Goats standing in grass on farm in Salisbury, MD Natural Resources Conservation Service
Goats on a farm in Maryland.

USDA issues report on goat, kid death losses in U.S.

Total value of goat and kid losses in 2015 was $69.6 million.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) has issued "Goat & Kid Predator & Nonpredator Death Loss in the United States, 2015," a comprehensive report on the causes of goat deaths in all 50 states.

The report marks the first time that NAHMS has reported on goat deaths by specific predator and non-predator causes.

Data for the study were collected by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service from a randomly selected sample of U.S. goat and kid producers throughout the nation. Approximately 26,000 goat producers were contacted during the first half of January 2016 by mail, telephone and/or face-to-face interviews. Response information from 63% of these producers was used in this report.

Following are a few highlights from the NAHMS 2015 report:

* About 500,000 adult and kid goats in the U.S. were lost to all causes (non-predator and predator), which represented 9.8% of the U.S. adult goat inventory and 19.4% of kids born in 2015. About one-third of operations (34.2%) had any kid losses, and a slightly lower percentage (28.2%) had any adult goat losses. The total value of goat and kid losses was $69.6 million.

* Non-predator causes accounted for about three-fourths of all adult goat and kid death losses in the U.S. Undetermined causes (found dead or unknown) accounted for the highest number of non-predator losses in both goats and kids. Of known losses due to non-predator causes, internal parasites were the primary cause of loss, resulting in almost 87,000 goat and kid deaths in 2015. Weather-related causes and kidding problems were also important causes of loss.

* Coyotes and dogs accounted for the highest percentages of goat and kid death losses due to predators in 2015. Overall, coyotes and dogs accounted for almost 80,000 goat and kid deaths, or about 65% of all losses due to predators. A smaller number of goats and kids (about 14,500) were injured by but not killed by predators.

* Overall, 7.7% of operations that had goats at any time during the year quit raising goats during 2015.

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