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Boer Lover 4 Life!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are the pros and cons of copper sulfate? I have heard of people's goats dying because of it and why is that?? But then other's have had great success. Tell anything and everything about copper sulfate so I can decide between copper bolusing and copper sulfate!
 

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Copper Sulfate is absorbed much better and quicker than the copper rods. So it is very easy to overdose copper sulfate. If you can properly weigh your goats and then very accurately measure the dose along with being positive that your goats need more copper, you should be fine. There is a much wider margin for error with the bolus. The rods do kill Barberpole on contact too for up to 18 hours.
 

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There is that Pat Coleby recipe for mineral. It includes copper sulfate. I looked into it but found out it had to be given over feed at a certain amount and supposedly could not be given free choice. I would rather have mineral out free choice and not have to worry about putting the right amount of mineral on each goat's feed. Then you really need to make sure each goat only eats from their own bowl.

Most bag minerals already have copper sulfate in them. I'm not sure I would want to add more to it.
 

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Copper Sulfate is absorbed much better and quicker than the copper rods. So it is very easy to overdose copper sulfate. If you can properly weigh your goats and then very accurately measure the dose along with being positive that your goats need more copper, you should be fine. There is a much wider margin for error with the bolus. The rods do kill Barberpole on contact too for up to 18 hours.
That's why I go with the rods. It took me a year just to get brave enough to do the boluses and now I don't even weigh the goats or the rods I just fill the capsules up and give to them and have yet to loose one. Some are still a little def. I just all around feel better about the boluses so just stay away from the other.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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checked my mineral mix label and you is right :) Copper sulfate and copper proteinate. So if you had a lesser then desired amount of copper in your minerals, you should be able to add more. The hard part would be to figure out how much more... I do know that our mineral mix is at the high end of both copper (3.000.0 ppm) and selenium (153.0-180.0 ppm).
 

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Boer Lover 4 Life!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My goat won't eat minerals. so that's why I was asking. I recently switched her over to Purina Goat Chow because it had a higher copper content, but I'm still worried she's not getting enough. Her hair is slightly red but her sire was an all red FB Boer so I don't know if it's geneticis or Mineral deficiency.
 

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Mine won't touch minerals either that's why I feel safe about giving extra rods in their boluses. Look at your girls tail and see if its fish tail. Also rough coat but from what I have read that could also be a lack of selenium. Since I have spent tons of money on trying to find a mineral they will eat and I have gone threw them all over the years and except the fact they are freaks lol. I went ahead and bought every salt block they make and put out with them. They do eat on those but still I know they are not getting enough copper so go bolusez.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks. Her tail is not fishtailed.

Edit: Copasure now sales boluses in 2 and 4 gr sizes for sheep and goats. They are on the Jeffer's website. What's the doseage for a goat? And while I've got it on my mind, what's the doseage for Bo-Se? I'm getting a dose of Bo-Se from the vet's office where I work in a few weeks.
 

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I am a huge fan of the copper sulfate. Pat Coleby has the dose listed in her book for how much each goat should get weekly. What I do is 2 to 3 days a week depending on how they are looking I give a small pinch of copper sulfate to each adult goat. I normally do not give extra copper until my goats are at least 6 months old and those that are 6 months to 1 year get half the dose I give the adults. This typically works out fine, but I do have one black buckling that I can tell is getting a bit low on copper now. So I plan to start him on the youngster dose this week.

Be sure that when giving copper sulfate to always give it dry! Never give it as a drench!!! I have heard horror stories of people giving as a drench and the animals dying. I believe that was either from them getting some in their lungs or they could have maybe given too much or maybe it was absorbed to fast. I am not sure because I did not know those people. I sprinkle mine in a ziplock bag that has some raisins in it and hand feed the copper sulfate covered raisins to the goats. Every goat has their own bag and I move goat to goat to get the job done. A lot of people use calf manna if you do then understand it has copper sulfate in it as well so you need to lower your extra copper sulfate weekly dose when calf manna is in use. I like to give calf manna as a treat here and there so I just adjust my extra copper doses accordingly on those weeks.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks DDFN. I guess I never realized copper sulfate was a dry ingredient. I thought it was an injectable.
 

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My goats get Copper Sulfate free choice--don't freak out people! :) The farm I got them from follows this practice as did the farm they got their original herd from, so I knew it would be ok. They are Oberhaslis, which is a breed noted for needing more copper than others. I also leave out free choice minerals with a good amount of copper. Even with all this I still need to copper bolus 2Xs/ year to keep them looking good. There is basically no copper in the soil in my area, so browse is deficient.

Sometimes goats will just not like one brand of minerals, but love another, so it might be worth experimenting. Also, they like their minerals fresh. Put out small amounts and remove them after a couple days and replace with fresh. Have you tried kelp meal? It's full of minerals and micro nutrients (not sure about copper, though), and most goats love it.
 

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I use the boluses, I buy the cattle boluses because the 2-4 gram ones are big enough for one goat. I just break them down and do 1cc of copper in a syringe per 50lbs, which comes out to 2.27 grams per 50lb goat.

If I bought the 2-4 gram goat ones I'd only be able to dose 8 goats for $20, but with the cattle boluses for $45 I can dose 52 full grown goats, pretty cost effective. Or for $70 I can dose 100 full grown goats. (Assuming these are all 130lb dairy does)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
WEll, I only have one goat so it would be more effective for me to do the 4 gr size ones. My goat is a boer and all the minerals in my area come in 50 lbs. bags. We've tried one kind that came in a 5lbs. bag from TCS. but she didn't like those. We don't try the others because they come in such big proportions that if she doesn't like them, well that's a loss of 25$ that could have been used for groceries or my mom's surgery she's having in a couple of weeks. That's why it would just be easier for me to do supplements.
 

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I'm not addicted - I'm in love!
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I've used copper sulfate almost since I got goats, which was 4 years ago. Disclaimer: What I am about to say is in my experience only, so take it for what it's worth.
My adult Nigerians can safely have 1/2 teaspoon at a time of straight copper sulfate. I wouldn't continue this dose indefinitely, as it may be too much over the long term.
At one time when I was giving my doe about 1 1/2 teaspoons of copper sulfate in her grain every morning, she showed signs of stomachache after eating it, and sometimes she wouldn't eat all her grain. I lowered the dose and she was fine.
Copper sulfate is much safer when mixed 1:4 with dolomite.
Pat Coleby's mix can indeed be given free choice; it's what she recommends. However, for my goats the copper in this mix just wasn't enough.
The individual ingredients can also be offered separately, free choice, as MissyParkerton says. HOWEVER, you should NOT offer straight copper sulfate free choice to goats that are already deficient. You risk them overindulging and poisoning themselves. I lost a valuable buck this way. (Incidentally, the two goats with him were fine - I guess they knew when to stop). Give them just a little, set out dolomite with it, and closely monitor their consumption for the first week or so.
You can worm a goat using copper sulfate by giving 1/4 tsp or so, twice a day, until the worms are gone - just a day or two. This is for an adult Nigerian. (I still have more experimenting to do with this; it's not been highly tested yet.)

After my experimenting, I have determined that the safest and easiest way to give supplementary copper is the copper bolus. I think it is also cheaper. For these reasons, this is the method I have decided to use. But I do keep copper sulfate on hand in case they need quick copper for worming. Usually, they don't need it. In fact the only time they have is just after kidding.
 

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goatmama36
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I am extremely copper deficient in my area. In fact our vet said here we have to give it to the sheep. I've been experimenting with the loose mineral as well as the rods.
As our high alkaline water and soil attaches and inhibits absorption of it we were told that the doses given here would be toxic in other management systems.
The only thing I was cautioned on with the rods:
From our vet: goats will store up copper levels in the liver. When stressed this will get dumped into the system at one time resulting in death. He told a story of man who lost half his herd this way simply by moving them from one pasture to the other. They stressed, dumped and died.
So I've only used the rods once. Mine are on free choice mineral but am still seeing the red hair, the fish tail and other signs.
I also now give multimin 90 every six months.
 

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goatmama36
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How has the Multimin 90 been working for you? I'm considering using it next year because of the variety of minerals it has.
So far I like it. My vet also likes it due to the fact that it has the other minerals in it. I find with a herd of 35 the shot is easier and faster than trying to bolus each one. The program I'm on is the shots and free choice minerals.
I just got Pat Colby book and am going to see if I can try her methods instead of commercial minerals
 

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From our vet: goats will store up copper levels in the liver. When stressed this will get dumped into the system at one time resulting in death. He told a story of man who lost half his herd this way simply by moving them from one pasture to the other. They stressed, dumped and died.

Actually, that is what sheep do, not goats.


Quote from the article:

"Copper toxicity can be of two types: chronic or acute. The acute form of copper toxicity occurs quickly, shortly after ingestion of high amounts of copper. The chronic form occurs when sheep are fed diets over a period of time that are marginally higher in copper content relative to level of copper antagonists in the diet. This could be over a period of weeks or months, depending on actual copper intake by the sheep. What happens is that sheep bind absorbed copper very tightly in the liver. Copper buildup in the liver occurs because sheep do not excrete copper from the body as efficiently as other animal species. When the liver becomes saturated with copper, tissue damage occurs in the liver and large amounts of copper are released into the bloodstream. This causes the death of red blood cells and subsequent tissue damage. Often, the first very noticeable sign of copper toxicity is dead sheep. This many times may follow some stressful event for the sheep."

 
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