for people who love the littlest dairy goats
Fertility problems are usually caused by copper and/or selenium deficiency. Skin issues on random parts of the body are usually zinc related.
Copper deficiency can cause bowed legs. Is that what you're seeing when you say the rear legs are abnormal?
All three of these minerals are very important to immune function.
What mineral do you have available free choice? Is it a loose mineral?
Did you get necropsies on the goats that died?
I used to use Purina goat mineral but when I started noticing more of these issues I switched to DeraFerm but they had mistakenly given me sheep mineral at first so I had to add a copper bolus. I’ve reordered the correct goat one and that should be here shortly. I just did another copper bolus today which is about 3mo after the last one. We did do necropsies and they showed meningeal worm. That pen butted up against my wooded area and has since been relocated but I’ve put in more barriers to keep the deer away. They showed acceptable mineral levels however the issues described above started to stack up the longer we were in this area so it’s highly possible that stores are just being depleted. I’m going to add in free choice zinc and continue with copper bolus and selenium as neeeed and I’m hoping that once the other mineral gets here it starts to help too but I may just need to always top up those three I guess. Thank you for your response and confirming my suspicions. At least I have an idea where to start.
If this is the mineral you are getting ... https://duraferm.com/product/?id=1375
The copper is okay if you don't have any copper antagonists in your well water, such as sulfur or iron.
The selenium is too low for breeding animals. I really want to see 50 ppm selenium, which is what they have in Purina and Sweetlix. Even with 50 ppm, some people in deficient areas still have to do additional selenium, so 16 is just not acceptable unless you have pet wethers.
The zinc is also not as high as I like to see. Basically if they are telling you zinc in ppm rather than a %, it's too low because 1% = 10,000 ppm.
And yes, it takes time to see a deficiency crop up after moving to a new place or changing minerals, feed, water, etc. It's not unusual to have someone with an established herd move to a new place and start losing goats. This is why I always say that you shouldn't do something simply because someone else is doing it because every farm is different. And if you move a herd, it's really like starting over learning to work with the goats, so you can't expect that what worked on your old farm will work on this farm.
That’s exactly what it feels like, like I’m starting all over even though I have the same animals. It’s been frustrating and devastating and very humbling but I also feel like it’s taught me a lot that I hope will help me do better moving forward. I’m going to switch back to Purina I think as well cause like you mentioned I tried deraferm based on a recommendation from someone else but I just don’t think it’s working for my herd. Live and learn. Thank you!