first time to copper bolus questions

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by creekmom, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. creekmom

    creekmom New Member

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    I have learned about how I need to be feeding my goats properly from you guys and also have learned about doing my own fecals. Now I need a little direction to make sure I am going to be doing the copper bolus right. I have noticed that the black part of my black/white goats have a burgundy tint on their flanks. My other colored goats' hair is wirey especially along their backs - looks like it has been burned with a curling iron.

    Do I have to do blood tests to be sure of a copper deficiency or can I just go by the appearance of their coats? They are on Right Now Onyx minerals free choice but I know we have a lot of iron and sulfur in our water and soil so I'm thinking that is messing up the copper being able to be utilized in the mineral. Let me know if that thinking is not right.

    I have Nigerians who on average weigh 65-75 lbs so 3 grams (1 gram per 22 lbs) would treat 66 lbs. I believe. If I don't blood test should I treat with less copper the first time to make sure I don't do too much or is it like the wormer where youdon't want to underdose?

    Thanks as always for your input.
     
  2. fmg

    fmg New Member

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    A blood test will really only tell you if your goats are VERY deficient...otherwise, you could have deficient goats, but they still circulate enough copper in their blood. The only real way to know is if you do a liver biopsy, which can be done on a live goat under anesthesia ($$), or you can send a sample on a dead goat. It sounds like yours are deficient to me. Copper oxide wires are pretty safe, so I wouldn't worry about overdosing them too much. Have you read the saanendoah info? They go into a lot of detail on this.
     

  3. MF-Alpines

    MF-Alpines New Member

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    Elizabeth, I agree with Nancy on the reading. Seeing that you are in Texas, and there are many Texans on here, I would not worry about overdosing (unless you really ARE overdosing which sounds like you are not). Not sure where this is coming from, but if it is from a vet, even my vets worry about copper overdose. Thus, I can't get Mineral Max. Ugh.

    I think it is safe to say that you should not be afraid of copper boluses. Yes, copper overload can be a problem. Just like any other mineral. But so can sugar. Do you feed a manufactured pellet? Too much molasses can overload the rumen causing acidosis.

    I would copper bolus.
     
  4. creekmom

    creekmom New Member

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    Yeah, I've been reading the info on here. Guess I just needed a little reassurance.

    I feed alfalfa pellets to everyone and my pregnant girls get whole oats also. Thx.
     
  5. MF-Alpines

    MF-Alpines New Member

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    Elizabeth, you are in the right place. You are asking and learning.

    The only really way to tell about copper deficiency is through biopsing the liver. If you have a goat that has died or you put down, then definitely send the liver away for a nutritional analysis. Then you can assess your management. Granted, it would be one goat, but better an analysis on one than none.

    Other than that, you can look at symptoms, like you have. Hair coat; texture, color. Delivery. Fluid color.
     
  6. K-Ro

    K-Ro New Member

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    I also copper bolus. You will see a great difference in your goats after you do it too.
     
  7. creekmom

    creekmom New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the info and encouragement. I really appreciate it.
     
  8. DairyDawn

    DairyDawn New Member

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    can you give to much copper? I gave my kids a 2 mg dose, when they probably could have taken a little less.. and now I’m stressing out!!
     
  9. punchiepal

    punchiepal Member

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    It is typically harder to od copper oxide rods than copper sulfates.
    I still purchase the larger calf bolus and break them down by various weights so I can more closely fit the size to my goats weight.