Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Basic Farm Finance Training by Cornell Cooperative Extension

News from Northern New York Regional Agriculture Initiative of Cornell
Cooperative Extension

PRESS RELEASE: November 19, 2012

Contact: Anita Deming, CCE Essex, 518-962-4810 x409; Anita Figueras, CCE St.
Lawrence, 315-379-9192; Peggy Murray, CCE Lewis, 315-376-5270

Basic Farm Finance Training Offered in Burrville, Canton, Malone, Plattsburgh,
and Westport; pre-register by Dec. 3, 10

The Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) associations of Northern New York are
offering a basic financial management training for farm business owners and managers.
Educators will cover the three basic financial statements every farm business should
use, recordkeeping systems, inventory management, cash flow vs. profitability, crop
insurance and risk management.

The 1pm-3 pm course qualifies for FSA Borrower Training Credits. Cost is
$10/class/farm or $25 for series of three classes.

This class is for beginning farmers and farmers who want to know more about basic
bookkeeping, and such tools as profitability measures, accrual accounting, and
depreciation. The small classroom setting allows for lots of questions and one-on-one
help from instructors.

Instructors Peggy Murray and Anita Figueras say at the end of the course participants
will be able to track income, expenses and inventory in the form of a farm business
summary and have a good start on a plan for improving farm profitability in 2013.
The Managing with Finance training will be offered in:

Plattsburgh: December 10, January 7 and January 21; CCE Clinton County office,
6064 NYS Rte 22. Pre-register by Dec. 3 with CCE Clinton County, 518-561-7450.

Malone: December 11, January 8 and January 22; Franklin County USDA Service
Center, 151 Finney Boulevard. Pre-register by Dec. 3 with CCE Franklin County, 518-

Burrville: December 12, January 9 and January 22; Farm Credit East, 25417 NY Route
12. Pre-register by Dec. 10 with CCE Lewis County, 315-376-5270.

Canton: December 12, January 9 and January 23; CCE St. Lawrence County
Extension Farm Learning Classroom, 2043B St. Hwy. 68. Pre-register by Dec. 10 with
CCE St. Lawrence County, 315-379-9192.

Westport: December 14, January 10 and January 24; CCE Essex County office, 3
Sisco Street. Pre-register by Dec. 10 with CCE Essex County, 518-962-4810 x0.

Cornell Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.
Learn more about Extension in Northern New York at -30-

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sheep and Goat Programs for Clinton, Jefferson, and Franklin County This Week

Clinton County CCE: Peter Hagar, 518-561-7450
Jefferson County CCE
: Ron Kuck, 315-788-8450
St. Lawrence County CCE
: Betsy Hodge, 315-379-9192

NNY Sheep & Goat Care Programs Set for Watertown, Canton, Plattsburgh

The Northern New York Regional Livestock Team of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) will hold Winter Sheep and Goat Care Programs November 27 in Watertown, November 28 in Canton and November 29 in Plattsburgh.

At each program a veterinarian will present good winter health practices and tasks for attention before the weather turns colder, and Cornell Cooperative Extension livestock specialist Betsy Hodge and a local CCE representative will talk about feed inventory and how different winter storage methods impact the amount of feed needed to keep sheep and goats all winter.

Hodge says, “Due to the dry North Country summer, many farmers harvested less feed than usual and the weather changed the quality of the feed. There is very little high quality second-cut hay available. Workshop participants will use worksheets to figure out how on-farm supply stacks up to the need for winter feed.”

The program fee is $5. Winter Sheep and Goat Care Programs will be held:
Tuesday, November 27: CCE Jefferson County office, Watertown, 6:30pm, 315-788-8450
Wednesday, November 28: CCE St. Lawrence County Extension Learning Farm, Canton, 7:00pm, 315-379-9192
Thursday, November 29: CCE Clinton County office, Plattsburgh, 6:30pm, 518-561-7450.

CCE Clinton County Agriculture Educator Peter Hagar says interest in programs for small livestock producers is growing across the region. Ten producers are already registered for the Plattsburgh program.

Cornell Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Clinton County Goat/Sheep Meeting

The Clinton County meeting will be held on Thursday, November 29that 6:30 pm

Livestock Educator Betsy Hodge from CCE St. Lawrence will be presenting information on evaluating your feed inventory, choosing the proper supplements and buying hay.   Betsy manages both her own flock of sheep as well as the Cooperative Extension Learning Farm flock.
Dr. Sarah McCarter, a local veterinarian who raises both sheep and goats, will talk about keeping your sheep and goats healthy during the cold winter months. 

Please register in advance by calling the extension office at 561-7450 or email  There is a $5.00 registration fee that includes pizza & beverages.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cornell Sheep and Goat Symposium

October 26 and 27, 2012 at Morrison Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca. On Friday 26 October from 11 am to 5 pm there will be a pre-symposium hands-on practical day (advance sign-up required) for novice sheep and goat farmers at the Cornell Sheep Farm in Harford, NY for $10/person including lunch. Additionally, a field necropsy workshop (advanced sign-up required) will be held at the Cornell Sheep Farm from 2:30 to 5 pm on Friday for farmers who have registered for Saturday’s Sheep & Goat Symposium. This workshop is geared towards farmers with some experience.

Deadline to register is October 17, 2012! Please go to for more information.

Friday, September 28, 2012

September Meeting Summary

Summary: The topic of this meeting was “breeding”. Below is a quick summary of what was discussed:

Birthing/Delivery – Most births don’t need assistance. The time to intervene is when the kid is presented with only a nose and no front legs forward, head turned back, or total breech with the butt coming and no back legs forward. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and have your fingernails cut short. Remove all jewelry from hands. Put on gloves if available. Slowly insert a lubed hand into goat. Close your eyes for best visualization of kid parts. Try to pull a leg or both legs forward in order to facilitate delivery. Total breech and head turned back are most dangerous because kid will not be able to be delivered in this position. Push kid back inside in these cases in order to reposition.

Kid Care – Be sure to clip and then dip navel cords in iodine or betadine immediately after birth. Navel cords are a pathway for bacteria to directly enter the kid so they need to be disinfected after birth while they dry up. Put a good dowsing of iodine all over the cord and navel area. This will prevent navel ill that causes massive internal infection and death. When clipping the cord you can use cord clamps or dental floss or string to tie it off. Clip just below the knot or clamp. Leave a ½” or more of cord when clipping. Then dip in iodine/betadine.

Yearly Vaccinations – Goats are typically vaccinated for rabies and CDT. Rabies is present in this area and goats can get it. Symptoms of rabies in goats includes slobbering, drunken staggering, staring off into space. Rabies is fatal in goats and humans can get rabies from an infected goat. There is no approved vaccine for rabies in goats but the sheep-approved vaccine will work for goats. The CDT vaccine is recommended to be given to pregnant goats who are 4-6 weeks from delivery. This will transfer some immunity to the kids for enterotoxemia and tetanus through the colostrum. The kids are then vaccinated at 6 weeks old and then again 4 weeks later. Bi-annual revaccination is recommended from then on for life. Enterotoxemia and tetanus are fatal to goats and hard to treat once symptoms are noticeable. Kids are prone to entertoxemia more than adult goats. Tetanus can strike goats at any life stage.

Vaccination is a personal farm management decision. Some people are in favor and some are not. Do lots of research on the subject and make your own herd management decisions.

Tattooing – Tattoos are required for registration of goats. Goats must be registered in order to be shown. Ear tattoos are used in the Swiss breeds, Nigerian Dwarfs, and Nubians. Tail tattoos must be used in Lamanchas. The tattoo sequence is determined by the goat’s registration with the American Dairy Goat Association. When tattooing be sure to test the tattoo on a piece of paper before using it on the goat to make sure you have the numbers/letters in the right order. Make sure you tattoo the correct ear on the correct goat with the correct tattoo sequence. If the tattoo is incorrect, this will cause problems when checking the goat into a show because they will get identified at the show by their tattoos. To tattoo a tail on a Lamancha, clean your tattooing tools with alcohol before use. Wipe the goat’s tail with alcohol. Test the tattoo sequence on paper to verify. Place the tattoo in the center of the tail and press down hard enough to get the needles to go through the skin. Wipe any blood off of the tattoo. Apply tattoo ink and rub it in with a gloved finger. Repeat for second tattoo. Clean tattooing equipment with alcohol afterwards to prevent spreading diseases. When tail tattooing it is best to place the tattoos down the center of the tail and not in the tail web on either side. It is hard to read a tail web tattoo and distortion can happen as the goat grows which can make the tattoo illegible.

Blood Collection – Blood collection is good for testing for CAE, Johnes, CL, Brucellosis and pregnancy. To take a blood sample on a goat use a 5 mL syringe, a 22G X 1/2” needle, and a vacutainer blood collection tube. Clip the hair from the area around the jugular vein. Press slightly on the vein to cause it to pop out. With your other hand insert the needle into the vein, at a parallel angle, until you see blood in the syringe. Slowly pull plunger until you have enough blood, about 2 mL. Remove needle from goat and apply pressure to the site for a few seconds. Insert needle into vacutainer and empty syringe. Do this immediately before blood clots and gets stuck in the syringe.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Upcoming Events - September 2012

The Adirondack Goat Club is busy this September!

We started the month at the Farm2Fork Fest in Saranac Lake at Riverside Park on Labor Day weekend. Gail Huston and Rose Bartiss brought three goats to display for people at the fest. Rose had her Angora wether and her Alpine doeling. Gail brought her Lamancha yearling. The goats had a great time hanging out and meeting new people. Rose brought some of her goat's milk soaps and sold quite a few throughout the day. Many returning customers remarked on how moisturizing and gentle the soap is to use.

The next Goat Club event will be a general meeting on September 23, 2012 at Gail Huston's house in Bloomingdale, NY from 12pm - 3pm. The theme of the meeting will be "Breeding". We will talk about what is needed to prepare for breeding season, finding good breeding stock, heats, pregnancy, etc. The meeting is a potluck so bring some food or drinks to share. Even if you aren't planning on breeding this year, please stop by and enjoy some goat talk and good food!

The Goat Club will end September by being at the Adirondack Rural Skills and Homesteading Festival at the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths, NY. The Fest is on September 29 from 9am - 5pm. This celebration of rural skills will showcase the talents of a bygone era with a distinctly Adirondack flair. Exhibitions will include logging and farming with draft horses sponsored by the Paul Smith’s Draft Horse Club, and a demonstration of competitive lumberjack sports by the Paul Smith’s Woodsmen’s Team. Workshops will appeal to a wide range of interests and include topics such as local and seasonal cooking, cider making, cheese making, packbasket construction, renewable energy, fall gardening, heating with firewood and primitive skills. The Adirondack Goat Club will be presenting a workshop on "How To Milk Your Goat". Rose Bartiss will have her Alpine milking goat there for the day to demonstrate proper milking technique. She will also have more of her soap for sale. Gail Huston will be there with some of her goats as well. If you are interested in helping out with the Goat Club at this event, please contact Rose Bartiss. This event is $5 per person to attend or $10 per van load for the day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Next Meeting: September 23, 2012

The next ADK Goat Club meeting will be on Sunday, September 23, 2012 from 12pm - 3pm at Gail Huston's house in Bloomingdale. For directions please contact Rose Bartiss at rosesgoats(at) The theme of the meeting will be "Breeding: Preparation and Breeder Selection". We will discuss signs of heat, best times to breed, how to pick a buck, how to pick a breeding doe, what does need during pregnancy, buck health, etc.

This meeting will be a potluck lunch, so please bring a dish to pass around. All are welcome to attend, even if you aren't planning to breed your goats this fall. Please come and join us for some goat fun!

The ADK Goat Club will be at the Farm2Fork Fest in Saranac Lake at Riverside Park this Saturday (9/1/12) from 9am - 2pm. We will have some of our goat friends with us to help educate people about the caprine world. If you haven't been to the Farm2Fork Fest before, I highly recommend it! It is like a huge Farmer's Market with lots of fresh food to eat made by local restaurants, free seminars on homesteading and food preparation, and activities for the kids. Check it out at

Friday, August 3, 2012

ADK Goat Club Breeding Program 2012

The Adirondack Goat Club is looking to create a list of local goat owners who are in need of goat breeding services in order to facilitate the match-up of sires and dams for the 2013 kidding season. If you have doe goats who are in need of stud services or buck goats available for stud, please contact me (Rose Bartiss). This list can also be used by buyers and sellers of breeding age goats who are looking to sell bucks and does for the 2012 breeding season. All agreements as to breeding services, stud fees, sale prices, etc. will be handled individually by the goat owners. The list is free to join.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Potter Park Zoo euthanizes goats for Johnes

Full text found here:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE&gcheck=1&nclick_check=1

LANSING — An infectious disease that afflicts hooved animals prompted the Potter Park Zoo to euthanize its goat herd in May, the zoo confirmed Thursday.

The pygmy goats contracted Johne’s Disease, which causes a gradual thickening of the lining of the intestine and eventually leads to death, the zoo said. The animals were put down to keep them from suffering and to prevent the disease from spreading to other zoo animals, it said.

“Once we discovered they were infected, we basically had to put them to sleep so they would not suffer,” said Tara Harrison, the zoo’s veterinarian and curator. “We caught it early enough that none of the other animals in the zoo were infected.”

The six goats were in the petting zoo exhibit and have since been replaced by seven baby goats that came from a farm free of Johne’s disease, Harrison said.

Johne’s Disease, or mycobaterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP), is hard to detect and afflicts cattle, deer, sheep, goats and other ruminants, according to information on a Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine Web page.

Animals typically contract the disease at a young age, but don’t show symptoms for several years.
MAP is common in goats and cattle and is present in 60 to 70 percent of the state’s goat herds, Harrison said. It can take up to three months to determine whether an animal is infected using the most reliable test for the disease, she said.

Harrison said the zoo had been managing the problem over the past year, testing each animal individually and euthanizing them when they tested positive. Toward the end, all of the remaining goats tested positive and were put down, she said.

“We don’t like to euthanize animals, but it was the most humane thing to do,” the vet said. “It was the best thing to do for the goats and the best thing to do for all of the animals here at the zoo.”
The zoo took extraordinary measures to prevent the disease from spreading to other animals, scorching the earth to kill bacteria, replacing the top three inches of soil and disinfecting the barn with bleach, she said.

Also, staff who care for the goats do not care for any of the other hooved animal species, she said.
The zoo’s other hooved residents include the critically endangered black rhino, Bactrian camel, eastern bongo and scimitar-horned oryx, along with llamas, donkeys and yaks.

The new goats are a pygmy breed and a cross of the pygmy and Nigerian Dwarf breeds, Harrison said.

“We fully intend to keep them here for their entire lives,” she said.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Goat Night Summary

Here is a summary of what I presented at Goat Night:

Mineral Supplementation - Use a loose mineral blend designed specifically for goats for the best results. Goats need lots of minerals to stay healthy. Look for a loose mineral that has less than 20% salt, over 1500 ppm of copper, added selenium, and a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1. I prefer Sweetlix Meatmaker 16:8 for my goats. It works for all types of goats, not just meat goats. Maximize your goat's mineral consumption by not having baking soda, mineral blocks or salt licks available at the same time as their loose minerals.Mineral blocks and non-goat specific minerals or "all stock" minerals will not have enough of the essential minerals that goats need.

Feeding - Goats need more than just goat grain to stay healthy. All grains (corn, oats, wheat, barley, etc) and grassy hay and grassy pasture contain high amounts of phosphorus. It is important to counteract the phosphorus in a goat's diet with calcium at at 2:1 ratio. You can do this by feeding at least 3 parts alfalfa pellets to every one part grain for all goats (lactating, pregnant, males, females, wethers, pets, meat, etc). Too much phosphorus containing grain and hay and not enough calcium rich alfalfa can cause urinary calculi in male goats and hypocalcemia in female goats. Look for a grain blend that has no urea, low amounts of corn, and low amounts of molasses. Black oil sunflower seeds can be added to a goat's diet for conditioning.

Fiber/forage/hay/pasture must be fed in addition to any grain and loose minerals. The breakdown of fiber in the goat's stomach keeps the good bacteria working and producing B vitamins. If the bacteria are compromised by too much grain and not enough fiber they will die and stop synthesizing B vitamins. Goats will get "Goat Polio" which is blindness and paralysis caused by a lack of the B vitamin Thiamine. Immediate supplementation with thiamine is essential to reverse the effects of goat polio. The good bacteria also produce heat for the goat so constant access to fiber is very important in winter.

Fresh, clean water is a must for all goats. Goats don't like stale water.

Parasite Control - All goats have internal and external parasites. There are many different kinds of them. The internal parasites include stomach/gastrointestinal worms, lungworms, liver flukes, meningeal worm (brainworm), and coccidia. These parasites may need different kinds of dewormers and antibiotics to kill them. Check your goats for internal parasites by assessing their body condition, looking at the color of the lower eyelid membranes, and fecal samples. Only deworm or treat goats for parasites after you determine what type of parasites they have using these assessments.

External parasites can be a problem. Check goats for lice and mites. Ticks, fleas, blackflies, mosquitoes, deer flies, and biting flies can bother goats.

Hooves - Trim your goat's hooves often. Check them every 4 - 6 weeks to see if they need to be trimmed.

Horns - If you don't want goats to have horns you must disbud them at under 2 weeks old. This is the best method to use.

Common Diseases - There are 4 main diseases that goats can have. You can test for these by sending a blood sample to WADDL (Washington University Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory).You do not need a veterinarian to do this for you. You can take the samples yourself and send them. All 4 tests can be done on the same sample of 2-3mL of blood.

CAE is Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis. It is found in 70-80% of all goats in the world. 10% of these goats will exhibit clinical symptoms. The other 90% may never show symptoms but can pass the virus to other goats. The virus is only found in goats. It does not effect humans. Symptoms of the virus include paralytic encephalitis in kids, arthritis in adult goats, and hard udders at freshening. The only way to know for sure if a goat has CAE is to do a blood test. There is no vaccine, cure, or treatment for this. CAE spreads from infected moms to their uninfected kids through the milk. CAE can be prevented from infecting new goats by pulling the babies from their moms at birth, and feeding baby goats heat treated colostrum and then pasteurized goat milk. The virus is killed by heat treatment and pasteurization. Negative animals must never consume raw milk from positive goats. I recommend testing your entire herd for CAE. Retest all negative animals annually until you feel confident that your herd is CAE-free. CAE positive animals can live long lives and be healthy. It is important to address their other health concerns, such as mineral supplementation, feeding, and parasites, to keep them healthy as long as possible. Be sure to use CAE prevention if you want to sell goats as breeding stock from CAE positive parents.

CL is Caseous Lymphadenditis. It is a bacterial disease that infects goats, occasionally sheep, and rarely humans. The bacteria causes large internal and external abscesses around the lymph nodes as well as other parts of the body. There is no treatment or cure for the disease once the goats have the bacteria in them. There is a vaccine that is used in sheep but may not be effective in goats. You can test for CL with a blood test or by testing the pus from an abscess. The abscesses can burst and spread the bacteria all around your herd and property. If a goat is positive for CL I recommend euthanizing them immediately.

Johnes or paratuberculosis is bacterial disease that effects all ruminants. It can spread for goats to sheep to cows and vice versa. The disease causes a thickening on the intestinal wall to the point that the animal will starve to death even though they are eating well. It is highly contagious and lives in the soil for a long time. There is no treatment, cure or vaccine for this. Testing can be done by blood or fecal sample. I recommend euthanizing positive animals immediately and moving all negative animals to new, uninfected property.

Brucellosis is very rare in the US and not found in NY at this time. It causes late term abortions and infertility in goats. People tend to test for this because it can be done by using the same blood sample that is used for testing CAE, CL, and Johnes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Goat Night and the next meeting

"Goat Night" at Ward Lumber last night was a great success! A special thanks goes out to Ward Lumber for sponsoring the event. They provided free pizza and soda, as well as four bags of Poulin goat feed for door prizes. The pizza was very good and even featured local goat cheese from Mad River Creamery, courtesy of Asgaard Farms. Don't forget that Ward Lumber in Jay has a great line-up of goat products available, from Poulin grains, to Premier goat fencing, to Sweetlix goat minerals. They can order anything you need for your goats if they don't already have it in stock. They also offer free deliver of feed and supplies every other week, direct to your farm. Just send them your order, leave a check in the barn, and they will drop off the stuff you need.

I presented a wide range of topics last night to help out the new and not-so-new goat owner. Goats are unique animals and special considerations must be made in the care and feeding of them. Goats can't be managed the same as cows, horses, or sheep. I presented what I felt were the major important points that every goat owner needs to know that makes goat care different from other species. I talked about proper mineral supplementation using loose, goat specific minerals. I spoke about feeding an alfalfa to grain ratio of 3:1 in order to provide a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1. I touched on the importance of constant access to fiber/forage/fresh pasture and access to clean, fresh water for a goat's health. I spent some major time talking about the different types of internal and external parasites and how to identify goats that are infested. Hoof and horn care were mentioned. And I spent the remainder of the presentation talking about the importance and reasoning behind testing your goats annually (or at least occasionally) for CAE, CL, Johnes, and Brucellosis using a blood sample.

The audience seemed to enjoy the presentation. There were a lot of great questions and comments throughout the night. I really hope I helped people understand their goats a little better!

The next ADK Goat Club meeting will be in September. The theme will be "breeding". I am hoping to get a list together of people who need a buck for breeding this fall and people who have bucks available to do the job. Even if you don't plan on breeding this year, please come to the meeting. It is always a good time to interact with your fellow goat owners. If you are interested in hosting the next Goat Club meeting, please let me (Rose) know.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Goat Night! Register Today!

There's 28 people registered already for the first ever "Goat Night" at Ward Lumber in Jay, NY. The event is July 10, 2012 at 6:30pm. There will be free pizza and soda, and I will be giving a presentation on "Tips on Goat Keeping". The presentation will include information on mineral supplementation, feeding, parasite management, hooves, horns and common diseases of the goat. These are all things that new and old goat owners can benefit from knowing. I will be bringing along some of my goats to visit with everyone during the presentation. It should be a great night!

Please register for Goat Night at

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

SLVDGA Meeting June 30

The St. Lawrence Valley Dairy Goat Association will have a meeting on June 30, 2012. The SLVDGA is a small club centered around Canton/Potsdam. The club is open to all goat owners and enthusiasts. It's a great group! Please contact the SLVDGA President for more information - moonvalleymeadows(at)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sweetlix Now Available at Ward Lumber

Ward Lumber in Jay, NY now has Sweetlix Meatmaker 16:8 loose minerals for goats in stock! It is normally a special order item and can take a while to get in. They are selling it for about $23 for a 25 lbs. bag. One bag will last a couple of goats for a month or more. Sweetlix Meatmaker is one of the best mineral blends on the market for all types of goats (not just meat goats).

Go pick up some loose minerals today!

Don't forget -- Ward Lumber in Jay will deliver feed and other animal supplies to your farm free of charge every two weeks. To get on the delivery list, go to

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rotational Grazing

From the Premier 1 Fence company monthly newsletter:
Pasture Management
Is It Worth The Effort?
by Byron Leu
Beef Production Specialist
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Pasture Management-Is It Worth The Effort?

Recent trends in the agricultural sector have led to a number of challenges for livestock producers in the Midwest. Grain prices and land values have both significantly increased over the past several years. These historically high prices have created a number of issues especially for beef cow-calf and sheep producers. The higher land prices are pressuring producers to incur higher grazing costs and pasture rental payments. In some instances, this cost has increased 20% to 50% for the grazing period. Also, high grain prices are creating land-use competition-with many producers considering planting grain crops on traditional forage ground to take advantage of the current high grain prices. These considerations are forcing livestock producers to explore methods to improve pasture production per acre in order to maintain their livestock enterprises-not only to control grazing costs per unit but also to produce adequate forage production in a cost-effective system.

Obviously there are numerous approaches that can be incorporated into an operation that address these production and economic challenges. Due to limited space, we can't explore them all-but let's look at several basic options:

Evaluate your forage base

  • Will your current pasture species provide adequate production and quality levels to meet your animal's performance and nutritional needs throughout the grazing period? What are the weaknesses?
  • Are legumes a part of your traditional grass-based pastures? Studies have shown that legumes can contribute to improved animal performance and also provide nitrogen for grass growth. Trials reflect that pasture stands of 2/3 grass and 1/3 red clover have shown similar production levels as N-fertilized grass. Also, researchers have shown that incorporating legumes into unimproved grass pastures increase pasture production over 30%. End result-increased animal performance, improved pasture productivity, and potentially lower fertilization expenses.

Develop a workable system

  • What system is best for you? The main point to this question is that if you are attempting to improve productivity and utilization rates, then it is recommended to consider some sort of rotational system. If you compare a rotational system with 4 to 5 paddocks to a continuous grazing program, you can expect a production increase of 15%. Double the number of paddocks (i.e., 8 to 10), and you can pick up another 15%. Without question, some level of rotational grazing can have a positive impact on your bottom line and strengthen the competitiveness of your grazing operation.

Phase out continuous grazing

  • Why? University tests have shown that animal gain per acre increased an average of over 40% in rotational systems when compared to continuous grazing. Plus, a University of Georgia study indicated a 36% increase in stocking rate and calf gain per acre when comparing rotational grazing to continuous grazing-with no difference in conception rates or individual calf weaning weights. Add in the potential of improved plant persistence, forage productivity, and manure distribution. So why not consider abandoning the continuous approach?

Balance your system to match your resources

  • This is key to the success of any grazing system. Utilize and incorporate the information and resources that you have available. This includes management approaches such as adjusting paddock size/location, frost seeding/interseeding, new watering strategies, incorporating a different grazing system approach, early weaning, trying new forage varieties-the options are extensive. Plus, don't forget the basics-manage both the production side as well as the expense side of the equation.
The intended outcomes of the incorporation of these options include an increase in pasture productivity, an improvement in forage utilization, a reduction in per unit grazing costs, and an extension of the grazing period. Is it worth the effort? This author is confident that these efforts will assist livestock producers who combat escalating land and feed costs-and at the same time meet or exceed animal performance needs and expectations. Good luck!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

July Event

The next ADK Goat Club event will be "Goat Night" on July 10, 2012 at 6:30pm at Ward Lumber in Jay, NY. Rose Bartiss will be giving a presentation titled "Tips on Goat Keeping". There will be free pizza and soda. There will also be door prizes! Please register for the event by going to

Monday, May 21, 2012

May Meeting Wrap-Up and July Event

With the hot and sunny weather on Sunday, I think people must have decided to stay home and play with their goats instead of going to the Goat Club meeting. Only Gail and I were in attendance. We talked goats and ate some delicious goat cheese pasta and goat milk pudding pie. Gail's goats were happy to entertain us with their goaty antics.

The next ADK Goat Club event will be on July 10, starting at 6:30pm, at Ward Lumber in Jay, NY. I will be giving a presentation titled "Tips on Goat Keeping". Ward Lumber is sponsoring the event. There will be free pizza and soda. There will also be door prizes! Please register for the event by going to I hope to see all of you there!!!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

May Meeting Location

The ADK Goat Club will have a meeting on May 20 from 12pm - 3pm at Gail Huston's house in Bloomingdale. For directions, please contact her at adirondackdogs(at)

I hope to see you there!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Meeting: May 20, 2012

The next ADK Goat Club will have a meeting on May 20, 2012 from 12pm - 3pm. I am not sure of the location yet but I will post as soon as I know. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

May Meeting

The ADK Goat Club will have a meeting in May. I am currently looking for someone to volunteer to host the meeting at their farm. The theme of the meeting will be "Milk and Milking". Please let me know if you would like to host. Also let me know what date/time in May works for you.

We will have a milk recipe contest at the meeting. Bring your favorite dish that includes goat milk. The three best dishes will win a prize!

Monday, April 9, 2012

ADK Goat Club to work with Ward Lumber in Jay, NY

The ADK Goat Club will be working with Ward Lumber in Jay, NY to present "Goat Night" on July 10 at 7pm at the Ward Lumber store. The night will feature a lecture by Rose Bartiss on tips for keeping healthy, happy goats. Please visit the Ward Lumber website for more information:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meeting notes 3/25/12: CAE Prevention

CAE Prevention
By Donna Pearce : 3/25/12

CAE is Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis virus. It is a retrovirus that effects goats and spreads through the milk from infected dams to uninfected kids. 80% of goats are suspected of being infected. It is very common in dairy goats. Boer goats are starting to show infection due to being crossed to dairy goats. The virus doesn’t affect humans at all. 

Symptoms of CAE are neurological problems in kids under 1 month old. Older goats get big, arthritic front knees and rock hard udders at freshening. It can take up to a week to get the udder to soften enough to get milk from it. 

CAE is spread through the milk mainly. It is suspected of being spread through licking. It may be sexually transmitted. Infected goats that are showing advanced symptoms of CAE may be able to spread it to other goats through casual contact and sharing of equipment and goat supplies. 

The best way to test for CAE is a blood test sent to WADDL (Washington State Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab). The test is about $6 per sample. WADDL is the most accurate lab for CAE testing. It is best to test once a year because the test is only good on the day it was taken. A goat could test negative for a while before it finally tests positive. Never assume your herd is completely negative without testing negative animals regularly. 

To prevent CAE from spreading, tape the teats of goats that are going to kid so the babies can’t nurse if you aren’t present to keep them from nursing. Only one suck of raw milk can infect a kid for life! Pull the kids from the doe at birth and do not let her lick the babies. Clean the babies and bottle feed them heat treated goat colostrum or raw cow colostrum from a Johnes-free cow herd.

To heat treat colostrum, take an insulated thermos and fill it with water that is 145F. Be sure to test the thermos before using it for colostrum to make sure the thermos can hold a steady temperature for one hour. Slowly heat up your fresh colostrum on the stove in a double boiler. Heat the colostrum to 137F. DO NOT LET COLOSTRUM GET HOTTER THAN 140F!! If it gets too hot, colostrum will congeal to a thick pudding that is not useable. You will have to throw it out and start over. Be sure to stay with the colostrum to carefully watch that it does not overheat. Once the colostrum is 137F, pour the hot water out of the thermos through the funnel you will use to put the colostrum into the thermos. Preheating the funnel will help to keep the temperature of the colostrum at the right degree as you transfer it into the thermos. Once your preheated thermos and funnel are ready, pour the 137F colostrum into the thermos. Wipe the inside of the thermos with a clean towel so no extra colostrum is around the edges. Seal the thermos and leave it for one hour. 

The goal is to have all of your colostrum at the same temperature for one hour. Any colostrum that does not hold the 137F temperature for one hour could carry the CAE virus and infect any kids you feed. Be very careful to clean any raw colostrum off of your milking equipment and keep it away from your heat-treated colostrum. Once the colostrum is heat treated, it can be fed immediately to the kids or frozen for up to one year. 

Heat treating colostrum can take a while to do so don’t be worried that the kids will not get their first colostrum feeding for over one hour. If the kids are good and strong at birth, they will not suffer if they do not get colostrum right away while you are heat treating it. Do not tube feed healthy kids if they won’t eat at first. Tube feeding is only for very weak kids or premature kids. Once you put the tube down the kid, put the other end of the tube in a glass of water. If bubbles come out of the tube then the tube is in the lungs and not in the stomach. Pull the tube immediately and reposition it into the stomach. Do not force milk through the tube. Let the milk flow by gravity from the syringe into the goat. Once the goat has received one or two ounces of milk, pinch the tube tightly and whip it quickly out of the kid. If you don’t pinch the tube, the milk can spill out while pulling the tube and go into the lungs. Whipping the tube out quickly will also help keep milk out of the lungs.
To pasteurize regular goat milk, heat it to 180F in a double boiler. Remove it from heat immediately and keep it separate from any raw milk. Be sure to keep raw milk and any utensils used on raw milk separate so as not to contaminate the pasteurized milk. 

Be sure to check your thermometers regularly so they are reading the correct temperature. Be sure to check your thermos that it is keeping a steady temperature for one hour.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Biosecurity Toolkit

This toolkit was created for horses but is certainly applicable to goats:

The Equine Herpes Virus-1 outbreak, associated with the Western National Cutting Horse Event in Ogden, UT in May 2011, increased awareness and need for biosecurity measures at equine events. During the outbreak, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health Branch (CDFA AHB), received numerous inquiries and requests for guidance for keeping horses healthy at equine events from the equine industry stakeholders in the state.

The California Equine Medication Monitoring Program (EMMP) Advisory Committee represents a broad range of equine disciplines regulated by the program and is responsible for addressing concerns of the equine industry. With more than 1600 shows a year that register with the program, the need for biosecurity outreach was evident. Based on limited available biosecurity resources, the CDFA AHB received a formal request for development of a toolkit for equine events from the California EMMP Advisory Committee.
Biosecurity is a set of preventive measures designed to reduce the risks for introduction and transmission of an infectious disease agent. Infectious disease pathogens may be brought to and spread at an event premises by horses, people, domestic animals other than horses, vehicles, equipment, insects, ticks, birds, wildlife including rodents, feed, waste and water. Implementation of an equine event biosecurity plan will minimize or prevent the movement of diseases and pests on and off the event premises. Development and implementation of an equine event biosecurity plan is an essential responsibility of the equine event manager that is critical to protecting the equine industry.

The objective of this biosecurity toolkit is to provide equine event managers with resources to recognize potential disease risks at the event venue and develop a biosecurity and infectious disease control plan to protect the health of the competition/exhibition horses and the equine population. Each event and venue is unique; therefore, the toolkit provides guidance for the assessment and development of event-specific plans that address the specific identified disease risks of the event and venue.

For more information:

Texas A&M Researchers Create Goat With Malaria Vaccine In Her Milk

Over at the Texas A&M Reproductive Sciences Complex, you'll find several animals with unique capabilities.
Goat number 21 is one of those creatures.

"This project is one of the most interesting that we've been involved with because it has so much potential world wide," said Texas A&M researcher Charles Long.

Long & fellow A&M researcher Mark Westhusin keep a careful eye on goat number 21 because her milk holds a vaccine for malaria.

"There are lots of different things that one can think about producing in the milk. Malaria vaccine is one that's really important because there's a big demand for it in a lot of impoverished countries," said Westhusin.
Through genetic engineering, this goat could be the golden goose when it comes to preventing malaria in third world countries. A disease that kills a child in Africa every minute according to the World Health Organization.

"What you'd have is an animal that could be in any village around the world and all natives would have to do is drink some of that milk and be immunized against malaria," said Long.

But before any of that happens, this goat has to jump through a lot of hoops.

"We'd love to start air dropping goats into Africa but the reality is we're not going to be able to achieve that objective for another five or 10 years at least," joked Long.

"What we have to do is milk the goat, purify the protein, then we'd have to do all kinds of clinical testing and safety testing. Just like as if we were to take any drug and go to market with it," said Westhusin.

Step number one will be waiting for this motherly goat to give birth, which will happen in the next week. That's when testing on the milk will intensify and the offspring checked to see if they carry on the gene that carries on the vaccine.

"That's when we get to start to collect this milk, storing the milk to extract out the antigen that will become the vaccine," said Long. 

It's estimated that malaria kills between 650,000 and 1.2 million people every year.

Researches at the Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology Department are also working on animals that are more disease resistant, more feed efficient, and produce milk that produces lower fat. 

Article from: Shane McAuliffe March 8, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Johnes Vaccine on the Horizon

 From the Colliers:

Here is another “of interest” link for goat owners. Johnes is a devastating disease to goat owners that we, Janet and I, have dealt with and fought for many years, it is another disease that I think should be addressed at a meeting some time. At this point it is incurable as well as untreatable; not enough research has been done due to budgets constraint, interest, etc, and this article shows some promise of developing a vaccine in the foreseeable future. Many goat producers are never aware that this is a problem in their herd or are really not willing to admit it, if they even do know. Some people think the animal has just died of old age. The word “Johnes” is a naughty word in the goat community. In a cattle herd it is usually a highly devastating disease which shows symptoms quickly and leads to the destruction of the entire herd. In goats, Johnes may lay dormant for up to ten or more years and it may never show clinical signs. Johnes if present in an animal can be triggered by some stressor; like another disease or an injury that may cause a compromised immune system, if diagnosed it is suggested that the herd is also destroyed to eradicate it, other steps must also be taken. In small closed herds it is usually not a problem. Please read this article it is a good one.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Next Meeting 3/25/12 - Peru, NY

The ADK Goat Club will have a meeting on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 12pm in Peru, NY. The meeting will feature a potluck lunch. Please bring a dish to pass. The topic of the meeting will be "CAE Prevention". Please call Rose at 518-891-8401 for more information.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Next Meeting in March

The next ADK Goat Club meeting will be in March in Peru, NY. The theme of the meeting will be "CAE Prevention".  I will post the meeting particulars when I get them.

Monday, January 30, 2012

ADK Goat Club Meeting - Wrap up

Yesterday's ADK Goat Club meeting was a great success! Goat owners from all over the North Country were in attendance. People came from Canton, Peru, Mooers, Tupper Lake, and Saranac Lake. It was a great group with lots of long-time goat owners lending advice to the new-to-goats group.

We had a successful raffle with many prizes given away and lots of money collected to help future club activities. The prizes were: "Goat Song" book, bottle of "Love My Goat" wine and Bully Hill jelly, goat pack saddle kit, $25 pizza gift certificate from Birch Bark Deli in Vermontville, hoof trimming kit from Hoegger's Goat Supply, and 3 bars of goat milk soap from Rose's Goats.

We talked of future meeting ideas, lecture topics, and workshops. I have begun planning the next meeting. It is tentatively set for March 2012 and the topic is "CAE Prevention". Stay tuned for more information.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Upcoming Goat Events

This weekend (January 28 and 29, 2012) there are two great goat events happening. The first is a presentation by Betsy Hodge from the Cornell Cooperative Extension on small ruminant management.  She will be bringing a bottle lamb that kids will be able to take temp, heart rate, body score, health check, etc. She will doing goats, sheep and alpaca care, diseases, show prep, selecting a healthy animal and more. She is very hands-on and a lot of fun besides being a  specialist in the area of small ruminants. Date and time are below.
Directions: Rt 30 to Malone. At second light take a left. Go past Walmart to the first road on the right. CO RT 51, it was the Creighton Rd.  Go down that road for about 3/4 mile. The NorthStar building will be on the right. You will see a Cornell Coop Extension sign on the driveway. 
The second goat event is the Adirondack Goat Club meeting on January 29 at 11am in Loon Lake. I (Rose Bartiss) will be hosting the event at my house. Many people have RSVP'd so if you are interested in coming, please call me at (518) 891-8401. The meeting will include a potluck lunch, discussions on goat keeping, a goat farm tour, a raffle and door prizes. Any who has goats or who wants to get goats is welcome to attend. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Goat Club Meeting - January 29, 2012

The next ADK Goat Club meeting will be on January 29, 2012 from 11am - 2pm at my house in Loon Lake, NY. There will be a potluck lunch, raffle, door prizes, discussions on goat raising, and a goat barn tour. Lots of people have RSVP'd so please come if you can!
-Rose Bartiss