April 2015 Issue



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Subscribe FREE now! Monthly issues with new articles and other educational information on meat goat health, nutrition, and management written by Suzanne W. Gasparotto of Onion Creek Ranch and Pat Cotten of Bending Tree Ranch. In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Neither Suzanne Gasparotto nor Pat Cotten are veterinarians. None of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.


Vaccinating Goats Against Worms

Researchers have been experimenting with vaccines that prevent worm infection in goats for several years. Dr. Jim Miller, parasitologist at Louisiana State University, has been kind enough to provide information and understanding of this concept. Dr. Miller worked with Dr. David Smith from 2000-2005 testing these "hidden gut" antigens made into vaccine form on goats and sheep at Louisiana State University.

The antigens (proteins) used in the vaccine are extracted from the hidden gut of Haemonchus contortus, the barberpole stomach worm. To do this, a lot of worms must be obtained, and that requires a large number of goats. Because it is so time consuming, it is also very costly. These antigens cause an immune response where antibodies are produced and circulate in the goat's blood. When the worm sucks the goat's blood, the antibodies attack the gut proteins in the worm, either killing the worm or making it so "uncomfortable" that it is expelled from the goat's body.

Sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? Well, it is -- but here is the drawback. Most vaccines are made with antigens (proteins) that are normally exposed to the goat's immune system during infection. When the goat is vaccinated for the first time, the immune system is primed to recognize and attack when reinfection occurs. Such a response is called anamnestic because it recognizes and responds to reinfection with a primed immune system.

A hidden gut vaccine does not cause an anamnestic response because the antigens are "hidden" in the worm gut and are not normally exposed to the goat's immune system to induce immunity when goat is reinfected.

Therefore, a hidden gut vaccine has to be given repeatedly (three or four times, about four weeks apart) to keep antibody levels high enough to produce any long-term immunity to the worm. While the concept of a hidden gut worm vaccine sounds good, currently it is too costly to produce for the small population of goats and sheep in the USA.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 4/6/15


Goat Camp™ 2015

Taking reservations for
Goat Camp™ 2015
Oct 26-29, 2015
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Bending Tree Ranch is thrilled to announce the export of TMG™/Myotonics in
2009 and 2011 to Canada and most recently in 2013 and again in 2014 to Australia.


Doublejett Gomer's Sargeant-exported 2014

Bending Tree Ranch Red Cloud-exported 2013

Available soon buck kids out of Doublejett Gomer's Sargeant.
Some of which are out of Bending Tree Ranch Red Cloud daughters.

Reserve your future herdsire as well as a piece of history now.

Contact Bending Tree Ranch in Damascus, AR

Contact Pat Cotten
Bending Tree Ranch
located near Greenbrier, Arkansas


Raising TexMasters™, TMG’s™ and Myotonics.
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