Angora goats and copper.

Discussion in 'Fuzzy Fibers' started by Ivy, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

    112
    Aug 9, 2008
    Midwest
    Do you give your goats any feed or minerals with copper?
    I dont but I read that they need a little.
    So now I wonder if I should and how much from what source, feed or loose minerals?
     
  2. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    there are many different brands, i use free choice baking soda, for when they have stomch aches, and sweetlix goat mineral free choice.
     

  3. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    Are you talking about angoras or goats in general?

    I would put out a free choice loose mineral like sweetlix, they take what they need. We also keep salt blocks and baking soda out.
     
  4. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

    112
    Aug 9, 2008
    Midwest
    I am talking Angora goats only.

    You can not give angoras the same mineral as other goats. You could kill them!
    They are similar to sheep, they dont metabolize copper well.
    But they do utilize it better than sheep but not as good as any other goat breed.
    Thats the dilemma. I smaller than normal amount is ok, but minerals are either to high in copper for angoras or absent of copper.
    I was thinking food for that small copper amount, but that to is limited to high copper or absent.
     
  5. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    What about free feeding a loose sheep mineral, then free choicing copper sulfate? That way they only take the copper that they need and none extra :)
     
  6. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    No that is NOT true. Angora's need the cooper just like any other goat. That was a myth from years ago.
     
  7. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

    112
    Aug 9, 2008
    Midwest
    Do you have any proof of this statement?
    Everything I have found in my research claims they need copper but it much less than other goats as they are more susceptible to copper toxicity.
    How much copper do you give your Angoras?
     
  8. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    Were is Keren when you need her? I'm sure she'll be on soon with her opinion. :shrug:
     
  9. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I heard not to give pymgy goats copper --- rescued some goats and had pygmy goats for a couple years and they all needed copper bad. Sometimes you cant believe all that you read.
     
  10. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Here you go.

    www.addl.purdue.edu/newsletters/1994/copper.shtml

    I am a 4H leader for Fiber goats and ALL fiber goats or should I say ALL GOATS need Copper. It was years ago that they thought that copper was bad for goats, then they realized that sheep and goats do not use it the same.
     
  11. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

    112
    Aug 9, 2008
    Midwest
    I never said Angora dont need copper. I said in all my research they need less than other goats need but 'more' than sheep can handle.
    The article about those few deficient goats doesn't say how much copper for healthy Angoras.

    Thats what I am trying to figure out...what is the right amount and how should it be offered, through feed, mineral or what? I dont want to give them loose goat minerals if the copper in it is to high. I dont want to use sheep minerals because that has no copper.

    I dont want my Angoars deficient but I also dont want copper poisoning, which articles can be found about to much copper!

    The controversy is the prob.

    I would like to know what other Angora owners are doing that is working over the long term.

    Articles are to conflicting. I was hoping for actual experience.
     
  12. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Australia
    Apologies everyone I had a long day in at the vet today looking after my girl.

    I dont know where on earth that came from, but its not true.

    Here's your actual experience:

    When I began in Angoras I fed a 'sheep pellet' - 14% protein (there are not specific 'goat feed's here). Of course, being sheep feed only very very limited copper. And I put out goat blocks. They got free choice oaten hay plus all the pasture they wanted to graze and browse.

    One year later - I had 12 mth old kids that were the size of 2 mth olds. Particularly the kids but also the does to a lesser extent had ruined mohair - it lacked style and character, was straight and dull, had a 'greasy' appearance to it even though my bloodlines are not at all greasy, it was tinted a steel grey colour, had a peculiar sour smell to it, cotted easily and the fleece weights were way, way down. My does kidded down again and it was with dead or weakened, dying kids. Basically it was a disaster all around.

    The reason behind all of this? Copper deficiency. The sheep pellets didnt have enough copper in them, and the goat blocks. Well - the goat blocks didnt have ANY copper in them. I dont understand why, but there you go. To remedy the situation I drenched everyone with a copper sulfate drench (copper sulfate mixed into water - I'll look up the dilution rate if you wish). I also switched them straight to calf pellets - they have copper in them. And got copper blocks to go along with the goat block. And you know even after the copper drench they still devoured the copper block in a couple days. But, it was too late for the pregnant does and kids and I lost over half my kid crop that year. And two fleece harvests. The doe kids that were born in the initial kid crop (not the one where most of them died) are three years old and still not large enough to breed. I am still feeding them to try to get them to grow out - I have actually just recently got rid of most of them because of it, and only kept one because she is the only female i got out of my

    So please, please, dont deny your angoras copper. The effects of copper deficiency are not only dramatic but awfully long lasting.

    That being said, my feeding regimen now is:

    - pasture and browse
    - wheaten hay
    - calf pellets (contain copper - again I'd have to go out and look up how many mg/kg but I can do that if you want)
    - horse pellets (again contain copper, more than the calf pellets)
    - goat block
    - copper block
    - calcium block
    - stone block for wethers and bucks

    And I do not have any deficiency problems with this method, and I've never had toxicity either.

    To answer this directly ... the 'right amount' is whatever the goats want. No I'm not trying to be smart, but goats are excellent self regulators, and they are self regulators for a reason. Dont force them to eat a predetermined amount set by a human, by putting it in their food. Let the goats do what they do best and self regulate by either providing mineral blocks or loose minerals. If the loose goat minerals are higher than what they need, they will only take a small amount, and only very occasionally.
     
  13. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Thank you Keren.

    Ivy, It is pretty hard to over dose a goat on cooper unless you are giving them cooper Boles. They will eat what they want and NEED. Some will eat more then others. I use and so do all my 4Hers that have Angora goats, Sweet Lix Meat makers. It has cooper and they do great on it. There is NO way of saying how much cooper they get because if you offer it free choice then they eat it when needed. I have one doe that eats the mineral and the Sea Kelp a LOT more then the other goats because she has several def problem, and the vet pulled blood did some tests and said that she will just need more minerals then others. Her body just does not use it like most goats.

    I hope that helps.
     
  14. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

    112
    Aug 9, 2008
    Midwest
    Thank you very much Karen!
    Just looking on the net of all the controversy makes it all very scary.
    I love my Angoras so much and dont want to accidentally hurt them.
    The breeder I got my Angoras form said no copper.
    She also was trying to make a sale so I wouldnt know how successful her breeding or raising is.
    I only saw what she wanted me to see, some really nice mature goats.

    The original doeling I had reserved from her she didnt sell me because she said it wasnt growing well at all and she didnt know why. She substituted with another doeling that looked very similar to the one I had wanted. That doeling I have had since fall. She has grown a little but I have been worried because its only a little. Her horns have grown a little too but not as much as I would of liked. The new growth does look good in shape and texture.
    The other goats I got were already adult and they seem fine.

    You mentioning the growth sure caught my attention.
    I gave my little doe and other Angoras loose minerals with copper, the same minerals that my Boers and pygmies get. They always have had just sheep minerals.
    They ate it, not greedily but happily.
    I also offered them goat pellet feed that I give all the other goats instead of the sheep feed they usually get. That worried me, that they may pig out and eat to much. I guess I dont have to worry. The first cupfull each, they all ate up. Later in the day I offered one more cup each. They didnt eat it all! They nibbled on it through the rest of the afternoon through early evening! Everyone still had some left when I went to bed!
    My biggest fear was they would get minerals and feed with copper and go all piggy and over do it and get sick.
    Nope, it doesnt look like they will do that.
    They are also eating free choice hay, oats, and pasture all through the day.

    I hope with adding the copper now, my little doe will grow better now.

    I am just relieved that I dont have to be so worried. I love my Angoras so, so much. I want to do whats best for them.

    Thank you again for sharing the hands on experience!!! :)
     
  15. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

    112
    Aug 9, 2008
    Midwest
    Thank you. Its just scary when info isnt clear and you love your angoras so much. I would hate myself if I ever did anything to hurt them. I am just trying to be very careful.
     
  16. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    I really do not blame you at all.

    When I first started in goats out 4H leaders were as helpful as a rock. We went and got loose mineral like they said we had to have and I told them what I got and they said throw it out. It has Cooper and it will kill the goats. So I did. Then I went to this clinic because we wanted to learn as much as we could. (They did not feel that they needed to learn anything more because they felt like they new it all. (like anyone cna know it all). So we went and that is where we were told that they had to have cooper, and then they said to get a mineral (and they named a few) and Sweet Lix was one of them. It had all the cooper and other things they needed, so I did. When we went to the next 4H meeting and I told them the Vet said they needed cooper, there comment (They do not know what they are talking about). OK, so what ever. Then the next year we were all at a HUGE show in Estes Park CO, and the judge pulled ever one of their goat out of the classes and said they were very deficient in minerals including Cooper. I so want to go tell them, so I guess the vets do know what they are talking about. I didn't, I kept my mouth shut because our Grand Champion placings said it all for us.
     
  17. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Australia
    glad to hear your goaties are going well, Ivy

    Btw I love your buck in your avatar :greengrin:
     
  18. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

    112
    Aug 9, 2008
    Midwest
    Thank you for sharing your story!
    It a big relief to read how someone else has experienced the confusion of conflicting information.
    I was feeling really lost, afraid to not give the copper and afraid to give it!

    Our vet isnt any help. He is great with cows and sheep but not with goats.
    Several years ago I had lung worms in pygmies, he told me to just use safeguard!
    I didn't know better yet, was new to goats. I almost lost one of my best does.
    I finally learned and got ivermectin injectable, and used it orally and my prob was solved.
    But my doe that was so bad by the time I found what to give them she had permanent lung damage afterward. She did go on though to give me some awesome kids till she turned 6 yrs and she developed chronic pneumonia. She was then retired and hung on for another year till we put her down.

    But, now that I see that I am not alone and others have used the copper with good results, I feel much better in having it available in minerals and feed.
    I just hope my Angora doe grows well this summer now that the changes have been made. I hope to breed her in 2 years. I would feel so bad if I stunted her from lack of copper the first year.

    Thanks Keren. The picture is of Whiley, my favorite buck.
    He is docile and sweet as a marshmallow, except at shearing time. Then he literally kicks up a big fuss and bleats like a baby. LOL
     
  19. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Australia
    Stacey asked me for the dosage for the copper sulfate drench - I promise I will put it up but it appears I've lent my 'big green book' (aka Hungerfords Diseases of Livestock aka The Bible) to my friend - she's coming over later today so I'll look it up then.

    Sorry guys :oops:
     
  20. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.

    Do not worry. I am sure your doe will gr=ow just fine, in the fiber goats you will seethe cooper problem alot of times in the fiber as it grows.

    Have you ever posted pictures of you goats? I would live to see them.