March 2021 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.


A soft swelling on the front of the throat where the chin meets the neck of a young kid is a "milk goiter." Sometimes called a "milk neck," it occurs at about three weeks of age and can last until the goat is eight to nine months old. It is normal, nothing to be concerned about, and should be left alone.

This soft swelling occurs in kids of dairy and dairy-influenced breeds (this includes Boers and Kikos) and is an enlargement of the thymus gland. It is not an iodine deficiency. Do not supplement the kid with iodine; iodine toxicity is easy to induce. It is not caseous lymphadenitis. It is not bottlejaw; bottlejaw is a swelling under the chin.

"Milk goiter" is often associated with heavy-milking breeds. An enlarged thymus gland is part of the development of a good immune system in many juvenile mammals, including goats. When this soft swelling finally disappears, it sometimes leaves a small pocket of loose skin.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 3.1.21


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Bending Tree Ranch located near Greenbrier, Arkansas

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