Selinium and copper? Really neccessary?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by pennylullabelle, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    I keep seeing mentions of selenium and copper flushing, gels, blousing, etc...While there are lots of posts regarding these, none answer my questions. The posts all discuss method, where to buy, how to administer, if their goat is due, etc. :? :help:

    Are these necessary in goats who are fed quality hay, grain, and minerals?

    I've seen suggestions of doing both selenium and copper twice a year, is that the standard schedule?

    What are the symptoms that a goat shows when needing copper or selenium? Selenium aids in bone and joint growth and copper aids in cell development especially of organs, skin, and hair. So, while I can't imagine any selenium deficient symptoms until the goats have done without long enough to cause growth problems...copper I would assume would be a dull/wire goat and or dull or dry skin?

    What is blousing (I've also seen it spelled bolusing)?
  2. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    In our area (the NW) copper and selenium are a must. It does depend on where you live and I'm not quite sure where to find information for other states on mineral deficiencies. I was told for our area to supplement twice a year. The first area I've commonly seen fading in the coat are on the back legs, near the thigh.

    Common signs of copper deficiency are a dull, rough coat and "fishtail" (a bald spot on the tip of their tail).
    I supplement selenium five weeks and then two weeks before a doe is due to kid. All other goats receive it every 6 months. Our vet told us supplementing w/ selenium before kidding strengthens the uterine muscles. It also helps to make for stronger kids. If you have a weak kid born, one of the first things to give (along with mom's milk!) would be selenium.

    Bolusing can be compared to a human taking capsules. A goat is not willingly going to take a swig of water and a capsule so we have to use a bolusing "gun" to get those capsules down their throat. Someone else can probably explain it so much better than me. :doh:

  3. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    Thank you Capriola, I have a pill "gun" for my horses (who also don't take a pill and a swig of water). So, that's no big deal. I know the soil in Nevada is deficient on both copper and selenium, but the hay I buy is grown in Oregon (where you are) so I assume my hay lacks as well...I am going to check my local feed store where I get all of my goat stuff. They are wonderful people who research their products based on what is needed locally. Very helpful, and good business practices! I'll also call my vet/mentor. And if anyone else has anything to add...please do! Never can be too safe. I wouldn't want to run out, grab copper and selenium, and start serving it up! I want to make sure I do everything right with my lil mini herd :thumbup:

    PS Capriola: I stumbled across your website through Google. Took me a while to realize it was you! I emailed you about Iris this morning.
  4. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    Oh, that was you, cool! I just sent a reply to your email. :)
  5. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I recently started seeing evidence of copper deficiency in my goats...and lost one after trying to remedy the situation back in June, with very thorough research I found that with copper the molybedum levels need to be just right so that the goat can absorb the copper from minerals, etc. Iron plays a BIG role in how the molybedum levels are in the soil, plants, water and the goats system. My well water is high in Iron and my property was strip mined years ago making the iron high in the soil and raising the molybedum levels to the point that what copper my goats did get it was stored in their liver....which I can only think that this is the issue as copper levels can only be checked by liver biopsy.

    I am currently trying to correct the situation in the only way I feel safe doing so, my goats get rainwater that I boil, and a mineral with no added iron. My black does have very soft coats with just a hint of a red tinge to their legs and my lighter does fishtails are beginning to fan out again.
  6. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    Wow Liz, I am so sorry you lost one. But your efforts show great COMMITMENT! Good for you, and for your goats too! :thumb:

    I've ordered the cattle capsules from Jeffers that everyone seems to suggest, but I only wanted to have them *if* needed. I only suspect a need in my buck who was not provided with minerals at the home I got him from. Typical back yard pet keeping family just weren't aware of what a goat truly needs. At any rate, his coat is oily, dull and brittle. But I've started dropping just a handful of grain on top of his minerals so that he is "tricked" into eating some of the minerals. Otherwise he ignores them! I want to try to get him to eat a natural daily level of copper for a month or so and see if he improves before considering bolusing him. My does show no signs of copper deficiencies.

    I also ordered the selenium/E paste for goats for my does before they kid.
  7. crocee

    crocee New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Northeast Arkansas
    IF I had known you were going to order the copasure I would have offered to share mine. I just got my shipment in and it will last me forever.
  8. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    Oh darn! That would have been way better! That stuff wasn't cheap! Oh well, it ill be here for my goaties if and when they need it.
  9. crocee

    crocee New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Northeast Arkansas
    Yeah, I don't think it ever goes bad.
  10. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    If you see a goat weak in its pasterns then he/she is deficent in selenium. A shot of BoSe is needed as the gel isnt enough to correct the problem.

    Weak kids - unable to stand or lacking a sucking reflex - can be attributed to lack of enough selenium. In this case the paste can work but a shot of BoSe is a much quicker fix.

    Giving the Selenium gel works -- but you need to give it like once a month according to the directions if they dont have selenium in their minerals. Minerals should be left free choice to allow them to eat as necessary. Some days they will eat a ton and then for a week not even touch it. SInce I have a mineral with selenium in it I only give the extra selenium mid pregnancy and then one month before kidding. I found this to be very helpful for the moms as they are in labor and the strength of the kids when they are first born.

    Once you have a problem you will always do whatever you can to not have it happen again -- which is where I am at now. Never had an issue for years and then one year suddenly I was having weak kids and feeble pushes by moms.

    As to copper -- check yoru mineral, not all minerals have enough copper in them even if made specifically for goats. Companies are learning but still you have to find the right one for your area.

    Didnt have an issue till this spring with my doe Angie -- her legs were turning out real bad in the back -- almost totaly sideways! So I tried bolusing but my gun was to big. So I ended up just giving her the rods on her food. Within a month her hooves/pasterns were turning back normal again.

    My friends buck is walking funny on his hooves -- ordered the copasure for both of us to share and I am really hoping this does the trick for him since the BoSe didnt do a thing.

    She asked "should I give some to all my does?" and we checked tails and coat color and all her black does are nice and shiny and all their tails look normal. So for now she is jsut going to give it to her buck. He was a recent purchase back in the spring and over the summer we noticed the issue. He does get minerals on top of his food each day but there is no saying how much he really is eating
  11. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    I use SweetLix. I tossed the bag once I emptied it into a feed bucket in my hay barn. So, I could not check the levels. But according to Jeffers and the manufacturer it contains added selenium and copper. I'll verify the levels and find out of they are sufficient. I got the selenium to give my girls two doses before kidding. I have every confidence that it helps in birthing and in kid development.

    I don't want to copper bolus my does. Neither shows any signs of a deficiency. But I think I will do a half dose on my buck and wait a month. This was I don't risk overdosing and causing a toxic reaction.

    I am in no hurry to see the ugly side of copper or selenium deficiencies! I am so sorry some of you have experienced losses either from deficiencies or trying to solve the problem :hug: Thanks for allowing me to learn from your experiences!
  12. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    sweetlix is good and if you find that it isnt working then you can find a different mineral that does. I found Purina worked better for me while others hate purina and say it is better. Golden blend is also a good one. Top Choice by Southern States is what i now use and i love it (also has added ammonium chloride which is hard to come by in minerals).
    I forgot to say that when my doe Angie was copper difficent she was on Top Choice but only for like 2 months. What happened was I quit my job that took me by the place that I bought my Purina minerals from and was still trying to find a mineral I could actually afford (instead of getting it shipped directly to me) had my local store get me the Southern States brand (but this took like 2 months of investigating and calls before they figured out what I wanted) so all in all they were without minerals from approx august to January/february which led to her copper deficiency.
  13. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    The thing is you could be feeding the best feed out there and still have goats deficient in certain minerals and vitamins. The feed makers have to make a feed that, any goat, anywhere in their distribution area can eat it without getting toxic amounts of vitamins and minerals. So they take the area with the highest concentration of minerals and make the feed according to what they need without overdosing.