Copper Deficiency

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by JayStan11, May 5, 2018.

  1. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    Fish tail is usually he last thing that shows they need copper, basically by the time you get to that point they really need it. I would try a bolus and see how it goes. Like saltey said sometimes it takes a few to see big results. I kinda went at it a different way and gave them a good sized bolus (I actually still do) and that seemed/s to get them over that hump but since it’s just now thinning you should see some improvement with just one bolus and if you do then go ahead and hit her again with a bolus. The boluses are pretty dang safe. No way am I saying do this but for a example to set you mind at ease ;) from yearling on my does get 9gram boluses. That’s just shy of 200 pound dose. So some does that get that dose are about 120 pounds, a lot being more 150-160.
    When I first started I was worried I was going to kill them so was under dosing and saw NO improvement. Once I saw a article on how safe it was I said well let’s try this! That’s the only reason I’m telling you how I do it, more to put your mind at ease ;)
     
  2. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Yes, if your goat has fish tail (regardless of fur color) and they already have access to Loose Minerals free choice (as much as they want) then go ahead and order copper bolus online. There are two brands, Ultracruz or Copasure, order the 4 gram size unless your goats weigh less than 50 lbs.
     
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  3. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    What do you mean about the veterinarian testing samples? They did fecal analysis to check for parasites? Or they did a blood test to check mineral levels?

    If it was a fecal analysis to check for parasites then a lot of parasites could have developed in the past 5 months and you would need to have them checked again if you suspect they need deworming due to weight loss. Other symptoms of parasites might be rough coat, loose stool, and pale membranes (FAMACHA score).
     
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  4. aJadeMagnolia

    aJadeMagnolia Member

    76
    May 17, 2018
    Best advice I've ever read on the ideal water source for goats. If you have enough rainfall like we do this will prevent part of the copper deficiency problem that many of us struggle with.

    I also have a spring bubbling up at ground level that is the beginning of a creek so that is also preferable to well water, during dry spells I pump the water or carry it in buckets and use that instead of using my well water. It is being fed by several underground springs so there is an abundance of water year-round, and it has been an endless supply. We put some rocks around it and when I say bubbling up it's around a 10'x10' area and I can dip 5-gallon buckets in it.

    I had kept goats in a different place before and didn't have the rain collection system in place there like @shoafplantation has so wisely done, so they were drinking water from a deep well. I have seen a dramatic difference in the copper needs of my herd since moving.

    You see, the deeper the well, the deeper your water source, the more minerals it will have and minerals like calcium, sulfur, and/or iron in excess can interfere with copper absorption. Not that minerals, or what's called "hard water" is a bad thing. One of worst things you can do is give your goats water that has been treated with a water softener. The softening salts are loaded in heavy metals, particularly aluminum, and that will really interfere with copper absorption, sometimes making it almost impossible. So you still have the well water plus heavy metal and other toxic contamination - perhaps even uranium - to make matters even worse. Someone I knew tried everything and nothing seemed to help her goats' copper deficiency, the vet couldn't figure it out and then their water softener failed. They didn't want to replace it so they removed it. Within weeks their herd was improving so fast that they were shocked. The only change had been the removal of the water softener. It was a blessing in disguise.

    No one ever devoted more years of research to water safety issues than independent research scientist Dr. Hulda Clark. For anyone that would like to read more about what a water softener is actually leeching into your water, you can read an excerpt from one of her books here: http://www.livingnetwork.co.za/drclarknetwork/water/laundry-bleach-in-water/

    Getting back to well water, a shallow well would be better than a deep well if you have a choice of two wells on your property. (I live in an area with an abundance of water if you haven't already noticed, I only mention this because I have had experience with so many different water sources while observing my herd's copper needs that anyone considering renting or purchasing a property might want to consider these things.)

    For those readers that do not have sufficient rainfall or spring water available, don't despair. Many people only have well water and some say that adding a splash of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to the water troughs helps reduce the effect the minerals have on copper absorption. You just need to monitor your herd and supplement with copper as needed and your goats will be just fine.

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    Copper in Soil Affecting Pasture Health and Grazing Quality

    And there is more than just water involved, your soil also plays a part in it. We have red clay soil here, and it is not deficient in copper. A cheap soil test shows it has copper. But a cheap soil test is just that, cheap. And unfortunately some of them are not worth much in this regard. Without knowing the micro-nutrient content of the soil you don't know if the copper that is there is actually available or being bound by some imbalance in the soil and therefore the plants can actually be copper-deficient in a soil that has copper. You can read more about soil health and micro-nutrient balance here: https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/farm-ranch/agriculture-and-nutrition/

    Your source of hay might also be deficient in copper. And alfalfa is high in molybdenum which is another mineral that can bind copper and prevent proper absorption. https://thriftyhomesteader.com/goats-and-copper-deficiency/ (This site also has a free online educational video course called Copper Deficiency in Goats: https://thriftyhomesteader.teachable.com/p/copper-deficiency)


    A DVD presentation by Neil Kinsey provides an excellent introduction and overview explaining how soils can be brought back into proper mineral balance: https://www.acresusa.com/hands-on-agronomy-dvd-book-863

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    Finally, there is a faster remedy than COWP to alleviate more advanced copper deficiency in goats. COWP is a good product, but it is for maintenance, and if the issue has gone too far and you need quicker results, there is an herbal copper supplement called Herb Mix Kop-Sel™ - some have reported seeing improvements in 2 weeks or less. https://www.firmeadowllc.com/store/p445/Herb_Mix_Kop-Sel™_16_oz.html

    There's another source of herbal copper supplementation information that I am aware of, and for thoroughness sake I will post the links below.
    https://landofhavilahfarm.com/loh/natural-raising/my-holistic-methods/
    https://lohlearning.com/courses/herbal-mineral-supplementation-mini-class/

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    Thanks for reading!
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  5. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I will give copper bolus in 4 months, if they are still showing signs.
     
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  6. odieclark

    odieclark Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2016
    Wow ajademagnolia !

    Awesome reading material and research-thank you!

    ♥️♥️
     
  7. odieclark

    odieclark Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2016
    A mineral option we can purchase but lower than I hoped for on copper

    Any thoughts?
    CEAFBAA7-A478-4F76-B77F-0B7330A8049B.jpeg
     
  8. aJadeMagnolia

    aJadeMagnolia Member

    76
    May 17, 2018
    You are most welcome and glad you found it helpful. That took years to figure out so I posted it in the hopes that someone else won't have to wait so long to find answers.
    Finding a perfectly balanced mineral mix is hard to find. That's why so many of us have to supplement copper in addition to providing loose minerals free choice. One of the simplest ways is to use COWP, and depending on your particular situation and the needs of your goats, it can be done every few months, but that is just a rough average. Dosage and frequency will have to be determined by how much of a copper deficiency you're dealing with.

    So it isn't very realistic to expect to find a purchased mineral mix that has the "proper" amount of copper. Different areas of the country have different levels of copper, and different herds of goats have different needs and there are so many variables (feed, hay, water, pasture, etc.) involved that many manufacturers play it safe by keeping the copper levels lower. Some are still unaware that the copper requirements of goats are higher than previously thought, and are following older, outdated guidelines that have been found to be incorrect. And using COWP has become so popular that still others are afraid of increasing the copper content for that reason alone.

    As for thoughts on the particular ingredient list you posted, personally, I would question two of those ingredients. The mineral oil and the flavor.
    • Mineral oil is a petroleum byproduct and not a nutritional supplement. In other words, not a dietary requirement for a goat. There are so many other options they could use that would be edible and useful. Or better yet, they could skip oil altogether.
    • Natural and artificial flavor. First, why the artificial flavor? That's generally toxic. And is the "natural" flavor an animal byproduct? If so, from which species of animal and were they tested to be free of major diseases? Listing ingredients as "flavor" is a very vague term that could mean almost anything and transparency is lacking.
    Just some points to consider. There are mineral mixes out there that are free of those ingredients. And the ingredient list of a bag of minerals is more important to me than the amount of copper it contains, especially considering that I've yet to come across any that contained the copper levels you're looking for.
     
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