July 2020 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.


Goat Camp™ 2020

Taking reservations for
Goat Camp™ 2020
Oct 26-29, 2020
Click Here for more info...


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Newborn  and   Young  Kids

At about 6 weeks of age,  kids born in the current year   and their dams are run through the working facilities.   Kids are given their  first CD/T  and  first  Presponse HM  pneumonia vaccine  and dewormed orally with the dewormer that I know from experience works on my ranch.   Dams' eye membranes are routinely checked for coloration (FAMACHA).  If  the dam's inner lower eye membrane isn't RED to BRIGHT RED, then she  and her  kids are putting into a holding pen and fecal counts using McMasters' green-gridded slides are used to determine eggs per gram that the dam  is carrying.   I don't much worry about worms in kids at this age, but if a kid looks poor, I will check it for worms.

If the eggs per gram count is 250 or more, then the dam   is dewormed orally with a dewormer which I believe works on my ranch and kept in a restricted area  for one week, at which time a  fecal count is done again.  If the dewormer didn't kill 95% of the wormload, then it by definition FAILED and a different class of dewormer must be  chosen and the process starts over again.   This is the ONLY way to know if your dewormer worked.

Second vaccines (boosters) are given at 10 to 12 weeks of age (30 days after the first vaccines were administered) and FAMACHA is used to determine if kids or dams  need additional dewormer.    If the eye membranes are not RED to BRIGHT RED, the fecal count process using McMasters slides is used once again.   Ear tagging takes place concurrent with these booster vaccinations, and weaning can begin to take place when  males are three months old.

Annual Vaccinations  &  Deworming

Sometime after Labor Day (the time frame fits my ranch schedule), annual vaccinations  of CD/T and Presponse HM pneumonia  and deworming begins.  Everyone gets the vaccinations.  Not everyone gets dewormed.  If they don't need deworming, they don't get dewormed.   Deworming when it isn't needed results in worm resistance to dewormers.

CL (Caseous Lymphadenitis) Vaccinations

Beginning in 2012, I began vaccinating my  herd with the very effective  CL vaccine for goats made by Texas Vet Lab in San Angelo, Texas.   My herd was one of three used to test the vaccine in the summer of 2011 for submission to the USDA for approval, so I am familiar with the vaccine.

I do NOT vaccinate kids born in the current year (under a year of age).    I wait until  they are a year old.  My article on CL on www.tennesseemeatgoats.com  explains in detail why I take this approach.  if you have CL in your herd, you can't follow this protocol; you have to vaccinate sooner.  But don't assume that an abscess is CL.  Most aren't.  Send the pus   to Bob Glass at Pan American Vet Lab in Blue, Texas for analysis.  Pus analysis is more accurate than blood  analysis.     Bob Glass can be reached at 512 964 3927.   I would never send pus or blood for testing to state labs or WADDL or UC-Davis.  I have heard from many goat raisers how WADDL and UC-Davis recommended they kill their goats if they tested positive for CL.  This  is absurd and unnecessary.     Bob Glass is  better,   less expensive, and willing to talk with you personally about your concerns.

Regardless of age, sex, or condition of the goat, I NEVER use the CL vaccination concurrent with any other vaccine.  I don't vaccinate pregnant or lactating does.  I don't want the goats stressed and this vaccine has some short-term  side effects that exist because of the unique nature of the CL bacterium. My article on CL and this vaccine explain in detail.

Usually around December of each year, I vaccinate  yearlings and older goats with the CL vaccine.  I wait until goats are a year of age before I give the 1 cc initial vaccine and the 1 cc booster  30 days later (not 14 days, as the label says).   Read my article on the CL vaccine in detail to understand why I do what I do.  I have covered my protocols with the vaccine manufacturer.

DRAWBACKS TO  FAMACHA:    FAMACHA is a great field test for H. Contortus (barberpole stomach worm) but do NOT rely on it.  FAMACHA only tells you what is actually happening in the goat right now.  It does not reflect additional worms that haven't reached the point in their life cycle where they begin sucking blood.  This means that the goat is in imminently worse shape worm-wise than FAMACHA indicates.    A FAMACHA field test score of  RED to BRIGHT RED is all I will accept. If coloration is lighter, fecal counts must be done.

FECAL COUNTS USING McMASTERS SLIDES  are the only way to know if your dewormer worked.   Count the eggs per gram.   About 250 eggs per gram in many cases means deworming is needed, but some goats are debilitated by  a lower fecal count.   Choose a dewormer (not a "white colored" dewormer), give orally, do fecals again in seven days.  If the KILL did not reach 95%, the dewormer did not work. You get to  start over with another class of dewormer.  This is the ONLY way to know if the dewormer worked.

WHITE-COLORED DEWORMERS:   Safeguard/Panacur and Valbazen do NOT kill stomach worms in most of the USA.  I never use them for stomach worms.

COCCIDIOSIS  is a protozoan which does not respond to dewormers.  I don't include Cocci for that reason.  I have a separate article on Coccidiosis on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, ONION CREEK RANCH, Texas     7.1.2020


GoatCamp2020™ will be held at Onion Creek Ranch near Briggs, Texas (just north of Austin, Texas) Oct 26- 29,2020.

We  will be doing it a bit different this year. So people are more comfortable with avoiding the China virus, everything will be held under  roofed but open-air facilities. Classroom instruction will be held under the 8,000 s.ft. Goat Barn. I am purchasing windscreen for the north  and west sides of the GoatBarn to provide wind break if weather turns cold or rainy.

Food  and drink will be provided in the building where classes have been held  in the past, allowing us to open roll-up doors on both ends for ventilation.

People who want to wear masks are welcome to do so.

I am accepting fewer applications this year so as to keep population density low and allow for social distancing.

Details and sign-up information on the GoatCamp™ page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com.

Taking reservations for GoatCamp™ 2020

Oct 26-29, 2020

  •    FAMACHA training. Doing microscopic fecal counts
  •    Learn how to diagnose and treat illnesses and diseases
  •    Nutrition, learn how to feed property
  •    Tubing, injections
  •    Hoof trimming, hoof care
  •    Necropsy demonstration
  •    Tattooing, ear tagging
  •    Diseases affecting goats
  •    Drawing blood, disease testing
  •     Selecting goats for breeding, market sales, etc
  •    Marketing your animals
  •    Routine handling, restraints
  •    Humane slaughter demonstration
  •    Breeding, Kidding, Kid care
  •    Necropsy demonstration
  •    Importance of private property rights to goat owners.
  •    and much more, all on a working goat ranch.



The GOATCAMP™ Instructors

  • MARK SWENING, DVM - VETERINARIAN, Coleman, Texas Vet Clinic

Classroom Instruction as well as Hands-on Work with Onion Creek Ranch Goats on a working goat ranch


$475.00 IF RECEIVED ON OR AFTER 10-1-20

Registration Form ONLINE

For Additional Information: Suzanne Gasparotto - 512-265-2090 (Texas) onioncreek@tennesseemeatgoats.com


If traveling south on I-35, turn west and go through Killeen-Copperas Cove on Hwy 190. Turn on FM 2657, travel 1.8 miles west of Oakalla, and turn left onto Happy Ridge Rd. Last gate on the left near the end of this 1/2 mile long private road is the Onion Creek Ranch entrance.

If traveling south on US 183, turn east (left) at Briggs on FM 2657 and travel 6.2 miles, turning right on Happy Ridge Rd.

If traveling through Austin, take   US 183 north and turn east  (right)  at Briggs onto FM 2657.   Go 6.2 miles and turn right on Happy Ridge Rd.


Copperas Cove is the closest town only 9 miles east of Onion Creek Ranch. Lots of places to stay and eat. I've made arrangements with Hill Country Inn for a special rate for GoatCamp™ attendees. $54.99 plus tax for a king or double. It is clean, well lit, neat, well managed, with WiFI,  cable TV,  and continental breakfast included. 254-547-2345. Great Italian restaurant Giovanni's across the street on east side of traffic light. If you want a more upscale motel, Killeen to the east has a Holiday Inn Express and other motels.

Students wishing to stay in an RV park close by might want to check out Roberts Ranch RV Park . Located at 9519 FM 2657, this RV Park is about 3 miles east of Onion Creek Ranch. Contact owner Allan Roberts at 512 556 1177 for pricing and reservations.


Cancellations after Aug 1: Forfeiture of 50% of tuition; refund of remaining 50%.

Cancellations after Sep 1: Forfeiture of entire tuition.



My name is Christy Dalros. I attended Goat Camp™ in October 2016. A few weeks ago, I noticed one of my does was not acting like her normal self. She had recently given birth to triplets and had been fine up until then. I check eyes at least weekly and she had good pink membranes prior. When I checked her eyes that day she was at a 4 on the FAMACHA scale. I immediately took a fecal sample and her count was extremely high. I began deworming her but she went down to a 5 on the FAMACHA scale soon after and developed bottle jaw. I have been so worried but I have run fecal samples on her weekly and continued deworming. I started her on daily iron and B-12. I also started giving her all the alfalfa she wanted for the added protein. I am happy to say that today she had no signs of bottle jaw and her eyes were at a 3 on the FAMACHA scale.

I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to attend Goat Camp™ last year. Without your class, I would not have known what to do. I lost more than 10 goats last year by this time and because of the training GoatCamp™ gave me, I am happy to say that ALL of my goats are thriving. I run my own fecal tests, something I would never have known how to do without Goat Camp™, and I refer to your articles and the notes from GoatCamp™ regularly. Thank you so much for the knowledge you shared. You have helped me more than you know.


I want to send you a huge thanks you for doing what you do and offering me the opportunity to attend Goat Camp and learn from the best!! There was a ton of new information for me to absorb but equally valuable was to confirm whether or not I have been doing things correctly or not. It was amazing to see how you setup your operation and all the things you had to consider . Since I got home, I set up monthly random fecal testing to monitor wormload. I also have a Jeffers shopping list and a few books to add to my collection. After the necropsy, all the things that I have read and pictured finally made sense. I found that demonstration fascinating and really well explained. The 4 days for information was more than worth the time and travel and you have provided me with more confidence in looking after my little herd. I wish you all the best with your business and hope you continue to educate others, as your experience and knowledge is priceless. Shelley Helmer Canada


We had the most amazing experience at Goat camp. The information I found there was very impressive. That is one of the best decisions I have made going into this venture. My second best decision is I will be back next year. My brain hurt trying to retain all the info. I will continue to review everything you supplied but I will be lucky if I have retained 50%. My 82 year old Mother was so excited when I explained all that went on she wants to come with us.

Thank you, best money I ever spent. Brian & Lori, Rockport, Texas



Contact Suzanne Gasparotto at
512-265-2090 for prices and availability.

Tennessee Meat Goat™ and TexMasters™
are available now.
Make your reservations!


Beautiful long-haired muscled Mytonic buck. Age 2 for sale

Tennessee Meat Goats™ and TexMasters™ are the cream of the meat goat industry. Contact us for availability, ages and pricing by calling 512-265-2090 or emailing onioncreek@tennesseemeatgoats.com



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