Friday, January 10, 2014
Goats and Copper
We purchase a loose salt/mineral mix with selenium added, without the copper, that we have available out on pasture. Copper is toxic to sheep so the goat mineral mix is not an option.
The goats do get supplemented grain when we are milking, along with the grain, I add a salt/mineral mix that is made for goats that has the added copper.
After some studying, I think that our goats are not getting enough copper and that may be the cause of some of our problems.
I was purchasing some livestock supplies from Sheepman Supply company when I came across a product called Copasure, which is a Copper Bolus. What caught my eye was this statement:
Great for goats that live with sheep. The bolus stays in the folds of the stomach for a few months so it provides a long-term, slow release of copper supplement. One dose lasts for up to eight months. Usually one dose per year is sufficient. Should be administered with a balling gun.
I did a little research online and seen that this may be exactly what our goats need. I added them to my order. I have to admit when I pulled them out of the box my first reaction was WOW!, these are huge!! How am I suppose to get the goats to swallow these?? I have never had to use a balling gun before so I was a little apprehensive.
I got online and found several youtube videos on copper boluses and how to administer them.
I was surprised to see people breaking them open and adding them to feed etc. I did some more research and talked with a friend of mine who has been raising goats for many years and she told me to only administer the bolus with a balling gun, whole! So no easy out!
Delaney and I managed to give all 5 goats their dose. Did I mention these things were HUGE!
We did Soapapilla first, the most difficult goat, and after several failed attempts (her managing to spit it out) we finally had success. The other four were much easier. The nice thing is that you do not have to give them very often. I have read 1-2 times a year.
I am very hopeful that we will see some positive results.
Some of the symptoms of Copper Deficiency in goats:
~Their hair can look rough, faded, long and bushy
~Less able to fight off Parasites
~Tail tip is bald
We have noticed that the goats do not seem to have the same resistance to parasites that our sheep do. We are hoping that this will help with some of the problems we have been having.
The goats get the copper they need without putting the sheep at risk.
For more information on Copper Deficiency in Goats:
Just a reminder of how important it is to make sure our animals are getting the minerals they need.
I am hoping for some positive results.
DISCLAIMER: These are my own observations and opinions. Please do your own research!