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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a week ago, we had our first kids of the year born, set of triplets, all girls, mom only has half of her udder, so I pulled one right away. One still couldn't stand, even after a few days. It seemed like her front legs were weak. She died after a few days, the next one seemed like it was doing really well, but I was a little worried that she wasn't getting enough to eat, a few days later, she died. The one that is in my house is still alive and doing well.

Sunday, I noticed it looked like one of my yearlings aborted (she had some blood on her tail) but I couldn't find any fetuses or any other evidence, but she was only like 2 months into her pregnancy. I also noticed that one of the other does (my best doe from last year, of course) looked a little loose, checked her tailhead, and it was loose. I used marking harnesses on my bucks this year, so I knew the day she was due, it was the 29th, so 2 weeks early. I put her in a kidding pen, and this morning there were 3 dead kids, 2 cleaned off, 1 not, the one that was not cleaned off looked like it had yellow slime stuck to it, maybe indicating a stressful delivery? The insides of the other 2 seemed kind of watery, that's the best way I can describe it. I plan on getting the dead kids tested, if the vet ever calls me back. One was a beautiful moonspotted buckling (brown head and butt with white spots filled in with grey).

Now I'm worried sick about it being chlamydia, (pretty sure my internet thinks I have it, judging by the advertisements on the sides of all the websites I'm on, lol). Any hope that its not that? Also, how do I store the fetuses until the vet decides I'm worth their time? I really don't want to put them in my personal refrigerator. Don't mean to sound negative, but this sucks and I pray it doesn't get worse, sources I've read say that up to 60% of does will abort the 1st year.
 

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Definitely sounds like it could be. I had chlamydia in my herd(or I suspect I do) from 2017-2019 before I noticed and treated with Oxytetracycline. My does were doing the same as yours. 2 aborted 1 month before their due date, 1 had a stillborn, very few does even got pregnant, and the kids that were born those years were weak. I didn't know until my vet did a blood test. They had me pull blood during one of her miscarriages, and then again 20 days later. I didn't think it was chlamydia but on her 3rd/4rh miscarriage they called me back and I was told she did have chlamydia. The whole herd was treated. Does, bucks, and kids. I am treating all of them again(for 5 days) 6 weeks before their due dates. All kids born get treated as well until 2021.

So sorry for all your losses it's never easy. Hopefully the vet calls you back and you can get to the bottom of this and see what you need to be treating for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The vet called me back, after I called again, he also thinks it's chlamydia. Unfortunately the wisconsin vet diagnostic lab is closed due to coronavirus, so I can't get the fetuses tested. He said to give all the does left to kid oxytetracycline injections every other day until they kid. I have the "goat medicine" and it recommends oxytet every 10-14 days, but says that some people do give it every 3 days. What do you guys do?

Also, is this something that I can get rid of, or do I have to slaughter the whole herd, burn everything, and start over? I sell breeding stock and don't want to give this b/s to anyone else.

Where does it come from? The vet says from feed and I read online that pigeons and sparrows can carry it (I'm not great with my birds, but we have a shit ton of little birds that live around here, they really liked my creep feed last year, I feed a mix of black oil sunflower seeds, field peas, and oats, with calcium to balance out the phosphorus.) The birds pooped all lots of stuff, including in water tanks.
 

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You don't have to get rid of your herd! To the best of my knowledge it is completely treatable and you can look forward to a successful kidding season next year.

Did you buy a new buck or new breeding does that your buck bred and then bred others? It's most likely one breeding animal was carrying it and then it was spread from doe to doe by the buck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So would I need to treat the bucks then as well? The vet said it would take 6 doses to get rid of it, but you don't know what the source of infection is, so if they don't have it yet, they might get it before they kid, so you have to keep up the injections. That makes sense, but makes me wonder how I can be rid of it. I didn't get any new animals last year, but 2 years ago, I bought a group of does, one of them had aborted shortly before he delivered them to me, he didn't tell me until he delivered them, so I didn't have a chance to ask him to test her for it. All of them produced live healthy kids last year, only had one abort out of 11, and she died a few weeks later from listeria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Any ideas about it coming from the feed? I'm afraid to feed my usual grain now in case that's where it came from. I bought a bag of 16% protein sweet feed until I figure out what to do, but that's gonna get expensive if I keep feeding that.

As far as treatment, the vet said to give the oxytet at a rate of 4.5ml/100lbs every other day to the pregnant ones until they kid. Some of mine are 2 months out yet, so that's a lot more shots than I really want to do. He said that if they don't have it now, and they get it, you won't know if they did, so you have to keep treating it, since you don't know what the source is. Because I read a recommendation of every 10-14 days, I was thinking an initial round of 6 shots for everyone, then giving it to the pregnant ones every 10 days, on the logic that if they don't have it yet, theoretically, the concentration of the virus(bacteria? not sure which) should still be low when they do get it. Thoughts?
 

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The first set of triplets you described in your post...were they born at term?

I did not know it could come from feed or birds ... I'm not sure. It's a true STD. Did your buck breed any friends does last year? It's perplexing that you haven't brought in any new animals in the past year but I would suspect the doe you lost last year that miscarried may have been part of the problem. Are your bucks separated from the does right now? Yes I would definitely treat the bucks.

Most animal shelters these days offer spayed/neutered feral cats in pairs for barn cats relatively inexpensive adoption fee. Is this an option for you? Solved my bird issues!! Put them in a very large wire dog crate for 3 weeks and then leave it open one day. Feed them one 5.5 ounce can of Friskies per head per day or get the 13 ounce cans. I don't offer dry food because I don't want it sitting out and attracting more pests. I'm SO SO thrilled not to have birds in my barn anymore. I hardly ever see the cats, they are terrified of people, but they come eat & patrol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The feed I usually feed is a custom mix of black oil sunflower seeds, yellow field peas, and whole oats, with yeast and calcium added to balance out the phosphorus, so no urea, I avoid that if I can. The 1st set were born at 145 days, so not really early.

for the past 3 or 4 years, one of my bucks has gone to breed a couple of does, but as far as I know, they've never had any problems, not to say that they would necessarily tell me, but I'd like to think they would.

Our neighbor has a couple of cats, they come over and chew on our mulch pile on occasion. But we've got a whole flock of birds here that learned I left creep feed with sunflower seeds in it sitting out all day. We also don't have a barn, so not really anywhere for cats to live. The shed stays shut tight to keep out animals (that's where my feed is stored).

Do you think it could be listeria? I know that's usually caused by moldy feed and can cause abortions. I have't had any wet mold for a long time, but we did have to buy hay recently and I did notice there were a few moldy spots on the bottom of the bales (big squares), but didn't really think anything of it because it was dry.
 

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could also be toxoplasmosis? We Had that got through our herd a long time ago. We were new to goats at the time and were getting oats from a guy who stored it in grain wagons. ***** pooped in it, and that probably how we got it. 85% of our does aborted, had dead kids, or gave birth early that year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
lol, just realized I made a silly mistake, it has to be a bacteria, if it was a virus, antibiotics wouldn't do anything.

I would kind of doubt toxoplasmosis, but without being able to test for anything, I can really rule anything out for sure. Would the antibiotics help with that as well? That'd be great, if I could cover all the potentials with the same treatment. The only grain in the mix that I (currently) don't grow is the sunflower seeds, the oats went from the combine into bags, through the fanning mill, back into bags, until I use them. The peas had to be dried because we couldn't get them to dry in the field. We always have a problem with deer damage, and the deer poop is just the right size for the scour clean on the combine to miss, so that always ends up mixed in, but that's usually dry and I pick it out before I feed it. The sunflowers come from the big farm store, and I know there are ***** in the warehouse where they are stored (I work there). I usually make sure I grab bags that haven't been pooped on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, now that kidding is done, I wanted to post an update. The antibiotic seemed to work, at first, the next 4 sets of kids born were alive and (mostly) healthy, we only lost 2 out of 9, I think both were from exposure, this earlier in the year than we've kidded before, I added heat lamps after that. Then, one doe kidded 2 weeks early, the kid lived for a few hours (which makes me wonder if the 1st set of triplets were actually born dead or not), a yearling aborted the next day, the kid wasnt much bigger than a softball, so quite early. Another yearling kidded and her kid lived for a few days, he was also fairly small and had a hard time standing, when he died, I noticed that there was skin over his front teeth that was just starting to break. Is that normal? I've read premature kids don't have all of their teeth erupted, but I always assumed that meant 'not through the gums yet'. The last doe kidded with a big healthy baby boy. We ended up with 9 kids out of 11 does. It would have been 20 if they had all lived.

I am starting to strongly suspect listeria as the cause. The round bales I bought have moldy spots in them that are hard to see in the dark. Now that the sun is up earlier and later, I can see easier to remove it, plus I'm being a lot less picky about trying to save the hay around the moldy spots, the whole slab just goes in the junk pile. I also noticed that all of my goats with kiko in them had better success than other does in their age range. Any one ever heard of this?

I know there's a lot here that may or may not be important to the beginning question, but I wanted to post an update in case it helps someone reading this in the future.
 

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Mold and listeria could be a lot of your problem. Kikos are a pretty hardy breed. They were imported because they required no assistance in kidding and had a good parasite resistance (especially in Nee Zealand).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I prefer that to chlamydia, I can prevent moldy hay easier. We have been growing some of our own grain, but this year are putting the remaining few acres into hay/pasture. I can buy grain pretty safely, apparently can't buy hay so safely. We're also considering going grain free altogether, but that's a whole different conversation, lol.
 

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Ugh, I'm sorry that was still a pretty crap kidding season.

Because you did have a positive Chlamydia test in there, even if that did not cause all of the issues, I would consider completing a course of antibiotics on any and all breeding bucks. You should also discuss with your veterinarian if you should do a of course of antibiotics during your does pregnancy next year.
 
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