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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a few questions regarding disease testing. I'm trying to figure out how to get it done so that I can sell my first kids.

How big of a deal is it to test for CL? I'm wondering if I really have to test for CL. I've heard that the test isn't very accurate, and I've never seen any sort of CL lumps on my goats, so is it really necessary to test? I mean as a buyer if a seller didn't test for CL would that be a major red flag? I don't want to go to all the trouble to test for CAE and Johnes if I'm going to be blown off for not testing for CL.

I'm really struggling with the cost of testing. Buying the tubes, the insulated mailer, ice packs, express shipping, and of course the cost of the test is going to run me a little over a hundred dollars when I don't even know the market for these kids in my area and I'm afraid that I'm just throwing that money out the window.

Would it be okay to only test my dams and not the sires?

Are there any labs closer to NC than Idaho that would be cheaper to ship to?

Ugh, I'm kind of stressing out about this. I wish it wasn't so expensive. 馃様
 

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The CL ELISA B has a specificity of about 98% and a sensitivity of about 94%. That means about a 1 in 50 chance for a false-positive and a 3 in 50 chance for a false-negative. According to WADDL, infected animals with active abscesses can test negative due to an antibody delay. That鈥檚 why you should always retest.

CL ELISA tests are entirely more accurate than Johne鈥檚 ELISA tests. With the Johne鈥檚 ELISA, there is a 44% to 92% chance of a false-negative; hence, a negative test is as reliable as picking eeny meeny miney mo.

As for IF you should test, that will be dependent on what your buyers in your area are looking for. Simply not seeing abscesses on your livestock doesn鈥檛 necessarily mean they aren鈥檛 positive. Sometimes CL can hide for a very long time until a stressful event causes the cysts to emerge. Internal cysts do occur as well.

The good news is testing can be done at any time. If you don鈥檛 test for it now, and realize your buyer base really demands testing, then you can always do it later. You could also test animals per the expense of the buyer as well.

I hope this was a little helpful.
 

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I decided to go ahead and test last year, but I sold my first kids from an untested herd and had no trouble selling them. Most people in my area do not care about disease testing...which actually made it hard for me, as I was trying to buy more does to add to my herd. If you decide to test, then that cost should be factored into the pricing for your kids.
As for testing your whole herd, I figure the only way you can really say your kids come from a clean herd is if every goat you own has been tested. CL and Johnes both live in the soil, so if your bucks would have it, there's a very real chance that the kids have been exposed at some level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What is your market? Around me untested goats sell just as easily as tested.
That's what I don't know. I guess I was afraid to not test because I wasn't sure it was ethical, but I'd rather not spend the money if none of my buyers care! If there is no way to cut the cost of testing I'm thinking I'll just put them up for sale and if the buyers want them tested I'll happily do it.
 

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I think that鈥檚 a good plan.
This is a hard one for new buyers because those that don鈥檛 care about testing are cool if they are tested or not but those that are 100% admit want those tests! Which I鈥檓 not saying they are wrong! I would rather someone know what they want from the beginning then later be like oh crap, but a different topic for a different time ;)
The cost really adds up and that is a huge down fall. I added it up for mine, because those that want tested want it every year, and for me I just could not justify another bill and still make money. It really hasn鈥檛 hurt me though. In all my years I had 1 person not touch my goats with a 10 mile pole (lol) over it and one just wanted me to test the dam. I have had a few buyers that have asked if I test and I gave a 鈥渘ope鈥 reply and they still bought my animals so I think they were just going to try and use that as a excuse to talk me down.
 

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I have a few questions regarding disease testing. I'm trying to figure out how to get it done so that I can sell my first kids.

How big of a deal is it to test for CL? I'm wondering if I really have to test for CL. I've heard that the test isn't very accurate, and I've never seen any sort of CL lumps on my goats, so is it really necessary to test? I mean as a buyer if a seller didn't test for CL would that be a major red flag? I don't want to go to all the trouble to test for CAE and Johnes if I'm going to be blown off for not testing for CL.

I'm really struggling with the cost of testing. Buying the tubes, the insulated mailer, ice packs, express shipping, and of course the cost of the test is going to run me a little over a hundred dollars when I don't even know the market for these kids in my area and I'm afraid that I'm just throwing that money out the window.

Would it be okay to only test my dams and not the sires?

Are there any labs closer to NC than Idaho that would be cheaper to ship to?

Ugh, I'm kind of stressing out about this. I wish it wasn't so expensive. 馃様
If you have a closed herd and everyone tests negative, you could try testing every 2-3 years after that. That's what I plan to do to cut down on costs once I get a herd again.
 

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I'm not a breeder, but I have been looking for my first goats (Nigerians) and I've contacted a handful of breeders. Seems like most farms around me only test for CAE and Johnnes. I had the option to buy a doeling from one breeder for $600 that tested for CAE and Johnnes. 2nd doeling from another farm was $500 and they test for CL, CAE, and Johnnes every 2 years. All other things being about equal, I picked the doeling from the herd that had been tested for all 3. I'm real skittish about diseases that can lurk in the soil for years. Sounds like a pain in the butt. Testing is definitely a selling point for me, though I assume that I may be in the minority in that. I am happy to help absorb the cost by paying more for the kid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Testing is definitely a selling point for me, though I assume that I may be in the minority in that.
I was exactly the same way when buying my first goats, so I totally understand. I think it's completely reasonable to want testing done.

If the buyer wants the test, they can pay for it. If you feel your herd is safe and clean. Then tell the buyers.
I do feel my herd is clean, so I think I'm pretty set on only testing upon request.
 

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I'm thinking I'll just put them up for sale and if the buyers want them tested I'll happily do it.
But you can't just test the young kids for sale if someone requests, that definitely would be a waste of money. Testing is really only valid in adult goats, and even then, a disease can lay dormant until a period of stress, so one single test can't declare a clean herd. It's certainly a struggle, the cost and uncertainty of testing are tough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
But you can't just test the young kids for sale if someone requests, that definitely would be a waste of money. Testing is really only valid in adult goats, and even then, a disease can lay dormant until a period of stress, so one single test can't declare a clean herd. It's certainly a struggle, the cost and uncertainty of testing are tough.
I would be testing the adults if asked for. I understand that there is a degree of uncertainty with testing, but I certainly can't test twice this year if that's what you are implying. The uncertainty of testing once is also another reason for me not to. I'm certainly not going to be telling anyone that I have a clean herd, but while this may sound a bit crazy, I can't see how my herd would have gotten any of these diseases when they were all from clean, tested herds and I haven't added any goats since. I know that this kind of stuff can be picked up outside your property so I have a dedicated pair of shoes that I only wear in my pastures and nowhere else.
 
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