Because I'm dealing with such a serious goat issue this is what I think about, talk about, and blog about. Hopefully somebody might read this an learn and not have to go through what I am having too.
I spoke with the State of Wisconsin Agriculture Disease Control Program.
Test the soil on a different place on my land (We will call this new pasture "A" ) if that test comes back negative build a new pasture and housing. (I let the goat free range so they might have infected all over my place) Let the old pasture and housing sit for one year. (Old pasture will be called "B")
While the the goats are on the pasture "A" test Maggie for Johne's. The three kids are too young to test. (The bacteria wont show on a test even if they have it. The state says that they need to be 18 months old for the test.) If Maggie is positive, cull her. If negative, let them all stay on pasture "A" for one year.
After a year, test soil on pasture "B". Test all the goats (The kids will be 18 months old by then)
If all negative, move them to pasture "B". If any goat test positive, cull that goat.
After another year goes by, test pasture "A". If soil test negative and goats also test negative
move the goats back to pasture "A". If goats test positive, cull that goat. I also should have pasture "C" ready just in case a soil sample comes back negative.
Let pasture "B" rest for a year. Test the soil, test the goats. If all negative, move them on pasture "B" and you are considered Johne's free after three years of negative testing.
During those three years, do not breed the goats. Do not let the goats off my land. Do not let any ruminate type animal on my land.
If at any time a goat test positive, you have to cull that goat and start a three year count again.
This is three years of testing and spending money. I got the goats so that I would have goat milk for soap making. I would need to buy my milk for three years. When it comes right down to it. I don't have the money or resources to do the three year plan. But, at the same time. It is really hard to make the decision to put down goats that may not have Johne's and that act and look with robust health. Beside, yes, I have made my goats my pets. I have great affection for them. I don't want to put them down.
Johne's is bad bad bad. Many goat owners have goats that have just wasted away and it gets blamed on a really bad case of worms when in fact it could have been Johne's. All the other goats that were exposed to it might have it and not show any signs of it for two years.. They get sold and expose the new herd to it.
Some ways to prevent it. Don't buy goats from animal auctions, animals swaps or anything like that.
Only get goats from a goat herd that is aware and has tested and is Johne's free and keeps a closed herd. Closed herd means that they do not let any new animal come onto their land without knowing 100% sure that they are Johne's free and also keep that goat in quarantine while they run a fecal test that takes six weeks. They keep their own bucks for breeding or they AI the does.
Plan B. Put all the goats down now and wait for a year and test the soil. If negative, get goats that have been tested and are free of Johne's and keep a closed herd from that point on.
When I talk to my friend Kellie I get all teary and then she gets teary. At times like this I wish I had a husband and just let him make the call and I take no part of it! It is very hard to make a decision.
Plan C. Put all the goats down, next year sell my place and rent a house in town for cheap, buy goat milk,make soap and keep my part time job at the library and still go to school part time. And not ever have to worry about Johne's again.
2 days ago