Buyer beware Mark R. Jerkins of Pleasanton, TX on Coughran Rd 78064 He raises birds too - watch out for him! He definitely isn't taking the best care of his goats if one of them had so many worms she DIED within a week and the other was carrying a contagious disease! We crossed his path in October 2012 because of Craigslist.
We bought one "naturally polled " Nigerian Dwarf blue eyed buck and a young Nigerian Dwarf Doe. The boy was coughing when we loaded him, but we thought it was because of the leash and the girl had some diarrhea, but supposedly it was from too much green weeds. So we handed over our money and drove away.
We isolated them from our 2 original Pygmy girl goats for one week. The Nigerian girl kept having diarrhea, and the boy kept coughing, but we hardly noticed him because the girl was acting super weak and we were worried. We called him about her having diarrhea and acting lethargic and at first he was kind of nice, but she kept getting sicker, and since we only ever bought goats once before buying from him and only had goats for one year we couldn't figure out what was wrong and kept looking online, not sure what to do. [continued below]....
..... He supposedly had years of experience, and suggested it was bloat. She had a weird hole in her side that when squeezed oozed nasty yellowish white pus which he said was from another goat's horn poking her.
Finally, Mr. Jerkins agreed to take her back because i think he thought he could resell her, but she died on the way to his house! He was mad that she was dead and didn't care, just dumped her body on the ground and said there was nothing wrong with the other goat he sold us, in an angry way like we better not dare bring him back. We probably should have taken them both back at that point, but we liked the friendly buck so much we thought we could handle anything that might be wrong with him. He made it seem like we should have known that she had died of worms and it was
all our fault, but we didn't know what white eye lining meant. He gave us our hundred dollars back and walked off. We had to drive out an hour to get our refund; and it was a miserable hour drive back without the poor little doe we had tried so hard to help.
Once that ordeal passed, we began to notice more weird things about the boy, foremost that his cough was CONSTANT, he seemed to have small crusty things in the two whorls on his naturally polled head, his rear legs were very stiff, and when we were petting him one day we found some weird hairless bumps coming out of his chest. We immediately got him away from our pygmy girls and tried to figure it out. Online research indicated it must be this terrible contagious disease called Caseous Lymphadenitis, which apparently has no cure once it's contracted by goats.
We called Mr. Jerkins and asked him about it and he claimed not to know anything about it or have any advice for us. We were worried when we saw online that CL MIGHT transmit to humans, so we took him to the vet to find out once and for all what was going on. The local vet in Lytle checked the Nigerian buck's weight and temp, gave him an injection of Ivomec for his cough, in case it was caused by lungworms, a shot of B vitamins, and examined his body. She suggested that because his head hadthe whorls instead of being smooth that the little crusty things were scurs from where he had been disbudded and that he wasn't naturally polled.
She said to keep him separated from other goats and be careful in the area that he was in in case the "bumps" (abscesses) burst and we spread the disease on our shoes to other parts of our land. She suggested keeping goats off the places he had been for a solid year and to try to clean everything he contacted. When his blood results finally came back he was positive for CL and the only solution the vet could give us was to put him down as it was only a matter of time until it would spread to his organs, plus he would only be a risk to our other animals. If CL gets in an animal's lungs, it can be spread by their coughing, plus it takes months for the CL bacterium to actually manifest into abscesses since the lymph system slowly filters it.
When we found out, we quickly took our 2 pygmy does to be checked, because we were so fond of them we HAD to know if they had it because one was pregnant and we hated the thought of having to put her down. Their results came back negative, proving that it didn't come from our place, and most especially because it takes a long time to manifest like it had in the buck. We were faced with having to put the sweetest buck that ever lived down- the vet's fee to do it for us and incinerate the body was more than we could dish out, so we could only shoot him ourselves, get a burn permit, and burn his body until nothing but bones was left. But we kept him separated and put off the inevitable for a little while.
Meanwhile Thanksgiving had passed once all the results were in and we called Mr. Jerkins again. We were hit pretty hard financially and emotionally by everything, but figured that Mr. Jerkins was probably having this disease manifest in his herd by now and having a tough time. We called him and tried to talk; all he could say is "the buck was healthy". We needed to recoup some of what we'd paid and had proof that the buck came to us sick so we offered to take the buck back to Pleasanton for a refund of our $150 purchase price since we figured that Mr. Jerkins might not believe us unless he saw the abscesses and vet papers himself. Remarkably, he said he didn't want the buck back because he was diseased, and agreed to send us a refund. We gave Mr. Jerkins our P.O. box and went ahead and shot the poor dear, burning his body from morning until dark on an extremely hot fire until nothing was left.
A month passed, with not a word or a letter from Mr. Jerkins. We called; he was upset, but again promised to just refund our money. At no point did he seem interested in talking about the disease or the possibility of the rest of his herd having it. We noticed a Craigslist of his around this time where he said he was downsizing his herd. We knew it was him because the listing still had the photo of the buck we bought from him. Was he selling off his animals because they were all starting to show signs of disease?? At the time we were tempted to flag him and post what had happened, but decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and call him again. Due to our odd hours and bad reception, it is difficult for us to phone him at normal times, and we had lost his business card that
had his email address, but it finally turned up and we contacted him again.
This time, he demanded proof, now that the buck was gone. We scanned in the vet documents and she agreed to take his calls and talk to him personally if he wished. At this point he became quite rude and overly defensive, saying that there was no proof that the buck on the documents was the buck he sold us. But when we had the buck himself, Mr. Jerkins didn't ask for proof and believed him diseased enough to not want us to take him to his house. Still, he angrily said he would refund us the purchase price so that we would finally "leave him alone".
More than a week has passed since that email, with nothing in our mailbox. We have given up on ever getting any of the money we lost from dealing with him, and on top of it all we were forced to buy panels and build our goats a brand new pen far away from the old one, which they can't enter for a solid year. Our beloved healthy goats were put at risk, our land was ruined, we had two deaths of goats we cared about...we got nothing but heartache and financial ruin from dealing with this man.
We gave Mr. Mark R Jerkins the benefit of the doubt til the last, but we suspect he never bothered to talk to our vet nor cared to investigate the disease himself. His belligerent accusations of our lack of "proof" are only a cover for his guile and we believe he has been selling his diseased goats off to other people. The worst thing is that every herd these goats go to is doomed to spread this highly contagious disease! His promises to do right by us were empty talk to stall us from exposing his nefarious enterprise. Please learn from our hard lesson and stay away from this cold hearted dishonest man!