Have A Great Christmas

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Everyone at Cozine Springs Ranch wants to wish you all a Very Happy Holiday and a prosperous and Happy New Year!

 

 

Sore Mouth Disease In Goat Herds

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There are many diseases that your goat herd can get and you have to be on top of your game to keep your herd healthy and disease free. Our Heritage Spanish Goat herd is CL free and CAE free because we run a closed herd. That means of course our breeding stock comes from within our own herd. We started our herd with Four bred 100% Spanish does. from Montana. Their bloodline is Smoke Ridge. One of our Spanish bucks comes from that same bloodline with totally different genetics. Our other Buck is from a  trusted, closed, 100% Heritage Spanish herd in California. His bloodline is Striking A.

I wanted to visit today about Contagious Ecthyma or Sore Mouth disease. Before I begin talking about your goats I need to tell you that Sore Mouth disease is a disease that your goats can pass on to you. If you see sores and or scabs around some of your goats' mouths you should suspect Sore Mouth and begin taking every precaution to avoid getting the disease yourself. Use throw away vinyl or rubber gloves and keep hand sanitizer around to use after you remove the gloves when you are finished working with your goats. The disease can be spread through feed troughs, water tanks and hay racks as well as the goats rubbing against each other and things like harnesses and other equipment that have come in contact with the sores.. The scabs are highly contagious even after they heal and fall off. You should use excellent sanitary precautions and practices at all times when working with your goats. Sore Mouth is not the only disease that your goats can pass on to you. Just remember that Sore mouth is usually a fairly harmless disease. It causes more discomfort and inconvenience than anything else. Humans cannot give it to other humans and it is usually restricted to humans hands.

Now, on to your goats.The disease can actually lie dormant for very long periods, even several years and spring up without warning. You can immunize a goat herd by giving them an injection in an area of their body like the hip. The injection is the active virus and will give them the disease so if you have show goats and have a showing coming up you need to do this about six weeks before the show. By injecting in an area like the hip you localize the disease there and it will heal on it's own in one to four weeks. By doing this, your goats will be fairly well immune to the disease in the future. As in all diseases, there are no " cast in stone" guarantees, but it usually does help.

It is important to know that if you have never had Sore Mouth in your herd that you should not inject. Only do the immunization shots if you have had one or more cases show up in your herd.  Sore Mouth is a  virus (actually it is a member of the pox family) that will heal itself. You need to keep a close watch on the goats that are suffering from the disease and make sure that they don't get undernourished. Their mouths can become so sore that they cannot eat and you will have to arrange feeding in a different fashion that they can tolerate.

Lactating does can get sore teets from their young if the kids get the disease and that can turn to mastititus and need medical intervention. The kids may need to be fed from a bottle with a soft nipple. It's possible that if they have the disease really bad you could need to use a drench method of getting them nutrition and in extremely bad cases they might require daily I.V.'s until their mouths heal enough to allow them to eat solid foods again. Please remember that those are extreme cases and fairly rare. I mention them only so that you can have proper supplies around if you should see an out break beginning. It is much better to be prepared for the worst and not need it than to need it and have to scurry around trying to play catch up.  By the way, there are some inexpensive salves that you can keep on hand that can be applied to the scabs. The salve will help to keep the scabs softer and not quite so sore until they fall off. The salve will also help to protect the tender scab areas around the mouth after the scabs do fall off. Just remember, gloves, gloves, gloves.

I hope you never have to deal with Sore Mouth disease but if you do I also hope that this article has helped to get you through it with as little anxiety as possible. The picture below is a great example of  a very slight case of  Sore Mouth.

If you would like to know more about us and our ranch please visit us on the web at: http://www.cozinespringsranch.com

Until next time. Find something to laugh about. It is good for the spirit soul and body.

Harless

 

 

 

Using The Internet To Market, It Can Be Done

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Here at Cozine Springs Ranch in Oregon we raise all natural beef cattle and goats. Our beef cattle are cross mixtures of  Angus, Herefords, Baldies, and several other breeds that are all excellent beef cattle.  Our Goats are 100 % Heritage Spanish Goats and are also raised naturally without steroids, hormones or antibiotics. We do not finish feed any of our livestock with grains.

Our cattle come to us through a dependable fellow that has been in the cattle business for many, many years. I know that when the cattle that we buy get here they will have had all of their vaccinations, been wormed properly and in general will be in great shape and just weaned. We will hold them in pens close to the house and barns for several days and then release them to pastures right next to where we live for a week or so before opening up all the gates and giving them 283 acres to graze and browse on.  While they are close to us we spend a lot of time around them. They get used to us and us to them. They get used to both of my livestock guardian dogs, Jasper and Big Foot. I make sure that I deliver their grass hay in my Gator and on my quad so that they get used to my vehicles as well.

Our Spanish goats are a closed herd. They have full range of the ranch just like the cattle.  I have found that cattle and goats make good pasture mates. They each have their own likes and dislikes when foraging and grazing. That makes it easier to deal with brushy areas and to keep the weeds down.

Before my wife and I began raising these animals we carefully studied what we would be doing, how we would do it and how we would find a market for our livestock. It's great to have all these wonderful animals around, to work with them and watch them grow. But somewhere there needs to be a payday or we will have to eat them all ourselves and that"s just not possible.  Since we are like most ranchers and farmers, we don't have a lot of financial resources for marketing. We also are small producers so we are not likely to attract buyers from large packing plants or feed lots.

WE decided to market locally through The List to begin with. In case you don't already know it, there are a lot of us on The List. I decided to build my own website and market from there. I wanted my website to be more than a BUY NOW kind of place. First of all I wanted to share as much of the information that we had, let people get to know about us, our ranch and what we do. I guess when you get right down to it. I was looking to make new friends as well as customers.

I can tell you that I have visited by email with people all over the world. I have also made a lot of new friends right here in Oregon and the state of Washington.  Some of our goats live and thrive in the far flung corners of both of those states and we continue to build on those relationships because we work hard to produce excellent stock and we always keep our word. The internet has proven to be an excellent method of marketing our products but you have to remember that you will only be successful in this manner if you are honest, work hard at your passion and offer value. And for crying out loud, spend quality time making friends not just customers.

One other thing that I have done on the internet is to start this blog. I love to write and it is another way of letting people get to know us and our life here on the ranch. As of this writing more than 12,000 people in fifty three countries read this blog every month. To those of you who follow us here, we want to say Thank You for taking time from your busy lives to visit with us. We love having you.

If you would like to know more about us and what we do please visit us on our website: http://www.cozinespringsranch.com

Until next time: Find something to laugh about. It is good for the spirit, soul and body.

Harless

 

A Sad Day Indeed!

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I found her lying dead beneath her favorite tree, a life wasted by some uncaring  jerk with a gun that thinks it is ok to trespass on other people's property and shoot what ever is handy just because they are bored.

At Cozine Springs Ranch we raise our naturally raised beef in Oregon just outside McMinnville. We have always allowed hunting on the property by people that come to our home, introduce themselves and ask for permission. We expect our hunters to ask each year before hunting season begins.

This 2010 deer hunting season was going really well. All of my usual hunters had shown up and several had taken nice bucks. We had enjoyed some good times visiting, telling our hunting stories and recounting times gone by. This is always a favorite time of life for me. I have been a sportsman and outdoors person all of my life. I enjoy being around friends who enjoy natures bounty, love the outdoors and respect the land, wildlife and each other.

With just a few days left in the hunting season one of my regular hunters was trying to find his buck for the year. He had been on the ranch about thirty minutes when he called me with his cell phone. "Harless, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but one of your Hereford cows is dead. I just found her. Evidently she has been down here for a couple of days, she has already started swelling. Harless, it appears that she has been shot."

"Where is she?", I asked.

"She's down at the bottom of the canyon below South Gulch Pond."

"I'll be right down! Thanks for calling me Matt. You go ahead and finish your hunt. See ya back at the house later."

I put on my boots and headed to the barn to get my Gator. It took me about ten minutes to be on site. She had loved this part of the ranch and many times she had laid down in the shade of this huge old oak. The shade in the summer gave her a place to lay contently while chewing her cud.

I scouted around a little and found a  blood trail that looked like it led back toward the top of the canyon where South Gulch pond is. South Gulch Pond is a small pond fed from a natural spring that runs year round. I had built a small dam in the breach of the canyon earlier in the spring. The dam started backing up water immediately and then this fall, once the rains started, the pond filled to capacity and has been flowing over the spill way that I created ever since. All of my cattle go there to drink when they are on this side of the ranch.

I got into my Gator and drove back up to the pond. Looking around the dam area of the pond confirmed my suspicions. There was dried blood on the rocks of the dam and on the bark of a tree just behind it. She had been shot while drinking from the pond. This was not a hunting accident, she was standing in the open where it was plain to see that she was a cow. The shot wasn't a well placed kill shot so, in pain and fear she ran down to the bottom of the canyon and her favorite tree. There she laid down and died. I have to admit that I had to choke back tears.

This particular cow, although not a pure bred was a beautiful big Hereford cross. She weighed around 1100 pounds and had given birth to two healthy calves. One last year and one this last spring. Her 2010 spring calf is still here. A very handsome steer with a gentle personalty like his mother. She was the one cow that always came to where I was to see what I was doing. She let me and my wife pet her and ate out of our hands. It's a shame to see such an animal wasted. It is fortunate for the trespasser that shot her that I did not find him in the act. I am afraid that my Christian values would not have stopped me from beating him to a pulp.

This incident did not cause me to rethink allowing friends to hunt the property. I have great hunters that would never have done such a thing. This death was secondary to an individual that climbed over a fence illegally and chose to satisfy his urge to shoot something, anything. These people are thieves that steal the use of someone else's land destroy their fences and kill the livestock. In my opinion they are no different than someone that holds up a bank.

I have decided that any trespassers found on the property in the future will no longer just be asked to leave. I will take their picture and give it to the sheriffs office. If they can find the person I will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. I have no choice. We are small beef producers. There is no way that we could even think about trying to insure our animals against this kind of thing. If you could find the insurance there would be no way to afford it. There is no government agency that can help with this kind of thing. They are too busy bailing out Wall Street and the auto industry.

It's a shame that a fun time of the year has been ruined by such a person. Unfortunately hunting season 2010 is going to go down in history as not such a fun time at Cozine Springs Ranch.

Harless

If you would like to know more about us and our ranch, visit us on the web at  http://www.cozinespringsranch.com

We would love to have you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Goat Trail

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When you begin to think that you've seen just about everything it's usually time for a wake up call. That's what happened to me here on the ranch last spring.

We have 283 acres that we live and work on and it is really hilly. Some of the hills are pretty steep. One in particular is extremely steep. We refer to it as "Cardiac Hill" and with good reason. There is a deep canyon with a rock trail that runs along side it. We call it the goat trail because the goats are the only living things on the ranch that will climb up and down it. The people climbing Everest would be challenged. Or maybe it's so rough because I am 66 and a bit out of shape.

We raise 100% Heritage Spanish goats in Oregon just outside McMinnville. We keep a close watch on our herd and any time that the head count doesn't add up I go looking.

I was out looking for one of our yearling does that didn't show up at the barn the night before or that morning. We knew that she should be kidding any day and it was her first pregnancy. I traveled across the fairly flat top of Cardiac Hill on my quad, a Yamaha Grizzly 660. I took my time and checked several areas that I had seen them browsing in lately. No luck.

We have coyotes that hang around and we worry anytime one of our goats doesn't show up. We have two livestock guardian dogs that do a great job of keeping the coyotes away but you just can't help but worry. I reached the edge of the hill I was on and dismounted my quad to peer over the edge of the cliff. This area is really steep. I looked down and sure enough. There was our doeling on a ledge about 35 or 40 feet below me. She was perched on a rock outcrop with about five feet of surface to sit on and right next to her was her new kid.

The kid couldn't have been more than a few hours old. Mom and baby looked fine. Mom looked like she was trying to figure out how to baby back up to the trail. How she got there is beyond me. I decided that I was going to have to help her. I have a winch on the front of the quad and I carry a 1/2" by twenty five foot rope in the tool box on back. Using the button on the handle bars, I let out enough cable to go around the base of a large fir tree and and leave about twenty feet of cable free, then made a loop in the rope and snapped it into the end of the cable. I tied the rope around my waist and using the free cable started working my way down to the ledge.

My plan was to get the baby inside my jacket, climb back up and have mommy follow. These goats can climb almost anything. The climb down was going very easy until I got about ten feet above the ledge. I was paying close attention to how my feet engaged the side of the hill. Here in Oregon we get lots of rain in the winter and early spring and this year was no different. Everything was soaked and soft. I was just thinking of having to climb back up out of there when a noise on my left brought me to an abrupt halt. Looking to my left, there was mommy skillfully hopping from rock to rock, baby right behind her. They reached the goat trail on top and looked back at me. I swear mommy grinned! Off they went toward the barn to join the rest of the herd. Excuse Me!

I worked my way back up the hill, a heck of a lot slower than they did, put things away, climbed on the quad and headed for home. Another day on a goat ranch. Next time I'll wait longer before starting a climb. By the way, our local drug emporium is getting rich selling me Deep Heat and Advil.

Till next time, enjoy life and find something to laugh about. It's good medicine. If you would like to know more about our ranch and the goats we raise check our website, we'd love having you visit. http://www.cozinespringsranch.com

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