An impeded transfer of antibodies between the maternal and fetal circulatory system results in goat kids lacking immunity at birth (Hurley & Theil 2011). The dam’s colostrum, which supplies energy, nutrients and growth hormones, also passively provides immunity via immunoglobulin G (IgG) (Hurley & Theil 2011). Without colostrum, morbidity and mortality increases (O’Brien & Sherman 1993). Unfortunately, colostrum is also a source of disease, such as caprine arthritis-encephalitis (CAE) (Reina et al. 2009). Therefore, removal of the offspring prior to maternal colostrum transfer is often practiced (Reina et al. 2009) because it allows for feeding alternative, disease-free colostrum. For goats, colostrum alternatives include: bovine, heat-treated caprine, and artificial bovinebased replacer. While incorrect heat-treatment can reduce IgG content (Tyler et al. 2000) and some artificial replacers fail to improve immunity acquisition (Constant et al. 1994), few adverse effects (e.g. reduced kid survival) of these alternatives have been noted (MacKenzie et al. 1987; Moretti et al. 2012). Worldwide, farmers are attempting kid removal and alternative colostrum feeding, but it is not known to what extent this practice occurs, nor how successful farmers are at preventing colostrum ingestion from the doe. Since bovine and caprine IgG can be measured in serum, presence or absence of either can help determine the colostrum type ingested. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to: 1) determine the prevalence of immediate kid removal, and 2) compare the farmer-reported percentage of kids successfully removed to the percentage of kids with caprine serum IgG (an indicator of doe colostrum ingested).
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 76, Adelaide, 169-171, 2016
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