We travel to many shows each year, and therefore we are not considered a "closed herd". This brings up some important questions: what is a closed herd, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of a closed herd?

A "Closed Herd" means that no animals, NONE, are entering or leaving the property EVER! Therefore, IN THEORY, no new diseases or parasites are entering the property and infecting the animals. I have several issues with this concept: first off, many bacteria/viruses/mycoplasm are transmitted on flying pests and can survive on wildlife. So, how can anyone be completely certain that their livestock will not pick up any diseases simply because they are not leaving the property? Additionally, I have seen several people who advertise that they are a "closed herd" and yet I have witnessed them attending shows or purchasing animals from other breeders. Bacteria and viruses cling to shoes and is easily brought home from livestock shows, feed stores, farms, etc. 


MY POINT: although a "closed herd" sounds very nice and reassuring, its validity of providing biosecurity to a herd is arguable.

Our Biosecurity Measures:

     We do everything in our power to keep our animals away from bacteria and viruses at all times. Because many visitors come out to our herd throughout the year who own livestock themselves, we ask guests to wash their hands before handling our animals. We also spray down every pen, feeder, fence, house, etc. with chlorhexidine solution twice a year. We also spray chlorhexidine on the inside and outside of our livestock trailer AND any show pens/gates that are goats are housed in at a show. We do not share equipment/milking stands at a show without drenching it in the chlorhexidine soultion before our goats touch it again and we NEVER share automatic milkers. Additionally, we lay down a thick layer of wood shavings in show pens so that our goats do not have access to the dirt floor underneath. All of these measures help to prevent bacteria and viruses from coming home with our beautiful goats.

(Note: chlorhexidine is an antimicrobial disinfectant that acts on both gram positive and gram negative bacteria)