April 2017 Issue



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When you request help for a sick or injured goat, this is what I am going to ask you when I respond to your first email, post, or phone call. You will get help much quicker if you are prepared to provide this information.

Your full name and location (city/state/country). Your phone number and time zone, along with timeframe *not* to call. I tend to pick up the phone, dial, and then look at the time. If you are outside the United States, I likely cannot call you unless we can Skype.

Age, sex, breed, weight of goat.

If goat is a doe, is she pregnant, and if so, when is she due to kid? If she is nursing kids, how many, how old, and what is the male to female sex ratio of the litter? Any problems during pregnancy, delivery, or lactation? Has she recently weaned kids, and if so, when?

If goat is a buck, has he recently been castrated or disbudded/dehorned? Has he recently been or is he currently breeding does, and if so, how many and for how long?

If goat is a kid, is it nursing its dam, and if so, where is it in the pecking order of siblings? Where is its dam in the pecking order of does in the herd? Was it a difficult birth? Did the kid get sufficient colostrum? Has the kid recently been weaned? Is the kid a bottle baby, and if so, what are you feeding it, how much, and how often? What is the bottle baby's age and weight?

Is the goat new to your farm? Was it born there? Did it come from an auction or from a private farm? If so, what distance did it have to travel to get to your farm?

When was the goat last dewormed, with what product, at what dosage, and how administered? Have you done fecals, and if so, when? What vaccinations have been given and when?

What is the goat eating/being fed? I need specific nutritional details.

Have you changed your feeding regimen recently, including grains, pasture, and hay, and if so, how?

Recent changes in weather conditions, including rain, temperature, wind, etc.

Recent changes in herd's membership: Have you added new members or moved goats from herd to herd that would change the pecking order?

How many goats are in the pen/pasture with the goat when it became ill? What is the size (acreage or dimensions) of this pen/pasture?

Description of symptoms and when they began. What do you think might be the problem and why do you think that?

What is the goat's rectal temperature? Is it eating/drinking/peeing/pooping normally, and if not, what is different?

What medication, if any, has been given to the goat, and why? Include veterinary visits and details of treatments given and medications prescribed. If you didn't ask the vet what he was doing and why, call and find out. You paid for it. You need to know what was done and why.

What medications, both prescription and over the counter, do you have on hand?

Do you live on the property where the goat lives, and if not, how far away and how often do you visit?

As you can see, there is much information I want about your operation before you ever tell me about the sick goat's problems. This information is crucial to helping you figure out what is wrong with the goat and attempt to help it. I've learned that about 95% of the people who contact me about sick goats are wrong in their diagnosis of the problem -- including those who've gone to a vet with the goat.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 4/2/17

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.


Goat Camp™ 2017

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Oct 23-26, 2017
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Onion Creek Ranch goats are heavily-muscled animals -- unlike those found elsewhere in the meat-goat industry. There are two different meat breeds to choose from: Tennessee Meat Goats(tm) and TexMasters(tm). Only occasionally we have the smaller frame sized OCR Myotonics or Myotonic crosses. We will explain the specific functions of each breed.

When buyers inquire about availability and price, it is Onion Creek Ranch's policy to ask questions about the buyer's goat-ranching operations, experience, and intended goals so that we can provide the proper type of meat goat to achieve those goals. Since most prospective buyers have never seen any of these goats and many people have misconceptions about what they are, this evaluation process is extremely important. Tennessee Meat Goats(tm), for example, are fullblood Myotonics but larger and more heavily muscled than other fullblood Myotonic goats. TexMasters(tm) are not simply one-half Myotonic one half Boer or even 5/8-3/8. The precise mix is known only to Onion Creek Ranch management and is the product of multiple complex breedings accomplished since 1995. How these goats perform for the buyer directly reflects back upon Onion Creek Ranch's breeding programs so we have an intense interest in getting the right goats matched with each purchaser.

Developing these animals has taken the better part of two decades. My goal has been to create the best meat-goat breeding stock on the planet. I am blessed to have been able to do so.

Each month, there is a FEATURED GOATS page on Onion Creek Ranch's website www.tennesseemeatgoats.com. However, there is no specific "sale" page because we want to talk with you and learn about your individual needs, so that means an approach that achieves both of our goals. Please be patient when you call or write, because the questions are not being asked to be intrusive but instead are asked so that we can best serve your meat-goat breeding stock buying needs. Our success depends upon your success.

Prospective buyers visiting Onion Creek Ranch and Bending Tree Ranch must do so by appointment. At Onion Creek Ranch, it takes several hours to view the goats and learn about them. There is no single Sale pen; the goats are in multiple pastures in their native environment spread over several hundred acres.

Producers interested in purchasing goats should contact Suzanne Gasparotto or Pat Cotten. Suzanne Gasparotto's Onion Creek Ranch is in Texas and can be reached at 325-344-5775 or email onioncreek@tennesseemeatgoats.com. Pat Cotten at Bending Tree Ranch near Damascus, Arkansas can be reached at 501-679-4936 and her email is btrocr@cyberback.com. Suzanne and Pat are in daily contact and work together to provide buyers with the goats that they need, so it is not necessary to contact both of them.

Consultation & Evaluation Services for Hire

I've decided to expand my business to include consultation & evaluation services for people who are either thinking about raising meat goats or are currently raising them and want to improve their operations

Please contact Suzanne W. Gasparotto at 324-344-5775 or email at onioncreek@tennesseemeatgoats.com

BendingTree Ranch TexMaster Goats

Kidding has started and we should have a nice selection on Myotonic buck and doe kids to select from as well a TexMaster™ bucklings. At this time all TexMaster™ doelings are reserved.


Bending Tree Ranch Graffiti, TexMaster™ buck available for sale

Breeding age Myotonics, TMG’s, TexMasters™ as well as nice commercial crosses available year round. Contact us for your breeding stock needs.

Pat Cotten 501-679-4936
Bending Tree Ranch located near Greenbrier, Arkansas

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