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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Plant Eye Green Goat Terrestrial animal


Sorry for the poor images - this 2 1/2 year old doe seems to have bare pink skin in two neatly defined areas on her head - a large patch behind the horns and a small one between the eyes.

The texture is kind of unpleasant - like Darth Vader's head in The Empire Strikes Back.

They seem too well defined to be a result of rubbing, so I'm guessing it's caused directly by some kind of parasite. Is anyone familiar with this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am familiar with a few things that could cause that. Can you take a full body picture and a picture of her tail as well?
Heavy rain today, so the best I've got's this one from the same day.

Hair Goat Human body Mammal Plant

She doesn't look any different today - the bare patches haven't grown, as far as I can see.

The smudges you can see on her rear are from sitting on the wet dirt - her droppings are normal.

I'm pretty sure that there's nothing unusual about her appearance other than those bare areas on the head. Her behaviour also seems completely normal.

I feel sure I've read somewhere about a parasite that specifically attacks that area behind the horns, but I haven't been able to find the information since this possible case appeared.

At the moment I'm thinking there's a pretty good chance that they're just fresh scars from a recent combat - she was in season a few days earlier - maybe another doe locked horns with their heads facing the same way and ground a hole in her scalp.

I'd love to hear any alternative suggestions though, thanks for your interest.
 

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After her recent combat, did she have blood and a scab there? Upon close examination, it possibly could be a scar. I have a doe who got rainrot, and it scarred. The hair will not grow back in that spot, so it is very possible.

I was looking for copper deficiency as goats need incredibly high amounts of copper -- especially black goats.

Copper deficiency will manifest as bald patches on face, fishtail tail, faded coat, and rough coat. She seems to have a fishtail and a faded coat (it starts in the hind legs where black fades to a rusty color). I cannot tell if her coat is glossy or dull.

Does she have free choice minerals? Does it include copper? Do you use dewormers? (If she needs dewormers, then she is definitely deficient in copper)

Other things to consider, would be checking for lice (sulfur deficiency), or dandruff/flakey skin (zinc or vitamin e deficiency). But, the rest of the body appears pretty good, so I doubt these other possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah, that's a good thought, thanks. She does have access to copper and to a combination lick - our soil is also very high in copper, so the loose copper is mostly ignored. The tail looks quite fluffy from above and her coat in general is thick and glossy (for the time of year). All told, I'm pretty confident that she doesn't have a copper deficiency, but I'm glad to have some more information concerning what to look out for with that deficiency.

We do have a worm problem on the farm, but I don't think it's related to copper - rather the nature of the environment here - wet and temperate pasture that's shared with a large population of wild animals who host the same parasites. The present fencing doesn't stop these wild hosts, so we can't use rotation to effectively control the worm load in the ground and as a result, it's very high. That said, they need deworming a few times a year, so their systems are able to cope with the baseline parasite pressure, just not every occasional higher volume event.

I hadn't heard that black goats need more copper - that's very good to know - definitely something I'll keep a closer eye on now that I do. I don't think it's her problem at the moment, but I'll remind her of the loose CuSO4 next time I catch her, regardless.

I don't remember seeing a wound or scab, but it's a big herd and she's semi-wild and generally keeps her distance, so some dried blood on a black head could easily have gone unseen. When I check her health each day, I'm paying closer attention to the other end (along with her gait and general condition), so even if it was scabbed for a week or two, I wouldn't necessarily have spotted it.

It may not be her problem, but her twin brother often does have dandruff, so maybe I need to look more closely at putting out zinc and vitamin E separate from a lick. May I ask in which form you'd normally supply these?
 

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In loose form, I provide kelp, sea salt, copper sulfate, sulfur, dolomite, calcium carbonate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate (probably won't re-buy this one now that I got the calcium carbonate), and Fertrell Goat Nutribalancer.

Zinc and Vitamin E will be will supplied in kelp. Kelp will be the best way to get minerals; it is far more effective.

I add Fertrell mineral mix to provide the trace minerals such as cobalt, manganese, phosphorus, etc. These are not necessary to add out free choice, but the goats seem to love it so there must be something in there that they need.

Did you test your soil to know the copper levels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In loose form, I provide kelp, sea salt, copper sulfate, sulfur, dolomite, calcium carbonate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate (probably won't re-buy this one now that I got the calcium carbonate), and Fertrell Goat Nutribalancer.

Zinc and Vitamin E will be will supplied in kelp. Kelp will be the best way to get minerals; it is far more effective.

I add Fertrell mineral mix to provide the trace minerals such as cobalt, manganese, phosphorus, etc. These are not necessary to add out free choice, but the goats seem to love it so there must be something in there that they need.

Did you test your soil to know the copper levels?
Thanks, that's really helpful - we do put out kelp, but probably not often enough. I'll take any dandruff as a sign that it's past time for more. I've had vets advise against it lately, because apparently it's been linked to a few illnesses, but our waters down here in Tasmania aren't so polluted, so I'd like to think it's safe to use the local stuff (there's a harvesting business based 20 minutes from here).

I think everything else we're putting out we basically have in common too, though I mostly put it out periodically in their shelters, rather than leaving it out all the time. I was thinking just this morning about making something like the structure in your picture - I use a small version to keep rain off the salt lick, since it migrated when I was just putting it in a tray in the shelter. The one difference is baking soda - we've never had urinary calculi and they've been free from bloat for a few years now, but it's probably a good addition - I never would have thought of it. I wonder whether it can help them with bloat however, or whether the onset's too sudden. Has it made a difference for you?

Yes, the high copper was found in a soil test when we first moved here. As a result I'm careful to always get a low-copper salt/mineral lick and put free copper sulfate nearby - sure enough, they only take an interest in the copper sulfate if they're prevented from grazing for an extended period (for instance if they're isolated due to illness or kidding).

Always nice to see some happy goats - looks like you have a great property for them.
 

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That's awesome that you have a local kelp producer! 🤩

For the soil being high in copper, I wonder if there is an imbalance somewhere else and what that imbalance is. 🤔

Dolomite is the antidote to too much copper. It is crucial to have dolomite out so that if they did overdose, then they can correct it how they need it.

For the baking soda, it helps with bloat -- this would be if I gave them too much grains on the milk stand, they can correct what they need when they get back to the pen. I had a bottle baby once. I accidentally overfed him with milk and he got "Floppy Kid Syndrome." It is a metabolic imbalance in the gut from being overfed. I mixed a teaspoon of baking soda with water in a syringe and put it down his throat. He cleared right up after that. Sometimes the does go forever without touching it, and sometimes they eat a lot. If they are without fresh food and have only hay, then are abruptly turned out on pasture, especially wet pasture from morning dew or after a rain, after not having fresh food for a long time, then they can bloat from the abrupt change. It is just a security measure to keep baking soda out. If your goats ignore the baking soda, that's a good thing!
 
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