August 2014 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.


You discover a goat that is sick. You don't know what is wrong with it. You imagine all sorts of exotic illnesses and problems.

You are probably wrong.

When a goat gets sick, the cause is most often the simplest and one that you either didn't think of or thought of and dismissed as not likely.

Start with the basics. Examine the goat for worms, using FAMACHA field testing, and follow up by doing fecal counts with a microscope. Worms are a major cause of sickness and subsequent death in most goats. Wet climates and goats don't go together, but huge numbers of people are raising goats under wet conditions that make successful goat production almost impossible. Remember that WET = WORMS.

Take the goat's rectal temperature with a digital thermometer to confirm or rule out high body temp that could be caused by pneumonia, mastitis, or a host of other issues. If goats don't die from blood-sucking worms that cause anemia, the next most common cause is pneumonia. Read my article on Interstitial Pneumonia on the Articles page at and learn the symptoms of pneumonia in goats.

If the sick goat is a kid, check its tummy for fullness and its dam for adequate milk. It is likely starving, either because (a) its siblings aren't letting it eat, (b) its dam isn't producing enough milk, (c) its dam has mastitis or congested udder and cannot or is not producing adequate milk, (d) it got chilled or overheated and could not control its body temperature, so it is dehydrated and starving, or (e) it got separated from its dam and is starving. These are all nutrition and management issues that you must observe and prevent. If the kid isn't starving, it may have developed pneumonia. Way too often the kid is starving and the producer doesn't recognize the symptoms. If the kid is a bottle baby, it is likely that you are overfeeding it on milk and are headed for Floppy Kid Syndrome.

My point is that a sick goat is seldom sick because of some exotic problem. For some reason, people tend to look for odd causes and overlook the obvious. Perhaps there are gaps in their management program which result in their not recognizing symptoms critical to good health. Learning to think like a goat goes a long way towards closing this management gap.

Most of the time the cause of the illness is the simplest thing you could have thought of . . . and didn't. THINK LIKE A GOAT™.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto Onion Creek Ranch 8/9/14


Goat Camp™ 2014

Taking reservations for
Goat Camp™ 2014
Oct 27-30, 2014
Click Here for more info...



Breeding Time Again At Bending Tree Ranch in Arkansas. These are two of the TexMaster™ herdsires we will be using for 2015 kid crop.

BendingTree Ranch TexMaster Goats

We also have some excellent 2013 and 2014 TexMaster™ bucks ready to go to work for improving your herds available for sale.


Bending Tree Ranch Mark is a 2013 TexMaster™ buck sired by Bending Tree Ranch Joseph and is available for sale.


Baby brother to BTR Mark, this is Bending Tree Ranch Mister sired by Bending Tree Ranch Grafitti


Bending Tree Ranch Newark, 2014 buck and son of Bending Tree Ranch BoJo

These and several more TexMaster™, Myotonics and TMG™ quality Myotonic bucks available.

Contact for a complete list of available bucks or better yet schedule a time to see them in person.

Pat Cotten
Bending Tree Ranch
located near Greenbrier, Arkansas

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