October 2011 Issue



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Construction and Usage

Every goat producer must have an adult goat stomach tube on hand for emergencies. Buy the supplies and make one now; you won't have the luxury of time to do it when an emergency arises. Total materials cost is less than $10.00 in today's market (Year 2007).

Take the following list of items to your local hardware store or building supply and have the items cut to the lengths indicated:

  • Five (5) feet of 1/2 inch OD (outside diameter) by 5/16 inch ID (inside diameter) clear vinyl flexible tubing.
  • Three (3) inches of 5/8 inch OD by 1/2 inch ID clear vinyl flexible tubing.
  • Eight and one-half (8-1/2) inches of 3/4 inch CPVC pipe (lightweight utility grade PVC).
  • At WalMart's automotive department, buy a yellow plastic funnel (cost in April 2007 is 57 cents). The opening of this funnel fits the 3 inch clear vinyl tubing perfectly. Note: If you can find a plastic funnel with an opening large enough to fit the five-foot length of clear flexible vinyl tubing, then you won't have to purchase the three inches of larger-diameter tubing.

Assembly is quick and easy. File one end of the flexible tubing smooth so that the goat won't be injured when the tubing is fed through its mouth and into the rumen. Attach the other end of the tubing to the funnel with the three-inch piece of tubing. File both ends of the CPVC pipe very smooth. Affix the plastic funnel to the three-inch section of tubing. You now have what is needed to stomach tube an off-feed goat.

Stomach tubing an adult goat is even easier than tubing a kid because the risk of threading the catheter (tube) into the lungs is less. If you are scared of stomach tubing because you fear making a mistake, think of this -- the goat is going to die if you don't try. You have no reasonable alternative but to learn to use a stomach tube. The sick goat is depending upon you to help.

When a sick adult goat goes completely off-feed, it is virtually impossible to syringe enough electrolytes and nutrients into it. A 100-pound goat needs one gallon of fluids daily to survive. One gallon is 3,840 cc's. Let me state this again, one gallon is 3,840 cc's. Purchase some Entrolyte (Pfizer's oral calf nutrient powder 13% protein plus electrolytes) or similar product and mix one of the packets with water as directed. Stomach tube the sick adult goat morning and night with this mixture until it begins eating on its own again. Stomach tubing should be done in no more than one-half gallon increments and sometimes less, depending upon the size and condition of the goat. Less fluid per treatment is often better; do not overload the rumen. Allow time for absorption by the goat's body.

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.


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To insert the stomach tube into the goat, have another person hold the animal steady and slightly stretch its neck out straight; do not twist or bend the neck. Place the short piece of CPVC into the goat's mouth as far back as possible to prevent the goat from biting and swallowing the soft tubing. (Surgery will required to remove swallowed tubing so that the goat does not die). Before inserting the tubing, place it outside the goat's body from tip of nose to the back of the ribs, keeping the head in normal position to measure how much tubing should be inserted through the mouthpiece to reach the rumen. Uncurl the tubing and thread it through the CPVC pipe. If you meet resistance, pull the tubing out and begin again. Before pouring liquid into the funnel, listen for a crackling/gurgling/popping sound which indicates you are in the rumen and not in the lungs. Gently blow into the funnel end of the tube to obtain more sound feedback to further insure that you do not have the tube in the lungs. Remember to hold the funnel end of the tubing as high as possible for good gravity flow. Slowly begin to pour liquid into the funnel. If the fluid does not flow through the funnel and into the tube that is in the goat, pull the tube out slightly . . . . you've got it in too far. When all of the liquid has been poured into the tube, wait several seconds before removing the tubing so that none enters the lungs as it is withdrawn. The soft tubing should be pinched when pulling the tube out to prevent any residue left in the tube from entering the lungs. Rinse the tubing, funnel, and PVC thoroughly and let them dry so that they are ready for re-use when needed.

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The kids and dams who survived May-August 2011 severe heat stress described in June 2011 issue of MeatGoatMania


OCR Miriam survived losing all three of her kids but has an unrepairable hernia in front of her udder as a result of pushing the dead kids out and cannot be bred again. She adopted and raised Pearl, the black doeling pictured with Monica, who lost her dam to heat stress.


Pearl shows her appreciation to Monica for all that special care she got as a heat-stressed newborn.


Currently available at Bending Tree Ranch in Arkansas

50% TexMaster™ 50% Spanish yearling doe available. Currently in breeding pen with BTR Cupid’s Arrow for March kidding.

BendingTree Ranch TexMaster Goats

BTR Caramel with two fullblood TexMaster™ does.


BTR Caramel


Contact :

Pat Cotten 501-679-4936
Bending Tree Ranch
Located near Greenbrier, AR

For day to day happenings at Bending Tree Ranch visit us at our blog: www.cottenpatch.blogspot.com

You can see more available TexMasters™ both fullblood as well as percentages at our website: www.bendingtreeranch.com or contact us privately at:

Pat Cotten 501-679-4936
or e-mail: bendingtreeranch@cyberback.com

For day to day happenings at Bending Tree Ranch visit us at our blog www.cottenpatch.blogspot.com



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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.