Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

We're going to start doing farm tours at our place this spring as an add-on to our goat milk product business.   Everyone is so keen to see the goats (especially the babies).  But I worry about maintaining goat health if people are interacting with them.  Just wondering how others deal with keeping their critters healthy if they have visitors come to the farm.  Thanks!

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When we have an open farm with a couple hundred people here throughout the day, we don't let people go into the livestock pens or barn. They have to look at animals through the fence. When I do classes on the farm, I do let those attendees go into the barn and through the pasture. Being open to the public is not much of a problem because most of those people are not coming from farms or ranches. However, if you have someone coming from a farm, that's more of a risk, which means that I probably should have class attendees wear plastic booties or do a disinfectant foot bath when going through the barn. The goats are not going to get a human disease from people, but it would be possible for them to get something like Johnes if someone had manure on their boots from a Johnes-infected cow, sheep, or goat.

I had a spinning group at my home for several years and most of the people came from farms.      I had a lot of problems during that time.   Pink eye,  more worm problems.  I felt like I was bringing in a lot of problems for my flock.  

Finally stopped having anyone go into my barn or pasture area because of it.   I fortunately had a large llama that didn't really like people so it worked well to keep people out.

I went to a farm to see some  romney's for sale one time and they had a foot bath  and bleach and water bottles at their gate.  With directions on putting some  in the  pan   and standing in it for a couple of minutes before entry.  They said they had experienced problems brought by others.  Plastic booties would be a good idea Deborah, especially when you think something as serious as Johnes could be brought in. 

I have everyone wear fresh clothes (at least, I ask them to), clean hands, and disinefect their shoes in bleach water when they get here (with the exception of friends/family that I know don't have farm animals). I also disinfect my own shoes and change/wash clothes if I go to another farm (I farm sit and also occasionally go help new people do things like draw blood and disbud, plus I have friends with goats). In addition to that, I have a pair of farm-only shoes that never leave my property. I always say one day I'm going to buy booties, and I think I will soon - I feel like that would be easier for people and more effective, since it covers the tops of shoes, too. I *usually* don't let people into the goat's living area. 

I am probably a little overly cautious/paranoid, but I'd rather be too careful than be too lax and regret it later. 

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