what do copper deficient goats look like?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by prairiegirl01, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. prairiegirl01

    prairiegirl01 New Member

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    Hi all,

    I've been reading around the website and came across an older post that mentioned that goats who are deficient in copper have eye rings and rough coats. Is this right? If so, does anyone have a picture I could see? I'd like to know what it looks like. What are the other signs, if any?

    Do people have a favorite brand/size of copper bolus? How does one get it down their throats? Favorite tool? Fingers? Can goats get copper posioning if they have access to a good mineral AND they are bolused?

    Thanks for help with this--I'm new to this.

    Chris
     
  2. I don't have any pictures but I can tell you they lose their color, their hair becomes porcupiny, sometimes they lose patches or all their hair. Mine did not get rings around their eyes that I know of, but the alpines hooves definately started braking down. They look much better now that they are getting more copper. Tammy
     

  3. sunnygrl_ks

    sunnygrl_ks Guest

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    i also don't have any pictures... but the very first goats we bought were 3 nigerians ... they were stark white. After 2 rounds of copper they actually turned out to be white and tan painted.
     
  4. prairiegirl01

    prairiegirl01 New Member

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    I may have answered some of my own questions. I looked on the Saanendoah website (here's the link for others http://www.saanendoah.com/copper1.html ) and got an earful (eyeful?) AND pictures. But, I'm wondering how best to break the boluses down into the right size and then administer them. Is there a bolus gun?

    Thanks!

    Chris
     
  5. There are several threads under Goatkeeping 101 on Copper. You might check those out also. I'm sure you can pick up a bolus gun at a feed store or you can order them through Jeffers, Caprine supply, Hoeggers or any other mail order supply company. Tammy
     
  6. BlueHeronFarm

    BlueHeronFarm New Member

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    Every feed store/TSC will have the bolus gun - it is actually called a balling gun.
    [​IMG]
    They are cheap and useful.
    We get the empty capsules to resize the boluses from Valley Vet - we use the #13.

    Yes - you could OD on copper if you are not truly deficient and you combine with high copper minerals. We are not in danger if that here - copper poor soils, iron rich water - lots of signs of deficiency including fishtail - which is our best indicator.
     
  7. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    That is exacly what I use, only mine is old and white :)

    I empty out my large capsules onto a white paper plate and then just divy them out between smaller and smallest capsules. Doing 50 pound capsules and 100 pound capsules so the math is easy when I give them.

    You will all have different symptoms. Ours was lack of thin pliable skin you could really tell when giving shots. Our much used bucks had lack of hair and what was there was like hog hair, coarse and wiry. Too long of hair in our Nubians and on their thighs it was long and red tinged. Poor cleaning, lots of true retained placentas and lots of hanging ones that I had to deal with. Just not the amount of healthy good kids you know nubians should have.

    With a good mineral and no feeding of iron, I can keep the girls in good health without bolusing milkers. I do bolus weaned kids and bucks. I will worm a milker in a health crisis and when I purchase adult stock.

    Really read saanendoah.com understand what you are doing. Find breeders in your area who bolus and you admire their stock. This is not something to do because you read it on the internet. Vicki
     
  8. mill-valley

    mill-valley New Member

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    I don't think anyone around here gives extra copper...must be something that's more of a problem down south? I've wondered because a few of my black goats' hair is tinged red...but I feed a good mineral and their coats feel soft and look shiny, no kidding problems either.
     
  9. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    I live in Minnesota and copper bolus. However, I only starting doing so after liver biopsies were done to confirm copper deficiency.

    Sara
     
  10. MRFBarbara

    MRFBarbara Guest

    I do copper bolus, to Beth,,, yep some of us do.. I have alot of iron in the water,,, was seeing kidding problems, fish tails, loss of hair color,, now that I bolus, twice a year... NO problems..
    Barbara
     
  11. Rose

    Rose New Member

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    After a year of trying to avoid bolusing, I got brave. Here's a photo of the equipment I use. At the bottom is the drench gun. The bolus package included the black rubber adapter that fits on the end of the drench gun. I pull water up into the gun, put the bolus in the adapter, and squirt it down the goat's throat.

    For me, it's easier to put each goat on the milk stand, then stand over their shoulders, pull their chin up with my left hand and slip the nozzle into the corner of their mouth. The angled nozzle helps, too.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Chaty

    Chaty New Member

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    I had the discoloring and fishtail and birthing problems too...had the water tested and it has alot of iron in it...started copper bolus' and the colors are comming back and the hair is so much better...also they just seem to do well...I got my gram scale at Wal-mart and I get my capsules there also..I have Nigerians and it dont take much for them ...just the LM that takes more ...I just sue the milking stand and a balling gun too...tried the water drench and it didnt work to well for me...
    I just love my colors now and the wormers work better too...
    kathy
     
  13. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Pull up the chin, add water...and your bolus is not going into the rumen. Vicki
     
  14. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    you need to use the balling gun not the syringe
     
  15. prairiegirl01

    prairiegirl01 New Member

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    Lots of good advice here--thanks so much! Sounds like some use the balling gun and some the syringe with water? Maybe I'll try the syringe first--don't want to send anything into the rumen that shouldn't be there. Those of you who use the balling gun, what do you think the advantages are?

    And, as far as supplementing at all, I'm pretty sure that I have a copper deficiency--you suggested it, Vicki, when I first contacted you about my Oberhasli doe with a staph infection on her udder and her first kid has a strange tumor along his spine. My adult whether also has a very rough coat, the doe does somewhat, and they all have very dry skin with flakes (no lice or other topical stuff that I can see). I also noticed that when my doe came back from breeding this last winter she did seem to have rings around her eyes--I thought it was wierd, but it seemed to improve over time. I've been using Purina mineral which I understand has high iron and not enough copper since iron can inhibit copper absorbtion and we have lots of iron in our water as well. (I'm getting a better mineral as well.)

    But, if I did choose to get them tested, what do I do? Is it a blood test? I haven't had a chance to read all the way through the Saanendoah info yet--just halfway--I'll get there!

    I understand I need to be more aggressive and timely with my worming as well. So, I'm gearing up to take care of all of this--general immune support and improve their nutrition.

    And, along those lines, Vicki, you recommended that I give the doe shots of Bo-Se monthly until she's healthy again. I noticed a gel form of selenium and vitamin E in the Valley Vet catalog. Can I use this instead? I'd rather use a gel if I can.
     
  16. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    No, do not use a syringe and water. You must use a balling gun.

    A liver biopsy is the only way to accurately test for copper deficiency. The U of M can do a liver biopsy on a live animal. Your other option is to send in a fresh liver from a deceased goat.

    You shouldn't be taking this lightly and it is certainly not something you should do because you think you see a couple symptoms or read about it on the internet. You need to have liver biopsies done to confirm a diagnosis.

    Sara
     
  17. prairiegirl01

    prairiegirl01 New Member

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    So has everyone who uses boluses had the liver biopsies? If not, why not?

    Chris
     
  18. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    Your other choice is to test your theory on one of your live (valuable?) goats. Maybe it will work and they'll be fine. On the other hand, maybe it will kill them. Your choice.

    I think my herd and herd health speak for themselves. You do what you want.

    Any questions?

    Sara
     
  19. prairiegirl01

    prairiegirl01 New Member

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    I didn't intend to offend you Sara, just looking for more information. I'm an "information hound."

    Thanks for your help.

    Chris
     
  20. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    No offense taken. :) I just want to make you aware of the seriousness of copper bolusing. I would never recommend bolusing without liver biopsies done first.

    Sara