Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, Texas
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, TX
Lohn, Texas
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The biggest enemy of goats (other than predators) is Haemonchus contortus, also known as the barberpole stomach worm.   Wet conditions are the perfect environment for this bloodsucking worm,  but it doesn't go away during  droughts.

A major mistake that goat raisers make is over-crowding.   Goats are deer in how they live and interact, and it is easy to get too many of them in too small of a space.   When that happens, there is a heavy fecal load, and in those fecal pellets are worm larvae.   When the worms hatch,  goats inevitably eat some of the fecal pellets as they graze for green plant materials.  When that paddock has a heavy load of fecal matter,  the worms are there to stay.

Goat population density is determined by how you can control the barberpole worm load and NOT by what there is to eat in the pasture.   If you have wormy goats,  you have too many goats per acre.  Period.  If you can't get rid of the worm load, perhaps your land is not suitable for raising goats.  Not all land works for raising goats, just like not all land is suitable for raising, for example, alfalfa.

The current drought in Texas and across the middle United States has revealed to goat raisers that having dry land isn't the only requirement for raising goats.  Wet = worms but so can drought if your management practices require changes or adjustments.

Utilizing my article on how to do your own fecals on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com, goat raisers should determine  actual worm load using McMasters slides, learn  what dewormer works by following the directions in the article, and calculate   how many goats per acre they can successfully raise on their property.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas   8.1.22

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All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.

In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Suzanne Gasparotto is not a veterinarian.Neither tennesseemeatgoats.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.

The author, Suzanne Gasparotto, hereby grants to local goat publications and club newsletters, permission to reprint articles published on the Onion Creek Ranch website under these conditions: THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. We would appreciate notification from any clubs or publications when the articles are used. (A copy of the newsletter or publication would also be a welcome addition to our growing library of goat related information!)

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