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Discussion Starter #1
I'm working on a new "food-producing animals" ordinance for Denver, and as part of that process I'm writing a FAQ for the public. I have a couple of Nigis in my backyard, but there are just a few things I'm having trouble figuring out from my various goat books. Your help would be very much appreciated!

All of the questions below are for Nigerian Dwarf and African Pygmy goats, only.

How long do goats live, on average?

How many years can a doe be productive (do goats go through menopause)?

Are there any diseases that goats carry which can be transferred to humans? How common are those diseases?

Many thanks!
 

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Mini goats that have had a very good life, well taken care of, right diet and loved can live to be 18 years old, with the exception of a few that go to beyond 20.
Most premature deaths in any breed occur during kidding in advanced age, a doe will go into heat well into her teens if she's healthy, most breeders retire a doe from breeding at 10 years old...my cut off is 8 years.
Sore Mouth, Cl are the 2 that I know can be transmitted to humans.
 

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Have a 14 year old Nubian. I know that the minis can live longer, into their late teens sometimes.

Usually until 12-14 years. Depends on their care during the years. Usually after 12 their heat cycles become erratic.

Lots of diseases:
Toxoplasmosis-common
Listeria- somewhat common (cheeses)
Antrax- not common in goats (fiber goats mainly).
Brucellosis- not very common
E-coli- not very common, usually seen with cattle or where cattle are on property
Leptospirosis- not very common
Q-fever- somewhat common and on the rise, regional
TB- not common in goats
cryptosporidosis- not very common
ringworm-common
soremouth (orf)-common

Just as many diseases that humans can catch from cats & dogs. Goats are no more dangerous. Just like with any other animal, washing hands and being aware are key to preventing infection with zoonotics (diseases that can jump from animals to humans). I've had goats over 30 years and haven't dealt with any of these issues. Ringworm did happen when I was in 4-H eons ago, my market lamb got it after county weigh-in but I never got it. And it never got into the goats. All those years (30+), we were kidding out anywhere from 30-100 does per year and never had any of the abortion diseases strike. Lucky or careful, or a little of both. Kidding out 65 this year.

Jillian McIntosh
Luckytohave Farm
Nubians & Oberhasli
Oregon
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much, Jillian. Someone asked me yesterday about foot in mouth disease. It looks like it's rare and doesn't often transfer to humans (in the UK, the last time a human caught it was in 1966). Is this disease much of a problem in goat herds? My vet has never mentioned it to me...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I know that Wikipedia is notably unreliable, but found this...

United States 1914-1929
The US has had 9 FMD outbreaks since 1870. The most devastating outbreak happened in 1914. It originated from Michigan, but it was its entry into the stockyards in Chicago that turned it into an epizootic. About 3,500 livestock herds were infected across the US, totaling over 170,000 cattle, sheep and swine. The eradication came at a cost of 4.5 million 1914 USD. A 1924 outbreak in California resulted not only in the slaughter of 109,000 farm animals, but also 22,000 deer. The US saw its latest FMD outbreak in Montebello, California in 1929. This outbreak originated in hogs that had eaten infected meat scraps from a tourist steamship that had stocked meat in Argentina. Over 3,600 animals were slaughtered and the disease was contained in less than a month.[13][14]
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok... just found another article (from the University of Illinois Extension) that said that the last reported outbreak was in 1929, and the US is considered to be hoof and mouth disease-free. Good news! :)
 
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