August 2010 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.

GoatCamp2010™ October 25-29, 2010 Onion Creek Ranch near Lohn Texas

The Ninth Annual GoatCamp™ will be held at Onion Creek Ranch near Lohn, Texas from Monday, October 25 through Friday, October 29, 2010.

This is an all meat-breed event for both beginners and experienced producers. Attendance is limited to 35 students. Classroom instruction alternates with hands-on work with Onion Creek Ranch goats.

Learn about breeding, kidding, and kid care; goat management in a working goat ranch setting; stomach tubing adults & kids; injections; nutrition; formulating and balancing feed rations; hoof care and trimming; eartagging; tattooing; diseases and treatments; drawing blood for disease testing; FAMACHA testing and other information on internal parasites; doing and reading fecals; necropsy; selecting for breeding and market sales; routine handling and restraints; marketing your animals; humane slaughter; private property issues affecting goat ranchers, sample a variety of dishes made with goat meat, and much more . . . all on a working meat-goat ranch.

The GOATCAMP™ Instructors include Mark Swening, DVM, Coleman Vet Clinic, Coleman, Texas; James Miller, DVM, parasitologist, Louisiana State University; Kent Mills, nutritionist, HiPro Feeds; Ed Lehigh, Vice President, Colorado Serum; Bob Glass, Pan American Vet Laboratory; Lou Nuti, PhD Reproductive Biology, Prairie View A&M University; Gary Newton, PhD, Director International Goat Research Center, Prairie View A&M; Dan Byfield, American Stewards of Liberty; Suzanne Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch; and Pat Cotten, Bending Tree Ranch.

The GoatCamp™2010 Intern Program is now accepting applications for a limited number of Interns; interns receive free tuition in exchange for helping with the work at GoatCamp™. If you are interested, please send your resume to

Tuition per student is $350.00 for the full week, with a $250 tuition rate available for attending partner or spouse. Registration form is available online on the GoatCamp™ page at

For additional information,
contact Suzanne Gasparotto
325-344-5775 (Texas)


Buy your winter hay now, while prices are lowest, supply is greatest, and quality is high. If you don't have enough storage area, build it. You cannot raise goats doing just-in-time purchasing. Bad weather in hay-producing areas and a bad economy worldwide will affect your ability to feed your goats over winter.

Using Products Off Label/Extra Label

There are many products which Jeffers carries and sells that are not specifically approved for use with goats.

What does "off-label/extra label" actually mean to goat raisers? Are medications used off-label/extra-label illegal to use with goats?

Administration of products which are not labeled for use in goats is called "off label/extra label" usage. This does not mean that such usage is illegal. It simply means that the manufacturers of these products have not spent the time or money to complete and submit expensive detailed research studies to obtain government approval to label them for use with goats. Using products off label or extra label is NOT illegal as long as the producer has a good working relationship with a veternarian and the vet has advised the producer on proper use and dosage of the drugs. Develop a good relationship with your vet so that he/she knows about, supervises, and approves of your drug management and usage practices.

Suzanne Gasparotto and Pat Cotten


Don't miss Goat Camp™ 2010 October 25 - October 29
Click Here for more info...


Newborns and kids up to a month of age and sometimes older have trouble controlling internal body temperature. Producers must watch for the stressors that cause this problem, try to prevent them, and be prepared to correct them when they occur. Summer kidding in hot parts of the USA brings with it serious health issues. Extreme heat during the day and cooling at night cause summer-born kids to have a hard time controlling body temperatures. Newborn and young kids bornin winter in very cold climates will have the same problem if their dams don't keep them full of milk so their bodies can generate sufficient heat to keep them warm. Dams must receive enough nutrition themselves to produce milk for their newborn and young kids.

Extreme changes in weather conditions bring big swings in outside temperatures that stress goats enough to make them ill or cause death. Dams protect their young kids by making sure that kids have full bellies. Growing kids and adults need long fiber (weeds, leaves, hay) to rub against the walls of the rumen, creating contractions that digest food and generate heat to keep the goat's body temperature within normal range (101.5*F to 103.5*F).

If young kids are being fed adequately, both by their dams and supplementally in the form of hay and grain by the producer, and they still over-heat in very hot temperatures, the producer must mist or spray their bodies with cool water several times a day so that evaporation of that water helps them cool. This is especially true of black and other dark-colored kids. Mouth-breathing and panting are signs that young kids are over-heated. If the producer is bottle-feeding young kids during periods of high heat, make sure that they are fed amounts small enough that the kids can digest before offering milk again. Remember that dams feed a small amounts frequently to allow proper digestion. An over-heated kid (or adult) will actually feel hot to the touch in the mouth, on the horns, and on the tail web.

Producers must check dams at kidding for good colostrum flow from the teat orifices and should verify milk flow daily during the first two weeks of life. Once the kid gets old enough to eat solid food, he stands an improved chance of surviving if inadequate amounts of milk are available to him.

Do not disbud goats. Goats do not have sweat glands; horns are their bodies' radiators for removing heat. Goats without horns have to mouth breathe to expel excess heat. In extremely hot and humid areas,hornless goats cannot remove heat fast enough, making heat stroke or pneumonia real possibilities. An experienced goat producer can touch a goat's horns and tell if the goat's body temperature is too high.

A kid is born without a working immune system. All the immunities he gets are through his dam's colostrum and milk. Kids should begin to eat solid food at around two weeks of age.

When the kid is weaned at three months old, he enters a very vulnerable time in his life. Since his dam is no longer providing milk to him, he is on his own immunity-wise yet his immune system is far from fully operational. When eating near or off the ground, he encounters worms, coccidia, bacteria, viruses, and other organisms that can make him sick or kill him. Producers need to watch kids and juveniles from weaning to one year of age carefully for evidence of illnesses. Diarrhea is just one of the possible symptoms to anticipate. Yearling goats are close to developing a fully-functional immune system.

Goats have the fastest metabolisms of all ruminants, except deer. Producers cannot expect growing kids to feed themselves solely on forage/browse or pasture as adult goats do. Everything growing kids eat goes first to maintenance of life-sustaining body systems (heart, lungs,liver, kidneys, etc) and then to growth. Growing kids require some supplemental feeding under most management conditions.

Growing kids MUST receive better nutrition than mature goats. Fast metabolisms require good nutrition.

Unlike cattle, goats will not eat every plant that grows in the pasture. They simply cannot get adequate nutrition out of mature grasses, Goats can survive on some of them, but they cannot thrive on them. See my article entitled "Foragers/Browsers - not Grazers: This Is Why" on the Articles page at

Suzanne W. Gasparotto
HC 70 Box 70
Lohn, Texas 76852

item6a1a1a1a1a1Want to save this country from the professional politicians and their lobbyist cronies and bring Government back to the people?

Check out the non-partisan organization GOOOH at and get involved. There is no time to waste!


Click HERE to visit American Stewards of Liberty to learn how you can help protect your property and your community



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