May 2010 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.


Visitors to Bending Tree Ranch in Arkansas quickly notice one of my “greeters” Laura, the 3 legged goat. I thought I might share her story with the rest of you that haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Laura in person.


Laura was born and raised in Missouri. Her gentle nature made her a favorite of her breeders. The following is her story as was told to me. One summer while her breeders were on vacation, the individual that was supposed to be tending the goats failed to notice Laura with a rope wrapped around her leg and trapped in the barn for 3 or so days.

It so happened soon after this time, her breeders had an illness in the family and had to disperse their whole herd. A friend from OK purchased Laura’s baby daughter and Laura’s breeders gave Laura to the doelings new owner.

The new owner realized when she got Laura and daughter home that they were much larger than their other Myotonic goats and they were offered to me in exchange for a mini doe with kids on her. I happily took them both. When they arrived I realized that there was serious damage to the leg and consulted with my vet for a treatment plan. She put Laura on 2 different antibiotics. Laura had to take 2 shots twice a day for 14 days. Because of her mobility problems we left Laura and daughter loose in our yard. This sweet goat would come when called to take her shots. Here she is, in another new home, getting stuck with needles twice a day and yet she trusted me enough to come when I called her. She would stretch her neck up to look me in the eye as though saying “thank you for taking such good care of me.” It was that sweet personality that totally won us over. We made the decision then and there to not ever send her off for slaughter or to re-home her.

Using Products Off Label/Extra Label

There are many products which Jeffers carries and sells that are not specifically approved for use with goats.

What does "off-label/extra label" actually mean to goat raisers? Are medications used off-label/extra-label illegal to use with goats?

Administration of products which are not labeled for use in goats is called "off label/extra label" usage. This does not mean that such usage is illegal. It simply means that the manufacturers of these products have not spent the time or money to complete and submit expensive detailed research studies to obtain government approval to label them for use with goats. Using products off label or extra label is NOT illegal as long as the producer has a good working relationship with a veternarian and the vet has advised the producer on proper use and dosage of the drugs. Develop a good relationship with your vet so that he/she knows about, supervises, and approves of your drug management and usage practices.

Suzanne Gasparotto and Pat Cotten


It took 4 months or so for the atrophied leg to finally fall off. I got up on Easter morning and found Laura’s leg laying in her sleeping area. Talk about startling! There was no blood, just 2-3 inches or so of shiny white bone exposed. I talked with my husband about what to do for the exposed bone. He offered to snip the exposed bone off with the limb loppers. I about fainted at that

Here is Laura with her daughter sporting her pretty purple stump.

suggestion. We wrapped it and first thing Monday morning we were sitting at the vets office waiting for them to open up. He examined her leg, went to the back and came back with limb loppers and snipped the exposed bone right off. Laura didn’t make a sound or even flinch. I laughingly told the vet I could have saved myself some money and just let my husband do that. They put her back on antibiotics and showed me how to keep it wrapped. It took several months for the skin to grow back over the stump but it finally did.

We bred Laura one time. She did great carrying her twins, only having a little trouble getting up about 4-5 days before the twins were born. We retained the newest daughter and sold the older daughter. This year was a highlight for Laura as her baby girl had twins. Laura coached her daughter Leisel all through labor and cleaned her grandbabies up. She also tried to nurse them. We finally had to separate mother and babies from “grandma Laura” so that Leisel could bond with her kids and get them fed. Laura lay outside their pen and ran off any 4-legged visitors.

Leisel, Laura’s daughter has it made. She can go and do what she wants. She just has to feed the kids now and then. Grandma Laura watches


the babies, calling to them whenever they stray off. Laura never lets the kids out of her sight. At naptime she puts them down and rests with them.


Laura is very creative finding all kinds of things to sit on. It is much easier to get up and go from a sitting position, so unless she needs to sleep or nap, or is out grazing/browsing you will find her sitting keeping watch over her grandbabies.


TIP: Avoid making multiple holes in the rubber tops of injectable medication bottles when giving shots to multiple animals at once. Put a needle in the top, leave it there, and use it for drawing medication. This method also works when drawing injectable dewormers for oral administration.


Here is Laura giving me one of her sweet “thank you” kisses. Should you have the pleasure of meeting Laura be sure to pack some cookies when you come. Her favorites are gingersnaps or animal crackers.



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All information and photos copyright © Onion Creek Ranch and may not be used without express written permission of Onion Creek Ranch. TENNESSEE MEAT GOAT ™ and TEXMASTER™ are Trademarks of Onion Creek Ranch . All artwork and graphics © DTP, Ink and Onion Creek Ranch.

Top Quality TexMaster™ bucklings available:

BendingTree Ranch TexMaster Goats

Introducing Bending Tree Ranch Clyde and Bending Tree Ranch Cletis. Born 4-13-10, Clyde’s birth weight was 6.13 lbs and Cletis weighed 7.2 lbs.

Photos taken on 4-30-10 (17 days old).

On 5-11-10 the bucks weighed in at 19.14 lbs for Clyde and 20.4 lbs for Cletis. No creep for these bucklings, they’ve been strictly dam raised to date. For more information on these or other BTR Anthony sired TexMaster™ kids contact:

Pat Cotten 501-581-5700

Bending Tree Ranch located near Greenbrier, Arkansas