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Health and welfare survey of 30 dairy goat farms in the Midwestern United States

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posted on 2023-05-03, 22:15 authored by Melissa HempsteadMelissa Hempstead, Taylor Lindquist, Jan Shearer, Leslie Shearer, Paul Plummer
Dairy goat production in the Midwestern United States is increasing at a rapid rate and information on dairy goat husbandry practices applicable for producers in this region is limited. The objective of this study was to survey 30 dairy goat farms in the Midwestern US to provide insight into husbandry practices pertaining to health, welfare, and production, and to identify areas of future research. A questionnaire was developed and comprised 163 questions that were organized into categories including information on the producer (e.g., farming experience), staff, and goats (e.g., herd size, breed), housing, feeding and nutrition, milking practices and production, kid management, husbandry practices (e.g., disbudding, castration, hoof trimming), and health. Areas of future research that can improve goat health, production and welfare include pain relief for husbandry practices such as disbudding and castration, early kid management during birth to prevent illness/disease or mortality (e.g., warm and dry areas for kid rearing), eradication programs for common contagious diseases, training programs and education for claw trimming, disbudding, and udder health. In conclusion, this study provided insight into the husbandry practices carried out on 30 dairy goat farms in the Midwestern US and areas of research to improve health and welfare.

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

Language

  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No

Publisher

MDPI

Journal title

Animals

ISSN

0030-6835

Citation

Hempstead, M. N., Lindquist, T. M., Shearer, J. K., Shearer, L. C., & Plummer, P. J. (2021). Health and welfare survey of 30 dairy goat farms in the Midwestern United States. Animals, 11(7), 2007. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072007

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