August 2011 Issue

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NATHAN'S STORY

On January 16, 2011, OCR Natalie, Tennessee Meat Goat™ doe, gave birth to son Nathan and daughter Nattie. The winter was extremely cold and very dry, even by West Texas standards. Nathan was unable to stand well and did not have a sucking reflex. His teeth were completely unerupted from the gums. Nathan was about as premature as a goat kid could be and still survive.

I pulled him from his mother, milked her, got his rectal temperature up to over 100*F, and slowly stomach tubed colostrum into him. Dam Natalie was very unhappy that I took her precious son away from her, but he was destined to die if I didn't intercede. She still stomps her front feet and makes spitting noises when she sees me. Having no sucking reflex, he could not suck a bottle. Some of the colostrum ran back out of his mouth and nose each time I stomach tubed him. Thinking that he could have a cleft palate, I checked the roof of his mouth -- absolutely no cleft palate. My vet insisted that there must be a cleft palate. I kept checking. No cleft palate. For over three weeks, I stomached tubed Nathan with his dam's milk, while trying to get him to nurse his dam or take a bottle -- without success. Some milk continued to come out of his mouth and nose, albeit in lesser amounts as time passed. I kept checking for that elusive cleft palate, thinking that I must have missed it somehow. But Nathan did not have a cleft palate.

As Nathan got stronger and began growing, I put him in a small pen with Jared, whose dam had given birth to three boys on January 6, 2011, but she had mastitis in one teat. It is not reasonable to expect a dam to nurse three bucklings with only half of a functioning udder. Having no other dam to foster Jared on, I reluctantly made him a bottle baby. Nathan and Jared became inseparable friends.

At about 3-1/2 weeks of age, Nathan began taking milk from a bottle. I determined that Nathan had been so premature that his ability to swallow milk and keep it down had not fully developed, causing milk to come back up his throat and out his nose. It was a miracle that he survived. He was probably close to ten days premature, and most kids born that early do not survive.

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.

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Don't miss Goat Camp™ 2011 The week of October 24th
Click Here for more info...

Nathan and his buddy Jared were weaned together -- a remarkably easy weaning. They both had begun eating hay and other solid food normally and without having to be coaxed, which is very unusual for bottle babies; they usually want to hang onto that bottle to the exclusion of other food. Nathan and Jared now live in Oklahoma, where they will both get to breed does very soon. I didn't want them separated until such time as breeding instinct kicks in. Then Nathan won't care where Jared is, and vice versa. Remarkably, they have both grown out to what I believe may be TMG quality in the future -- another plus for bottle babies, because bottle babies usually don't grow well and develop into quality breedingstock.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, ONION CREEK RANCH, 8/3/11

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OCR Nathan and his bottle baby buddy OCR Jared

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OCR Nathan at weaning

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GOAT CAMP™ 2011

Come join us at Onion Creek Ranch north of Brady, Texas for the week of Oct 24-28, 2011 for an all breed educational event designed with all types of meat goat producers in mind with focus on commercial production. Learn about:

  • Breeding, Kidding, Kid care
  • Tubing, injections
  • Nutrition, Balancing and formulating rations
  • Hoof trimming, hoof care
  • Necropsy
  • Tattooing, ear tagging
  • Diseases affecting goats
  • Drawing blood, disease testing
  • FAMACHA training, reading fecals
  • Selecting goats for breeding, market sales, etc
  • Marketing your animals
  • Routine handling, restraints
  • Humane slaughter demonstration
  • Private Property rights
  • and much more, all on a working goat ranch.

The GOATCAMP™ Instructors

  • MARK SWENING, DVM - VETERINARIAN, Coleman, Texas Vet Clinic
  • JAMES MILLER, DVM, LSU - PARASITOLOGIST
  • KENT MILLS, HI PRO FEEDS - NUTRITIONIST
  • ED LEHIGH, COLORADO SERUM - VACCINES
  • DAN BYFIELD, AMERICAN LAND FOUNDATION - PROPERTY RIGHTS & LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
  • BOB GLASS, PAN AMERICAN VET LABORATORY - SERUM DIAGNOSTICS
  • SUZANNE GASPAROTTO, ONION CREEK RANCH
  • PAT COTTEN, BENDING TREE RANCH
  • LOU NUTI, PhD REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY
  • GARY NEWTON, PhD, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL GOAT CENTER, PVAMU UNIVERSITY

* The GoatCamp™2011 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 onioncreek@tennesseemeatgoats.com. We'd like to know a little bit about your experience with goats (or lack thereof) and why you'd like to become an Intern. Persons with no experience with goats are encouraged to attend as paying students; much of the work of an Intern has to do with the operation of GoatCamp™ and not directly with goats.

* GoatCamp™2011 is limited to 25 students

* Classroom instruction alternating with hands-on work with Onion Creek Ranch goats

TUITION PER STUDENT - $350.00

Registration Form ONLINE on the GoatCamp™ page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com.

For additional information, contact Suzanne Gasparotto 325-344-5775 or email her at onioncreek@tennesseemeatgoats.com

Some photos below of previous years at GoatCamp™

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Suzanne and OCR Victor

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Bob Glass of Pan American Vet Lab near Austin, Texas discussed the availability and importance of blood testing for various goat diseases. His lab provides inexpensive tests to producers.

Kent Mills, Nutritionist, HiPro Feeds,
in OCR pasture identifying plants with 'Campers

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Bob Glass and Pat Cotten drawing blood

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Dr. Mark Swening of the Coleman Texas Veterinary Clinic (Onion Creek Ranch vet) spoke about goat behavior and how it relates to goat health. Dr. Swening euthanized a terminally-ill goat and did a necropsy for all students to view; he explained the various organs and issues related to this buckling's illness.

 

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