Biosecurity

2019 French herd buyout

WADDL CAE Johnes CL Sept 05 2019

A local small herd was selling out their herd of French alpines and while we weren’t exactly looking, we had an opportunity to purchase them at a very reasonable price and help out a local friend in doing so. Blood from the previous year was drawn and submitted by Heather @ Quarter – Mile so we already knew the status of this small personal-milk herd previously. As with all new stock, they still went into isolation and were tested immediately regardless. Barn names used on forms above but they are:

Regel Katan Farm Monarch (Barn name: Mona)
The Monarch Jr (Barn name: MJ)
Segula Farms Noreen (Barn name: Siren)
Good Ole Days Courage Israel (Barn name: Thunder).

Monarch, Siren, and Thunder are owned by Heather Quick at Quarter – Mile Farms, but are housed in isolation at her farm and blood was shipped together.

2019 buy-back dry yearlings

WADDL CAE Johnes CL Jun 20 2019

WADDL CAE Johnes CL Sept 12 2019

Isabella and Lucy were to French daughters out of Elise x Weizenbock sold I believe <1wk of age. When their buyer sold out 1.5yrs later  (supposedly a CAE neg herd) I purchased them back and placed them in strict isolation and tested immediately. Lucy has tested CAE positive and will be culled, but she had a withdrawal from BoSe/Vaccine that we gave as they were unloaded, so she has stuck around until she can go through the auction without a meat withdrawal. They are both still in isolation, and additionally Lucy was also separated from Isabella who remains negative. We are retesting both of them not because I believe the CAE is a false positive (That is very rare in CAE testing through accredited labs) but maybe it can increase our sensitivity for other diseases from the other herd by testing two animals raised under that management. It’s worth a little more $$ for peace of mind. If Isabella remains negative, she will join the main herd at Heather Quick’s residence (Quarter – Mile Farm). Again, Lucy will be culled at our earliest convenience but until then is housed over 15 miles away from Heather’s farm while in quarantine so the risk of transmission is non-existant. 🙂

2018-2019 disease test results

WADDL CAE Johnes Oct 04 2018

2018 Abortion testing

Lab report 2/8/18

Updated 2/7/18 – Caprice Acres Irish Red was found with a significant amount of frank blood on her tail, perineum, and rear legs on Sunday, 1/28/18. I immediately took a vaginal swab and a blood sample, as no tissues (placenta, fetus) were found or available which would have been preferred for testing. As of 2/7/18, she is serologically negative for Brucella, Q-Fever, and BVD/Border disease. Pending testing includes a bacteriological culture of the vaginal swab. The swab has shown minimal growth to date, and only normal vaginal flora has been identified so far.  She is testing serologically positive for Toxoplasmosis, however.

Toxoplasmosis is common infectious but not contagious cause of abortion in small ruminants and other species. The source is undercooked infected meat (not likely for herbivore animals) and fecal contamination by cats. Cats are the primary host, are infected usually by eating infected mice or other rodents. The cats then shed toxo into their feces for a short period, and then usually never shed again in their lifetimes, though they still remain infected. For this reason, it is usually associated with young cats – as old cats are more likely to have had a prior infection and shedding event. It does not make it impossible that my older cats are infected and shedding, but two are ancient geriatric cats that live on our porch, and our barn cat does not defecate in the feed room, let alone in the feed bins. She could be soiling the hay out in the feeder but would really have to go far, far out of her way into the pasture to do so. She DOES however, often go to the bathroom within the stall (no feed is fed in the stall) so transmission could have occurred accidentally just via environmental contamination. (For example, human infections occur during gardening in soil where cats defecate, or from not washing hands after cleaning litterboxes for housecats) At the time Red aborted we were not feeding grains (often used as a litterbox by cats), and we also have an excellent storage for our grainstuffs to keep this from happening. We are seeing an influx of stray cats in the area, however, including eating our barn cat food and being seen constantly in the stall for the goats and this is likely where the infection has occurred.

2017-2018 disease test results

WADDL CAE Johnes Pregnancy Dec 01 2017

2016-2017 disease test results

WADDL CAE Johnes Pregnancy Dec 02 2016

About the ‘black boxes’ on the reports. Those cover up personal information, such as our street address and my account numbers, and anything else I don’t really want ‘out there’ on the internet. 🙂

2015-2016 disease test results

WADDL CAE and Johnes Oct 22 2015

DCPAH Zipporah Abscess culture

WADDL Zipporah serology 

WADDL 6mon Ash and Zip

On 5/22/16, I noticed a small abscess already draining on 5 month old Zipporah’s face, about a 1/2″ back from the left corner of her mouth. Zip was purchased this spring and is still in isolation on farm, but living with my beautiful AI doeling Panache (Ash) because I prefer to house them in pairs at least. While this abscess was SMALL, and NOT anywhere near a lymph node, I immediately decided to ‘practice what I preach’ and ran to get supplies to collect samples. I was able to get a good sample of pus from the abscess into a syringe and then into a small red top tube. I also drew blood at the same time for serology – since I was doing CL anyways , I also ran CAE and Johnes as well. I plan on repeating in a month or so because she is only 5 months old currently. Thankfully everything came back NEGATIVE FOR CL. Trueperella pyogenes is an opportunistic pathogen found on and around animals commonly. Its name, ‘pyogenes’ literally means pus-forming. Its one of many bacteria that can cause abscesses that are NOT CL. (The causative agent of CL is Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis). In this case, Zip’s abscess was likely caused by getting a poke from rough feedstuff in the hay. Thank goodness this story had a happy ending!

As you can see, both Zip and Ash both were also tested at 6 months of age prior to integration to the main herd for CL, CAE, and Johnes and were negative. 🙂

As part of our normal biosecurity screen, we keep any purchased kids isolated on the farm until 6 months of age. At 6 months of age, we draw blood and test for CL, CAE, and Johnes. This includes goat kids born on our farm that have lived with purchased animals as companions till this age. (in 2016, this refers to Ash). After these test results come back negative, we can integrate the kids into the main doe or buck herds as we see fit. 🙂

2014-2015 Test Results

Click Here – 11/18/14 DCPAH Johnes Results
Click Here – 11/20/14 BioTracking CAE Results

2013-2014 Test Results

Click here – PDF 11/19/2013 BioTracking CAE results : tubes 1-10
Click here – PDF 11/19/2013 BioTracking CAE results: tubes 11-19
Click here – PDF 11/27/13 WADDL Johnes results: 1-19

Our herd has a long history of being serologically NEGATIVE for CL, CAE, and Johnes since we started testing, which has been several years. When I first started in Alpines, I was young and gullible, purchased a doe from a large well known show herd and brought CAE into my herd. This was many years ago now, and we immediately isolated and culled those animals as soon as possible. (2008 was the year I believe, I’d have to look back at paperwork). Since then, we have again maintained a negative herd, and I learned my lesson not to trust people about the health status of their animals when purchasing.
We keep hard copies of all past results.  The results posted here are NOT all of the many, many years worth of testing paperwork. However, I’ve been able to receive results electronically from a few of the testing facilities now, so I can easily post *most* of our recent test results. As stated, we keep all past and hard copy results on hand as well and you’re welcome to ask to peruse them!
In the PDF files above, my address is covered up by the black box for privacy reasons.

UNTIL 2012, we ALSO tested the whole herd for CL yearly and have been serologically negative. Most of our animals have several years worth of tests or were born on site out of parents with several years of negative status. However, at 10.00 per goat, it is simply too pricy to test them for CL when we have NEVER had a suspicious abscess, have strict biosecurity that INCLUDES testing incoming stock for CL (twice!) before introduction to the main herd, and when we do not show or otherwise encounter other herds that are not disease tested. AS STATED, WE DO TEST ALL INCOMING PURCHASED STOCK TWICE – PRE ISOLATION AND AT THE END OF A 3 MONTH ISOLATION PERIOD FOR CL IN ADDITION TO CAE AND JOHNES! ALL ANIMALS ARE EITHER BORN HERE OUT OF NEGATIVE PARENTS, OR HAVE BEEN TESTED 2X OR MORE FOR CL.  We have NEVER had a suspicious abscess but any abscess would be cause to immediately isolate the animal and culture it for Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, which is the causitive agent of CL.

Not all abscesses are CL, but I believe ALL suspicious abscesses should be cultured. A CL blood test is not highly accurate, BUT THE CULTURE IS VERY DEFINITIVE.

Until 2014, we tested all goats on the property for CAE and Johnes yearly. In the years where my herd was very large, we stopped testing the pet minis (who easily had 6+ years of negative test results) and my pet wether (at least 3+ yrs ) We decided to do this because it’s an added expense and they are not breeding, not at risk for exposure, and all 4 of them have MANY MANY YEARS of history with negative disease tests. The pet minis range in age from 9 to 12, and were either born here out of negative parents or were here since weaning and have had many, many years of neg results. My pet Alpine wether was born here out of negative parents, and also has years of negative results.

Now that our herd is small again, we have begun testing all animals yearly including the pets. 😉

BIOSECURITY PROTOCOLS

Here at Caprice Acres, we follow fairly strict biosecurity measures for incoming stock.

First, we try to do as little purchasing of stock as is possible. I doubt we will ever eliminate it, simply because I believe bringing in new stock and new blood is the only way to improve a herd. True ‘closed herds’ MUST be VERY large to continue to improve their herd and also to prevent drastic inbreeding. I do not know if our herd will ever be big enough to be a closed herd. Closed herds can also use AI exclusively, something that would be an awesome goal but due to how labor intensive AI isand my usually very strict kidding schedules, I doubt this will ever become the only way to breed does here.

That being said, we are careful about where we purchase from. We prefer to purchase from reputable farms that are already disease tested. If this is not possible, we disease test BEFORE we buy and sale is contingent upon negative disease status. All incoming animals, regardless of source, go through a strict isolation period before being introduced to the main herd.

When purchasing animals, we do blood ELISAs for CAE and Johnes, and do a blood SHI test for CL. These are done at WADDL. Our routine testing is for CAE and Johnes. We will run CAE at BioTracking with pregnancy tests, or at DCPAH depending on convenience. We run Johnes at WADDL or DCPAH, both accredited laboratories to ensure proper quality control and protocols for as accurate results as can be expected depending on the tests.

Our biosecurity procedure for purchasing goats greater than 6 months of age is:

1. Draw blood and disease test animals of interest while still at seller’s farm.
2. If animals come back NEGATIVE, we then purchase them and bring them home, placing them in an ISOLATION PEN. We usually purchase more than one at a time so they have companions while in isolation, or we designate one of our own young male kids to be the ‘companion wether’.
3. Incoming animals are vaccinated for CDT. We also deworm as necessary. Usually they are also copper bolused and given BoSe.
4. Animals are isolated for 3 MONTHS, and are monitored at this time for any disease.
5. After 3 months, animals are RETESTED for CL, CAE, and Johnes.
6. If animals come back NEGATIVE, they are introduced to the main herd.
7. All animals are tested yearly for CAE, CL, and Johnes.

Our biosecurity procedure for purchasing goats LESS THAN 6 months of age is:

1. Purchase from a disease tested herd, from a reputable person, abscess free herd etc.
2. Raise purchased young stock in ISOLATION from the established herd whenever possible. Unfortunately with an odd number of individuals or sexes, this may mean raising a purchased kid in with kids intended to be sold so that no kids are socially isolated during their rearing, which I think is more detrimental and higher risk. I will try to inform buyers if their kids are exposed to/raised with kids born on a different farm, but should I forget to mention please feel free to ask. I am picky about purchased stock and will still follow strict testing protocols which will be posted on my website or made available to inquiring individuals.
3. Incoming animals are vaccinated for CDT. Young stock is raised on cocci prevention using Baycox, Dimethox, or other coccidicides. We also may feed a medicated feed (with a coccidistat, not antibiotic). We also deworm as necessary. Usually they are also copper bolused and given BoSe.
4. Animals are disease tested at 6 months of age for CL, CAE, and Johnes and again with the herd on the normal schedule.
5. Negative animals are introduced to the main herd after their test results come back negative.

Updated Oct 2017