KALAHARI RED MANAGEMENT
Select the time of year during which the most plentiful supply of food is available up to the period after weaning occurs; in other words, the period during which food will be available for 3½ - 4 months in order to breed kids as well and as cheaply as possible. If possible, it is preferable to plan in such a way that food wills till be in plentiful supply for a further 2 – 4 months, since it is best to market Boer Goat kids at the age of 3 – 6 months. This enables the farmer to withhold only his replacement goats during the period of the year when food is scarcer, especially in those sections of the country where farming is carried out on an extremely extensive basis. Try to keep mating time as short as possible – ideally, 36 days. In this way, each ewe will have two cycles of being with the ram. This also facilitates management and marketing considerably.
A. Before mating occurs
Make sure ewes are not too fat one month before mating, so that a growing condition can be effectuated before mating, by means of carrying out the following:
An Inject, or dose with, Vitamins A, E & E 3 weeks before mating season. This is extremely important, especially during dry periods.
B. Administer stimulating feed in the form of (i) spare camps, (ii) a good lick or (iii) a small amount of maize daily.
C. Put teaser rams in place 2 – 3 weeks before mating time.
D. Inoculate ewes against enzootic aborting 1 – 2 months before mating season.
E. Have rams tested for fertility.
1. Mass mating
1 ram per 35 – 40 ewes. It is very important to endeavour to mate the young ewes separately from the mature ewes.
2. Single mating
1 ram per 50 ewes
NB With regards to 1 and 2 above, it is very important to keep rams in small shady camps during very hot periods with a little growing supplement; and rams should only be let loose among ewes during the evening. This system works particularly well in cases where goats are penned at night.
3. Control Servicing
Try to carry this out in cool weather wherever possible. A ram can cover a ewe ± every ½ hour.
4. Artificial insemination
Insert sponge on day 1. Remove sponge on day 14 and inject ¼ cc PMS on withdrawal during the active period of March – June or ½ cc PMS during July – February. A.L. at 48, 60, 72 hours. Guard against synchronising too many ewes at a time, as if very bad weather should occur during the kidding season and you do not have enough accommodation for the animals, problems could result. Ewes which are artificially inseminated on the same day usually give birth within a period of 5 – 7 days relatively to one another. Carry out management during A.I. Keep ewes as calm as possible, providing protection against excessive heat; after A.I., stimulate with teaser rams or young rams on the other side of the fence. Keep ewes in approximately the same nutritional conditions as before A.I.
After mating season
Keep ewes in the same growing condition for the first month in order to prevent abortion of the fertilised egg cell. Have ewes tested for pregnancy by sonar 42 days after covering, or remove open ewes, with markers, and place with teaser rams or install catch-up rams 14 days after A.I.
3.1 Prior to kidding
1. Inoculate against gangrene of uterus 2 – 3 months before kidding season. The symptoms of this disease are: Ewes die shortly after or up to 3 days after birth as a result of severe inflammation of the uterus.
2. Inoculate against scabby mouth 1 month before kidding season in order to guard against udder infection.
3. Two thirds of the growth of the foetus takes place during the last three weeks of pregnancy. For this reason, it is very important to make extra nutritional provision during this period, in the form of the same treatment as that administered before mating time, i.e. ADE and stimulating feed.
4. Among Boer goats, the average percentage of kids is 180% and many triple births occur.
5. Extra nutrition will make kids stronger and better able to maintain life at birth, especially in the case of multiple births. This is why the sonar is of inestimable value in determining the presence of triplets or quads, in order to ensure that each of the kids is born strong and with a good capacity to maintain life.
6. During droughts it is essential to prevent abortions by giving supplementing feed after two months of pregnancy.
During kidding season
This is the only period during which Boer goat farming requires a great deal of care and attention. This is why it is important to keep the kidding season as brief as possible; so that full attention can be focused on it for it is extremely important to carry out planning properly. Remember, nothing can be achieved without work but one should make one's work enjoyable and successful. Therefore, it is necessary to plan this aspect thoroughly and consider using one of the following methods, or a combination thereof, in accordance with your particular circumstances.
1. Enclosure of kids in large pen.
Here, all the kids remain behind in the pen when the ewes go to pasture. This system is not recommended, since the kids are invariably thirsty when the ewes return, with the result that any kid will tend to drink milk from any ewe. It is surprising to note how often this method is still used, in spite of all its inherent disadvantages.
2. Small camps
The creation of small camps with sufficient food, shelter and shade, which are specially kept aside for the kidding season, is showing signs of becoming the accepted method for the future, especially in cases where farming with large numbers is practiced. In terms of this system, 10 – 20 ewes are placed in a small camp, where they are able to give birth in peace and remain with their kids until the latter are strong enough (± 2 – 3 weeks), after which they may be incorporated into larger flocks. Each ewe which has given birth (along with her kids) receives the same paint serial number. Different colours may be used for single kids, twins and triplets. All that the labourer has to do is to walk amongst the ewes three times per day and place kids correctly with their siblings, and ensure that the ewe allows each kid to drink. The worker may also sort the ewes into camps according to single or dual births once they have given birth, so that it is easier for the labourer to ascertain whether a ewe should have one or two kids.
The birth of triplets needs special attention and feeding. The following solutions are suggested:
- Use small enclosures for the first three weeks.
- Since there is no place for three kids to drink simultaneously, triplets usually present the problem that the weakest kid is always pushed to one side. If three kids are left with the ewe, she is able to raise them successfully if she is very well fed or if the third kid can be removed by means of one of the following systems:
- Giving the kid to a ewe with a single kid by means of using small enclosures. What is important is that the ewes with only a single kid should each receive a new kid as soon as possible after having given birth to their own. Ewes usually accept a new kid after 1 or 2 weeks.
- Raising the third kid by hand with a bottle, or making use of a milk-goat. The latter method works exceptionally well, and a good milk-goat can simultaneously raise four kids exceptionally well if a system of separate enclosure is used.
DISEASES AMONG SUCKLING KIDS.
This is the result of drinking too much milk or Kocksidioses. Consult the district veterinarian.
2. Blue louse
The kids begin to bite and scratch. Catch hold of a kid and inspect its flanks; the lice will be clearly visible.
Treatment: Dip or make use of an agent which is poured on. Lice are particularly prevalent in enclosures.
Dose once a month
4. Inoculate kids after weaning against Pasteurella
5. Orf infection
Inoculate kids from 1 week of age.
Inoculate male kids at ± 3 months according to the Rev 1 formula.
7. Where necessary inoculate against Black Quarter
At ± 1 month old.
- Male kids 3 – 3½ months of age.
- Female kids and geldings 3½ - 4½ months.
From 3 months onwards according to market demands.
1. Pulpy kidney
The Boer Goat is not very susceptible to this disease, but it is preferable to inoculate.
This disease presents a big problem amongst goats and tends to occur under conditions where animals are under stress: drought conditions, sudden severe cold, etc. There are effective inoculations available.
3. Blue udder
Inoculate annually 2 – 4 weeks before kidding season.
Use Brucella inoculation agent Rev 1. Inoculate male kids at 3 – 4 months. This treatment safeguards animals for their entire lifespan.
5. Gangrene of uterus
Inoculate with Clostridium Septicum 2 – 3 months before kidding season on an annual basis.
6. Enzootic abortion
Inoculate ewes annually 4 – 6 weeks before mating.
7. Coryne bacterium
It is abscesses which occur both internal and external.
- Take a specimen for analysis and make sure exactly which bacterium causes your infection.
- Inoculate with the vaccine that causes your infection
- Inoculate once
- After 3 weeks a second inoculation (Booster)
- Thereafter every two months.
- As soon as the abscess is ripe, it is cut open with a vertical cut and pressed out in a receptor and burnt. The wound must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with a disinfectant lotion i.e. Latogin. Isolate the animal until the wound is healed.
Although it is necessary to inoculate under certain circumstances, the following aspects need urgent attention:
- The health conscious public are focussing on organic food at the moment. Therefore it will be a good thing to avoid inoculations & dipping fluid as far as possible.
- Because the Boer Goat has been in Africa for more than 2000 years, it can be done. Select animals resistant against these diseases as well as internal and external parasites, and then breed with these animals. Eventually it will be worthwhile because we will fetch a premium price for our organic meat.
- The Boer goat is not highly susceptible to roundworm, since it prefers to graze at a level above the ground under extensive conditions. However, over a broad spectrum, it is a good idea to dose three weeks after the first spring rains and then again three weeks after the first frost. In the case of cultivated pastures, dosing should take place on a regular basis. Tapeworms present great problems among suckling kids - the latter should therefore be dosed every month.
- Blue lice disease is problematic especially during dry months, dip or use a pour-on agent.
- Ticks are greatly problematic since goats are extremely sensitive to them. Make use of patch treatment or, under severe conditions, use a pour-on agent.
It is recommended that all breeders who wish to make progress rapidly must register at the S.A. Studbook and do performance testing through the ARC.
- Weigh all kids at 100 days and send their weights to the ARC. The result of these tests will enable you to evaluate the kids but mainly the ewes.
- With above indexes in mind you can class the kids by means of the eye, hand method. Those with obvious faults can be eliminated.
- At 270 days weigh for the second time and send the weights to the ARC. Your results are very important because that will show the performance of the kid from weaning up to 9 months.
- The second time around classing is done according to type while keeping the ARC test results in mind. Selection will have to be very strict and the breed standards must be interpreted in full. Because these animals will be your stud for the future you must eliminate all unwanted animals and only keep those that are above average.
- The next classing will take place after a sonar test or just before kidding where all the ewes that does not lamb will be eliminated. This time we select therefore for reproduction of fertility.
- Finally all animals that are too old must be culled.
Because Boer Goats are highly intelligent animals and also have the means to be self-sufficient, it is necessary to implement an effective system to make farming with Boer Goats an immense pleasure.