Lets talk about CAE.
At the very beginning of my Kinder breeding program I was just like lots of others, looking for more genetics for my Kinder herd without using caution when buying new stock for that program.
Sure I had read all the warnings of bringing in new stock without asking about CAE, CL and etc. but just as I have already stated, I threw all caution to the wind. All I could think about was wanting new bloodlines to increase my gene pool.
Well in 1994 the chickens came home to roost, so to speak. After coming back from the Missouri State Fair, with a blue ribbon for the Kinder doe that milked the most in the milking competition, it was time for CAE testing. This was the first time for my testing the doe that had won the milking competition. It was then that my night mare started.
I had the vet to come and draw blood for CAE.The vet called when he received the test results. All negative except for one doe. This was the doe that had won the milking competition. This was the one that tested positive for CAE. I will always remember how sick I felt. I could not believe this, she didn’t have enlarged knee joints, she was in great condition and her coat shown like a bright new copper penny. There had to be some mistake, the test had to be wrong. So I ask the vet to draw more blood and send it to another lab.
I held my breath waiting for those results but no amount of wishing was going to change the results of the first testing. The doe once again tested positive. Just hoping against all hope I ask to have more blood drawn and sent to a third lab. The results were the same, positive for CAE.
What was I going to do? Not only did I have a CAE doe in my herd but I had put all the rest of the herd at risk. I would not be able to sell Kinder; my reputation was ruined. No one would ever want to buy a Kinder goat from me. My time for breeding Kinder seemed to be at an end. I was sick and sick at heart.
I called a friend in the Kinder Association and confided in her. She convinced me to do what every lab had suggested. Put down the doe with CAE then use CAE prevention with all the other Kinder in my herd. This would mean that I must be there at every birth and never allow a doe to touch any of her kids. I would need to heat treat the colostrum and pasteurize all the milk then bottle all the kids. The labs had told me that I would need to do this for some years because, even if no other Kinder had tested positive for CAE, it could at any time raise it ugly head again. The one doe had CAE and I had exposed all the others to this monster.
We put the doe down that had CAE, then my work began to try to stop CAE from infecting my other animals. It was lots of work and heart breaking to never let a doe see her babies. When Harvey would come to evaluate and even mention that a knee joint might be a little enlarged I would immediately send that animal for meat. We tested every year for CAE.
Years passed and never another animal positive for CAE. My life breeding Kinder did continue. My reputation had not been destroyed and I watched with such pride with many does being first in their class, winning championships and winning stars in one-day testing.
What is my point for writing about all this? I want to tell others how important it is to ask questions when buying animals. I want to impress on everyone that you cannot be too careful. It is important to have a gene pool but not at the expense of all your herd. It would have been so much better to have had fewer genetics than to expose all my goats to CAE. It didn’t wipe out all my Kinder but it surely could have. God was good! It was only by the grace of God that I was able to continue my Kinder breeding. Breeding Kinder goats is something that I have just loved since the very first day and I am so thankful for the experience to have done that. I always keep in mind that it was almost cut short by my wanting more and better genetics. Be very careful!
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