It is on these days when we criticize Diva the most, as we are looking at her objectively. How has she grown or changed since her last check in. Today we notice that Dive is looking thin, and on weigh in she has indeed lost 3 pounds. In an animal like a goat 3 pound is not significant when considering the amount of volume that can be contained in the rumen at one time. What does become significant is that Diva has not had a weigh in since the middle of February when she was 73 pounds. In nearly 3 months Diva, as a yearling, growing animal has not gained any weight. In today's photos you will see she is starting to look thin.
We are not withholding food from her, she has 24 hour access to a large, very lush pasture, Hay and once daily the herd is fed a complete pellet that is timothy hay, alfalfa, oats and a mineral pack. Prior to starting the pellet about 3 weeks ago, Diva was receiving a small amount of Dairy Parlor blend feed.
Diva also has 24 hour access to goat mineral, a supplement bucket and kelp granules (new).
At this point in time we are still waiting. We will continue to observe her as spring progresses into summer.
At this point I would like to re-visit the purpose for retaining Diva, and observing her.
In learning about G6S, I felt like we heard to many times "I don't SEE a problem, so I don't have a problem." or words of that nature. Through Diva's year of life, she has seemed fairly normal, if one is not looking for specific cues that point toward a possibility of G6S, It would be missed altogether.
Through the fall and winter Diva has grown slowly and showed outward signs of being a slow maturing doe. To us, she is a ticking time bomb, waiting to go off.
The question I think comes down to why do we feel like this is so important? It's not contagious, it does not affect overall heard health, what's the big deal?
Here is my answer; To me producing quality animals with longevity is always a goal. If we produce animals that do not thrive in their first year of life, it reflects badly on our breeding decisions, and on our bloodlines.
Sure that only covers why I care about our herd. But What about the Nubians in general, why do I care if others test?
To me the answer to that lies partly in the new buyer. It's very important to me, as I feel it should be to any breeder, that the first time buyer has a positive experience. I want to see someone go home with their first goats, and have a good first year, raising them to maturity, and then follow that first year with a positive kidding season. If an uniformed new buyer goes home with a G6S affected kid that doe not survive their first year, are they going to want to try again? It's not a high probability.
The other part of this answer lies really, in anyone that ever purchases a Nubian, by purchasing an affected animal, or unknowingly (as we did) purchasing 2 carriers. We just put a years worth of feed, medication and effort in to Diva. We were well informed, we knew what the end result would be (eventually). If we had put this much time and effort into a promising young doe, one we had purchased, and she failed to grow, and eventually died, its a lost investment. Lost time as I would now be a year behind in breeding plans. Lost space in my herd for a "better" doe. Lost money spent on feed, medications, supplements, even vet visits. With Diva, there is even the loss of a test fee.
G6S can financially devastate a small breeder running on a shoestring budget in a short amount of time. All of that could be avoided, by breeders testing breeding stock.
We will no longer purchase ANY animal that is not from tested pedigrees.
On to the pictures: