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What are the differences in management and disease between pet and commercial goats?

By V. Roe

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This study was conducted to determine the differences in management and environment and the common disease problems between pet and commercial goats. Goat owners (n=38) were given questionnaires covering the type of enterprise, management and disease. The owners were categorized using both the number of goats on the premises and their purpose (pet goat owners, small commercial herd and large commercial herd owners). Many differences between the populations were observed. The most common problems that affected pet, large commercial herd and small commercial herd goats were skin problems and lameness; abortions, lameness, diarrhoea, death of unknown cause, listeriosis and teat biting; and lameness, respectively. The majority of problems were common to all groups but often occurred with differing regularity. Differences in group size, grazing, concentrate feeding, assisted kidding, kid rearing, foot trimming, deworming, vaccination and veterinary visits were observed between the groups. However, it was difficult to prove that certain problems were the result of management differences. Pet owners felt poorly informed on looking after their goat. CAE accreditation was less common than expected, and the most common reason for not accrediting was the expense involved. The presence of sheep on the premises was very common in the small commercial herds. Teat biting, listeriosis and Johne's disease were only observed in large commercial herds. Both the small commercial and pet groups had complained of death following weight loss of unknown cause. Pet goat owners and small commercial herds found the veterinary surgeon more useful in diagnosis and treatment than teaching, whereas the opposite was true of large commercial herds.

Date 2003
Publication Title Goat Veterinary Society Journal
Volume 19
Pages 26-40
ISBN/ISSN 0961-2548
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal diseases
  2. Animal husbandry
  3. Bacteria
  4. Bites and stings
  5. Concentrates
  6. Diagnosis
  7. Diarrhea
  8. Diseases
  9. Education
  10. Goats
  11. Grazing
  12. Grooming
  13. Group size
  14. Kidding
  15. Lameness
  16. Mammals
  17. Parasites
  18. pastures
  19. pathogens
  20. Pets and companion animals
  21. Poisoning
  22. prokaryotes
  23. proteins
  24. Quarantine
  25. Questionnaires
  26. rearing
  27. scouring
  28. skin diseases
  29. therapeutics
  30. therapy
  31. vaccination
  32. Veterinary services