This was refined after we reviewed our problems causing high maintenance and excessive
loss of animals. See the article at High Maintenance.
Our Monthly Maintenance Review is something that has been evolving over several years.
It has been an informal process with scattered documentation that now must be a more
rigid process with consistent documentation and specific follow-up steps clearly
defined to move our herd to definite short and long-term objectives. As the objectives
are met or missed, the Maintenance Review process will be adjusted to continue to
move forward with the objectives. Our objectives and definition of "quality in our
herd" will be clearly documented for all to see.
Our current Monthly Maintenance Review will follow these procedure steps. Anita and
I do this together. I catch the animals, do the evaluation and give any appropriate
medication. Anita documents the evaluation info on the animals' specific health chart
and prepares any medicine or treatments that an animal will receive. That is also
On the first of each month we will do the following:
The evening before the review, all animals will be removed from any food source until
we have completed the review that will start mid morning the next day. This is done
because, if any animals require worming, the wormer is more effective with little
food in the rumen.
Our animals are moved to catch pens where we can inspect each individual animal.
The first inspection is evaluating the lower eye membrane color and assigned a value
of 1-3. We do not use the FAMACHA charts because we don't think most people can tell
the difference of 5 different shades of the membranes. Plus we believe that the breeder
has to understand for their self what the different shades mean by doing their own
fecal tests after reviewing the membranes of their own animals.
1 - membrane shows dark pink color indicating little to no worm problem
2 - membrane shows medium to light pink color indicating some worm problem but no
treatment to be given
3 - membrane shows pale to white color indicating worm problem that requires immediate
treatment. Animal will be wormed at that time. A few of the animals wormed at this
time will have a fecal test done on their pellets in 10 days to determine how well
the wormer is working. This is done to determine when a wormer has become ineffective.
The coat condition will also be checked and assigned a value of 1-3
1 - shiny coat - little to no worm problem
2 - dull coat
3 - rough coat
Body condition with value of 1-3
1 - good weight and body shape
2 - some weight loss
3 - significant weight loss
Did the doe have nursing kids at the time of the review? (a nursing doe may be under
more stress and more sensitive to worms than does not nursing kids)
The shape of their hooves are checked and assigned a value of 1-5
1 - in good shape with no signs of problems
2 - in ok shape but starting to show some signs of growth or turning to one side
3 - starting to look bad but could trim on their own at this stage. As the hoof gets
extreme, it may break off on its own and not require attention from us. We prefer
4 - hoof is in bad shape and does not look like it will do any self-correcting. Animals
with a 4 value on their hooves will be scheduled throughout the next 30 days to have
their hooves trimmed.
5 - hoof was trimmed by us at a later date between reviews.
Any required vaccines will be given at this time.
Any doe scheduled to kid before the next review, will be given a cd/t shot (to help
prevent Enterotoxemia in the kids before they receive their vaccines)
Any kids born since the last review will be given a cd/t shot (to help prevent Enterotoxemia)
Any kids receiving their initial cd/t shot last review, will receive their booster.
Any kids 2 months old will receive their first respiratory vaccine.
Any kids 3 months old will receive their respiratory vaccine booster.
Once a year, all other animals will receive their respiratory vaccine shot.
Any lice treatment will be done at this time.
When kids are 2 months old, they will be ear tagged.
Even though this seems like a lot of maintenance, and it is, the real purpose of
this is to document what the status of the health was for each animal and what was
the environment that could have affected them. This information will also include
the day to day health activities that required treatment, what the treatment was
and how effective it was, birthing and mothering experiences. This process will likely
be reduced once we better understand our herd and have been through several culling
It is impossible to cull an animal or decide to keep an animal if you don't have
all of the health facts documented where you can compare one animal against another.
It is also good information to offer a buyer of one of your animals. However, you
can never use this type of information effectively if you don't have some priorities
that go along with them that aid you in achieving your goals, objectives or whatever
you want to call them. If you are only focusing on how well they did or will do
in the show ring or how many ennoblements are in their pedigree, you are a part of
the problem in the industry.
This Monthly Maintenance Review may become a very valuable tool for us in achieving
a "low maintenance" herd of animals or it may be a waste of time and achieve nothing.
Only time will tell. The one thing we do know for certain is, breeders are going
to have to do something different with the Boer goats because there is a major train
wreak coming if it stays on the current course.