Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, Texas
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, TX
Lohn, Texas
Onion Creek Ranch "Chevon, cabrito, goat... No matter what you call it, it is the HEALTHY red meat™
Onion Creek Ranch


Iodine deficiency in goats is a disease of the thyroid gland. Under the chin behind the larynx on the front of neck, the thyroid gland enlarges to form a goiter when the goat is deficient in iodine. A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland.

Goiters are not "bottlejaw," which is anemia that is almost always caused by a heavy wormload and occurs directly under the chin. Goiters are not Caseous Lymphadenitis abscesses; CL abscesses occur at lymph glands and when located in the neck area will be under an ear, downward towards the chest, or along the jaw line.

Goiters are often nutritionally related. Much of the northern part of the USA has soils that are iodine deficient. Plants of the Brassicas family interfere with iodine uptake by the thyroid gland. This includes plants in the mustard family such as cabbage, broccoli, and turnips. Supplemental iodine will not help correct iodine deficiency in goats eating these plants. The producer must eliminate them from the goat's' diet.

The tendency to produce goiters can be inherited. Some Swiss breeds that have been linebred tend to carry abnormalities in thyroid function.

The Boer goat is a breed that is more susceptible to iodine deficiency that results in goiters. Goiters can exist in newborn kids and have been reported by Boer breeders in the USA in recent years. Thyroid deficiency can cause stillbirths or kids can be born weak and hairless or with very fine haircoats. These kids are sluggish and grow poorly. They may or may not develop skin lesions. Cobalt deficiency and its accompanying Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause goiters.

Treatment for iodine deficiency that isn't caused by plants that prevent iodine uptake is to add iodized salt to the goat's diet. Many prepared goat feeds use non-iodized mixing salt because the particles are small and have better mixing qualities. The amount of organic iodine (EDDI) put into prepared feeds is controlled by the U. S. Food & Drug Administration. Severe iodine deficiency can be treated more quickly by painting 7% iodine on a hairless part of the goat's body such as the tailweb. Free-choice feeding of kelp -- dried seaweed -- is probably the best method available. Kelp isn't always easy to find and is expensive but consumption per goat is small so overall cost should not be a major concern. A 50-pound bag of kelp lasts a long time and can be mixed with loose goat minerals to encourage consumption. Feed stores can special order kelp.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto Onion Creek Ranch

Meat Goat Mania

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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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