Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

First post here! I added 3 Nigerian Dwarfs to the farm 3 weeks ago. Ive had experience with horses and working with dogs and cats as a vet tech for years. I noticed some hair loss/thinning on one doe - She kidded in February and I'm currently milking her. This is her first freshening. She's giving about 3-4 cups a day and put on some weight since I brought her home. I did some research on hair loss and copper deficiency was one of the first things that came up. She has some red tinge to her hair on her rear legs and the "fishtail" other two does also showed the fishtail. I attempted to copper bolus her without much success! All those years shoving pills down the throats of dogs and cats was nothing compared to pilling her! Anyway, I finally held one out in my hand with some feed and she nibbled around it...while one of the other does came up and before I know it the bolus was gone and I don't know who took it...

That was a week ago. I have two questions - if she did get the 4g bolus, how soon would I see improvement? Secondly, when would it be safe to bolus her again? Thanks in advance!

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Welcome! I think this is the first time I've ever heard of a goat eating a bolus like that. Some people hide them in marshmallows or bananas. I just open the capsules and sprinkle the COWP on a little grain. The featured video on my Facebook page talks about this very subject and shows you how I give COWP to my goats:

In response to your other questions ... I've seen improvement in the coat in about two weeks. I'd suggest taking a picture of everyone now so that you can compare coat color better. But I've also noticed old hair falling out and new, softer hair coming in, which you can feel.

In studying COWP for parasites, they have bolused some sheep and goats as often as monthly for up to four months. I wouldn't do that normally, as most goats only need it every 3 to 6 months for copper supplementation. I have given a second dose a month later in a goat that had a bad case of parasites, and she blew her coat like crazy, which a few other people have also mentioned happening.

Since this is like a true double-blind study (at least blind humans), it will be interesting to see if you notice a difference between the goats. Please let us know!

Thanks so much, Deborah! I've been reading your book "Raising Goats Naturally" and am very much enjoying it. I ended up giving another bolus about a week ago after her coat didn't improve. Hopefully we'll see some improvements! She still has some flaky skin and rough coat but is giving 4-5 cups of milk a day and doing well otherwise. Thanks again!

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