Introducing New Angora Goats To Your Farm (Biosecurity)

Introducing new Angora goats onto the farm (Biosecurity).

Some farmers are often unaware of the risk that a lack of biosecurity poses to their Angora flocks and some of these risks often go undetected. Yet, the implementation of a biosecurity protocol does not involve much. Some biosecurity threats are often beyond our control but there are areas where we could be more proactive.

Certain diseases have longer incubation periods that make their control difficult but  diseases with shorter incubation periods may be prevented from being introduced by the farm management system followed during  the first 2-3 weeks after stock are introduced.

Diseases with shorter incubation periods (less than 3 weeks)potentially causing disease amongst Angora goats include:

  • Opthalmia caused by Moraxella or Chlamydophila (3-21 days). The frustration of treating and controlling the spread of ‘infectious opthalmia’  when introduced onto the farm is enough reason to follow a quarantine procedure.
  • Footrot (3-4 days) but may also remain dormant until conditions favour its development.
  • Orf (2-6 days)
  • Heartwater (average 14 days), is transmitted by the ‘bont tick’ (Amblyomma) and potentially carried both by introduced goats or ticks. The Amblyomma tick may also becarried by kudu, water hogs, hares, guinea fowl and tortoises.
  • NecroticBalanoposthitis also known as sheath rot, pizzle rot or vulvitis (5-6 days). This is caused by Corynebacteriumrenale.
  • Pasteurella (less than 7 days)
  • Blue tongue and other mosquito transmitted viruses (less than 7 days).

Parasites both internal and external are a common introduction onto farms. Particularly now with drug resistance developing is important to avoid bringing these resistant strains onto your farm.

  • Red lice (Damalinia, Bovicola) and blue lice (linognathus)
  • Roundworms (Wireworm and brown stomach worm )

Other internal parasites such as liver and conical fluke should be evaluated if considered a risk.

Diseases with longer incubation periods and causes of abortion are more difficult to detect while under quarantine. Enzootic abortion (Chlamydia) can be detected by blood tests.

Don’t forget the plants that can be introduced onto your farm such as ‘Boetebos’ (xanthium spinosum) and jointed cactus attached in the mohair.

Shearing teams can also introduce diseases such as corynebacterium abscess(caseous lymphadenitis) so make sure the shearers disinfect their shears on arrival.

Quarantine is probably the most effective way of limiting the chance of introduction of disease onto your farm. Ideally it would be great if goats were dipped, dosed and vaccinated against pulpy kidney and pasteurella before their arrival but often not the case.

A quarantine procedure after arrival of the goats:

  • Examine the goats with specific reference to their eyes and mucous membrane colour.
  • Check the hooves and trim them if required.
  • Collect a faecal sample for a faecal egg count by your vet. If they need dosing then take another faecal sample 10-14 days after dosing to ensure they are clean and don’t introduce resistant roundworms onto your farm.
  • Dip the goats
  • Keep them in quarantine for at least 3 weeks.
  •  If concerned about the introduction of enzootic abortion then a blood sample for Chlamydia can be checked. If possible keep pregnant ewes separate untilafter kidding and dry ewes until after mating.

The quarantine procedure does take some time and management but goes a long way to preventing the losses and frustration that comes with the introduction of disease and parasites

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