With my battle to maintain a healthy level of copper in my herd, I often wonder if Im doing too much or not enough. Our well water is high in Sulphur so we use The Horse Hydrator inline filter (hose filter) to help reduce the amount of Sulphur in our water, we bolus every 3-4 months, and give quality herbs high in copper as well as Replamin as needed. I really want to understand Copper needs better and hope this discussion not only clears things up for me but helps readers better understand the copper needs for their herd. Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Some info I came a crossed while reading: "Red blood cell formation, hair pigmentation, connective tissue, enzymes, immune system function, the central nervous system, and bone growth all have one factor in common: these processes need copper to function properly." https://www.newcountryorganics.com Questions I often hear *Am I doing too much? *When is it enough? *How do we know we have toxicity over deficiency? *What are some antagonist I need to watch for? Antagonists such as zinc, manganese and iron compete with copper for absorption and utilization. Vitamins B6 and folic acid may also be helpful. Selenium and cysteine may be helpful. Research indicates copper may be excreted by binding with glutathione and metallothionine which require these nutrients. Chelators of copper include vitamin C, molybdenum and sulfur-containing amino acids. These bind and remove copper. http://www.healingedge.net The signs of a copper deficiency *anemia *dull and rough hair coat *diarrhea *weight loss *atrophied muscles *bleaching color changes in hair coat *fishtail *Young stock can also experience incoordination and paralysis of muscles *grinding of teeth *become swaybacked *or develop hypoglycemia. The signs of copper poisoning in sheep and goats include: • Weakness, panting, and dull attitude • Pale mucous membranes • Yellow discoloration (jaundice) of the mucous membranes of the eyes, gums and genitalia • Dark brown or red colored urine • Abortion in pregnant ewes and does • Death I hear many different ideas of how to dose copper. Copper should always be dosed at the rate of 1 gram per 22#. New boluses for goats come in 2 and 4 gram capsules. 2 grams being enough for a 44# goat and 4 grams being enough for 88# goat. SO what if my goat is 200#? will the 4 gram bolus be enough of a dose for him? No. He will need 9.09 grams of copper rods, or at least two 4 gram capsules, which is still a tad under the 1 gram per 22# or you can give 3 capsules giving a tad more, but still should be with a safe margin. Like wise when we give a 2 gram bolus to a 10 pound kid..that is double the dose. It is important to figure out what your herd needs. Your herd may need copper more often than mine, or less often. I don't think there is a one size fits all any more. Do keep in mind copper toxicity is harder to fix than deficiency. I remember when Copper became a big discussion, many farmers were so afraid to even dose a small amount, I know I was. There was so much talk about toxicity it scared us. Now we give it like its a Fred Flintstone vitamin LOL. I rather start small and add as I see the need than give too much at once. It's like me telling my kids, serve a little on your plate to start, you can always get more if it's not enough. But that is me. We purchase the cow size bolus and break them down using a syringe I have cut the tip off of. I dose 1 cc per 60# which comes very close to 1 gram per 22#. I top that off with probiotics. I have another drenching syringe with water, I dose the copper then follow up with the water to help wash it all down. My goats are pretty used to this and do very well. One way to check your levels of copper is have the liver tested when you process for meat or loose one. It's hard to do when you loose a beloved goat pet, but it would be for the good of the herd. So, what are your thoughts? How do you manage your copper needs? How are you finding the balance?