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Livestock: GOAT





Goats have been considered as poor man鈥檚 goat(mini goat) because of it鈥檚 immense contribution in rural economy. Goat has been reared since the time immemorial. Goat keeping provides source of regular income to the poor, landless and marginal farmers. Generally goat farming means rearing goats for the purpose of harvesting milk, meat and fibre. Goat farming has become a profitable business and it requires a very low investment.

Goat meat is a great source of consumable meat which is very testy, nutritious and healthy. And goat鈥檚 wool is being used in many purposes and skin of goat plays a vital role in leather industry. Goat milk is easily digestible and has medicinal values. Goats are called the 鈥渇oster mother of human鈥? Because their milk is considered as the best milk for human consumption than any other species of livestock animal鈥檚 milk. And their milk is low cost, nutritious, wholesome and easily digestible. All aged people from child to old one can easily digest goat鈥檚 milk. Goat milk also has lesser allergic problems. There are many advantages of goat farming business. You can also raise goats along with your other livestock animals. As goats are small sized animal, so they are easily maintained. Even they are easily maintained and cared by women and children.


  •  Starting a goat farming business requires low initial investment or capital.

  •  Goats don鈥檛 require huge area for housing because their body size is comparatively smaller than other livestock animals.

  •  Usually goats are very friendly in nature and very lovable.

  •  Goats are good breeders and they reach sexual maturity within their 7-12 months of age and give birth of kids within a short time. And some goat breed produce numerous kids per kidding.

  •  Risks are less for goat farming (even in drought prone areas) than any other livestock farming business.

  •  Both male and female goats have almost equal value/price in the market.

  •  No religious taboo against goat farming and meat consumption.

  •  There is no need of a high end housing system for goats. Even they can easily share their living place with their owners or his/her other livestock animals.

  •  Diseases are less in goats than other domestic animals.

  •  Goats are easily available, comparatively cheaper in price, easy to maintain

  •  They are capable of adopting themselves with almost all types of agro climatic environments or conditions. They can tolerate high and low temperature throughout the world. They also can tolerate hot climate more than other animals.

  •  According to the investment per unit they produce more than other domestic animals. And the ROI (return of investment) ratio is very good.

  •  Goat meat has a huge demand and high price in the local and international markets. Goats can be milked as often as required

  •  You can use the goat鈥檚 manure as a high quality natural fertilizer in crop field.

  •  Commercial goat farming business is a great source of employment and income. So unemployed educated people can easily create a great employment and income source through raising goats commercially.

Breeds of Goat suitable for Konkan region

Konkan Kanyal

  • They are native to the Konkan region of Maharashtra, and are reared mostly by the Dhangar and Maratha communities for meat.

  • These goats are mainly black with a white marking in a specific pattern鈥搕he ventral surface of the body is white and the legs have white 鈥榮tockings鈥? Konkan Kanyal goats have bilateral white strips from nostrils to ears; a flat and broad forehead; flat, long drooping ears; backward, straight, pointed, cylindrical horns; white muzzle and long legs, laterally black, medially white from knee to the fetlock joint. 

  • The body weight of adult bucks and does averages 35 and 30 kg respectively. Konkan Kanyal goats are regular breeders and breed round the year, with a twinning percentage of about 66%.










            Konkan Kanyal goat


         The semi arid region of Maharashtra comprising of Nasik, Ahmednagar and Pune districts forms the native habitat of the Sangamneri goat breed.

         The breed derives its name from the Sangamner Tehsil of Ahmednagar District. They are medium-sized animals. The coat is completely white with mixtures of black and brown. Ears are long and drooping. Both sexes have horns directed backward and upward. The litter size is mainly single however 15 鈥?20% goats show twinning whereas triplets are rare.

          The average daily milk yield varies between 0.5 to 1.0 kg with an average lactation length of about 160 days. Although this breed is reared mainly for meat, some animals show a good milch potential. Dressing percentage is about 41% at 6 months, 45% at 9 months and 46% at 12 months of age.

Adult Male                  Adult Female

Average Body weight (kg)                 39 to 42                       32 to 34

Average Body length (cm)                 73 to 75                       68

Average Height at withers (cm)          74 to 76                       69

Average Chest girth (cm)                    73 to 76                       73










            Sangamneri breed buck and doe


         Osmanabadi goats are native to the Latur, Tuljapur and Udgir taluks of Osmanabad district of Maharashtra, from where they derive their name. They are also fairly widespread in Karnataka, and the Nizamabad district of Andhra Pradesh.

          The goats are large in size. The colour of the coat varies, but is mostly black (73%), with the rest being white, brown or spotted. Ninety per cent males are horned; females may be horned or polled.

         The breed is considered useful both for meat and milk. Average daily milk yield varies from 0.5 to 1.5 kg for a lactation length of about 4 months. In favourable conditions they breed regularly twice a year and twinning is common.  

Adult Male     Adult Female    

Average Body weight (kg)                     31 to 36           32 to 33

Average Body length (cm)                     67 to 71           67

Average Height at withers (cm)              76 to 79           75

Average Chest girth (cm)                         70 to 74               72











            Osmanabadi buck and doe


  •  Malabari also known as Tellicherry or Cutch are native to Kerala.

  • Malabari goats are reared for milk and meat and their skin is popular in the tanning industry.

  • The animals are medium in size. They have no uniform colour and the coat varies from completely white to black.

  • All males and a small number of females are bearded. They have a medium sized head with a flat and occasionally a Roman nose with medium sized ears directed outward and downward.

  • Malabari goats are reared under a semi-intensive management system, with 4 to 6 hours of grazing supplemented with stall feeding in the evening.

  • The breed is quite prolific and has a 50% twinning, 25% triplets and 5% quadruplets kidding percentage.

  • The milk yield ranges from 0.5 to 1.5 litres a day with an average of 90 kg in a lactation period of 178 days. 


                                                            Adult Male     Adult Female

Average Body weight (kg)                 43 to 46           34

Average Body length (cm)                 77 to 79           68

Average Height at withers (cm)          77                    64

Average Chest girth (cm)                    79 to 81           73






















        Malabari doe with kid



         The Jamunapari breed is native to the north-west arid and semi-arid regions of Etawah district in Uttar Pradesh, although they are currently found in a number of states, from Assam and West Bengal in the east, to Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir in the north, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand in central India, and Karnataka in the south.

          They are white with tan or black markings on the neck and ears; a beard is present in both bucks and does with a tuft of long hair on the hind legs. They are considered the largest and most elegant of the long legged goats of India. They have long and pendulous ears (26-28 cm), tubular with the opening towards the front. The horns are short and flat, horizontal and twisting backwards.

          Kidding occurs once a year resulting mostly in single births and at times twins.

          The Jamunapari breed is a dual purpose breed with good meat and skin. The milk yield is 280 kgs in a lactation period averaging 274 days; the highest recorded is 4 kg a day with a lactation yield of 575 kg. The fat content of milk ranges from 5.2 to 7.8 percent.


Adult Male      Adult Female

Average Body weight (kg)                 43 to 46           38

Average Body length (cm)                 76 to 78           75

Average Height at withers (cm)          77 to 79           75

Average Chest girth (cm)                    78 to 81           76









        Jamunapari goat doe and buck

Attappady Black

         The Attappady Black breed is native to the Palakkad district of Kerala. The economy of this region, home to the Irula, Muduka and Kurumba tribal communities, is primarily dependent on goat rearing and some agricultural activities.

          This local goat breed evolved and developed by tribal communities in the region, is medium sized, lean and slender bodied and black in colour. They have bronze coloured eyes and black horns with curved backward oriented tips. The ears are black and pendulous and the tail is curved and bunchy.

          Attappady goats are poor milk producers and are reared mainly for meat.

         The birth weight of males and females is around 1.73 kg and 1.60 kg respectively.

          Sheds to house the Attapaddy are often constructed above the ground. The uncontrolled natural breeding of female goats by non-descript bucks has diluted the purity of the breed.

         A small number are also found in the state of Haryana. The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources has put the Attappady Black goat breed on the 鈥榚ndangered species list鈥?

 Adult Male      Adult Female

Average Body weight (kg)                 34 to 36           31

Average Body length (cm)                 67                    63

Average Height at withers (cm)          80                    67

Average Chest girth (cm)                    71 to 73           68 to 70










Source: The South Asia Pro Poor Livestock Policy Programme (SA PPLPP)







































 Floor made of wooden planks       Shed with open paddock











    Selecting Farm Area

    Select a suitable farm land/area that has the following facilities

1.      Great source of fresh and clean water supply.

2.      Easily available food source.

3.      Fertile field for crop, grasses and other green plant production. Feeding green fodder keeps the animal healthy, productive and reduces feeding costs.

4.      Availability of full time labor.

5.      Good transportation and veterinary service.

6.      A market near the farm land so that you can sell your products easily and buy necessary commodities.


Suitable goat housing or shelter is very important for goat farming business. Because goats also need house like other domestic animals for staying at night, security, preventing them from adverse climate, cold, sunlight etc. Some people used to keep their goats with other domestic animals such as goat, sheep etc. Even in some areas, people used to keep their goats under trees.


    Before building house for goats, read the following tips very carefully.

  Try to select a dry and higher place for making the goat house. Ensure that, the selected goat housing area is high enough to keep the goats safe from floods.

  You must have to keep the floor of the house dry always.

  Always ensure the huge follow of light and air inside the house.

  Make house in such a way so that it become very suitable for controlling temperature and moisture.

  Always keep the house free from being damped. Because damping condition is responsible for various diseases.

  Try to make the wall of the house with concrete or by using bamboo poles.

  The house must have to strong and comfortable.

  Keep enough space inside the house for taking rest.

  The house must have to have the facilities of cleaning well regularly.

  Goats are affected easily by cold and water. So take extra care in rainy and winter season. Otherwise they may caught by Pneumonia.


    1.      Rearing in mud floor

In this method, once in a year 1-2 inches of mud surface should be removed. Application of lime powder once in a month will reduce the disease occurrence in the shed. The shed should be constructed in elevated area to prevent water stagnation.

    2.      Deep litter shed

In this method the litter materials ground nut husk, sugarcane tops etc. are spread on the floor for a depth of 陆 feet and animals are reared in it. The urine and dung mixed with the litter materials and used as fertilizer. The litter materials should be removed once in six months. In heavy rain seasons, the litter materials should not be over wet to prevent ammonia gas production.

    3.      Elevated floor shed

Its initial investment is high. In the wooden floor sheds, in a distance of 3m from the floor, the animals are reared. This requires less labour and more irrigation land for the fodder production.

This type of houses is made over pole. The floor of the house heights about 1 to 1.5 meters (3.5 to 5 ft) from the ground. This type of house keeps the goat free from damping condition, flood water etc. The poles and floor in this housing system are usually made with bamboo or wood. This types of house is very suitable for goat farming, because it is very easy to clean. And you can easily clean the closet and urine of goat form the house. Diseases are also less in this housing system.

    Concrete House
        This types of goat houses are fully made with concrete, and slightly expensive. But concrete houses have many advantages. It is very easy to clean the house, and easy to always keep your goats safe from all types of predators. You can construct the house over ground or over concrete poles. Both types are easily maintained. Diseases are less in this housing system. But it is very expensive method of goat housing.


    Required Space for Goats

  • In accordance with increasing the body size and weight of goats, they require more space.

  • A house of 1.8 meter x 1.8 meter x 2.5 meter (5.5 ft x 5.5 ft x 8.5 ft) is suitable enough for housing 10 small goats.

  • Every adult goat needs about 0.75 meter x 4.5 meter x 4.8 meter housing space.

  • Every billy goat needs 2.4 meter x 1.8 meter housing space.

  • It will be better, if you can keep the nursing and pregnant goats separately.

  • You can extend or decrease the area of goat house according to the number of goat in your farm. But keep in mind that, every goat needs their required space for proper growing and better production.


    Chart of Required Space for Goats According to Their Age and Nature



Required space (square  meter

Baby Goat


Adult Goat


Pregnant Goat


Billy Goat



General Management Practices

Determination of Age

The age of a goat judged from its front teeth (incisors) on the lower jaw. There are no teeth on the upper jaw. The kid at birth, or shortly afterwards, has teeth on the lower jaw. These are known as suckling teeth. They are small and sharp in kids. When the kid is 12 to 14 months old the central pair is shed and is replaced by two large permanent teeth; when 24 to 26 months old two more small teeth are shed and are replaced by two large teeth, one on each side of the first pair; when 36 to 38 months old there are six permanent teeth, and when 48 to 50 months old a complete set of four pairs of permanent teeth are present. Occasionally teeth develop much more quickly and the goat may have all its permanent teeth by the time it is three years old. Once all the permanent teeth have developed the degree of wear and tear gives a rough indication of age. The teeth start wearing four to six weeks after eruption. Wearing of teeth depends upon the type of feed and care given to the animals. Some may mature early and others late. Age of eruption of teeth serves as a reasonable and dependable guide for judging maturity.


Each goat in a herd should be marked in the same manner by using some identification mark such as tattooing, metal ear-tags or notching of the ears. The tattooing system is used almost universally.


Tagging in goat & Different type of Tags

Disbudding and Dehorning

This should be done when the male kid is two to five days old and the female kid is up to 12 days old. The hair should be clipped from around the horn-bud, and this area covered with petroleum jelly to protect it from caustic soda or potash, which should be thoroughly rubbed on the bud until the horn-bud is well blistered. Caustic soda should not come into contact with the eyes. An electric de homer can also be used safely. 'The kid should be muzzled gently so that it can breathe freely; otherwise partial suffocation may occur. Mature goats can be dehorned by sawing off the horns close to the head with a meat saw. This should be done in winter when flies are not troublesome. The wound should be dressed.



Male goats are raised mainly for meat and not for breeding. For this reason males are castrated with an emasculator, or torsion forceps. The best time for castrating bucks is when they are six months old with the Burdizzo instrument. This avoids all risks of infection. Castration improves the flesh of the adult buck. A castrated male is' called a wether.



The goats require exercise for maintaining themselves in a good condition. Stock on range receives sufficient exercise while grazing. Stall-fed goats should be let loose in a large paddock for at least three to four hours a day. The bigger the paddock, the better they enjoy. Goats should not be let loose in the paddock or sent out for grazing until the dew has dried up, i.e. not until one to two hours after sunrise. Grazing on wet grass with dew is likely to result in tympanites and intestinal inflammation.

Hoof Trimming 

Hoof trimming is necessary for the well-being of goats. If neglected it can weaken legs, ruin feet and lower milk production. The goats soon become used to trimming as a monthly routine. Sharp pen-knives or curved hand-pruning shears can be used effectively.

Selecting the Doe  

An outstanding doe is the nucleus of a productive herd. Selection of a doe should be made with great care. Good body development is essential for high milk production. The doe should be well grown, healthy in appearance, and stand squarely on her feet and not down on the pastern. The body should be wedge-shaped and sharp at the withers. The depth of the ribs denotes capacity for consuming large amounts of food. The thighs should provide plenty of room for a round, well 颅attached udder of fair size.


The skin should be loose, pliable and free from dryness. Poor condition of flesh may be an indication of a good milker, while a poor milker may be in good flesh. The neck should be thin and the head narrow. The eyes should be clear and bright. Does should be truly feminine in appearance and mild in temperament. It is difficult to handle, milk, feed and manage nervous goats. The milk potential cannot be estimated from the size of the udder. The udder of a good milch goat should be soft and pliable rather than meaty. The teats should be pointed slightly forward. The udder in a freshly milked goat should have a collapsed appearance.

Selecting the Buck 

The buck should have a strong, well-developed frame and good conformation and breed characters. Good depth of ribs is essential. Legs should be straight and well placed under the body. The buck should be healthy and free from external and internal parasites. He should be chosen from a good milking strain and should be the progeny of dams having good performance record. Poor condition of flesh is not a serious drawback, since bucks usually worry a good deal, especially during the rutting season. Many herdsmen prefer the bucks to be hornless. A well 颅grown buck kid maybe bred to 'five or six does during his first season at an approximate age of six months. When 18 to 24 months old he may be permitted to service 25 to 30 does, and when fully mature 50 to 60 does in a breeding season.


Mating Season 

The does are more or less continuous breeders. The signs of heat in the doe usually are uneasiness, tail shaking, pink and swollen genitalia, frequent urination, restlessness, bleating and a little mucous discharge for one to three days. The period between heats varies from 18 to 21 days. It is better to inseminate the doe on the second day of the heat period. The sperms survive in the female genital tract for 22 to 42 hours. Mating should be so timed that the kids are born in a season when mortality among them is at its lowest and an adequate amount of food is available for their nourishment and growth. Breeding seasons will, therefore, vary with breed, locality and climate.

Mating of the Doe

Does may be mated when 10 to 15 months old so that they kid at the age of 15 to 20 months.  But as a rule a goat should not be mated until it is one year old.  The average gestation period is 151 卤3 days.  It is better to breed the female once a year.  Some goats can be made to kid twice in 18 months.  The goats reach their maximum efficiency at the age of five to seven years.  In exceptional cases they continue to be serviceable even up to 12 years and in rare cases up to 14 years.  A well maintained doe may continue to be milked until a month before she is expected to kid again.  The condition of the doe during gestation will have a very great influence on the quality of kids at birth.  A doe in good condition will produce strong lively kids, whereas a doe in poor condition may produce ungainly kids, weak in constitution.  Does must be fed well, allowed liberal exercise and protected from rain and cold.


Goats in Kid 

A temporary increase in milk yield after mating is considered to be an indication of pregnancy, but the first sign that a doe is in kid is the cessation of the Periodical return of oestrus. During the first three months of pregnancy there is little alteration in the shape of the in-kid does. The head of the kid can sometimes be felt from six to eight weeks. An old doe or a young doe which is to give birth to one kid may be very misleading in appearance and show no sign of pregnancy. Six to eight weeks before kidding, young does commence to show udder development, but this is by no means a sure sign of pregnancy as they will frequently show such development and even have milk in the udder when they are not in kid.

                            Pregnant Doe

An average goat can rear well two kids. Goats are known to give birth to as many as five kids at a time, but birth of such large numbers affects the health of the goat. The incidence of twinning varies with the breed, environment and number of kidding. The Beetal goats at Hisar Farm produced in a year, on an average, 35 per cent singlet, 54 per cent twins, 6路3 per cent triplets and 0路4 per cent quadruplets. In Jamunapari the percentage of twinning varies from 19 to 50 with an average of 35, and in Barbari from 47 to 70. 

Care of pregnant goat

1. Keep pregnant animals separated from others 
2. Provide adequate nutrition, easily digestible and laxative diet
3. Do not allow them to fight with each other 
4. Do not allow them to mix with recently aborted animals 
5. Shortly before the doe is due to freshen, clip hair around the udder, hind quarters and tail for greater cleanliness.
6. If the goat continuous to produce milk, dry her off at least 6 to 8weeks before expected kidding.

Care of newborn kids

Clean the nostrils and remove the placental membranes sticking on the kid, by gently rubbing with dry cotton or rags. Holding the kids up by hind legs with head downward for few seconds, will aid in clearing the respiratory tract. The kid will get up and start walking within half an hour. Allow the doe to lick the kids dry. Immerse the end portion of umbilical cord in tincture iodine. Repeat this after 12 hours. The kid should get its first drink of colostrum within 30 minutes of birth. If the kids do not suck properly, the teats should be held by the hand and pressed into their mouth. Once they have drawn a little of the milk, it will not be long before they take to the normal method of sucking.

  • Take care of newborn kids by providing guard rails.
  • Treat / disinfect the naval cord with tincture of iodine as soon as it is cut with a sharp knife.
  • Protect the kids from extreme weather conditions, particularly during the first two months.
  • Dehorn the kids during first two weeks of age.
  • Male kids should be castrated for better quality meat production.
  • Vaccinate the kids as per the recommended schedule.
  • Wean the kids at the age of 8 weeks.

Proper selection of kids on the basis of initial body weight and weaning weight should be initiated by maintaining appropriate records for replacing the culled adult stock as breeders.
Additional feed requirements of lactating does must be ensured for proper nursing of all the piglets born.

Care at milking

Keep the lactating doe away from the buck. Bruising of the teats and udder of goats should be avoided. Generally goats are milked twice a day. Prepare the goat for milking by washing the udder with lukewarm water and keep it dry with clothing. To prevent injury to the udder, first close the thumb and first finger, then close the second finger, followed by third finger. Use a steady pressure. Finally close the little finger and squeeze with the entire hand until the milk is drawn. Now release the pressure on the teat and open the finger so that the teat can refill. Repeat the process until very little milk comes out. Both the hands can be simultaneously used for milking.

Care of young Doe

 They should be provided with good quality feed and fodders. Stock for breeding purposes or in progeny- testing programme should be weighed weekly and the weight recorded in the register . Protect them against disease, which can be effected by vaccinations.

Management of doe

The doe comes into heat every 18-24 days with an average of 21 days. The duration of heat period 2 to 3 days. The gestation period 151卤3 days. Generally, the breeding season is spread all over the year and under good feeding and management conditions, two pregnancies in a year are possible.

Reproductive Management


Age of attainment of puberty:

7 months to 1 year

Approximate weight at first mating:

15-18 kg

Age at first mating or insemination:

8 months to 12 months

Oestrous cycle :

Generally every 18-21 days

Duration of heat:

14 鈥?48 hours

Gestation period:

145 鈥?156 days

Age at first kidding:

13 鈥?7 months

Ideal kidding rate:

3 in 2 consecutive years

Service period :

45 days

Minimum dry period :

30 days


Signs of heat

  • Wagging of tail. The frequency of tail movement increases in the presence of males.
  • Frequent bleating, more so when the goat is alone.
  • Excitement or restlessness.
  • Anorexia and lack of interest in feed.
  • Drop in milk yield.
  • Vulva becomes swollen and oedematous.
  • Small quantity of clear discharge from the vagina.
  • Doe anxiously goes seeking the buck.
  • It remains close to the buck and allows mounting.
  • It mounts on other goats and allows to be mounted by others.

Gestation period

Symptoms at various stages of gestation in goats

Stage of gestation




Non pregnant or before 25 days

No tension of the wall

Within pelvic cavity no hypertrophy

Located within pelvic cavity, no clear asymmetry of horns (slightly asymmetric in some of the does), harder consistency.

30 days


Within pelvic cavity

Located at pelvic brim, clear asymmetry of horns with softer and fluid filled consistency.

45 days

Slight stretching of the wall

Located at pelvic brim, slightly hard in consistency but no hypertrophy

Located in front of the pelvic brim, complete retroversion into the pelvic cavity possible. Clear distension of uterus, softer in consistency, horns distinguishable in some cases.

60 days

Stretched forward

At pelvic brim, slightly hypertrophied and soft.

Located in front of the pelvic brim, complete retroversion possible in about 20% cases, marked distension of uterus, fluid filled consistency, uterine horns indistinguishable.

90 days

Stretched forward

In front of pelvic brim, slightly hypertrophied and softer.

Uterus within abdominal cavity, only posterior aspect of uterus palpable. Internal ballotment of foetus possible in 80% of the cases, placentome slip palpable in 30%.

120 days

Slight relaxation of vaginal stretching

In front of pelvic brim, large and soft, difficult to palpate in 20% cases

Only posterior aspect of uterus palpable, internal ballotment of foetus possible and placentome slip palpable in all cases. Foetal parts and large placentomes palpable in 90% of the animals.

145 days

Slight relaxation of vaginal stretching

In front of pelvic brim, large and soft, difficult to palpate in 20% cases.

Foetal parts palpable within pelvic and placentomes palpable in 85% of the animals.


Artificial Insemination of Goats


In goat production, this technique has been limited to mostly dairy goat herds. However, meat goat producers have shown interest in learning this technique to accelerate genetic gain in their herds.

Advantages of AI

AI is the best way to spread elite genetic material throughout a population. Semen can be collected from top bucks, frozen, and then transported throughout the world where it can be utilized by large populations to facilitate progeny testing. Progeny testing involves breeding offspring to determine their genetic merit.

AI helps producers to utilize their prize bucks that may be physically injured and unable to mate.

AI allows producers to increase their herds without purchasing and maintaining bucks or losing them to predators, injury, or illness.

AI is effective in controlling diseases.

AI is an important breed preservation process.

Disadvantages of AI

The technician must be well trained in the anatomy, function, and regulation of the doe reproductive tract to manipulate the reproductive function and estrus synchronization.

AI requires special equipment and facilities.

It requires a great deal of time to check heat that is crucial for a successful process. On average, a doe's heat phase lasts for 12 to 48 hours.

AI increases capacity to disseminate undesirable genes in a population.

The Doe's Estrous Cycle

The doe's estrous cycle is the interval between two estrus or heat periods that lasts an average of 21 days. The estrus or heat can last from 12 to 48 hours. During estrus does are receptive to being mounted by bucks. For artificial insemination, it is important to identify when a doe is in heat. Producers are encouraged to utilize teasers, usually a vasectomized buck to identify a doe in heat.

Steps to Conduct Intrauterine AI in Does with Frozen Semen

Identify the doe in heat and certify the correct time for AI.

For a better access to the doe's cervical os, place doe in the stand, with the back legs up, raising its back and leaving its front legs in support and its neck and head toward the ground.

If needed, wash the doe's vulva with clean water to remove any dirt, and dry the area with a clean paper towel.

Introduce the vaginal speculum and be sure to check for the appropriately-sized speculum. If needed, apply a nonspermicidal lubricant or petroleum jelly to facilitate the introduction of the speculum in the vagina. To introduce the speculum, open the labia of the vulva with one hand and with the other hand, gently introduce the thinner extremity of the speculum. As soon as it is introduced in the vagina, use a little pressure to orient the speculum toward and down to the vaginal floor. Use light source to visualize the cervical os. Be sure to distinguish the cervical os from the pleats of the vagina.

Examine mucus consistency and, if needed, remove excessive vaginal mucus with the speculum.

If it is time for AI 颅 Determine which buck the doe should be inseminated to before thawing the semen.

Thaw the semen. Prior to thawing the semen, use a thermometer to check for water temperature (95 to 98掳 F) before withdrawing the straw from the tank. Never lift a canister above the frost line of the tank. When the straw is removed with a forcep or tweezer from the tank it should be placed immediately in the thaw bath.

Do not expose semen to direct sun light.

Do not refreeze semen that has been thawed.

Remove straw from the tank for periods as brief as 5 seconds. If you cannot remove the straw at the first attempt, lower the caner back to the bottom of the tank for at least 30 seconds before trying again. Stay out of direct sunlight because ultraviolet light has a spermicidal effect that will kill the sperm cells.

Rapidly deposit the straw in the thaw bath to protect it from the sunlight.

Warm the barrel of the straw gun.

Dry the straw with a clean paper towel.

Cut the correct extremity of the straw or the opposite side of the cotton plug.

Insert straw into gun; be sure to protect the straw from the sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Place the plastic sheath over the gun barrel.

Return to the doe, introduce a clean vaginal speculum, and remove excess mucus.

Introduce the gun into the vagina to the direction of the cervical os, passing the gun through cervical rings until it reaches the uterine lumen, the interior of the uterus. If the operator encounters resistance in accessing the interior of the uterus, deposit the semen in the exterior of cervix, and make a note of this in your records.

Remove the gun speculum and leave the doe for a few minutes in the standing position before releasing her.

Observe if reflux of the semen to the gun occurred.

If possible, use a microscope to check for semen left in the straw. Check for sperm motility.

Release the doe from the AI stand gently. Record information from empty straw before discarding.

 (Source: Dr.Acharya, Handbook of Animal Husbandry; Agritech portal TNAU; www.vuatkerala.org ).



Classification of Goat Feed


Like the food of other domestic animals, goat feed should contain proper amount of protein, fat, minerals and vitamins. Goats usually drink less water than other livestock animals. Always try to provide them fresh and clean water. The types of goat feed are described below.



These types of feed contain more than 18% fibre and less than 60% total digestible nutrient. Roughage for goats is of two types. Dry roughage and succulent roughage. Succulent roughage contains 75-95% water. Grasses, maize, Napier, jack fruit leaf, cabbage, vigna sinensis, pulse etc. are the source of green roughage. Goats are ruminants and they can take nutrition easily form roughage feed.


Concentrate Feed

            Grainy feed or feed mixer is easily digestible and enriched with various types of nutritious ingredients such as protein, carbohydrate and fat. This type of goat feed contain less water and less than 18% fiber. Total digestible nutrient is less than 60%. The main sources of grainy goat feed are pulse, wheat, maize, rice, gram, pea, triticum aestivus, potato etc. Besides these, mustered cake, sesame cake, molasses, agricultural byproducts etc. are also good as grainy goat feed source. For making balanced and nutritious goat feed, you need to mix different types of vitamins and minerals in the grainy feed. Along with this, you can get more vitamins and minerals from different types of vegetables. By consuming roughage feed, your goats can only survive their life. But for producing meat, milk, skin or fur from goat commercially, you must have to feed them different types of grainy feed along with roughage/greens. Mix different types of ingredients in the grainy goat feed. This will increase the taste of food and goat can easily digest it.


Balanced Goat Feed
           The food which contains all nutrient ingredients in proper ratio and quantity to meet up the demand of goat鈥檚 body is known as 鈥榖alanced goat feed鈥? Every goat needs quality nutritious food for healthy live and better production. If your goats do not get balanced feed, then they will not get nutritious ingredients according to their demand. And it will reduce their production capability and damage their product鈥檚 quality. Follow the chart of nutritious goat feed.




 Goat (%)


Goat (%)


Goat (%)


Goat (%)






Maize/Broken Wheat





Sesame/Nut Cake





Wheat Powder





















In case of raising dairy goats, providing sufficient amount of greens and water play a vital role. Along with providing the goats nutritious food, ensure availability of sufficient amount of greens. And provide them adequate clean and fresh water according to their demand.

Feeding of breeding does

If the availability of pasture is good there is no need to supplement concentrate mixture. In poor grazing condition animals may be supplemented with concentrate mixture @150 鈥?350 g of concentrate / animal/day depending up on the age. The digestible crude protein level of concentrate mixture used in the adult feed is 12 per cent.

Feeding does during the first four months of pregnancy:

Pregnant animals should be allowed in good quality pasture 4-5 hours per day. Their ration must be supplemented with available green fodder at the rate of 5 kg per head per day.

Feeding does during the last one month of pregnancy:

            In this period fetal growth increases 60 鈥?80 per cent until parturition and lack of enough energy in the feed can cause pregnancy toxaemia in does. So during this period animals should be allowed in very good quality pasture 4-5 hours per day.In addition to grazing, animals should be fed with concentrate mixture @ 250 鈥?50 g/animal/day. Their ration should be supplemented with available green fodder at the rate of 7 kg per head per day.

Feeding does at kidding time

            As kidding time approaches or immediately after kidding the grain allowance should be reduced but good quality dry roughage is fed free choice. It is usually preferable to feed lightly on the day of parturition, but allow plenty of clean, cool water. Soon after kidding the doe must be given just enough of slightly warm water. After parturition the ration of the doe may be gradually increased so that she receives the full ration in divided doses six to seven times in a day. Bulky and laxative feedstuffs may be included in the ration during the first few days. A mixture of wheat bran and barely or oats or maize at 1: 1 proportion is excellent.

Feeding lactating does

The following rations may be recommended

6-8 hours grazing + 10 kg cultivated green fodder/day

6-8 hours grazing + 400 g of concentrate mixture/day

6-8 hours grazing + 800 g of good quality legume hay/day

Feeding non pregnant does

If the availability of pasture is good no need to supplement with concentrates mixture. In poor grazing condition animals may be supplemented with 150 鈥?200 g of concentrate / animal/day.

Feeding bucks for breeding

The common practice is allowing the bucks to graze with does. Under such conditions the bucks will get the same ration as the does. Usually, it will meet the nutritional requirements of the buck. Where there are facilities for separate feeding of the buck, it may be given half a kilogram of a concentrate mixture consisting of three parts oats or barley, one part maize and one part wheat per day.

Feeding kids

Feeding from birth to three months of age

Immediately after birth feed the young ones with colostrum. Up to 3 days of birth keep dam and young ones together for 2-3 days for frequent access of milk. After 3 days and up to weaning feed the kids with milk at 2 to 3 times a day. At about 2 weeks of age the young ones should be trained to eat green roughages. At one month of age the young ones should be provided with the concentrate mixture (Creep feed).

Colostrum feeding of kids

The kid should be allowed to suck its dam for the first three or four days so that they can get good amount of colostrum. Colostrum feeding is a main factor in limiting kid losses. goatcolostrum is also efficient for kids. Colostrum is given at the rate of 100 ml per kg live weight. Colostrum can be preserved with 1-1.5% (vol/wt) propionic acid or 0.1% formaldehyde. Propionic acid is preferred for preservation as it keeps the pH value low. The chemically treated colostrum is kept at cool place to ensure better quality.

Creep feeding for kids

This creep feed may be started from one month of age and up to 2-3 months of age. The main purpose of creep feeding is to give more nutrients for their rapid growth. The general quantity to be given to the kids is 50 鈥?100 gm/animal/day. This should contain 22 per cent protein. Antibiotics like oxytetracycline or chlortetracycline may be mixed at the rate of 15 to 25 mg/kg of feed.

Composition of ideal creep feed

Maize - 40%

Ground nut cake -30 %

Wheat bran 鈥?10 %

Deoiled rice bran- 13 %

Molasses 鈥?5%

Mineral mixture- 2%

Salt 鈥?1% fortified with vitamins A, B2 and D3 and antibiotic feed supplements.


Feeding schedule for a kid from birth to 90 days:

Age of kids     Dam鈥檚milk or goatmilk (ml)        Creep feed(gm)      Forage, green/day (gm)

1-3 days          Colostrum-300 ml, 3 feedings                        -                                   -

4-14days         350 ml, 3 feedings                              -                                   -

15-30 days      350 ml, 3 feedings                              A little                         A little

31-60 days      400 ml, 2 feedings                              100-150                       Free choice

61-90 days      200 ml, 2 feedings                              200-250                       Free choice

Feeding after three months to twelve months of age

Grazing in the pasture for about 8 hours per day. Supplementation of concentrate mixture @ 100 鈥?200 g/animal/day with protein of 16-18 per cent. Dry fodder during night in summer months and during rainy days.  

Extensive Grazing

Grazing the sheep and goat in the entire pasture and leaving them there for the whole season is the extensive system of rearing. In this method feed cost is very much reduced. It is not conducive to making the best use of the whole grasses. So we can preferably practice the rotational grazing method.

Rotational grazing method

Rotational grazing should be practiced under which the pasture land should be divided by temporary fences into several sections. The animals are then moved from one section to another section. By the time the entire pasture is grazed, the first section will have sufficient grass cover to provide second grazing. Parasitic infestations can be controlled to a great extent. Further, it helps to provide quality fodder (immature) for most part of the year. Under this system, it is advisable to graze the lambs first on a section and then bring in ewes to finish up the feed left by the lambs.        


Semi-intensive system of goat production is an intermediate compromise between extensive and intensive system followed in some flocks having limited grazing. It involves extensive management but usually with controlled grazing of fenced pasture. It consists of provision of stall feeding, shelter at night under shed and 3 to 5 hour daily grazing and browsing on pasture and range. In this method the feed cost somewhat increased. This system has the advantage of Meeting the nutrient requirement both from grazing and stall feeding. Managing medium to large flock of 50 to 350 heads and above. Utilizing cultivated forage during lean period. Harvesting good crop of kids both for meat and milk. Making a profitable gain due to less labour input.

Intensive system-zero grazing-system

It is a system in which goats are continuously kept under housing in confinement with limited access to land or otherwise so called zero grazing system of goat production in which they are stall fed. It implies a system where goats are not left to fend for themselves with only minimum care. Intensive operation of medium sized herd of 50 to 250 heads or more oriented towards commercial milk production goes well with this system particularly of dairy goats. It merits exploitation of the system of feeding agro-industrial by products as on pangola grass (Digitaria Decumbens) with carrying capacity of 37 to 45 goats per hectare.

This system of management requires more labour and high cash input. However, this has the advantage of close supervision and control over the animals. In this method the dung is collected in one place and used as a good fertilizer. Less space is sufficient for more number of animals.

Quality goat feed ensures quality meat or milk production. Providing adequate feed according to the demand of your goats help them to grow faster and produce more milk or meat. Although goats always keep continue searching for foods. Usually, they can go far from their area for searching food. This type of food habit helps them to meet up the nutritional demands. Naturally goats are very hardy and can tolerate weather change highly. They can survive for long time without water in heavy drought. During natural disasters and food crisis, they can even consume low quality food. This type of survival with low quality food is not possible for other animals. Their mouth are very strong among all the plant eating animals. With their strong mouth, they can eat any types of grasses, different types of leaves, branches of trees etc. Goat converts food to quality meat or milk very fast than other animal. Although goat can eat all types of food, but they do not like to eat same food always. So, they should have diversity in their regular feeding habit. Goats usually do not eat leftovers of another goat. They can understand the taste of food, but they are not picky. Even they can eat and consume such food which other animals don鈥檛 eat. But for commercial production, you must have to very careful about goat feed. Always try to feed your goats quality food with proper nutrition and energy.



A sound management program to keep animals healthy is basic to production of both sheep and goats. Producers must observe animals closely to keep individual animals and the whole herd or flock healthy and productive. If the heath status of a herd is compromised, that operation will not be as efficient as possible. There are some human health risks when dealing with diseased animals. While most diseases affecting sheep and goats do not pose any human health risks, some are zoonotic and it is important to protect not only caretakers, but anyone else that may come in contact with diseased animals. Sheep and goats share many health problems.

Evaluating Animal Health Status

To recognize clinical signs of diseases common to sheep and goats, it is important to be familiar with what is normal. Producers should assess the herd or flock鈥檚 general health on a regular basis, including vital signs, body condition, and coat. A normal temperature range for sheep and goats is between 101.5掳F and 103.5掳F. The respiration rate for sheep and goats is about 12 to 15 breaths per minute (depending on environmental temperature), and heart rate should be between 70 and 80 beats per minute. Animals should exhibit a healthy hair coat or fleece, while maintaining a body condition score appropriate to their production stage. Both coat and body condition score are good indications of nutritional adequacy and overall health. Signs of an unhealthy animal include isolation from the rest of the herd/flock, abnormal eating habits, depression, scouring or diarrhea, abnormal vocalization, teeth grinding, or any other abnormal behavior.


Prevention of Disease

Biosecurity begins with the goal of preventing the spread of infectious agents from infected to susceptible animals. A bio security plan must take into account all modes of transmission, including direct animal contact within a herd, contact with wild animals or other domesticated species, airborne transmission, contaminated feed or water, and visitors or vehicles that come onto the farm.


The most basic method of disease control in individual herds/flocks is to avoid introduction of disease agents. If possible and practical, producers should keep a closed herd/flock. Most diseases of a contagious nature are introduced into operations when new animals are added. Disease agents can be introduced when breeding animals are added to an operation; when animals co-mingle at a fair, show or sale; or when animals contact wildlife. If a closed herd/flock is not feasible, then use an animal quarantine program. A useful isolation program consists of a facility that prevents co-mingling of animals for at least 30 days, including separate water supplies.


Advice and treatment from a veterinarian is almost an absolute in preventing and controlling health problems in a herd/flock. Veterinarians can recommend vaccination programs; help with parasite control programs; assist with reproductive management; deal with emergency situations; prescribe drugs, do necropsies on dead animals; and perform a host of other important management tasks.


Examination for Disease and Parasites

 Purpose: Identification of animals in the early stages of sickness can aid the farm manager in restricting the spread of disease in the flock and initiating treatment at the earliest.

 Spotting of sick animals




Healthy animal

Sick animal



Look of animal






Bent downwards



Wide open, bright

Dull with white deposition at the corners


Conjunctival m.m.


Pale or congested



No discharge

Slimy discharge




Sluggish, lameness








Hard / loose, mucus/blood-stained, discolouration, dysentry


Pulse (/min)




Body temperature (oF)




Respiration (/min)


Increased, difficult










Feed and water intake






May be swollen




Infected, external parasites


 Administration of medicines

Routes include oral (drenching/feeding bolus), parenteral (intra-muscular, intra-venous, intra-peritoneal, sub-cutaneous) and topical.

Common Diseases and their Control

            Morbidity and mortality are the two important factors resulting in heavy losses in sheep production and improvement programmes. Prevention is always better than cure as it is a lot cheaper. This has special significance with sheep as they seem to respond less to treatment when sick than other livestock species. Diseases in sheep can be broadly classified as non-infectious and infectious.

 (1)    Pneumonia

It is one of the most common and important pathological conditions in goat. It is characterized clinically by increased respiration, coughing and abdominal breathing. A toll of 20-40% of the mortality has been reported at organized farms due to pneumonia of bacterial or viral origin. Another type of pneumonia is 鈥渁spiration鈥?or 鈥渄renching鈥?pneumonia caused to wrong and forceful drenching operations. If some fluid has erroneously entered the animal鈥檚 respiratory tract, its head should be lowered immediately and slapped a few times.

 (2)    Ruminal tympany (Bloat)

It is the over-distension of the left flank either due to free gas or froth. This is generally encountered in 鈥済reedy feeders鈥?when lush green pasture is available. Tying a bitter (eg. neem) stick in the mouth as a bit to increase secretion of saliva is the most practical and can be done immediately. Oral administration of sweet oil with turpentine oil or at times with formalin is advised.

 (3)    Rumen acidosis

Ingestion of large amounts of highly fermentable carbohydrate feeds causes an acute illness due to excess production of lactic acid in the rumen. Clinically, the disease is manifested by dehydration, blindness, recumbency, complete rumen stasis and a high mortality rate. Normal saline, sodium bicarbonate and antihistaminics are advised.

 (4)    Intussusception

It occurs commonly due to nodular worms, change in feed and local intestinal problems. The animal is dull, off-feed, kicking at the belly with no rise of temperature, frequent straining with no defaecation, colic symptoms, and at later stages, recumbency. Emergency surgery is the only rational treatment.

 (5)    Deficiency diseases

1.       Copper and Cobalt: Characterized by anorexia and wasting. Growth and wool production are severely retarded. Wool may be tender or broken. Fine wool becomes limp and glossy and loses crimp, developing straight, steely appearance. Anemia, diarrhoea and unthriftiness occur in extreme cases. Copper or cobalt sulphate treatment causes rapid disappearance of the symptoms.

2.       Calcium, Phosphorous & Vit. D : The daily requirement of Ca, P & Vit. D for an adult is about 2.5 gm, 1.5 gm and 300-500 units, respectively. Deficiency may result in rickets in kids and osteomalacia in adults. Mineral supplementation in diet is essential to prevent this deficiency.

3.       Vitamin A: Vit. A deficiency occurs in sheep on dry countryside during periods of drought. Symptoms include night blindness, corneal keratinization, ptyriasis, hoof defects, loss of weight and infertility. Congenital defects are common in the offspring of deficient dams. Animals should have access to green pasture and should be supplied with Vit. A in feed to prevent deficiency.

 (6)    Pregnancy toxaemia (Ketosis)

It is a highly fatal disease caused due to a decline in the plane of nutrition and short periods of starvation (40 hrs) during the last two months of pregnancy. Hypoglycaemia and hyperketonemia are the primary metabolic disturbances. It is primarily a disease of intensive farming systems. Symptoms include separation from the flock, apparent blindness, constipation, grinding of teeth, drowsiness, tremors of the head, twitching of lips, in-coordination, ketonic breath, leading to coma and death. Treatment comprises intravenous administration of 50% glucose. Supply of molasses in the ration and provision of additional concentrate in the last two months of pregnancy helps prevent the condition.

 (7)    Poisoning

i.       Organochlorine compounds : This group includes DDT, BHC, lindane, aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane, toxaphane, methocychlor etc. which are used as pesticides on crops and as ectoparasiticides on sheep. Toxicity symptoms include increased excitability and irritability followed by muscle tremors, weakness, paralysis etc. Treatment consists of administering antidote, usually short-acting barbiturates.

ii.       Organophosporous compounds: This group consists of malathion, darathion, chlorathion, carbophenothion, demton, dasnon, dimethylparathion, trichlorphon, dioxalthion etc. Symptoms of toxicity are profuse salivation, muscle stiffness, dyspnoea with open mouth breathing, tremors. Treatment consists of administering antidote, usually atropine sulphate.

iii.       Snake bite: Sheep are usually bitten on the scrotum or udder. The presence of hair may obscure the typical fang marks. Prolonged pain, muscular weakness, impaired vision, nausea and paralysis are generally exhibited along with symptoms of shock. If anti-venin is not available and the bite is located in an area where a tourniquet cannot be applied, excision of an area of skin and sub-cutaneous tissue can be life-saving.

 (8)    Wounds

During the monsoon season, a large number of animals suffer from wounds at various sites esp. around the ear, sternum and fore- and hind-legs. The main reason seems to be the awns of Aristidia and Heteropogon species of grasses, which initially break the continuity of the skin, which is then attacked by flies making the wound infected and maggoty. It causes great stress in young lambs, and may also lead to conjunctivitis, corneal opacity and blindness.

 (9)    Dystokia

The common causes are insufficient opening of the cervical canal, heavy lambs (esp. crossbreds), abnormal fetal position and uterine torsion. The condition can be relieved surgically.

 (10)      Blackleg

It is an acute, infectious disease caused by Clostridium chauvoei and characterized by inflammation of muscles, severe toxaemia and high mortality (approaching 100%). All age groups are susceptible. Increased protein feeding of sheep/goat increases their susceptibility. The spores are highly resistant to the environment and the portal of entry is through the alimentary mucosa. Infection in sheep generally takes place through skin wounds following shearing and docking. Symptoms include high fever, anorexia, discolouration of skin, crepitation and depression. Penicillin is the drug o choice for treatment.

 (11)          Enterotoxaemia (pulpy kidney)

It is an acute disease of sheep/goat of all ages, but primarily of young ones. It affects animals in a high state of nutrition on a lush feed, grass or grain. Morbidity rates seldom exceed 10% but mortality rate approximates 100%. It is caused by Clostridium perfringens type D which normally inhabits the alimentary tract. Under certain conditions, the organism proliferated rapidly in the intestines and produces lethal quantity of toxin. In lambs, the course of illness is very short, often less than 2 hours and never more than 12 hours, and many are found dead without manifesting early signs. Symptoms include green, pasty diarrhea, staggering, recumbency, opisthotonus, and acute, clonic convulsions with frothing at the mouth. A history of sudden death of several big goats justifies a tentative diagnosis of enterotoxaemia. Suphadimidine may be effective for treatment. Two major control measures include reduction in the feed intake and vaccination. Infection with Cl. Perfringens type B (lamb dysentery) and type C (struck, hemorrhagic enterotoxaemia) result in severe enteritis with diarrhoea and dysentery in goats.

 (12)          Tetanus

It is an acute, infectious disease manifested by tonic convulsions of the voluntary muscles. In goat, it commonly follows routine operations such as castration and even vaccination. Clostridium tetani form spores which are capable of persisting in soil for a number of years. The portal of entry is usually through deep, puncture wounds. Symptoms include stiffness of limbs, lock jaw, opisthotonus, followed by death due to asphyxiation. Tetanus antitoxin is usually administered but is of little value when the signs have appeared.


 (13)          Pasteurellosis

It is primarily caused by Pasteurella haemolytica  and usually occurs in pneumonic form, although a septicaemic form is not uncommon in lambs. Morbidity and mortality rates may be as high as 40%. Transmission occurs by the inhalation or ingestion of the infected material. Symptoms include pyrexia, mucopurulent discharge from the eyes and nose, coughing, depression and anorexia. Preventive vaccination is recommended, after which the animals should not be sent out for grazing for 2-3 days.

 (14)          Paratuberculosis (Johne鈥檚 disease)

It is a chronic, wasting disease caused by Mycobacteirum paratuberculosis and characterized by progressive emaciation and a thickening and corrugation of the intestinal wall. Mortality rate may be as high as 10%. The disease causes severe economic losses in infected flocks. As the progress of the disease is slow, it is mostly seen in older animals. No treatment is successful.

 (15) Goat pox

It is a highly contagious viral disease characterized by development of vesicles and pustules on the skin and internal lesions. Spread may be by contact with infected animals and contaminated articles, or by inhalation. It often causes death in 50% of affected animals. Infection of the pustules by secondary organisms may cause pyrexia and other complications. The course of the disease is 3-4 weeks, during which time the goat becomes emaciated. Vaccination is the best control.

 (16) Foot and mouth disease

It is an extremely contagious, acute viral disease characterized by development of vesicles in the oral cavity and in the interdigital space. Mortality is usually low (3%), but the economic loss is chiefly due to the loss in condition of the affected animal. Transmission is by contact with the diseased animal and incubation period is less than 24 hrs. Antibiotics are recommended to check secondary infections. Vaccination is the best control.


(17) Contagious ecthyma

It is a viral disease characterized by the formation of papules and pustules and the piling up of thick crusts on the lesions. The virus gains entry through unobserved wounds on the lips. The incubation period is dependant on the amount of virus introduced. The lesions are mostly found on the commissures of the lips and are covered by scabs. The course of the disease is 1-4 weeks. Antibiotics are recommended to check secondary infections.

 (18) Blue tongue

It is an infectious but non-contagious, exotic disease of sheep. Natural transmission takes place through insect vectors viz. Culicoides and Aedes species, and sheepked Melophagus ovinus. Incubation period is less than a week. Pyrexia upto 106oF is the common initial symptom.. The disease has three clinical forms : abortive, acute and sub-acute. The abortive form mostly goes unnoticed. In the acute form, there is fever lasting for 5-6 days with nasal discharge, frothing, marked salivation, highly congested and cyanotic nasal and oral mucosa, epithelial excoriation in the oral cavity and purplish discolouration of the interdigital space, pasterns and coronets. Symptoms are less severe in the sub-acute from. Morbidity rate may be 50% or more whereas mortality rates very widely. Antibiotics are recommended to check secondary infections.

 Vaccination of Sheep and Goats

Vaccinating the herd/flock can provide some insurance against specific common diseases. However, eachvaccination program must be tailored to an individual operation. It is also important that producers understand what they are vaccinating for and why it is important. This is another instance where a veterinarian鈥檚 assistance can be critical.

Just because there is a vaccine available for a specific disease does not mean producers should use it. There should be economic or other justification to vaccinate for specific diseases. Producers should work through the risk factors and other control programs with a veterinarian and decide whether or not it makes sense to vaccinate.

The clostridial vaccines are the only ones that can be recommended on a blanket basis for almost all sheep and goats. All other vaccination programs need to be developed specific to a herd/flock.  Sheep and goats should be vaccinated for Clostridium perfringens Types C and D and tetanus (CD&T) at appropriate times. Combination vaccines (7- and 8-way) are also available against other clostridial diseases, such as blackleg and malignant edema. These vaccines are inexpensive, and when   used properly, are very effective in preventing losses. Clostridial diseases are endemic to all sheep and goat operations. They are caused by specific bacteria that commonly live in the gut and manure of sheep and goats and, under specific conditions, can affect both sheep and goats. When handling vaccinations, it is important to follow label directions, as vaccines must be stored, handled, and administered properly. Only healthy livestock should be vaccinated.

Vaccination schedule for sheep:-


Age and booster doses



Foot and mouth disease

6-8 weeks;

repeat every 6-9 months

s/c or i/m depending on the vaccine


Hemorrhagic Septicaemia

3-4 months;

repeat annually

1 ml s/c

May/ June

Sheep pox

3 months




Tetanus toxoid

0.5 - 1 ml s/c or i/m



4-6 months; repeat annually

0.5 ml s/c at tail fold

In endemic areas only


3-4 months, repeat after 15 days and then annually.

2.5 ml s/c

First two doses before august


Vaccination schedule for goats:-


Age and booster doses



Foot and mouth disease

6-8 weeks,

repeat every 6-9 months

s/c or i/m depending on the vaccine



3-4 months, repeat after 15 days and then annually.

2.5 ml s/c

First two doses before august

Hemorrhagic Septicaemia     

3-4 months,, repeat annually

1ml s/c



4-6 months, repeat annually

0.5 ml s/c at tail fold

In endemic areas only


3-4 months, repeat at 6 months and then annually

0.5 - 1 ml s/c or i/m



Internal and External Parasites

Parasites pose a significant threat to the health of small ruminants. Parasites can damage the gastrointestinal tract, and result in reduced reproductive performance, reduced growth rates; less productive animals in terms of meat, fiber and milk; and even death. General clinical signs that an animal is suffering from a parasitic infestation include diarrhea, weight loss or reduced weight gain, unthriftiness, loss of appetite, and reduced reproductive performance. Factors that may affect an individual鈥檚 susceptibility to parasitism include natural genetic resistance, age, and reproductive stage. Goats are generally more susceptible to internal parasites than sheep. The groups most susceptible to parasitism are young animals, lactating ewes and does, and those in late gestation or around the time of parturition. The animals least susceptible to parasites are mature, dry ewes.

Internal Parasites. Several types of internal parasites affect sheep and goats, and all sheep and goats have a low level of parasite activity. However, excessively high parasite levels are often detrimental to the health of the animal. The most common internal parasite is the roundworm that lives in the abomasum and small intestine of sheep and goats. There are several types of roundworms that infect sheep and goats, including Telodorsagia (Ostertagia) circumcincta, Haemonchus  contortus, and Trichostrongylus colubriformis.

The most dangerous parasite affecting sheep and goats is the gastrointestinal roundworm Haemonchus contortus, also known as the barber pole worm. This voracious bloodsucking parasite has a tremendous capacity to reproduce through egg-laying. Clinical signs include anemia (pale mucous membranes), edema, protein loss, and death. Animals suffering from Haemonchus contortus become weak and lethargic, often straggling at the back of the herd when driven a distance. Edema, or the accumulation of fluid under the skin, is usually seen as a swelling of the lower jaw, a condition known as bottle jaw.

Tapeworms can cause weight loss, unthriftiness, and gastrointestinal upset. A tapeworm infection can be diagnosed by yellowish-white segments in the feces. Lambs and kids become resistant to tapeworms quickly, so infections are most common in animals younger than four or five months of age. The biggest problem with tapeworms is that producers can actually see the segments in fecal matter and can become overly concerned. Infections by other internal parasites are more serious than a mild tape worm infection.


Coccidia are protozoan parasites that damage the lining of the small intestine. Since the small intestine is an important site of nutrient absorption, coccidian can cause weight loss, stunted growth, and diarrhea containing blood and mucous. Other clinical signs include dehydration, fever, anemia, and breaking of wool or hair. Fly strike and secondary infections can also result from coccidiosis. Coccidia are usually found in animals in confinement or intensive grazing systems, as a result of poor sanitation, overcrowding, and stress. Animals between one and six months of age in feedlots or intensive grazing systems are at highest risk for coccidiosis. Outbreaks of coccidiosis can be controlled by implementing good sanitation techniques, providing clean water, rotating pastures, and avoiding overstocked pens. Outbreaks of coccidiosis can be treated with sulfa drugs. Coccidiostats can be administered to inhibit coccidial reproduction.


Anthelmintics are drugs that either kill egg-laying adults or kill larvae before they grow into adults and become capable of laying eggs. An anthelmintic is normally administered as an oral drench, a thick  liquid suspension deposited at the back of the animal鈥檚 tongue. There are challenges associated with using anthelmintics, since few are approved by the FDA for use in small ruminants (although many are safe), and resistance to the drugs can develop due to overuse and improper dosing. Fecal Egg Count (FEC) Tests can be done to determine when it is necessary to deworm, and to help determine the level of pasture contamination.


A system known as FAMACHA has been developed to identify those animals affected by Haemonchus that require anthelmintic. In this method, producers observe the color of the conjunctiva of the lower eyelid to determine the level of anemia that an animal is experiencing. The goal of FAMACHA is to delay resistance by only selectively treating animals in a herd that are showing signs of a parasitic infection. Sheep and goat producers should be trained in the use of the FAMACHA system as it can reduce the need for anthelmintic use and delay anthelmintic resistance.


External parasites may damage the fleece and reduce pelt value. Parasites common to sheep or goats include lice, keds, and mites. External parasites are especially common in the winter when sheep or goats are in closer confinement. Pour-on treatments are a common form of management for many external parasites, and are more effective on shorn sheep or short-haired goats.


The many species of lice that parasitize sheep and goats are generally divided into chewing lice and sucking lice. Chewing lice feed from dead skin cells, while sucking lice feed by sucking blood. Lice can be detected by the presence of their eggs, called nits, which are not susceptible to insecticides. Sheep or goats exhibiting wool or hair loss should be checked for nits. Chewing lice are eradicated with pour-on topical insecticides, while sucking lice can be treated with specific anthelmintics that control them. Keds pierce the skin and suck blood, and are usually found on the neck, shoulders, and flanks. Ked bites are very irritating to sheep, causing them to scratch, rub, and bite themselves, which damages the wool. Keds also cause wool discoloration, which further reduces the value of the fleece. Ked bites affect the hide quality as well. Shearing sheep will remove most adult keds and larvae, and is especially important before lambing. Further treatment with pour-on insecticides after shearing or injection of Ivermectin are both effective methods to wipe out a ked infestation.

Unlike lice and keds, mites burrow beneath the skin instead of living on the surface. This irritates the skin, causing the sheep and goats to itch, which results in wool or hair loss and lesions or scabs. Mange can be diagnosed by doing a skin scraping. Administering injectable Ivermectin or topical insecticides can help affected animals.


Source:https://sites.google.com/site/viveklpm/sheep-and-goat-production-management/diseases-of-sheep-and-goat Dr. Vivek M. Patil, Assistant Professor, Department of Livestock Production Management,  Veterinary College Bidar, Karnataka Veterinary, Animal & Fisheries Sciences University, Post Box No. 6, Nandinagar, Bidar, INDIA - 585401. And Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, West Lafayette, IN 47907