosol spray can prevent contamination from teat to teat and from goat to goat. Second, the spray comes out of the can under pressure and cooler that the environment and causes the orifices to close up more quickly thus preventing the entry of bacteria when the goat goes out and lies down after being milked. Third, Fight Bac also forms a kind of wax-type coating on the teat orifice further preventing the entry of bacteria. There are many preferences on teat dip and the breeder should use what works for them.

8. There are many good articles and references on the internet. But one very good reference manual that I like is titled MASTITIS: COUNTER ATTACK, (1999) by W. Nelson Philpot and Stephen C. Nickerson, published by Westphalia-Surge, LLC, 1880 Country Farm Drive, Naperville, Illinois 60563.

7. Other Good Management Practices: (a) Every time the doe lays down her udder risks being contaminated. In our loafing barn we have a 12-inch depth of lime screenings. When this area becomes covered with manure we scrape it off down to the fresh lime screenings with the front-end loader and apply a coating of new lime screenings. Loafing areas where does are likely to lie down must be kept clean, dry and free of contaminants where bacteria can grow. Lime screenings is the only bedding I know of that discourages bacterial growth. (b) A Doe's immune system is better able to resist all diseases when they are maintained in good health. Productive milkers should be well fed with an appropriate mix of hay and grain, given free-choice mineral rations, salt and plenty of fresh water along with regular hoof trimming. Their loafing area should be well ventilated, not drafty, and not over crowded.

9. I am hopeful that in the management of your herd that you will find one or more of these practices useful in controlling and preventing mastitis.

Number of Kids Born Affects Milk Yield

by Nancy Nickel

Research in Great Britain on dairy Goats supports the view that placental lactogen has a significant role in the control of normal mammary development and function in goats. Placental lactogen is a hormone similar to prolactin and growth hormones, and its activity seems to be required for udder development.

British researchers compared mothers of single kids to those of twins or triplets. All does are separated from their kids and hand milked for the study. Mothers of twins yielded 27% more milk than mothers of single kids: Mothers of triplets milked 47% more milk than the mothers of singles. Corrections were made in yield to account for lactation number so that accurate comparisons could be made.

The researchers weighed the lobule-aveolar component of the udder that is responsible for synthesis of milk and found that its weight was positively correlated with fetal number and placental material. This is the more kids, the more placental material, the more milk synthesizing tissue.

Kids First Weeks at Wintercreek........

By: Renee Tickner

First off I have a bucket that holds everything I may need for delivery (except warm water, and clean bucket...but I do keep a bucket washed...wrapped in plastic I can just grab), including a good book, soda and snack for me!!!!! This bucket stays near my front whether I am attending mine or hitting the road for a mid-wife call...I just grab n go!!!Colostrum is in the freezer so once I know a doe is going to deliver, I take out 2 packages and place in warm water to thaw.

Each birth is attended (I have gotten does USUALLY kid late afternoon). Each kid is born on newspaper, wiped down immediately with paper towels, wrapped in a towel, and whisked to the house. I do not allow the dam to clean them......unless it is a buck that will be staying with her.

Once in the house they are placed in a basket/tub near the woodstove. These have been lined with newspaper and they still have their towels on. After I make sure there are no more kids on the way......their dam is given warm molasses water, fresh hay, a small amount of grain and then milked. The kids are now thoroughly cleaned up.....navels dipped in 7% iodine.....and fed their first colostrum.

They are let rest next to the woodstove till they start trying to escape the tubs (usually the first hour!!!). They are then moved to very large dog kennels in the corner of the living room....once again lined with newspaper and a warm towel. They are kept in the house for 3-5 days to make sure they get a good start. The kennels have to cleaned out repeatedly as they do get wet very quickly. Each kid is fed individually while in the house. Kids are taken outside as much as possible to exercise and soak up all that vitamin A the sun has to offer. If it is nasty weather....we go to the barn to play. I can not stress this enough as this will strengthen and straighten out those very crooked legs in no time at all.

They are then moved outside to their own house. I do keep a heat lamp (out of reach...and covered in chicken wire) in their houses. They have access to a large pen to play and the door is shut at night. They are started on the Lambar bucket. I try to disbud at 10-14 days if able to. They have hay available at all times and grain is offered at 2 weeks of age.