June 2021 Issue



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The Texas Vet Lab vaccine for Caseous Lymphadenitis in goats that was developed in 2011 and received US Government approval in May 2012 is permanently off the market.

The vaccine is a great tool to end CL in goats. But not enough goat raisers purchased it and the new owner of Texas Vet Labs, Bimeda, decided to end its production based upon inadequate return on investment.

I have been a great believer in it and have recommended it to every goat raiser with whom I have discussed CL. But foolish people wouldn't spend the money to use it. The vaccine not only prevented CL but it also "cured" the disease in the sense that it reduced the frequency and severity of future outbreaks.

Some especially unwise people wanted their goats to test "negative" for CL so they refused to use the vaccine. A blood test cannot distinguish between a vaccine and the disease against which it causes the body to mount an antibody response. That is how vaccines work. Some extremely foolish goat raisers preferred to leave their goats at risk to the disease rather than vaccinate. Now all our goats are are risk.

This vaccine is not coming back any time soon, if ever. Texas Vet Labs' production of this vaccine was a God-send. The only alternative now is an autogenous vaccine made from the pus of a specific herd or herds in specific small areas. This is likely to be very expensive. Tom Thompson, formerly of Texas Vet Labs and now with Bimeda, will discuss this option at GoatCamp™ at Onion Creek Ranch north of Austin, Texas this coming October 25-28, 2021. Be there to learn where we can go after this disaster has befallen the goat industry.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, ONION CREEK RANCH, Texas 6/1/21

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™ 2021

Taking reservations for
20th annual Goat Camp™
Oct 25-28, 2021
Click Here for more info...


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Spring 2021 has been very wet in many parts of the USA.  Wet = Worms.  Controlling the barberpole stomach worm load in goats is always the goat rancher's priority.  Not only can the worm load kill the goat, but a goat with a heavy worm load becomes susceptible to other illnesses like pneumonia and listeriosis.


Haemonchus contortus (barberpole stomach worm) is the primary internal parasite causing illness and death in goats. This worm has a short life cycle, produces many generations per year, sucks blood causing anemia, kills red blood cells that carry oxygen to internal organs including muscles, and kills goats. (Coccidiosis, another internal parasite, is a protozoan which does not respond to dewormers and requires a completely different medication.)

All dewormers used with goats must be given orally. No back drenching. No injections, with one exception (meningeal deerworm) which has nothing to do with Haemonchus contortus.

Do fecal counts under a microscope at least once a month. Not every goat has to be tested. Random selection of pellets should suffice. The only way you know what kinds of worms and what wormload exists is by doing fecals using McMasters slides and counting the number of eggs per gram. Fecal counts are mandatory for worm control.

FAMACHA is a field test only. Don't rely on it solely. The color of the inner lower eye membrane reflects only those worms that are already sucking blood and causing anemia. FAMACHA does not tell you how many worms are in the goat that haven't yet reached the point in their lifecycle to begin sucking blood.

Deworming does *not* mean it worked. The only way you know if your dewormer actually worked is to do fecal counts using McMasters slides and counting eggs per gram.

Learn to do your own fecals. Buy an MSK-01L microscope (corded, not battery powered) and the necessary supplies. "How do do your own fecals" is an article I wrote that is available on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com. Print it out. Read it. Re-read it. Use the information.

The white-colored dewormers (Safeguard/Panacur, Valbazen) don't kill stomach worms in most of the USA any more. Vets will recommend them because of short withdrawal time in meat and milk residue, but that doesn't help you if your goat dies from worms.

Don't use feed-based dewormers or dewormers that you top-dress on feed. Goats have a strict pecking order. The goat needing deworming the most will be the one who gets the least amount to eat.

Accurately dose dewormers. Under-dosing or over-dosing allows worms to mutate and learn to survive the dewormer. Everything we use for goats is off-label, so you must learn accurate dosing from a knowledgeable goat raiser.

Do not rotate dewormers. Use one dewormer until it quits working, then change to another class of dewormer.

Sometimes you have to use two different dewormers at the same time. When a really bad wormload exists, combinations of dewormers may be necessary. However, if the goat population is too dense and/or the weather is too wet, this will *not* solve the problem.

Use "Smart Drench" techniques. Only deworm goats in need of deworming. Use FAMACHA, fecal egg counts, and clinical signs of infection ("bottle jaw," rough hair coat, depression, off feed, diarrhea -- understanding that these symptoms can be the result of other issues, but you always begin by checking for worms) to identify wormy goats. Use a drenching nozzle (not an injection syringe) to place the dewormer over the back of the tongue. Dewormer deposited in the front of the mouth doesn't get into the proper part of the goat's rumen or may be spit out.

You can't depend upon veterinarians for accurate goat advice and care. Goats are a minor ruminant species (less than 1.9 million in the USA in 2013 and declining, down from 12 million in 1990), so vets don't receive much formal education about goats. Goats are not a sizable market for vets or pharmaceutical companies, so we have to learn how to use products off-label.

Over-crowded conditions and/or climate too wet = death sentence for goats. Under such conditions, you can de-worm repeatedly and not solve the problem. Some places are not suitable for raising goats.

Find a mentor who knows goats. With that person's assistance, educate yourself to better care for your goats.

Almost all problems with goats start with heavy worm loads. Proper management is 100% of raising healthy goats. Controlling worm loads is your starting point.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, ONION CREEK RANCH, Briggs, Texas 6.1.21



Onion Creek Ranch goats, both Tennessee Meat Goat™ and TexMaster™ genetics, are heavily-muscled meat goats that I've developed for use as herd sires and dams by producers who want to improve the meat yield of their does' offspring.

When buyers inquire about availability and price, I ask questions about the their goat-ranching operation, experience, and intended goals so that I can recommend the correct breed for their specific needs. Since most prospective buyers have never seen these breeds and some people have misconceptions about what they are, this evaluation process is important.

Tennessee Meat Goat™ is the designation I give to the larger and more heavily muscled fullblood Myotonic that I began developing in 1990. I wait until the goat is a year old so I can be confident of its confirmation and quality before I give it the TMG designation. All you can tell about a meat goat under a year of age is its color and its sex. TexMasters™ originated as a composite breed in 1995, when I used Tennessee Meat Goats™ and Boers. I quickly learned that even a small amount of Boer influence greatly reduced MEAT in the offspring, so I significantly reduced the "Boer" influence in this breed. The TexMaster™ breed has been breeding "true" since 1998, making it a breed in its own right.

How these goats perform for the buyer directly reflects back upon Onion Creek Ranch's breeding programs so I have an intense interest in getting the right goats matched with each purchaser.

Developing these animals has taken several decades and I continue to improve upon them with each generation. My goal has always been to create the best meat-goat breeding stock on the planet. I am blessed to have been able to do so.

Each month in MeatGoatMania online,Suzanne Gasparotto's ONION CREEK RANCH and Pat Cotten's BENDING TREE RANCH publish ads of goats for sale. There is also a FEATURED GOATS page on Onion Creek Ranch's website www.tennesseemeatgoats.com. There is no specific "sale" page because I want to talk with you and learn about your individual needs. Please be patient when you call or write, because the questions are not being asked to be intrusive but so that I can best serve your meat-goat breeding stock buying needs.

Prospective buyers visiting Onion Creek Ranch (512.265.2090 or onioncrk@centex.net) and Bending Tree Ranch (PM her on Facebook or email bendingtreeranch@gmail.com) must do so by appointment. Our work load will not permit "drop in" visitors. It takes several hours to view the goats and learn about them. .

Suzanne and Pat are in daily contact and work together to provide buyers with the goats that they need. You are welcome to contact both of us; information and pricing structure is comparable from each of us. We have a limited number of goats for sale out of each breeding season.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Briggs, Tx. 6/1/21



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

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

Bucks for sale!


Tennessee MeatGoat™ and TexMaster™ bucks put MORE MEAT on your does' offspring.


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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