Molly the Goat & CL

Caseous Lymphadenitis, abbreviated CL, is a contagious disease that affects goats and sheep, and can even spread to humans (though this is exceptionally rare). It is an infection of the lymph nodes that causes external or internal abscesses which, when they burst, can spread the disease through cuts or bodily fluids.

While preparing for the new buck and giving our goats their daily cuddles, I found an unruptured abscess on Molly’s throat. It was in an area prone to CL abscesses, shown in this chart.

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We isolated Molly immediately in the new buck pen (the buck was arriving the next day) and had the vet come the following morning. She punctured the abscess and took a sample of the fluid inside. CL usually manifests as a thick pus in the abscess, that ranges from white to yellow to slightly green. Unfortunately it tested positive for CL.

Fearing the worst, we had the vet draw blood from all our other goats (including the new buck). Over two weeks later, we fortunately learned that all the other goats had tested negative. We will test again in a few months to make sure, and then vaccinate the herd against CL.

Since our goats are for breeding and milking, we cannot keep a goat with CL on the premises. Baby goats are susceptible to the disease and should not nurse from a CL-positive dam, and any milk from a CL doe must be pasteurized to kill the pathogens. Molly is being re-homed and will no longer be bred or milked.

This was an incredibly hard decision because we absolutely wanted to keep Molly. She is a lovely goat, very friendly and great at keeping the other goats in line. If all our goats had tested positive, we’d likely keep them all as pets and abandon our plans to breed. Since that was not the case, the best thing to do for the health of the rest of the animals is to re-home her.

For more information about CL, please visit

Preparing for a New Goat

Something very exciting is happening at Rodrigues Farm – we’re getting a new goat! This time it’s a buck, who will (fingers crossed) breed our lovely does so they can make baby goats (for sale) and milk (for our own use)!

His name from his breeder is Chance, but we will be calling him Kingsley Shacklegoat in line with our Harry Potter theme. He will be bred to Ginny and Luna Lovegoat over the next month, which should give us adorable baby goats in August and September.

He is a registered Nigerian Dwarf, who is naturally polled (hornless) and blue-eyed, both of which are rare and desirable traits. Naturally we can’t guarantee the babies will be polled and blue-eyed, but it gives us a better shot. He comes from an excellent line of registered goats known for good milking. We are very excited.

Since bucks can’t be housed with does all the time, and we want to control the breeding to make sure we know when babies are due, we had to set up a special pen just for Peter. We looked at lots of fencing options and building something ourselves, but were pressed for time. Luckily, when we went to check out options at TSC, a 10’x10’x6′ kennel was on sale

Yvan’s made a lovely video of the pen assembly. We’ll be uploading lots of video of the goats as the weather gets better, so make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get all the updates!