The Goat Handbook
Ulrich Jaudas and Seyedmehdi Mobini, DVM


VSPN Review by Oreta M. Samples, MPH, DHSc, RVT Star
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The Goat Handbook was published initially by Barron’s Educational Series and as an educational source of information on goat rearing is quite nicely written. Comprised of ten chapters, this handy text covers the subjects of goats from their introduction within The Old Testament to Alphonse Daudets’ “The Goat of Monsieur Seguin” and beyond. Truthfully, goats have been around forever and are currently regarded as a useful and engaging agricultural crop. The book boosts many beautiful photographs showing not only different breeds of goats, but goats in various stages of activity and health for the reader to familiarize them with. Not to be outdone, the line drawing illustrations of hoof formation, hoof trimming, and anatomy are impressionably accurate and easy to understand. The drawings allow owners, clinicians, and veterinary staff the opportunities to compare a goat’s hoof to pictures in order to assess needs for trimming and upkeep.

Throughout this book certain chapters stand out as useful to owners, veterinarians and veterinary technicians alike. One such chapter is Chapter 7: Health Maintenance and Sickness which provides excellent information on the health of caprines written in an easy to understand language. The information presented on the various illnesses and diseases goats may encounter is detailed in a relevant way. The section on internal parasites, particularly gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN’s) is particularly helpful as parasites are a major concern among small ruminant farmers. The discussion of FAMACHA, a method of assessing selective treatment of goats based on ocular mucous membrane color was noteworthy due to the fact that the concept was developed in South Africa while Jaudas (co-author) served at one time as an agricultural advisor in Africa. The anatomical drawings provided aid in the understanding of parasitic lifecycles within the goats.

Other photographs are useful illustrating examples of ill versus well goats as well as photos of such common caprine maladies as udder inflammation, CL abscesses (Caseous Lymphadenopathy) and pinkeye. Further attention is given to zoonotic diseases including the methods of transmission and preventative measures all written in a homey way that encourages use of this book by both laymen and veterinary personnel. For those who expect to encounter kids and pregnant does within their veterinary duties, Chapter 8 is a wonderful, well-organized resource for information on breeding, kidding and maintenance of does and kids after parturition occurs. Particular attention is paid to instruction on how to raise a kid in the absence of its mother including when to allow exercise, feed and hydration schedules as well as health concerns to watch for and steps to take. The book is rounded out with a delightful introduction to a variety of goat breeds as well as how to encourage good production of such goat-related products as milk, cheese, meat, hair, skin, and manure.

Although co-written by a veterinarian who has many years of clinical experience treating goats, this book is not so clinically written as to lose the average reader seeking information on goat care, nor is it too simply written for veterinary personnel in search of medical answers in time of crisis. Rather, this book could be quite useful reading for veterinary technicians working in a practice which routinely sees goats. This book should be recommended reading for anyone raising goats for fun or profit. While veterinarians most likely would not readily refer to it due to their level of formal training, the reviewer could see where the “goat practitioner” might make this required reading for any veterinary staff working closely with his caprine patients – be they meat, dairy, or pet.

Publisher: Barrons Educational Series (2006)

ISBN-10: 0-7641-3268-7/ ISBN-13: 978-0-7641-3268-1

VIN Store: Currently Unavailable

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Date Published: March 26, 2012

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