Do you supplement w/copper?,how?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by milk and honey, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. milk and honey

    milk and honey Senior Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Everett, WA
    Do any of you living in copper deficient areas supplement with copper? And if so, how do you dose with it? I understand there are serious risks in I'd love to hear what you all do.
  2. Victoria

    Victoria New Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Vernonia, Oregon
    I live down south of you, NW Oregon and have been copper bolusing for a little over a year now. There is a risk of over dosing with liquid copper, infact you can kill a goat with liquid copper, which is why I have never and will never use liquid.

    Many of the goat people I know use Copasture, which is a copper bolus made for cattle. It comes in a huge capsule form. Depending on your breed/size of goat, you open the 'bolus' and separate it into separate portions for your goats.

    The dosage is 1 gram per 22 lb's. Each bolus is 12.5 grams each. Divide the contents into 12 one gram parts and take how many little piles you need and then dose.

    If your goats love snacks , it can be fairly easy to hide the dose in a snack, be it bread, marshmallow...otherwise you have to get pretty ingenious to trick them. Last time I gave copper, I ground up grain, mixed in the copper, and sprayed it with molasses, it actually worked.
    Oh and as far as over doing, you can't because the copper is in little pieces like tiny pencil led pieces. The pieces attach to the stomach and move through a bit at a time.
    My does are currently getting copper every four months or so. If they start to look dull, I give copper.
    I try to tell people about copper, and most really don't get it. So I have learned to just keep it to myself, unless they ask. I spose with anything new, it just takes some more time than others.
    Welp, I hope that helps you a bit!!

  3. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    I copper bolus, I also use the 12.5 grams and then break them down into smaller boluses for the doses I need.....I use empty capsules that can be bought at healthfood stores. I bolus every 6 months, I only have wethers.
  4. Coyote Night Acres

    Coyote Night Acres New Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    We bolus also :thumbup: We have purchased goats south and north of us with really bad copper issues, but our soil on our farm seems to be pretty good and our goats are less defficient than others around us, maybe it's our minerals. However we decided to start the bolusing back in the fall when we got some new ones in that needed it bad. We bolused all of our goats even the ones that didn't show a lot of signs of needing it. We did our research before doing so and decided that our goats could only benefit from it. After everything that we read we were pretty confident that we were not going to over dose them on copper with the boluses. The rods stick in the rumen and act as a slow release of copper that way they don't get too much. We used a balling gun for calfs and put in the back of the throat so they don't chew them up. We tried the treats and stuff, but they just chewed all the rods up. We put a little bit of flavored yogurt on the back of their tounges to help it all go down better too. Copasure is the product we used, we got if from ValleyVet
  5. milk and honey

    milk and honey Senior Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Everett, WA
    Thank you all SO much.. I feel a little better about this now..
  6. yellowstone

    yellowstone New Member

    Jan 8, 2011

    A related question -- I was told that improper bolusing could kill the goat by placing the bolus in the lungs rather than down the esophagus. Terrifying! Is this something I should be concerned about? What exactly should I be doing to ensure this doesn't happen? If I'm really worried, should I just try sneaking it into their grain as above?

    We have asked every goat person (including a vet) we know in our area, but none of them know anything about copper! Since we can't find anyone to give us a demonstration I thought I would ask for some very explicit descriptions of how to do the procedure safely.

    Thanks so much!
  7. Victoria

    Victoria New Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Vernonia, Oregon
    This is just IMO..others may have had different experiences with bolusing goats.

    Because a goat's esophagus is so long, it would be terribly difficult to bolus into the trachea. This is why goat surgery can be life threatening because it is very difficult to intibate a goat ( put a tube into the esophagus to keep breathing and under anesthesia)
    If you were trying to bolus a young goat, and had a huge (bovine) bolusing gun, it could potentailly go into the trachea and lungs. Or if the goat had a freakishly short neck, and trachea, it could potentially be a problem as well.

    I have only used a goat bolusing gun, and or a 60 cc syringe for bolusing. I spose if you shoved that gun as far down as you could, you may have an issue as well. I always place the metal bolusing gun just in front of the back teeth, and give the bolus.

    With any animal you need to be careful how you force anything down them, always keep them laying sternal ( on their tummy) when feeding, and forcing, this is when aspiration is likely to occur is if you have then on their back. It may also occur when the animal is way to stressed and fighting you. This is when it's best to take a break and come back.
    I like to bolus my does in the milking stand, put their head to the sky and in goes the bolus. Takes care of their body, you just have to control the head!!

    Hope that helps, I am sure there are others with wonderful advise for you too. :thumbup:

    p.s. many of the wonderful people in our goat world have done hours and hours of research on copper. I am so thankful for this as many vets and people strongly suggest that boluses are not at all necessary if not deadly. I just am so grateful to those who tried and found out otherwise!! :stars: :stars: :stars:
  8. milk and honey

    milk and honey Senior Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Everett, WA
    If I decide to use the copasure , I will probably use it like a drench... mixed into yogurt, and put into my drenching syringe....
    I'm continuing to do my homework and research into my particular area re: copper deficiency...
    Thanks for that great info on how to bolus! I'll probably need that info too one of these days..