November 2014 Issue



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GoatCamp™ 2014 Held at Onion Creek Ranch in Texas

The thirteenth annual GoatCamp™ was held at Onion Creek Ranch in Texas during October 2014. Students came from Suriname and Belize in South America, Oregon, California, Minnesota, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Arkansas, Alaska, and of course Texas. Stanley Kottayadiel returned for his second GoatCamp™.

Jeffers livestock, equine, and pet supply company in Dothan, Alabama (1-800-533-3377) once again provided students with essential supplies like weak kid syringes, digital rectal thermometers, electrolytes, and adjustable lead halters. Jeffers is a long-time sponsor of GoatCamp™ and the best place from which to buy non-prescription goat, dog, and other animal supplies. They are a long-time family-owned operation and great people.

Bob Glass of Pan American Vet Lab in Hutto, Texas explained blood testing for several different diseases and demonstrated how to draw blood from a goat. Dr. Lou Nuti of Prairie View University was unable to teach this year due to illness in his family, but he will return in 2015.

Dr. Jim Miller, parasitologist at Louisiana State University, presented a thorough overview of internal parasites and performed fecal counts under microscopes for students to view. Dr. Miller also provided FAMACHA training and certification for students. Dan Byfield, President of American Stewards of Liberty, brought us current on private property rights issues facing goat ranchers.

Kent Mills, livestock nutritionist with HiPro Feeds, taught goat nutrition -- the hardest thing to get right in any managed herd. My vet, Dr. Mark Swening of the Coleman, Texas Veterinary Clinic, was on a well-deserved vacation, so his clinic partner Dr. Mike Edington attended and performed a necropsy on a 19 year old Tennessee Meat Goat™ doe after humanely euthanizing her. Dale Weiss of Texas Vet Lab in San Angelo, Texas presented his company's recently approved vaccine for Caseous Lymphadenitis in goats.

Pat Cotten of Bending Tree Ranch in Arkansas provided hands-on training to students using Onion Creek Ranch's goats. Ear tagging, tattooing, stomach tubing, clean catch collecting of goat pills for fecal examination, hoof trimming, checking for urinary calculi by examining the pizzles of bucks and wethers, proper injection procedures, goat restraints, blood draws, and catching and handling goats safely were demonstrated.

Evelyn Martin offered her goat milk soaps and lotions for sale as she has done for the last six or more years. I encourage you to visit her website to see and purchase her wonderful products. Brooke Bonilla once again did a wonderful job of providing food and drinks daily while maintaining her regular two-job schedule in Brady.

The classes that I taught emphasized the importance of learning to THINK LIKE A GOAT and how to apply that knowledge to benefit your goat-raising activities. Staff members Carol Mathews (returning for her fifth year), Tom Thornton (his tenth year), and Dan Johnson (his first year) did a bang-up job of keeping things functioning.

GoatCamp™ will be held in 2015 during the week of October 26-29, 2015. You can sign up now on the GoatCamp™ page at My thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this 13th year of GoatCamp™ so successful. If my current ranch has been sold by then, then GoatCamp™ will be held at the new ranch currently under construction northwest of Austin, Texas. Wherever I and the goats and the dogs are, that is where GoatCamp™ will be held. See you in 2015.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 11/10/14

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™ 2015

Taking reservations for
Goat Camp™ 2015
Oct 26-29, 2015
Click Here for more info...





Suzanne W. Gasparotto of Onion Creek Ranch speaking to the class.


Pat Cotten of Bending Tree Ranch in Arkansas speaking to the class.




Dr. Miller examinating fecal
slide under microscope


Dr. Jim Miller, Parasitologist,
Louisiana State University


Slaughter demonstration (six month old TexMaster™ buckling)


Kent Mills, Livestock Nutritionist,
HiPro Feeds


Student Jan Likens (Indiana)
trimming a goat's hooves

Joe Medrano teaches proper slaughter technique.


Collecting fecal material from goat to use under microscope.

Pat Cotten teaching students
how to stomach tube a goat


Teaching meat goat conformation at the working chute area.

Goat Camp™ - Commentary from a student

Goat Camp! I pictured folks sitting around a camp fire discussing goats. Not so!

After 30 years of breeding and exhibiting goats, I still learned new and/or updated concepts that will help me provide better care for my herd. The topics covered are listed on Suzanne’s website.

We learned from experts in a nice air conditioned classroom. Each day we adjourned outdoors for hands on practice: Famacha exams, hoof trimming, injections, stomach tubing, and fecal collection were a few of the items covered. We observed a necropsy and the slaughter of a goat. We learned to prepare slides and to identify parasite eggs with a microscope.

Campers saw a well-designed goat handling system in action. It minimized stress for the goats being moved and was easy for the person moving them.

The selection of breeding animals was discussed and live examples were available. We saw a doe who was 19 years old (can you believe it)! Senior does (in their teens) were well muscled, beautifully conditioned and still productive. Someone takes good care of her goats!

Would I go back? You bet! Start saving your spare change now so you can go “GOAT CAMPING” too!

Janice Likens

Boonville, In




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