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I am new to raising meat goats, started my herd this spring. And now I am almost regretting it already. I purchased most of my goats (75 head) from the same herd. Was told it was a closed herd for the past 5 years. Animals all looked healthy, well taken care of etc.
a few months after getting them home, we noticed one was “off” dewormed her, gave her antibiotics etc and she was still losing weight. We got the vet out and she did a blood sample, from her and 2 others.
Can back yesterday as johnes positive

I am now getting all the old does tested in a couple weeks. We have 20 kids(2020 offspring) all from the same herd. We are kidding come May.

I am so upset and mad at myself, I know buying from a herd that test for disease is not always possible, and I couldn’t fiNd any does from disease tested herd at the time I was looking so this seemed like the next best option.

I guess my question is, I know johnes is out there, probably more so then goat owners want to admit. I am in close contact with my vet of how to manage my herd going forward, how has anyone dealt with it, how long does it take to remove the disease from the herd? Is that even possible? Is testing every year and culling the positives the best way to do it? Of is it best to cull the whole herd?
 

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I'm sorry that sucks we had the same problem only with CL, for me I would've culled everyone but with so many goats you would be losing I would get the younger kids tested, if you had any kids born this year I would get moms tested because sadly it can affect the babies even before they're born

http://adga.org/johnes-disease/
definitely read up on that, anyone that comes back negative should be put away from positives until you can cull them, it goes through manure and water I've read
 

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I'm so sorry.

Johnes is no fun. I've had experience with it in my own Boer herd.

In my opinion, you don't need to cull the whole herd. However, my herd is much smaller than yours. I would focus on testing does that have kidded once and are in the 2-3 year old range.

For costs up front, I wouldn't bother testing those older than 5 years old immediately. They probably are not the ones shedding as they would be dead by that age in most cases. Of course there is some mystery about active disease and carriers, but you want to remove the animals that will scour soon first. In addition, don't pay to test does that haven't kidded yet, the immune stress of kidding is what triggers the start of the disease in many animals.

If it is financially feasible, I would get a good meat price on all the 2020 born yearlings now. It's not worth the wait to find out they are positive in 1 or 2 years. In addition, I would plan to sell every kid born in 2021 at weaning weight for meat only buyers. Again, just my own experience! Last year was the first year I retained back some kids for testing and it will be my final proof of eradication, all my kids for the past 2 years have gone for meat.

Here in New England, our soils tend to be slightly acidic. Applying lime to raise the pH of the soil has been proven effective at reducing the lifespan of the Johne's on your farm. Lime everywhere you can!

I'll post the link to my own journey to give you information to help you make decisions. It's a long thread.
 

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I'm sorry that sucks we had the same problem only with CL, for me I would've culled everyone but with so many goats you would be losing I would get the younger kids tested, if you had any kids born this year I would get moms tested because sadly it can affect the babies even before they're born

http://adga.org/johnes-disease/
definitely read up on that, anyone that comes back negative should be put away from positives until you can cull them, it goes through manure and water I've read
It does not spread to kid in-utero. The vast majority of spread occurs from dam to kids due to manure contamination on the udder. At some point, the Johne's bacteria is orally consumed by the kids in just the first few days of life. The dam is not necessarily scouring at transmission.
 

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Oh boy..im so so sorry you are dealing with Johnes. I would follow Saltys advice here.. shes dealt with it and has a pretty solid plan.
 

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It does not spread to kid in-utero. The vast majority of spread occurs from dam to kids due to manure contamination on the udder. At some point, the Johne's bacteria is orally consumed by the kids in just the first few days of life. The dam is not necessarily scouring at transmission.
thank you for correcting me but it sucks that if you don't even know which does have it the babies can still get it :(
 

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I'm so sorry you're dealing with this nightmare! I have not personally dealt with Johnes, but I have done quite a bit of research on it because my neighbors kept an untested Boer herd years ago and I wanted to be as knowledgeable as possible about the potential diseases they might be carrying.

I do want to address this particular reply:

I'm sorry that sucks we had the same problem only with CL, for me I would've culled everyone but with so many goats you would be losing I would get the younger kids tested,
Testing babies for Johnes won't work. For the first 2-3 years of life, Johnes disease hides in nervous tissue where it can't be detected in fecal or blood samples. So your kids will test negative even if they are actually positive. It's not until the disease starts shedding when the goat matures that it can be detected in fecal and blood samples. Fecal testing is the most accurate. However, blood tests are usually cheaper and offer quicker results so they can be a good tool for a first screening of your herd. False negatives are more common in the blood test but false positives are a pretty sure bet for disease.

SalteyLove is a great resource and will probably have the best advice here. I agree that all your kids from last year and this should be sold on the meat market. Waiting around to see if they eventually test positive will only prolong your pain and likely the disease positivity of your herd. I wish there were some easy answers here. :(
 

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I'm so sorry you're dealing with this nightmare! I have not personally dealt with Johnes, but I have done quite a bit of research on it because my neighbors kept an untested Boer herd years ago and I wanted to be as knowledgeable as possible about the potential diseases they might be carrying.

I do want to address this particular reply:

Testing babies for Johnes won't work. For the first 2-3 years of life, Johnes disease hides in nervous tissue where it can't be detected in fecal or blood samples. So your kids will test negative even if they are actually positive. It's not until the disease starts shedding when the goat matures that it can be detected in fecal and blood samples. Fecal testing is the most accurate. However, blood tests are usually cheaper and offer quicker results so they can be a good tool for a first screening of your herd. False negatives are more common in the blood test but false positives are a pretty sure bet for disease.

SalteyLove is a great resource and will probably have the best advice here. I agree that all your kids from last year and this should be sold on the meat market. Waiting around to see if they eventually test positive will only prolong your pain and likely the disease positivity of your herd. I wish there were some easy answers here. :(
So it's a hard situation with those kids you can't test them and it won't show up until a little later in life that sucks and then it goes through manure so if all goats were together there's a pretty good chance they could also carry it:(
 

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So it's a hard situation with those kids you can't test them and it won't show up until a little later in life that sucks and then it goes through manure so if all goats were together there's a pretty good chance they could also carry it:(
Not necessarily, there is little to no evidence of adult goats contracting Johne's, even exposed to positive manure. It really is a disease they contract the first week of life but doesn't show up until several years later. It's quite possible a good majority of the herd is negative.

One concerning things Anne mentioned in her private message is that the goat that tested positive has a low appetite and was drifting apart from the herd. That is definitely not typical with Johne's.
 

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Testing babies for Johnes won't work. For the first 2-3 years of life, Johnes disease hides in nervous tissue where it can't be detected in fecal or blood samples. So your kids will test negative even if they are actually positive. It's not until the disease starts shedding when the goat matures that it can be detected in fecal and blood samples.
That sucks.. I've seen the pictures of Johnes and it's so sad..
 

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Very sorry to hear this!

Keep in mind that Johne’s blood tests can give a false-positive with CL vaccinated or infected animals. I would ask the owner if he vaccinated any of his animals for CL.

The Johne’s ELISA is 99% in specificity which means it’s less than a 1 in 100 chance for a false-positive. However, the sensitivity is ridiculously low (8% to 56%) in subclinical animals. That’s a 44% to 92% chance of a false-negative.

One thing I highly suggest is looking into testing group fecal samples (PCR), so you can see which are actively shedding the disease and help you separate them. You’ll have to continually test, because inactive shedders can still be positive.
 

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Question about Johne's. Does pasturized cows milk carry it if the cow had it and the farmer didn't know or didn't care? (the milk from the grocery store)
I remember reading during my research that pasteurization does not always kill the Johnes bacteria. I can't remember if I was able to find a study finding Johnes in pasteurized grocery store milk. I have wondered about feeding bottle kids but active Johnes would significantly reduce a cow's production so I can't imagine a dairy ignoring that.
 

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I have no experience with Johnes, but reading @SalteyLove 's comment about most kids contracting Johnes in the first few weeks of life...would it be possible to use the same strategy to control Johnes spread as you would use for CAE? Be present at birth, pull kids, feed only safe milk/replacer, keep a separate herd. That would be a tremendous amount of work, but might enable you to keep at least some of your kids.
I have also read about Johnes not being killed by pasteurization...I wonder just how prevalent it is in dairy cattle...is it managed the same way some goat breeders deal with CAE? Don't test, only cull symptomatic cows, don't worry about the rest?
 
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